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10 Best Taiwanese Foods That Make You Want Some Tea: #4 Blow-Your-Mind Fruits & Nuts (by guest blogger Amy Hsiao)

One of the most popular foods traditionally paired with teas in Taiwan is, drum roll please, fruits & nuts.  So ordinary, you may say.  Yet, quite the contrary, it's actually extra-ordinary.  The Taiwanese fruits & nuts are no ordinary fruits & nuts you maybe familiar with and definitely puts your local Trader Joe's to shame.  There is no right answer as to which teas to pair with fruits & nuts.  Given the prevalence of tea as well as fruit & nuts consumed in Taiwan, all combinations exist with a casualness I love (green tea with mango?  oolong with pumpkin seeds? apricot tea with dried apricot?  sure!) and it's all just a matter of preference.  If you get to, I encourage you...

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10 Best Taiwanese Foods That Make You Want Some Tea: #5 Chinese Doughnut (by guest blogger Amy Hsiao)

Fried dough is another one of those popular foods with different versions around the world, whether it be doughnut, beignet, fritter or churro.  The Taiwanese version is called Youtiao ( 油條), also known as Chinese cruller or Chinese doughnut.  I have always enjoyed having them with a strong cup of green tea to help brighten the taste.  On a hot summer day like the ones I am living in Taiwan, I especially like a cold brewed Purple Bamboo, which I do "on the rocks".  That is, I leave 1.5 tspn over an 8oz glass of ice and savor the refreshing green tea on the rocks.  The Taiwanese traditionally pair the Youtiao with soy milk.  When I am feeling the addition...

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Summers Are For Bare Feet And Cold-Brewed Tea (from guest blogger Heidi Dixon Kwon)

It’s hot. It unbelievably hot.  It’s my-eye-makeup-is-now-on-my-neck kind of hot. West Coast heat is dry, yet semi-avoidable in the shade. East Coast humidity is unreal and follows me into my lungs. It curls my hair around its clammy fingers and creates beads of sweat in unknown crevices of my body. It sticks around until 4 am, and returns at 9 the same morning.But, the summer’s unrelenting heat allows for some breathtaking sunsets and a never-ending reel of memories featuring sand framed toes. There are perfect moments that blossom when it’s this hot — like when you remember you hid that pint of Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream in the freezer or know there is a refreshing jar of cold-brewed Kenyan Gold waiting for you in the fridge. This Far Leaves...

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10 Best Taiwanese Foods That Make You Want Some Tea: #6 Tea Snacks (by guest blogger Amy Hsiao)

The Taiwanese love to snack, which is perfect for a culture that also enjoys sipping teas all day long.  While the snacks range from sunflower seeds to sweet &/or savory little cakes filled with all sorts of beans, what I wanted to share in this blog post are actually tea snacks made with actual teas, like the tea-infused tea eggs pictured above.  I like to pair tea snacks with teas I am in the mood for that day.  For this blog post, I have chosen the fully roasted Yunnan Supreme FLT co-founder Donna Lo stuck into my suitcase before I left for Taiwan.  Cold brewed fully roasted black teas that taste like sweet honey nectar with hints of caramel are all the...

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10 Best Taiwanese Foods That Make You Want Some Tea: #7 Dumplings (by guest blogger Amy Hsiao)

The combination of a bite-sized starch + protein as a satisfying meal is prevalent throughout the world.  From Eastern Europe's pierogi, Italian ravioli, to Argentina's empanada, baked, boiled, or fried, freshly made dough with flavorful fillings has been the the go-to of many stomach-filling, nutritious meals.  The Chinese version is called dumplings, with the Taiwanese version in particular made with amazingly flavorful pork fillings that ooze of delicious broth when bitten into.  Paired with a delicious cup of earthy, smooth puer, the richness of the dumplings are mellowed out yet the flavor enhanced.  Read on for details on the making of a dumpling below.           Pictured below is the making of a specific type of dumpling...

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