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Eric Scott
Works at Tufts University
Attends Tufts University
Lives in Medford, MA
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Vacation Tea Highlights (Updated)
I just got back to Boston from a week long visit to my home, the San Francisco Bay Area of California.  I ate tons of good food and caught up with lots of great people, but here are the tea-relevant highlights in no particular order:

1. +Song Tea & Ceramics.  I visited this lovely spot for the second time on this trip and picked up some Gold Peony Red, a red (black) tea made from an wulong cultivar.  I also have a rolled wulong and a white tea made from the same cultivar, so this will make for a fun tasting!  I also picked up an incredibly sweet winter sprout san lin xi.  It is so sweet (like cotton-candy stuck in your throat sweet) that I don't think I really enjoy it that much, but it was just too damn cool to pass up. It will be a lot of fun to share with people, especially those new to tea.

2. Golden Tea Company.  This small shop in Oakland Chinatown has what I suspect to be good quality teas at a very reasonable price.  No one that works there speaks English except for a few phrases, and I don't speak or read Chinese.  They had about 10 different varieties of Tie Guan Yin, so I picked up one that was on sale (probably last-year's, or the year before's harvest). They also have a fairly extensive puer collection.  Next time I need to bring an interpreter!

3. Tea at +Scott Norton of +West China Tea Company 's house.  Scott served up some matcha, then some kabusecha, then some red tea made from puer leaves, then a wuyi yancha whose name translates to something like "crystalline aquamarine sea turtle."  I was about to tap out after the red tea (I also had a Vietnamese iced coffee that day!), but I'm glad I didn't.  The sea turtle tea had an aftertaste of dried umeboshi that popped up like a full 30 seconds after swallowing and surprised me.  I don't normally describe teas with specific reference flavors, because everyone tastes things a little different, but this aftertaste was  _exactly_ dried umeboshi.

4. Restocking on my pineapple weed supply!  Ok, ok, so pineapple weed (Matricaria discoidea) isn't technically tea (it's a chamomile relative), but it's one of my favorite tisanes and it grows well in California.  It prefers compacted rocky soil, which usually means it is found growing in unsavory places like sidewalks and gravel driveways.  I found a nice clean patch growing at the Oakland Farmer's Market and snagged a couple of handfuls.  It's drying in a paper bag on my desk as I write this.

5. Tea at +Asha Tea House in Berkeley.  A friend took me here for the matcha boba, and I was surprised to find out that they were a real tea shop.  They served teas gong fu cha style with gaiwans and faircups.  They had reasonable prices and did a neat marketing thing—they served the tea along with an information card with tasting notes and a price for bulk tea.  On the back was a business card.  This is an approach to nudging customers to buying in bulk that I hadn't seen before, although it is similar to the way the Great Wall of Tea at +Happy Lucky's Teahouse and Treasures works.

6. Kenyan milk tea over crossword puzzles.  I had lunch with a friend and a friend of that friend who was from Kenya.  Once she realized I was the "tea guy" we started talking about tea in Kenya and later that day she made us all some sweet milk tea with rosemary, ginger, and cardamom to have while we worked on some crossword puzzles.  I don't think I've ever had tea with rosemary in it, but it worked really well with the other spices.  Unfortunately rosemary isn't free in Boston like it is in the Bay Area, but next time I have some left over from another recipe, I'll have to try recreating this.
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Thanks, +Eric Scott, for the information about +Tony Gebely's Bay Area tea guide.
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Chipotle switches its source of oil from a GMO with herbicide tolerance to a non-GMO with herbicide tolerance (also patented, developed using chemical mutagenesis). This is why labeling GMOs is silly.
 
At Chipotle they serve oil from herbicide tolerant oilsseeds
Recently some of us were musing on the issues of GMOs, and what the proposed labels do and do not tell you. At Biofortified, we discussed that in the post tweeted here:
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Hope you can join us this Sunday for the Tea Salon!
 
This week's Tea Salon will start with a brief presentation by +Michael J. Coffey about medieval ink-making techniques and how the chemistry of tea could have simplified it.  After that, the conversation will move on to whatever topics the participants choose!  

Be sure to follow the Tea Geek page on G+, and RSVP to the event to get a notification when it's starting.
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Dealing with customers looking for a tea to "detox" is one thing I definitely do not miss about working at a retail tea shop.
 
There are juice cleanses to supposedly get rid of them, celebrity-approved products that claim to be free of them, and everywhere you go these days people seem to be talking about them. Toxins. But what are toxins really? The dude slinging $9 green juice is vague, and I'm pretty sure he isn't the one you want to rely on for health information anyway.
There are juice cleanses to supposedly get rid of them, celebrity-approved products that claim to be free of them, and everywhere you go these days people seem to be talking about them. Toxins. But what are toxins really? The dude slinging $9 green juice is vague, and I'm pretty sure he isn't the one you want to rely on for health information anyway. Instead I turned to a toxicology expert to answer some basic questions about poisonous compo...
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Just a reminder that the Tea Salon is this Sunday.  All you need is a G+ account and a webcam to join the chat.  Come learn with us!
Tea Geek originally shared:
 
+Eric Scott will briefly present some information on two tea terms that are often unfamiliar and confusing to westerners.  We hope to lead a discussion about what these things mean, how best to translate them, and how we might explain these phenomena with western science.
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Hey tea pals and science pals--come join our virtual Tea Salon on Sunday!
Tea Geek originally shared:
 
+Eric Scott will briefly present some information on two tea terms that are often unfamiliar and confusing to westerners.  We hope to lead a discussion about what these things mean, how best to translate them, and how we might explain these phenomena with western science.
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Got 100 tea seeds in n the mail today! Not exactly sure where I'm going to plant them all or how I'm going to protect them from Boston winters, but I'll figure something out.
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Yeah, by the time I graduate I'll be able to make a tiny batch of tea to celebrate.
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When you work in a lab that studies tea, you end up with random samples and leftover bits of tea. This is much like working at a tea shop.  The difference is, instead of the random samples being labeled by what company they're from, they are labeled with some code like "SP10" and maybe a location and date if you're lucky.  I'm drinking what I think is a sheng puer labeled "Lao Dah Tea".  Quite tasty!
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Ah, Yes and my friend Max knows some great gong fu cha people there in Hangzhou. Let me know and we can make a day trip of it.  
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"...given that this crop has been eaten for millennia, it may change the paradigm governing the 'unnatural' status of transgenic crops."  Such a beautiful sentence.
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This is the first paper I've seen on transgenic tea.  Perhaps there have been others, but this is promising research that could lead to tea plants that require much less pesticide input.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10142-015-0436-1

(sorry, behind a paywall)
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. A crop loss of up to 43 % has been reported due to blister blight disease of tea caused by a fungus, Exobasidium vexans. Thus, it directly affects the tea industry qualitatively and quantitatively. Solanum tuberosum class I chitinase gene (AF153195) is a plant pathogenesis-related gene. It was introduced into tea genome via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation with hygromycin phosphotransfer...
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Fungicide, though appears the plantations are just taking the loss. 
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The Orians lab got some tea plants in the mail today!
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Thanks! I've been thinking of getting one for myself.
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Work
Occupation
Graduate Student
Employment
  • Tufts University
    Graduate Student, 2014 - present
  • Front Range Community College
    Adjunct Faculty-Biology, 2011 - 2014
  • Happy Lucky's Teahouse and Treasures
    Leafster, 2011 - 2014
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Medford, MA
Previously
St. Louis, MO - Fort Collins, CO - Champaign, IL - Walnut Creek, CA - Walla Walla, WA
Story
Introduction
I'm a lover of biology, tea, food, and hip-hop. I've lived in a lot of places, but the Bay Area of California will always be my home.
Education
  • Tufts University
    Chemical Ecology, 2014 - present
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    2011
  • Whitman College
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Male
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Aariq
Very crowded on weekends. The water had a visible layer of sunscreen floating on it down-river from the shut-in area. The water was also very warm in most places which would usually be a good thing, but leaves you with an icky feeling when it might be so warm because of the number of people swimming in it. The water is really easy to access, so that's a plus.
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
Public - 11 months ago
reviewed 11 months ago
One part cheese shop, one part cheese bistro. You can get hunks of cheese to take home, or sit down with a bottle of wine (very reasonable options) and create your own cheese flight (also very reasonable). They have a great selection of cheeses that is always changing. The owners and staff are extremely knowledgeable cheese geeks. Ask about "flavor crystals"--you won't be disappointed.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
My favorite coffe shop in town by far. The baked goods and sandwiches are awesome, they have a great tea selection for a coffee shop, and there is a variety of seating (booths, small tables, big tables, couches). They also make their own ginger tea from actual ginger and serve it hot or iced or with milk.
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Very Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
7 reviews
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I'm not sure if the new taqueria/paleteria/neveria should be reviewed here or added as a separate business, but it's great! Best (and cheapest) tortas in town, great tacos, I think the only place you can get pupusas in town, and now a paleteria as well! These guys have got it going on. Try an al pastor torta and a mago chile paleta for dessert.
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: Very GoodService: Very Good
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Hands down the best Thai food in Fort Collins. You'll find Thai dishes from all over Thailand here, not just the same old pad thai and curry you've had before. There are Northern Thai dishes, Issan dishes, really things from all over and everything is delicious. The khao soi is a very popular menu item. Khao soi is a northern dish made with egg noodles and chicken in a curry broth topped with crispy fried egg noodles and served with pickled mustard greens, shallots, and roasted chili paste on the side. It's a great place to start on their expansive menu. The only downside is that they are quickly outgrowing their small space. Wait times are often very long, so it might be a good idea to check how busy they are before deciding on it for dinner, unless you're not in a hurry.
• • •
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very GoodService: Very Good
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Every time I go here, I have to force myself to try something other than the fish burrito, because it is so damn good. Was lured in by the great beer specials and have been coming back for the fish burrito ever since!
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago