Friday, June 30, 2006

Iced Tea Month Ends

This is the last day of National Iced Tea Month - but you have my permission to continue celebrating, if you're so inclined. Here at TGS, we've done a few pieces about iced tea this month, but there's always room for one more.

From Green Tea: 50 Hot Drinks, Cool Quenchers, and Sweet and Savory Treats, by Mary Lou Heiss (by way of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette), comes this recipe for Lime and White Grape Iced Tea. Which doesn't sound so bad, if I do say so myself.

The Charlotte Observer has been taking a Tea Tour around the city this month, checking in on local eateries and sampling their iced tea. To wrap up the month they've announced three "Iced tea champs". Read all about 'em here.

The Evansville Courier & Press features a reminiscence about Southern-styled sweet tea. There's also a recipe, if you're keen to try a pitcher of your own.

The gang over at Lifehacker recently posted a piece on sun tea. There's not really much to it, but the comments section is quite lively and interesting to read. There's even a comment regarding "sun coffee" (who knew?).

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tea For Beginners

If your local newspaper hasn't "discovered" tea yet, it's probably just a matter of time until it does. Here are a few articles from papers that have done just that in recent weeks.

First up is the Wisconsin State Journal, who would have us believe that "It's Hip To Sip". The article formulates a definition of tea, talks about alleged health benefits and provides a brief history of tea drinking.

North Carolina's News & Observer weighs in with a piece that focuses on local tea and coffee businesses and includes a brief glossary.

The Roanoke Times offers up "Truths About Tea", a very brief article that doesn't really cover anything the previous two mentioned pieces haven't done better.

Then there's "Reading the Leaves: How Tea Varieties Differ", which recently appeared in the Orlando Sentinel. It takes a quick look at tea's growing popularity and health benefits and compares the likes of green, oolong, Darjeeling, Rooibos and yerba mate.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More Iced Tea Recipes

We've been flooded - if I dare say so - with so many iced tea recipes lately that one might reasonably conclude that it's National Iced Tea Month.

The Yogi Tea Web site has some recipes listed, among then a Rooibos Chai Float and an African Redbush Peach Smoothie.

Installment nine of the Charlotte Observer's Tea Tour looks at Great Wall of China. If you're not in that part of the world you can try this recipe for Southern-Style Sweet Iced Tea.

From the Food Network's Good Deal with Dave Lieberman, comes a recipe for the old reliable - Mint Iced Tea.

The Northwest Indiana Times recently ran an article on iced tea and tea in general. Among the recipes here are a Cold Brew Tea-Time Ice Cream Float, a Cold Brew Cranberry Mint Cooler and a Beat-The-Heat Tea Shake.

Also from the Carolinas, comes some advice from Greenville area restaurateurs. They don't offer any recipes, but there are some tips on how to make iced tea.

Then there's this brief report from the Monterey County Herald on POM Tea, whose flavors include pomegranate black tea, pomegranate lychee tea, pomegranate blackberry black tea and pomegranate peach passion white tea.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Marijuana Tea

Well, not exactly. But it sure got your attention, didn't it?

TGS has been getting a lot of new visitors lately who want to know more about C-Ice Swiss Cannabis Ice Tea. I wrote about it in May, but now it's in the news due to the fact that it's being released in Britain.

Fans of this whole cannabis/marijuana thing probably shouldn't get too worked up about this one. If I've got my information straight, it appears that you're likely to get more of an "effect" from the black tea component in the product than you will from the hemp-related ingredients.

Here's the link to the brief article I wrote in May.

Here's a recent report from the British press.

Here's a link to the company's Web site.

Image: Swiss Cannabis Ice Tea

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Tea Blog Roundup 2

Welcome to the second edition of our tea blog roundup. If you missed the first one, look here. If you're looking for our whopping directory of more than 60 tea blogs, look here.

This time around Phyll Sheng has posted two good pieces on pu-erh at Phyll's Tea Cups & Wine Glasses. Pu-erh is not a topic Tea Guy has really delved into, but Phyll seems to be quite knowledgeable about it. Here are his thoughts on 1985 Best Tea House Loose Raw Pu-Erh and here is what he had to say about 2005 Menghai Factory, Early Spring Harvest, Ban Zhang.

Mellow Monk's Green Tea Blog posted a recipe this week for an iced delight called The Mellow Monk Green Tea Summer Fruit Splash. More info here.

More on pu-erh at The Mandarin's Tea, with Toki's illustrated post about little-leaf pu-erh and a rather mature tea tree.

If you're a teapot fancier there's always something to see at Andy Titcomb's Teapots Teapots Teapots. This time around Andy features info on a sleek 1964 model by designer Jaques Garnier and a quite pricey pot in the shape of a cockerel. If you head out to Christie's you might be able to pick the latter one up for about £4,000 - £6,000 British pounds.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tea Recipes

It's time to share a few tea-related recipes I've run across recently. Actually, this first one is not so much a recipe as a nice picture and some information. It's a Green Tea Opera Cake featured at the Nordljus site. In response to the many commenters, the site owner has promised to try to get an actual recipe online.

I recently (yesterday) mentioned some iced tea recipes posted at the Sacramento CBS affiliate's page. That article also includes a recipe for Elegant Garden Teamisu, which is made with French Caramel Fudge Brulee Tea.

Chocolate And Zucchini recently featured Langues de Chat au Thé Vert, which are "classic French cookies that fall into the category of petits fours secs (dry petits fours, as opposed to miniature versions of pastries with buttercream, pastry cream, etc)". They're made with matcha and you can read all about them here.

Here's an article from one of the Australian papers about a Brisbane restaurant called Augustine's. The owner and chef there recently came up with a degustation menu that featured a different Twinings tea in each course.

As the article notes, "the dishes range from Queensland-farmed barramundi poached in lemon juice and green tea, to seared king prawn cutlets tossed in honey and chai, to duckling braised in Twinings raspberry and peach tea."

Scroll down to the end to see the recipes for Braised Duckling in Twinings Raspberry and Peach Tea and Oven Baked Pork Fillet Marinated with Twinings Blackcurrant and Apple Tea.

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Tea Review 71 - Boston Tea Campaign Darjeeling

First Flush Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe Darjeeling (FTGFOP1)
Boston Tea Campaign

You get what you pay for - or so I've always assumed. So as much as I'd love to be able to obtain really topnotch tea at bargain basement prices, I have to admit that I'm skeptical when anyone offers such a thing.

Just as I was skeptical when I found that Boston Tea Campaign's First Flush Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (FTGFOP1) was going for $16 a pound plus $5 shipping.

Tea Guy really hasn't had as much experience with Darjeeling tea as I'd like. As far as Indian teas go I've tended to focus my interests a little more on the Assam varieties. But I know enough about Darjeeling tea to know that one dollar an ounce is really cheap. Which, as I said, made me more than a bit skeptical.

But, as it turns out, my skepticism was mostly unfounded. Though I don't have a lot of other Darjeeling experiences to compare this one to, I found it to be not bad at all. It has quite a light, pleasant taste. It's perhaps not quite as fruity or aromatic as some of the few Darjeelings I've tried, but it's not bad, especially if you consider the price.

My only other complaint - but it's one that applies to most Darjeeling tea I've tasted - is that they tend to be a bit on the bitter side. Perhaps I just haven't yet found the optimum brewing criteria. I started out using boiling water for about 3-4 minutes and now I've got that down to about two minutes. It's still a little more bitter than I like so maybe I'll back off to 1.5 minutes, or even one.

But, a pretty good experience and you sure can't beat the price. How does Boston Tea Campaign offer their wares so cheaply? As they tell it, they're "an offspring of Teekampagne, located in Berlin, Germany. Founded 20 years ago, Teekampagne has evolved into the largest mail order tea business in Germany and become the world’s largest single importer of Darjeeling tea."

So the trick here, apparently, is to offer one product and one only and to buy it up in sufficient quantities that you can sell it really cheap.

But don't take my word for it. If you ask nice, BTC will send you a sample of their tea and, right now, first time customers can pick up a pound of this variety for only $10.

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Tea Paintings & Sketches

A while back we reported on a Malaysian man who paints with tea - literally. More info here, including the link to an article that originally appeared in a Malaysian paper.

If you can't get enough of this sort of thing, go to the Tea Sketches page at Flickr, which is a repository for "your tea-stain drawings and other drawings that bring order from random stains or marks."

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Iced Tea Extravaganza

Unless you're in the Southern Hemisphere - or at the Arctic Circle - it's about time to start ingesting some iced tea. Here are a few options.

We've been following the Charlotte Observer's Tea Tour series throughout June, which just happens to be National Iced Tea Month. Editor Kathleen Purvis has been hitting the streets and finding the best places to sip the cold stuff around Charlotte.

In installment six, Purvis heads to P.F. Chang's for some unsweetened iced tea. This is not standard operating procedure in the South, by the way. For installment eight, Purvis drops in at Melba's Red Light Cafe, where you can have your tea sweet or not. I'm not sure how I missed installment seven, but I'm sure you can track it down at the Observer's site, if you really want to.

From the Recipes Recipe site, here's a recipe for Texas Iced Tea. Here's an article from Sacramento's CBS affiliate that includes recipes for Root Beer Float Iced Tea, Grandma's Garden Iced Tea and Hibiscus Iced Tea.

For even more on the ins and out of iced tea, check out this article from Newsday, which offers tips on making it and more. has been debunking - and occasionally confirming - urban legends for quite some time now. They've concluded that the one about sun tea harboring potentially dangerous bacteria is true. Read all about it here.

Last on the list today are some bottled teas from Taste Nirvana. They make a Creamy Thai Tea, complete with cream and sugar, and a similar Creamy Green Tea.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Angelina Jolie's Garlic Tea

I've managed to maintain this site for nearly a year now without finding it necessary to mention Angelina Jolie in any way, shape or form. But now it's time to break down and refer you to this article which tells us how Ms. Jolie used yoga and African ginger root and garlic tea to knock off those pesky pregnancy pounds.

While we're on the subject - more or less - of tea and health, here are a few more related topics. If you're going gray, or if you're already there, you'll want to look at this article from Pravda that claims tea - among other things - might be partly to blame.

Here's a piece from the Asbury Park Press that suggests that tea bags might be useful in treating sunburn.

Last up is an article from Inside Bay Area about Republic of Tea's new line of Be Well Red Tea. All nine varieties of this one are built on a base of organic Rooibos tea from South Africa.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Growing Tea

According to this article in The News & Observer, which hails from somewhere in the Carolinas, "Tea is easy to grow". I beg to differ.

If you've been reading TGS for a while you might recall that I ordered some tea seeds a while back and - with great enthusiasm - set about launching my own tea estate. You can read part one of my adventures here.

The rest of the story is not terribly enthralling. The tea seeds refused to germinate and, after what I deemed a suitable time, I pulled the plug on the experiment. In the interests of full disclosure, I should point out that I was trying to grow the seeds indoors, in the winter, in little snack dishes, which may have had something to do with my failure.

Now that summer is upon us, I've decided to give the tea estate another whirl. Though I'm in an apartment, I had a pot on the porch which had produced a nice bunch of carrot greens, but no carrots. I proceeded to plow these under and replace them with tea seeds.

We'll see how it goes. I'm not holding my breath, but I'll keep you posted.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

World Of Tea 3

While places like India, China, Sri Lanka and Britain tend to grab a lot of the press about tea, other countries occasionally merit a story. Here are a few more of them.

This one's on the move to promote Nepali tea by opening estates up to tourism, a move that's being tried in some other countries as well. Here's the link to the article, though you'll have to register to read it all.

From the Korea Herald, here's a profile of the Boseong Tea Plantation, in the South Jeolla Province. You may or may not have to register to read this article. It's supposedly a registration required type site, but I didn't have to.

A lot of us in the West might not know anything more about Bangladesh except that George Harrison once organized a benefit concert for some unfortunate people there. But the country produces a considerable amount of tea, as you'll find in this article that takes a look at one of its tea estates.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Tea Turns 100

Even thought it doesn't really have anything to do with tea, I can't resist passing along news from the town of Tea, South Dakota now and then.

The latest is a piece from a local TV station celebrating the town's centennial. The headline is "Town of Tea Turns 100!" Read it here.

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Tea Blog Roundup 1

I recently put together the latest incarnation of the TGS tea blog list. Since TGS is a sideline activity for me, I don't spend much time keeping up with what other tea people have to say. However, thanks to the miracle of RSS, it's not too difficult to scan a bunch of sites and see what's out there.

So, with no further ado, here's the first incarnation of the Tea Blog Roundup. I hope to make this a regular or semi-regular feature, but we'll see how things go.

Over at The Tea Tippler, there's a book review of Tea Basics: A Quick and Easy Guide, by Wendy Rasmussen and Ric Rhinehart.

From Phyll's Tea Cups & Wine Glasses, here's an interesting review of a yellow tea called Jun Shan Yin Zhen (Silver Needle of Mount Jun).

If you worry that your tea obsession has gotten out of hand, you'll probably feel better after reading Notes on the Pathology of Sinensis Psychosis, posted by Geraldo at dandateemann.

If off the wall teapots are your thing, take a look at this Beatles model, posted at Andy Titcomb's Teapots Teapots Teapots site.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

World's Largest Tea Bag

Just how big is the world's largest tea bag? Not long ago, we wrote about the forty-pounders used by Le*Nature Beverages to make their teas. But that's paltry compared to the whopper that was put together by Twinings a few years back.

Here's a report from one of the British papers about a special tea party at the Twinings factory, held to celebrate the company's 300th birthday. As the article notes, the factory was the site where the world's largest tea bag was created, in January 2003.

As the article notes, "The 4m by 3m Earl Grey tea bag, which was designed by experts at the factory, would make around 11,000 cups of tea."

The notion of downing 11,000 cups of Earl Grey tea hardly makes me swoon with delight but, as always, nobody asked me what I thought.

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Father's Day Gifts

If I was thinking I'd have posted this a week or two ago. If you haven't shopped for dear old dad's tea gifts by now then you're out of luck, at least for this year.

But here are a few gift suggestions all the same. Here's a selection of Father's Day stuff from Bigelow Tea and another one from Mighty Leaf.

Last, but not least, is a tea that somehow seems appropriate for the occasion. It's called Brew's The Daddy and it's a Ceylon black that comes to us courtesy of Scottish tea merchant Brewhaha.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Even More Expensive Tea

What's the most you'd pay for an ounce of tea? Would you go as high as $17? If you're Jennifer Cauble, a Forth Worth resident who bought tea at the first ever tea auction in the United States, you certainly would.

The auction took place earlier this year at the World Tea Expo, in Las Vegas. Cauble shelled out $6,000 for 22 pounds of tea from the Glendale Estate in the Nilgiri region of southern India.

While I can't imagine forking over that much for any tea, I obviously haven't had a chance to sample this one. Perhaps it's so astounding that I'd immediately change my mind.


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Friday, June 16, 2006

Tea Tour Continues

In honor of National Iced Tea Month, the Charlotte Observer offers up two more installments in its June Tea Tour series. You can access the first two installments here.

Installment three takes a look at a local establishment called Fenwick's and number four, which comes to us by way of Topix, covers the iced tea at the Pressley Park Restaurant, a "working man's restaurant" in Charlotte.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tea Blog List

This list contains every tea blog I'm aware of. It currently numbers about 365 tea blogs. If you know of any I've missed or if you see one on here that's goners, please leave a comment.

If I've included your blog here, please consider linking to Tea Guy Speaks.

New Additions - 07/23/2012
Breakaway Matcha
Darjeeling Darlings
Erin's Tea
Leaf, Sheaf, and Berry
Si's Hip Hop Tea Shop
Silk Road Tea Blog
SOKO Tea House
Sommelier En Thé Japonais (French)
Tea Foodie
Tea For Me Please
Tea For Today
Teasing Leaves

Tea Blog Directories
Association of Tea Bloggers - Member Blogs
Tea Talk

Tea Blog List
100% Tea
The 39 Steeps
99 Kettles

About Tea (World Tea News)
Admari Tea
Adventures in Tea Cups and Wine Glasses
Adventures in Tealand
A Felicific Life
Afternoon Tea Total
A Girl With Tea
A Good Place for a Cup of Tea and a Think
Alex Zorach's Tea Blog
All Things Tea Shaped
Amanzi Tea
The Ancient Art Of Tea
Ancient Tea Horse Road
A Nice Cuppa
An International Tea Moment
Another Tea Blog
The Anytime Teas Blog
(aq) (Tea & other beverages)
A Quiet Tea Spot
Art and Tea
Art of Tea
A Spot of Tea
A World Of Tea

Barb's Tea Shop
Bernideen's Tea Time Blog
The Best of Tea's BevBlog
Bigelow Blog
The Big Tea Blog
Blacketeapot (French)
Black Dragon Tea Bar
Blooming Tea
Blue People Tea
Bon Teavant
Bookoftea's Journal
Bubble Tea Fan's Journal

CafeList Blog
California Tea and Coffee Brewery
Canton Tea Co Blog
Cap & Kettle
Carolina Tea Time
Cha Cha Tea Blog
Chadao, Way of Tea
Chai Baby USA
Cha Bei
Cha Dao
Chaiwalah: The Jaya Tea Blog
Chama Tea Blog
Cha-melier: A Tea Journal
Chan Teas
Charles' Tea House
China Tea Travels
Chocobubbo's Tea
Christopher's Tea
Coffee Tea and Me
Crazy Tea Chick
Crispy Tea Leaf
Cruising The Tea Scene With The Tea Lover Chic
Culinary Teas - Rediscovering Tea
The Cup of Life

Damn Fine Tea Blog
The Devotea
Doctor Oolong
Dormouse and the Teapot
Drink Tea

English Tea Blog
Everyone Loves Tea
Expanding Leaves

Fang Gourmet Tea
Floating Clouds, Gliding Eagle
Fun and FlirTea

Get Your Tea On
Gongfu Girl
Gracious Hospitality
Green Tea Blog by
Green Teas Chatter
Green Tea Health Benefits Blog
Green Tea TV
Green White Herbal Teas

Halcyon Tea
The Half-Dipper
Harney The Store
Have a Cup of Tea
Heaven of Tea (Teavana)
Heavenly Tea Leaves
Hey Hey Mate
Hou De Tea Blog

Imporcha - Oriental Sensations
Indie Teas
Infuse Me!
The Infuzion Pot
Insani-Tea Blog
An International Tea Moment
It's All About The Leaf

Jenier - World of Teas
Joie de Tea
Just4Tea Blog

Keen Tea Thyme
Kopius Teas
Kung-Fu Cha
Kungaloosh, the Tea Drinker's Blog
Kyoto Obubu Tea Plantations: Farmer's Blog

Là dove fumano le tazze (Italy)
Lainie Sips - A Tea Blog
Latté Tea Dah
Le Vide Et Le Plein
Life In Teacup
Lisa Knows Tea
Little Yellow Teapot Reviews Tea
Lochantea's Xanga Site
Love4Teas Tea Blog

Mad About Hats
Mademoiselle Thé
Mad Pots
The Mandarin's Tea
Manhattan Tea Blog
MarshalN's Xanga Site
marTEA's Tea Blog
Mary Elizabeths Tea Blog
The Matcha Box
MattCha's Blog
Me and My Tea
Mellow Monk's Green Tea Blog
Mico's Tea Tips
Miro Tea
Miss Neddy's Tea Blog
Miss Tea Delight
Mr. Teaman Talks
Modern Tea
More Tea, Vicar?
Morning Coffee and Afternoon Tea
Morning Tea Blog
Mug Puerh
Multiple Infusions
Must Love Tea!
My Cup Of Tea
My Cup Of Tea
My Darjeeling Cuppa
My Steeped IdentiTEA

Naja Tea
NM Tea Co. Blog
Notes On Tea

O-Cha and Matcha More

Paper Street Teas
The Persimmon Tree Tea Co.
Poetry Tea
Pot Luck Tea Company
Praise Tea Blog
Pu-erh Teas
Pu-Erh & Yixing (by invitation)

Rare Tea
Red Circle Tea
Rishi Tea
Rota Do Cha (non-English)
Royal Tea Co
Rub Of The Green

SA Japanese Green Tea
Sanctuary Tea Blog
Save The World With Tea
Save Twinings
SBS Teas
Seven Cups Tea Blog
Shade Tree Yerba Mate
Silver Tips Tea Blog
Simply Darjeeling! (Boston Tea Campaign)
Sip Locally
Sipping Hot Tea
Sip This! The Choice Organic Teas Blog
The Sip Tip
Sir William of the Leaf
The Skua Steeps
SororiTEA Sisters
Souvia Tea Blog
Steep Leaf
Steeped Tea Blog
Steepin' it Loose! (The TeaSpot)
Steepology Tea Blog
Steep. Sip. Smile
Steepster Blog
Steph's Cup of Tea
Steven Dodd's Journal
Steven Smith Teamaker
Straight From The Leaf
SustainabiliTEA (Arbor Teas)
Sustainable Tea Leaf

T'd Blog
T Ching
The T-Cozy
Taiwan Tea Guy
Tales From The Teashop
Tales of Japanese Tea
Tao Tea Leaf
Taste Indulgence's Blog
The Taste of English Tea Blog
Tasting Room (Japanese)
T. Dustin Fannings
T Talks Tea

The Tea & Biscuit Co.
Tea & Co.
Tea and Food
Tea and Talk
Tea and Tea
Tea And Travel
Tea Appreciation Society
TeaArt Blog
Tea Arts
Tea At
Tea Beyond
The Tea Blag
Tea Blending Blog
Tea Blog
Tea Blog: For Those About to Steep!
The Tea Blog
Tea Break Magazine
The Tea Chick
The Tea Drinker
Tea Drone
Tea Escapade
The Tea Files
Tea Finely Brewed
Tea For Me Please
Tea For Today
Tea Geek Blogs
TeaGlob (French)
Tea Goober
Tea Grand Central
TeaGuide: Reviews and Ramblings
Tea Hacker
Tea Happiness
Tea Heaven
Teahouse Kuan Yin
Tea Hub
Tea in the City
Tea In Your Life
Tea Jar
Tea Journal
Tea Journal
Tealevelek (Hungarian)
Tea Logic
Tea Masters
Tea Mind
Teamtea Tea Blog
Tea Musings
Tea N Chocolate
Tea Nerd
Tea News Blog
Tea News Direct
Tea News from Darjeeling Area
Tea Obsession
Tea, Olive Oil and Other Great Tastes
Tea On Tap
The Tea Pages
Tea Party Girl
Tea Posur
Teapots & Tea Blog
Teapot Diversions
Teapots Teapots Teapots
Tea & Procrastination, Inc.
Tea Reflections - A Tea Blog
Tea Retailer
Tea Review
The Tea Review Blog
Tea Scoop
Teas Etc - Tea Blog
Tea Snobbery
Teaspoons & Petals
Tea Spot NYC
The Tea Stylist
Teasubscribe's Journal (Russian?)
Teasy Tea Blog
Teas You Miss
The Tea Table's Blog
Tea Table Tidings
Tea Talk
Tea Taster Blog
Teatime Chatter
TeaTime Escapes
Tea Time Tuesday
Tea Time With A.C. Cargill
Tea Traveler
Tea Trekker's Blog
The Teatropolitan Times
Tea. Uncomplicated
The Tea Urchin
The Teavangelist
Teazo (Hungarian)
Tea Writings

TechTea Podcast
Teeblogi (Finnish/English)
Tetulia Blog
TGFOP Tea Reviews
That Pour Girl
The Green Tea Review
The Manly Teas
The Hill Tea Bar Blog
The Voice of Tea
Thusly Tea
Top of the World Tea
True As Toasted Toads
Tuo Cha Tea
Two Leaves And A Bud

Uniquely Brewed
Uniquely Tea


Walker Tea Review
The Way Of Tea
We Like Tea
Wife Of A Tea Drinker
Wonders of Tea (New Domain)
World In A Teacup
World Of Tea
Wrong Fu Cha

Ya-Ya’s Tea-Board (New Zealand)
Yogi Blog
Yuuki-Cha's Blog

Zen Tara Tea

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tea Room Tyrant

From Britain's Daily Mail comes the story of a tea merchant who's being called "the granny who turned tyrant of the tea rooms".

Apparently the whole flap got underway with said tyrant's boundary dispute with one of her neighbors. Things turned decidedly nasty and the tyrannical granny found herself in court, where her behavior didn't improve much.

Perhaps a change to something decaffeinated is in order? Maybe a nice chamomile?

Also from the British press, comes a report, in the Guardian, about Brits' reluctance to travel abroad without their favorite foods and beverages. If you guessed that tea was on the list - well, duh. It's estimated that the British take "22,610,000 packets of tea bags" with them when vacationing abroad every year.

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Vodka Recipes & Rooibos Recipes

Some time back I wrote about a green tea-flavored vodka from Charbay Winery and Distillery. While nosing around at their Web site recently, I ran across a page that list recipes for three cocktails made using this particular spirit. There's the Angèle Green Tea Cooler, the Charbay Green Teani and the Mochi Cocktail.

Over at Simpson & Vail's Web site, they have an iced tea recipe that uses vodka and Rooibos, or redbush, an herbal "tea" from South Africa. Also at their Rooibos recipes page are various recipes for drinks, cocktails, desserts, soups and main dishes. Rooibos Fudge, anyone?

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Start Buying Expensive Tea

In an article on money management tips for recent grads, the New York Times mentioned the Stop Buying Expensive Coffee and Save Calculator, which is available here. The point of this gadget is to help you figure out how much you'll save by cutting out Starbucks or other "ready-made" coffees and making do with home or office brewed.

Which doesn't exactly have anything to do with tea, though the calculator can be used to the same purpose by anyone who buys their tea away from home.

But all this got me to thinking, as I often do, that even if you see tea that appears to be rather expensive, that may not actually be the case.

Since Adagio Teas is a vendor that actually does the math for you, let's use them as an example. Adagio's most expensive white tea - Silver Needle - currently retails at $14 for two ounces. That ain't cheap, but, as the company points out, it breaks down to 56 cents a cup. That number would be reduced even further if you make multiple infusions from the same leaves, as many tea drinkers do.

If you are going out for tea, I defy you to get a decent cup for 56 cents. Ain't gonna happen, friends.

The moral of the story - drink the most expensive tea you can afford. You'll notice the difference and it may not be as expensive as you think.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Yuanyang (Coffee & Tea)

Just when I'd finally gotten over the notion of brewing a tea from the leaves of the coffee plant (that's right - read more here) I find out that there's a drink that's mixes coffee and tea.

It's called Yuanyang, or Yuenyeung and it's said to be quite popular in Hong Kong, where it's served hot or cold.

According to Wikipedia, "Yuanyang, which means "Mandarin Duck" in Chinese, is a symbol of conjugal love in Chinese culture, as the water bird usually appears in pairs."

For a little more on Yuanyang and for instructions on how to make it, check the link below, to the Taste of Tea Web site. It's not a delicacy I'll be sampling any time soon, but feel free to knock yourself out.


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Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Tea Drinking Ghost

If I'm forced to wander this Earth at all after shuffling off the old mortal coil, I hope someone will have the common decency to make me a cup of tea now and then.

That's what they're doing nowadays in the general vicinity of Gaya, India for a chap who passed about a century ago. He was an Englishman and his name was Thomas Owens.

As the story goes, travelers in the vicinity of Owens' grave are beseeched by his shade to cough up some tea and biscuits. Those who don't comply apparently suffer some unpleasant (but unspecified) consequences.

Obviously, there are those who think this is all a bunch of malarkey. On the other hand are some cautious types who keep Owens' grave supplied with tea, biscuits and assorted and sundry other treats.

I don't make 'em up, friends. I just pass 'em along. Make of it what you will.


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Friday, June 09, 2006

Green Tea Ice Cream Recipe

From the Seattle Times, just in case you missed it, here's a recipe for green tea ice cream. It uses matcha, the powdered green tea also used in the Japanese tea ceremony. Though you could probably substitute another type of green tea if you absolutely had to.


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World of Tea 2

Here's a roundup of some interesting bits from the great wide world of tea. Today our stops along the way include India, Italy, Thailand and Uganda.

In Italy, we're told that "the traditional Italian passion for espressos and cappuccinos is being eroded as a fashion for British-style tea-drinking creeps across the nation." Read the full - albeit rather brief - report here.

You don't hear too much about declining green tea sales nowadays. As a matter of fact, most reports about green tea tend to gush about the explosive growth it's enjoying. Not so in Thailand, if we're to believe this article in The Nation.

In Indian post offices these days, in addition to taking care of all of your basic postal needs, you can also pick up tea (Assam), condoms and assorted and sundry other goods. For the full story, check out this article in the Calcutta Telegraph.

On a rather darker note, here's a report from about child labor in Uganda's tea gardens. There are thought to be at least 40,000 children under the age of 10 years old employed full time on tea estates in just one region of the country.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Other Tea - Oolong

Okay, so we've heard so much about the wonders of green tea and white tea now that we're all just about blue in the face. Then there's black tea, the old tried and true standby.

One tea that doesn't seem to get a whole lot of press is oolong, a tea that, to oversimplify quite a bit, falls somewhere between black and green.

But since we're speaking of oolong tea getting press, we should speak of TeaMuse, Adagio Tea's monthly newsletter. If you cruise on over to the latest edition you'll find an eminently informative article - Oolong Tea: Covering the Basics - by Richard Goodness.

Now, if you ask me, Richard Goodness sounds a little bit like a pseudonym. But you didn't ask me and that's beside the point, so go read the article. It's located here.

While we're at it, here's a brief piece from the archives about oolong tea and here's a review of a few of Adagio's oolong varieties.

Image: Adagio Teas

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Iced Tea Tour

In honor of National Iced Tea Month, the Charlotte Observer is doing a virtual Tea Tour. The series runs through June and takes a look at some of the best places to get iced tea, presumably in the Charlotte area.

The first installment in the series ran Monday and took a look at an establishment called Bojangles. As drive-thru tea was featured, I'm going to guess that maybe this is a fast food type place or perhaps an old-style drive-in.

Installment two ran yesterday and takes a look at a place called Showmar's, who claim to sell in the neighborhood of 6,000 iced teas per day. Owner George Couchell offers his tips on brewing iced tea, but keep in mind that this is the South, where iced tea - by default - means sweet tea.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Killed For Tea

I guess it would be more correct to say "killed for a lack of tea". Several of the Indian papers reported on this unfortunate turn out events recently.

Apparently a man - Anil Singh - became so aggravated that that his wife would not make him a cup of tea, of which there was none on hand right then, that he beat her to death.


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What's In A Name - Snapple

People come to visit TGS for various reasons. Every once in a while I'll peruse the list and find out what search terms visitors have been using that led them here.

One recent visitor was trying to find out if green tea would be helpful in flushing marijuana from their system. It's a question that's not actually answered here and I don't know, but it sounds like a flaky notion to me.

Another visitor apparently wanted to watch a Snapple white tea commercial. While I've mentioned Snapple from time to time, I don't have any of those here. I suspect Snapple's site does.

Someone else came here to TGS trying to find out how it was that Snapple came by their name. I hadn't answered this one previously, but I will now, courtesy of Snapple's Web site - "Snapple is named after a carbonated apple soda that was part of the original beverage line."

As for the person who wanted to know where they could purchase Snapple white tea in Boca Raton, I'm afraid I can't be of much help. Sorry. Try the grocery store.

Image: Snapple

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Tea & Gin

Thus far we've reported on several distillers who make vodka flavored with various types of tea. Our most recent article on the topic is located here.

If you were waiting for gin to take its turn in the spotlight, then you shouldn't have to wait much longer. Business Week recently reported that House Spirits, an Oregon-based maker of the hard stuff, will soon feature a gin that uses Darjeeling tea, among other things, as an ingredient.

GBT Winter Gin is expected to roll out some time in autumn. It's a blend of Darjeeling tea, toasted carob, nutmeg, fenugreek, cranberries, and coriander and is expected to sell for somewhere between $35 and $40 per bottle.


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Everything You Need To Know About Tea

If we're to believe this article in the Stockton Record, then drinking tea has come into fashion. I think that probably happened a while back, though admittedly it's an ongoing process. Anyway, check out the article for a good summary of the growing popularity of tea.

Here's an article by a Florida based reporter who switched from soda to tea and who offers the following tips on increasing your tea-tippling delight:

1. Lose the bag.
2. Grab a pot
3. Taste the rainbow
4. Chill out

A bit cryptic, but the article fills in the blanks. It may not be, as the headline promises, "Everything you always wanted to know about tea", but it's a decent primer.

I had an opportunity to visit a local incarnation of Teavana a while back and wrote about the experience here. Teavana is growing by leaps and bounds, if we're to believe this article about the company. They've got 52 stores at the moment and seem to have nowhere to go but up.

Image: Teavana

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Water Woes In Tea Town

This one's not strictly tea-related, but I couldn't let it slip by without a mention. I previously wrote about the intriguingly named town of Tea, South Dakota here.

As it turns out, Tea is quite a thriving place, having doubled in population over the last five years. This growth, not surprisingly, has brought problems. One of the most notable of these is the fact that the town is expected to outgrow its water supply within two years.

This is the point where I should have something really clever and witty to say, but for some reason I'm coming up short.


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Saturday, June 03, 2006

National Iced Tea Month

That's right, tea lovers. June is indeed National Iced Tea Month. Yes, it took me three days into the month to acknowledge that fact. And no, I am not worthy to run a tea Web site. I will throw myself on my sword as soon as I'm finished with this piece.

I wasn't able to ascertain who's responsible for this observance, though I'll admit that I didn't actually wear myself out researching the matter. I'm gonna guess that it's either the Tea Association of the USA or one of the big time tea companies.

Please note that June is, among other things, Turkey Lover's Month, National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, National Papaya Month, National Dairy Month and National Frozen Yogurt Month.

Here, from the vast TGS archives, are a few brief articles on iced tea. There's one on iced tea recipes, iced yerba mate and iced tea history.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Expensive Teaware & Goofy Gimmicks

I've never taken part in a Japanese tea ceremony and it's not a subject I'm too well-versed in. So I guess I can be excused for not knowing what a chawan is.

A chawan, as a miniscule amount of research revealed, is a tea bowl. I bring this up because not long ago I ran across these tea bowls designed by Ogawa Machiko. They're available at the Trocadero Web site, but at about 1,800 dollars each they're not exactly what I'd call an impulse buy.

For a little more about chawan, check out this Wikipedia article on the Japanese tea ceremony.

From the Contra Costa Times, by way of Topix, here's an article on Kathleen Bailey, a California teapot collector.

On a somewhat more whimsical note, here's a brief piece from Gizmodo on the Dunk Mug, the perfect gizmo for people who like to do that dunking cookies in liquid kind of thing.

Last, but not least, is the Te'O Tea Strainer, a gadget that's clever and kind of cutesy, but also rather pricey and not terribly practical - not that you asked me.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Tea Review 70 - Shincha

First-Flush Shizuoka Sencha "Hatsumi"

Observant readers will note that is now included in our advertisers section here at TGS. Which may lead one to speculate how objective Tea Guy will be when it comes to reviewing their tea. Fair enough, but frankly I'd rather provide readers with honest, straightforward information, even if it means sacrificing a few bucks in potential ad revenues.

Having said that, I'll now go on record as saying that distributes some kick-ass Japanese green teas. This is nothing new. I previously reviewed their Matcha-iri teabags and their Uji green tea (before taking them on as advertisers, I might add) and came to the same conclusion.

Here's the lowdown on the product, lifted from the company's Web site - "From Shizuoka, a first rate, first flush green tea. Harvested from the first round of young spring leaves. The first batch is known as "Shincha".

First rate, indeed. I should say so. Like all of the other teas I've tasted from, this one was very fresh and very, very green - almost to the point of fluorescence. It's got a strong grassy taste with lots of fine particles floating in the cup.

My standard procedure was to heat the leaves for about 30 seconds, in hopes of leaching out a little caffeine. From there it was good for at least two infusions of about 30-45 seconds. Be sure to watch your brewing times and temperatures with this one, friends. Like all quality greens, it doesn't respond well to boiling water and long steeping.

Highly recommended.


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Health Tea Recipes

I ran across an interesting selection of tea recipes recently at the Web site. Now, before I go on let me say that I'm rather on the skeptical side when it comes to many of the high-falutin' claims put forth for tea. I'd also recommend that you proceed with caution when sampling offbeat teas and infusions, especially if you already have a health problem.

That said, there are some interesting recipes listed at this page, including Banana Tea, Peanut & Ginger Tea, Lichee & Plum Tea, Dry Fried Rice Tea, Shrimp Tea, Red Date Tea, White Radish Tea and Tomato Tea. Which all looks mighty interesting, whether or not they confer the marvelous health benefits that they claim to.

While we're on the subject of unusual teas, how about Jiaogulan, a "wild green tea sagebrush that grew along the steppes" of southern China. You can find out more about this one here. Once again, there are some pretty lofty claims made for the product, so do keep your wits about you as you peruse them.

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