Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pantyhose Milk Tea

Right off the top of my head, I can't think of too many things less appealing sounding than pantyhose tea. But, as I mentioned in an earlier entry, it's not nearly as weird as it sounds.

Reuters recently wrote about this concoction, which is apparently quite popular in Hong Kong. As the article notes, it's "brewed in a long cotton 'sock' or filter resembling a beige pantyhose, rather than a female undergarment itself." Well, that's a relief.

Here's an old article about pantyhose tea, from South Africa's Independent Online.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Welsh Tea, Swedish Tea

For your holiday weekend, here are a pair of brief bits with a somewhat international flair.

Welsh tea in Argentina? What's it all about? Apparently there's a significant Welsh population there who have a considerable teahouse culture. For more details, check out this article called Tasting Welsh tea in Argentina.

For more on "tea the Swedish way," check out Teas of Sweden, a California-based company run by a Swedish family that came to the United States 10 years ago. Apparently the Swedish way of tea has a lot to do with those blended fruity type teas.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Specialty Teas Are Hot Stuff

If you've got a spare $3,000 lying around - and who doesn't - you might want to invest in Tea and Ready-to-Drink Tea in the U.S., a report prepared by a market research company called Packaged Facts. That's right, $3,000 for a report. Nice work, if you can get it.

According to the report, the tea market in the United States is expected to nearly double, to $15 billion, over the course of the next five years. The greatest amount of growth is expected to come from specialty tea. Tea houses, which numbered just 200 in 1990, have now passed the 2,000 mark.

While you're waiting for your $3,000 report to arrive, check out this summary at the Gourmet News Web site.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More Tea And Cuisine

I've written about the tea/cuisine link often enough here at TGS that the site has an entire category devoted to the topic. Here are a few more resources for those of you who might want to try cooking with tea or who just have an interest in the subject.

From Malaysia's New Straits Times Online, here's an article called Waiter, There's Tea In My Soup. It's all about the Purple Cane Tea Restaurant, in Kuala Lumpur, where you can feast on such delights as Lotus Root Chicken Tea Soup and Aromatic Crispy Duck and Steamed Sliced Fish with Minced Pickled Vegetable in Tea Sauce.

The Boston Globe recently wrote about tea cuisine in an article that features recipes for Green Tea and Lemon Grass Filet Mignon, Chinese Tea Eggs and Earl Grey And Prune Applesauce. The latter delicacy doesn't sound terribly appealing to me but your mileage may vary.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Boston Tea Party

What self-respecting tea Web site could let today pass without pointing out that it's the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party? Not this one.

For a brief overview of the events of and leading up to that December day in 1773 have a look at this Web page from the Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum. They actually have one of the tea chests that was dumped in Boston harbor on that day of infamy, though you'll have to wait until their renovations are complete to get a gander at it.

For Wikipedia's take on things, look here.

Finally, here's an eyewitness account from The History Place.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Celestial Seasonings Book Club

(from a press release)
Tea Drinkers Experience an Adventure at Every Turn With a Book Club by Celestial Seasonings

Celestial Seasonings introduces "Adventure at Every Turn," a Web-based book club designed to bring to life the company's new positioning, "Tantalizing Adventures for the Senses." Celestial Seasonings is partnering with Random House, Inc. to feature noteworthy books that take readers on global adventures without leaving home to emphasize the worldly nature of Celestial Seasonings teas and the adventurous spirit of the company.

"Adventure at Every Turn" book club members gain access to themed tea selections, recipes using Celestial Seasonings teas as an ingredient, and decor, music and activity tips inspired by the featured book and designed to engage each of the senses. Along with downloadable book discussion guides and e-mail invitations, these features enable members to organize and host memorable, thought-provoking book discussion events.

The book club features a new book published by Random House, Inc. every other month beginning in December, and the introductory book selection is The End of the Alphabet by CS Richardson. Members will have access to content related to both the currently featured book and past selections at all times through the book club Web site.

To join, consumers are required to visit the Web site and submit UPC codes from two boxes of Celestial Seasonings tea. While quantities last, members will receive a book club starter kit designed to complement The End of the Alphabet. The kit features tea pairings and book club information, recipe cards and bookmarks to be shared with club members, and samples of Celestial Seasonings tea. The kit provides everything members need to host their first discussion group.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Green Tea Muffins

From the Belleville News Democrat, here's a recipe for Green Tea Muffins. The "active" ingredient, in this case, is matcha, a powder made from Japanese green tea.

Click here for the recipe. Also included, Orange Blueberry Muffins and Lemon Cranberry Muffins.

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Tea Ball & Tea Thieves

Here a few miscellaneous tea-related items to close out your week.

I'm not much for tea balls, but this one's kind of on the nifty side. It's actually called the Sili Herb Ball, but apparently can be adapted for use with tea as well - if you're into that sort of thing.

What would anyone want with 7,000 packets of Tetley tea bags? Good question. To get the answer you'd have talk to the thieves who stole that quantity from a British warehouse recently. Not that they're likely to be fielding questions. Here's a brief article about said caper.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Reasons To Keep Drinking Tea

When I first left off Tea, I was half asleep all Day long: My Head aked from Morning to Night: I could not remember a Question asked, even till I could return an Answer.

- from A Letter to a Friend, Concerning Tea, By John Wesley (1748) -

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tea Blending

While working on a project recently, I ran across a few bits of info on tea blending. I thought I might as well share.

Here's a book from 1896, called Tea-blending as a Fine Art. It's by Joseph M. Walsh. Check it out at Google Books, where it appears that the entire work is accessible.

From the Tea Time World Wide site, here's an article called The Art of Blending Tea - Tips from a Master Blender, by Jennifer Geronaitis.

From the Blends For Friends site, here's an article on tea tasting and the art of tea blending.

If you know of other worthwhile resources, feel free to add them in the Comments section.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Tea Forté Unveils Decadent Dessert Teas

Tea Forté Unveils Decadent Dessert Teas

(from a press release)
Tea Forté, creator of the contemporary tea experience, today unveiled its decadent Dolce Vita dessert tea collection, the ultimate, guilt-free indulgence for holiday entertaining. Introducing five innovative specialty blends, Tea Forte is redefining the traditional concept of tea and celebrating the extraordinary appeal of some of nature’s most extraordinary flavors. The collection of all-natural, calorie free teas includes Coco Truffle, Belgian Mint, Raspberry Nectar, Orchid Vanilla, and Vienna Cinnamon.

Available in a Medium Tin (six infusers for $12.00) and a Ribbon Box (20 infusers for $24.00), the Dolce Vita collection is one sinfully good habit to keep you healthy in 2008.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Celestial Seasonings Introduces Saphara Whole Leaf Tea

New Saphara Tea Provides a Journey for the Senses for Premium Tea Drinkers

(from a press release)
Celestial Seasonings, a leader in the specialty tea category, takes tea drinkers on a journey for the senses with Saphara, a new line of 100 percent natural whole leaf teas packaged in pyramid tea bags. Available this fall, the premium line features herbal, green, black, white and red teas and is USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified.

Inspired by the ancient art of crafting tea, Saphara features full-leaf botanicals and real fruit pieces that enhance tea flavor, color and aroma. Saphara's silken pyramid bags are specially designed to allow water to flow around and through the ingredients, revealing the depth and complexity of the unique flavors.

The teas retail for $6.99 each and are available in six distinctive flavors: Mango Ginger Decaf Green, White Tea with Schizandra, Tropical Rooibos, Premier Estate Assam, Gen Mai Cha and Blackcurrant Hibiscus. To learn more about Saphara and to download music that correlates to each tea free of charge, visit the Saphara Web site.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Green Tea Vodka

For those who like their green tea to pack a little wallop, Napa Valley-based Charbay Winery and Distillery offers Charbay Green Tea Vodka.

The vodka, which was several years in the making, uses extractions of four tea varieties from China's Anhwei province. It joins Blood Orange, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Meyer Lemon, Red Raspberry and Pomegranate, a line of flavored vodkas the family-owned winery and micro-distillery began making in 1998.

The company notes that this is the first green tea vodka produced in the United States (which implies that perhaps there are others being made offshore). One of their recommendations for using the product is a China Grill Green Tea Martini. It mixes 1.5 oz Charbay Green Tea, 1.5 oz freshly brewed green tea, 1.5 oz unfiltered cloudy sake and a splash of simple syrup.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Red Espresso & Tiny Teapots

I wrote about Red Espresso some time back but here's an article from the Raleigh News & Observer that jogged my memory. Contrary to what the name might suggest, Red Espresso has nothing to do with coffee. It's actually made with rooibos. For more info, check out the Red Espresso site here.

If you ever in the mood for a really modest amount of tea, here's the teapot for you. It's made by the Chinese master potter Wu Ruishen and is billed as the world's smallest.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Teapot Makers & Yerba Mate Gourds

Product designer Joey Roth has a Web site, where you can check out his quite striking looking Sorapot, among other things. Espresso fanciers might also be interested in the Moka Pot.

If yerba mate is more your style, or if someone on your gift list has a taste for it, you might want to check out the impressive selection of mate gourds at Patagonia Gifts.

Image: Joey Roth

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Tea Pouring Master & More

We've written a few times now about tea pouring experts. Yes, there really is such a thing. What they do is apparently called - at least according to an article in the Malaysia Star - the art of the long spout tea kettle. For more about Wang Chun (no, not the Eighties group - that's Wang Chung), a master of this art, look here.

Never heard of a "pud" before? Me neither, at least not until I read a recent article in Britain's the Sunderland Echo. After reading the article I still don't know exactly what a pud is, but it's an interesting piece nonetheless. It's about a unique and decidedly avant garde interpretation of the tried and true British standby - tea and toast - that involves a frozen "tea balloon" filled with Earl Grey ice cream. More here.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Earl Grey Tea Cake

It's been a while since we featured a tea-based recipe. Here's one that appeared in the Toronto Star a little while back. It's for Earl Grey Tea Cake and it uses 3/4 of a cup of loose-leaf Earl Grey tea leaves.

To access similar items we've written about in the past, click the link for Tea Cuisine and Recipes at the end of this post or along the right side of the page.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Korean Green, Oolong Shop & More

As you may recall, we made passing mention, a little while back, of The Book of Korean Tea. Here, from, is an article on a similar theme. It's called Korea's Green Tea Thrives at Boseong.

If Taiwanese tea is more your speed, you might find something of interest in this brief article, from the International Herald Tribune, about tea tourism.

Speaking of Taiwanese tea, here's one from the Eugene, Oregon Register-Guard. It's about J-Tea Leaf House, a local operation that specializes in oolong tea.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Desert Island Tea 5 - (Author) Beatrice Hohenegger

It's been quite a while since our last installment of Desert Island Tea, but I'll proceed under the assumption that late is truly better than never. Today's castaway is Beatrice Hohenegger, author of Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West. If that title sounds familiar, it may be because I mentioned it in yesterday's installment.

If you were stranded on a desert island (an island with clean, fresh water and tea making equipment, of course) what one tea (only one) would you like to have with you and why?

Beatrice Hohenegger's Answer:
In answer to your $64,000 question, here's what I would do: I would consult with a reputable pu'er vendor, tell him/her that I prefer shu, and let them give me the best cake of the best year they have. Then every infusion and every brewing will tell me a different story, and I won't ever be bored, it will be (almost) as if I had more than one tea with me. In addition, if I have to be stranded for a long time, the tea won't go bad but instead will get better and better -- heck, it might even give a return on the investment if I have any left over... But -- for all this to happen I'd have to have those $64,000 ...

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tea Book Frenzy

Over the course of the last year or so there have been several worthwhile books that have attempted - and generally succeeded - in providing an all-encompassing overview of tea.

In my capacity as an occasional contributor to, I've had the opportunity to review three of these books - Tea: Aromas and Flavors Around the World, Tea: The Drink That Changed the World, and The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide.

Recently I ran across yet another book that falls into this category. Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West, by Beatrice Hohenegger, was actually published earlier this year, but I didn't run across it until now. I'm not too far along on the book just yet, but it appears to be another entertaining look at the topic.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Original Imperial Tea Court Closes

From the Imperial Tea Court newsletter, here's a bit of news that will primarily be of interest to San Franciscans.

>>The original Imperial Tea Court Closes

It is with deep regret that we announce the closing of Imperial Tea Court at 1411 Powell Street in San Francisco at the end of 2007. Although business will continue at our Ferry Building and Berkeley Location and on the Internet, It is not easy to bid farewell to the site where we opened the first traditional Chinese...<<

Read more at the Imperial Tea Court Web site.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

The Onion Takes On Tea

If you ever have reason to suspect that you're taking the tea drinking thing a little too seriously, you can refer back to this recent article from The Onion - Fancy Man Enjoys Tea.

It's not the first time The Onion has tackled the topic of tea, by the way. Here are a few other articles.

Society Tea Party Spoiled By Ocelot

Sales Of Chamomile Tea, Gas Masks Up Sharply

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tea Review 88 - Anteadote Oolong

Tea Review 88 - Anteadote Organic Oolong Tea
Adagio Teas

I don't drink tea with milk, sugar, lemon or anything else. I don't look down my nose at anyone who does - it's just a personal preference. Ditto for bottled teas. Right off the top of my head I can think of a few (lightly) sweetened ones that were okay, but none that really bowled me over. Which is why I like Adagio's Anteadote line of bottled teas so much. No sweeteners.

I've reviewed several of the Anteadote flavors already (black, jasmine, white), but I recently had a chance to try them all again, including the newly released oolong. This one debuted in early October, according to Adagio. It's made with a Ti Kuan Yin tea variety from Fujian, China and, like all Anteadote flavors, contains nothing else but water and citric acid.

I've never been a fan of the heaver, more oxidized oolongs, but fortunately this is not one of those. It has a nice light, slightly floral taste. While it won't unseat Anteadote's white as my favorite of their five flavors, it's good enough to take the second place slot.


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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tea Board of Experts

Did you know that the United States once had a Tea Board of Experts, a group that was responsible for keeping tabs on the quality of imported tea (which would be nearly all tea consumed here)?

The board was formed in 1897 and stuck around for almost a century, before disbanding in 1996. For (a little) more information, check out these brief pieces from National Geographic and the National Library of Medicine.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tea Quotation - Gutter Swill

Drinks like that (flavored tea) are no more than the swill of gutters and ditches. Still, alas, it is a common practice to make tea that way.

Lu Yu (quoted in The Story of Tea)

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Taiwanese Tea On TV

Even if you've never seen the Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern, you can probably deduce that the show is hosted by a guy named Andrew Zimmern who travels around eating bizarre foods.

Taiwan is among the countries Zimmern has visited during the show's second season. While tea hardly qualifies as a "bizarre" food, the Taiwan episode, nonetheless, devotes a segment to the tea industry in and around Pinglin, where the streets are full of tea shops and a giant fountain in the shape of a teapot.

Also on the itinerary, a visit with a tea shop owner and a trip to Beard Tea Farm for a primer on tea production. The last stop on the tour is a restaurant that specializes in dishes made with tea. Among these, buns, pork rubbed with tea, and deep-fried tea leaves.

Here's the Web site for Bizarre Foods. The Taiwan episode is slated to air again on November 14. Check your local listings for details.

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