Thursday, September 27, 2007

Best Tea In Tucson

I've lived in the Tucson area for more than a year, all in all, but I have yet to patronize Seven Cups, who operate a tea house downtown and a mail order business that specializes in "fine Chinese teas."

The Tucson Weekly recently awarded Seven Cups the distinction of having the Best Bulk Tea Selection in Tucson. Which gives me just one more reason to get off my butt and see what this hometown favorite is all about. Note to self...

More about Seven Cups here.

The Icon of the American Epicurean Experience

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Iced Tea's Last Hurrah

Well, it's not as dramatic as all that. But fall is upon us and for many that means that the prime iced tea drinking days are past. Here's a wrap-up, of sorts, for the iced tea drinking season.

The tasters at Cook's Illustrated held a brew-off of various teas specially formulated for iced tea. The results are here. Tazo Iced Black Tea took the top spot and Lipton Cold Brew fell into last place.

CHOW's Grinder put together a brief piece on ice-brewing green tea. In the spirit of scientific inquiry, I gave this a try (using a Rishi green tea, if memory serves) and was not disappointed. But I still prefer hot green tea to cold.

For the lowdown on what an Iced Tea Bar is all about, check this article from the Mobile Press-Enterprise.

Speaking of iced tea, there's that variation commonly known in the South as sweet tea, which has received more than its fair share of press attention these days.

Slate's Jeffrey Klineman weighed in with his thoughts on sweet tea here, while Time Out New York rounded up a few places in the Big Apple where you can find it. Here's a piece on sweet tea that appeared in China Daily, of all places.

From the Greensboro News & Record, here's an article, complete with recipes, called The Triad's Best Sweet Iced Tea. Last, but not least, is this article from the Atlanta paper that reminds us that not everyone's a fan of sweet tea.

The Icon of the American Epicurean Experience

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Toaster Teapot, Electric Kettles & Drunk On Tea

If you're looking for teapots varying shapes and sizes, you'd do well to have a look at The Teapottery. Where they sell a gadget, among others, known as a Toaster Teapot. I've seen this one mentioned in a few places now and I still haven't figured out whether it's actually got a toaster function built in. Sounds a bit unsettling.

If you're in the market for an electric tea kettle, see what CHOW had to say about a few, including models from Zojirushi, Chef’s Choice, and Adagio.

While I can vouch for the fact that one can get really, really keyed up on tea, whether or not on can get drunk on it is probably a matter for debate. Imen, at Tea Obsession, says it's possible. Read more about it here.

The Icon of the American Epicurean Experience

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tea In Strange Places - US & UK

If you'll look here and here, you'll find brief posts I've written about tea being grown in places you wouldn't normally expect.

Tea is currently being grown in the United States in South Carolina and Hawaii and, as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported recently, in Washington, where Sakuma Brothers Farms now has five acres under cultivation.

For all the tea drinking that goes on in Britain, it's not a place where tea has ever been grown, at least not until relatively recently. Here's an article about Britain's second tea plantation (Tregothnan estate is the first), which is being planted by Taylors of Harrogate, in North Yorkshire.

The Icon of the American Epicurean Experience

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Tea Gadgets & Gimmicks

(Update 2)
Jonathan Glancey, a blogger for the Guardian Unlimited, recently took a look at a curious gadget called the Teasmade. He lists it among his Classics of Everyday Design. We've mentioned the Teasmade here before, though I can't seem to locate the post at the moment. I guess you could call it the Zarafina Tea Maker Suite or TriniTEA of its day, though they're apparently still being made.

Speaking of the Tea Maker Suite, here's another review of that particular contraption, this one from the Kitchen Contraptions Web site.

Here are a few more products I ran across during my recent hiatus.

Sarah, the Duchess of York, now has a line of tea-scented candles. Here's a link to them at Bath and Body Works.

Here's a link to Tea Lover's Chocolates, from The San Francisco Chocolate Factory. If I understand it right, these are not actually tea-flavored chocolates, but rather chocolate that is suited to being paired with a certain type of tea.

It's Not Easy Being Green Tea is the name of a recent article from the Washington Post. It evaluates 13 food products that contain green-tea additives.

Last up is not a specific product but rather an assortment of interesting looking tea-making gadgets from Finum, a German company that seems to specialize in this sort of thing.

(Original Post)
There always seems to be something new and unusual in the world of tea. Here are a few items I've run across lately.

If a teabag or loose tea just won't do, check out FreeLeaf, from Teance. It's a pretty simple concept actually - display tea with a string attached.

Cup Of Tea presents the Ronnefeldt Tilting Teapot, another simple - albeit somewhat offbeat - concept in tea brewing.

If milk in tea is your kind of thing (no comment), Suck UK's MyCuppa Mug might be the ticket. The mug's colour matching guide is apparently designed to help you get the right balance of milk and tea. Coffee too, if that's your thing.

Then there's a report from Wired's Gadget Lab about a Stirling Engine, a thingamabob that's powered by the heat from a hot beverage in a cup. Probably a little light on practical applications, but what do I know?

The Icon of the American Epicurean Experience

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