Wednesday, March 31, 2010

PG Tips - The Return & Games

If this PG Tips commercial doesn't provide you with enough entertainment head on over to their web site and try out this collection of tea-themed time wasting games.

Adagio Teas triniTea Tea Maker
Zarafina Tea Maker Suite

Monday, March 29, 2010

World Of Tea 12

The United States is not well-known as a tea-producing nation. The few experiments in this area thus far - in Hawaii, Washington and South Carolina - have been on a relatively small scale. Now tea is coming to California, courtesy of Roy Fong of San Francisco's Imperial Tea Court. More about his budding tea farm here.

Speaking of places where you wouldn't expect to find tea grown, there's New Zealand. The World Tea News recently reported that Zealong is planning to produce a line of oolong tea there.

And even though tea is an ingrained part of British culture, they've typically had to go abroad to get their supplies. With its modest output, Cornwall's Tregothnan Estate won't do much to change that, but as this article reports, they've recently begun exporting their tea to Japan, of all places.

From the Nepali press, here's an interesting and informative article about tea production in Nepal.

Last up, here's an interesting article from the English language version of China's Xinhua, about the discovery of tea leaves at a famous Chinese tomb.

Stay tuned for more World of Tea, an occasional feature that gathers tea-related dispatches from around the globe.

Buy Blooming Tea Gift Sets in Canada
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Think Outside the Bag

More U.S. Tea Consumers Think Outside the Bag
(from a press release)

As Americans look to slow down the rocket speed of today’s digital society, loose leaf tea is gradually becoming a way of life for millions of consumers nationwide. With double digit percentage sales increases annually throughout the past decade, loose leaf tea sales have reached the billions in the United States. Globally, more than 3 billion cups of tea are consumed every day, making it the most popular drink in the world after water.

Through consumer education and a newly announced U.S. franchise opportunity, TeaGschwendner, a leading global loose leaf tea retailer with 145 shops in nine countries, is changing the way Americans think about preparing and drinking tea. The established European brand, named after its German founder, Albert Gschwendner, is weaning a coffee-addicted America away from its high energy “buzz and crash” routine, to the more steady state of mind and body associated with tea – particularly, loose leaf tea.

“Most people here in the United States used to think of tea as buying a box of generic or national brand teabags from the grocery store and dropping them into a cup of hot water. But we are finding that once people experience the fragrance, flavor and gentle aromas of loose leaf tea, they’re hooked,” said Joe Capp, Vice President, North America, of TeaGschwendner. “Just once and that’s it. There’s no going back. They’re customers forever. Loose leaf tea becomes a way of life for them.”


Image: TeaGschwendner

RedUmbrella Tea
Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tea Leaf Whips Coffee Bean

Tea finally gets a few shots in on coffee. Viewers with a sensitive nature should probably refrain from watching this shocking piece of footage.

Canadian Tea Gifts
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mediocritea & Sissy Tea

A frequent theme here at TGS has been the notion that, when it comes to tea, to a large extent, one gets what one pays for. We've even tried to encapsulate this notion in our pithy motto - Life's Short. Drink Good Tea.

Which, for my money, means that you shouldn't be afraid to spend a little bit more money in the pursuit of a really good cup of tea. When you break down the cost per cup for even a batch of very pricey tea, it's probably not going to seem nearly as costly as you first thought.

For some thoughts more or less along these lines - and more eloquently stated, to boot - check out this post on Mediocritea, by the tea guy behind Seven Cups, who specialize in fine Chinese teas.

On a totally different tangent - is tea for sissies? Well, I'd sure like to think not, but I guess I can sort of understand what the author of this brief piece is getting at. Tea's image has been morphing in recent years but the word still conjures up images of blue hair, red hats and the like.

Buy Blooming Tea Gift Sets in Canada
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Monday, March 15, 2010

American Tea Masters Association Hosts Tea Extravaganza 2010

The Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers Partners With The American Tea Masters Association To Host Tea Extravaganza 2010
(from a press release)

The Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers, in association with the American Tea Masters Association, presents Tea Extravaganza 2010, an independent tasting offering tea aficionados the opportunity to sample some of the finest, rarest and most exquisite loose-leaf teas from premier estates around the world. This two-day event, led by Chas Kroll, Certified Tea Master and Executive Director of the American Tea Masters Association, will take place at The Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers on Friday, April 23rd from 6:00pm to 10:00pm and on Saturday, April 24th from 9:00am to 1:00pm. An intimate lunch, specially prepared by Tea Sommelier, Cynthia Gold will conclude the program.

Similar to a fine wine tasting, this experiential gathering will offer at least fourteen high-end, loose-leaf teas to be sampled, that range anywhere from $100 - $500 per pound. (No teas will be sold during the event). The tea menu, personally prepared by Kroll, will include the following: Tai Ping Huo Kui (China), unique for the largest leaf of any green tea measuring two to three inches in length. Grown on Yellow Mountain where abundant orchids and shade, along with rain half the year and clouds and mist the rest, combine to produce this uncommonly delicious tea; Tenbu 1st Flush Half-Shaded Kabusecha (Japan), an organic, partially shaded green tea that is the first picked tea of the new year and produces a remarkably subtle aroma; and Jun Chiyabari TGFOP (Nepal), produced to strict organic practices, this tea is comparable with top Darjeelings, providing an herbaceous and floral taste. Several of the teas on the menu are harvested by hand on only one day of the year or during a very short time frame.

American Tea Masters Association

RedUmbrella Tea
Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Novelty Tea Cups & Mugs

It occurred to me the other day that we've featured quite a few offbeat tea cups and mugs over the years and that it might be fun to gather them all in one place. This is hardly a comprehensive selection, mind you, but just a few of our favorites.

If you're looking for a place to keep your tea spoon, MugStir's got it figured out. Check it out here.

If it's consistency you seek, try the MyCuppa, which is color-coded for the convenience of those who like milk in their tea (or coffee).

Along the same lines, here's a mug that can be personalized so that anyone making you a cup of tea will know what you like.

What to do with those pesky tea bag strings that always end up floating in your tea? Problem solved.

Hot tea at 3,000 rpm? Hell, yeah. Bring on the Self-Stirring Mug. Hammacher Schlemmer is apparently not selling these at the moment but you can find out more about the product at their web site. More on the Whirl Wind Self Stirring Mug here.

Fake tea glasses? Sure, why not. Check out the impressive selection at fake food and beverage maker, Just Dough It.

If anyone ever tells you you have an ugly mug, don't take it too hard. It might not be as bad as you think. More here.

And while it's not clear if this is the world's biggest tea cup, it's sure gotta be a contender.

Canadian Tea Gifts
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gormaya Releases TasteTimer 1.1

Gormaya Releases TasteTimer 1.1 for iPhone and iPod touch
(from a press release)

Gormaya today announced that their first App, TasteTimer, has been updated and is available exclusively for the iPhone and iPod Touch. TasteTimer is a precise timer with over 600 included timer recipes for tea, coffee, and food.

With TasteTimer, there are 19 categories of timer recipes: Black Tea, Botanical, Chai, Coffee, Eggs, Fruit, Grain, Green Tea, Hot Chocolate, Legume, Meat, Oolong Tea, Poultry, Pu-erh Tea, Rooibos, Seafood, Vegetables, White Tea, and Yerba Maté.

Foodies use TasteTimer for cooking and grilling. Gourmet coffee or tea drinkers use TasteTimer every day. Each timer recipe includes time, temperature, measurements, and notes. Tap a category. Tap a food or drink. Read the timer recipe. Prepare ingredients. Tap the Start button. Three taps to great taste!

TasteTimer 1.1 is now available for $3.99 in the U.S. and is priced accordingly in other regions. iPhone OS 3.0 is required. TasteTimer is available world-wide from Apple’s App Store for iPhone and iPod touch, or by visiting the TasteTimer web site.


Buy Blooming Tea Gift Sets in Canada
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Monday, March 08, 2010

New Tea Books

Looking for some new tea-related books to add to your shelf? Here are a few suggestions.

How did tea find its way beyond the borders of China, which once had a virtual monopoly on the stuff? All is revealed in Sarah Rose's For All the Tea in China, which rolls out to bookstores in the United States on March 18. Read more about it in this article from the World Tea News.

If a young adult novel about a girl trying to keep her grandmother's old-fashioned teashop from going out of business is what you seek, you'd be advised to take a look at The Teashop Girls, by Laura Schaefer. It's actually been around a few months, but hey, who's counting? More at the web site.

Also new on the kid's book front, it's Cloud Tea Monkeys, by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham. It's about a young girl whose mother picks tea leaves on a tea plantation. More in this review from the Wall Street Journal.

RedUmbrella Tea
Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Historic Hotels Embrace British Tea Traditions

Historic Hotels of the Rockies Embrace British Tea Traditions
(from a press release)

The West may be wild, but it is also refined. Historic Hotels of the Rockies, a collection of classic hotels that date from the early frontier days, give visitors the opportunity to indulge in the lovely British tradition of afternoon tea. Historic Hotels of the Rockies including the Castle Marne, the Delaware Hotel, the Nagel Warren Mansion, the Historic Elk Mountain Hotel, the Plaza Hotel, the Hotel Colorado and the Grand Union Hotel are a few places where stopping in for a spot of tea will satisfy the stomach as well as nourish the soul.

Traditional afternoon tea usually begins between 2:00 and 4:00 PM. The tea is served with both lemon and milk; cream is considered to be too heavy to accompany tea. For nibbles, afternoon tea combines both sweet and savory choices such as fresh scones served with lemon curd, clotted cream and preserves, quiche or savory tarts, fresh fruit and delicate finger sandwiches. All of these are artfully arranged and presented to guests amid Victorian-era or other historic settings.


Canadian Tea Gifts
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

World of Tea 11

Ever wonder how tea came to be such a fixture in Britain? A few of the answers to your questions are revealed in How Tea-mania Flooded Britain, a recent article in London's Telegraph.

Speaking of Britain, did you hear the one about the woman who "sips 900 cups of tea a day?" Sounds like pretty sensational stuff until you realize she's a tea taster. For more, refer to this brief profile of a British tea taster for Taylor's of Harrogate.

Continuing with the Brits and tea theme, it recently came out that British metal icon Ozzy Osbourne is keen on Yorkshire Tea. Just in case you were wondering. More here.

From that same part of the world, here's the results of a study by Lyons Tea about what Irish tea drinkers talk about over a cup of tea. Hard-drinking stereotypes aside, keep in mind that the Irish are also some of the world's most serious tea drinkers.

Stay tuned for more World of Tea, an occasional feature that gathers tea-related dispatches from around the globe.

Buy Blooming Tea Gift Sets in Canada
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Teavana Debuts iPhone App

Teavana Debuts Perfect Tea Touch App For iPhone
(from a press release)

Make the perfect cup of tea with Teavana’s Perfect Tea Touch app. The Perfect Touch iPhone App provides everything needed to enjoy Teavana’s fine loose leaf tea, create a perfect tea blend, make a perfect cup of tea, find a local Teavana store, shop on the website, and share favorites through social networking sites and email.

Teavana's Perfect Tea Touch iPhone app times your steep with music and graphics.

The app features:
A tea timer with specific instructions for Teavana teas or generic tea instructions.
A tea blending tool that suggests other teas to blend with favorites. A great way to discover new tastes!
Detailed information on Teavana teas including ingredients, steeping instructions and health benefits.
A ‘favorites’ function to bookmark Teavana tea information for quick access anytime.
A store locator that finds the Teavana stores nearest you.
A musical tea timer offering unique sounds depending for each type of tea steeped.
A social networking function, allowing sharing of favorite tea blends on Facebook, Twitter or via email with friends.

Buy Loose Leaf Tea in Canada
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.