Friday, January 27, 2012

The Evolution of The Tea Bag

The Evolution of The Tea Bag
(from a press release)

In 1908, Thomas Sullivan, a New York tea importer, accidently invented tea bags as a solution for storing and importing tea cheaply. The convenience of the tea bag, both then and now, was so brilliant, that since its inception, the majority of tea is consumed using, you guessed it, the tea bag. Since then, tea bags have been used exclusively for storing tea. A Charlotte-based company called Honitea looks to change that. Typically, two dry ingredients go into a tea drinker’s hot cup, tea and sugar. Every second, 4,500 cups of tea are consumed with sugar worldwide.

Honitea’s solution, add both dry ingredients to the tea bag. What is more convenient then dipping your tea bag into hot water and Wala! Your tea is ready to be consumed. Honitea offers tea drinker’s two sweeteners real honey and real sugar with a variety of teas that include, Earl Grey, Darjeeling Tea, Breakfast Tea, Jasmine Tea, Herbal Teas, and Chamomile Tea. For more information on Honitea please visit

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Monday, January 23, 2012

There's an App for Tea Guy Speaks

If you feel the need to access Tea Guy Speaks on your favorite (Android-compatible) mobile device you're in luck. As the title of this post suggests, we have an app now. The app was created using the services of AppsGeyser and, based on tests on a Kindle Fire, seems to work fine. Download it at the link below or scan the image.

App Download

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tea Review 135 - Chado Tea House Gyokuro

Chado Tea House

I didn't do a best of for teas that I drank in 2011 and it's a little too soon to decide if I'm going to do one for 2012. But if I do I'm pretty sure that this Gyokuro, one of four currently on offer at Chado Tea House, will be on the list.

This is a really great tea and I could probably be quite happy drinking it every day for the rest of my life. If you imagine what a Japanese green tea tastes like, but then imagine one that's sweeter, smoother and more flavorful then you'll have an idea of what this Gyokuro is all about.

Here's what Chado has to say about it:

Gyokuro from Okabe, Shizuoka; very refined Gyokuro tea. Great aroma and smooth body and sweetness well balanced Gyokuro

Shizuoka is well known Japanese tea producing center that takes about a half share of Japanese tea production. Okabe region is known for Gyokuro production and produce refined Gyokuro. The region’s long time tea making experiences and history made possible to create refined tea. Tea from Shizuoka region has tendency of mild, smooth mouth feeling.

Sample provided by Chado Tea House
Chado Tea House has advertised at Tea Guy Speaks
Tea Guy Speaks Review Policies

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Scones & Bones Tea Mystery Giveaway

Update: We have a winner. Congratulations to Donna, of the My Cup of Tea blog.

Agony of the Leaves, the thirteenth volume of the popular tea shop mysteries by Laura Childs, is due in bookstores in a few months and we're planning to give away a copy of the book around that time. In the meantime we're giving away a hardcover copy of the previous book in the series - Scones & Bones. Find out more about the books at the author's Web site. To enter, send an email by 6:00 PM MST, on January 15, or retweet the appropriate message at our Twitter feed by the same deadline. One entry per person, per method, please.

The Breville One-Touch Tea Maker

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Ripped on Tea

From the TGS archives, an article about tea and caffeine.

I frequently pass by a convenience store that boasts something called Hyper Bean, a coffee with twice as much caffeine as the regular stuff. This can't be a good thing. I think we have enough twitchy, ill-mannered people running around as it is.

But if you've gotta have your mega-dose of caffeine and you don't care for the likes of Hyper Bean, energy drinks or Vivarin, you're not completely out of luck. Tea is generally considered to have less caffeine than coffee but there are exceptions - sort of.

Matcha is a form of powdered green tea employed in the Japanese tea ceremony and now coming into wider use. Because it's powdered this means the entire tea leaf is consumed, as opposed to steeping the leaves in water in the standard manner. What this means for caffeine lovers is that matcha may pack a more potent kick than other types of tea. Experts love to point out that determining the caffeine content of tea is an inexact science but by some accounts matcha may have more of the stuff than the average cup of coffee.

Then there's chifir, a drink that's apparently popular in Russian prisons. It's really just highly concentrated tea that's been boiled to within an inch of it's life and made slightly more palatable with a good dose of milk and sugar.

Accounts vary as to exactly how strong chifir is and, given it's nature, there's probably no definitive answer. One source suggests that it's twenty times as strong as a regular cup of tea, while another reckons on twenty grams of black tea brewed in eight ounces of water. For comparison's sake, the recommended measure of tea for a standard six-ounce cup is 2.25 grams.

So it should come as no surprise when, in Vodka For Breakfast, the "quirky, existential thriller" by Russian writer David Gurevich, one of the inmates of a Russian prison camp who's hopped up on chifir, "stripped naked outside the barrack in the forty below weather and did cartwheels until the guards finally calmed him down." Don't try this at home.

Looking for more info on caffeine? Check out my book review of The World of Caffeine here.

Dying to know how much of your favorite caffeinated beverage it would take to kill you? Check out Energy Fiend's Death by Caffeine calculator here. Alas, there's no category for matcha or chifir.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Tea Review 134 - Teavivre Bi Luo Chun Green Tea

Bi Luo Chun Green Tea

One of the mildly baffling issues when it comes to writing about tea is the spelling thing. To be more specific, the variations in spelling of certain varieties of tea. I'm going to stick with Teavivre's spelling of Bi Luo Chun, but this is one of those varieties that I've seen a number of variations for.

But I digress. Call it what you will but don't call Bi Luo Chun a lousy tasting tea. I can't say that I have a lot of experience with this variety but the ones that I've tried have not disappointed. Neither does this one.

This is one of those teas that you can begin to experience long before you actually drink it. The dry leaves have a very strong aroma but the finished tea is actually surprisingly mellow. Here's what Teavivre has to say about this one:

Our Bi Luo Chun is from Dong Ting mountain next to China's 4th largest lake. When dry the tea has a small, rolled up shape to it, with a fine covering of silvery white pekoe, especially at the leaf tips. One amazing fact with this tea, due to only the small leaf tips being used, is that 1 pound of the tea (about 500g) will contain about 70,000 leaf tips.

Unlike most other green teas, Bi Luo Chun can only be infused 2 or 3 times. Any more than that and it looses its fruity aroma and taste. However we do strongly encourage you to infuse it a few times, as its color, aroma and taste will subtly change each time, as the balance between the absorbed fruit flavour and the natural green tea flavour changes.

Sample provided by Teavivre
Teavivre has advertised at Tea Guy Speaks
Tea Guy Speaks Review Policies

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