Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tea Quotations 2

Tea Quotations 1

When you see the natural and almost universal craving in English sick for their tea, you cannot but feel that nature knows what she is about. There is nothing yet discovered which is a substitute to the English patient for his or her cup of tea.
(Florence Nightingale)

Meanwhile, let is have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.
(from The Book of Tea, by Kakuzo Okakura)

In any time that he could accurately remember, there had never been quite enough to eat, one had never had socks or underclothes that were not full of holes, furniture had always been battered and rickety, rooms underheated, tube trains crowded, houses falling to pieces, bread dark-coloured, tea a rarity, coffee filthy-tasting, cigarettes insufficient -- nothing cheap and plentiful except synthetic gin.
(from 1984, by George Orwell)

I maintain that one strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones.
(from A Nice Cup of Tea, by George Orwell)

Several circumstances occurred immediately after this fit of Wyatt which contributed to heighten the curiosity with which I was already possessed. Among other things, this: I had been nervous- drank too much strong green tea, and slept ill at night-in fact, for two nights I could not be properly said to sleep at all....There was nothing in this, however, to make him sob. I repeat, therefore, that it must have been simply a freak of my own fancy, distempered by good Captain Hardy's green tea.
(from The Oblong Box, by Edgar Allan Poe)

Our trouble is that we drink too much tea. I see in this the slow revenge of the Orient, which has diverted the Yellow River down our throats.
(J.B. Priestley)

Be not surprised if, after your friends are seated at the table, the style of the conversation depends very much on the kind of tea that the housewife pours for the guests. If it be genuine Young Hyson, the leaves of which are gathered early in the season, the talk will be fresh, and spirited, and sunshiny. If it be what the Chinese call Pearl tea, but our merchants have named Gunpowder, the conversation will be explosive, and somebody's reputation will be killed before you get through. If it be green tea, prepared by large infusion of Prussian blue and gypsum, or black tea mixed with pulverized black lead, you may expect there will be a poisonous effect in the conversation and the moral health damaged. The English Parliament found that there had come into that country two million pounds of what the merchants call "lie tea," and, as far as I can estimate, about the same amount has been imported into the United States; and when the housewife pours into the cups of her guests a decoction of this "lie tea," the group are sure to fall to talking about their neighbors, and misrepresenting everything they touch. One meeting of a "sewing society" up in Canada, where this tea was served, resulted in two law-suits for slander, four black eyes that were not originally of that color, the expulsion of the minister, and the abrupt removal from the top of the sexton's head of all capillary adornment.

But on our tea-table we will have first-rate Ningyong, or Pouchong, or Souchong, or Oolong, so that the conversation may be pure and healthy.
(from Around The Tea-Table, by T. De Witt Talmage)

Why do they always put mud into coffee on board steamers? Why does the tea generally taste of boiled boots? Why is the milk scarce and thin? And why do they have those bleeding legs of boiled mutton for dinner? I ask why? In the steamers of other nations you are well fed. Is it impossible that Britannia, who confessedly rules the waves, should attend to the victuals a little, and that meat should be well cooked under a Union Jack? I just put in this question, this most interesting question, in a momentous parenthesis, and resume the tale.
(from The Christmas Books of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh, by William Makepeace Thackeray)

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Tea Quotations 1

Tea Quotations 2

Here are some of the tea quotes we've featured at TGS.

The Americans are all mystified about why the English make such a big thing out of tea because most Americans have never had a good cup of tea.
(Douglas Adams)

'Do you want an adventure now,' Peter said casually to John, 'or would you like to have your tea first?'
Wendy said, 'Tea first, quickly.'
(from Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie)

What is the Latin for Tea? What! Is there no Latin word for Tea? Upon my soul, if I had known that I would have let the vulgar stuff alone.
(from On Nothing & Kindred Subjects, by Hillaire Belloc)

All is arranged in this Cult with the precision of an ancient creed. The matter of the Sacrifice must come from China. He that would drink Indian Tea would smoke hay. The Pot must be of metal, and the metal must be a white metal, not gold or iron. Who has not known the acidity and paucity of Tea from a silver-gilt or golden spout? The Pot must first be warmed by pouring in a little boiling water (the word boiling should always be underlined); then the water is poured away and a few words are said. Then the Tea is put in and unrolls and spreads in the steam. Then, in due order, on these expanding leaves Boiling Water is largely poured and the god arises, worthy of continual but evil praise and of the thanks of the vicious, a Deity for the moment deceitfully kindly to men. Under his influence the whole mind receives a sharp vision of power.
(from On Nothing & Kindred Subjects, by Hillaire Belloc)

When I do dine, I gorge like an Arab or a Boa snake, on fish and vegetables, but no meat. I am always better, however, on my tea and biscuit than any other regimen, and even that sparingly.
(George Gordon, Lord Byron)

Tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally of coarse nerves, or are become so from wine drinking, and are not susceptible of influence from so refined a stimulant, will always be the favorite beverage of the intellectual; and for my part, I would have joined Dr. Johnson in a bellum internecinum against Jonas Hanway, or any other impious person who should presume to disparage it.
(Thomas DeQuincey)

Could all the Temperance Societies of these later days, united, give me such a tea-drinking as I have had through the means of yonder little set of blue crockery, which really would hold liquid (it ran out of the small wooden cask, I recollect, and tasted of matches), and which made tea, nectar. And if the two legs of the ineffectual little sugar-tongs did tumble over one another, and want purpose, like Punch’s hands, what does it matter? And if I did once shriek out, as a poisoned child, and strike the fashionable company with consternation, by reason of having drunk a little teaspoon, inadvertently dissolved in too hot tea, I was never the worse for it, except by a powder!
(from A Christmas Tree, by Charles Dickens)

Those that use it are for that reason, alone, exempt from all maladies and reach an extreme old age.
(Nikolas Dirx)

Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and a tea.
(from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot)

'A cup of tea!' Is there a phrase in our language more eloquently significant of physical and mental refreshment, more expressive of remission of toil and restful relaxation, or so rich in associations with the comforts and serenity of home life, and also with unpretentious, informal, social intercourse?
(from Tea Leaves, by Francis Leggett & Co.)

The trouble with tea is that originally it was quite a good drink. So a group of the most eminent British scientists put their heads together, and made complicated biological experiments to find a way of spoiling it. To the eternal glory of British science their labour bore fruit.
(from How To Be an Alien, by George Mikes)
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

How Tea is Made

Watch how tea is grown, collected / harvested, processed in a traditional factory, then packed and sold in the market.

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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Really Strange Teamakers

Much of my tea writing these days appears at The English Tea Store blog. Here's a recent article I wrote for them.

Really Strange Teamakers
By William I. Lengeman III

If you’ve spent any time at this site you might have noticed that the topic of tea gadgets comes up now and again. If you’ve never noticed or you’re new to the site, be sure to look here for more gadget-related goodness.

One tea gadget that seems to pop up often is the tea maker. Nowadays these tend to be sleek, high-tech and so automated that they’ll do everything but bring the tea from the kitchen to wherever you happen to be. But there have been plenty of more low-tech versions of the automatic teamaker over the years. British tea drinkers may recall (or still use) a gadget known as a Teasmade, among other things. I wrote about these a while back and my Esteemed Editor tackled the issue of “imitation” Teasmades more recently.

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thrilling Tea Acrobatics With Mr. Teh Tarik

Think twice before trying this at home, sports fans. That tea is presumably hot and this man is a highly trained professional.

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Saturday, November 09, 2013

The Fine Art of Tea Dueling

Here's another article I recently wrote for The English Tea Store blog.

The Fine Art of Tea Dueling
By William I. Lengeman III

Even though I don’t have all the facts, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that there’s probably not much going on in the way of dueling nowadays. Which is a good thing. If you’re like me, what little you know about dueling comes mostly from American history class (Hamilton v. Burr) or that variety that takes place in Western movies and TV shows at about the time the clock strikes high noon.

But there is actually one type of dueling going on nowadays and, as the title of this article strongly indicates, it has something to do...

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Sunday, November 03, 2013

Tea - More Health Benefits

There are no shortage of studies these days trumpeting the health benefits of drinking tea. A new one, recently published in the New England Journal of Flabbergastery, is more comprehensive than most. I won't go into all the details - look it up and read them for yourself, if you must. Here are just a few of the divers maladies and conditions drinking tea is said to provide relief from:

Twittering, gout, loose sphincter muscles, leprosy, jabbering, broken sacroiliac, dropsy, random and uncontrolled hollering, lycanthropy, goiter, pleurisy, bubonic plague, priapism, boanthropy, sagging testicles, whooping cough, cradle cap and loutishness.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tea Leaf Reading Video

Here's a video from Amber McCarroll with some pointers on how to read tea leaves. While we're on the subject don't forget to check out our list of books on the subject, including two free ebook editions. It's right here.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Little Tea Maker Animated Video

Here's a short and sweet animation starring a little tea guy stirring a cup of tea. It's nothing fancy but as the animator notes, it's her first try at this sort of thing.

The Little Tea Maker from Enora Dalh on Vimeo.

Adagio Teas - Best Tea Online

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tea Review 154 - The Republic of Tea Organic Assam Breakfast

Organic Assam Breakfast Black Full-Leaf Tea
The Republic of Tea

Here's the description Republic of Tea gives for their Organic Assam:

The robust, malty character of this tea comes from pure, unblended Assam leaves grown in Northern India. Plentiful golden tips on leaves & hearty body qualify this tea at the top of its class. This tea was also a winner in the North American Tea Championship Assam Tea category.

It's a champion and it tastes like one and I could pretty much tell that from the moment I opened the canister and was hit by the aroma. The dry leaves had a kind of faintly spicy smell - spicy in the manner of cinnamon or nutmeg - and I actually doublechecked to make sure that this wasn't a flavored tea. It's not but it did have a the great full flavor one hopes for in a topnotch Assam.

It might not be the best of all the Assam teas I've tasted over the years but this one definitely ranks near the top of the heap. Recommended.

Image: The Republic of Tea
Sample provided by The Republic of Tea

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Offbeat Tea Patents

Here's another article I recently wrote for The English Tea Store blog.

Offbeat Tea Patents
By William I. Lengeman III

Inflatable rug, anyone? Bird diaper? If they sound too weird to be true, then check the files of the United States Patent Office, where you can confirm that they are indeed real ideas for inventions. The number of offbeat inventions that have been suggested over the years are so numerous that you can even find quite a few web sites devoted to them, if you’re so inclined.

Of course, as I’ve noted in these very pages before, there are a number of these weirdo inventions that have to do with tea in some way. One of the weirdest ones I’ve run across thus far goes by the rather dubious name...

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Friday, September 20, 2013

EGCG: A Closer Look

Here's another article I recently wrote for The English Tea Store blog.

EGCG: A Closer Look
By William I. Lengeman III

If you’ve been following the numerous reports about tea’s alleged health benefits in the media (including the ones at this site) in past years, then you’ve probably encountered a mouthful of a term known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Which is one of the most often cited beneficial compounds found in tea and one that’s typically shortened to the more manageable acronym, EGCG.

A compound in tea that’s known as a catechin, EGCG has antioxidant properties and is found in the greatest...

read the full article here

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Beardwood&Co. Helps Introduce Tea Connoisseur Brand

Beardwood&Co. Helps Introduce 165 Year-Old Family-Owned Tea Connoisseur Brand to the Us Market
(from a press release)

New York-based brand and innovation firm, Beardwood&Co., is helping Wissotzky Tea, a family-owned tea company since 1849; introduce its Signature line of teas into the US market this fall. According to The Tea Association of the USA, consumer interest in specialty teas is accelerating rapidly and supermarkets are devoting more shelf space to accommodate a more extensive array of products. Wissotzky Tea is the leading tea brand in Israel and is known for exceptional quality blends among tea connoisseurs worldwide.

Working in partnership with The Green Seed Group, a company that helps international food and beverage brands enter the US, Wissotzky identified a market opportunity between the premium and super premium segments: a tea more special for everyday use without being overpriced. According to David Cohen, General Manager, Wissotzky Tea USA, “Beardwood contributed their thinking and understanding of the category in the US, which was crucial to successfully translate and communicate our messages and values. They understood how consumers perceive the category and how to create differentiation from other brands.”

In the competitive tea section, Wissotzky Tea stands out with a sophisticated, simple design featuring an iconic teacup against an elegant black background. According to Sarah Williams, Partner/Creative Director, Beardwood&Co, “Unlike most tea brands that focus on tea ingredients or illustrations, the Signature collection has glamorous photography of the pyramid silk tea bags and an overhead view of the teacup to appeal to people on an emotional, visceral level. It’s a personal invitation to take time out and have an amazing cup of tea.” The black background is used as the unifying brand color while bright, color-coded lids create a billboard effect and identify the ten flavors. “We also adapted the logo for the US market by incorporating the family crest (a ship) within the gold-embossed logo and adding a signature of Klonimus Wissotzky, the company’s founder, to reinforce the brand’s heritage,” notes Williams. Beardwood used the back panel to further tell the Wissotzky family story.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tea Bench Made From Recycled Green Tea Leaves

ITO EN to Sell Tea Bench Made From Recycled Green Tea Leaves
(from a press release)

ITO EN, the world's leading supplier of loose leaf green tea and ready-to-drink beverage, and makers of the award-winning line of bottled green tea-TEAS' TEA® has announced that they will begin selling their Tea Bench, made from recycled green tea leaves used from the bottling production of their beverages. In the company's efforts to reuse and recycle their used tea leaves, an innovative eco-friendly synthetic resin was developed to create various products ranging from vending machines, floor mats and public benches. The products have been a part of the companies CSR recycling activities that blend harmoniously into the environment. With green tea known to have antibacterial and antiviral properties, the products retain the deodorizing and antibacterial properties. The Tea Bench is composed of 20% recycled tea leaves and recycled food trays.

The Tea Bench will be available by special order on the company website-www.itoen.com, and will retail for $925.00.

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Monday, September 02, 2013

Tea Review 153 - Teavivre Green Tea (x4)

Organic Superfine Dragon Well
Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian Dragon Well
Nonpareil Te Gong Huang Shan Mao Feng
Liu An Gua Pian

Teavivre

I haven't been drinking much green tea lately. Not that I have anything against it because I certainly don't. But black tea is my favorite by far and it's what I've been drinking, almost exclusively, for quite a while now.

But I always welcome a nice change of pace - especially when it comes in the form of a high-quality green tea. Which is what the good people at Teavivre sent a little while back - times four. I liked them all and if I were a more careful reviewer, like I used to be, I'd go ahead and tell you a little bit about each one. In lieu of that I'll point out that I liked the Superfine Dragon Well and the Mao Feng quite well and the Ming Qian Dragon Well better than any of the bunch. Which is not to say that the Liu An Gua Pian was so shabby either. Read on for the merchant's descriptions of each.

Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian Dragon Well Long Jing
This Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian Dragon Well Long Jing tea origins in organic tea base of Tianmu Mountain in Lin’an, Hangzhou. The organic tea base of Tianmu Mountain, has passed the organic certification of European, USA and Japan, is a significant base of planting organic dragon well and green tea. This dragon well long jing tea persists a high level in picking and producing while meeting the standard of organic certification. The tea should be picked as one bud and two leaves or three leaves in order to reach the standard. Tea workers also have excellent skills, which help keep the natural features of fresh tea leaves. Combined with the advantages of organic tea and high grade tea, this dragon well long jing tea is suitable for tea lovers of organic tea as well as dragon well green tea.

Organic Superfine Dragon Well Long Jing
This Organic Dragon Well Long Jing tea origins in organic tea base of Tianmu Mountain in Lin’an, Hangzhou. The organic tea base of Tianmu Mountain, has passed the organic certification of European, USA and Japan, is a significant base of planting organic dragon well and green tea. This dragon well long jing tea persists a high level in picking and producing while meeting the standard of organic certification. The tea should be picked as one bud and two leaves or three leaves in order to reach the standard. Tea workers also have excellent skills, which help keep the natural features of fresh tea leaves. Combined with the advantages of organic tea and high grade tea, this dragon well long jing tea is suitable for tea lovers of organic tea as well as dragon well green tea.

Nonpareil Te Gong Huang Shan Mao Feng
The historic Huang Shan Mao Feng is well-known as one of the ten famous Chinese tea. This Ming Qian Huang Shan Mao Feng was picked on March 23, 2013, is a kind of pre-ming green tea. Pre-ming tea has strict requirement of the picking time and its making standard, thus the bird-tongue appearance could been perfect formed, as well as the brisk flavor. Both of which are favored by tea lovers.

Liu An Gua Pian
TeaVivre's Liu'an Guapian is sourced from a plantation in this teas home province of Liu'an county, and is produced using traditional manual methods. This tea’s unique taste and shape comes from it being the only Chinese green tea that is made without using any buds, new leaves or stems. During processing, mature leaves are separated out and then carefully cut by hand to remove any stems and the central leaf vein. They then undergo a lengthy drying and rolling process, resulting in its unique round shape. When brewed Liu'an Guapian has a great complex sweet taste, and a bright, emerald color to the tea.

Image: Teavivre
Sample provided by Teavivre
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Tea-Man Claymation Tea Video

If Gumby, Pokey and other standbys of claymation are your kinda thing, try out this short video with a tea theme. It is, in the words of its maker, "a stop motion animated film about the powers of tea. Featuring Tea-Man! My first try at claymation, with hand-made set and characters."

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Short Tea Prep Video

I think this one has more to do with the filmmaker brushing up on her skills with the camera than it is about tea, but here it is all the same.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The PG Tips Movie - A Tale of Two Continents

Pretty epic stuff here, at almost ten minutes and starring the world's only tea-promoting sock monkey (that I'm aware of).

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Japan’s Green Tea Wars

Here's another article I recently wrote for The English Tea Store blog.

Japan’s Green Tea Wars
By William I. Lengeman III

If you know anything about the tea that’s produced in Japan, then you probably know that it’s primarily of the green variety. The varieties of green tea grown there run the gamut from so-so to some of the finest green teas you’re likely to get your hands on. One type of Japanese green tea that has been gaining in popularity lately is matcha, a powdered green tea that was once used primarily in the Japanese tea ceremony.

A matcha-related headline caught my attention recently, one that posed the odd question...

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

This is Your Brain On Tea

As the filmmaker notes, "This is a short animation i created to enter in the Calm-A-Sutra of Tea scholarship competition. The animation was done using final cut pro and motion. the objective of the film was to create something humorous and visually attractive that promoted tea."

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Saturday, August 03, 2013

Are Americans Abandoning Coffee for Tea?

Here's another article I recently wrote for The English Tea Store blog.

Are Americans Abandoning Coffee for Tea?
By William I. Lengeman III

If you’re a coffee drinker, don’t take this the wrong way, but I’d rather lick a sidewalk than drink a cup of coffee. I’ll probably always be a devout worshipper at the altar of tea. But even so, I can’t help but be a bit skeptical about the notion that seems to be cropping up lately that tea drinking here in these great United States will one day outstrip coffee drinking.

It’s an idea that popped up recently in the Los Angeles Times, in an article whose headline exclaimed, “In the Beverage Industry, it’s Definitely Tea’s Time.”

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