My Moroccan Teapot: Graceful and Functional, but Is It Safe?

As probably all of us have been discovering, staying at home brings some unforeseen minor inconveniences. We dismiss them as petty, especially in light of those who are currently working so hard to ensure we still have groceries and garbage pickup and emergency furnace repair and health care despite an overburdened system. But for those … Continue reading My Moroccan Teapot: Graceful and Functional, but Is It Safe?

Chamomile Tea: A Help for Sleep and Stress?

The news is impossible to ignore these days. While I wouldn't describe myself as much of a worrier normally, if I think about what's taking place outside my door, "sobering" doesn't even begin to describe it. "Terrifying" might be a more apt descriptor. Especially when my mind strays to all those dedicated health care workers, to … Continue reading Chamomile Tea: A Help for Sleep and Stress?

Coronavirus Impact on the Tea Industry

Our world has been completely upended by COVID-19. Here in Michigan we are entering three weeks of a stay-at-home order, following nearly two weeks of partial shutdown earlier enacted. At the moment, we're ranked #5 of the fifty states for confirmed virus cases and #2 for number of deaths. Grim statistics. Concomitant with worry about … Continue reading Coronavirus Impact on the Tea Industry

Amid This Pandemic, a Look at Tea and Its Effect on Viruses

I find it interesting that, when investigating viruses, researchers often turn to tea—possibly to drink, but generally as something to analyze. It's way too early to know if this will hold true for COVID-19, but here are a few examples of how tea and its abundant polyphenols have been studied and may someday be part … Continue reading Amid This Pandemic, a Look at Tea and Its Effect on Viruses

Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, a Look at Tea and Stress

With coronavirus COVID-19 a global pandemic, medical and science personnel worldwide are in the forefront as we all await news about treatment, cure, vaccine, anything promising. Many aspects of our lives are on hold as we worry about the health of those we love, and as we wonder how businesses will survive, how employees without … Continue reading Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, a Look at Tea and Stress

Wagashi, A Beautiful Accompaniment to Tea

Wagashi are theoretically traditional Japanese confections but in practice they are as much art as food. Made for centuries, they were popularized during Japan's Edo period (1603–1868), when tea was coming into the country from China—and sugar was arriving from the Portuguese and Dutch. Because sweets pair well with bitter matcha, and the beauty of wagashi … Continue reading Wagashi, A Beautiful Accompaniment to Tea

Making Houjicha with Tea Grower and Tea Master Takatomo Katagi

Mr. Takatomo Katagi comes from a long line of tea growers in Japan's Asamiya region of the Shiga Prefecture. The seventh-generation head of Katagi Kokaen tea garden, Mr. Katagi is building on his family's legacy. Some forty years ago, his father converted the garden to organic production. As Mr. Katagi explains, "Unlike vegetables, tea leaves … Continue reading Making Houjicha with Tea Grower and Tea Master Takatomo Katagi