A Brief Look at Goldenrod Beautiful plumes of goldenrod now adorn our fields, signaling summer's ebb. Long blamed for allergies, this vibrant flower has been falsely maligned. The concurrently blooming ragweed—with unassuming green flowers—is most likely the actual culprit. Meanwhile, goldenrod's showy flowers provide nectar to butterflies (including monarchs) and both nectar and pollen to bees, … Continue reading Goldenrod Tea
Simplest is often best. Less to figure out, less to maintain, less to break. Take the tea strainer, for instance. All you really need is something that separates tea leaves from liquid. A fork or spoon will often do the job. And the small spouts of Chinese clay teapots, the type of pot that predates … Continue reading The Evolution of Tea Strainers
One of the savviest restaurant servers I've ever had was the fabulous woman who, after hearing us nix our young daughter's request for soda, charmed our daughter by asking if she instead wanted "H2O on the rocks." Wow, would she ever! Our daughter was absolutely thrilled, especially when the iced water arrived in a fancy … Continue reading Getting Great Tea into Restaurant Menus
Being frostbitten is generally a negative experience—for you and for many plants. Much research goes into how to best protect tea plants from frost, and in some regions of the world, such as the Caucasus, frost-tolerant genotypes have been developed. These genotypes allow plants to thrive in colder regions, which has two benefits: the plants … Continue reading Nilgiri Frost Tea, and How Tea Leaves Respond to the Cold
If asked to name all the cooking herbs you have in your kitchen, does sencha make the list? Or lapsang souchong? Any tea besides culinary matcha? If your answer is no, then you might be surprised to know that tea—both classic and flavored—is amazingly versatile in cooking and baking alike. This year's World Tea Conference … Continue reading Six Easy Ways to Use Tea in Your Cooking
Have you ever been in a situation where you're doing a wine tasting and you hear: "I love that hint of cassis" and while you're thinking "what's cassis?" you hear: "fruit forward baking spices" and you're like "huh?" At: "I love the hint of torrefaction," you blankly stare. If asked: "does this lean more toward … Continue reading How to Taste and Describe the Tea You Drink
Being vaccinated and eager to engage in any activity that resembles pre-pandemic life, attending the recent World Tea Conference & Expo 2021 felt decidedly indulgent. And so very normal. People sampling tea, discussing tea, learning about tea. But you may well ask this: Who cares? After more than a year that was like no other … Continue reading The World Tea Expo: Why It Matters to You
I spied this little set at a garage sale and immediately thought espresso. (For scale, the saucers are three inches in diameter and the cups just over two inches.) But the seller quickly disabused me of that assumption, explaining that this was a vintage Akro Agate child's tea set. Still, I wasn't the only one … Continue reading Vintage Glass Child’s Tea Set
EWW was my reaction when I initially heard of the TeaHaus tea blend Strawberry Mint Lavender. This was well before I joined the TeaHaus staff, at a time when my daughter first started raving about this odd blend. Strawberry and mint, fine, but throw in lavender? Really? But quite astonishingly to me—who's not a fan … Continue reading Strawberry Mint Lavender Tea: Why It Works!
A blank canvas transforms simply with an artist's stroke. So, too, a plucked tea leaf. With expertise and mastery, such leaves may retain their vegetal nature and striking green hue. Or, they may evolve into complex black tea, their molecular changes proven by the reds, coppers, and browns of the cup. And while Japanese teas … Continue reading What Is Benifuki Tea?