Caffeine—and Tea—in the Stone Age

It's commonly said that we've used caffeine for centuries, including during the Stone Age, when caffeine-containing plants were chewed for their stimulatory effects. This being pre-history, however, do you ever wonder how we know? Well, archaeology often fills in when historical records don't exist. Yes, there can be misinterpretations and over-interpretations, but sometimes the evidence … Continue reading Caffeine—and Tea—in the Stone Age

Creamsicle Rooibos Inspires a Look at Frozen Treats

Tea should be fun, and even though I'm generally not a fan of foods/beverages pretending to be something else, I have to say that Creamsicle tea is surprisingly like its namesake—you know, the summer treat with orange sherbet wrapped around vanilla ice cream—and surprisingly delicious, especially iced. In this case, I'm talking about a rooibos … Continue reading Creamsicle Rooibos Inspires a Look at Frozen Treats

Roasted Almond Fruit Tea, Dessert in a Cup

Roasted Almond fruit tea (or more accurately, tisane) consistently ranks as one of the top ten best-selling teas at TeaHaus, with many raving about both its flavor and its stunning color in the cup. With a foundation of apples, red beets contribute additional sweetness along with color, while cinnamon adds spiciness and the almond pieces … Continue reading Roasted Almond Fruit Tea, Dessert in a Cup

A Tea with All the Flavors of Ukraine

Tea can evoke many things: a memory, a tradition, the essence of a country. Just the words "English breakfast" immediately conjure up a complete picture of participants, setting, teapot, and type of tea. So too Слава Україні (Glory to Ukraine!), blended by tea sommelier Lisa of TeaHaus. When Lisa began blending this tea—a tribute to … Continue reading A Tea with All the Flavors of Ukraine

Japanese Lithophane Teacups

At a yard sale decades ago, I picked up what I considered a rather exquisite tea set that had been made in Japan. I have now discovered that I evidently was the intended buyer, or at least someone like me, someone who is not Japanese. Having identified the set as hand-painted porcelain Satsuma ware, I … Continue reading Japanese Lithophane Teacups

Ukraine and Sunflowers

Sunflowers have new depths of meaning these days, a fact that seems startlingly at odds with the flower's straightforward boldness. After all, its perpetual cheeriness and habit of quite literally following the sun make this a fitting symbol for reveling in summer's warmth, simple happiness. But even the robust sunflower—that with a more subtle hue, … Continue reading Ukraine and Sunflowers

Caffeine/Theanine Ratio in Tea: Why It Matters, and Why It’s So Hard to Measure

I recently read an online article, supposedly vetted by experts, that claimed that white tea has no caffeine. Yeah. Add that to misleading articles arguing that x tea has less—or maybe more—caffeine than y tea and you understand why people are confused about caffeine levels in tea. To be sure, discussing caffeine in tea is … Continue reading Caffeine/Theanine Ratio in Tea: Why It Matters, and Why It’s So Hard to Measure

Ethiopian Tea

Little cups are irresistible, whether designed for tea or coffee. A yard sale find, this small handleless porcelain cup was made in Ethiopia, land of coffee drinkers. But who's to say it can't be used for tea? Which made me wonder whether Ethiopians drink tea. Ethiopian Tea, or the Tea That's Grown in Ethiopia Evidently … Continue reading Ethiopian Tea

Do Moringa Leaves and Beets Make Fruit Tea a Healthier Brew?

Fruit Teas To tea purists, fruit tea is not tea. And technically, they are correct. Actual tea is composed of Camellia sinensis whereas beverages made from other plants are tisanes or infusions. Hence, there are fruity teas (C. sinensis blended with fruit) and there are fruit "teas" (blends of fruit, herbals, and/or spices). In the … Continue reading Do Moringa Leaves and Beets Make Fruit Tea a Healthier Brew?