So What Does “Orange Pekoe” Mean Anyway?

Of course you recognize this iconic package: —and orange pekoe almost means Lipton! But what does that "orange pekoe" really mean? Perhaps surprising to many of us, it has nothing to do with the flavor or the type of tea, and can be viewed with multiple lenses. Position of leaf on plant At the top … Continue reading So What Does “Orange Pekoe” Mean Anyway?

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Christmas Tea: Why Does It Contain Oranges?

Picture any holiday and I'll bet that specific foods are part of that snapshot. After all, holidays mean gatherings of people—and festive gatherings of people mean food and drink! When you think about this, it makes sense from many standpoints. The very evolution of our species meant learning to cooperate and share resources to ensure our … Continue reading Christmas Tea: Why Does It Contain Oranges?

Britain, World War I—and Tea

Every Veterans Day we honor our veterans and those still in the armed forces, remembering their sacrifices and paying tribute to their unselfish service. This year is especially poignant, being the 100-year anniversary of World War I. Although Veterans Day was actually yesterday, financial institutions and many federal offices remain closed in observance. And so … Continue reading Britain, World War I—and Tea

A House with the Aroma of Pu-erh Tea

Wouldn't it be quite heavenly to live in a house that smells like tea? And by this I mean the fabric of the house itself. Tea offers an aroma that is generally delicate, often complex—perhaps faintly sweet or fruity or spicy or earthy or malty or a mingling of attributes. The fragrance alone seems to transfer … Continue reading A House with the Aroma of Pu-erh Tea

Tea Traveled from China to India—and Now Returns to China

First their tea plants were stolen. Then their rival started producing tea with those plants. Now they are buying tea back from said rival! 0kay, that would be vastly oversimplifying and misrepresenting a very complex history! Still, China was the tea producer of the world for centuries; however, as trade expanded and others developed the taste for … Continue reading Tea Traveled from China to India—and Now Returns to China

My Tea Set: Why the Flowers Match

Pretty much any item you pick up can teach you something—from the details of its manufacture to why it exists in the first place. When the western world first encountered tea, accouterments were required: teapots, teacups, saucers, sugar bowls, creamers, teaspoons. In England, the Staffordshire area (see previous post) had a deep history of making … Continue reading My Tea Set: Why the Flowers Match

My Tea Set: A Peek into Staffordshire Potteries

Earlier this year a friend gave me this very pretty tea set. Only it's not actually a "set." Intriguingly, it's a group of china pieces with nearly identical pansy paintings—made by different companies. cup and saucer: Duchess, est. 1888, fine bone china, made in England (crown logo) teapot: Arthur Wood & Son, Staffordshire, England, est. … Continue reading My Tea Set: A Peek into Staffordshire Potteries