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

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

Korean Green Tea

Receiving new tea—especially something you've never tried—is always exciting! Last month, my daughter and son-in-law surprised me with a gift set of green tea from Teas Unique of South Korea. Although tea has been grown in Korea for ages, I've had only South Korean tisanes (ginger, ginseng, citron, and barley), and one actual tea, the … Continue reading Korean Green Tea

An English Teapot That Spans Centuries

For all the information online, it's frustrating when you come up short! Last summer, I picked up this charming, diminutive, teapot at a yard sale. In pristine condition, it's clearly never been used. Because the teapot—part of The Afternoon Tea Collection, made in England—says that it's been "reproduced from original copper plate hand engravings in … Continue reading An English Teapot That Spans Centuries

Japanese Kutani Porcelain Tea Sets

I never meant to own a bunch of teapots, but somehow I do. Most came from yard sales, and some were given to me, like this gorgeous vintage tea set featuring a peacock and chrysanthemums. My friend thought I'd appreciate this charming set, brought back from Korea by her parents many years ago. A little … Continue reading Japanese Kutani Porcelain Tea Sets

Oriental Beauty Oolong: The Name, the Science, the Tea

Since teas from Vietnam are spotty as far as purity and quality go, I was excited when TeaHaus was able get the oolong Oriental Beauty. But interestingly, many things come to play with this tea—its potentially problematic name, the role of pests, the source, and of course the quality of the tea itself. Here's a … Continue reading Oriental Beauty Oolong: The Name, the Science, the Tea

The Evolution of Tea Strainers

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