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

Vintage Glass Child’s Tea Set

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

Paul Revere Teapot Reproductions

With the Revolutionary War won, and with teapots no longer politically fraught (see prior post), Paul Revere made at least 49 teapots from 1783 to 1797, according to his books. Then, as now, silver items were expensive. In the early 1760s, a laborer earning 30 pounds per year might be able to afford a child’s … Continue reading Paul Revere Teapot Reproductions

The Significance of a Paul Revere Teapot

Continuing with a look at silver teapots, the most famous of our American silversmiths is, of course, Paul Revere Jr., who lived in this relatively modest house in Boston. Immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1860 poem, we all know how Paul Revere rode to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock about approaching British troops. … Continue reading The Significance of a Paul Revere Teapot

Silver and Silver-plated Teapots Still Shine

Ann Arbor is home to one of the largest outdoor art fairs in the country, an event that townies either love or hate. I personally love it and have been to many an artist's booth over the years. And there are few things more irritating to overhear than someone remarking, often in the artist's presence, … Continue reading Silver and Silver-plated Teapots Still Shine

All About Mint Teas!

For mint lovers, a potent mint tea is a delight! That blast of coolness is like nothing else—so much so that it's even hard to describe the experience of mint without using the word "mint"! Native to many regions of the world, this herb has been valued for centuries for its heady scent and invigorating … Continue reading All About Mint Teas!

What Can a Vintage Imported Teapot Tell Us?

Give my husband some old milk bottle and he'll spend hours looking up its history. It's amazing what interesting—albeit esoteric—information you can dig up online. Except when I tried searching for info on this teapot that once belonged to my grandmother. I found a lot of these posted on eBay, all of them called "vintage" and … Continue reading What Can a Vintage Imported Teapot Tell Us?

Grief, Tea, and the Disruption of Ritual

Back about a lifetime ago, in February, I bemoaned that my year had begun badly. Understatement of the year.  As 2020 winds down amid global tragedy, my own year brought not only the pandemic, but personal loss. I've written about bereavement in years past, but this time it's different. The social structures that help cushion … Continue reading Grief, Tea, and the Disruption of Ritual

Do You Need a Green Teacup for Green Tea?

Do you have a favorite cup, and if so, what makes it your favorite? My dad has a favorite coffee cup based on its shape and how the lip curves in just the right way. My husband's favorite is simply the one that holds the most liquid! Back in the 700s, during China's Tang Dynasty … Continue reading Do You Need a Green Teacup for Green Tea?