Tea on the Road: The Erie Canal and Locktender’s Tea

If you wander around upstate New York long enough, you're bound to come across remnants of its extensive canal system. The Erie Canal, begun in 1817, was an engineering sensation, designed by two engineers that didn't have much experience and requiring eighteen aqueducts and eighty-some locks (or lift locks). The restored 1844 aqueduct—or water-filled bridge—over … Continue reading Tea on the Road: The Erie Canal and Locktender’s Tea

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Tea on the Road: Herkimer Diamonds and Improvised Iced Tea

Leaving wine country behind us (see previous post), we continued our road trip, traveling east to Herkimer, a small town along the Mohawk River in upstate New York, and named after Nicholas Herkimer, a general in the American Revolutionary War. With Herkimer, we have a link to both tea (the Boston Tea Party of 1773, … Continue reading Tea on the Road: Herkimer Diamonds and Improvised Iced Tea

Alcohol + Tea = Delightful!

Tea cocktails are quite the rage these days, with good reason! Tea's complexity and astringency—along with the dizzying number of teas available—make it a natural when combined with alcohol. (See my earlier post about blending.) However, there is nothing 21st-century about using tea in boozy drinks. Granted, the word "cocktail" was coined as recently as … Continue reading Alcohol + Tea = Delightful!

Tea in South Korea Had a Circuitous History

So much about tea is actually really depressing, both now and historically. There are conflicts over land, wages, profit, quality, quantity. Issues of weather and natural disasters. Combine those problems with how tea has been used to wield power—during times when tea is highly esteemed and even when it's disparaged—and you quickly realize how a … Continue reading Tea in South Korea Had a Circuitous History

Cherry Tea? Cheery Teas to Counter February Dreariness

Perfection: A just-picked cherry. Sweet or tart, either one is amazing. Okay, yes, they are a summer thing, but if the view out of your window is as dreary as the view out of mine, well, you understand why I'm thinking about fruit tea! And cherries are very much a Michigan thing. Nearly surrounded by … Continue reading Cherry Tea? Cheery Teas to Counter February Dreariness

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?

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?