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

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

Mulling Spices Transform Wine and Tea into Seasonal Treats

A cozy evening with family and friends—preferably around a cheery fire—begs a nice, hot spiced cider, wine, or tea! Mulling is easy, and because the spices are potent, you don't need a high-quality base. Rather, a cheap wine or any strong tea or some inexpensive cider will be fine. Simply throw in mulling spices, heat … Continue reading Mulling Spices Transform Wine and Tea into Seasonal Treats

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

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?

The Turks Drink the Most Tea—How That Came About

Who drinks the most tea in the world?Per person? That would be the Turks, at some 7.7 pounds of tea per person per year (Ahul News 9/29/18). I calculate that's around 2,300 teabags. Per person per year. That seems like a lot. Yet—if I use a teaspoon of loose tea per 8-oz cup and I drink a bit … Continue reading The Turks Drink the Most Tea—How That Came About

The Tea We Call Chai

Pull out the spices! Apple pie, pumpkin pie, spiced cider—and chai—season has arrived!So let me ask you: seasonal junk food? Or health-boosting treats? And why do we suddenly crave them when autumn rolls 'round? Before the advent of refrigeration and the practice of shipping food all over the world, people generally ate food that was locally … Continue reading The Tea We Call Chai

Ceylon Tea—but Green

When we think simply "tea," Ceylon may well be what we are envisioning: it's perfect for classic iced tea it's great blended with lemonade it's excellent hot it handles lemon or honey or milk or sugar admirably it's the perfect "base tea," with a brisk and full flavor And you're probably visualizing black tea, even … Continue reading Ceylon Tea—but Green