Colombian Tea

Colombia practically means coffee. Even the fictional coffee farmer, Juan Valdez—created in the 1950s for a campaign advertising pure Colombian coffee—has been a household name for decades! In coffee-growing countries, coffee reigns king. Costa Ricans, for example, scoff at decaffeinated coffee, while visitors are reminded at every turn of the brew's importance. Colombia tea, therefore, … Continue reading Colombian Tea

What Is a Samovar? With Tea, a Russian Tradition

Hallmarks of a Russian novel: (1) a maddening fluidity of names (I mean, really, how many nicknames does one person need?), and (2) the samovar. Because when tea came into Russia, not only did the Russians embrace this new beverage, but they made it completely their own. Today, the samovar continues to evoke Russian culture and … Continue reading What Is a Samovar? With Tea, a Russian Tradition

Greet the Morning with Russian Breakfast Tea

When Russia first imported tea from China—back in the late 1600s and early 1700s—the journey by caravan took over a year. (See previous post for more.) So what kind of tea would taste good after 16 months of being hauled by a camel? Well, for tea to survive the arduous journey, it had to be … Continue reading Greet the Morning with Russian Breakfast Tea

The Dawn of Russian Breakfast Tea

Besides those intrepid tea drinkers in Scotland, England, and Ireland who have honed breakfast tea customs, there are the Russians. Tea drinkers for centuries, they have their own version of the morning (and afternoon and mid-afternoon and evening) tea. As Fyodor Dostoyevsky put it: I say let the world go to hell, but I should … Continue reading The Dawn of Russian Breakfast Tea

Begin the Day with Irish Breakfast Tea

Night owl? Then a bracing cup of Irish breakfast tea is in order for those way-too-early-it-can't-be-morning-already mornings! As with English breakfast teas (see my previous post), the Irish counterpart was not intended simply to deliver caffeine to the sleep-deprived. (Though that undoubtedly was a welcome perk for the overworked.) Rather, back in 1784, when those … Continue reading Begin the Day with Irish Breakfast Tea

Wake Up with English Breakfast Teas

Anyone else take extra days off for the Fourth of July "weekend"? This morning's de facto Monday necessitated a stiff breakfast tea. Really stiff. Sort of a jolt back to reality. But this isn't really why "breakfast teas" exist. Rather, these tea blends were designed to accompany the heavy breakfasts of late-1800s-England—a meal perhaps more akin … Continue reading Wake Up with English Breakfast Teas

Tea Hastens Death—Wait, What?! (East Frisian Tea in Germany)

Way (way) back in time, my grandmother took me along to visit her brother in Germany (and carry the luggage!). Hazy recollections of selecting loose leaf tea in small shops and then sipping it from delicate tea glasses in my great-uncle’s cozy apartment later prompted me to wonder why we purchased loose leaf tea in … Continue reading Tea Hastens Death—Wait, What?! (East Frisian Tea in Germany)