Nilgiri Frost Tea, and How Tea Leaves Respond to the Cold

Being frostbitten is generally a negative experience—for you and for many plants. Much research goes into how to best protect tea plants from frost, and in some regions of the world, such as the Caucasus, frost-tolerant genotypes have been developed. These genotypes allow plants to thrive in colder regions, which has two benefits: the plants … Continue reading Nilgiri Frost Tea, and How Tea Leaves Respond to the Cold

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

Springtime Buds include Darjeeling First-Flush Tea

Every spring bud holds a promise. And this is true of tea plants as well, for the first buds that begin to open in spring constitute the first flush or "spring" harvest—especially vital in places like Darjeeling, where the first-flush teas command the highest prices. Tea plucking in Darjeeling began a couple weeks ago with "only … Continue reading Springtime Buds include Darjeeling First-Flush Tea

Nepali Teas Stepping In for Darjeeling

Notice to all Darjeeling fans: this year's strike means there's a lot less tea, along with a higher price tag  (see earlier post). Nepal, however, has been happily stepping in. And also ushering in a few complications. The Cons Darjeeling abuts Nepal's east border, which means the two areas have pretty much the same climate … Continue reading Nepali Teas Stepping In for Darjeeling