Prefer Tea over Coffee? Your Choice—or Decided by Your Genes?

Tea or coffee? As in, which one do you prefer?Innocuous question, right? Yet earlier in history, as tea and coffee were first arriving to their shores, a European's response might have reflected such weighty issues as: power (who had the means to bring tea and coffee to Europe) wealth and status (who could initially afford … Continue reading Prefer Tea over Coffee? Your Choice—or Decided by Your Genes?

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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?

Britain, World War I—and Tea

Every Veterans Day we honor our veterans and those still in the armed forces, remembering their sacrifices and paying tribute to their unselfish service. This year is especially poignant, being the 100-year anniversary of World War I. Although Veterans Day was actually yesterday, financial institutions and many federal offices remain closed in observance. And so … Continue reading Britain, World War I—and Tea

A House with the Aroma of Pu-erh Tea

Wouldn't it be quite heavenly to live in a house that smells like tea? And by this I mean the fabric of the house itself. Tea offers an aroma that is generally delicate, often complex—perhaps faintly sweet or fruity or spicy or earthy or malty or a mingling of attributes. The fragrance alone seems to transfer … Continue reading A House with the Aroma of Pu-erh Tea

What Tea Is Brewing in My Cauldron?

Tonight, there are only two things to consider for my perfectly magical Halloween potion. And make no bones about it—these are absolutely paramount: name of tea (must fit the holiday) color of tea (must fit the season) Of course some might argue in favor of more morbidly mundane considerations. You know what I mean—the usual … Continue reading What Tea Is Brewing in My Cauldron?

Tea Traveled from China to India—and Now Returns to China

First their tea plants were stolen. Then their rival started producing tea with those plants. Now they are buying tea back from said rival! 0kay, that would be vastly oversimplifying and misrepresenting a very complex history! Still, China was the tea producer of the world for centuries; however, as trade expanded and others developed the taste for … Continue reading Tea Traveled from China to India—and Now Returns to China

My Tea Set: Why the Flowers Match

Pretty much any item you pick up can teach you something—from the details of its manufacture to why it exists in the first place. When the western world first encountered tea, accouterments were required: teapots, teacups, saucers, sugar bowls, creamers, teaspoons. In England, the Staffordshire area (see previous post) had a deep history of making … Continue reading My Tea Set: Why the Flowers Match