The Plight of Tea Workers in Nilgiris, India

The health benefits of tea make almost daily headlines these days: Lose weight! Loaded with antioxidants! Fight cancer! But what about the health of those who work in the tea industry? Here the proclamations are not always so glowing. Take the Nilgiris District of southern India, for example. Their Tea As a whole, southern India … Continue reading The Plight of Tea Workers in Nilgiris, India

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Sencha with Matcha—A Sensational Match!

Sencha is currently the mainstay of Japanese tea—in 2015, 68% of the tea produced in Japan was sencha (Zavadckyte 2017:30)! Yet its popularity is measured in decades rather than centuries. Although developed back in 1738, in what is now Kyoto Prefecture, by tea maker Nagatani Soen, sencha wasn't commonly consumed until after World War II  when … Continue reading Sencha with Matcha—A Sensational Match!

Jasmine Phoenix Dragon Pearl—A Tea as Mystical as Its Name

A bowl of Jasmine Phoenix Dragon Pearls are simply beautiful. Pearls of perfection. The Pearls Each "pearl" is actually is the tip of the plant's new growth—the bud and first one or two tender new leaves—tightly rolled into a smooth, tight ball. Here you can see a pearl side-by-side with one that has opened up … Continue reading Jasmine Phoenix Dragon Pearl—A Tea as Mystical as Its Name

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

A Tea for the Polar Vortex

When your phone says this—yesterday and today, even in late morning—you need a tea that will convince you that, yes indeed, you can manage to walk from your house to your car, assuming you walk quickly, because, yes indeed, that does actually say "feels like minus 36°"! And when your husband can throw out a … Continue reading A Tea for the Polar Vortex

Two Books to Get You Hooked on Japanese Tea

If you haven't experienced Japanese tea—the real stuff, not in a teabag—you are missing out! And don't think that all green teas are alike. If you've had a green tea from China, it won't be anything like one from Japan, and if you've had one type of Japanese tea, it will probably be very different … Continue reading Two Books to Get You Hooked on Japanese Tea

Why You Must Pay Attention to Water Temperature When Making Tea. Really.

Having looked at how (and if) water itself impacts the flavor of your tea (see post), what about its temperature? Does that matter? Yep, it matters.  A lot. Even back in the year 780 when Lu Yu wrote the still-classic The Classic of Tea. Tea master Lu Yu specified his method in great detail. Water (ideally from … Continue reading Why You Must Pay Attention to Water Temperature When Making Tea. Really.