September Update: Coronavirus Impact on the Tea Industry

As the pandemic grinds on, many of us are seeing sometimes unexpected consequences. Odd items are out of stock at the grocery stores. Local contractors can't find lumber. Some European businesses now ship to pretty much anywhere except the Americas. Tea, being an agricultural product, continues to be impacted by weather conditions as well as everything … Continue reading September Update: Coronavirus Impact on the Tea Industry

New to Tea? Start Here (Part 3: Oolong and Black Tea)

Continuing my informal guide to selecting tea, we've come to black tea, the most oxidized of the tea types, and oolong, which falls between green and black tea in oxidation. If you've decided that the vegetal nature of green teas just is not for you, head for an oolong or black tea. Black Tea. Everyone … Continue reading New to Tea? Start Here (Part 3: Oolong and Black Tea)

May Update: Coronavirus Impact on the Tea Industry

As we navigate new social norms, hoping to prevent infection spikes, and as economies look to recover, it's time to revisit the tea industry. There's both good and bad news, although for India, there's far more bad than good news, even now. Japan In Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, although the tea festival that kicks off the … Continue reading May Update: Coronavirus Impact on the Tea Industry

Update on Coronavirus Impact on the Tea Industry

I never picked up a 2020 calendar for our household use, so, a few weeks ago, I simply canceled the year officially. At least in our kitchen. As many of us continue to be under stay-at-home orders, the ramifications of COVID-19 are becoming clearer, broader, often scarier. We wonder what the lasting effects will be—on … Continue reading Update on Coronavirus Impact on the Tea Industry

Is India’s Tea Industry Really at Risk?

What tea drinker wouldn't click on the headline "'Tea Industry Gasping for Survival,'" recently posted in The Hindu? It practically screams eminent demise! A Tempest in the Tea Cup? Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be merely a case of sensationalism. Rather, it's potentially a looming crisis. India's Consultative Committee of Planters’ Associations (CCPA)* contends that … Continue reading Is India’s Tea Industry Really at Risk?

Assam Tea in Crisis?

"Anarchy will prevail"?! Really?! Along with the alarming "spiralling" and "musclemen" and "mirage" and "will not survive." In a tea garden?! Because, yep, these dire words address current conditions in Assam's tea industry. Problem One As I related last month, wages have increased for Assam tea workers. However, this cost increase has not been passed … Continue reading Assam Tea in Crisis?

What Determines the Price of Your Cup of Tea?

Why is it that we will spend a lot of money on one thing but grouse about the cost of another? Why might a $12 cocktail be okay but a $4 cup of high-quality tea, not so much? (To clarify, I am referring here to truly high-quality loose leaf tea, brewed correctly!) You might argue … Continue reading What Determines the Price of Your Cup of Tea?

Assam Tea Workers and Industry Still Beleaguered

Would you be willing to pay 15% more for your cup of tea so that a tea worker could receive a 25% wage increase? Well, if you've heard how many workers in the tea industry struggle to subsist on low wages, it's a no-brainer. Consider Assam, where strikes are possibilities (Bolton 2018) and salary negotiations are … Continue reading Assam Tea Workers and Industry Still Beleaguered

Is Climate Change Real? Ask a Tea Grower!

Many of us spent Saturday—Earth Day—thinking about our planet and our role  in caring for it. So what about tea production? Any problems there? Should we be hoarding our favorite tea?! From Damage in Darjeeling During winter in Darjeeling, no tea is harvested, and the bushes are pruned to encourage new growth. Then in spring, warmer weather brings a burst of … Continue reading Is Climate Change Real? Ask a Tea Grower!

Assam Tea At Risk? Climate Change Threatens

I am seriously cold all the time. All. The. Time. My husband will attest to this. And tell you how I wear a sweater on all but the very hottest Michigan summer day. Which means that winters are particularly challenging. And that I reveled in last month's record-breaking warm temps! But Michigan is not supposed to be … Continue reading Assam Tea At Risk? Climate Change Threatens