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

TEA: New Benefits Being Discovered, Yet the Plant’s Sustainability Is in Question in Some Regions of the World

Increasingly exciting results are coming out of research into tea as a beverage and/or medicine—even as tea as a plant is becoming embattled in many regions of the world. First the Good News: Tea Is Great!  Against antibiotic-resistant bacteria— Current headlines tout the efficacy of tea's main flavanol, epigallocatechin gallate or ECGC, in working synergistically with the … Continue reading TEA: New Benefits Being Discovered, Yet the Plant’s Sustainability Is in Question in Some Regions of the World

Nepali Teas Come into Their Own

Although few knew it at the time, a seismic shift took place when botanist Robert Fortune spirited high-quality tea plants out of China in the mid-1800s. Transplanting them into Himalayan soil, he opined that “a boon will have been conferred upon the people of India” if that country’s poor could be provided with an affordable tea, … Continue reading Nepali Teas Come into Their Own

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

Some Cautiously Good News for Darjeeling Tea Gardens?

After months of bad news for Darjeeling tea aficionados (see my October post), some promising headlines: (1) apparently the months-long closure of the tea gardens—resulting in an extended period of neglect—may be beneficial to the tea plants, and (2) people who love Darjeeling tea don't scare away easily! So How Is Neglect a Good Thing? When … Continue reading Some Cautiously Good News for Darjeeling Tea Gardens?

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

Darjeeling Tea: Beloved, Prized, and at Risk

Darjeeling teas are among the world's most prized—and pricy—teas. Imagine if they were in short supply. Oh wait, they are! According to the secretary of the Calcutta Tea Traders Association: There are no Darjeeling teas for auctions in October. This is an unprecedented situation. . . . there is no tea that can be put … Continue reading Darjeeling Tea: Beloved, Prized, and at Risk

Will There Be Darjeeling Tea in the Future?

Second-flush Rarity

Darjeeling tea may go extinct! Apocalyptic hype? Total overreaction to a regional strike? Sensationalism? Or, could we actually lose this beloved tea? With its economic importance and the worldwide love for Darjeeling tea, it seems unlikely that it would no longer be grown. However, the reality is pretty dire at the moment, with all 87 … Continue reading Will There Be Darjeeling Tea in the Future?