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

So What Does “Orange Pekoe” Mean Anyway?

Of course you recognize this iconic package: —and orange pekoe almost means Lipton! But what does that "orange pekoe" really mean? Perhaps surprising to many of us, it has nothing to do with the flavor or the type of tea, and can be viewed with multiple lenses. Position of leaf on plant At the top … Continue reading So What Does “Orange Pekoe” Mean Anyway?

The Buzz about Bees and Tea

When one spouse loves tea and the other keeps bees, this pin is a natural: Not sure where my daughter picked it up for us but it certainly could refer to "Let It Bee" tea, an herbal blend that contains bee pollen, honeybush, rooibos, vanilla, and honey granules (Red Stick Spice Company). But the pin … Continue reading The Buzz about Bees and Tea

Mechanization Rolling into India’s Tea Gardens?

China—producer of the most tea in the world—needs more tea, particularly black tea. To tea drinkers in the U.S., where green tea is slowly being discovered, that may seem a step backward. Why drink black tea when you live in a country that produces some of the most exquisite green and oolong teas in the … Continue reading Mechanization Rolling into India’s Tea Gardens?

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

Unexpected Free Tea Sample Fun!

This came quite unexpectedly in the mail last night! I had totally forgotten that I had signed up for some free tea samples from the April Tea Industry Company, or AprTea. Their name refers to the first plucking in the spring because, as their website puts it: Tea in April means “the best tea.” This Chinese … Continue reading Unexpected Free Tea Sample Fun!

The Turks Drink the Most Tea—How That Came About

Who drinks the most tea in the world?Per person? That would be the Turks, at some 7.7 pounds of tea per person per year (Ahul News 9/29/18). I calculate that's around 2,300 teabags. Per person per year. That seems like a lot. Yet—if I use a teaspoon of loose tea per 8-oz cup and I drink a bit … Continue reading The Turks Drink the Most Tea—How That Came About

Has Your Tea Traveled the Silk Roads?

brewed tea

The Chinese have been cultivating tea for some 5,000 years—and exporting it for over 2,000. In fact, the world's oldest tea leaves (at this date) have been found in a NON-tea-growing region! Those leaves—in Emperor Liu Qi's tomb in Xi'an—confirm that tea reached western China in the first century BCE, while leaves found in Tibet's Gurgyam Cemetery show … Continue reading Has Your Tea Traveled the Silk Roads?

One Japanese Tea Garden, Many Teas

Matcha and Japan. Although these seem synonymous, around three-quarters of the tea produced in Japan is actually sencha. And while matcha and gyokuro are highly prized by the Japanese (see earlier post to see why these teas are so valued—and pricy!), the country's everyday tea is sencha. However, this doesn't mean that sencha is a low-end … Continue reading One Japanese Tea Garden, Many Teas

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?