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

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

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

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

Purple Tea: A Healthier Tea?

Michigan maples are already flaunting their riotous oranges and reds!A fitting time to look at purple tea—tea leaves whose distinct purple hue is due to the same antioxidant that makes autumn foliage so breathtaking! Sounding vaguely like a toxin rather than a health-boosting antioxidant, anthocyanin is technically the "blue, violet, or red flavonoid pigment found in plants." … Continue reading Purple Tea: A Healthier Tea?

Ceylon Tea—but Green

When we think simply "tea," Ceylon may well be what we are envisioning: it's perfect for classic iced tea it's great blended with lemonade it's excellent hot it handles lemon or honey or milk or sugar admirably it's the perfect "base tea," with a brisk and full flavor And you're probably visualizing black tea, even … Continue reading Ceylon Tea—but Green

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?