The World’s Tea Industry: Fall 2021 Snaphots

As fallout from the pandemic continues, many in the tea industry are using new tactics to maintain and increase their customer base; are adjusting to a changing market, especially as supply chain and shipping continue to be problematic; and are looking for ways to reduce production costs. According to shipping company DHL, ports are again … Continue reading The World’s Tea Industry: Fall 2021 Snaphots

Chamomile Tea: A Help for Sleep and Stress?

The news is impossible to ignore these days. While I wouldn't describe myself as much of a worrier normally, if I think about what's taking place outside my door, "sobering" doesn't even begin to describe it. "Terrifying" might be a more apt descriptor. Especially when my mind strays to all those dedicated health care workers, to … Continue reading Chamomile Tea: A Help for Sleep and Stress?

Wagashi, A Beautiful Accompaniment to Tea

Wagashi are theoretically traditional Japanese confections but in practice they are as much art as food. Made for centuries, they were popularized during Japan's Edo period (1603–1868), when tea was coming into the country from China—and sugar was arriving from the Portuguese and Dutch. Because sweets pair well with bitter matcha, and the beauty of wagashi … Continue reading Wagashi, A Beautiful Accompaniment to Tea

Making Houjicha with Tea Grower and Tea Master Takatomo Katagi

Mr. Takatomo Katagi comes from a long line of tea growers in Japan's Asamiya region of the Shiga Prefecture. The seventh-generation head of Katagi Kokaen tea garden, Mr. Katagi is building on his family's legacy. Some forty years ago, his father converted the garden to organic production. As Mr. Katagi explains, "Unlike vegetables, tea leaves … Continue reading Making Houjicha with Tea Grower and Tea Master Takatomo Katagi

Colombian Tea

Colombia practically means coffee. Even the fictional coffee farmer, Juan Valdez—created in the 1950s for a campaign advertising pure Colombian coffee—has been a household name for decades! In coffee-growing countries, coffee reigns king. Costa Ricans, for example, scoff at decaffeinated coffee, while visitors are reminded at every turn of the brew's importance. Colombia tea, therefore, … Continue reading Colombian Tea

Old Tree Bancha Tea Contains the WHOLE Tree!

Old Tree Bancha. Does that mean bancha made of leaves from ancient tea plants (good)? Or bancha that's been sitting around awhile (bad)? Actually, neither. I had never heard of this tea until Lisa of TeaHaus told me about it after touring Japan's tea gardens in Shiga Prefecture back in 2018, having been invited by … Continue reading Old Tree Bancha Tea Contains the WHOLE Tree!

Frozen Black Tea—A Rarity Produced from Frostbitten Tea Leaves

You've heard of ice wine, right? That super concentrated dessert wine made from ripe grapes that were allowed to freeze while still on the vines and then quickly handpicked during the night so that they never thawed? Because the water within each grape freezes but the sugars don't, the grape dehydrates and you end up … Continue reading Frozen Black Tea—A Rarity Produced from Frostbitten Tea Leaves

Blueberry Leaves Abound with Flavor and Antioxidants

It's well known that blueberries—loaded with antioxidants and nutrients—are particularly good for you. But what about their leaves? One study indicates that blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry leaves contain more antioxidants than the berries! Granted, I don't know if this would be true outside a lab setting, or if you'd have to eat the leaves rather … Continue reading Blueberry Leaves Abound with Flavor and Antioxidants

Soothing Illness with Tea

As we head into flu and cold season, tea is always there to make you feel better! To learn more, check out Prevention's article featuring Lisa McDonald, tea sommelier and owner of TeaHaus in Ann Arbor, Michigan: The 6 Best Teas to Soothe Your Sore Throat And for even more tea suggestions and info, see these … Continue reading Soothing Illness with Tea

Pairing Tea with Chocolate: A Heavenly Match!

Chocolate and tea. They form the base of my food pyramid—hey, they both arguably offer health benefits! And paired? Well, that's just another name for perfection. Because the right pairing of chocolate and tea will bring out incredibly delicious nuances of both. But you do want to use high-quality loose leaf tea and high-quality chocolate … Continue reading Pairing Tea with Chocolate: A Heavenly Match!