Passionate about Iced Passionfruit Tea!

Passionfruit may evoke a steamy romance in the sultry tropics, but that would be totally off base. In fact, the fruit may actually tranquilize rather than excite: The pulp, leaves, and flowers of the passion fruit has been long used as a sedative by South American Indians and is noted for its calming effect. (AIHDP) … Continue reading Passionate about Iced Passionfruit Tea!

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

Tea Cocktails, Part 4: Paired with Food

So finally I'm getting to the good stuff, the actual tea cocktails! Phil of Mammoth Distilling and Lisa of TeaHaus concocted five fantastic cocktails, all including tea. These drinks were first introduced at Mammoth's Traverse City location, at a TeaHaus Takeover event. A tasting at TeaHaus followed, with light food paired to each cocktail—and tea … Continue reading Tea Cocktails, Part 4: Paired with Food

Tea Cocktails, Part 3: Aging the Alcohol

For most of us, aging is not something that we happily embrace. For many liquors, however, aging and maturation are not only required—they're transformative, creating something fine, valuable, even rare. And as with all the previous steps I've looked at in the alcohol producing and distillation processes, aging and maturation are both science and art. … Continue reading Tea Cocktails, Part 3: Aging the Alcohol

Tea Cocktails, Part 2: Producing the Alcohol

The more you know about something, chances are the more you appreciate it. For me, I've never been much for distilled liquors, generally preferring a glass of wine. However, after watching Phil of Mammoth Distilling and Lisa of TeaHaus concoct incredible tea cocktails (see Part 1 for intro) and then having a tour of Mammoth Distilling, I've … Continue reading Tea Cocktails, Part 2: Producing the Alcohol

Tea Cocktails, Part 1: The Blending

Follow the recipe? Or make it up as you go? When I find, for instance, a recipe that results in a killer cake, I can happily make it forever with little change. Why mess it up? But this sort of mindset doesn't advance culinary innovation. And it also runs counter to our own human nature. As Professor … Continue reading Tea Cocktails, Part 1: The Blending

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