Category Archives: Editorials

The best modern method for brewing tea

French Press for teaThe argument about the best method for brewing tea is a big one. Opinions vary from each person to the next and techniques are as varied as there are types of tea. Hardware innovations in tea brewing don’t happen very often, though every now and then a new gadget pops up on the market promising a better way to brew tea.

However, there is a modern way to brew tea – one that is better than anything that has come out in recent memory. We say modern only because it is a method that is just over a hundred years old. Compared to yixing pots, that’s practically a baby…

As a tool or method for brewing and rebrewing tea, it doesn’t get much better than the French Press. Originally created for coffee, it has since found its way into the tea world as way to brew, enjoy, and savor the agony of the leaf.

Like many things with tea, there is a secret to using it and it is easy to get it wrong.

> Click through to find out the secret of using a French Press for tea

What is a good price for tea? What’s your number?

This morning, Jackie had a brief conversation with Adagio Tea’s brick-and-mortar retail guru, Charles Cain, via Twitter. It started with a simple question posed by Charles about at what price does tea become expensive. It’s a good question and, in our opinion, really gets to the heart of the matter when it comes to challenges that the tea industry needs to overcome. The question itself speaks to the primary factors that are holding back that great Tea Revolution we’ve heard so much about and it all comes down to two things – price and availability.

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Click here to read the conversation with Charles Cain and learn more about what we think

An unapologetic ode to tea…

ode to teaThree mugs of tea into the day and enlightenment finally sets in. I’ve been wondering what to write about and my thoughts turned to my relationship with tea. Yes, we all know I love it. Of course I do, or I wouldn’t be devoting all this time to writing about it, and building a whole web site dedicated to it. So, yep my loyalties to the fine leaves have been tried and tested.

Tea and I have a very special thing going and I know that. In fact, we’ve clearly hit the stage many long-term relationships are said to reach. I am 100% dedicated to this drink. I am absolutely loyal to this drink. However, I am not infatuated. I love tea, but I don’t think about it every minute of the waking day. I don’t revere it, and I don’t put it on a pedestal. I don’t spend hours gazing at it in a glass pot. I make it, I drink it and I truly enjoy it. Simple.

I know what I have with my tea. There aren’t many mysteries between us. I know what I get when I sip. I know how to make it beautifully. I know how to bring out the best of the leaves. But I’m not obsessed. Passionate, certainly – because for me there is no other. Keep reading Jackie’s ode to tea…

The best rules for tea

There are a lot of rules for tea – there are probably more rules for tea preparation than any other drink. Even George Orwell published an essay about brewing tea – eleven rules for tea. There are fewer commandments in the Bible…

Here at Leafbox Tea, we are no different. We are currently writing an ebook about tea. Turns out, that you can’t write a book about tea without putting in brewing instructions. So, we set out to find out what the rules really are.

That’s twelve rules so far, there are a lot more. Generally though, the rules are not much more than quaint cultural holdovers which express the tastes of the people,  businesses, institutions and cultures which write them. Click through to break the rules with us…

Help wanted

Tea pickers wanted for modeling jobs &

promo photo shoots!

Lipton tea tin

We are: A very large tea company with small garden values. Small values in a garden, really.

We seek: Happy people, but this isn’t Disneyland. You’re not dead in paradise yet, so we’ll just settle for “people.”

Residency: Preferably from some former colony; because that means you’re not doing so well now.

Suitable candidates: We like Tamils from Sri Lanka, and lower caste Indians. Impoverished pluckers from Japan and China are quite acceptable. Model tea pickers from Africa? We could use some more. White skinned natives need not apply at all. Not that we think you would. Click through to see more qualifications

Tea: Harmony or dissonance?

Joshua Kaiser Rishi Tea“Tea brings people together. Tea makes harmony and brings resolution. Tea brings peace.” – Joshua Kaiser @rishitea

Mr Kaiser’s upbeat statement during the September airing of Samovar’s Tea Mavericks of America was an inspiring comment, an affirmation of tea’s blessed, and inherently good nature. It was also simple psychobabble. Flower power ramble. The assertion that tea makes harmony is both idealistic, and unfounded.  Resolutions may, or may not be achieved, but they are not due to the tea.  Tea can bring people together, but any drink can make that claim. Remember the Diet Coke commercial, with all the women gathered at the office window to oggle the hunk? Not a tea cup in sight.

Anything can bring people together, anything can tear them apart. To state that by definition tea creates harmony, implies that you do not understand your tea. This drink does not need a pretty label attached to make it palatable. Tea is neither to laude, nor to blame for socialization. Gathering is simply the by-product of the social act of drinking, not the tea itself. Peace and harmony? Read more…

On Tea and Chocolate

Chocolate and tea, a great combinationChocolate goes well with many things – like red wine, and yes, even coffee. But tea is sometimes a forgotten complement when it comes to chocolate. Tea with chocolate is something truly exceptional and not often talked about. Taking a moment to sit down with a cup of tea only gets better with a small piece of good chocolate nearby. When it comes to simple things that we can do everyday that are full of pleasure – chocolate and tea is one of the greatest imaginable. A bite of chocolate and a sip of hot tea is all it takes to create a warm, rich and flavorful sensation in your mouth. It’s a flavor combination that cannot be matched by any other food pairing. And yet, it is so often overlooked despite it’s accessibility.

Tea and ChocolateCombining tea and something sweet is a fairly common thing to do. Cakes, cookies, or baked goods in general easily fit the bill. But chocolate is category by itself. Rich, creamy milk chocolate fortifies that cup of tea into being more than it is alone. It could even be argued that drinking tea while eating chocolate gives you all the nourishment you need to start your day. Add a little milk to your tea and the combination gives you the makings of a morning meal. Click through to read more about tea and chocolate

Reasons to love and hate luxury tea

Luxury tea. No, we aren’t talking about most of the loose teas you buy…and we definitely aren’t talking about tea bags.  Don’t be fooled by the little pyramid bags either that claim to be the best tea around.  For those, you are paying far more for the packaging than you are for the tea.

Luxury, high-quality tea is a market that is more accessible than luxury wine, clothes, TVs, cars and homes. You can get really great tea for far less than it costs to get a really great watch. Even at the high-end level, tea is still expensive. However, it can be sold in small amounts, making it accessible if you can find it. An ounce of really good tea can often be purchased for a reasonable sum.

How often do you branch out and buy tea that is reputed to be of very high-quality?

There are a lot teas and terms out there that get hyped as fine tea, often with names you might barely understand. Oolongs, ti kwan yins, prized Yunnans, roasted dong dings from Taiwan, white tea from Darjeeling, senchas and genmaichas from Japan (the latter started as a poor man’s tea). Of each type, there can be found great ones and ordinary ones. Click through to read more about appreciating great tea

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