Category Archives: Editorials

Four ounces of tea, is that enough for you?

We went down to our Local Tea Shop (LTS), the other week. The gracious owner of the shop chatted with us while she portioned out 4 ounces of Lover’s Leap, imported (fairly directly) from Sri Lanka. We took our purchase and returned home, brewed up a pot and decided that it made for a good cup of tea. So, we brewed up another pot when the first one was finished. A few days later, Jackie looked into the the little paper sack from the LTS and found that it was down to dregs and crumbs. Little flecks of tea, shaking about at the bottom of the bag practically shouting out to us, “I’m sorry, but you’ll need to buy some more.”

Four ounces of loose tea. It has become the standard in America. It is the most advertised quantity of tea found on the internet. The Europeans do it too, with their 100 grams. 100 grams actually works out to just over 3.5 ounces. Of course, it makes sense to even out that number, so the American tea industry rounded it up to four ounces.  Four ounces is actually equal to 113.4 grams.

Is that four ounces of tea enough for you? Is the industry standard of four ounces of loose tea a fair and useful quantity? Click through to keep reading

Tips for traveling with tea

Mariage Frères Tea Salon - Photo by madhtrk @ FlickrImagine this: You are in the middle of an amazing European tour. The first several days were spent in Paris, visiting some of the famous tea salons you’ve heard so much about. The tea museum at  Mariage Frères was breathtaking.

But now, with a dozen cups of fantastic tea behind you, you’ve entered Italy where there’s plenty of  coffee to be found but not a decent cup of tea anywhere.

While most of your trips might not involve traveling on such an epic scale, chances are, if you’re a tea drinker, you often feel a little bit left out in the cold, wanting something hot to drink. Supporting your tea habit, even on a short trip, can often be a little frustrating. Whether it’s a grand European adventure, a long drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, or just another business trip on a busy convention weekend, getting a good cup of tea while on the road is often a do-it-yourself operation.

View from Pacific Coast Highway - South of Monterey, California - Photo by DarkFokus @ FliickrAfter spending hours jammed into an airplane, car, bus or train (or for some, perched on the back of a motorcycle), settling in at the hotel after a day of traveling often leaves you wanting for an afternoon cup. There are ways to make it happen, but usually, especially in America, you have to bring it with you.

American tea guru, James Norwood Pratt has said that, for travelers, tea bags are “the first line of self-defense,” used in emergencies and when in dire need. However, while you can certainly get a decent cup of tea from a tea bag, there is a better way.

Even when on the road, you can have your great cup of Ceylon, Darjeeling, or whatever you fancy, brewed up from your own personal stash of tea. Keep reading about traveling and tea

Two reasons why tea is for busy people

Tea is for work. Forget all the people who say tea is just for relaxing and only there to help clear your mind. To define tea that way, and to limit tea like that is nonsense. Far more people probably drink tea in the middle of their work day, or while doing household chores. A lot of people don’t even take a tea break to do it. They boil up some water, toss in some leaves and pour. Then, of course they hope to make it back to the pot in time to retrieve them – assuming they even remember.

How many pots or cups of tea have been ruined by hard-working folks deep in the middle of cleaning, writing, fixing, making, or just doing?

There is a lot of marketing hype out there about the relaxing nature of tea drinking. Though tea drinking certainly can be calming, the truth is, few people have time to sit back with their cuppa and put their feet up while listening to soft tunes on their iPod. Yes, it’s awesome to do that, but how often does that happen? And are those the only times you really drink tea?

Like so many others, you probably work hard every day – maybe even on weekends. Bosses, families, friends, everyone has things to do for somebody, and not enough time to get it done. Relaxation is often the last thing people ever get to do. More often than not, you are tired, but keep working, or you’re distracted and you keep going. You may even be thirsty and force yourself to wait for a chance to drink. For many hard-working people, tea really has less to do with taking a break, and more to do with staying hydrated so you can just keep getting things done. Keep reading to learn why tea keeps you going

Are you getting the best value with your tea?

There is a Holy Grail for the tea industry, but it isn’t what you think it is.

Some folks in the tea industry say that in order for tea to get the recognition it deserves someone is going to have to become the Starbucks of Tea. Believe it or not, it’s a phrase that is tossed around in trade journals and at trade shows. A shop on every corner, in every town across America. Each one situated across from your friendly, but aging, Starbucks store in a true standoff of American brands.

The American message about tea will be revitalized and modern. Images of wrinklies, china cups and Zen enlightenment will be buried. The image of tea will be updated and everyone will be stopping off for a cup. There will be glitz and glamour, and somebody is going to make a hell of a lot of money. All for the benefit of the American consumer.

It will be a great day for tea drinkers and for American industry. A new, shiny brand, selling a wonderful product that deserves the limelight after so many years in the shadows. It will be proof of American ingenuity and perseverance. It is the future of American tea, the story of how one small company took advantage of a growing demand for tea and took on a global giant in true, underdog fashion. It will be talked about in business schools for decades.

But what does it really mean? Only more overpriced tea. Just like it is now, some things will never change.

The Holy Grail of tea is far more mundane and far more boring.
Click through to learn more

Are you getting enough sex with your tea?

couple flirting close

Drinking tea just for the health benefits is like having sex just for the exercise.

There is something about tea that sometimes inspires one to think about sex. Perhaps it’s the hot, steaming liquid, or the sensuous, complex flavors that bathe the tongue and slip down your throat. Maybe it’s the aromatic smell of the tea – firing up your senses as the natural and earthy scents reach your nose, unconsciously turning on more primal urges. Maybe it’s the elemental nature, the combination of earth, fire and water captured in a cup in that you hold in your hand, close to your face. It might be the steam, wafting over your cheeks, warming and moistening your skin. Maybe it’s not the tea at all.
Click through to learn more about what moves you

What does tea advertising say to you?

Twinings Tea commercial with Stephen Fry

Do you really understand how advertising is supposed to work? Sure, the goal of advertising is to get you to buy someone’s product, but it does this by letting you know that companies care about you, the consumer. While all good companies care about their customers, having a good product is not often enough. Showing that interest by creating and producing entertaining, creative, and innovative advertising is the one thing that really allows consumers to connect with the companies they buy from. Keep reading and see more funny and entertaining tea commercials…

Do you worship your tea?

Nirvana, Zen, and inner peace. Meditating monks, Chinese calligraphy, and lots of green leaves everywhere. That’s the world you enter when you drink tea. At least according to many of the advertisements. It seems that someone, somewhere figures that “waffle wisdom” sells tea.

Drink tea and your mind shall grow big and strong

Drink tea and sip the spirit

Drink tea and you shall be on a journey to…

Where exactly?

Guess someone doesn’t think highly of us tea drinkers. Simpletons that we are, we require a large dose of soul booster to nudge us along. Seems that our souls need lots of improvement and wisdom. If your philosophical compass is that far off, brewing up a cuppa isn’t going to do the trick. Warning: You will not enter the third realm with just tea leaves in the pot. You’re drinking tea, maybe some very fine tea, but thou shalt be no smarter than before you fired up the kettle. And your kitchen is no haven of pious purification. Heck, it might even need a bit of a clean.

All this mystification of tea, smacks of esoteric nonsense.

Is your tea really magical? Read more to find out…

If you can’t stand the heat, should you really make tea?

I love tea, I truly do. I never drink coffee, and I don’t see why my fellow people do. Non-the-less my friends love their pungent brown beans, so when we get together, that’s what they drink. That’s fine by me; it inspired the creation of this much finer web site.

Today was another coffee-morning get-together. With my one cup of tea. The company was lovely but the tea was lousy. Same as always of course. Here’s how is usually goes…

We’re at someone’s house. Friends and I all sitting ’round the table. Friends going to have coffee, I’m going to be served ‘tea’. I’m given my cup and the heated kettle – but as yet no tea.

Kettle, cup and I wait, even more time goes by. Friends keep chatting, then hostess remembers my drink. Voila, out comes a tea bag. If I’m lucky it’s not herbal, no grass with water for me. So, bag in cup, we’re still pining for the kettle. Water’s lukewarm by now, no need for an ambulance should it spill.

Finally, poured in my cup, the water turns palest brown. There’s the dark blob of the bag, and some lightly stained aqua. No way will the two really mix. The water’s too cool, the bag never once stood a chance. I let it steep as long as I can, but I don’t like my tea arctic cold. When there’s truly no life in the feeble sack, I abandon it on my plate. I pick up my cup and peer inside. Staring back at me, is the weakest of sickly teas. I should feel sorry for it’s unhappy state, but it’s me I’m thinking about. And I’m the poor sod to drink it. Sip, by hesitant sip. Close my eyes and think of better days.

“How’s the tea today?”

“Absolutely foul my dear, every little drop. Like slurping on cold puddle soup.”

Except you’d never hear me say that. Call me a coward, but I love my friends. Just truly don’t like their tea. Click through to continue reading…

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