What better way to test out a new brand of British tea than to pit it against a long-time favorite and champion of British blends.
There is definitely a place in the industry for tea bag teas. To those who say that tea bag tea is disgusting and undrinkable, we say – expand your palate. If you were a wine drinker and only drank expensive bottles every night then you would never really know if you have it good. Drinking ordinary table wine allows you to really
appreciate a great top-class wine. It’s the same way with tea. There are plenty of drinkable teas out there packaged up in tea bags and drinking them will help you appreciate the subtle qualities of a good oolong, or a fresh Darjeeling. Here, in America, when it comes to standard, blended brands, we are limited. However, in Britain, the blended brands are plentiful.
We are taking the old and trusted PG Tips, and pitting it against a new underdog brand, Make Mine a Builder’s. In the process, we are going to learn a little something about tea from our British friends across the pond. Namely, that blended tea brands are more sophisticated and complex than many people realize.
PG Tips is manufactured by Unilever UK. While Unilever has many brands it’s known to be the largest multinational tea company in the world. PG Tips was initially introduced in the 1930’s under a different name; the PG Tips name was adopted in the early 1950’s. PG is a popular English Breakfast-style
|Make Mine a Builder’s
Builder’s was put together by the marketing firm Elmwood Designs in 2007. The founder’s attended Interbuild, a large annual conference for builders and contractors were they held a tea tasting. The goal was to bring back the Great British Cuppa. The blend they came away with was branded Make Mine a Builder’s.
Keep reading to find out who wins!
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
Put the kettle on!
Grab your teacup, turn up the volume and listen to these great songs.
This music compilation features some more great songs of 2009 including a modern retrospective by some artists we’ve listened to for years.
We kick it off with Yo La Tengo and Spoon. They are followed by M. Ward, Great Lake Swimmers and Pete Yorn (and actress Scarlett Johannson) with a set of modern Americana rock. Death Cab for Cutie leads off an alt set which includes trance-master Moby followed by the Fleet Foxes. The Monsters of Folk and Jason Isbell (formerly of the Drive-by Truckers) rock us out before we reach back a few years for a set of awesome indie tracks by The Republic Tigers, Bon Iver, and Arcade Fire.
This sets us up for our look back to some great artists of the last 20 years with some new songs released in 2009. Dolores O’riordan starts it out before Zee Avi covers one of Morrissey’s hits, which, of course sets us up for the Moz himself as he Throws his arms around Paris. Legacy band Echo and the Bunnymen also released a new album in 2009, and their style is as relevant as it was back in 1984. We finish up with a great song by Modest Mouse and British supertalent Bat for Lashes. Click through to start the music
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
Winston Churchill is probably the most famous man in modern British history. His powerful oratory helped hold the spirit of a nation together at a time when all seemed lost. He is a hero of almost indescribable magnitude, but also a scone-gobbling thief…
He is famous for clever quotes like this, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
But what happens when he travels into the country to visit an old school mate? During tea he is introduced to a young girl who is in the employ of his friend, Lord Cavendish. She helps tend the gardens around the castle. The young girl says something to him that fires up his oratory and becomes part of what is now remembered as a powerful, influential and inspiring speech.
Who was that girl? What did she say during tea that day? Click through to find out
When two competing companies make a similar blend, it is an invitation for them to be compared. We set out to compare the differences between two coconut pouchongs; one from Adagio Teas
and one from Golden Moon Tea
. The Golden Moon pouchong was awarded Best Tea at the 2007 World Tea Expo. We wanted to see if it lived up to hype.
Click any image to enlarge
Click through for the details
The Euphrates River. Just being there—seeing it, listening to it, smelling it—seemed to have biblical implications. How many foreign invaders saw the river that way? A soldier, sitting on top of an armored vehicle. The sun setting on the horizon. A long, hot and uncertain day coming to an end with another warm night about to begin. It was something as simple as a cup of tea that made it bearable.
There had been a riot in town earlier in the day. The soldiers drove right through it — or, at least tried to. There was much shouting, anger, and resentment in the air. There were hundreds, probably thousands of people yelling and chanting. This was the very first American visit into the city, in war with an uncertain future; a visit that was apparently not welcome. The convoy slowed to a halt in the middle of the mass of humanity surrounding it. The soldiers glanced around nervously, wondering what they were going to do next.
The crowd acted first. They threw sandals; lots of them. It seemed like a thousand people simultaneously pulled the shoes from their own feet and hurled them through the air in defiant protest. Soldiers ducked down inside their vehicles because they threw rocks too.
Shoes? Are they really throwing shoes at us? A riot, a soldier, and tea in an uncommon place