What Is a Dish of Tea?

It was a common occurrence in the Colonial era to receive an invitation to “share a dish of tea.” In 18th century Boston or Bath, a dish of tea referred to a teacup or tea bowl, containing black or green tea, placed on a saucer.

Look Deeply Into Your Cup of Tea

Plucking leaves in Guizhou China. May 21 is International Tea Day, a day when we believers in the communal cup of humanity gather to spread the good news of our favorite beverage. Teaists are all part of this colorful cult of tea that has simmered worldwide for over a thousand years. Although Westerners are new…

When Monkeys Picked Tea

I received a call a few years ago from an MTV staffer who was producing a story on "manly teas." He had been offered a monkey-picked oolong in a tea store. He was fascinated about this rare tea and thought it would be appealing for his male audience. "How do they train monkeys to pick…

Is Bottled Tea Actually Healthy?

You can't turn the aisle in the supermarket these days without running headlong into an endcap stocked with bottles of RTD (ready-to-drink) green tea.  Bottled tea is a $2.2 billion consumer market. As the popularity of these beverages continues to skyrocket, my customers ask if they are really getting the health benefits they expect. The…

Is Chinese Tea Safe To Drink?

I was in Shanghai between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, just as the first mention of a mysterious virus was beginning to appear in the news. I returned two weeks before travel from China was banned and I continue to stay in touch with Chinese industry officials as well as with importers here in America.…

Tea for Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was an early “foodie” and his great passion for food and drink included Chinese teas, both black and green.   According to the archives of Monticello, Jefferson’s financial records and correspondence show consistent purchases of tea and provide valuable information about the kinds and amounts of tea he and his family drank. The few…