Seven Steps to Making Good Tea

At the conclusion of my lectures, I am often asked, "Can I heat my tea water in a microwave?"  The straight answer is "yes."  However, my question to the inquirer is, "Will the use of a microwave add to your sense of ritual?" Most tea professionals will forego a microwave in favor of a proper…

The Tea Things of Jane Austen

  What tea did Jane Austen drink? And what role did tea play in her novels?This Regency period writer often used tea as a literary tool to bring the sexes together, and the term tea things was frequently employed to set the stage for conversation. In Sense and Sensibility, Elinor attends a social gathering at…

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…

What Is the Perfect Morning Tea?

Fans of Downton Abbey may be fascinated—and a bit envious—of the Crawley daughters' morning ritual of awakening to a tray of hot tea placed upon their recumbent laps by their ladies' maids. I suspect the grand estate house was quite drafty; consequently, more than a few cups of hot tea were consumed before the pampered…

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…