Monkey-picked Tea Is the Stuff of Legends
It's More Than Tea
by Jill
5d ago
Literally. Monkey-picked tea IS the stuff of legends. And fanciful children’s books like Cloud Tea Monkeys, written by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham and richly illustrated by Juan Wijngaard. (The conceit definitely makes a winsome illustration!) So, several questions come to mind. Just what teas are purported to be harvested by monkeys, why would monkeys interrupt their own activities to pick tea leaves, and why do we still see teas advertised as picked by monkeys? The idea began in mountainous tea-growing regions in China. Even today, wild-grown tieguanyin oolong is sometimes called monkey-pic ..read more
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A Tea That Whispers of Warm Climes: Pomegranate Dragon Fruit
It's More Than Tea
by Jill
2w ago
Anything that contains dragon fruit evokes places far from Michigan. A distant shore, where warm salty waves lap white sand, overseen by graceful palm trees. Somewhere neither gray nor dreary. Pomegranate dragon fruit is a tea that can transport. With its sweet and fruity aroma, I can envision the sun’s warmth. The Tea This green aroma tea from TeaHaus contains lemon grass, kiwi, raspberry, and both green and white tea in addition to its namesake ingredients, pomegranate and dragon fruit. Brewing at 176°F for 2 minutes results in a golden-brown liquor that is not as sweet as its aroma. The fr ..read more
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Work Harder on National Hot Tea Day?
It's More Than Tea
by Jill
3w ago
According to my calendar, January 12 is not only National Hot Tea Day, but Work Harder Day as well! What the? Does anyone really need a work harder day—another reminder that whatever you’ve accomplished is not enough, an added weight to your guilt-ridden conscience that if you can just whip up a quick supper for your family you still might have time to throw in a few loads of laundry, pull out the rarely worn clothes in your closet and bag them up for donating, read bedtime stories to your kids, and get in a couple more hours on that report for your boss. Yeah no. Hot Tea Day should never app ..read more
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Tea For Dummies, Coming Your Way Soon!
It's More Than Tea
by Jill
1M ago
It’s a new year and it’s definitely time for me to return my attention to this blog. It’s not that I’ve taken a break from tea or from research, despite the absolute paucity of posts. Rather, back in the spring, Lisa, tea sommelier and owner of TeaHaus, was asked to submit a proposal for a Tea For Dummies book, part of Wiley Publishing’s Dummies series. We teamed up and did so—and then were honored to be asked to write the book. Sooo, Lisa and I went from never-seriously-considered-writing-a-book-about-tea to having written one! When you write a Dummies book, you’re given about six months; you ..read more
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Caffeine—and Tea—in the Stone Age
It's More Than Tea
by Jill
8M ago
It’s commonly said that we’ve used caffeine for centuries, including during the Stone Age, when caffeine-containing plants were chewed for their stimulatory effects. This being pre-history, however, do you ever wonder how we know? Well, archaeology often fills in when historical records don’t exist. Yes, there can be misinterpretations and over-interpretations, but sometimes the evidence seems particularly clear. For example, when you discover rows of plant roots mingled with broken pottery, it seems undeniable that humans were involved. Archaeologists made such a find at China’s Tianluo Mount ..read more
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Creamsicle Rooibos Inspires a Look at Frozen Treats
It's More Than Tea
by Jill
10M ago
Tea should be fun, and even though I’m generally not a fan of foods/beverages pretending to be something else, I have to say that Creamsicle tea is surprisingly like its namesake—you know, the summer treat with orange sherbet wrapped around vanilla ice cream—and surprisingly delicious, especially iced. In this case, I’m talking about a rooibos blend from TeaHaus. Naturally caffeine free, with negligible if any calories, this blend is ideal as an after-dinner treat, for children, for late-night sipping. Iced, its creamsicle flavor is accentuated, and it would be delicious frozen. The tea made ..read more
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Roasted Almond Fruit Tea, Dessert in a Cup
It's More Than Tea
by Jill
10M ago
Roasted Almond fruit tea (or more accurately, tisane) consistently ranks as one of the top ten best-selling teas at TeaHaus, with many raving about both its flavor and its stunning color in the cup. With a foundation of apples, red beets contribute additional sweetness along with color, while cinnamon adds spiciness and the almond pieces provide the signature flavor. Composed of only these ingredients, the tisane is naturally caffeine free, making this an ideal dessert beverage after an evening meal. Because make no mistake, this is definitely a dessert tea. I brewed a heaping teaspoon in 8 o ..read more
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A Tea with All the Flavors of Ukraine
It's More Than Tea
by Jill
11M ago
Tea can evoke many things: a memory, a tradition, the essence of a country. Just the words “English breakfast” immediately conjure up a complete picture of participants, setting, teapot, and type of tea. So too Слава Україні (Glory to Ukraine!), blended by tea sommelier Lisa of TeaHaus. When Lisa began blending this tea—a tribute to a country that holds deep meaning for her family—she selected ingredients that have special significance for Ukrainians. Wild Caucasus Mountain Black Tea For the base tea, Lisa decided on leaves that have been plucked from wild-growing tea shrubs in the country o ..read more
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Japanese Dragonware Teacup
It's More Than Tea
by Jill
11M ago
I hate it when a little research verifies that an item falls into souvenir status rather than art. I can never look at the item in quite the same way—proving that a degree of ignorance really can be bliss at times. Anyway, one such item was the geisha lithophane teacup that I looked at in my last post. Turns out, these teacups led me right to my next souvenir because lithophanes can be considered a type of moriage, a technique in which clay is layered so as to create a 3-D effect. To make a porcelain teacup lithophane, some areas of porcelain are thicker than others so that when the cup ..read more
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Japanese Lithophane Teacups
It's More Than Tea
by Jill
11M ago
At a yard sale decades ago, I picked up what I considered a rather exquisite tea set that had been made in Japan. I have now discovered that I evidently was the intended buyer, or at least someone like me, someone who is not Japanese. Having identified the set as hand-painted porcelain Satsuma ware, I learned that: This ware is in fact an export product specifically designed in the mid 19th century to cater to the western export market. The Japanese themselves had very little interest in this ware. (Nilsson 2022) On the other hand, this set being specifically Koshida (越田) as far as I can te ..read more
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