Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Top Ten Best Quotes About Drinking Tea

Throughout history, leaders, writers, and revolutionaries spoke about tea.  In fact, the beverage has long been the subject of admiration in the world.  Some literary tea drinkers included Ralph Waldo Emerson, A.A. Milne, and Agatha Christie.

Here are some famous thoughts about tea:

1. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”  C.S. Lewis

2. “Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea! How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea.”  Sydney Smith, A memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith

3. “Tea is the magic key to the vault where my brain is kept.”  Frances Hardinge

4. “I am in no way interested in immortality, but only in the taste of tea.” ― Lu T'ung

5. “Empty teacups gathered around her and dictionary pages fell at her feet.”  Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

6. “Tea is the elixir of life.”  Myoan Eisai, Kissa Yojoki How to Stay Healthy by Drinking Tea 

7. “The spirit of the tea beverage is one of peace, comfort and refinement."  Arthur Gray, Little Tea Book

8. “Wouldn't it be dreadful to live in a country where they didn't have tea?”  Noël Coward 

9. “Astonishing how tea opens the ears.”  Michelle Franklin

10. “Tea ... is a religion of the art of life.”  Kakuzō Okakura, The Book of Tea

If you were to sum up your experience drinking tea in one or two sentences, what would you say?  How do you describe a beloved beverage enjoyed by millions?  Would your musings inspire future generations of tea drinkers the way these quotes have?  You never know how passionate a tea lover is until they speak about their favorite drink.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Five Countries That Love Drinking Tea

Who doesn’t love tea?  Hot, cold, green or fruity, it’s the second most popular drink in the world for good reason.  Ever come in from the blustery cold and need to warm up quickly?  A cup of hot tea does the trick every time. 
Tea comforts.  It relaxes people.  It invites people to come into your home or business, sit down, and shoot the breeze for a while.  Best of all, tea comes in a variety of forms (iced, hot, cold, bagged or loose) and even more flavors.

When and how you drink tea tells a lot about your culture.  Although enjoyed everywhere, the following five countries drink more tea per capita than their neighbors.  Tea is customary in:
1. Turkey.  With 6.87 kg (242 oz.) of tea consumed per capita, is it any wonder why Turkey leads the pack of tea drinkers?  People admire the color of Turkish tea.  It comes in its own little clear tulip glass making it aesthetically pleasant as well as delicious.
2. Morocco.  Moroccans are serious consumers of tea.  They drink 4.34 kg (153 oz.) per capita.  Moroccan mint tea is so popular that it’s a sign of hospitality and served to guests.  They even have a special way of pouring it.  The ragwa method creates a foam on the top of the tea.
3. Ireland.  You may have heard of Irish coffee but Ireland natives also love their tea.  They drink 3.22 kg (114 oz.) per capita.  Called “tae” and pronounced “tay,” it’s often black and served hot with milk and sugar.
4. Mauritania.  Mauritanians drink 3.22 kg (114 oz.) per capita of tea.  It’s part of a ceremony.  Like Moroccan tea, the brew consists of a combination of green tea, sugar, and mint leaves.  It’s poured from high above to give it a foamy froth on top.  Some people like to add zrig, sweetened milk to their Mauritanian tea.
5. United Kingdom.  Britons drink tea throughout the day.  That’s what has led to their 2.74 kg (97 oz.) consumption rate.  The preferred drink is black tea.  It’s sometimes served with lemon or milk and sugar.  Britain is best known for Earl Grey and other breakfast blends.
Americans love their tea, too.  They consumed 80 billion servings, or 3.60 billon gallons, of tea in 2014.  Black tea was the most popular followed by green tea and then oolong, white, and dark tea.  According to the Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc., “The USA is the second largest importer of tea after Russia.”

Photo Courtesy of the Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Loose Leaf Tea: An Environmentally Conscious Beverage

The inventor of the K-Cup went on record recently to say that he feels bad about creating a product that produced enough trash in 2014 to circle the Earth 12 times.  John Sylvan, inventor of the iconic coffee pod, doesn’t own a Keurig machine because of the expense and amount of waste it creates.  It makes sense yet is ironic.  Sylvan collected $50,000 for the invention he now regrets.

Traditional brewing methods serve him well.  Sylvan states that it’s easy enough to put on a pot of coffee whenever he wants to drink a cup or two.  Perhaps, there’s a lesson to be learned here.  If it’s convenient, it seldom comes without consequences.  How can we forget the negative environment impact the Styrofoam cup made in the past century?
What if there was an environmentally-product that was equally delicious to drink?  If it was easy and convenient to prepare, wouldn’t that be of interest to you?  Loose leaf tea is a responsible option.  It comes with minimal packaging and allows the consumer to adjust serving sizes however they see fit. 

People drink tea out of reusable mugs and cups.  They prepare loose leaf tea by placing it in a tea infuser, steeping it in water, and throwing away or composting the wet tea leaves.  The mess is minimal and there’s very little waste to be bothered with.  It’s a win-win for everyone.  Tea biodegrades.  Those pesky plastic coffee cups do not.

With so many varieties of loose leaf teas to choose from, how can you go wrong?  Joining a tea club allows you to sample a variety of teas without commitment.  That way you pick and choose the flavors that suit your tastes.  You get to try a small amount of loose leaf tea and if you like it, you can order a larger package of it at a later date.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Five Festivals in the USA Where Tea is the Focus

Do people need a reason to celebrate tea?  The delicious beverage tops the list as the world’s second most favorite drink.  Cities in the USA make tea the focus.  It may be for a week or a weekend but the festivals focus on all aspects of tea including growing it, selecting it, and drinking it.

Love tea?  Then you’ll want to add the following to your Bucket List:

1.  New York City’s Annual Coffee & Tea Festival.  Celebrating two of America’s favorite beverages, coffee and tea, the annual festival housed in a 28,000 square foot exhibit hall offers fun for the whole family.  People learn about coffee and tea, take part in tastings and pairings, and listen to industry pros and pioneers speak.  With over 60+ exhibitors and 100+ tastings to try, the festival remains one of the “10 Best New York Events” for a reason.

Photo Courtesy of CoffeeandTeaFestival.com

2. Charleston Tea Plantation’s (Bigelow) Annual First Flush Festeaval.  Offering a star-studded line-up of big name artists like Sheryl Crow, the First Flush Festeaval showcases Charleston Tea Plantation teas in all their glory.  Known as “American’s Only Tea Garden,” the festival draws a large crowd each year.

3. World Tea Expo.  Held in different locations throughout the country, the World Tea Expo is a tradeshow and conference based on premium teas and related products.  It consists of two days of pre-conference programs as well as two days of conference and expo.  The focus of the festival is buying, selling, and learning about tea.

4. Boulder’s Annual Rocky Mountain Tea Festival.  Learn about tea, taste some of the best varieties available, attend a tea dinner, and purchase your favorite blends at the annual Tea Festival.  Bring the family along and take the kids to a children’s tea party.  They’re never too young to enjoy one of nature’s most prized gifts-tea!

5.  Seattle’s Northwest Tea Festival.  Sample some of the finest teas available.  Attend presentations and learn more about the historical and scientific aspects of your favorite beverage.  Purchase tea and tea ware from vendors.  Learn how to make the perfect scone.  Soak up all the information available about tea from tea experts, sellers, and presenters.

The next time you’re planning a vacation or weekend getaway, check to see if the destination you’re traveling to hosts a tea festival.  Learn more about the different types of tea available, the growing and brewing process, and recipes made from tea.  You’ll be wiser and better equipped when choosing hot, cold, bagged or loose leaf tea for you and your family to enjoy going forward.