The argument about the best method for brewing tea is a big one. Opinions vary from each person to the next and techniques are as varied as there are types of tea. Hardware innovations in tea brewing don’t happen very often, though every now and then a new gadget pops up on the market promising a better way to brew tea.
However, there is a modern way to brew tea – one that is better than anything that has come out in recent memory. We say modern only because it is a method that is just over a hundred years old. Compared to yixing pots, that’s practically a baby…
As a tool or method for brewing and rebrewing tea, it doesn’t get much better than the French Press. Originally created for coffee, it has since found its way into the tea world as way to brew, enjoy, and savor the agony of the leaf.
Like many things with tea, there is a secret to using it and it is easy to get it wrong.
There are a lot of rules for tea – there are probably more rules for tea preparation than any other drink. Even George Orwell published an essay about brewing tea – eleven rules for tea. There are fewer commandments in the Bible…
Here at Leafbox Tea, we are no different. We are currently writing an ebook about tea. Turns out, that you can’t write a book about tea without putting in brewing instructions. So, we set out to find out what the rules really are.
That’s twelve rules so far, there are a lot more. Generally though, the rules are not much more than quaint cultural holdovers which express the tastes of the people, businesses, institutions and cultures which write them.Click through to break the rules with us…
We are: A very large tea company with small garden values. Small values in a garden, really.
We seek: Happy people, but this isn’t Disneyland. You’re not dead in paradise yet, so we’ll just settle for “people.”
Residency: Preferably from some former colony; because that means you’re not doing so well now.
Suitable candidates: We like Tamils from Sri Lanka, and lower caste Indians. Impoverished pluckers from Japan and China are quite acceptable. Model tea pickers from Africa? We could use some more. White skinned natives need not apply at all. Not that we think you would. Click through to see more qualifications
“Tea brings people together. Tea makes harmony and brings resolution. Tea brings peace.” – Joshua Kaiser @rishitea
Mr Kaiser’s upbeat statement during the September airing of Samovar’s Tea Mavericks of America was an inspiring comment, an affirmation of tea’s blessed, and inherently good nature. It was also simple psychobabble. Flower power ramble. The assertion that tea makes harmony is both idealistic, and unfounded. Resolutions may, or may not be achieved, but they are not due to the tea. Tea can bring people together, but any drink can make that claim. Remember the Diet Coke commercial, with all the women gathered at the office window to oggle the hunk? Not a tea cup in sight.
Anything can bring people together, anything can tear them apart. To state that by definition tea creates harmony, implies that you do not understand your tea. This drink does not need a pretty label attached to make it palatable. Tea is neither to laude, nor to blame for socialization. Gathering is simply the by-product of the social act of drinking, not the tea itself. Peace and harmony? Read more…
Recently, in late August, Michael Coffey, the Tea Geek, published a criticism to the legacy of Anna Russell (1783-1857), Duchess of Bedford and Marchioness of Tavistock. According to legend, Anna is given credit for “inventing afternoon tea”. More specifically, the ritual, dress, manner and occasion of the event is often credited to Anna. Mr. Coffey coins the excellent term, Bedford Orthodoxy, as a phrase used to describe the ritual and decoration of a traditional afternoon tea.
In his well argued post, Mr. Coffey states: “…it certainly seems a stretch to say that the ritual was invented by Anna Russell.”
Of course, we think he’s lost the plot and that his assault on Anna is rather scandalous.
When Gary, Kevin and Jesse get together to taste tea and wine the result is an interesting mix of humor, intelligent discourse, and fascinating instruction. The trio met up at Jesse’s, Samovar Tea, to taste tea, wine and share their passions about each. The below video is nearly 80 minutes long, but is filled with excellent information. There are lengthy discussions about tasting wine and the similarities when it comes to tasting tea. Gary, in his usual laid-back style, makes it accessible and understandable. Jesse and Kevin bring a great combination of personal and professional knowledge about tea, tea brewing and tea cultures.
Grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy as these three men take us through the internet’s first combined tea and wine tasting!
Steven Smith is an iconic figure in the American tea industry. In 1972 he co-founded Stash Tea Company, nurturing it into becoming one of America’s most recognized tea brands. After selling the company over 20 years later, he moved on to form Tazo Tea. Within a few years, Tazo was acquired by Starbucks and became the premium brand of teas available in Starbucks stores worldwide. Smith continued to develop the Tazo Tea brand and line of teas until 2006.
Now, after a few years living in Avignon, France, Mr. Smith is back in America blending teas under his own name. Bringing with him over 35 years of expert tea-blending experience. The Steven Smith Teamaker brand represents the culmination of decades of blending and creating teas for American tea drinkers
Smith’s teas are exceptional, every ingredient in the tea can be traced back to the source by the consumer. Each box is printed with a unique code, which can be entered at Smith’s website to learn the origin of each of his special and high-quality ingredients.
Smith’s skill at creating excellent teas and premium brands is unmatched in the American tea industry.