Monthly Archives: December 2009

History Channel Tea Documentary

In December of 2006, History Channel broadcast this excellent and well-produced, 45-minute documentary on the history of tea and the American tea industry. For those of you who missed it or would like to see it again; we are making it available here via Hulu.

Click through for links and details about the people and companies featured in the video

Tea needs a soundtrack: Volume 2

Put the kettle on!

Grab your teacup, turn up the volume and listen to these great songs.

This music compilation features some of the best new music released in 2009. We kick it off with New Zealand’s comedy duo the Flight of the Conchords, stars of the hilarious hit television series of the same name. Rodrigo and Gabriela show off with a rocking Mexican guitar instrumental.

We have Irish/Czech duo The Swell Season with one of their hit singles from this year. Julian Casablancas starts a set of music with some 80’s inspired dance pop, followed by the newest single from super-band Depeche Mode, while Fiction Family is here channelling their inner Cure. Animal Collective plays some of their incredible experimental music followed by indie band Nickel Eye.

The Wicked Devil remix of Cage the Elephant’s hit Ain’t no rest for the wicked shows up. We also feature two of the best female artists of the year, sweet-voiced Lisa Hannigan and Grammy-nominated Neko Case. The Decemberists present a track from their rock opera The Hazards of Love and the Grammy-nominated Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs set us up for a polished finish by the highly-talented, high priest of all modern music, Matisyahu.

Click through to listen!

The Kinks – Have a cuppa tea

The Kinks were a British rock band formed in 1964 in Muswell Hill, London. They formed part of the British music invasion of the United States. The two founders, brothers Ray and Dave Davies stayed with the band for its entire duration of 32 years. In 1990, the original 4 members of the band – the Davies brothers, Pete Quaife and Nick Avory, were inducted into the Rock and Roll and Hall of fame. This song, “Have a cuppa tea”, released in 1971 on The Kinks Muswell Hillbillies album proclaims about tea that, “It’s a cure for tonsilitis and for water on the knee.” and “Tea knows no segregation, no class nor pedigree; It knows no motivations, no sect or organisation.”

Do you worship your tea?

Nirvana, Zen, and inner peace. Meditating monks, Chinese calligraphy, and lots of green leaves everywhere. That’s the world you enter when you drink tea. At least according to many of the advertisements. It seems that someone, somewhere figures that “waffle wisdom” sells tea.

Drink tea and your mind shall grow big and strong

Drink tea and sip the spirit

Drink tea and you shall be on a journey to…

Where exactly?

Guess someone doesn’t think highly of us tea drinkers. Simpletons that we are, we require a large dose of soul booster to nudge us along. Seems that our souls need lots of improvement and wisdom. If your philosophical compass is that far off, brewing up a cuppa isn’t going to do the trick. Warning: You will not enter the third realm with just tea leaves in the pot. You’re drinking tea, maybe some very fine tea, but thou shalt be no smarter than before you fired up the kettle. And your kitchen is no haven of pious purification. Heck, it might even need a bit of a clean.

All this mystification of tea, smacks of esoteric nonsense.

Is your tea really magical? Read more to find out…

Saint-Raphaël, France

There is little left to say to somebody after you have just told them that you no longer feel any love.

She twisted a lock of her dark, curly hair around her finger and shifted in her seat. She did not know where to look; all she knew was, she did not want to look at him. He was sitting opposite her, she sensed he was reaching for a cigarette in his jacket pocket again. She heard the rustling of the plastic wrapping, as he tore open yet a new packet.

“You smoke too much,” she muttered, for lack of anything else to say. She still did not want to catch his gaze.

“Eh, merde, what’s it to you?”
Tea and the end of love? Read more…

George Orwell – Eleven Rules for Tea

IF YOU look up ‘tea’ in the first cookery book that comes to hand you will probably find that it is unmentioned; or at most you will find a few lines of sketchy instructions which give no ruling on several of the most important points. This is curious, not only because tea is one of the main stays of civilization in this country, as well as in Eire, Australia and New Zealand, but because the best manner of making it is the subject of violent disputes.

When I look through my own recipe for the perfect cup of tea, I find no fewer than eleven outstanding points. On perhaps two of them there would be pretty general agreement, but at least four others are acutely controversial. Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden: Continue reading Orwell’s Eleven Rules for Tea

Art from the cafe walls, #1

Click to enlarge

Barcelona, early spring
They had first laid eyes on each other at the train station. Track 14. She had worn a close cut blue silk dress. He would never forget the dress. Nor her bare shoulders which he had wanted to touch before they had even spoken. She had looked at him, her dark eyes not letting him go. He had watched her board the train, as she slowly climbed the steps. He had stood still, unable to move.

“Not going north?” she asked, as she turned around.

Her lips, full and inviting had broken into a smile. It was at that moment, that all his plans had changed. He picked up his back pack and got on board.

click through to see what happens next

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