Monthly Archives: September 2010

Understanding Anna

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.

Keep reading to learn more about Anna Russell and afternoon tea

Reasons to love and hate luxury tea

Luxury tea. No, we aren’t talking about most of the loose teas you buy…and we definitely aren’t talking about tea bags.  Don’t be fooled by the little pyramid bags either that claim to be the best tea around.  For those, you are paying far more for the packaging than you are for the tea.

Luxury, high-quality tea is a market that is more accessible than luxury wine, clothes, TVs, cars and homes. You can get really great tea for far less than it costs to get a really great watch. Even at the high-end level, tea is still expensive. However, it can be sold in small amounts, making it accessible if you can find it. An ounce of really good tea can often be purchased for a reasonable sum.

How often do you branch out and buy tea that is reputed to be of very high-quality?

There are a lot teas and terms out there that get hyped as fine tea, often with names you might barely understand. Oolongs, ti kwan yins, prized Yunnans, roasted dong dings from Taiwan, white tea from Darjeeling, senchas and genmaichas from Japan (the latter started as a poor man’s tea). Of each type, there can be found great ones and ordinary ones. Click through to read more about appreciating great tea

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