You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Tea Enjoyment’ category.

The infusing of those magic leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush has been going on for a long time – over 5,000 years according to some historical records and archeological digs. They were not only capable of transforming water into a cup of flavorful aromatic liquid, but they brought folks together in a very social way. Long before social media sites like Twitter and long before there were hashtags, there were regular gatherings, tea ceremonies, and special occasions celebrated with tea. These very often took place in tea rooms. The original social media (as stated by the author of an inspiring article I saw online recently)!

The Tea Dance – very social! (From Yahoo! Images)

The Tea Dance – very social! (From Yahoo! Images)

An Historic Chinese Tea Room

The Heming Teahouse is part of the history and culture of China and remains a favorite with locals even now, serving only locally grown green teas that are made with hot water poured from special long-spouted copper pots. The Chinese game of mahjong, very popular also here in the U.S. these days, and open conversation (tea houses have always been one of the few places in China where people could speak freely, making them targets of shutdowns during times of unrest) are still ongoing in this teahouse that has been around well over a century. It has seen the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, a Cultural Revolution, and rioting in 1989. Chats while sipping tea were and are often their only way of exchanging opinions on life around them. No Twitter. No Facebook. This teahouse and others remain unchanged as the world around them changes faster and faster. And that is another aspect of their continuing appeal.

Tea Rooms Take Over Europe

Tea came to The Netherlands and France in the 1600s and shortly thereafter to England. But tea rooms didn’t begin their take-over as a social venue until the late 1880s. Tea was still too expensive for casual consumption until the early 1800s and having tea at home was considered more normal. People would also take turns hosting afternoon tea for their neighbors who would come to call and partake in the front parlor, set up especially to receive guests (see my article here).

As tea prices came down, however, a change occurred. Hotels began setting up special tea rooms and offering tea service there, usually in the late afternoon. It was a way to build up business by offering a social venue for many single and even married women to gather in a public place in a respectable manner. Elegance was the byword. Good manners and polite conversation were expected. But a bit of gossip, sharing of domestic information (servant problems, recipes, issues with the male elements of their lives, etc.), and even daring to discuss politics, foreign relations, and other matters about which they were not supposed to “worry their pretty little heads” were also spoken of. Again, no Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc., for such exchanges. Just lots of “face time.” Add in some dancing as men began attending these tea functions (hey, they go wherever female companionship can be found), and the social aspect was complete.

These days tea rooms dominate Europe, with France being a top country for such gathering places. The U.S. picked up on the trend at places like The Ritz in Boston and The Plaza in New York back in the late 1880s to early 1900s, but today the country lags behind in tea room numbers. People are too busy tweeting and skyping to sit still long enough for a nice cuppa and a chat.

You can still toss aside that laptop, iPhone, computer tablet, etc., and go to a physical tea room to enjoy the real thing. Time to get social!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Getting the gold can sure be a thrill. (via Yahoo! Images)

Getting the gold can sure be a thrill. (via Yahoo! Images)

Awards are great…sometimes. And other times they serve other purposes. It’s true just about everywhere, including in the world of tea. So I present here a few personal thoughts on these tea awards and welcome yours.

Awards for tea are a sign that someone thinks that the time and effort invested in the award-winning tea was well-spent. However, there is no guarantees with that award that you will like the tea so honored. Some of the awards aren’t even related to the tea’s flavor. The ones for package design and marketing plans come to mind here. Setting those aside, though, I have to note that even the awards related to taste, such as best in category (black, green, flavored, etc.), are rather iffy. The judges are focused on certain aspects of the tea and also taste it differently than you do, slurping in a mouthful, swishing, and then spitting it out. I don’t know too many folks who do that at home or in a restaurant or tea room, but then I haven’t done any official surveys. Plus, no two sets of tastebuds are alike, and taste perceptions are influenced by several things, including your health and what flavors you grew up with. Just check out popular ice cream flavors in Asian countries as an example. Wasabi Ice Cream with Honey is one, and Chile, Ginger, and Lemongrass Ice Cream is another; they aren’t very appealing sounding to me, even though I love these flavors in other things (in fact, I’m craving some wasabi right now just writing about it here).

Another issue is that not all tea producers or vendors can afford to enter such competitions and attend the events at which the awards are presented. So the winners are folks who can afford these things. It shuts out smaller, and possibly superior, growers/processors. I have tasted teas from these shut-outs and compared them with some award winners. And since I don’t use the slurp/swish/spit method, my taste experience is going to be more like yours, even though our tastebuds are different. And I can tell you that the shut-outs are often unknown (and therefore undervalued) treasures.

So, why pay any attention to the whole tea award thing? For the same reason we seem to be riveted to beauty pageants, the Oscars, and the Grammys. We just like competitions. It is the struggle of one against another, pitting skills and achievements. And just as we may not be thrilled by the winner of Best Picture or the Rock Album of the Year, we may not be thrilled with that winner of best tea in category. It happens a lot. After all, as I said earlier, the judging of tea is done under special conditions using special methods by highly trained and experienced individuals. In other words, this is not like your life situation, your kitchen, your teawares, even your water. And don’t forget your own unique tastebuds.

That’s life. If you want to venture to try a tea because it won an award, here’s hoping the experience meets expectations. But don’t be surprised if it doesn’t. Enjoy the experience!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lifeguards at Bethany Beach Delaware (via Yahoo! Images)

Lifeguards at Bethany Beach Delaware (via Yahoo! Images)

Some parts of the U.S. have seen snow. And unseasonably cold temperatures. (There was also an early snowfall in northern India around the beginning of September.) And too much rain. And flooding. With such events going on, some of us are prompted to relish the last hurrahs of Summer with some suitable tea moments. I’m here to show you how.

Keep the Iced Tea Flowing

For you folks who live in the warmer parts of the U.S. (primarily southern states), iced tea can be a year round phenomenon. But some folks up in those northern states can enjoy this version of tea also throughout the seasons. It can have a real psychological benefit, even when you’re enjoying it before a log fire and have three sweaters, a muffler, ear muffs, and two knit caps on, plus a blanket or two wrapped around your legs as you sit on the sofa before that fireplace ablaze.

Stick with Summer Tea Favorites

Some teas just seem to go naturally with the fun of Summer. Green teas with fruity flavors added come to mind here. The heavier tasting teas, such as Assam CTC black teas and Young Pu-erh, are more Wintry teas. They also go well with foods more popular in colder weather: macaroni and cheese, beef stew, pumpkin pie, etc. The lighter green tea flavors will not only squeeze out that last hurrah of Summer but go well with the last of the Summer time foods such as fresh strawberries and green salads. Even some grilled hotdogs and burgers would be good here, just to keep that picnic-like feeling going.

Pop a Summer Time Movie in the DVR

…or pull it up on Netflix. Whatever. Just get Beach Blanket Bingo or even Jaws going on the TV indoors so you can ignore the blizzard going on outdoors. Again, psychology is the key here. You might even call it self-hypnosis. Just as Dorothy had her magic phrase repeating while clicking together the heels of those ruby slippers, you can keep repeating this magic phrase: “There’s no time like Summer. There’s no time like Summer.”

Hope it works for you. I got a nice tan just writing this!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lots of turmoil in the world. It ranges from international all the way down to one-on-one. Tea can play a role as peacemaker here. In fact, tea has been playing that role for some time now in various countries around the world. Maybe it’s time to start a “Stop and have a cuppa tea” campaign. Sort of like moms and dads would tell us as kids: “Count to ten before you respond.” Emotions flare up easily. That small bit of time can help cool things, even just a little, which helps a whole lot.

Time out – have a cuppa! (Image by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Time out – have a cuppa! (Image by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Some Examples from Other Countries

In some cultures where tea is as integral to their lives as air is, tea has become a way to apologize, ask for forgiveness, and also to keep things from flaring up into heated events:

  • China – Serving tea can be a sign of respect. It can also be an act of attrition. When a young adult does something to anger his/her parents, making tea and offering it to them is a form of apology; if the parents take the tea and drink it, it is a sign that all is forgiven (or at least understood).
  • Turkey – Price haggling is almost the national pastime, but keeping it civil takes some finessing…not to mention a lot of tea!
  • Japan – In the Edo period (1603-1868), Japan’s samurai laid down their swords, entering these peaceful Chashitsu courtyards, and enjoying teas prepared with masterful precision. That simple bowl of tea was a moment of escape from harsh realities.

What to Do on a Personal Level

Most of us here are not in a position to affect things on such a grand scale, but we can improve personal relations with those in our immediate vicinity, be they family, friend, co-worker, neighbor, or mere acquaintance. Some ideas:

  • Hold a tea open house – hard for people to stay mad at folks who treat them with such hospitality (but it’s still possible, sad to say).
  • Have a tea time that abides by the Chashitsu rules – language is polite and the conversation revolves around tea.
  • Resort to the traditions of some of my ancestors (the ones who were here to greet those Europeans) – hold a sort of tea pow wow, were passing the pot of tea replaces that pipe of sacred tobacco, and where you can examine your issues and resolve your differences over those hot cuppas.

Maybe a “Tea for World Peace” Day needs to be declared!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Various images of Moroccan style tea pouring. (From Yahoo! Images)

Various images of Moroccan style tea pouring. (From Yahoo! Images)

Awhile ago I wrote an article posted on this blog about pouring tea like a Moroccan waiter, being inspired by a Moroccan waiter who had served my tea by pouring it from a gleaming silver teapot that he held above his head, letting a thin stream of tea flow flawlessly from spout to tea glass with nary a drop going astray. I practiced my own version of this and had rather – uh, well, let’s just say that some drops went astray! But the practice sessions continue, with ever better results.

Time out for a bit of an object lesson here: First, we see someone doing something with grace, skill, and supposed ease, and we are often totally unaware of the time, dedication, and hours of practice required for these skilled individuals to achieve their level of expertise. Not every pianist sat down at the age of 4, like Mozart, and began playing (as well as his young and small fingers could manage). Most of us mere mortals must put in lots of practice. Second, this is another one of those pithy observations that, of course, relates to tea. No matter how many articles and videos you read and watch about making that perfect cuppa, in the end nothing beats practice. And just when you think you have it all down pat, practice some more. It can be wince inducing to look back at yourself when you thought your skills couldn’t get any better and see how much better you now are, but it will be worth those efforts. And time. Lots of it.

Let’s not forget the age-old adage that anything worth doing is worth doing well. And so, my perfection of my Moroccan style tea pour continues. My progress to date is, sad to say, far from the level that waiter exhibited.

My blue 6-cupper teapot, affectionately named “Betty” and no kin to those marvelous Brown Betty teapots out there, is my instrument of choice. The lid is a bit of an obstacle. It is not attached with a hinge to the teapot body like that Moroccan waiter’s was. Plus, Betty does not have that long, thin spout. So right away, she has a dual handicap going into this whole endeavor. Nevertheless, she was “game for a go” as the British say.

A few tips, if you want to try this at home:

  1. Have adult supervision (even if you are an adult)
  2. Be prepared for the possibility of breakage (teapot, cup, heads, hearts)
  3. Ditto for spillage (keep that box of tissues handy in case anyone, including you, starts crying over that spilt tea)
  4. Ditto for splatters (even when the tea makes it into the cup, there is often splattering)
  5. Wear a raincoat (see #4)
  6. Keep a mop and/or paper towels handy (again see #4 – no one ever said this was going to be neat)

Ready? Okay, fill your teapot with water (no sense wasting good tea, and tea is mostly water anyway). Set the teacup on a table-height (about 30”) surface, nice and solid and unwobbly. Leave off the teapot lid or secure it to the teapot with tape (we use painters tape so there is virtually no adhesive residue once we pull it off). Hold the teapot firmly in your pouring hand (I pour both left and right handed, so you will have to decide which is right for you). Start by slowly pouring a little into the teacup from about 2 inches above it and raise the teapot gradually as you pour until you can’t control the pour anymore. Next time, start at 3 inches above the cup and keep raising the teapot until you start splashing water around. Continue each trial by starting another inch higher. Hopefully, you will also be stopping higher. Eventually, you will be above your head – and then you can apply for a job at the nearest Moroccan restaurant!

Give it a go and let me know how you succeed.

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

IngenuiTEA (ETS image)

IngenuiTEA (ETS image)

There are many resources nowadays that claim to tell you the secret of preparing perfect tea. I remain skeptical that such a thing exists. But if you’re willing to settle for a great cup of tea, I’d suggest that you focus on a few key factors – the quality of the tea, the time spent steeping it, and the temperature at which it’s steeped.

But let’s talk steeping. In addition to the time you spend steeping tea, the method you use is important. There are any number of methods you can use to steep tea nowadays, including automated gadgets that take care of most preparation steps and which will do your windows in their down time. But to simplify this discussion, we’ll focus on a few steeping methods, such as teabags and some of the assorted and sundry infusers on the market.

First, the teabag – the old tried and true. It’s a fairly well-known fact these days that the “two dollars for a 100″ type teabags that you buy in a grocery store might not necessarily contain the highest quality of tea. Even if they did, they did the construction of the teabag is not such that it would allow the tea to steep properly. One of the primary concerns when steeping tea is that the water should be able to circulate freely among the tea leaves to be able to make maximum contact with those leaves and release the greatest amount of flavor. When the tea is scrunched tightly into a tea bag this is not the optimum situation.

Which can also be the case with many tea infusers. The first one that comes to mind is that small metal strainer type tea ball that still seems to be quite popular these days. But the same advice can be applied any type of infuser that’s so small that it constrains the tea leaves and doesn’t allow the water to circulate properly.

A better choice – though one of many – might be the infusers that are shaped like a cup and have a lip around the top that allows them to rest inside your tea cup. Or simply a teapot that allows the water and tea to circulate and contains some mechanism for separating one from the other. My own preference is for a gravity type infuser that I pour the water into. When steeping is complete, place it on top of your tea cup and the tea is released.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A strong black tea served in an attractive glass. (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved.)

A strong black tea served in an attractive glass. (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved.)

Turkey ranks with England and Ireland when it comes to a passion for enjoying tea. And they rival Japan for their tea ritual. Theirs isn’t as complex, but it’s just as important to them. You may find yourself getting drawn into that Turkish tea ritual without even realizing it. Here are some signs:

1 Vocabulary Morphage

Turks love to haggle. It’s an art lost upon many of us here in the U.S. We’re so used to set prices. But there, the store owner will sit you down for tea and a nice session of congenial haggling. No respectable deal can be done otherwise. So, if you find yourself saying things like “no way that car is worth five of my best milking cows,” you may have gone Turkish at tea time. And if you ask for some “Rize tea,” you may be a lot closer than you think to being “Totally Turkish.” (Most tea grown in Turkey is from the Rize area.)

2 Tea Preference Changes

You find yourself craving a strong black or green tea (often steeped for 10-15 minutes and the leaves left in the pot). In Turkey, herbal tisanes are also popular, although mostly with tourists; the most popular are apple (elma çayı), rose hip (kuşburnu çayı), and linden flower (ıhlamur çayı). Sage tisane (ada çayı, also called “island tea”) is most popular in the Mediterranean coastal region. Your choice steering in these directions is a strong indication of your progress toward going “Totally Turkish.” (You can shop locally for many of these.)

Handmade Hand-painted Copper Teapot Stovetop Tea Kettle - Magnificent ArtWork Handmade in Turkey (screen capture from site)

Handmade Hand-painted Copper Teapot Stovetop Tea Kettle – Magnificent ArtWork Handmade in Turkey (screen capture from site)

3 Preparation and Presentation Alteration

You steep the tea (black or green) up strong and serve in a Caydanlık (a stacked double kettle contraption). The tea goes in the top teapot and hot water is in the bottom pot. The top pot acts as a lid for that bottom pot. The tea is served hot in glasses and without milk but with some cubes of beet sugar.

4 Turkish Tea Time Recipes Dominate

Your tea time treats switch from scones and finger sandwiches to baklava (oozing honey), sweet and savory cookies, pastries, and cakes – all lavishly arrayed. You might also go with some salty biscuits and cookies (tuzlular or “salties”) often covered with sesame seeds, black cumin, and poppy seeds.

Baklava Turkish Delights tea time (screen capture from site)

Baklava Turkish Delights tea time (screen capture from site)

5 Tea Time Attire Adjustments

Bright colors are the key. Reds, greens, blues, and yellows dominate. Modesty is another key. Nothing slit down to here or hemmed up to there or so tight that no imagination is needed. Head scarves is a wide variety of styles colors, and patterns are also common. If you find your normally somber hues (I tend to wear a lot of dark colors or black or grey or brown) replaced with these bright hues, and if your wardrobe at tea time is usually described as a notch away from something that would make even Miley Cyrus blush but now would be welcome in the most modest of locations, you have gone Turkish at tea time.

So, how did you do? Have you gone totally “Totally Turkish” yest? If so, just give in and enjoy it!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Miami, Florida, residents got a chance to taste some wonderful teas! (Screen capture from site)

Miami, Florida, residents got a chance to taste some wonderful teas! (Screen capture from site)

Pop-up tea shows and events began a few years back. The first ones I heard of were by a tea guy, formerly in Australia and now in the UK. He arranged to offer some of his teas and a carefully orchestrated selection of food items at a local market. Since then, I have seen other events popping up here and there, the latest being one in Miami, Florida, conducted by a local tea vendor there (so well-attended that they scheduled more). They helped introduce attendees not only to their fine tea products but also to a world of tea that goes totally beyond the stuff on your grocer’s shelves.

Why Attend One of These Shows

Life is busy – hectic, even. And it can take days, weeks, months, and even years (or perhaps a lifetime) to learn about tea. But you can get some exposure, try some truly good teas, meet some like-minded people (at least as far as learning more about tea goes), and generally have a good time. Fun, entertaining, educational, and usually very reasonable priced (compared with tickets at the cinema or concert hall). You might even find yourself inspired to go a bit further and put on your own pop-up tea event, treat friends, neighbors, and even relatives to some great tea and a bit of info. Sampler packs are a great way to start. You get smaller amounts of tea in a variety of flavors. And you can pick a theme: green teas (including some flavored with fruits, etc.), a particular occasion (Halloween, first day of Autumn, a birthday, etc.), a particular location (Japanese teas, top 10 Chinese teas, Darjeeling teas, etc.).

How to Find a Pop-up Tea Show Near You

This is a bit of a toughie. Sometimes these events don’t have good advance notice. It depends on whose handling the event. The best advice I can give here is to seek out tea vendors near you. One source is a fairly new site called World Tea Directory. Another, of course, is the online Yellow Pages (or even the old-fashioned printed kind). Or search through social media sites for local establishments. You can contact the tea vendors about if they are planning any such events and if they have a mailing list you can join. Or start following them on Facebook, Twitter, etc., to see their announcements. And when you see that announcement, don’t hesitate to sign up.

Enjoy!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Eight months gone and the ninth month of the year is beginning, a time for looking forward to cooler temperatures and the annual re-coloring of the foliage around us before it quits the branches and blankets the ground. Some teas and herbals to help you more fully appreciate this time of things falling:

5 September Teas to Fall For! (ETS image composite by A.C. Cargill)

5 September Teas to Fall For! (ETS image composite by A.C. Cargill)

 

1 Dessert in a Cup: Scottish Caramel Toffee Pu-erh Tea – Loose Leaf*

Pu-erh teas are in a class by themselves. They are what’s called “fermented” teas. The leaves are processed like a black tea (in this case) and then stored awhile. It gives them a somewhat unique flavor profile that many describe as “earthy.” This version adds in sweet caramel and toffee to combine with that earthy quality for a flavor that is sweet, burnt, and sugary – dessert in a teacup. This flavored tea also includes almond pieces, so if you have a nut sensitivity, this might be an issue.

2 Vibrant: PG Tips Vibrant Mandarin Orange Green Tea*

Part of that new line-up of teas from an iconic British brand. A top brand of tea in the UK, PG Tips is a Unilever brand. Their original special blend has been pleasing palates for over 75 years. In late February 2014 they added some updated blends and flavored teas to their line-up. This one is a natural blend of fine quality green teas from Kenya and Indonesia, this PG Tips green tea is bursting with vibrant mandarin orange flavor.

3 Crisp like Autumn Air: Apple Spice Flavored Black Tea*

Ceylon high-grown (5,500 feet elevation) black tea combines with apple pieces, cinnamon, blackberry leaves, safflower petals, and other natural flavors. The vapor-proof triple-layer bag seals in the aromas and flavors, so this tea arrives at your door with the freshness it had when it was sealed in that bag. This is one of my favorite Autumn flavor combos.

4 A Favorite Fall Flavor: Twinings Pumpkin Spice Chai*

Pumpkin time is here again! This spiced Chai (the Hindi word for “tea”) will fill your senses with that wonder pumpkin essence. In addition, you will get the perfect balance of flavors of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Steep in water heated to a full boil for 5 minutes. You might want to add a touch of sugar. I like it with milk and sweetener.

5 Basic Black: Taylors of Harrogate – Pure Assam Tea Bags*

Some sources say this tea is grown from Chinese seeds, but that is not quite accurate. The Camellia sinensis assamica was already being cultivated and used to steep up a strong beverage when Robert Fortune was able to sneak plants and seeds out of China. The Brahmaputra River flows out of China into the state of Assam in Northern India and is partially responsible for the abundant crop and hearty flavor of this style of tea. While some tea growers have begun processing the leaves into orthodox black teas, green teas, and even white teas, the bulk produced is still CTC Assam, which is the basis for this tea. Malty, brisk, and full-bodied, this tea will be a real eye-opener in the morning. I enjoy it with milk and sweetener.

Hope you get to try some of these during September and get ready for the joys of harvest!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Here’s a quick quiz. It’s all of one question, so don’t be intimidated. What’s the best shape for a teabag? To the best of my knowledge – and not taking into consideration novelty type items – the most popular choices would be the standard rectangular teabag, the somewhat more modern round teabag, and the positively newfangled pyramid-shaped teabag.

PG Tips pyramid teabags (from the PG Tips official site)

PG Tips pyramid teabags (from the PG Tips official site)

If you keep in mind that one of the most important factors about your steeping teabag/gadget of choice is that it allows room for the water to circulate freely among the tea leaves, then that might give you a clue as to what the correct answer might be. My own vote would go to the pyramid teabag for the fact that it does seem to allow the water more room to circulate.

Which is apparently the correct answer, at least if we’re to believe a British group known as the Advertising Standards Authority, who describe themselves as “the UK’s independent regulator for advertising across all media.” They recently weighed in on a spat between two very well-known British tea companies and offered the opinion that the pyramid teabag tops round teabags.

The trouble started when one of the firms ran a TV commercial that touted the merits of their pyramid bags. The other company complained to the ASA, claiming that the commercial disparaged the company’s brand, as well as their round teabags.

In such a case, as the ASA notes, “The rules are also very clear about comparative claims. They are allowed but they must, of course, be truthful and fair as well as ensuring they avoid denigrating a competitor’s product or brand.” They ruled that company A proved their claims – and provided test results, to boot – regarding pyramid teabags and that they didn’t badmouth company B.

Which isn’t exactly definite proof that pyramid teabags are superior to the round ones (and by extension, the standard issue rectangular teabags) but’s it’s interesting to note nonetheless.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Categories

Explore our content:

Find us on these sites:


Follow Us!     Like Us!     Follow Us!     Follow Us!     Plus 1 Us!
Follow Tea Blog on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Tweet This!    add to del.icio.us    add to furl    digg this    stumble it!    add to simpy    seed the vine    add to reddit     post to facebook    technorati faves

Copyright Notice:

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blog Affiliates

blogged
Bloglisting.net - The internets fastest growing blog directory

Networked Blogs

%d bloggers like this: