Ceremonial Tea

When people think of a tea ceremony, many think of the Chanoyu in Japan. Others say that “gongfu cha” is a ceremony. Plus many Asian countries have ceremonies for enjoying tea, such as Darye in Korea. (Some folks say that the only true tea ceremony is the Chanoyu in Japan, that the ones in other …

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Recipe for Chai Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate will always hold a special place in the hearts of so many. This indulgent delight can be used in so many ways the possibilities seem endless. Just the idea of even eating chocolate brings on a blissful mood. Chai has such a wonderful spice combination that pairs so well with chocolate it seems only …

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Tea Drinker’s Guide to Dealing with the Coffee Drinker in the House

Just like that Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you need a guide to dealing with the coffee drinker in the house. But unlike that other guide, this one will not whisk you across the universe. You drink tea. Not coffee. Tea. But your hubby, wife, or other domicile companion drinks coffee. He/she might occasionally dip …

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Recent and Upcoming Tea Books 14

A few months ago in this column I mentioned The Tea Sommelier Handbook, a tome that came out in early 2013 and which was co-written by well-known tea person, Jane Pettigrew. If you need any more proof that the concept of tea sommelier is becoming a thing, then consider that a book simply titled Tea …

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Teaware Patterns: Spring & Summer Time Designs

You may be shoveling out from under the latest two or three feet of snowfall, or knocking icicles off the eaves, or huddling around that gas stove in the kitchen to keep warm because your power is still out, but you probably have dreams of Spring, with Summer to follow, going through your head anyway. …

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Hydrating Teas for the Winter Months

Depending on what the weather is like where you live, you may find that it is easy to become dehydrated at this time of year. Most of us are pretty good about staying hydrated in hot weather- it is easy to identify thirst, and we are aware of our bodies losing water as we sweat. …

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How to Stop Over-Thinking Tea

There definitely seems to be a lot of over-thinking tea these days. The “Rube Goldberg approach” to preparing tea is seen everywhere. But how do you stop over-thinking tea and get back to the basics? A big question – time for some answers. First things first – what is over-thinking tea? One thing I learned …

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Happiness Is a Cup of Tea

I suspect that we have cartoonist Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip, to thank (or blame) for the rash of slogans that begin with "happiness is" and end with just about anything you can imagine. Perhaps there were other such slogans that predate Schulz's famous "Happiness is a Warm Puppy," which debuted on …

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Should You Touch Those Tea Leaves?

Most tea steeping directions call for teaspoonfuls of tea leaves, so a spoon (not your hand) touches those leaves. Those of you who use bagged teas end up touching the bag (or the string-and-tag), not the tea. But some tea experts say that hands-on is the only way to go when it comes to taking …

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