Upcoming Tea-vents: TEAityChat and Francophone NYC at Presstea!


Hello again, bud-dies and sip-lings!

It is my absolute pleasure to announce two exci-tea-ng new developments coming your way in the next two weeks:

1) #TEAityChat!
From 8-9pm EST, I’ll be co-hosting a Twitter chat on the History of Tea. (Hence the Lipton post earlier this week. Brushing up on those factoids!)

2) Francophone NYC’s first meetup at Presstea!
On September 5th, from 7-9pm, join us in the West Village for an evening of fun, food, and French. Frankly, it’ll be awesome.

(Bilingual puns available upon request.)


Lipton: Even “Bad” Tea Can Be a Good Thing

Commanding a solid 40% of the tea market, there’s a good chance this good ol’ bagged stuff introduced you to tea.

Remember those uniformed snobs from Pirates of the Carribean? That was the East India Trading Company, doing shady business a century before Sir Thomas Lipton came around. Then during the 1880s, a Scottish-born dude living in the States decided to carve out his own imperialist niche out of the corrupt Europe-Asia tea trade. He established tea plantations in Ceylon, Sri Lanka, and the next thing we know, it’s like Kleenex–the name is everywhere.

How did Lipton get so popular?

For starters, everyone in the 1800s was already drinking tea. (America had yet to wish on a shooting Starbucks and become the coffee nation that it is today.) Lipton simply capi-tea-lized on the existing demand by taking out the British middleman and importing directly. This lowered the retail price to a degree so magical that even Brits were loving it. He was able to export his stuff back to the very market that spat him out.

(While, of course, exploiting the Sri Lankans for cost-effective labor. Please don’t miss the irony that America, a former English colony, was colonizing other spots for tea. Nice job, guys.)

Fast forward back to 2014, and Lipton is on sale at the supermarket for less than what you’d pay a stripper.

Tea-conomics 101:
Cheap tea = Popular tea

Popular tea, no matter what it tastes like, is still tea.

It’s become a Cool Kid thing to rag on Lipton, calling it “bad tea” because if we’ve become accus-tea-med to awesome loose leaves, the grocery store baggies taste weak by comparison.

Yet this inspires casual drinkers to inves-tea-gate better leaves. And if you’ve been sipping along with this blog, you know exactly where that leads.

Besides, when used properly–like in the Tea-torial linked above, or 5 ways to use nasty teabags–Lipton can be a handy tool.


Snooty Tea Review: Tea Source

tsourcesetAlong with Big Island Tea, another happy tea-scovery from the World Tea Expo 2014 is TeaSource. (They had Pu-Erh samples. Won me off the bat.)

Steeping strong for eighteen years, Tea Source carries leaves from around the world, both single-origin and flavored blends to sa-tea-sfy every palate. Personally, I haven’t been crazy about flavored teas these days, but their Dark Rose is just too adorable—be still, my bea-tea-ng heart! Continue reading

Snooty Tea Review: Big Island Tea

aasetRemember Big Island Tea from the World Tea Expo recap? (Or, y’know, tea-cap. Can’t be slacking with the puns.)

Established in 2001, the company, composed of a husband-and-wife team and their assistants, is a grade A example of fair trade and sustainabili-tea. The product isn’t for the faint of wallet, as the money goes straight towards the farm and paying the workers better wages than you can get on the Upper East Side in Manhattan.

At the moment they are producing two teas: the A’a Black Tea and the Kilinoe Green. I had the pleasure of sip-’speriencing the green at the World Tea Expo, and now we get to take the black for a mainland spin. Continue reading

Snooty Tea Review: JalamTeas, Round 5

menghunphotoCan you believe we’re already on Round 5 of JalamTeas? It’s a perpetual Pu-Erh parade and it’s hard not to love every minute of it.

But previous biases aside, we’re here for the sip-’sperience. JalamTeas has treated us to four wildly en-tea-rtaining narra-tea-ves thus far, so let’s see what comes out of the cup this time.  Continue reading

Free Tea?!

Dilemma: you have a pound of super-special-awesome tea, but no time to drink it. So it gets reserved for special occasions, which get fewer and further between until one day you open the bag and it’s as dry and stale as the outdated Yugioh Abridged reference we started with.

We are fixing this. Stat. Continue reading

Snooty Tea Review: Yezi Tea, Round 3

yt_set2After the first happy sip-’sperience with Yezi Tea, I’ve been looking forward to the review of their spring selection.

We’ve got a black, Oolong, and white for the tas-tea-ng, which come recommended with no milk or sugar, so all notes are hot and straight. (Unlike last Sunday’s Pride parade, which was only one of the above.) Continue reading

To Infini-tea–and Beyond!

And that’s the game plan.

1) Book.

2) Tea service.

Nothing less than legend-

(Wait for it!)


But remember when Luke had to go off and spend half a movie training with Yoda to become a full Jedi?

That’s right now. Training montage time.

To do this proper jus-tea-ce, I’ll be perfecting tea skills, sip-’sperimenting, and reading up on everything you can throw in a cup. As a result, posts on here will be fewer and further between than before, when it was wham-bam-five-days-a-week-thank-you-ma’am.

But the real thank you is to everyone who’s watched and subscribed over this crazy past year.

Bud-dies and sip-lings, you are all amazing and have my endless gra-tea-tude.