Green tea: Basics

9 Mar

(Has nothing to do with green tea, or anything green for that matter. But it’s catchy.)

Last week we covered black tea, now here’s the lowdown on greens.

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Black tea: Basics

2 Mar

Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A B C
So a snooty tea blog must begin with black tea

Blacks are the most common and readily available teas around the world, thanks to our buddy Lipton. (And perhaps a touch of British imperialism–East India Trading Company, anyone?) If you were one of those folks who was introduced to tea via the good ol’ bagged stuff, then I apologize most profusely to your tastebuds and hope that it didn’t put you off tea-drinking for good.

So what’s the real deal about black tea? Continue reading

So you want to blend fandom teas

23 Feb
Ours Is The Fury, and it tastes like chocolate-roasted chestnuts dipped in cream.

Ours Is The Fury! And our Fury tastes like chestnuts roasted in cocoa and cream. (Image (c) HBO Store)

With the new Game of Thrones Season 3 trailer out, I couldn’t resist.

Back in June of 2011, I thought it would be fun to blend some teas based on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which had just taken off a few months before and became one of those crazy phenomena where college-aged bros were seriously, seriously into a show about ponies. Girl ponies.

As luck would have it, these girl ponies turned out to translate pretty well into teas, thanks to Adagio and Tumblr. So did the noble houses from Game of Thrones.

Heck, anything can be a tea. How? Continue reading

Give me some Lip

16 Feb
Lipton + Bosanski caj

You put WHAT in WHAT?

I know I rag on Lipton, but it does have its uses. With the right touch, it can even make a good stand-in for morning coffee.

No way, right? Continue reading

Level 2 Tea Hacking

9 Feb
Tea leaves:  just another substance that makes your body feel good and your wallet feel bad.

Tea leaves: just another substance that makes your body feel good and your wallet feel bad.

Put on your robe and wizard hat, it’s time for another round of leaf-juice sorcery.

Now that we’re stepping up our game to loose leaves, this is where it’s really, really nice to have some teatime swag. Brand matters less than function. I’ve got a Teavana Perfect Tea Maker, but any infuser worth its salt will do. Note that with tea hacking, you will never produce the all-around “perfect” cup of tea. You will only produce a rather mindblowing cup of tea, which will incidentally be perfect for you.

Allons-y. Continue reading

Tea Hacking: College Edition

2 Feb
With a bit of hacking, your bag of blah can taste like it came from the Queen's own pot.

With a bit of hacking, your bag of blah can taste like it came from the Queen’s own pot.

Tea is a high-maintenance lady. Delicate whites need to be coaxed into flavor, greens require careful monitoring to escape bitterness, and blacks can’t be left to their own devices for too long, or else you’ve got a steaming cup of oh-god-why-did-I-even-bother.

This lady takes time and patience, and of course, that’s the one thing we college kids don’t have. We’re bounding between classes and projects and rehearsals and meetings, and when we’ve got a moment to breathe, it’s just long enough to hide under the cozy-but-kind-of-itchy blanket of procrastination. (Hi Tumblr. Hi Facebook.)

If tea is gonna get us through all that, then our cup of leaf juice needs to be fan-freaking-tastic without the load of prep time. Even when you’re on the go, grabbing a quick one from the cafĂ© turns out to be not-so-quick as you nurse a scalded tongue, waiting just to be able to take a sip. It’s like tea refuses to be chuggable; that instant Tazo from Starbucks doesn’t come with instant gratification.

But some of us don’t take “No” for an answer. Busy students, you can have your tea and drink it, too. How? Tea hacking. Continue reading

Do You Hear The People Blog?

2 Jan
Occupy Paris: 1832 edition.

Occupy Paris: 1832 edition.

Raise your hand if you saw Les Mis. (Raise two hands if you cried.)

Alright everyone, hands down.

We all have Les Mis feelings. Deep, intense Les Mis feelings about the actors, the music, the cinematography, the haunting young children pulled from the Land of Biggest Eyes–etc. My Les Mis feelings also include being sorely tempted to be the sole defender of Russel Crowe’s Javert, but considering how many people think that he’s the worst thing that could have happened to the role, I’d rather pick another battle.

Literally. Continue reading