Monthly Archives: February 2012

“Green” Tea

If you’ve ever gotten too close to your gas burner while your kettle heats up, you know that not all of the heat is transferred directly to the vessel. In fact, more than 50 percent of the heat produced by the burner flame is lost before it makes contact with the kettle. Heating water for a few cups a day, combined with other cooking, results in significant energy loss over time.

Two professors at China’s Hubei University of Technology’s School of Art and Design designed a tea kettle that virtually eliminates this heat loss. The square shape and conical hole trap heat that would have otherwise moved outward, and the multiple levels of the hole increases the amount of surface area that can be heated.

The design received a Red Dot Design Award for energy efficiency.

Energy-efficient tea kettle

Image courtesy of Red Dot.

Not digging the kettle’s hyper-modern design? You can reduce tea-related energy loss by using the smallest burner on your stove to heat your kettle.


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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Images, Tea news, Tea tech


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Lucrative Leaves

If forced to choose a favorite type of tea, I’d say Barry’s Gold Blend Irish Tea. It’s a bagged tea that’s strong enough to wake me up the in the morning, steeps relatively quickly, and is bursting with a rich, golden flavor.

As bagged tea goes, it’s a bit on the expensive side at $8.99 for a box of 80 tea bags. Lipton runs about about $3.20 for 100 tea bags and 100 Red Rose tea bags cost about $3.30.

Judging by the price round-up of popular bagged teas, it appears that tea drinking is a relatively cheap habit. Not so, though, if you drink Big Island Tea, a new black tea blend grown in Hawaii that is currently worth about $5,000 per pound, or $20 per cup.

The tea, which is only available at legendary Harrods of London, owes its extraordinary price to the artisanal methods used to create it. A Harrods spokesperson told Fox News that the tea is “hand-picked, hand-rolled, hand-fired, and produced in small batches by the farm-owner.” It is cultivated and grown in a 400 year old patch of fertile volcanic ash.

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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Tea news, The business of tea


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Tea Packaging Done Right

Proud Design, a Dutch graphic design firm, married two of my favorite things — tea and design — in their packaging redesign for Amsterdam’s Tea Bar.

With quirky new names for Tea Bar’s most popular blends and squeal-inducing graphic packaging, I’m itching to try Black Beauty or Sensual Healing.

Lovely Package Tea Packaging

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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Images, Tea culture, The business of tea


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Squeasy tea bag squeezer

Ingenious! Behold, the Squeasy: a way to squeeze the remaining liquid from your teabag without burning your fingers. Many tea-drinkers I know will just toss the bag while it’s still dripping, but you sacrifice a lot of flavor from your cuppa if you don’t wring it out.

Want one? Click here.

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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Images, Tea wares


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Make your tea as healthy as it’s cracked up to be

For ages, grandmothers and doctors alike have hailed tea as a cure-all for illness as well as a preventative measure against everything from coughs to cancer. And with good reason: leaf teas are chock full of flavonoids, which may protect their ingesters from cancers, heart disease, and clogged arteries.

However, recent findings have shown that both the type of tea you drink and the way you prepare it can affect whether or not you are receiving these health benefits. This article on WebMD explains which teas provide which health benefits. According to the article, green tea is the cancer- and cholesterol-buster, while black teas may reduce the risk of stroke.

Moreover, proper form is as essential in tea-drinking as it is in yoga, ballet, or golf. This article, featured in Well+Good NYC, provides a simple how-to for tea selection, brewing, and consumption that will maximize your tea’s warm, cozy, healthful goodness.

Spoiler: the more you drink, the better off you’ll be! No complaints here.

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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Tea for health, Tea news


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Tea-time begins now

Mrs. Potts

Image courtesy of

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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Images, Tea culture


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