Monthly Archives: March 2012

A Cup (or 200) a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

According to an article in The Telegraph, government officials at the UK’s Department of Health have spent 109,017 British pounds sterling (that’s $174,372.80) on tea and biscuits since January 1, 2012. The comically high bill covered the department’s “hospitality” charges, which largely fund stocking the department’s kitchens with these English staples.

Given the English’s stereotyped fondness for “tea and crumpets,” the article’s subheadline, “Officials at the Department of Health have spent more than £100,000 on tea and biscuits so far this year” is comically astonishing. British citizens, however, are less than amused.

Jon Trickett, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, has accused the department of reckless spending. The government is in the process of launching a “full and urgent review” of the Department of Health’s spending habits.

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Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Tea culture, Tea news


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The Great Debate, Pt. 1: Tea vs. ‘Fee

I’ve been a tea-drinker ever since my hands were big enough to hold the cup. I like black teas, green teas, flavored teas, generic Tops brand black tea bags, loose tea leaves that looks like tree bark and sticks, floral teas, teas that literally bloom in the glass, organic teas, teas that have had pesticides and chemicals sprayed all over them, I like ’em all. Drinking tea can give me the energy kick I need to start my day or power through a task, or it can act as a calming and therapeutic agent. It’s a miracle drink, and it’s part of who I am.

I wish I could say that I’ve been faithful to tea for all of my 22 years. But, however regrettably, I did defect to Team Coffee for a brief period mid-way through high school. I did, and still do, enjoy the smells and tastes of a good cup of coffee. I liked to drink it most at night, after dinner with my father at restaurants and sometimes at home. Also, coffee appealed to my angst-ridden teenage self; it conjured up images of black-and-white photography and romance. However, my love affair with edgy coffee soon came to an end. I stopped drinking it in the mornings because I feared becoming dependent on it. Since I was drinking it less often, when I did drink it, I felt nauseated and jittery. Other than a brief fling with the beverage when I was living in London last year – having to balance classes with exploring a new continent wears a girl out – I’ve pretty much given coffee the boot.

Team Tea, luckily, welcomed me back with open arms. It’s not like I ever really loved coffee, anyway.

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Posted by on March 24, 2012 in Tea culture


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A New Tea on Top

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Big Island Tea, the world’s most expensive tea at about $20 per cup.

Today, The Huffington Post reported that there’s a new luxury tea on the market, tipping the scales in its favor at just over $200 per cup. And here’s the kicker: it’s grown using panda feces as fertilizer.

People love a sensational poop story, so, naturally, the news has proliferated on the Internet. Many headlines proclaim that the tea is made of panda dung, which is it isn’t (thank God).

The tea’s developer, An Yanshi, slapped on the astronomical price tag because the endangered animal’s dung is full of nutrients. Pandas, as it turns out, absorb only a fraction of the nutritional value of the bamboo they eat. The initial profits will be donated to an environmental fund, and future batches will be cheaper, he said.

An created the tea as a symbol of how waste can be converted into something useful and enjoyable.


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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Tea culture, Tea for health, Tea news


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Your Infuser is Hungry

This tea infuser will have you too scared to go in the water.

Industrial designer Pablo Matteoda, of Argentina, created the Sharky Tea Infuser. Unfortunately, it is currently a design only and is not available for purchase.

Sharky the Tea Infuser

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Posted by on March 4, 2012 in Images, Tea wares


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