July 26, 2013 |
When I was growing up, tea was something I was given by my mother and grandmother as a cure for colds. "Drink some hot tea, and you will feel better. I guarantee it. " My choices were pretty simple, Tetley or Lipton. Today, food stores stock scores of teas. And Americans are drinking it, for taste and for health. According to the Tea Assn. of the USA, Americans drank more than 65 billion servings of tea, or more than 3 billion gallons, in 2011. Teas are sold to aid in digestion, promote blood circulation, help you sleep better and even make you smarter.
April 26, 1990 |
All tea leaves come from the same plant species, but different growing conditions, processing and blending create distinctive tea varieties, including the three major categories--black, green and oolong. Black tea is created by drying and fermenting the leaves, which are then fired to halt fermentation. It is this final process that turns them black. Green tea is steamed immediately after harvest to prevent fermentation.
December 16, 2001 |
We're told that Americans are evolving into serious tea drinkers rather than just chilling out with iced tea or dipping an occasional bag into a mug of hot water. Still, the teas most in demand are sweetened, flavored and novelty teas--witness the craze for Thai tea, then Indian chai and now boba tea with its bouncing tapioca balls. Diet teas have drawn attention. And green tea is on a roll as a health and beauty aid.
May 25, 1989 |
Much of the tea that Americans sip comes from plantations around Munnar, a cool, hilly town in the South Indian state of Kerala. Munnar is the southern domain of Tata Tea Ltd., the world's largest integrated tea company: It grows, processes, packs and distributes tea, unlike companies that merely buy and blend it. Tata is India's leading manufacturer of instant tea, and the United States is its main market. Some 1.5 million pounds of tea powder are shipped annually to a Tata factory in Plant City, Fla., near Tampa, for final processing.
July 18, 1996 |
Tea is 5,000 or so years old, dating back to about 2700 BC, China. But ask for the drink at an espresso bar or coffeehouse and the response is often a confused or quizzical look. Tea? Huh? It's true that coffee guzzlers far outnumber tea sippers in these parts, but a few local tea lovers are doing their best to promote their beverage of choice.
HOME & GARDEN
May 9, 1998 |
Most people can remember, in detail, the moment they fell in love. I know I can. It began in a tiny, back-street shop in San Francisco where my daughter and I were buying a cover for her futon. In a motion to finalize the sale, the shop owner's sister emerged from the back of the store with a black lacquer tray holding handleless cups of fragrant jasmine and honeysuckle tea. We cradled the cups in the palms of our hands, smiling at one another through the rising steam. I was in love--with tea.
February 3, 2005 |
My tiny acupuncturist Victoria, whom I affectionately call Sadistic Needle-Poking Dragon Lady only because I know I could take her in a fight, waggled a finger in my face. "No more coffee!" she barked. "It's bad for your qi!" Just thinking about it now, I get a chill down my spine. Which would be nicely taken care of by a vanilla nonfat latte, but I digress. It's not that I've ever been a daily coffee drinker, and I'm certainly not hooked on caffeine.
September 17, 1998 |
Did you know all tea comes from the same plant? Whether it's in Lipton bags or the fancy loose-leaf oolong variety, all tea originates from a green bush called Camellia sinensis. Also noteworthy is that the United States imports practically all of its tea, mostly from Argentina, and the quality isn't that great. There's only one tea plantation in this country--in Charleston, S.C.,--and it serves mainly as a tourist attraction.
November 1, 2000 |
In my family, we were tea drinkers, an admission that sounds almost quaint these days, given the coffee craze that has swept the continent over the past few decades. Somehow, my family slipped through that grip of mass social conversion and kept right on drinking tea as if coffee had never been invented. As a result, I grew up rather archaically knowing what a proper cup of tea tastes like, and I was brought up to be fussy about it, as only a tea drinker can be.
March 2, 2008 |
This city is so caffeinated you can hardly blame an outsider for viewing it as a rainy-day parade of Starbucks, the coffee-chain colossus that began here. Java shops large and small rule Seattle, but, if the personnel shake-ups at two of its coffee kings are any indication, a backlash of sorts may be brewing. Seattle-based java giant Tully's Coffee announced the resignation of five top executives, including its chief executive; on Feb.