Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday tea tunes: The means in your possession

Vintage Police! Dig Sting's sci-fi outfit as he steps on the rhythm of "Tea in the Sahara" ...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday tea tunes: Just a cup of rain

Getting into the rainy season around here (hooray!), and I ran across this rainy-day tune. The band is called the Tea Party, and the song, paced by some patient guitar strumming, is "Watching What the Rain Blows In" ...

Friday, June 17, 2011


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Radiation fears bedevil Japanese tea growers

Who woulda thunk the tea experience one day would include Geiger counters?

World Tea News reported this week that the Japanese government "is testing 100 tea processing factories and has halted shipments from the Warashina district of Shizuoka City." Four prefectures now are under scrutiny. (Also in the WSJ.)

In Japan, the miniscule amount of tea grown in the north is nearly all consumed locally. The green tea that's exported is primarily grown in the south and southern islands, far from any threat of radiation contamination following the March 11 offshore earthquake and resulting nuclear power plant disaster. (See a map of Japan's tea-producing regions in relation to the power plant here.) Still, governments everywhere are setting up testing protocols for Japanese tea to screen for any contamination.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I attended a green tea tasting at Tea Gschwendner. The company's master taster Thomas Holz mentioned that TG has been screening all its Japanese tea just to be safe, and has yet found nothing alarming.

Either way, with shipping halted and some harvests suspended — including this anguish voiced by a tea farmer forced to destroy his early harvest — Japan may suffer a tea shortage this year. There's still no reason to fear drinking Japanese tea, but expect prices to be meddling.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Turkish apple tea

A friend of mine has been gallivanting about Greece and Turkey in recent weeks. She sent this photo of "Turkish apple tea (read: hot apple cider. It was good though)":

(Thanks, Tanya!)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday Tea Tunes: Well, a Sunday tea tune ...

This is a Tuesday feature, but here's the great duo Peter & Gordon singing "Sunday for Tea" ...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday tea tunes: 'O tea of freedom!'

A reader passed along this link (thanks, Sue!) to a video allegedly from rebel celebrations in the Libyan city of Benghazi.

The YouTube post says the translation of this song begins with this:
O tea of freedom!
Ya la la la laa lee
O you that is dear to me!
Ya la la la laa lee
Your strength is 100/100!
Ya la la la laa lee
O tea of freedom!
Ya la la la laa lee

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Today on the Japanese chado calendar is Eisai-ki, the festival of the Zen priest Eisai, who brought the first tea from China to Japan in 1191 and planted them on Mt. Seburi. He was one the first outside of China to extol tea's health benefits, writing, "Tea is a miraculous medicine for health and an elixir for long life."

On the memorial day of Esai, Higashiyama is awash
with the steam and aroma of tea.
— Seisei

I found this well-shot, silent demonstration of the Japanese tea ceremony recently ...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Such a little thing makes a big difference

Rejoice in everything,
even small things.
If you start rejoicing,
even a cup of tea
starts having a sacred significance.
— Osho