Best tea maker: Teavana Perfectea

Carla has a tried a lot of different tea makers, and the Teavana Perfectea Maker ($20, Amazon) is her favorite. It doesn’t burn her hands, drains neatly into a mug, is easy to clean, and makes up to 16 oz. Read the rest

Ireland and England’s ‘best’ teas, reviewed by an American

Barry's is Ireland's finest cheap black tea in a bag. Folks seems awful fond of PG Tips and someone brought me a box. Read the rest

Barry's tea is pretty great

When Nietzche suggested staring into the abyss, he meant an over-steeped cup of Barry's Gold Blend. Read the rest

Tea making tips movie from (1941)

A crisp-voiced narrator gets deep into proper British tea making. Read the rest

34-ounce glass tea press for loose teas and tea bags

After 5 years of pretty much exclusively using my Bodum teapot I have gotten so used to it I only notice the process when I’m not at home and have to use a different teapot.

I like having a big pot of tea sitting on my desk while I work on the computer but with most teapots the tea continues to gain in strength the longer it stays in the pot; unless you want to outright remove the tea which is nothing but a hot mess. This is the best teapot in my experience for being able to brew tea that can stay in the pot but not continue steeping and increasing in strength.

The system is very simple, the strainer inside the teapot has no holes in its bottom section so when the plunger is fully depressed the tea cannot continue to soak in the water as it has been cut off and sealed in the bottom of the strainer.

I use it whenever I’m at home and can have 1 liter of tea that is of a consistent strength sitting on my desk, making the only other issue I have to deal with the fact that eventually it will go cold which is an issue I have not found a solution to other than drinking the tea.

I was not able to find the exact porcelain model I have online anymore, it seems like Bodum may have discontinued it but they make the same size and shape pot out of borosilicate glass (the stuff pyrex is made from) so if anything its now stronger and more shatter resistant if dropped plus since its now clear you can see exactly how much tea is left in the pot. Read the rest

Good, inexpensive loose-leaf black tea

A couple of weeks ago I complained about buying 1.7 ounces of Teavana English breakfast tea for $9 ($5.20 per ounce). I wanted to try a cheap loose leaf English breakfast tea so I ordered a 32 ounce bag of Coffee Bean Direct English Breakfast Loose Leaf Tea on Amazon for $28 ($0.88 per ounce).

I have been drinking it for a few days and I like it at least as much as the Teavana - strong and flavorful and not at all bitter. This two-pound bag is a bargain. At 6 grams per cup, it'll make 150 cups ($0.19 a cup).

I'm sure I'm doing it wrong - but here is how I have been preparing it:

10 ounces boiling water

6 grams loose leaf tea

Steep for 5 minutes.

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Magnificent unter-wasser tea-infuser fur der masses

This tea diver is as heavy as a cauliflower and as transcendent as a monkey. You need splendiferous aquatic infusion like a minute flute on the winds of the sea!

ASTONISHING! Hoopy froods and slovenly nudes will delight! Herbal? Caffeinated? YOU WILL SEE STARS!

Fred & Friends DEEP TEA DIVER Silicone Tea Infuser via Amazon Read the rest

Sugar skull tea spoon

Cute, and useful, this skull shaped tea spoon is perfect for removing and straining tea bags.

For $3.50 this novelty spoon is worth having.

SUCK UK Sugar Skull Tea Spoon via Amazon Read the rest

Matcha to go

I've been cutting back on coffee, and have switched over to drinking mainly green tea. I don't get as jangly from drinking green tea as I do from coffee, probably because it has less caffeine than coffee, and it contains theanine, which may have calming effects.

My favorite kind of green tea is matcha, which has a stronger flavor than loose leaf or bagged green tea. Matcha is made from shade grown tea leaves that have been de-veined, de-stemmed, and ground into a fine powder that's almost fluorescent green.

It's fun to make matcha at home, but I haven't come across any places that serve it. So I bought a case of Matcha Love on Amazon ($36 for 20 cans). These cans contain 5.2 ounces of matcha tea, and taste good at room temperature. I take a couple of cans with me when I go out for the day. I just wish I could pack it in my carry-on bag. Read the rest

Watch the late Alan Rickman have a very dramatic cup of tea

From David Michalek's "Portraits in Dramatic Time." RIP, Alan Rickman.

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Finding the perfect tea strainer and mug

My wife is a tea drinker, and I've been drinking more tea than coffee lately. Carla likes the compressed pu'erh bricks from Numi and I like loose leaf golden monkey. We have a few different strainers/mugs, but we finally found the one that works for us: the Bodum Yo-Yo Set Mug and Tea Strainer ($16 on Amazon). The mug is double-walled and holds a perfect 12-ounces. It also has a handle, which is important because we have some of the Bodum double wall glasses without a handle and they get almost too hot to hold. The strainer is made from nylon and the used tea leaves rinse out of the mesh very easily. It also has a lid that doubles as a coaster. There might be a better strainer/mug set out there, but I haven't found it. Read the rest

A lovely sampler of Tea Forte's herbal tea

This cute sampler box of Tea Forte's herbal collection makes a lovely gift. Read the rest

How much caffeine and alcohol should we (or shouldn't we) be drinking?

Caffeine and alcohol, once thought to be associated with some health risks, are now making headlines for their health benefits – when consumed in moderation. So how many espresso shots, tea cups, beer mugs and wine glasses are considered healthy doses, and how many put us in the risk category? Two new studies get closer to finding the right balance. Read the rest

Breville One-Touch Tea Maker brews perfect tea every time

It is amazing how different the same tea tastes when you have the ability to consistently experiment with the brewing temperature and steeping time. Different teas require different brewing temps and steeping times to bring out the best flavor. I like green tea. The Breville allows you to set the temperature by degrees and the steeping time. Do you like strong tea? Set it to steep longer. Once you set it, it is all automatic. No more waiting for your tea to cool from boiling to drink it. Would like another cup of tea? The Breville will keep the tea at your set temp for 60 minutes.

Yes, this appliance is expensive. However, after using it nearly each day since November 2010, it is totally worth the money, and remains one of my favorite purchases and is very reliable. I’ve had zero problems with it. Breville makes great appliances, and they are very well made, with excellent customer support. -- Kevin Lindsay

Breville One-Touch Tea Maker ($250) Read the rest

Orwellian tea injunctions

George Orwell's 1946 essay A Nice Cup of Tea is a rationing-era masterpiece of beverage geekery. Orwell sets out 11 iron-clad principles of tea-brewing (four of which he considers ""acutely controversial"), including an injunction against teabags or "other devices to imprison the tea" ("one can swallow tea-leaves in considerable quantities without ill effect"). My British wife thoroughly approved of this 65-year-old wisdom, and she should know. Read the rest

On Tea

Consider yourselves informed. Read the rest

Tea in Camden Town, London

"As looters and rioters smashed up shops, looted and fought with police in Camden Town, Philippa Morgan-Walker, 25 and her husband, Jonny Walker, 31, made tea for the police who were protecting their street. Some of the officers had been on duty for more than 30 hours." Read the rest