One espresso tamper to rule them all

This is my 58mm espresso tamper of choice! Read the rest

Barry's Gold Blend is my favorite tea, PG Tips leaves me mildly depressed

I bought PG Tips for a taste off with my favorite black tea Barry's Gold Blend. I decided to finish the box, rather than just throw it out, and ended up depressed.

When I first started drinking Barry's folks told me it was "a builder's blend" and that I would "taste the bag." Folks insisted I try PG Tips. A woman I'd been seeing who claimed deep knowledge of tea was an aficionado of the triangular PF Tips bag. I ignored them as I didn't care, and liked Barry's. After enough pressure, I tried PG Tips and wrote a review. I didn't like it much. The box got put away.

A few weeks ago I put my box of Barry's in my camper and headed north up the West Coast of the United States of America. When I got home I realized the box must have been left someplace along the way. I was about to re-order when I realized the PG Tips was just sitting there. I'd finish it before reordering and reclaim that tiny bit of cabinet space.

PG Tips tastes like cardboard. Rather than the 3-5 cups of Barry's I'll drink in a day, I was having one or less. Unfinished mugs of tea were gently evaporating around my kitchen and office. I was getting less done than I wanted to and felt pretty tired all day. Then I realized what was up!

Quickly I ordered a few boxes of Barry's Gold Blend. This morning I made my first cup in a few weeks. Read the rest

Pantone coffee mugs to match how you take it

Here's a little something for artsy wired types. Pantone has a number of colorful mugs, some of which may match how you take your favorite hot beverage. Note: they do not seem to have any dark enough for how many of our dear readers prefer. Read the rest

Super-cute balloonfish teapot serves up tea in style

Yuchen Pei is a Beijing-based toy designer, but he dabbles in other fun stuff too, like this whimsical balloonfish teapot. Read the rest

Watch a charming tutorial on how to repurpose teabags into art

Artist Anne Eichhorn shows how she uses watercolors, pen, and typewriters to create charming little pieces of art and jewelry from used teabags. Read the rest

Clothing made from kombucha tea

Sacha Lauri makes clothing and jewelry out of kombucha, more specifically the SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) floating on the surface of the fermented tea. Her company is called Kombucha Couture. From an interview with Lauri in MAKE:

Sasha, what’s the process of making an actual dress out of SCOBY?

It is very simple!

First of all, boil 1 gallon of water and add 6 black teabags (for phytonutrient/nitrogen source) and 1 cup of sugar (as carbohydrates fuel the fermentation and production of cellulose. When tea is cool, pour into a tub (approx 1/2″ deep), add a small 1″ “nugget” of kombucha SCOBY, and cover. Let sit for 1 week at room temperature. After 1 week, harvest the mat of cellulose that the original kombucha SCOBY has produced over the surface of the tub. At this point, lay the cellulose mat out on parchment paper and allow to dry in 75F with indirect sunlight. This takes 1-5 days depending on size. When cellulose is dry, I colour it with acid reactive dharma dye or food colouring and cut and sew it like a leather textile.

The process is very simple as I allow nature to do all of the production. The bacteria in the SCOBY is a strain of acetobacter which naturally spins cellulose to both protect itself and keep it floating so it has access to oxygen. It is related to the vinegar producing bacteria which also create cellulose SCOBYS. It is a very natural process and just requires nutrients (tea), sugar, and an ambient temperature for the SCOBY to begin spinning cellulose.

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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

More posts