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
Yuchen Pei is a Beijing-based toy designer, but he dabbles in other fun stuff too, like this whimsical balloonfish teapot. Read the rest
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
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:
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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.
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
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
When Nietzche suggested staring into the abyss, he meant an over-steeped cup of Barry's Gold Blend. Read the rest
A crisp-voiced narrator gets deep into proper British tea making. Read the rest
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
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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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
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
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
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
This cute sampler box of Tea Forte's herbal collection makes a lovely gift. Read the rest
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