Category Archives: Tea Talk

Mary Murkin, owner of Carriage House Tea, reveals the types, uses, and history of teas.

Tea plays important part of our history

Tea is here to stay! It has been an important part of our history; no less so in times of conflict.

There was that little bit of business back in 1773 in the Boston Harbor that seemed to put our treatment of tea in a bad light. This was a key event in the American Revolution against the mother country — the British Empire.

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High Tea, Afternoon Tea are not the same

There is a lot to learn about tea and the customs and traditions that surround it. Two particular British tea customs that are often misnamed or used interchangeably (incorrectly) are High Tea and Afternoon Tea.

It will be very easy to remember the differences once I sort them out and explain them.

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Yerba mate (what is that?)

What has the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea and the euphoria of chocolate all in one beverage?  That would be Yerba mate (pronounced Yer-bah mah-tay) — naturally caffeinated and nourishing leaves of the South American rainforest holly tree.

Tribes from South America have sipped Yerba mate for centuries. These rainforest people experienced effects of nourishment, focus and invigoration from drinking this infused drink.

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Some do’s and don’ts of tea etiquette

The art of buying and drinking tea has a lot of learning curves to get around. There are a few rules that are strictly ceremonial (hoity toity), and there are some that are for sensible reasons (for safe keeping and health).

For now, we will focus on a few of the practical rules.

First, we will begin with buying tea.

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Hot? Time for a Cold Brew! (No, not a beer!)

6-29-15-...-Tea-Talk-photo-color-webTemperatures consistently in the mid and upper 90s call for drastic measures.

There is quite a trendy movement in the world of tea drinkers to “cold brew” their tea and avoid dealing with hot water. Some folks do this because they like the thought of this energy-saving method.

Sometimes people do this because they do not have access to a stove or microwave oven for heating water. Others use this method because they prefer the taste of the tea made this way.

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It’s easy to drink the drink; now learn to talk the talk

As with any field of specialty, there is a certain vocabulary, or set of terms, that makes it possible to discuss a topic at a deeper level. This is especially true in the world of food, wine, beer, liqueur, coffee and tea.

There is not a particular title for someone who considers themselves very tea knowledgeable, but it is agreed that calling a person a “tea connoisseur” or a “tea enthusiast” would be an accurate title.
We will cover the most basic tea vocabulary in this installment.

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