Tea Redux

The Day Job Project from Heck has been woefully behind on every aspect of my life. I’m having a hard time catching up.

So, today you get a post from 2010 on tea. Enjoy.

As most of you probably know, the English drink tea. Tea was introduced in England after 1650. I’m sure that most of us have read a historical in which the phrase “a dish” of tea is used rather than the more familiar “cup” of tea.  This site tells us that the first tea cups were Chinese in origin and were shallow saucers, and did not have handles. From the same site:

100  years after the introduction of tea in England, handles were not yet  seen on tea cups, but English potters had introduced saucers to the  bowls. The tea-drinkers thought the saucer was there to pour the tea  into to cool it and then they would sip the tea from the saucer. Later  the saucer was used to hold spillage and the use of the cup and saucer  became the tradition used today with the addition of handles.

Britain Express has a good overview of the history of tea and coffee houses. Tea was taxed by 1676. A hundred years later, we know how that taxation thing worked for the British when they were across the pond. According to this site, the tax rose to 119% and guess what?!  Tea smuggling, that’s what. And guess what else! People put stuff that wasn’t tea in the tea. What’s that thing the French say about change and the same old thing?

Check out The United Kingdom Tea Council for their amazing History of Tea, including the The London Tea Auction
And there’s this from 1826:
My favorite tea ever is Lapsang Souchang. I love the smoky flavor. At work, however, I drink Lipton. It gets my day going.  What about you guys? Do you drink tea? What kind?  If you were a tea smuggler where would you hide your tea?

About carolyn

Carolyn Jewel was born on a moonless night. That darkness was seared into her soul and she became an award winning and USA Today bestselling author of historical and paranormal romance. She has a very dusty car and a Master’s degree in English that proves useful at the oddest times. An avid fan of fine chocolate, finer heroines, Bollywood films, and heroism in all forms, she has two cats and a dog. Also a son. One of the cats is his.
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Jane George
10 years ago

I do love an exotic account!

My favorite tea is Mlesna’s Victorian Breakfast. It’s botanicals and chymicals give a good, clear-headed lift without the jitters.

Plus, it’s got an elephant on the tin. What’s not to like?

10 years ago

When I go have dim sum I drink jasmine tea. I also like Assam and Darjeeling.

Diane Gaston
10 years ago

I’ve had the Lapsang Souchang and like it, but my favorite these days is Russian Caravan, which I get from this really funky Tea shop in Alexandria, VA. Tea bins lining the back wall of a shop about 6 feet wide. Lots of tea things for sale. I love the place!

My second favorite tea is English Breakfast.

Others I like are Lavender Earl Grey and something called Jasmine Monkey King. I tell you, this tea shop is wonderful!!

Louisa Cornell
10 years ago

I love tea and anything tea related! My family knows this and therefore I always get at least one gift of tea at Christmas and my birthday. I actually got some Lavender Earl Grey last Christmas and really enjoyed it. Then again I am a sucker for anything Earl Gray.

I need to try some of the teas you all have mentioned. I am always looking for a new favorite!

Carolyn Jewel
10 years ago

I still love Lapsang, but the amazing Sandy Schwab sent me some tea from Germany, and I LOVE it. The first one is Mainhatten Tee and I adore it. ADORE IT! The other one is Freiburger Munstertee and it is also wonderful. Flavorful but delicate.

10 years ago

I’m a complete tea fanatic, as any Brit should be, but I only really appreciated it after I moved to the US and couldn’t get the Real Stuff anymore. I imported it for a while, but have now found a German company that sells the best afternoon style tea (black and bracing, to be served with milk and intended to revive) by the kilogram (I kid you not). I also love Earl Grey, Jasmine (as long as its light rather than noxious) and would probably crawl on my hands and knees for a mile for a nice cup of Japanese Bancha (green) tea. I also love these bags of sushi-bar style green tea I found at a lovely hole-in-the-wall restaurant near work.

Erin Satie
10 years ago

Oh, I’m a big fan of loose leaf teas. My favorite brand is Mariage Freres – I discovered the shop when I was living in Paris & found tins here and there in NYC. Marco Polo was my favorite blend, but I’d take anything they made.

These days I get my tea from Teavana. I loathe the store, they’re horrible upsellers and a lot of their tea is insanely expensive, but I mostly stick to Earl Gray. I made a lot of iced green tea this summer though, and that was pretty exquisite.

Another one that I can’t find anymore but remember fondly is a brand called Sympathy for the Kettle. They made a tea that had little pieces of apricot soaked in brandy that was delicious.

10 years ago

O tea, how I love thee!

But seriously, I do adore tea. My favorite teas are from China and I hope someday to visit and see where they’re grown in person. My favorite oolong is called Ti Kuan Yin (Iron Goddess), my favorite black is Keemun Mao Feng, and my favorite green is Dragon Phoenix Pearl (which is jasmine-scented).

At work, though, I drink what I can get to hydrate and wake up, which usually means bag tea– Red Rose English Breakfast isn’t bad. If I’m really sleepy I drink green mate with lemongrass.

Sandra Schwab
10 years ago

Hehe. I’m so glad you like the two teas. 🙂 They’re from a German chain tea store, which has come up with this nifty idea to create a specific blend for each of the towns where there they have a store. That particular blend can then only be bought in that particular town. The Freiburger Münstertee is, obviously, from Freiburg (the Münster is the cathedral), and the Mainhattan tea from Frankfurt (which is sometimes jokingly referred to as “Mainhattan” because it is the only German city with several skyscrapers in what might be called the downtown core, and because it is situated on the river Main).

I love Twinings Earl Grey and I drink it all the year round. But now that the days start getting colder, I will stock up on a greater variety of flavoured teas again. I’m really looking forward to the Christmas teas, which will no doubt shortly appear in our tea stores. Yum!

10 years ago

I drink lots of tea, as I find it more comforting on cold days and more refreshing on hot ones than coffee (although I do drink both). A co-worker brought some tea from China that is wonderful, but I could not begin to tell you the name and even she couldn’t find it again when she went back to China — evidently her husband bought it somewhere but couldn’t remember where. My husband’s favorite is Assam, but I’m rather more fickle and my allegiance shifts depending on my mood and the weather.