Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Ghoul in Your Tea?

As it is Halloween, I couldn’t resist pulling out my Mr. Tea
Mr. Tea
My little guy is a tea strainer / infuser.  I bought him because I was struck by his expression.  Leaning on the rim of a cup, with his legs filled with tea leaves, Mr. Tea infuses my tea while seeming to relax and enjoy the heat.  I imagine that he is in a tea spa or hot tub. 

Mr. Tea
But does Halloween bring out a more ghoulish expression?  You decide.  I’ll be sipping on his tea this Halloween night when the kids come knocking on my door for candy ...and when witches, ghosts and ghouls come out to play.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Do You Drink the Leaf?

Waterfall in Hot Springs, Virginia
While on vacation in the Allegheny mountains of Virginia enjoying nature and waterfall vistas, I had my morning tea at the Omni Homestead ResortRoom service provided an exquisite tea bag designed to look like a plant.  It looked like a leaf was growing from it!
It may come as a surprise for some that all teas (white, green, black, oolong, and pu-reh) come from the same plant.  The tea plant is an evergreen shrub known as the Camellia sinensis.  Its leaves and buds are used to make tea. 

There are two varieties of the tea plant.  Camellia sinensis variety sinensis is considered most likely native to western Yunnan in China. Camellia sinensis variety assamica is native to the warmer parts of Assam (India), Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and southern China. [1]

I'm not sure which of the two varieties was in my morning black tea.  But Tea Forte's exquisite tea bag design was a visual reminder that my choice of morning beverage was from the Camellia sinensis plant. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Is That a Goldfish in Your Tea?

Charm Villa Oolong Goldfish - dry

Charm Villa Oolong Goldfish - dry
Imagine your teacup is a small aquarium. These days that wouldn’t be hard to do thanks to the help of Taiwanese company Charm Villa.  They sell a tea bag that, when in hot water, swells into a real looking goldfish.  Consisting of Japanese fabric and Taiwanese tea leaves, the goldfish tea bags take 16 steps to produce. It took a group of 28 students from St. John's University in Taipei to come up with the design. This award winning tea bag won the international Red Dot Communication Design Award in 2014 [1] and the 2015 iF Product Design Award for Discipline Packaging. [2]

Charm Villa Oolong Goldfish - wet
Pretty popular in Taiwan, maybe because it’s not only adorable but because for many people in Asia the goldfish symbolizes prosperity and good fortune.  The Charm Villa's novelty goldfish tea bags only recently became available in the Western world, too.  The joy of seeing a gold fish splashing about your tea cup will cost you.  I purchased a single tea bag of Charm Villa's Oolong on for $20.  My kids thought the tea bag was cute when it was dry and also when it was wet and steeping.  I found that hot water made it look eerily a bit too real.



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