Monday, April 30, 2007

London and VeeTea

On my way to India this August, I'm stopping off in London for 3 days for-- what else?!-- the tea. My friend Natalia and I planned it all out yesterday. Low tea (which, contrary to popular belief is more elegant than high tea, and is often mistakenly referred to as high tea in the U.S.) in two prestigious tearooms (yet to be disclosed). Cream tea (tea with scones, cream, and jam) and learning at the Bramah Tea and Coffee Museum. Tea shopping at several of the major markets. Three art/design museums. And a pub. After all that, it's a good thing we can sleep on the plane to Kolkata!

Other than that, I've been working on VeeTea pretty much constantly. My webdesigner, Pat, and I have big project in the works. In fact, it will be the biggest of its kind in the online tea world when it's done. I'm not telling what it is, though! You'll just have to wait and see. :)

Friday, April 27, 2007


Ugh. I'm afraid I'm getting sick with a cold. That's what I get for substituting work for sleep. Time to make my famous Vee's Witches' Brew:

Vee’s Witches’ Brew

1 cup water
1 teaspoon green tea leaves
1-2 tablespoons honey
1 lemon (the juice and some of the grated rind)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Optional (if you care more about feeling better than drinking something that tastes good):
1 tablespoon unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste
Black pepper, cayenne, paprika, and/or hot sauce (as much as you can stand)
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1 shot whiskey (I prefer Jameson, personally)

Brew the tea as you normally do. (Optional: Brew garlic with the tea leaves and strain it out. It was done for hundreds of years in ancient China, so it’s not THAT weird.) Return the drink to your heat source and stir in everything else (except the whiskey-- that goes in at the last second) until it's hot. Pour into an oversized mug, breathe the vapors, and sip slowly. Feel better soon!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Jasmine Pearls

Lately I've been really enjoying some jasmine pearls my friend Adam gave me. They're from In Pursuit of Tea, which is a great company. They last through more infusions than most of the jasmine-scented teas I've had. The third infusion is my favorite right now, so I've been drinking it at least three times a day. Of course, I still love a good French Verveinne in the evening . . . In fact, I think I'll make myself some now!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007

Tea and Teeth

I went to the dentist today. She said that she can tell the difference between a loose/whole-leaf and a bagged/broken-tea drinker by their teeth. I didn’t realize that there was THAT much of a difference in the tannins between the two in that particular regard, but it makes sense. When the tea has more surface area (as broken-leaf tea does), it oxidizes faster and more. The oxidation causes the catechins and gallocatechins (EGCG) to bond and form theaflavin (a type of red tannin) and thearubigins (a type of brown tannin). It’s the same reason white tea can’t stain your teeth (unless maybe it’s gone bad . . . hmm . . . not sure) and black tea can. I know I don’t drink broken-leaf tea because it’s inferior to loose-leaf, but I seem to keep finding out JUST HOW INFERIOR it actually is, this time in the form of a story of a brown-toothed patient. Gross.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Caffeine and Tea

I’ve spent the last two days writing about (and drinking) caffeine and tea. I need to get some sleep!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tea and India

Finished up on Storing Tea. Check it out! Also, I got to spend some time planning a trip to India with fellow travelers Natalia and Rajive. We’ll be spending a lot of time in the tearooms and on the tea plantations in India. I can’t wait!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Articles and Dal

Today was an article research and writing day. Current articles I’m working on: Storing Tea, Iced Tea. I also cooked some vegetarian dal—green lentils with lemon juice, onions, carrots, cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne. Yum!

Tea Tour Research

Spent all day visiting tearooms and shops, buying tea and sweets to sample as research for my tours. Heavenly! Ah, I love my job . . .