How to read Indian and Sri Lankan tea grading July 22 2021

An infographic chart reading "Indian and Sri Lankan Letter Grade Guide" with stripped down version of content in blog post body.

"Yes, I'd like two ounces of the Darjeeling...sfff...tug..fop?"

We hear your attempts at pronouncing this alphanumeric stew every day at the tea house, and who can blame you? When an estate or region name is followed by a gibberish string of letters and numbers and you have no idea what they mean but remember your grandmother pouring you delicious steaming cups of fine Indian black tea and just...

Tea Brewing 101 January 20 2021

The shiny cut jewel that is the tea industry has many many beautiful facets. We see plants as art and have hearts open to the new and unusual. Science and innovation intrigue us and a connection to the earth drives us. We are in a line of passion that naturally lends itself to compassion and hospitality. Overall, tea people are wonderful! 

Unfortunately, there are also flaws in the jewel of our...

10 Common Tea Myths July 18 2020

When it comes to tea, there's a whole world of information floating around out there. Agriculture is a complicated realm and tea in particular has been spread, traded, cultivated, spliced and specialized into about a million versions of its original self. With thousands of years of culture and evolution, information about tea can feel like a game of telephone.

Here are ten of the most common...

American-Grown Caffeine April 10 2020

Yerba mate, Yaupon holly, guayusa

When you think of a shot of caffeine, that morning jolt, that buzz in the veins, what association do you make? Espresso? Matcha? Tea, Earl Grey, hot? Probably not holly!

It’s true through, the holly family has produced some super tasty rocket fuel level caffeine. We’re talking specifically ilex paraguariensis, ilex guayusa and ilex vomitoria, each native to one of the Americas. Each of these holly...

Oxidation vs. Fermentation September 16 2019 1 Comment

When teaching classes, speaking on panels, or even just in casual conversation, two of the most common questions I've been asked are:
  • What is oxidation? 
  • What does fermentation mean in regards to tea?
Tea terminology can be confusing to those who work outside the industry or are just getting their start. We tea workers have our own language for sure! When it comes to oxidation vs. fermentation,...