Maya Tea

Milk and Tea – A Bitter Debate

Should you use milk with tea?There have been bitter debates over the proper way to prepare and drink tea for nearly as long as the leaves have been harvested.  This may sound a little melodramatic, but I’m not exaggerating—people take their tea very seriously.

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Wine, Whiskey, and Tea Descriptions

Wine Bottles and Label DescriptionsIn high school I began drinking.  Hold back your judgments for the time being—I’m sure that I’m not the only one who got an early start, and besides, I’m not here to talk about what was in the bottle nor what came out of it, but rather what was on it.

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Maté or Tereré? A Know-It-All and Nudity Story

Yerba Mate in a Gourd, called Terere when served in a Guampa.So, last night I was sitting on a friend’s couch, slumped back and in comfortable conversation.  Tea came up.  This, as I’ve mentioned before, happens fairly frequently.  After all, tea is what I do, so naturally it becomes a share of what I talk about.  As frequent and usual as these conversations are, however, in this particular tea conversation something unusual occurred.  But that couch and that conversation is not where this story begins...

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Instant Gratification and Tea

Girl with Cell Phone and Tea, Technology and tea.I am, like most of us, a product of my culture.  Instant gratification may as well be stamped into my DNA.  Over the weekend, a coworker offered me a sip of his tulsi, and I scoffed at it.  “I know it’s really good for you,” I admitted, “but it’s a longevity-thing.  Right now I need some caffeine.  And, if what I drink is not going to make me feel awake, I want it to do something else—calm my senses, clear up my sinuses, alter my vision—something that I can notice right away.”  This was how the subject of instant gratification came up.

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Green Tea, Milk and Onions

Add onions and milk to your tea for a strange drink.In the beginning, when tea was taken as a medicinal drink in China, shortly after its discovery, people would add all sorts of things to it. Among other spices and strange medicinal ingredients, they sometimes added onions, and salt. 

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Sinfully Sweet: Gran's Sweet Tea Recipe

Sweet tea recipe, Southern iced tea with sugar.It is the sugar that makes sweet tea.  I knew this before I knew how to brew it. It is for this reason that I hesitated to ask my grandmother for her sweet tea recipe.  Gran’s sweet tea is amazing.  And as with many amazing things, sometimes the recipe is best blissfully ignored.

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Oolong Tea: Formosa Oolong

Formosa Taiwanese oolong tea reviewLike most oolongs, it has that signature smooth feel in every sip; I even over-steeped my cup, and still it was smooth as silk, although considerably richer than I expected.

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Is This Normal? Tea Along for the Ride

Teacups and tea pot on a desk at work.On my desk are two separate tea mugs and a teapot, all full, and containing two different teas. A flavored black tea with milk. An accidental blend of two oolongs. A full teapot.  Is this normal?

 

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Black Tea: Passion Fruit

Passion Fruit, whole and cut in half, for our Passionfruit black tea.I have never eaten passion fruit, so I didn't really have an idea what it would taste like, but the first sip explodes on the tongue like juice! This is a mild, broad flavored black tea without a whole lot of depth, but a well balanced fruity flavor.

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Sorry, I'm a Coffee Drinker

Coffee with a mocha swirl in a mug.The number of times my offer of tea has been met with refusal because the person in question insists they are a coffee drinker never ceases to baffle me. I’m a coffee drinker. I’m also a milk drinker, a juice drinker, and a water drinker. I support and encourage people to drink liquids of all varieties.

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Herbal Tea: Vanilla Spice

Whole vanilla pods on a cutting board, for our vanilla-flavored black tea.Wow, this tea packs a flavor punch! You wouldn’t think something with only four ingredients would create something so complex, but there it is!

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Four Generations of Sweet Tea

Four Generations of Women in North Carolina and Southern Sweet TeaIt has been seven years since I’ve been to North Carolina, and many things have changed. I no longer know the town, the streets, or the buildings. But I know the people—and somehow that realization came from neat rows of sweet tea lined up at the end of a buffet.

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An Analysis of Guayusa: Amazonian Tea

Whole South American guayusa leaves in a basket during harvestGuayusa’s flavor is rich, earthy, and remarkably mild—probably even more remarkably mild had we brewed it at normal strength, but this morning my glass of tea came with a warning, which I immediately disregarded.  “You can’t scare me off with strength,” I told my co-worker as he apologetically pushed a dark, brimming glass across the desk towards me.

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Continual Learning

Tea can be a great study-aid, is good for learning.I have been drinking and researching tea for nearly ten years; my employer and the host of our show could easily triple that.  We knew going into this podcast project that we could teach tea on the air for at least a year or so before running out of stuff to talk about. We were wrong.

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Would-be Interesting Tea Conversations: Multiple Infusions

Conversation over tea about multiple infusions.So, I’m sitting here in a local coffee shop, and an interesting tea conversation came up with a random patron.  I have interesting tea conversations all the time—interesting for the other party, anyway, as I find myself repeating the same sort of answers about what I do with every new person that I meet.

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Tuesdays With Sarah - A Hangover Story

Hung over face, tea can help with hangovers.It is Tuesday morning, and I am hung over. The first order of business was to order in some huevos rancheros from our neighborhood Mexican café, complete with superbly spicy salsa verde.  The second, which I am tackling now, is to consume cup after cup of strong black tea.

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Ready-To-Drink Iced Teas: A Confession

Ready-to-drink iced tea contest: North American Tea Championship.It was a busy show, this World Tea Expo, and I had a duty: to cover as much of the show as possible, and to sift through the hundreds of displays in search of the newest, brightest, and most awesome. I was thrilled to stumble upon the “North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle,” where tea companies were preparing their model iced teas for judgment by the crowd.

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Talking Iced Tea - Part 4: Make it Sweet!

Different sweetener options for tea, sugar, honey, molasses etc.There is no shortage of sweetening agents that can make a fine pairing with tea, but most of us use plain white sugar. We all know what it is and how to use it, and for that reason we are moving quickly past it and into the more imaginative sweet options.

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Talking Iced Tea - Part 3: Cold Brewing Methods

Ice cubes for cold iced tea, cold brewing methodsSometimes the last thing we want to do during the summertime is turn on the gas. This week, Manish offers a little relief: three easy and delicious ways to brew iced tea without nearing the stove.

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Talking Iced Tea - Part Two: Hot Brewing

Refreshing Iced Tea, hot brewing methods.In show five, Manish begins to detail the art of making iced tea at home, so the next time you tune in you can do so with a chilly glass in your hand and a fully satisfied collection of taste buds.

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Talking Iced Tea - Part 1: The Colorful History

History of Iced Tea, beginning at the World FairIn sweltering Tucson, where the Maya clan has planted their stakes, we are feeling every excruciating second of summer. We don’t even want to talk about hot tea anymore. And so Manish doesn’t—in episode four of “Steeping Around,” he turns his attention to iced tea, introducing the first of a frosty four part series.

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How to Make a Great Cup of Tea: The Sequel

Tips for Making hot tea at home, how to heat water and how long to steep tea leaves.In his second episode, Manish emphasized the importance of water quality and proper portioning of water to tea leaves. This week, it’s all about “turning up the heat!” Manish focuses his tips on actual brewing techniques: heating water, required temperatures, and suggested steep times.

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Steeping Around: Episode 2 - How to Make a Great Cup of Tea

How to make a great cup of tea - water quality and amount fo tea leaves to use.In order to gain a proper appreciation for the wonderful beverage that is tea, one must first have tasted an excellent cup. Unfortunately, most drinkers are unaware of the fine details that affect your infusion, and as such have sipped on teas that are bitter, sour, or simply unappealing. We aim to change this—and for this reason Manish Shah has devoted the first episodes of Steeping Around to the art of making an exquisite cup of tea.

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Warming the Kettle

Flame on the stove, to warm a tea kettle.  Introduction to the podcast Steeping Around.During the month of May, as the tea business began to stretch and settle into its lethargic summer state, the telephone rang with an exciting new prospect: an online radio show, revolving entirely around tea.

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