Monthly Archives: January 2010

Sharky Tea Infuser

Miss Believer’s post about the tea submarine below reminded me of something I stumbled upon a while ago. Another piece of design that is intended to prompt a smile while you’re brewing your tea, this is a simple (as the best designs frequently appear to be) infuser that will float in your cup. With a sharks fin! Yay!

The designer is Argentinian Pablo Matteoda; here’s what he has to say about it:

INFUSION means to extract certain properties from an soluble ingredient such as tea leaves , herbs or fruit by soaking in liquid (water) until it gets saturated. So we can say that a infuser is the in charged of make this happen. This is a ludic point of view about the color given off from the phenomenon, wich makes more interesting the waiting of the whole process.

I’m not convinced by the rather orange substance seeping from the shark, it must be said, but a hungry shark doesn’t tend to leave behind ┬átrail of rich Assam colouring…

Have you come across any fun pieces of tea related design recently? Or a really innovative way to brew a cuppa? If so, let us know in the comments!

TomA

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(My tea) lives in a yellow submarine

How amazing is this? I found it via Swiss Miss which is an amazing site for finding examples of all kinds of gorgeous design. You’d obviously have to use with a clear mug because otherwise, quite frankly, what would be the point?

On a side note, what’s your preferred method of brewing loose leaf tea? Do you pop it in a pot and use a tea strainer, stick with the standard metal ball, use those dinky little fill-em-yourself teabags or is loose leaf just too much bother? I favour the Alessi tea tube that my boyfriend bought me back from Italy a few years ago (and I can find no mention of on the web, anywhere, bar that photo. Hmm). So how about you?

Miss B.

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The Smell Of The Farm

Welcome to one of the cutest parcels of tea I’ve come across recently. Inside this delicately wrapped bundle is a pellet of delicious pu-err tea. Pu-err is a black tea that the Chinese bury in bit of soil, leave for a bit and dig up later, leaving it to absorb some of that muddy, earthy taste.

I adore it. It does have a rather distinctive aroma, that others seem to find, well, curious. This, less so than other pu-errs I’ve tried, is far more subtle. There’s less of the being-on-the-farm-yard-shovelling-manure aroma about it; so if I’ve tried to tempt you with pu-err from Lee Rosy’s before, perhaps this might be more palatable to you.

I’ve got to admit though, I think its that farmy smell that holds so much of the appeal of pu-err teas for me. It reminds me childhood trips to my grandparents’ farm: feeding the cats, watching the pigs and staring at the cows. And jumping in a LOT of puddles. Riding on the back of tractors. Eating as many biscuits as I physically could. This is the smell of the farm.

When I slid into Attic in Bristol the other week to buy some Yunnan, they offered me the little balls of tea here to try. This is the proper stuff, imported directly from China. Apparently as well, pu-err is almost caffeine free, something I’d not realised given its rather thick, earthy and very black liquor. I’m not interested in the health benefits, I just want the smell.

Because it’s the hearty comforting brew you want before you go to bed.

TomA

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Tea Hanger

This has made the rounds on a few blogs already, so I’m a bit late to the (tea) party, but how amazing is this, from Yanko Design? Sadly, with the amount of tea I get through I’d need a whole walk in closet to store it all….

Miss B x

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Blind Tea Tasting Is Underway!

It is finally time for the tea tasting! All 8 (yes EIGHT!) teas were bagged and packed into lettered envelopes over the weekend and are awaiting a trip to the post office. There’s ONE final place in the tea tasting left, as I’ve ended up making an extra, just in case. So if you’re still interested in participating but haven’t yet got in touch, do so quickly!

The identities of the eight teas are top secret. While I know what the eight are, I’m also blind in this test (so thanks to my mother for patiently bagging up and labelling well over 100 tea bags!); the names of the teas are hidden away in a sealed envelope and shall be revealed once we’ve received everyone’s thoughts. Teas should be with you by next week. So get tasting!

TomA

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BBC Radio 4 – Food Programme

Yesterday BBC Radio 4 ran a programme on the rise in popularity of tea and the growing trend towards specialty teas, away from your bog standard supermarket shelf builders’ tea. Well worth a listen: firstly for the sheer enthusiasm of Henrietta Lovell and secondly because the UK Tea Council’s Bill Gorman sounds rather like Ivor Cutler, also a man rather fond of a brew…

Interesting to hear about the tea being grown in Malawi, not normally an area of the world I’d immediately associate with tea. There’s further tea broadcasting on Radio 4 this Wednesday on You & Yours.

Listen to Speciality Teas on BBC iPlayer (UK only).

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Heroes of Tea: Mrs Doyle

Ah, Mrs Doyle. The repressed, somewhat insane housekeeper in Grahem Lineham’s fantastic Father Ted.

Has there ever been a fictional character more obsessed with tea than she? Her dedication to the cause is outstanding, even going as far as to stay up all night just in case one of the Fathers should want a cup of tea. And who could forget her tragic reaction to receiving a teasmaid, thereby depriving her of the delight of making tea herself? She championed the art of tea making and never took no (really, never) for an answer, although did frequently refuse to give up the tea/baked goods when the person in question finally accepted. She’s an inspiration to all of us. And she provided me endless amusement by repeatedly falling off the roof.

So, Mrs Doyle, we salute you. Make yourself a cuppa in her honour (go on, go on, go on) and remember, ‘There’s always time for a nice cup of tea. Sure, didn’t the Lord himself pause for a nice cup of tea before giving himself up for the world?’. Wisdom indeed.

Miss Believer

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