Tea Science

Tea Culture, Tea Knowledge, Tea Science, The Tea Book

Upcoming talk: Toronto Tea Festival

Saturday February 1st, 1.30pm The 8th Annual Toronto Tea Festival takes place over 2 days, Saturday February 1st and Sunday 2nd, at Toronto’s Reference Library, in the Appel Studio. I’m happy to announce that I will be speaking on Saturday Feb.1st at 1.30pm. Topic – Botany of the Tea Plant. I’ve really enjoyed researching this project. A bit of a deep dive for me, but I’m learning so much! My plan is to distill this knowledge into a concise 30 […]

Social History of Tea, Tea Science

More Tea Advice from Fannie Farmer (Part 2)

1906 As I continue to examine Fannie Farmer’s earnest observations and advice on tea in her Boston Cooking School Cookbook, it might be useful to put her book into the context of the world in which she and her readers live. Wilfred Laurier is Prime Minister of Canada Theodore Roosevelt is president of the USA As mentioned in Part 1 of this post, The US establishes the Food and Drug Act to ensure that only food that passes inspection may […]

Tea Science

Gardener’s Intuition & the Ancient Tea Bud

Spring Flush At this time of year in my part of the world (Toronto), we are keeping our eyes on the weather and hoping for clear sunny days to venture out into our long-abandoned gardens looking for signs of life – bulb leaves surfacing, buds starting to plump and earth worms stirring in the soil. Today there’s heavy snow, tomorrow could be mild and rainy – such is April. On the other side of the world, little green tea sprouts […]

Tea Science

Antioxidants in Tea: The Mystery Revealed

Although there are inconsistencies to the many and varied claims of the health benefits of tea – Green Tea in particular – one benefit that all can agree on is that tea contains high levels of anti-oxidants.  Anti-oxidants offer protection against free radicals, but what are they and how do they interact to keep us healthy? Meet the Players The Enemy:  A free radical is an atom or molecule that has an unpaired electron in one of its orbits. An […]

Tea Science

Magnifying Tea’s Finer Points

Under the Microscope I’m always pleased when I visit an online tea retailer and find that they have close-up shots of their premium teas. It is reassuring to be able to examine, photographically, the quality of the leaf before purchasing it. Reliable retailers know that we want to see the curl, the colour and the twist of the leaf. It should look as we expect and we hope when the goods arrive we can compare our new purchase with those […]

Tea Science

The Boiling Point

Those of us who seek out specialty teas from the prime tea growing regions of the world, may obsess about the pH of water, its mineral content, chlorine levels, purity, etc.  We want to give our precious leaves the optimum conditions for the release of their hidden taste treasures. With all this focus on the condition of our water we may be missing a very key factor, particularly in the preparation of black teas; ~ The water may have boiled, […]