Recently Clicked, April 19, 2006
Photos & Art
Wellcome Library, out of the UK, “provides insight and information to anyone seeking to understand medicine and its role in society, past and present.” They have some nice photos and art available online, including these images of tea preparation from an Asian exhibit:
- Tea House in Hong Kong, 1868
- Shamisan teacher, with maid pouring tea (3rd panel)
- Buddhist monks with tea and treats,
The New York Public Library Digital Gallery was “developed to provide free and open online access to thousands of images from the original and rare holdings of The Library.” I did a quick search for “tea” and was given a list of 47 images. You can enjoy these images online, or you can purchase prints. Here are a few of my favorite images:
- Having A Rest (Smoking and Serving Tea), Japanese women, photo from the late 1800s.
- Afternoon Tea, Royal Poinciana, Palm Beach, Fla.
- Tea : plants, making and vessels, 1858.
I’ve posted links to tea photos from TrekEarth before, but here are a few new ones I’ve enjoyed:
- Preparing Green Tea, Myanmar (Burma)
- Tea Shop Along Road, Tamil (India)
- Teatime in Peshawar, Pakistan (birthplace of one of my favorite actors, bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan – more on him and Bollywood in a future post)
- Tea Place, fields in Hangzhou, where Longjing (Dragon Well) tea is grown.
- On the Tea Bed, evidently a popular way of passing time in Uzbekistan. I want one of these in my backyard!
Articles & Resources
Tea Glossary, by allfoodbusiness.com. Most of the tea terms were already familiar, but I did learn at least one new slang term – a “billy.” Click through to the web site to see what it is, if you don’t already know. You can also check out this TrekEarth photo: Billy Tea.
I sampled some Korean tea for the first time at the Tea Expo, and hopefully there will be more in my future. Here’s a nice informational web site for anyone else who’s interested in Korean tea culture: Korean Tea Pages.
The China Window web site has several articles on the culture of tea in China:
- Chinese Tea, an overall history and look at the culture of tea.
- Teahouse In Sichuan Province, a brief but interesting description.
- Chinese Tea Culture, basic information on categories, regions, and cultivation.
- Drinking Gongfu Tea, with photos.
- Huangmei Opera, “Bordering on Anhui Province, Huangmei in Hubei is a count famous for its tea and tea-picking songs, from which Huangmei Opera got its original name, "tea-picking tunes" or "tea-picking opera".”
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration web site has an article (previously published in their 1996 consumer magazine) called, “Tea: A Story of Serendipity," by Marian Segal. I’m sure that the percentage of green and oolong tea-drinking has changed somewhat in the last decade, but I was interested to find out about the historical shift described here:
” Tea tastes vary, and one aficionado who squirts lemon in his cup may cringe at the sight of another pouring milk or honey. But no matter how the tea may be doctored, in the United States the odds are overwhelming that it starts out black. Nearly 95 percent of all tea consumed here is black, according to the New York City-based Tea Council of the U.S.A.; 4 percent is green, 1 percent oolong, and 1 percent flavored.
That wasn't always the case, and our proclivity for drinking black tea over green or oolong may have been influenced by events in history. Sixty years ago and more, the amount of black and green tea Americans drank was split fairly evenly--each accounting for about 40 percent of the market--with oolong constituting the rest. During World War II, however, the major sources of green tea--China and Japan--were cut off from the United States, leaving us with tea almost exclusively from British-controlled India, which produces black tea. Americans came out of the war drinking nearly 99 percent black tea.”
I’ve also added a few blogs to my weekly reading list:
- Floating Clouds, Gliding Eagle. I believe that he also is the owner of an informational web site called the Dao of Tea.
- Tea Guy Speaks, very active blog
- My Darjeeling Cuppa
- Tea Files, the most current posts contain quite useful information on cleaning Yixing pots.
If you’re a Mac user like me, you may be interested in this free downloadable software: Cuppa, a brewing timer for your computer. It lets you keep track of different times for different teas. I’ve downloaded it to use in hotel rooms when traveling.
I have a great fondness for the claymation antics of tea-and-cheese-loving duoWallace and Gromit.
- Tea lovers will especially enjoy all of the teapots and tea-sipping that goes on in their feature film, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which was recently released on DVD. It’s a family-friendly, affectionately funny look at British culture. Crackin’ Good!
- Nicecupofteaandasitdown.com has a post that shows W&G-inspired tea inventions by PGTips. PGTips evidently sponsored several giveaways and featured W&G collectibles throughout England (although not in Scotland, which caused a bit of a fuss).
- You can still find a silly tea-brewing mini-game in the the archives ofnthe PGTips web site (click on “play with ERN”).
Orisinal Games are cute, sweet, mini-games that you can play online. One of their most recent is A Daily Cup of Tea, where you control two mice who are stealing sugar cubes.
I’m ending this post with a link to “The evils of tea (and the virtues of beer),” excerpts from William Cobbett's Cottage Economy, published in 1822. It’s a hoot to look back at his arguments, especially now that we know so much about the healthy properties of tea.