August is Water Quality Month: How's Yours?

By Heather Edwards


"Its goodness is a decision for the mouth to make," Lu Yu (733-804) wrote, poetically describing tea. It's also an important way to taste (and choose) water for tea.

Safe drinking water is expected here in the US, however, recent incidents in several cities have many of us asking about our own city's water quality and how it impacts our health. If your metropolitan water quality is iffy, it can impact showers and laundry, house cleaning and, more importantly, cooking, cleaning fresh produce, and tea preparation.

According to Lu Yu, the waters from springs flowing clearly over... Read more >

Meeting Tea Taster/Blender Cynthia Fazekas

By Samantha Albala


Have you ever considered a career in buying, tasting, and crafting teas and tea blends? Then you may be interested in becoming a tea-taster/blendmaster like Cynthia Fazekas at Adagio Teas, who has been working with tea for nearly 20 years. Her role combines a deep passion for the Camellia sinensis (tea) plant and extraordinary expertise on how to care for and maintain the desired characteristics and personalities in every batch of tea. Throughout our conversation, Cynthia beamed over the true focus and immense responsibility of the job, as well as how tea-inspiration can come from some of the... Read more >

Summertime Tea Popsicles

By Sara Shacket


On a scorching summer day sometimes a chilly glass of iced tea just isn't enough to beat the heat. We need tea in frozen form! I've recently begun to experiment with making tea popsicles. With each bite they create a little bubble of instant refreshment.

Southern Sweet Tea Peach Popsicles

For a simple, crowd-pleasing pop, I like to do a Southern-style sweet tea with peach. I love the way the peach slices look suspended in the ice pops! With a few bites you'll feel as if you're sitting on a huge veranda overlooking a peach grove.

--3 cups boiling water
--4 tsp black... Read more >

Yoga Break 3: Lapsang Souchong & Power Planking

By Natasha Nesic


As promised in Yoga Break 2: Downward Dog, now's the time to get planking.

Planking--holding oneself in a straight position on the ground, like you're a bodyblock of wood--was once such a huge fad that it generated its own Wiki page.

However, the original plank is a functional movement. Superfreaking functional. It's the base for any straight-body exercise that requires deep abdominal engagement: pushups, pullups--even burpees! Think of yourself as a house, and the Plank as the key element to creating tall, strong beams (muscles) that support your inner structure (skeleton).... Read more >

Summer Tea Fun for Kids

By Heather Edwards


Want some new and exciting ways to keep the kids occupied this summer? Think tea! Here are a few ways that teas and tisanes can infuse their summer fun.

Budding actors in the family?

Stage a condensed version of "Alice in Wonderland Tea" with a tea-party intermission. This is great for children older than eight to produce, with roles for any age to play. Let each child choose a role, and have a "narrator" for the story in between dialog. Add a director who can arrange the "seating," a costumer who can make or borrow hats and aprons and other ideas for costumes, and a set designer... Read more >