Tea Goes to College: Campus Tea Clubs

Apr '12

By Tiffany Picard


It's a typical day in class at The University of California, Berkeley... except the instructor is a junior in college. Also the 25 students are gathered at a local teashop, rather than in a classroom. And rather than scribbling in notebooks, students are sniffing, scooping, and brewing tea using Chinese gongfu tea sets. The class is part of Berkeley's DeCal program, which allows students to enroll in semester-long classes facilitated by students. Sam Mansfield, the co-facilitator of "TeaCal", explained that the class is really popular, and they had to turn away many of the 80 students... Read more >

Herbal Teas for Healthy Skin

Mar '12

By Tiffany Picard


For many of us, the cold winter air leaves our skin dry and itchy. In a past edition of TeaMuse, we explored how tea can help your skin. If your skin could use some TLC this season, here are a few herbals to nourish your skin from the inside out: Chamomile Many people think of chamomile as a good snoozy time tea, but it's oh-so-much more. Chamomile has been long appreciated as a medicinal plant, dating as far back as the ancient Egyptians, who dedicated chamomile to their gods as a cure for fever. Chamomile, which is related to the daisy, has natural anti-inflammatory properties--great... Read more >

Have Tea, Will Travel

Nov '11

By Tiffany Picard


With the holidays approaching, many of us will be trekking across land or sea to visit our loved ones. Travel can be fun, but it's often hard to leave the comforts of home--especially your tea cupboard! Tea drinkers may be hard-pressed to find a decent cuppa while on the road, whether it's because of lukewarm restaurant teas, less-than-delicious café teabags, or coffee-flavored hotel water. But you don't have to compromise your tea standards just because you're in transit; here are a few tips to make it through your holiday travels with tea in hand. First, a quality travel mug is a must-have.... Read more >

North of the Border: Tea in Canada

Oct '11

By Tiffany Picard


If you're reading this article, chances are you know that tea is hot, hot, hot in the U.S. But did you know that a parallel tea movement is happening a few miles north of the border? Across Canada, tea shops and tea communities are blooming like Jasmine Pearl leaves in a teacup. Per person, Canadians drink more tea than Americans. Each year the average Canadian consumes 264 cups of tea, compared to about 212 cups per person in the U.S. Coffee is still the most popular beverage in Canada, with about 14 billion cups consumed per year, next to tea's 9 billion cups. But in recent years, new tea... Read more >

Tea Year's Resolutions

Jan '10

By Tiffany Picard


It's that time of year again! New Years used to find me creating lofty resolutions like "Make the world a better place!" or "Connect with friends more!" The problem with these goals is that as admirable as they may be, they are too broad to be relevant. They are so overwhelming to consider, that I usually give up after a few brief half-hearted attempts. Day-to-day life gets in the way and I forget about my ambitious plans to bring about world peace. What works better are the New Year's resolutions packed with specific, manageable steps. Rather than "be more productive," it is easier to "be more... Read more >

A Journey Through Chinese Food and Tea Pairings

Oct '09

By Tiffany Picard


Visit any Chinese restaurant and you will always be served a big pot of tea with your meal. Whether you're enjoying heaping plates of spicy Szechuan food or selecting appetizer-sized dim sum from a bevy of carts in Hong Kong, having tea with the meal is as important as having a plate to eat on! But just as the flavors of Chinese food vary by region, the teas you would be served vary by region as well. The Imperial Tea Court is ideal place to explore Chinese teas and cuisine. Husband and wife duo Roy and Grace Fong established the Imperial Tea Court to bring the experience of a traditional... Read more >

The Traveling Teacup: Teapod San Anselmo, CA

Aug '09

By Tiffany Picard


[TEAROOM ID=3125] When I moved to San Francisco, everyone warned me of Mark Twain's supposed pronouncement: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco". As my friend Pru and I headed across the Golden Gate Bridge to visit the Teapod organic tea bar, the summer day was trying hard to prove that adage accurate. Cold fog shrouded the bridge so it felt like we were driving up to heaven. But suddenly the grey disappeared and we found ourselves in sunny San Anselmo, with blue skies and rolling hills all around. The Teapod is nestled in a quaint neighborhood of boutiques and... Read more >