woman drinking tea

Teatime At Any Time: Five Heartfelt Songs About Tea

I may not write about tea as much as I do coffee and wine, but that doesn’t mean I love it any less.

If anything, I’ve found my love for tea blossoming even more now that I’m extra cooped up and going through the predictable side-effects of concentration issues and insomnia. Boba tea is sorely missed (fare thee well, local boba shop) and my mother recently got me a superberry flower tea for my birthday. It’s forever been a part of my life, which got me to considering a playlist that reflects it. Tea is delicious and soothing, yes…and like coffee, it’s yet another outlet with which to express ourselves.

The noun alone conjures up images of serenity and relaxation. Chilly evenings and long summer days. Sweet tea, anyone?

You see these instinctual reactions to tea reflected in all kinds of songwriting. Chamomile tea is used to invoke tenderness or sleepiness. Chai tea can be sultry or heartfelt, especially when mixed with other romantic ingredients like milk, sugar and honey. Tea in general is a fleeting moment of peace, an anchor warming your palms or cooling you off before the outside world floods in again. It can be so many incredible things and I want to share what I’ve heard.

I explored five songs about coffee a few weeks back and how this drink was interpreted through metaphor. Here are five songs that are either about tea or reference tea meaningfully:

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Coffee Or Tea? Choose Both With This Coffee Leaf Tea Drink From Wize

Coffee and tea cross over a lot.

They’re comforting drinks with roots as a community affair, easily consumed either hot or iced. They provide an easy caffeine boost to the weary and overworked, with a flavor kick for the decaf crowd. They’re both multi-billion dollar industries facing astronomically bad climate change and poor working conditions that could affect the crop forever.

So the list goes on.

Wize takes the best of both worlds with a tea drink made out of coffee leaves. It’s a trend I’ve been keeping up with for the past year and a half: several beverage industries have been skewing their products in favor of more healthy alternatives, whether low on sugar, low on alcohol or low on calories. This coffee leaf drink boasts a very healthy count, with additional incentive to the conscientiously minded: it’s also helping to bridge the economic gap between the industry and farmers.

The company’s co-founder stresses the dismal state today’s coffee farmers are in, stating as much as half of the farmers in their region leaving the business because of a lack of options. COVID-19 has made this rock and a hard place all the worse due to unsafe working environments, to boot, and is not expected to get better for many months. He insists not only will Wize’s coffee leaf tea keep farmers employed during the coffee industry’s off-season, it’ll also help them socially distance.

That’s a pretty tall order from a pretty neat drink. What do you think?

More Than A Rainy Day: The Threat To Global Tea Production

Tea is a delicate creation. It relies on a medley of strict agricultural standards, prime ecological conditions and timely collection to get that flavor and aroma you love. Anything that falls out of those complex parameters results in lackluster tea or crops that refuse to grow. Climate change remains one of the biggest threats to the tea industry, just like the coffee industry, and the coronavirus definitely hasn’t helped. People are working harder and longer for awful results…and it’s only getting worse.

What will the tea industry even look like in the next decade?

The Economic Times takes a look at the whopping 20% loss of tea crops in the Assam and Bengal tea belt. Excessive rainfall and not enough sun is to blame for much of this, leading to fears of missing vital economic minimums that keep businesses running and people employed. The thing with climate change? It’s not just a rainy day. It’s a precedent for similar weather patterns down the road. More loss. More difficulties. More more, snowballing faster than we can keep track.

It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of dramatic weather patterns and big business. I know I do. Giving up isn’t an answer, though. Not when this planet is our only home and there’s an entire generation that might just grow up where the tea industry isn’t a thing.

party clinking wine glasses

Why Not Both? Mixing It Up With A Wine And Tea Blend

Something I make very clear when anyone meets me is my loves for a delicious drink. I won’t have single a meal without one. To me, a dish without a complimentary drink is like walking to the bus stop without pants: incomplete and a little odd.

This new wine and tea blend has already caught my eye, for obvious reasons. It’s no mere blender method (indeed, they mentioned it didn’t taste all that good), but a new approach to the distilling process. The creators of the Tea & Wine range talk about drying off their grapes on beds of tea leaves to infuse the end result with unique notes you won’t find elsewhere. They even take inspiration from classic cooking processes that have nothing to do with wine at all.

This isn’t available for the rest of the world yet, but consider me putting this on my to-buy list. With beanless coffee making waves and cold brew sitting pretty as a growing specialty bar choice, drink lovers have a lot to look forward to.

cute mug of coffee

A Dash Of Different: Five Fun Twists On Coffee And Tea

One of the genius details about coffee and tea is just how flexible they are. You can really come up with almost anything. …Almost. I really don’t want to read the news one of these days and find out liquid gold is now being called the ‘new espresso’.

I keep an eye on stories like these because I want innovation to be just as fun as it is necessary. Stories on climate change and the impact it leaves on entire livelihoods is an essential conversation, yes, but it’s also a little draining. Making the world a better place to live means embracing it all. Change as complex as coming up with new farming methods…as well as thinking about how to chill coffee quicker. Change as vital as planting millions of trees in one day, as well as a faster, cuter way of recycling.

Let’s take a look at some recent developments in coffee and tea, from low-calorie alcoholic tea varieties to caffeinated popsicles.

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cafe sign

Great Lattes, Great Interiors: Three Fun Spins On Classic Cafe Design

The quintessential coffee shop has grown, for lack of a better term, quite organically in the minds of Americans over the decades.

With over 30,000 cafes to the United States’ name, there comes an inevitable commonality between them all. They’re viewed as highly modern settings with convenience at your fingertips. Free Wi-Fi, accessible charging stations, quality lighting, you name it. Then there’s the rustic furniture or impeccable modernism, beautiful to witness even through the haze of the morning rush. It’s all topped off with, what else, delicious coffee and tea paired with pastries, soups and treats. Whether you visit cafes regularly or only swing by as a reward to yourself, it’s easy to think these places blur together after a while.

Here are three small, yet significant spins on the classic coffee shop I’ve seen recently. Some things never change, but these are more than happy to bump up the novelty:

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tea leaves

Climate Change Waits For No One: Why Tea Businesses Need Packaging Updates

Climate change is a subject that’s constantly talked about, yet doesn’t always feel…concrete. It’s a variable that becomes heavier or lighter depending on where you live and where you work. When it comes to the quality of tea, though, the difference can literally be tasted.

The issue of global warming is something no one should ignore, particularly tea businesses who rely on an ideal set of conditions to cultivate their delicate stock. When it comes to recognizing the impact of eco-friendly packaging, the tea industry often leads the charge. Numi Organic is a popular brand that projects front and center their commitment to organic products and fair sourcing, such as partnering with organizations that provide vulnerable communities access to clean water. Stash is another you’ll easily recognize for not just their bold logo, but their focus on sustainable, unbleached packaging materials. Quite a lot of tea packaging on store shelves will mention — if not outright revolve around — a commitment to green values, from ethical sourcing with farmers to recycled paper or plastic.

These are all great eco-friendly packaging habits that will make the world a better place to live. …Will it be enough, though?

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Three Great Things That Taste Great: Alcohol, Tea And Coffee Mixed Together For That Extra Kick

You don’t have to choose when it comes to enjoying the tangy pop of beer or the smooth bitterness of coffee. As the saying goes? The more, the merrier!

Drinks are just as much an experience as they are a way to wet our throat. Coffee is commonly associated with the morning rush in the West, with many working Americans having entire morning rituals around a cup of joe. Tea is commonly seen as a relaxing drink — particularly a hot mug of herbal goodness — and beer shares a similar reputation…alongside being the key ingredient to a rowdy party!

It can seem like overkill to mix all these contrasting flavors and stimulants together, but a few places are choosing to embrace this happy balance.

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Pouring The Season Into A Cup: My Five Favorite Drinks For Autumn

What kind of drink gets you in the perfect autumn mood?

Halloween’s over and done with and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so you can finally start pretending you didn’t just destroy your diet with fistfuls of candy…even as you stock up on eggnog. I’m certainly feeling the chill in the air (and the regret in the distance), figuring out how to keep my office space warm and admiring the fall sheen on the trees. This week got me to thinking about all my absolute favorite homemade drinks. Everyone’s got a thing that just never seems to leave the cupboard…and if it does, has to be replaced at all costs.

I’ve got a three cupboard’s worth of favorites, but for the sake of brevity I’ll sum up my top five seasonal go-tos below. Who knows? You might just discover a new love.

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