Travels in a Tea Cup

Why Ditch the Tea Bag

Why Ditch the Tea Bag

A Very (very!) Short History of The Tea Bag History usually tells the story of Mr Sullivan and his 1908 set of samples packaged in little bags, which his customers didn’t even bother to open before throwing in the water. The really interesting thing is that this folklore story is just that – a nice story. The idea of pre-packing tea has been in existence for at least 70 years before Mr Sullivan’s samples. It also generated a flurry of patents between 1880 and 1948! I will not expand here: this fascinating history is perfectly narrated in this article: have...

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On Taste and Quality

On Taste and Quality

One very interesting conversation around tea is about taste and quality. Not the taste of tea, mind you, but your own personal taste as in, your preference. At Darvaza Teas, we advocate drinking good tea… obviously! But we each have our own definition of Good, don’t we? Because tea is so personal, and since it is often the medium to a privileged moment with ourselves, we tend to define Good Tea as “tea that makes me feel good”. And, well, that’s a perfectly valid definition. But that is a definition of our taste. Quality, however, exists outside of our subjective...

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Why Fair Trade isn't Always the Answer

Why Fair Trade isn't Always the Answer

The Purpose of Fair Trade The Fair Trade system was born to try and bring some justice back into international trade. Many developing countries are still dependent on the production and export of agricultural products, but standard international trade rules often put them at a disadvantage. Finding a way to pay a fair and guaranteed minimum wage to the producers of these countries was of course a very good idea. Quickly, this is how it works. Fair Trade buyers undertake to pay a certain minimum amount for a product. The buyer must pay the market price if it is higher...

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Caffeine in Tea: Myths and Facts

Caffeine in Tea: Myths and Facts

There is always that moment, right? That moment when a tea lover has to explain whether they are gulping incredible amounts of caffeine with each cup... or not. Caffeine and tea is a very complex topic, it’s no surprise that it still causes so much confusion. In a previous post we talked at length about the chemistry of caffeine, because, well, it truly is fascinating. In this post, we are going to use all that knowledge to debunk a few myths about caffeine and bring a few facts to light. What does caffeine does to my body? Caffeine is a...

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The Clever Chemistry of Caffeine

The Clever Chemistry of Caffeine

What happens in our bodies to keep us alive and well is nothing short of miraculous. The molecules of our food interact with our own cells and give us energy to get on with our day, to think clearly, to improve our coordination… the list feels endless. Our course, when we say “tea”, we think “caffeine”. It is a common association now, and for good reasons. It is not the only one that is relevant to the way our body makes use of tea. But for now, that’s the one we will focus on. Caffeine is indeed an amazing molecule,...

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