Author Archives: craig

Zojirushi product update

I just saw this new product from Zojirushi, it’s their thermal gravity pot. Priced at $80-$100 USD.

The Thermal Gravity Pot® Beverage Dispenser keeps beverages tasting fresh for hours by utilizing the force of gravity to dispense beverages, minimizing oxidation. It features a high quality vacuum glass liner with excellent heat retention.

The high impact strong polycarbonate plastic exterior and internal glass liner provides virtually an indestructible thermal system. The sight gauge on front of the dispenser provides a visual indicator of the coffee in server. The brew through lid provides maximum heat retention during brewing and serving. Vacuum insulation keeps coffee fresh and hot for hours. The reinforced pivot handle swings either up or back.

Thermal Gravity Pot®
Beverage Dispenser

Pomegranate – White Tea

Pomegranate Pai Mu Tan

Pomegranate Pai Mu Tan

This refreshing delicious tea tastes amazing hot or cold. It is a blend of premium white teas with a splash of pomegranate flavor.

This tea is best brewed in filtered water at a temperature just less than boiling about 190 degrees F. (87 degrees C.) . I recommend using one and a half teaspoons per cup, that is if you are brewing a single cuppa tea (12 ounces or so).

If you are making a pot of tea then I would recommend the old adage use one teaspoon per cup (cup = roughly 8 fluid ounces) and an extra teaspoon for the pot.

The quest for the perfect blend

There is a part of me that knows it takes work to find the perfect blend. It is seen all through normal life. The blend of work and life. The blend of sleep and reading.

Why is it a surprise that finding the perfect blend of tea would be any different?

I am working to formulate a new blend of tea. I have an idea in my head of what I would like for it to taste like. So why can’t it just magically happen?

Formulation is a process, and one that takes time and experimentation to perfect. Right out of high school I worked in the production factory for a family owned snack, chocolate and trail mix company. The owners would release new products from time to time, but when it came to trail mixes they would begin the process of experimentation. It could take months even years to get the trail mix to where it was good enough to sell to the public.

So why would I or anyone expect anything to be different in our own life? Life is a journey. The pursuit of a perfect blend of tea is also a journey.

After producing a small batch of my tea blend the journey begins. My first step is getting it to people who would be willing to critique my blend. Thus leading me to this point…

The journey to find people to help you on your journey. A lot of people will critique your work few are the people who have an opinion that you should trust. Back to the candy company. They would find distributers who would critique their products for them, they would use the employees to critique and they were family run so all the family members would help in that area too.

You can’t always trust all of the critiques. What I learned from them is that you need to look at the whole picture. You can trust the majority when they are say close to the same thing. You can’t let the “yes” men determine your path. You also need to filter out those who are negative for no specific reason too.

When you are looking to try something new don’t be afraid to go for it. As Thomas Edison is credited for saying, I found a thousand ways to not invent the light bulb.


Where does breakfast tea come from?

A good friend of mine loves “Scottish Morning” tea. Which is a strong tea, Darjeeling/Assam blend of teas, that when brewed properly can give you a pretty amazing jolt of caffeine. I was wondering what truly determines a “morning” blend, “breakfast” blend, etc. I found that there are a lot of different things that can make up these determinations.

Norwood Platt wrote an interesting article on the topic:

“Breakfast teas are not the only ones designed for a certain hour of the day. Indar, a French brand, describes itself intriguingly as Boudoir Tea-for whenever the opportunity arises, no doubt. British firms like Jacksons sell Afternoon and Evening teas but the apogee of this practice was attained by the now-defunct London firm which only sold six teas: Morning, Lunchtime, Afternoon, After-Dinner, Evening and Drawing Room.

Another “veddy Brit” practice hallowed by usage is to give teas names connecting them, however remotely, to the institution of the monarchy, Melrose, the leading Scottish tea brand, created its Queen’s Tea for Victoria’s use at her beloved Balmoral Castle. It is predominantly Darjeeling, with the addition of black teas from China, Assam and Ceylon. In London it was Thomas Ridgway who catered to the Queen’s tea needs with Her Majesty’s Blend or H.M.B. tea, which is also still sold. Ridgways’ H.M.B. is a delightful blend of rather delicate India, Ceylon, Taiwan and China black teas. This practice spread to the colonies as well. In Vancouver, British Columbia, Murchies’ Empress Blend has been sold for over a century, just as First Colony in Norfolk, Virginia, has sold its Queen’s Blend since the 1870s, both created in Victoria’s honor by Scots who immigrated to the New World. Mr. John Murchie apprenticed at Melroses, in fact. Some fragments of tea history are preserved in certain proprietary names like Boston Harbor Tea, exported by a London firm which was already 127 years old when it changed its name to Davison, Newman & Co. in 1777, only a few years after previous exports were tipped into Boston Harbor, purportedly by Indians. Mark T. Wendell’s Hu-Kwa Tea carries the name of a Cantonese who became a world- famous merchant prince and a household name for half a century. He had actually sold tea to the clipper ship captain whose nephew Mark T. Wendell founded the present firm in Boston. Before the Opium War, the chop, or stamp, of HuKwa (actually spelled Houqua) was a guarantee of excellence. A man who concluded deals on a handshake, he was so highly esteemed that America’s first clipper ship was named for him. Houqua tea made the fortunes of Astor, Perkins, and Peabody, America’s first millionaires, and sustains Mark T. Wendell still.”

History has a way of coloring how we still do some things today. The whole “well we have always done it that way” mantra that drive so many people.

I’m not a big consumer of “breakfast” types of tea but the one quality that I really enjoy from them is the way they can give a dose of, at times much needed, caffeine when starting the day off. A few beverage companies have tried to hone in on the drinking their beverages during certain times to even out the blood sugar during the day. I tend to think that there is something there that can be marketed.

Wishing you an amazing cuppa tea,


Store Selections

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Premium loose leaf tea hand selected by me.

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Hand-blended loose leaf tea that are custom made to order.

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Accessories for teas, like Gaiwans, infusers, etc.