Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fits to a Tea

…Florence Fabricant, writing in the NYT (Sept 13, 2006), reports that a 100-year-old has been refurbished—the tea bag.

…Tea bags used to be pretty opaque—filled with, well, seeds and stems, as they say, detritus after loose tea is sorted and graded.

…The industry called that “dust.” Rusty and acidy.

…With tea sales up four times over a decade ago, drinkers are ready for the good stuff.

…Long leaf tea is now going in some bags, starting with Lipton.

…The paper envelope is out, too—in are nylon mesh bags in a pyramid shape.

…Harney and Sons, Mighty Leaf, Adagio, and Highland have been selling the better bags for awhile.

…So now, even bag users can savor the high-end flavors, often teas hailing from exotic ports of call in Kenya and elsewhere.

…Strangely, Fabricant writes, the English aren’t as enthused. They dose their cuppas with milk and sugar and don’t care if from “dust” it came.

…Remember when A&P used to be called the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company? You probably don’t.

…HA’s grandmother always said she was going to the “Tea Company,” not the “store.”

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