Monday, 24 October 2011

tea ad

carne griffiths


Portraits in Ink and Tea by Carne Griffiths

The colours and detail in all the finished pieces are outstanding, who would have thought tea would work so well in art! The overall art is smashing but the added tea splatters and dribbles work really well. ”These Portraits in this series show human character often through the use of poise and plant symbolism, all are painted in ink and tea, apart from the vine which is painted in a combination of alcohol and tea.”

Friday, 21 October 2011

Reaching and Searching (for purple) – The Art of Tea

Natalie Scott is an art student in Calgary Alberta Canada.

This piece, entitled "Reaching and Searching (for purple)" – mixed media on rag paper, is made from a dried fruit tea called "Cherry Berry".

Natalie said, "It was such a fun process to use the tea and watch the berries dry into such beautiful colours. The tea stains made the path for the rest of the painting, and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. And on the plus side, it smells amazing.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

explorations of relationalism

Family Resemblances, Relationalism, and the Meaning of ‘Art’
  1. Daniel A. Kaufman , + Author Affiliations
  1. Daniel A. Kaufman, Department of Philosophy, Missouri State University, USA.  Email: 
Peter Kivy has maintained that the Wittgensteinian account of ‘art’ ‘is not a going concern’ and that ‘the traditional task of defining the work of art is back in fashion, with a vengeance’. This is true, in large part, because of the turn towards relational definitions of ‘art’ taken by philosophers in the 1960s; a move that is widely believed to have countered the Wittgensteinian charge that ‘art’ is an open concept and which gave rise to a ‘New Wave’ in aesthetic theorizing. So successful has this New Wave been that today the philosophy of art is awash with relational definitions, which are increasingly characterized by their technical sophistication and logical complexity. The aim of this essay is to oppose this trend; to demonstrate that relationalist definitions cannot avoid the problems which provided the impetus for the Wittgensteinian view and to show that the New Wavers cannot explain why anyone would want the definitions which they are offering, irrespective of their success or failure. I will also explore, in detail, the uses, as well as the limitations, of the Wittgensteinian approach to the concept of art.

Relational Art: Is It An Ism?

In 2004, the BBC aired Relational Art: Is It An Ism?, a documentary exploring the movement (or trend, perhaps is more suitable a term) of Relational Aesthetics. As the title suggests, the documentary's director Ben Lewis quests to discover whether this fascinating, and often confounding, tendency in contemporary art possesses the subscribed theoretical and ideological practices necessary to deem it "the first Ism of the 21st century." Although perhaps designed to compartmentalize the emergence of this new trend, Lewis' investigation is nevertheless an interesting one. What's even more interesting, however, is the pronounced aloofness, evasiveness and even condescension that Lewis is met with when interviewing various Relational artists.

This quote from Nicolas Bourriaud's book Relational Aesthetics begins to clarify the ideas behind Relational Art: "The possibility of a relational art (an art taking as its theoretical horizon the realm of human interactions and its social context, rather than the assertion of an independent and private symbolic space), points to a radical upheaval of the aesthetic, cultural and political goals introduced by modern art."
video link

"Relational Art: Is It An Ism?" (2004) © The BBC

    Wednesday, 19 October 2011

    Monday, 17 October 2011

    tea design

    Yi Cha Tea Set by Postler Ferguson
    by Harry / June 8, 2011
    From Postler Ferguson, a compact, contemporary tea set made with traditional zisha purple clay, which "draws on the rich material heritage of Chinese tea while providing a platform for Chinese tea manufacturers and potters to popularize their products."


    "Yi Cha is a proposal to help Chinese tea producers popularize their specialist teas with a worldwide audience. As the household espresso machine led to an increase in coffee consumption by making high-end coffee accessible in the home, Yi Cha is a simplified tea set that opens up the enjoyment and proper preparation of traditional Chinese tea for an international audience."


    "A sleek and self-explanatory system of components, Yi Cha enables the rich tastes of Chinese tea to be served in households, hotels and restaurants in a consistent and simple way."

    tea vids again

    a place to visit

    On one of my most recent sojourns to England, I had the desire to find a special place to buy some tea – I was in London, after all.  Now, one might first think of finding a teahouse or restaurant where one could enjoy a high tea experience with all the accoutrements.  But I wanted some history with my tea. 

    In the early 1700’s, Thomas Twining began working for a wealthy merchant from The East India Company who was importing a new beverage from the Orient.   Thomas was intrigued by the potential markets for this commodity, and started his own company.  He opened a shop on the Strand in 1717, and there began the Twinings family history of English tea.
    In 1837, Queen Victoria granted Twinings their first Royal Warrant for tea as “Purveyor in Ordinary to Her Majesty.”  And in 2006, Twinings celebrated the company’s 300th anniversary. 
    I was excited to see this still-thriving icon of English culture.  After witnessing the sumptuous food halls of Harrod’s, my anticipation was high for the flagship store and museum, still operating in this very location for three centuries. 
    I set out on the tube and emerged to a chilly but clear morning.  Surprisingly, the neighborhood is a decidedly un-charming business district, which includes the Royal Courts of Justice.  The shop looks rather out of place, dwarfed by a bank and a modern coffee house, but there in all its finery, stands the Twinings teashop. 
    Above the door is a gilded lion and the Royal Crest, flanked by statuettes of men dressed in traditional Oriental costumes, representing the tea’s origin.
    I stepped inside and instantly adjusted my expectations.  The shop measures about ten feet wide, and a good 60 feet long.  It’s strangely deep with high ceilings… but what should I expect from an 18th century building?   The walls are lined with dark wooden cabinets, and portraits of the Twinings’ family notables watch from above.
    With further inspection, I saw that the displays house a huge variety of teas, herbal infusions, coffees and hot cocoas, as well as an extensive range of accessories, from teapots to caddies to strainers to china. 
    I was invited by the shop attendant to visit their museum.  Far in the back is a small display (to call it a museum is rather lofty) that chronicles the Twinings’ family and the history of tea in England. The ‘museum’ showcases tea advertisements and has a beautiful collection of antique teapots.  It’s charming and informative, if not terribly well laid out, but considering the space constraints, it’s perfect.  I mean, if tea is nothing else, isn’t it cozy?
    I purchased some tea and got my bit of history at the same time.  I came with expectations of grandeur, and was properly greeted with genteel English charm.  Twinings teashop on the Strand is indeed, a little slice of English heaven.
    Twinings Tea, The Strand Shop
    216 Strand, London, WC2R 1AP Open: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, Saturday 10 am to 4pm. Nearest Tube: Temple

    some interesting tea history of the business in here: 

    more tea quotes

    Enjoy life sip by sip not gulp by gulp.
    - The Minister of Leaves
    Thank God for Tea!  What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? 
    I am glad  I was not born before tea. 
     - Rev. Sydney Smith
    I always fear that creation will expire before tea-time.
      - Rev. Sydney Smith
    Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. 
    - Henry Fielding
    Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it
    still sings!
    - Unknown
    There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the
    ceremony known as afternoon tea. 
    - Henry James 
    While theres tea theres hope.
    - Sir Arthur Pinero
    Tea- the cups that cheer but not inebriate.  
    - William Cowper
    There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world.
    - Tien Yiheng
    Ecstasy is a glass full of tea and a piece of sugar in the mouth. 
    - Alexander Puskin
    I am in no way interested in immortality,
    but only in the taste of tea. 
     -Lu tung
    Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage. 
    - Catherine Douzel
    Come oh come ye tea-thirsty restless ones - the kettle boils, bubbles and
    - Rabindranath Tagore
    One sip of this will bathe the drooping spirits in delight, beyond the bliss
    of dreams.
    As long as it is hot, wet and goes down the right way, its fine with me.
    -Sarah Fergerson, The Dutchess of York, On Tea
    Tea is wealth itself, because there is nothing that cannot be lost,
    no problem that will not disappear, no burden that will not float away, 
    between the first sip and the last.
    -The Minister of Leaves
    In nothing more is the English genius for domesticity more notably declared
    than in the institution of this festival - almost one may call it - of
    afternoon tea...The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy
    -George Gissing
    [I am a] hardened and shameless tea drinker, who has for twenty years
    diluted his meals only with the infusion of this fascinating plant; whose
    kettle has scarcely time to cool; who with tea amuses the evening, with tea
    solaces the midnight, and with tea welcomes the evening.
    -Samuel Johnson
    What part of confidante has that poor teapot played ever since the kindly
    plant was introduced among us.  Why myriads of women have cried over it, to
    be sure! What sickbeds it has smoked by! What fevered lips have received 
    refreshment from it!  Nature meant very kindly by women when she made the
    tea plant; and with a little thought, what a series of pictures and groups
    the fancy may conjure up and assemble round the the teapot and cup.
    -William Makepeace Thakery
    ...for tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally coarse in their
    nervous sensibilites, or are become so from wine-drinking, and are not
    susceptible of influence from so refined a stimulant, will always be the
    favored beverage of the intellectual...
    -Thomas De Quincy
    Tea had come as a deliverer to a land that called for deliverance; a land of
    beef and ale, of heavy eating and abundant drunkenness; of gray skies and
    harsh winds; of strong nerved , stout-purposed, slow-thinking men an women.
    Above all, a land of sheltered homes and warm firesides - firesides that
    were waiting - waiting, for the bubbling kettle and the fragrant breath of
    -Agnes Reppiler
    ...For tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally
    coarse in their nervous sensibilities, or are to become so from
    wine-drinking, and are not susceptible of influence from so
    refined a stimulant, will always be the favored beverage of the
    -  Thomas De Quincey
    Surely every one is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry
    fireside; candles at four oclock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker,
    shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whist the
    wind and rain are raging audibly without. 
    - Thomas De Quincey
    Tea had come as a deliver to a land that called for deliverance; a land of
    beef and ale, of heavy eating and abundant drunkenness; of gray skies and
    harsh winds; of strong-nerved, stout-purposed, slow-thinking men and women. 
    Above all, a land of sheltered homes and warm firesides - firesides  that
    were waiting - waiting, for the bubbling kettle and the fragrant breath of
     - Agnes Reppiler 
    Afternoon Tea should be provided, fresh supplies, with 
    thin bread-and-butter, fancy pastries, cakes, etc., being 
    brought in as other guests arrive.
    - Mrs. Beeton
    The Book of Household Management
    Tea Poetry
    If you are cold, tea will warm you;
    if you are too heated; it will cool you;
    if you are depresses, it will cheer you;
    if you are exhausted, it will calm you. 
    - William Gladstone
    Steam rises from a cup of tea
    and we are wrapped in history,
    inhaling ancient times and lands,
    comfort of ages in our hands.
    -Faith Greenbowl
    The cozy fire is bright and gay,
    The merry kettle boils away
    and hums a cheerful song.
    I sing the saucer and the cup;
    Pray, Mary, fill the teapot up,
    And do not make it strong 
    - Barry Pain 
    The first bowl sleekly moistened throat and lips,
    The second banished all my loneliness
    The third expelled the dullness from my mind,
    Sharpening inspiration gained
    from all the books I've read.
    The fourth brought forth light perspiration,
    Dispersing a lifetimes troubles through my pores.
    The fifth bowl cleansed evry atom of my being.
    The sixth has made me kin to the Immortals.
    This seventh...
    I can take no more.
    -Lu Tung,Chinese Poet
    Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
    Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa around,
    And while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
    Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
    That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
    So let us welcome peaceful evening in
     - William Cowper 
    We had a kettle, we let it leak;
    Our not replacing it made it worse,
    We havent had any tea for a week...
    The bottom is out of the Universe!
    - Rudyard Kipling
    A toast to the grace of the pot,
    ready at all time
    To give up its emptiness
    for the tea.
    -The Minister of Leaves
    At last the secret is out,
    as it always must come in the end,
    The delicious story is ripe to tell an intimate friend;
    Over tea-cups and in the square the tongue has its desire;
    Still waters run deep, my dear,
    theres never smoke without fire  
     - W.H Auden
    With each sip I taste
    the fire that gives its heat.
    The water that gives its wetness.
    The leaf that gives its spell.
    The pot that gives its emptiness.
    With each lingering sip
    I cannot help but see
    all that makes tea
    as well make me.
    -The Minister of Leaves
    On herbs.
    There is nothing to resist.
    With nothing to resist them.
    Harmony and balance to not hide.
    Entering harmony and balance,
    I wash my teacup.
    -The Minister of Leaves
    The soil.
    The elevation.
    The climate.
    The sunshine.
    The rain.
    The tea.
    - The Minister of Leaves
    I invite you magnanimously 
    to please be my guest for tea
    at a room with high standards of taste
    where the hostess remembers my face
    and greets me by name at the door
    and recalls what Ive ordered before
    and inquires kindly after my day, 
    and appreciates all that I say.
    Shell have orange pekoe for the pot
    and darjeeling, as likely as not,
    or if you are not in the pink
    our hostess knows which herbs to drink,
    like ginger to help with the grippe
    mixed with cinnamon and the rose hip;
    or fresh lemon balm if you wish,
    perhaps blended with sweet licorice.
    So whether you feel well or ill,  
    this refreshment will quite fit the bill
    and, of course, you will quite enjoy me.
    Yours truly. RSVP
    -Aubrey Henslow
    Tea Mind
    Humilitea, Possibilitea, Qualitea, Solidaritea, Abilitea, Equalitea,
    Individualitea, Serenitea, Insanitea, Confidentialitea, Vitalitea,
    Creativitea, Sportea, Claritea, Realitea
    Activitea, Longevitea, Impossibilitea, Familiaritea, Humanitea, Puritea,
    Levitea, Longevitea, Immunitea, Digestabilitea, Electricitea, Sensualitea,
     -  Adapted from: Letters to a Young Zentrepenur - The Republic of

    Stain: The Tea Cup That Improves With Use

    Stain is a unique tea cup created by Bethan Laura Wood, a designer from the UK. At first, the cup looks like any other cup, but the natural staining that comes from using the cup reveals a hidden pattern.

    Bethan writes: “This project examines the assumption that use is damaging to a product (For example, scratches on an iPod).”

    The cups are selling for £35. Contact Bethan if you’re interested.

    Sunday, 16 October 2011

    i like tea, not gin

    unlike this lady...

    nice text

    A Nice Cup of Tea
    by George Orwell
    Saturday Essay, Evening Standard, 12 January 1946

    tea is grood!

    Why drinking tea is good for humanity

     [ IMAGE: Ya-Ya Teahouse ] Yes, I know. This is a pretty big statement.
    But I seriously believe that tea can be part of the way forward in these turbulent times.
    I’ve talked to two “missionaries” of Jehova’s Witnesses this morning who tried to help people finding the right way in the current confusion created by peak oil, a quickly changing climate and rapid social changes. I guess, religions must flourish in times like these.
    The discussion made me realise that tea might be - while not the solution itself - a step into the right direction. Maybe it isn’t a coincidence that the current tea renaissance in the Western World happens at a time when these cultures begin to understand their need to re-connect with nature.
    Tea helps to focus
    So what makes me think that tea, a beverage as simple as it gets, could help humanity in today’s rapidly developing chaos?
    Well, for one, tea has a unique ability to focus people’s minds. Unlike coffee, tea helps us to focus very effectively by gently raising our level of awareness and perception. It is no coincidence that tea has been used traditionally to aid meditation since it counters drowsiness and sharpens our senses.
    Another kind of focus that tea often induces is a focus on nature. Most people that move beyond the quick-fix of a hastily steeped tea bag start to ritualise their tea drinking. The surroundings play an important role in tea appreciation and many people would agree that they had their best cup of tea either somewhere outside in nature or with a great bunch of friends.
    This brings me to another aspect of tea, namely its effects on social behaviour. In China, business meetings are often held in teahouses over a pot of tea. This tradition has a long history and I like to compare it to the role a handshake used to have in Western business deals. Just like the handshake, doing business deals over tea adds a level of confidence, honesty and reliability to the whole affair.
    Another remarkable effect of tea on its devoted consumers is the desire to share. If you are reading any of the dozens of fantastic tea blogs out there, you’ll have noticed that people love to share their treasures. If someone comes across a great tea, he or she will want to share it with people who will appreciate it. Just as in the old German proverb “Geteilte Freude ist doppelte Freude” (a joy shared is twice the joy), the tea you drink tastes better if you share it.
    Tea is good for your health
    The last decades have seen the emergence of many new diseases for humankind. Many of these diseases are related to an ever-increasing level of stress or to a change in our diet from comparatively natural food to heavily processed foods.
    Tea can help with both of these issues. Anyone who’s been to our teahouse or had a conscious tea session will know about the calming effects of tea. While it raises awareness (partly due to its caffeine content), it has also a soothing and relaxing effect on the mind. It is not uncommon that people come to the teahouse all stressed out and leave 3 hours later completely relaxed (sometimes to realize that they’ve missed an appointment an hour ago). Tea can help us to take a break, to slow us down.
    For more than the first half of its known existence, tea has been used primarily as a medicine. And although it is mostly enjoyed as an everyday drink today, it still plays an important role in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Different types of tea are used on a constitutional level to adjust imbalances like excessive heat in the body (green tea, white tea and young raw ’sheng’ pu-erh have a cooling effect on the body while oolongs, black tea and ripe ’shou’ pu-erh act as warming herbs).
    But beyond the deeper constitutional effects of tea, modern scientific research continually discovers a wealth of health-improving effects offered by the simple leaf of camellia sinensis. Tea has been shown to offer substantial benefits in such diverse areas as cancer prevention, anti-aging and weight-loss.

    Saturday, 15 October 2011

    on role today

    Reflections In Tea: An Exhibit

    by Christine Banks

    Tea art can take many forms, and artist Michele Brody has delved into an interactive method of creating it. Through mixed media installations and public art exhibits, she aims to "subtly plant within the viewer a desire to be more aware of the tenuous relationship between themselves, nature, and the urban environment. " "Reflections in Tea" has appeared at several events, including recently at World Tea East.
    TeaMuse first featured Ms. Brody's art in 2008. The basis of her installation includes a teahouse framed by copper pipes, and the walls are filled with the participation of visitors, who have a cup of tea and write messages on the stained t-sac paper filters that comprise the teahouse's sides. While previous exhibitions have focused on conversations, human interaction and the multicultural experience, it has continued to evolve.
    Recent exhibitions of the installation invite participants to reflect on the earthquake and tsunami that affected the people of Japan this year. The exhibit fosters connections between people through a shared interest and a common drink. A brief, encounter over a cup of tea becomes a personal experience that ultimately strengthens bonds to another country and culture.
    At World Tea East, visitors wrote messages of hope, prayer, support and sympathy on the used filters. Ultimately, the filters from the wall of the teahouse will be made into a wishing quilt and sent as a gift to the residents of the Fukushima Prefecture. Participants were also asked to make a voluntary donation, the proceeds of which will go to the Japanese Red Cross.
    Learn more about Michele Brody's artwork on her web site.

    Photo by Cynthia Fazekas

    Photo by Cynthia Fazekas

    Tea Sculptures: Pourtensious Lighting

    by Eric M. Sternfels

    High Pour: Allergenic
    The artist/architect who creates these clever pieces, seeks not just to amuse those who see his work, but to steer focus onto the handsome form and design of the everyday vessels of bygone days. Orphaned cups and kettles, percolators and plates are joined into harmonious tableaus of American domesticity. The results are curiously both classic and funky. The lighting is at home in both traditional and contemporary spaces.
    Eric M. Sternfels' work springs from a sense that inanimate objects possess their own soul and history. When speaking about the pieces he collects for his work, the artist believes the energy of those that designed or made them, of those that have used and enjoyed them, and of those that now take the time to see them again in new light all collaborate to give us pleasure and satisfaction.
    View additional examples at:

    from tea muse

    another one!

    Tea in Art: Artist Mithun Jayaram

    by Christine Rillo

    Mithun Jayaram always considered himself a coffee kind of person. After his vast travels landed him back in India, a local establishment intrigued him, a place he would pass on route to French classes. The place was a tearoom, Infinitea, and there he discovered the vast world of beautiful loose-leaf teas from all over the world.
    "I had never been to a place that dealt with vast subtleties of the tongue, throat, and nostrils, "Jayaram states when experiencing fine tea before. "I've never liked tea prior...I've always had the impression that tea was to be served as a standard milk and ultra sweet drink."
    He took to becoming a tea drinker rather quickly (white tea is his favorite) while visiting Infinitea before and after his classes, realizing that tea was indeed full of flavor sans sugar and milk. Pot after pot was drunk and as he became more aware of the different flavor nuances that each particular tea exuded; his curiosity also grew concerning the actual tealeaf. As an artist, this feeling wasn't anything new, and these used tea leaves at the bottom of his teapot sparked inspiration and creativity.
    Mithun Jayaram was born in Kerala, India and raised in Dubai, UAE. His initial interest during high school was that to the science of genetics and didn't expect himself to be interested in art. He fell into art unexpectedly; having gone the science route, he wasn't doing too well in chemistry and at the same time an adviser chose Mithun to represent his class in an art competition. A drawing of a dinosaur being pushed over a cliff by a bulldozer won him first place in the competition and the head judge encouraged him to pursue art.
    After his initial education was completed, he left Dubai for the likes of LaSalle College of Arts in Singapore pursuing a bachelor's degree in fine arts. He finished his studied in 2004 after graduating with honors and was awarded a fellowship to study and do research in Romania. From there he continued on to work with award winning artists in Europe and Singapore on group exhibitions. Life brought him back to the country of his birth, this time in Bangalore, where he is currently producing art and studying French.
    Mithun began to take out the leaves after drinking his tea and placing them in his notebook. From there he began to take note to how they dried and what colors, forms, textures, and traces they would leave behind as they soon became refuse. He would smell the leaves when wet and dry. Mithun states a very personal process goes into exploring the tealeaves, as well as anything else that is of interest to him.
    Mithun's art uses all sorts of other material that we may deem as refuse, but he sees as providing many possibilities. This includes cotton, matchsticks, pencil shavings, and tissues. He is very much influenced by the environment around him and observes what he uses and throws away, fascinated by these items' provisional existences: "I tend to select material that I recognize as a by product/product of my routine". Along with that Jayaram likes to use unconventional materials to make 'temporary' pieces , displaying them in unconventional spaces not usually considered as a formal art space. This use of alternative material and viewing spaces for his art provides a type of connection for Jayaram; a type of meditative state and his art becoming products of this particular sense of being. Along with his note taking on the physical form the tea leaves take upon drying, he likes to record the effect on tea on his body versus when he consumes coffee, understand the way tea affects him, and his well-being.
    The Lost Tea Leaves Series and the use of tealeaves in his art hold a special place among his various projects. In a sense, it is a very kind of 'Green' living accord that Jayaram takes from using the tea leaves: it is the first material that is true refuse from someone else, and not from his immediate use. His intensive record keeping on the way that the tealeaves dried and developed caught the eyes of the owners of Infinitea, Gaurav Saria and Deeksha Saria who became his unofficial mentors on the ins and outs of gourmet tea. The husband and wife tea-team educated Mithun about tea history and culture and were more than happy to provide their 'tea trash' to Mithun, which he collects every couple of days or so. He happily separates the leaves of use to him, then he dries them using two different methods - under the sun or by a fan inside his home, each producing different results. Lumps of tealeaves resemble charred pits on the patio of his home where he dries the tea leaves. Mithun also observes the way the weather may affect the dried tea leaves and how the effect of time serves the tea leaves. In a true circle-of-life kind of way, the tea leaves that he doesn't uses goes into his father's garden for fertilizer.
    "The final piece is not that important to me, the process is though. I find that the process of making something reveals a fertile ground of possibilities from which more works can branch," notes Jayaram. This series includes both photographs of the different ways the tea leaves dry as well as the art pieces created by using the leaves.
    In May, Mithun was able to put some of his work on display where it all began, at Infinitea for a small show featuring several finished pieces. Mithun hopes to develop his love of tea further, as well as go visit a tea plantation in the future to fully understand the process of plant to cup. He also plans on continuing his extensive records of tea's composition and decomposition as an on-going project. Mithun Jayaram is able to pull inspiration from anywhere- movies to mundane activities and frequently posts photos and such on Facebook to share with friends, a bit of an online exhibition.
    At least with this latest material of tea leaves will keep him drinking and inspired, "I still enjoy coffee but not as much as I do white tea. The sensations I get from them are quite extraordinary at times."

    Pages from his tea notebook

    Piece with dried tea pieces and other material

    Drying tea

    A finished piece

    more tea based current artists

    Tea and Art: Jeff Axelrod

    by Christine Rillo

    Art by Jeff Axelrod

    Art by Jeff Axelrod

    Art by Jeff Axelrod
    At this year’s World Tea Expo some of us at Adagio Teas attending were able to make the acquaintance of a very interesting artist, Jeff Axelrod. Axelrod came to using tea in his art after a storied life which brought him to his current residence in Sausalito, California: his home also serves as his inspiration for his ornate works of art.
    Axelrod grew up in Massachusetts and after getting in and out of trouble at a number of schools, he picked up and moved out to Cape Cod where he worked slavishly at 3 jobs and finished school on his own. He describes this time as a period where it wasn’t an admirable trait to be artistic; it was considered being rebellious and not with the norm. His artistic inclinations did not form just yet however.
    It started when Axelrod moved to the Big Apple, New York City. With a small family to support, he opened and operated a gas station and parking lots in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. With the bustling city around him, he began to open up. After his family moved back to the quiet of Cape Cod, he stayed on to manage the businesses. While living in the city still, he was able to explore arty Greenwich Village; the haven for such souls. Galleries beckoned to him from Chelsea, cafes in the Village and it became his new scene.
    Midway through the 60s, he closed the family business and moved out to San Francisco, a city with the similar free-spirit vibe New York’s Village had to offer. Many friends agreed he would be a good fit. He then started a silk-screening business and found himself printing tee shirts for the Grateful Dead and partying. At the end of the 70s, he sold his business, tired of the lifestyle and competition overseas markets and hit the road traveling and discovering the country only to be brought back to Sausalito.
    In his new home, he found that he was inspired to create. In his old business he had to work through designers who produced the imagery for shirts; as he states, “I used to live through their hands”. Surrounded by the natural and earthy vibe of his new home he turned to a very natural ingredient- tea, which he uses to paint the backgrounds. He utilizes ‘assemblage’ on top of the paint: the art of gluing ornaments and objects. Elements of collage are also evident in his work.
    His tea painting takes on a particular process. He takes a variety of loose leaf tea and brews them in series of 15-20 clear glass jars, this way he can see what colors he comes up with. He states that half of the fun is watching what color he will end up with. From there he mixes colors to make his paints, which is similar to water colors. However, he thinks that he gets better color with his tea paints, then anything he could get from basic watercolors.
    Though many may think that his pallet of colors is limited, there is a surprising amount of colors he has discovered. Berry and plum fruit teas make for purples and blues, matcha produces a green color, rooibos for orange, chai mixtures for a range of browns. He paints a base of tea color on papers with earth tones as a backdrop and lets it bake out in the warm sun- this prevents any sort of fading. From there he will continue to apply paint, or add his ornaments and found objects. Most of his objects are finds from garage sales, on the street, from friends, from his travels, and artifacts from his childhood. His works are then multi-dimensional and reflect a variety of themes. His works remind me of beautiful vintage ephemera, a bit of arts and crafts, and bright sunshine. He is inspired by his surroundings in Sausalito- the roll of the fog, living by the water, and glimpses of scenic views.
    In his search for different teas to experiment with, Axelrod began to embark on a mini campaign to put in requests with various tea companies for samples of their teas. A friend advised him of the annual World Tea Expo, the tea industry’s largest gathering and he was relieved not to have to put so many letters in the post. At the expo he met with many companies and met other tea enthusiasts, along with our company, Adagio Teas. He finds that the tea industry is way easier and a lot nicer to work with than those in his past industry of apparel. He is also thrilled that many were receptive to his art and it has served to be a fodder of inspiration.
    As for tea to drink, Axelrod grew up on black tea with lots of milk and sugar and it wasn’t until he moved to California that he discovered the wide variety of teas. At first he would set aside his tea to supply the inventory for his paint, but as he came into more and more, he happily drinks and paints away with a diverse selection of teas.
    If ever in Sausalito, you will probably see Jeff Axelrod’s work hanging in various cafes and restaurants. He has also had his work on display in various galleries in the city and at the annual Sausalito Art Festival.

    commun i tea!

    so i have discovery 1, the tea appareation socity and from that

    2 sarah griffiths a design based tea explorer, interested in the ideas of space and commun i tea!

    conversation al i tea... i jsut playin with words now but getting there somehow
    cleanse al a tea... ideas about self staing n cleansing.

    i dun look so bad now

    I've plotted my life with 32,000 teabags, says Patti Gaal-Holmes

    Some people use a diary to document the highs and lows in their life but not Patti Gaal-Holmes – she prefers to use teabags.

    Wacky Patti Gaal-Holmes has collected more 32,000 teabags over the last 11 years as a way of documenting her life Wacky Patti Gaal-Holmes has collected more 32,000 teabags over the last 11 years as a way of documenting her life
    So, while others have drawers full of written reminiscences, this 44-year-old has old suitcases stuffed with more than 32,000 used bags.
    ‘I love drinking tea and I save the teabags because it’s a way of marking the days – it’s better than a diary,’ she said.
    The mother of three has perfected her tea-related logging technique over the past 11 years. First, she has her cuppa then dabs the used bag on some paper.
    She then numbers the bag and sometimes notes down who she drank the tea with and anything interesting they discussed.
    She then dries the tea bag in the sunshine or on a radiator before storing it in one of her three large suitcases.
    ‘They do smell a bit but I find it quite comforting. Sometimes friends think it’s a bit weird or eccentric and my kids just say, “It’s mum and her tea”,’ said the PhD student from Portsmouth.
    She even fishes teabags out of the bin to put in a special box she carries if she is enjoying a cup with a friend who is unaware of her craving.
    Ms Gaal-Holmes said she sees tea-drinking as a ritual and usually drinks between six and ten cups a day.
    ‘Sometimes at night I can’t wait to get up in the morning because I am so looking forward to that first cup of tea,’ she said.
    ‘I like good strong tea with milk – like English Breakfast or Assam and occasionally Earl Grey. Ideally I will make it in a pot, have it in my special cup and dip chocolate in it,’ she added.
    Ms Gaal-Holmes – whose favourite quote is by T’ien Yiheng and reads: ‘Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world’ – has put a case of her bags on display at Portsmouth’s Eldon Gallery.

     another tea type

    Kate Roch tea taster Kate Roch who tastes 900 cups of tea a day - including the one before she heads to work in the morning.
    Now, the senior buyer for tea merchant Taylors has revealed some of her top tips.

    "First off, I think everyone should make their tea in a warm pot, letting it brew for four to five minutes," she said.

    "An expert tip is to pour the boiling water you used to warm the pot into the mugs to warm them while you wait."

    She advised using two to four tea bags, depending on how strong you like your cuppa, adding: "If you have made it in a pot, put the milk in the mugs first. If you have made it in mugs, put your milk in afterwards."

    Ms Roch, of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, has been in the tea business for 15 years and worked as a taster for five.

    "When I am round at a friend’s house, I try not to judge their tea but if I know someone makes a particularly bad cup, I will generally ask for a glass of water," said the 37-year-old.

    Read more:

    tea vids

    there are many more but i could to easily fill my blog with steven fry talking tea 

    other tea...


    The national beverage of Argentina

    I’m a coffee person. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to it, but I do certainly enjoy drinking it on a more or less daily basis. Sometimes two or three times a day. In fact, now that I think about it, I could use a cup right now. Excuse me. (Time passes.) Ah, that’s better. I do not drink coffee for my health, although I am aware of studies suggesting that coffee consumption in moderation may reduce the risk of colon cancer, kidney stones, heart disease, and even Parkinson’s Disease. I don’t even, for the most part, drink it for the caffeine. Partly it’s the aroma that I find so appealing, and partly it’s just the soothing effect of a warm beverage sliding across my tongue and down my esophagus.
    Many of my friends, however, are tea people. I have nothing against a nice cup of tea now and then, and of course tea ably fills that hot beverage need. But in terms of aroma and both psychological and physiological impact, tea just doesn’t do it for me. Once again, tea’s supposed health benefits—of which there are, I admit, far more than those of coffee—don’t quite tip the scales. Maybe I’d be 5% healthier if I switched from coffee to tea, but then, maybe I’d also be 10% grouchier. 

    A Drink to Die For
    I am always, however, happy to try new and unusual hot beverages, especially if they are reputed to have health benefits, a strong aroma, and a flavor frequently referred to as an “acquired taste.” And even more so if the beverage must be prepared and served in a highly ritualized way using special, single-purpose gadgets. So while in Argentina, I was enthusiastic about sampling, and acquiring the necessary paraphernalia to make, their national beverage, which is known as mate.
    According to one survey, mate (pronounced “MAH-teh”—and not to be confused with the Spanish word maté, which means “I killed”) is regularly consumed by some 92% of Argentineans—and by similarly large numbers of people in Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil. Superficially it appears to be a kind of tea, but appearances are deceiving. The true story is much more complex.
    For starters, there’s the nomenclature. The dried leaves that are brewed to make mate are known as yerba mate—the word yerba meaning “herb.” This is, however, a misnomer: the leaves come from an evergreen tree in the holly family, Ilex paraguariensis. The word mate itself comes from the Quechua word matí, which refers to a certain type of gourd (Lagenaria vulgaris) which, when dried and hollowed, is used as the serving vessel for the beverage. So depending on context, mate can mean the leaves, the container, or the infusion of the leaves in water. The latter sense appears to be the most common.

    Details, Details, Details
    Yerba mate plants must be carefully cultivated and their leaves harvested at just the right time. The leaves are briefly roasted to preserve their color and prevent spoilage, then dried thoroughly, coarsely ground, and left to age for nine months. Finally, they are crushed and packaged. One supermarket we visited in Patagonia had an entire aisle of mate—dozens of varieties, textures, blends, and package sizes. But even the highest-quality brands were inexpensive: a few dollars or so for a kilogram.
    The gourds come in every conceivable shape, size, and color, usually with a three-legged metal base (to prevent tipping, since the bottom is convex), and often with a metal ring around the hole in the top, to reduce wear. Although actual gourds are most common, we also saw mate pots made out of clay, ceramic, metal, and even cows’ hooves and horns. Each gourd also requires a special accessory called a bombilla—basically a metal straw with a strainer at the bottom. Instead of filtering out the tiny leaf fragments when the beverage is brewed, drinkers use the bombilla to filter it as they sip.

    To prepare mate, one must begin with a properly “cured” gourd—one that has been soaked or cleaned in one of several ways to remove the residual oils that could adversely affect the flavor. The gourd is then filled about two-thirds full of yerba mate leaves, shaken, and tipped at an angle. A small amount of hot water is poured into the empty side, and after a couple of minutes, the bombilla is inserted and a larger quantity of hot water added. Each of the numerous books and Web sites I read that described mate preparation had different instructions for the precise method of creating an ideal mate—and in fact, many people prefer to leave this immensely important and challenging task to a cebador, a local expert in mate preparation. Every source I consulted, however, was in agreement that unlike tea, mate must never be made with boiling water.
    Mate has the somewhat bitter taste of tannins, much like tea. Because of the ratio of leaves to water, it is a very strong flavor. Some of my companions likened it to “grass,” “hay,” or “alfalfa.” I believe these descriptions were intended to be uncomplimentary. I felt about the taste the way I felt about coffee the first time: kind of bitter, not immediately appealing, but I’ll bet it could grow on me.

    Drink Me
    Mate is normally shared among several people. Each person takes a sip or two from the bombilla, passes the mate to the next person, and the cycle continues. When the liquid gets low, more hot water is added. Because such a large quantity of leaves is used, it takes a very long time for a single dose of mate to lose its flavor. The people we observed drinking mate appeared to be unconcerned about sharing germs, but apparently in some situations individual, disposable bombillas are used. Our guide did tell us, though, that according to legend when companions share a mate, they will also share their dreams. I did not check to see what other members of our group dreamed about the night after we shared our first mate, but it makes a nice story in any case.
    Purists drink their mate hot and unsweetened—just the way I like my coffee. But I read repeatedly that some segments of the population, such as women, children, and city dwellers (if you can believe such categories) prefer their mate cold and/or sweetened with sugar—and sometimes even prepared with milk. We observed locals drinking mate at all hours—in fact, pretty much constantly throughout the day—except with meals. The quantity typically ingested in a day puts my considerable coffee consumption to shame. In order to be assured of a ready supply of raw materials, some people carry around leather cases large enough to hold a gourd, a thermos full of hot water, and a large bag of yerba mate.

    Mate is a mild stimulant—when brewed, it has about half as much caffeine as coffee. Some people believe that unlike coffee, mate’s stimulant effect disappears very quickly when you stop drinking, so it can be consumed safely at bedtime. Mate supposedly functions as a digestive aid, which seems reasonable enough; it’s also used as a laxative. Other health claims abound: mate is said to curb the appetite, boost immunity, combat the effects of aging, and even return gray hair to its original shade—among many other benefits. How many of these effects are genuine, I can’t say. But I suspect its health benefits handily beat those of coffee.
    Argentineans who drink mate all day long take it very seriously—they must have just the right brand, prepared just the right way in just the right gourd. And of course, “just right” differs enormously from person to person. In this respect, the mate phenomenon is very much like the culture of coffee snobs in the U.S. I did bring home my own mate kit, and in fact my gourd is curing as I type this. Whether I trade my coffee fanaticism for mate remains to be seen, but if I suddenly seem younger and healthier, you’ll know why. —Joe Kissell

    wiki tea

    although many are not fond of wiki, i found a tea wiki, any who as a resaroce its here in my blog

    tea coasters

    On The Death Of A Teabag
    I have this friend who keeps collecting all her used teabags to add to her henna mixture (hair dye) and it always grosses me out. Different strokes for different folks, what do you do with your dead-used teabag? Mine goes straight into the bin, haha I’m lying, I use loose tea leaves! But seriously, would you want to create artwork with a dripping bag like seen in the “Teabag Coasters” packaging or would you just dump it?

    Designers: Yuree S. Lim & Jieun Yang


    Hourglass-Inspired Tea Timer both Times & Steeps Hot Tea

    No unnecessary bells or whistles (let alone a power cord) are needed for this elegantly simple tea timer-and-steeper to do its job. Just pour, screw, tip and wait.

    A pair of identical glass vessels twist together mechanically via a plastic joiner piece to form the sealed middle between two hourglass-shaping bulbs, each sized for a single two-person serving of tea.

    Three settings in the middle allow the user to select a duration for the steeping process, depending on tea types and personal preferences.

    Once flipped, the top glass drains into the bottom and the loose leaves linger above – beautifully elemental and visually useful. Designed by Pengtao Yu. from