5 Tea Bloggers We Love

Majani Tea discusses what makes Kenyan Teas uniqueMaybe you’re searching for the perfect tea to drink all day, every day. Maybe you want to try every tea under the sun so you can discover some favorites. Maybe you’re sick of listening to people talk about coffee, coffee, coffee, and you want to chat about tea for a change. Maybe you want to learn more about different varieties of tea, or how to pronounce them.

There are loads of reasons to read tea blogs. But which ones? Here are five of our favorites.

Teaspoons & Petals

Teaspoons & Petals is written by tea expert Alexis Siemons. She creates recipes that use tea, go with tea and can be added to tea (like candied rose petals). She also writes about individual teas and tea and cheese pairings (your new favorite snack), all in a warm, authoritative tone. Dip into the archives for posts about gifts and tools.

If you’re looking to get creative with tea, this is the blog for you.

Tea For Me Please

Written by New Jersey native Nicole Martin, Tea For Me Please features tea reviews, book reviews, and tales of her tea-related adventures. Some of us wish we could get together with friends to brew tea in the park, but she actually does it. She updates the blog frequently, so this is the blog for when you want a new best friend who loves tea even more than you do.

Nicole also does a podcast discussing how to make different types of tea and how to say the names of certain varieties.

SororiTEA Sisters

SororiTEA Sisters is all about the reviews. As a group blog, it offers a variety of voices who all share a love of tea. The sisters can guide you as you build a collection of different teas for different moods, or search for the oolong of your dreams. They strive to be objective, while realizing that taste is subjective. Their flavor descriptions are evocative enough to let you know whether or not you’d like to give a specific tea a try.

This is the blog for when you want to try new teas without ending up with box after box of tea you don’t like enough to finish.

World of Tea

Do you want to learn more about tea? Whether you already know a little or a lot, Tony Gebely’s World of Tea is the place to go. Aside posts about tea processing, preparation and fermentation, you’ll find posts about how Tony incorporated tea in his wedding ceremony, and the Bay Area tea scene. He’s also working on a book about tea that will be out later this year.

Tea DB

TeaDB is for those of us who prefer our tea reviews in vlog form. Watch friends James Schergen and Denny Chapin chat while preparing and tasting a new tea every week. Every other week, they post an informative blog post. They’re not experts, so they’re learning along with their viewers.

What are your favorite tea blogs? Tell us in the comments.

5 Reasons to Give Fair Trade Gifts

file5211241836615Majani Teas are fair trade because we know it’s the right thing to do. Of course the son of a tea farmer is going to make sure that his suppliers get a living wage. To do otherwise would make for some very awkward visits home.

You’re unlikely to meet the people who grow or make your presents, but you still care about buying fair trade products. But it’s all too easy to forget about fair trade when shopping for a gift. We’re so focused on finding something they’ll like within our budget that nothing else seems to matter. Even so, there are still plenty of reasons to make sure the gifts you give are fair trade.

1. It takes the edge off the consumerism.

Holidays can be downright ruined by the hunt for the perfect gift. Even people who observe Buy Nothing Day can get caught up in obsessively searching for just the right Valentine’s Day present for their new sweetie. When the big day rolls around, you can feel exhausted by the entire process and hate yourself for participating in a consumerist shopping frenzy. Buying something that protects the rights of workers in developing nations can make you feel better about the whole thing.

2. It makes the gift that much nicer.

Just imagine if we discussed the origins of our gifts as we hand them over. “Here are some chocolates. I’m not sure, but there’s a chance the cacao was picked by child slaves. The box is pretty, though.” Better to give a plain bar of fair trade chocolate and know that no human beings were harmed in its making. A fair trade gift says, “I care about you and the rest of the world.”

3. It limits your options in a good way.

Let’s say you want to give someone a selection of teas. There are so many options, how can you start to narrow down your choices? When you decide to give a fair trade gift, that rules out quite a few brands. You’ll still have plenty of choices, but now it’s a more manageable amount. Now you can get down to considering quality, varieties, packaging and everything else that makes for a good gift.

4. It’s better for the environment.

Most of us are at least a little worried about global climate change and how it will affect our standard of living in the coming years. Fair trade products are sustainably grown, protecting the environment. For example, Fair trade coffee is grown in the shade of other plants, protecting the biodiversity of the rain forests which is good for everyone. It sounds cheesy, but when you give someone a fair trade gift, you’re also giving them hope for the future.

5. Your money goes to the right people.

When you buy a gift, your money can go to the factory owners and the bigwigs at a large corporation. Or your money can go to the artisan who made that wallet, or the farmer who grew that organic tea. Given a choice, we’d all rather support the little guy instead of making a rich guy even richer. Buying fair trade gifts do that.

5 Things You Notice as a Tea Drinker in a Coffee Country

IMG_3360Tea is the world’s most popular beverage, second only to water. But you wouldn’t know that living in the U.S. It’s easy enough to drink all the tea you want at home, but order tea any place else and you can end up feeling outnumbered and misunderstood. Every day, over half of Americans drink tea, but most of it is iced tea. If you drink hot tea (like everyone else on the planet), you’re in the minority.

Here are just some of the things that only tea drinkers notice.

1. Non-Tea Drinkers Think All Tea is the Same

We tea drinkers understand that different teas offer different flavors and varying amounts of caffeine. We also understand that there are different types of coffee, wine and scotch even if we don’t drink them. But non-tea drinkers think that tea is tea. This doesn’t really matter until you need to order a cup a tea from a server who doesn’t know a thing about the tea they serve.

I once ordered a pot of black tea after lunch so I could get my afternoon mini-jolt of caffeine. The waiter brought me a pot of herbal tea. I sent it back, and he brought me a pot of decaf black tea. He finally explained that they’d run out of black tea. Clearly, he didn’t know or care about the difference.

2. Restaurants Don’t See Running Out of Tea as the Crisis It Is

Have you ever heard a waiter say, “I’m sorry, we’re out of coffee”? Of course not. They’d just as soon run out of food. But they run out of tea and just shrug it off. The restaurant in my story was down the block from a supermarket. But they didn’t bother sending a bus boy to buy some tea because they didn’t see any need for urgency.

Tea is soothing, but lack of tea is very upsetting.

3. You’d Better Bring Your Own

Carrying a plastic baggie of teabags with me feels mildly insane. Until I get to a restaurant or cafe that doesn’t have tea, or the type of tea I want. Then I feel like a genius. Or maybe it’s that I’m so relieved that I don’t mind if I look like a weirdo.

There are far too many places in the U.S. that sell all sorts of beverages except for tea. It’s not right, but it’s better to be prepared.

4. Tea to Go is Too Hot

You can always cool off your tea with milk. But if you don’t take milk in your tea, or you’re drinking green tea, white tea or an herbal tea that doesn’t go well with milk, then you have to wait 20 minutes before you can safely take a sip. And you’ll probably get scalded while you’re waiting.

Carry a to go cup of tea down the street, and super hot tea will drip down the string of the tea bag right onto your hand. Tea on the go is always so much hotter than the tea I make at home. I’m starting to wonder if non-tea drinkers hate us and are serving us too-hot-to-drink tea on purpose.

5. Tea is the Answer

Too cold from the office air conditioning? Sip herbal tea all day. Sore throat? Tea. Worried about your health? Tea offers countless health benefits. Need to cut back on your caffeine intake? Switch to tea. You could even use different types of tea to gradually decrease your caffeine intake down to nothing.

But do non-tea drinkers take our advice when we suggest they have some tea? Nope. Their loss.

What have you noticed as a tea drinker? Tell us in the comments.

6 Reasons Why Tea is the Perfect Gift

040813 Majani Teas - Editorial 08This time of year, everyone has gift giving on their minds. Not only do we exchange gifts with our friends, co-workers and family, but we have hostess gifts to consider. No one wants to show up at a party empty handed. And December is nothing if not full of parties.

We happen to think that tea makes a perfect gift for everyone on your list, even if they don’t regularly drink tea. That’s right – everyone could use some tea. And not just because of the delicious taste and health benefits.

Here are our top six reasons why tea is the perfect gift:

1. Some People Don’t Buy Themselves Nice Tea

Gifts are a chance for you to give someone fancier, more expensive and better tasting versions of their favorite foods. People who don’t think twice about indulging others would never consider treating themselves to gourmet tea. That’s where you come in. Tuck a tin of tea in someone’s stocking and they’ll get to enjoy it for weeks.

2. Tea is the world’s most popular drink.

The only drink more popular than tea is water. When you give tea as a hostess gift, they can serve it to their guests at the end of the evening, or drink it the next morning as they recover from the party excitement. If someone doesn’t drink tea themselves, they know several people who do. Every pantry needs some tea. Not sure which kind of tea they like best? Buy a variety pack.

3. Tea is soothing.

Although tea contains caffeine, drinking it is much more relaxing than other caffeinated beverages. Coffee and soda are not for relaxing. But tea is. Everyone you know is suffering from holiday stress this time of year, between going to parties, shopping for the perfect gift and holiday baking. Who couldn’t use a break? Drinking a cup of tea can give anyone a mini-vacation.

4. Tea is healing.

What would you rather drink when you have a cold – coffee or tea? The coffee may give you the huge jolt of caffeine you need to get to the office, but tea will soothe your sore throat and help clear your stuffed nose. Even people who never touch tea could use a cuppa in the winter months.

5. Tea Doesn’t Spoil

As long as it’s properly stored, tea will never go bad. So if your friend is likely to put away your gift for when they have company, or for a special occasion because it’s so nice, tea is the perfect gift for them. The tea will last forever tucked away in the kitchen cabinet, unlike the box of fancy chocolates your mom put away and forgot about last year. And that means you can keep some on hand for unexpected hostess gifts all year long.

6. Tea Doesn’t Need to be Dusted

No one could use more knick knacks for their coffee table/book shelf/nightstand. Cute figurines just take up space, leaving less room for your tea cup. Food gifts like tea get stored in the kitchen until they’re all gone. But with some food gifts, you run the risk of triggering someone allergy to nuts, chocolate, gluten, and so on. But tea allergies are rare, and if you do give tea to someone who’s allergic, they can still keep it around for guests.

What makes tea such a perfect gift is that it’s suitable for so many people. You can take care of several people on your gift list by buying them tea – so less shopping stress for you. Shop now.

Fariji Organic Green Tea

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 2.31.14 PMGreen tea is increasing in popularity as more and more people find out about the numerous
health promoting benefits this ancient beverage has to offer. Tea may be the most commonly
consumed beverage in the world, but it is green tea that you will most likely find in the cups of the
most health­minded folks.
All teas come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The methods in which these tea
leaves are processed results in varying properties and benefits. Black tea undergoes an intense
process of oxidation to get its signature color and flavor. Green tea is not processed with
oxidation; instead the delicate leaves are steamed immediately after harvest.
The gentle processing method of green tea is responsible for its increased health benefits. Tea
is a natural source of polyphenols, an antioxidant compound. Antioxidants are known to
counteract free radical damage that can lead to cancer and aging.
Clinical studies have shown that green tea can be beneficial in reducing the risk of certain
cancers, such as ovarian, breast, bladder, lung, and skin cancers. Green tea may also be
effective at reducing the risk of Parkinson’s disease, lowering blood pressure, and reducing the
amount of “bad” cholesterol in the blood.
The minimal processing that retains the health­promoting compounds within the green tea
leaves also contributes to a more tannic or “bitter” flavor, compared to black tea. Majani Fariji
Green tea is harvested from the highest elevations in Kenya, giving them a subtle flavor that
green tea lovers enjoy.
Try Majani Fariji Green Tea hot, or iced with lemon, for a refreshing and health­promoting
beverage.
About the bird: Majani Fariji Green Tea packages are adorned with the image of the
Blue­cheeked Bee­Eater, or Merops Persicus. This colorful bird is found in bushy and wooded
habitats near water, mainly in southern Kenya. Its vivid green color is more recognizable than the
blue cheeks for which it got its name.

Majani Tea is Proud to Be Served at Orwashers in NYC

Majani Tea is proud to be served at Orwashers in New York City.

Orwashers original bakery has been located in the same spot in the Upper East Side of New York City since it opened in 1916. This nearly 100 year old establishment keeps customers returning day in and out for fresh baked breads and sweet treats. Now, Orwashers’ customers can pair their favorite baguettes, rye, and pumpernickel with Majani tea.

Jessica runs the original Orwashers, and she is a big fan of our authentic Kenyan teas. The bakery sales both our Fariji organic green tea and Thabiti organic black tea varieties. “I have a cup of each every day,” says Jessica.”The green tea is very calming.”

Orwashers’ customers in New York appreciate Majani tea for its delicious flavor, but there is another factor to their loyalty to our quality tea. “Our customers are very New York centric,” Jessica explains. “They love to support [Majani founder] Ronald. We enjoy working with a local New Yorker and Columbia grad!”

Once the customers at Orwashers have tasted our teas, they are quick to ask where they can purchase it. “We are the only place in the neighborhood where you can get Majani tea,” Jessica proudly exclaims. “Our customers love the taste; it is super reasonably priced, and the high quality made it a ‘no-brainer’ to carry it in our store.”

Majani is proud to be carried in Orwashers, and part of a long standing New York tradition. Here’s hoping that Orwashers and Majani will be satisfying New Yorkers for the next one hundred years.

Connect with Orwashers on Facebook!

Photo of Orwashers provided by Flickr User Robyn Lee

Thabiti Organic Black Tea

Majani Black TeaBlack tea from Kenya is a favorite of tea lovers everywhere. Majani Thabiti Black Tea is organic and Fair Trade Certified, and its color, body, flavor and aroma are a result of idyllic growing conditions in Kenya.

Black tea, like green, white, and oolong varieties, comes from the leaves of the camillia senensis plant. The black tea variety is generally stronger in flavor than the other tea varieties.

Black tea is not black at all. It actually has a beautiful deep, reddish hue as a result of the processing method of the tea leaves. Black tea receives its characteristics from a process called oxidations. The leaves are plucked, and bruised or torn to induce the oxidization process. The leaves are then placed in a climate controlled room where the process continues and the leaves get darker. The chlorophyll and tannins, the compound that can leave a bitter, dry sensation in the mouth, are broken down and released.

The resulting is a moderately sweet tea. Majani Thabiti has notes of caramel and honey, with a smooth fruity finish of raisins and plum. The low levels of tannins means a smooth finish in every cup.

Black teas are the base for many tea blends, including Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Irish Breakfast teas.

About the bird: Majani Thabiti tea packaging is adorned with an illustrated bird, the Red and Yellow Barbet. The barbet, Trachyphonus Erythrocephalus, is common throughout Kenya up to elevations of 5,000ft. Males have distinctive black (spotted white), red, and yellow plumage. The females are similar to males but overall much duller. They are often tamed and their feathers are used as adornment by many East African tribes.

 

Majani Thabiti Black Tea is sure to become a favorite. Thabiti black tea is available at Majani.com in loose leaf and satchels, in a variety of sizes. Try it today and experience the smooth flavor and irresistible aroma of one of Kenya’s most delightful teas.

Majani Tea discusses what makes Kenyan Teas unique

Why Are Kenyan Teas So Unique?

Tea aficionados know there are three places in the world where the best leaves are grown and harvested: China, India, and Kenya. If the last cup of tea you enjoyed was a breakfast tea or Indian blend, chances are you may have experienced the bold flavors of Kenyan tea.

Kenyan tea is grown in ideal conditions along the equator, where the leaves of the camillia senensis plants are elevated and bathed in 12 hours of sunlight each day. Volcanic red soils nurture the tea with nutrients, and a steady fall of tropical rain results in a continual and consistent crop.

Tea from Kenya is free from pests, disease, and agrochemicals. These healthy plants provide a  pure and health promoting beverage, with no pesticides or fungicides. The majority of tea farms in Kenya are small-scale, and over 90% of the tea from Kenya is hand-picked by the families that own them. Only the bud and the finest two leaves are carefully plucked and dried, resulting in a dynamic “tea” flavor, and compelling aroma.

The flavor of a cup of Kenyan tea is unsurpassed. A low level of tannins, a compound that can add bitterness, makes each cup of tea silky smooth.

Majani Teas are certified organic, and sustainably grown. Majani Teas are also grown in compliance of the standards for Rainforest Alliance certification, and sourced from Fairtrade certified producers. Majani partners with cooperatives that pass all of the earnings back to small-scale producers, ensuring living wages are provided to the community farmers and families of Kenya.

Majani’s exquisite teas come in black, green, white, and oolong varieties. Each cup of Majani tea from Kenya envelopes you in smooth, bold flavor and captivating aroma. Drinking Majani tea supports a rich history of family and community in the fertile farmlands of Kenya. Kenya teas are among the best in the world, and Majani tea from Kenya is an exquisite cup above the rest.

Majani Tea was happy to be at the Fancy Food Show in New York representing Kenyan Tea

Majani at the Fancy Food Show

The 60th Summer Fancy Food Show kicked off in New York City last week, and Majani Teas was thrilled to showcase our exquisite Kenyan Teas at North America’s largest specialty food and beverage event.

Over 2,730 exhibitors, representing 49 different countries, presented more than 180,000 products at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Among the rows of sweets, treats, and refreshing drinks, we proudly presented our organic fair trade teas.

Majani Tea at Fancy Food Show

Majani Teas had an amazing time at the Summer Fancy Food Show. Booth #5125 at the SFFS14 was buzzing as we promoted our world class Kenyan teas, and educated show-goers about what makes tea from Kenya so unique. Majani’s beautifully packaged tea tins and boxes, each featuring an illustration of a bird native to Kenya, drew in curious spectators for a closer look.

Kenya is one of the oldest tea producing countries in Africa, and one of the biggest exporters of tea in the world. Majani Tea was founded by Ronald Mutai, who was raised on a small, family run tea farm in Kenya. Today, Ronald brings the bold flavors and unique taste of Kenyan teas to the rest of the world. Majani Teas celebrates a rich history of family farming, Fair Trade practices, and pure, organically grown teas.

Did you see Majani at the Summer Fancy Food Show? Tell us about it with a comment below! Follow Majani on Twitter, and check out our pictures and tweets from the event: @majaniteas #sffs14