Pod Me Another Cup: All About Coffee and Tea

A curated episode list by

Creation Date March 15th, 2020
Updated Date Updated November 27th, 2020
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  1. Globally, we humans consume around 2.25 billion cups of coffee every day. Anney and Lauren explore the turbulent history of coffee, plus what it takes to bring each bean from a farm to your cup, with special guest Shawn Steiman – aka Dr. Coffee. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
  2. This week, Gastropod tells the story of two countries and their shared obsession with a plant: Camellia sinensis, otherwise known as the tea bush. The Chinese domesticated tea over thousands of years, but they lost their near monopoly on international trade when a Scottish botanist, disguised as a Chinese nobleman, smuggled it out of China in the 1800s, in order to secure Britain’s favorite beverage and prop up its empire for another century. The story involves pirates, ponytails, and hard drugs—and, to help tell the tale, Cynthia and Nicky visit Britain’s one and only commercial tea plantation, tucked away in a secret garden on an aristocratic estate on the Cornish coast. While harvesting and processing tea leaves, we learn the difference between green and black tea, as well as which is better for your health. Put the kettle on, and settle in for the science and history of tea! It seemed so simple in the mid-1700s: China had tea, Britain wanted tea. First introduced by Portuguese princess Catherine de Braganza in 1662, tea soon overtook beer as Britain’s favorite brew. The only problem, according to Sarah Rose, author of For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History, was that the Chinese weren’t purchasing any British goods in return. Britain was simply dumping its silver into China, creating a serious balance of payments problem. Britain’s solution? Trade drugs for drugs—specifically, the caffeine fix in tea for the poppies that grow abundantly on the Afghan-Pakistan border, which at the time was part of the British empire. “They just start dumping opium into China,” explained Rose. But drug-dealing proved to be an expensive headache, and so, in 1848, Britain embarked on the biggest botanical heist in history, as well as one of the biggest thefts of intellectual property to date: stealing Chinese tea plants, as well as Chinese tea-processing expertise, in order to create a tea industry in India. Tregothnan tea bushes and our freshly harvested tea leaves. Today, the 700-year-old family estate of Tregothnan, Cornwall, is actually selling tea back to China. And after Cynthia and Nicky pluck, process, and slurp the estate’s delicious teas, we talk to scientist Jeffrey Blumberg at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy to get to the bottom of the hype surrounding tea’s health benefits. Listen in now for a swashbuckling tale of pirates and polyphenols! Episode Notes For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History We recommend reading Sarah Rose‘s excellent book for the full story of Robert Fortune’s exploits in China—it’s a fabulous tale! And keep an eye out for her next book, all about the history of the women recruited to Churchill’s secret spy agency in World War II. It won’t hit the shelves for a while yet, but it sounds fantastic. Tregothnan Teas Tregothnan is a 700-year-old aristocratic estate, the home of the Earls of Falmouth, near Truro in Cornwall. It boasts Cornwall’s largest historic botanic garden, filled with treasures such as the “dinosaur tree” Wollemi pine, endangered Kea plums that only grow in a single valley, and the world’s largest camellia bush maze. But, for our purposes, its main claim to fame is that it “puts the English into English tea for the first time in history,” ever since it started selling England’s first and only domestically grown tea in 2005. You can order their single-estate loose-leaf tea, with its “muscatel notes and Magnolia florals,” as well as freshly harvested, unprocessed tea leaves and their range of delicious custom blends, online. Hunting bothy, bowling green, and banana plants at Tregothnan. Bella Percy-Hughes and Cynthia looked at a plucked tea bud and leaves at Tregothnan. Jeffrey Blumberg Jeffrey Blumberg is professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, as well as senior scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.  His research is focused on the biochemical basis for the role of antioxidant nutrients in promoting health and preventing disease.  As part of his work, he chaired the most recent International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health. Cornwall or Darjeeling? The Himalayan Valley at Tregothnan. Nicky disappearing into the camellia maze; Cynthia following Bella into the secret garden. The post It’s Tea Time: Pirates, Polyphenols, and a Proper Cuppa appeared first on Gastropod.
  3. The coffee world has changed since Starbucks rose to prominence. Not only has the sourcing of beans acquired wine-like precision, but now there are many small, local roasters. How'd this all happen? Episode 4 brings you into the infrastructure underpinning third-wave coffee from a Kenyan coffee auction to a major coffee importer to a secret coffee warehouse in San Leandro with beans from every coffee-growing nation in the world. We’re guided by Aaron Van der Groen, the green coffee buyer for San Francisco’s legendary roaster Ritual Coffee. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
  4. Travel with us to the rolling hills of Sri Lanka and the high mountains of Taiwan to sample teas and learn about their origins. We explore how decisions like harvesting, processing and fermentation impart flavor, and how its consumption is deeply ingrained in Asian cultures. Meet our guests Elena Liao from Te Company a premium tearoom in New York City, as she discusses Oolong tea is and how Taiwan’s history plays a role in its taste, and Waris Ahluwalia, a designer and actor whose newly launched tea line, House of Waris was inspired by the traditional medicinal uses of tea. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
  5. A Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks is the perfect accessory for the "basic bitch." But why? We dive into the PSL's origin story, and trace Starbucks’ route from elitist to basic. PLUS: Product Misplacement with Jean Edelstein.
  6. This week on Japan Eats, host Akiko Katayama is joined in the studio by Japanese tea ceremony instructor Keiko Kitazawa Koch. Keiko was born and raised in Nara, Japan, a historically and culturally rich part of Japan. She has carried a deep sense of Japanese tradition since childhood. Her first education in Japanese tea ceremony started with the Musyanokoji-style (武者小路流). She was trained in her earlier years, in Nara. Keiko teaches Omotesenke-style (表千家流) tea ceremony in her own tea room in New Jersey, and also at a location in Brooklyn. Her students develop deep interest in “Chaji” which is the formal tea ceremony, held throughout the year, spanning all four seasons. Keiko also demonstrates and teaches in schools in New Jersey, Brooklyn, and New York City. Keiko's class schedule: http://murasakinj.exblog.jp/i8/ Keiko's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/moonlightnj
  7. “Nobody can soldier without coffee,” a Union calvary man wrote in 1865. Hidden Kitchens looks at three American wars through the lens of coffee: the Civil War, Vietnam and Afghanistan. And an interview with Anastacia Marx de Salcedo author of “Combat Ready Kitchen: How the U.S. Military Shapes the Way You Eat.” The Civil War:  War, freedom, slavery, secession, union – these are some of the big themes you might expect to find in the diaries of Civil War soldiers. At least, that’s what Jon Grinspan, a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, assumed when he began digging through war journals in the nation’s Civil War archives. “I went looking for the big stories,” Grinspan says. “And all they kept talking about was the coffee they had for breakfast, or the coffee they wanted to have for breakfast.” The Vietnam War:  Coffee may have powered the Union army during the Civil War, but during the Vietnam War, it fueled the GI anti-war movement. In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, as soldiers returning from Vietnam began to question the U.S. role in the war, GI coffeehouses sprung up in military towns outside bases across the country. They became a vital gathering place. Oleo Strut, Fort Hood, TX, Shelter Half, Tacoma, Washington, the Green Machine outside Camp Pendleton, San Diego; Mad Anthony Wayne’s, Waynesville, Mo., outside Fort Leonard, to name a few. As the anti-war movement heated up, these coffeehouses became places where GIs could get legal counseling on issues like going AWOL and obtaining conscientious objector status, and learn about ways to protest the war. Afghanistan: “ The military runs on coffee,” says Harrison Suarez, co-founder of Compass Coffee in Washington DC. “The Marines especially. It’s this ritual.” Suarez and Michael Haft, who started Compass together, first became friends in the Marines over coffee learning how to navigate with a map and compass. As the war in Afghanistan intensified, both Suarez and Haft deployed there with the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. One of their missions was to help develop the local police force and army. The two men tried to bond with their new Afghan partners over coffee, but the Afghans weren’t having it. The Afghan culture is much more about tea. Regardless of what was in the cups, the experience of gathering together over a hot drink and “taking time to develop a rapport with your partners that you are fighting alongside holds the same.” This story is part of the Hidden Kitchens series “Kimchi Diplomacy: War and Peace and Food.”
  8. You can make your social impact and your bottom line work hand-in-hand. But you'll have to be as creative and innovative about your company's values as you are about the business itself. Howard Schultz, chair and former CEO of Starbucks, not only changed how America wakes up, but set new standards for employee benefits. From offering college tuition to American employees to providing health care for employees' parents in China, Howard has always been one step ahead of the social impact curve.Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/howard-schultz-how-to-do-good-and-do-good-business/Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dlirtX
  9. In 1997, after going for a long run, Seth Goldman was frustrated with the sugar-filled drinks at the corner market. So he brewed up a beverage in his kitchen, and turned it into Honest Tea.

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