The Oncoming Storm


Tea of the Day: The Oncoming Storm by Dryad Tea

Description: Dark and full of bold flavor and a deep thoughtfulness. There is a promise of a storm on the horizon with this tea

Dry tea smells berry-sweet but with a rich zing

Liquor is a dark red-brown in the cup

Steeped tea smells sharper than the dry, a bit like damp earth, but still sweet.

The tea has a sweetness to it, but it is not timid, the flavor fills the whole mouth and lingers after it’s swallowed. I could easily just drink it without sugar, but I added a bit just to see. That little bit of sugar really made the berry flavor pop and also allows you to really taste the earthiness you can smell. Quite possibly my new favorite tea

Tea Rating: 5/5

Book Review: A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage.

Back of the book blurb:

From beer to Coca-Cola, the six drinks that have helped shape human history.
Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola. Beer was first made in the Fertile Crescent and by 3000 B.C.E. was so important to Mesopotamia and Egypt that it was used to pay wages. In ancient Greece wine became the main export of her vast seaborne trade, helping spread Greek culture abroad. Spirits such as brandy and rum fueled the Age of Exploration, fortifying seamen on long voyages and oiling the pernicious slave trade. Although coffee originated in the Arab world, it stoked revolutionary thought in Europe during the Age of Reason, when coffeehouses became centers of intellectual exchange. And hundreds of years after the Chinese began drinking tea, it became especially popular in Britain, with far-reaching effects on British foreign policy. Finally, though carbonated drinks were invented in 18th-century Europe they became a 20th-century phenomenon, and Coca-Cola in particular is the leading symbol of globalization.

For Tom Standage, each drink is a kind of technology, a catalyst for advancing culture by which he demonstrates the intricate interplay of different civilizations. You may never look at your favorite drink the same way again.

The Review:

I picked this book up because the cover caught my eye, as covers are meant to do. I brought it home with me because the premise seemed interesting, a take on history I had not previously considered. Plus, two of the six beverages (coffee and tea) I drink daily so I knew I’d enjoy at least a third of the book.

I was right, and also wrong.

Rather than just enjoying a third of the book, I enjoyed the whole thing. Honestly, my only complaint is that when it gets to the modern era, its facts are from 2004 or earlier. This is not a failing of the author; the version I read was published in 2006. The book so thoroughly caught my attention, though, that I found myself wondering if the trend of influence has continued since that point, and what might have changed.

Because this book is not a fiction novel, not much can be said about the plot or characters. However, it is not dry or boring by any means. It frames the history of the world in a way that is more relatable than your “normal” history book. It’s something like Connections by James Burke, albeit more focused.

One thing to note, though: this book will make you thirsty for whatever beverage you’re reading about!

Book Rating: 5/5


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