Have a Cup: A Tea Playlist

By: Andreana Chou

Cold winter days call for a warm cup of tea! While it may seem that coffee is the favored caffeinated beverage on social media and in brick and mortar stores, with fancy latte art and discussions revolving around specific beans and brewing techniques, tea is not past its heyday yet. 289 billion liters of tea were consumed in the world in 2020 – that’s a lot of tea! In the same year, it was also estimated that 159 million Americans drank tea on any given day. And the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) predicted that 4.14 million tons of black tea would be consumed in 2023. 

Heritage Radio Network has compiled a tea playlist for our listeners, whether you are a fan of tea or someone who occasionally enjoys a cup. Learn about the history of tea, how tea is being “modernized” today, entrepreneurship behind tea companies, and much more!


A Taste of the Past Episode 374: Forgotten Past of Green Tea in America: It’s a little known fact that in the nineteenth century, Americans favored green teas consumed hot with milk and sugar. The teas were imported from China until Japan developed an export industry centered on the U.S. Author Robert Hellyer explores the forgotten American preference and traces the trans-Pacific tea trade from the eighteenth century forward in his book, Green with Milk and Sugar (discount code: cup20). He shares his insights on how the interconnections between Japan and the United States have influenced the daily habits of people in both countries. 

Food Without Borders Episode 62: Cold Brew Tea and Chinese-American Identity with Evy Chen: Evy Chen is founder of Evy Tea, the first cold-brew tea company in the US, and its brick and mortar location, Tea Bar in Boston. Born in Southeast China, Evy’s politically-active family instilled in her independence, creativity and a knack for blending flavors, which evolved when she came to the US for college. She talks about the interwovenness of tea in Chinese culture, her shock at trying American iced tea for the first time, scaling a product while staying true to its quality, and unpacking the myth of cultural authenticity.

Feast Meets West Episode 6: Bin Chen of Boba Guys + Better Bubble Tea: Originating in Taiwan in the 1980’s, boba or bubble tea has been an international hit, but this new beverage is still evolving. Joining Lynda and Iris in the studio is Bin Chen, co-founder of the extremely popular Boba Guys. Boba Guys opened their first store in San Francisco in 2013. They have 4 locations in SF, 1 in NYC – with another opening this month in Greenwich Village. Tune in to learn the brief but interesting history of this drink, why it’s so big in the West, and what people like Boba Guys are doing to make it even better.

Japan Eats! Episode 227: What is the Difference Between Japanese and Chinese Tea?: Our guest is Don Mei who is the Director of Mei Leaf, an awesome tea company based in London. Don also has a wonderful YouTube Channel called “Mei Leaf”, which has 80,000 subscribers. His videos are extremely educational and uniquely fun based on his extensive knowledge of both Chinese and Japanese tea.  His global and analytical perspective helps viewers to appreciate tea even more. In this episode, we will discuss various aspects of Japanese tea such as production, flavor and terroir in comparison with Chinese tea, Don’s intriguing path to become a tea specialist and much, much more! 

In the Sauce Episode 133: Building in the Right Channel: Sashee Chandran is the founder and CEO of Tea Drops, the organic, ground leaf teas that dissolve into your cup – no bag or infuser needed. On this episode of ITS, Sashee and Ali talk about sales channels and alignment – not every product makes sense in every channel, and every product has a few channels that really make sense. They also chat about subscriptions, why it can be huge for a brand, but why it also requires more attention than you think.

Meant To Be Eaten Episode 4: Timothy Hsu and Zach Magan on Who Owns Tea: Tea culture spans thousands of years, from India and China to Japan and Britain. But what exactly is tea? And what do tea purists think of the rise of fast casual tea joints? Are these types of places watering down the meaning and significance of this historic brew? On this episode, Andrea Wien talks to Timothy Hsu, proprietor of the Mandarin Tea Room and Chinese tea master trainee and Zach Mangan, the founder of the Japanese tea shop Kettl in Williamsburg.  

Feast Meets West Episode 29: Tea Drunk + Chinese Tea for The Modern Day: We’ve talked about tea before, but in this episode, we go back to where it all began: Chinese tea. The very knowledgeable founder and CEO of Tea Drunk, Shunan Teng, talks to Lynda and Iris about what we need to understand about Chinese tea in the modern day. Plus, a bonus interview clip from Yisheng Organic in Hong Kong on why organic and fairtrade tea is important! 

Life’s a Banquet Episode 127: TEA off! A double header episode about TEA!: It’s tea time babes, so grab yourselves an English muffin and turn on “Murder She Wrote”, because things are about to get real geriatric on this week’s burning-hot episode of America’s favorite podcast. We are talking tea history, tea puns, tea psychics and psychos, plus the glorious Long Island history of the Long Island Iced Tea, and the origin of no one’s favorite cocktail at the legendary Oak Beach Inn. So grab yourself an Arnold Palmer and pour it down your pants, it’s Life’s a Banquet the podcast!

Life’s a Banquet Episode 128: TEA for 2 – Part two of our TEAisode!: So you made it through part 1 of our TEASTRAVAGANZA. Congratulations, and welcome to part deux! We hope you brought some cream and some hottttt gossip! This week we talk about hard tea, and the worst party in history, The Boston Tea Party. So get yourself some Smooth Move and toss it all into the ocean, it’s Life’s a Banquet the podcast!