This started with a gift of tea from China. Packed with care, several pounds of relatively ordinary looking pressed and dried leaves like you see in the photo arrived on my doorstep during a major turning point for my family and me personally. The ordinary ritual of brewing and drinking the tea is a method to take control of the tempo of our lives. The human effort involved in producing high quality tea makes it not just a beverage but a technological artifact in simple terms. Because excellent tea is an artifact that you can drink, and it has a global appeal, it’s only natural that geography and the history of technology will also be frequent subjects on this blog, especially about things you can hold in hand, perhaps even make yourself, like an excellent cup of tea.