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Just a Cup of Tea Makes a Difference

T Ching - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 09:06

Not only is the elderly population large, but it’s getting larger every year due to the advancement of health care. On the other hand, many of them experience depression and loneliness either because they lost their partner or because they became unable to engage in various social activities. This means that a big part of our society is lonely. But there’s something you can do about it–and tea can have a surprising role in it. Namely, sometimes, offering a cup of tea to an elderly person is one of the best things you can do, and here’s why:

Tea Connects People

Back in the early 19th century, Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, started a whole new tradition when she complained about having a “sinking feeling” during the late afternoon and she needed company. She started organizing afternoon tea parties and soon it spread among the aristocracy. That’s how afternoon tea became a perfect way to pass the time and connect with people as well. Some form of this tradition still lives all over the world – gatherings with hot beverages always have the vibe of closeness, regardless of whether you offer it to a friend or to a stranger. That might be your first step if you want to help an older person.

Tea Combats Stigma

Prescribing a medicine to an elderly person is not always the solution, since some of their issues can go beyond that. Besides the loneliness and depression, old people have to deal with the isolation and the entire stigma around them. Furthermore, elderly people often stigmatize themselves because they fear they’ll be pitied or perceived as a burden to others. That’s another reason why offering them a cup of tea is a good approach – it’s a perfect way to say “I care, not because it’s my job, but because I could be your friend.”

It can Help You Find your Purpose

When someone mentions volunteering, people usually associate it with something nice people can do to fill their free time. However, volunteering is much more than that, since it can have a huge impact on the society. For example, if you decide to organize tea parties for the elderly population, you’ll be delivering a critical service. What’s even better, you’ll see the results of your efforts and there’s no better feeling than that. Furthermore, this might be a start of the journey to find your purpose. Who knows, maybe you decide to pursue a career in home care? Or you’ll simply have the advantage when applying for another job because you have volunteering experience.  Either way, it can only be beneficial.

It’s Good for Health

Besides the psychological benefits a cup of tea shared with someone can bring, tea can be good for an elderly person’s physical health as well. Green tea is valuable in particular since it’s packed with antioxidants which improve red blood cells and saliva oxidative status. Besides, green tea contains around 40 percent water-extractable polyphenols that can help with weight loss. A study showed it can help stabilize the appetite, which is a major concern for the elderly. Furthermore, various reports stated that green tea lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and certain cancers, so make sure that’s what you put in a teapot when offering a cup of tea to an elderly person.

There’s so much you could learn from an older person – just imagine the wisdom they have gained over the years. On the other hand, a meaningful conversation or simply someone who listens can mean the world to the elderly. So, it’s true – a cup of tea can make a difference!


The post Just a Cup of Tea Makes a Difference appeared first on T Ching.

Aria blend from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.

SororiTEA Sisters - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 00:35
Immediately evident in the dry leaves are whole cloves and some seed pods that I thought at first were anise but, after looking at the ingredients, I decided must be fennel. The attractive-looking combination also includes bits of licorice and marshmallow root as well as orange peel and peppermint plus cinnamon and ginger. I used a heaping teaspoon of the tea leaves in a cup of water at approximately boiling temperature and then watched it Read More

Tea Lover’s Organic Ceremonial Matcha from My Matcha Life

SororiTEA Sisters - Sun, 01/08/2017 - 20:00
Tea Lover’s Organic Ceremonial Matcha from My Matcha Life? Yes, please! Let’s get right to it, shall we? Tea Lover’s Organic Ceremonial Matcha from My Matcha Life shows off a vibrant green, fluffy powder upon cracking the top of this matcha tin! It smells like creamy green veggies! An aroma I absolutely adore! Tea Lover’s Organic Ceremonial Matcha from My Matcha Life didn’t froth up as easy as some other matcha tend to but that Read More

Bombay Chai Matcha Latte from Sen Cha Naturals. . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Sun, 01/08/2017 - 16:00
I have to say that Sen Cha Naturals products are completely blowing me away! I had no idea that I would enjoy them as much as I am! Today I NEED to share with you Bombay Chai Matcha Latte from Sen Cha Naturals. Bombay Chai Matcha Latte from Sen Cha Naturals is a frothy matcha latte with no milk required. Therefore, it’s vegan! It’s also gluten-free! Sen Cha Naturals has done away with the ​diglycerides Read More

Revisiting the Chocolate Kitchen at Hampton Court: Marc Meltonville, Historic Royal Palaces Food Historian at the DIA

Barb's Tea Shop - Sun, 01/08/2017 - 14:58

Rachel. Barb and Chris with Palace Food Historian, Marc Meltonville
Last November, as part of the Bitter/Sweet: Coffee, Tea and Chocolate Exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts, we had the great pleasure of attending a presentation about the chocolate kitchen at Hampton Court Palace from Historic Royal Palaces Food Historian, Marc Meltonville.

Visiting Hampton Court in 2015, ready to see the chocolate rooms
When we visited Hampton Court in the Fall of 2015, we saw the chocolate rooms but had no idea they had only recently been uncovered and restored.  Per Marc Meltonville, the general location of the chocolate rooms were known to be somewhere along the Fountain Court, but not until 2013, when a curator found inventory documents, did they find the specific spot.

Hampton Court

Fountain Court, at chocolate rooms
Hampton Court, located on the Thames. was once the home of Thomas Wolsey, until  Henry VIII took it over in 1514. During the reign of William and Mary, famed architect, Christopher Wren, designed an "addition" which included the Fountain Court. 

The chocolate room  displays all the sweet treat accouterments of the Georgian era
In 2013, excavating began in the area along the Fountain Court where the chocolate rooms were documented and, astonishingly, the original shelves and ovens were uncovered. After careful restoration, the chocolate kitchen was opened on Valentines Day, 2014. Today, visitors will see both the chocolate room (where chocolate serving pieces were housed) and the chocolate kitchen as they were in 18th century when they were run by the personal chocolate maker to King George I, Thomas Tosier.

The Chocolate Room
According to palace records, Thomas Tosier had his own bedroom at the palace. It's telling of the status of being the Royal chocolate maker  - not just your average court minion. Thomas and his wife Grace, from all accounts, lead quite a comfortable life for servants of the King.

The Chocolate Kitchen were the original oven and shelves were uncovered
In the chocolate kitchen, you can view the original oven and shelves. There are holograms that demonstrate chocolate making.

Holograms of chocolate makers are displayed on the rooms' blank walls.
At the DIA's Bitter/Sweet Exhibit, visitors can see a film of Marc Meltonville (below) at Hampton Court's chocolate kitchen.

Marc Meltonville is featured in a film as part of  DIA exhibit
It's an interesting (and delicious) part of history. An added treat to meet the Royal Food Historian in person.

BTS (at the DIA exhibit) will host chocolate tea pairing this month
Although Marc Meltonville 's presentation was only in November, the Bitter/Sweet exhibit at the DIA continues through March.

In addition, in connection this exhibit, Barb's Tea Service will be presenting The History of Tea with a Chocolate and Tea pairing at the Huntington Woods Library on January 28th.

Happily Headless from Adagio Teas. . . GoT Inspired Tea!

SororiTEA Sisters - Sun, 01/08/2017 - 12:00
Now that Game of Thrones is six seasons in and the books have been around even longer, I think it is safe to say that referencing Ned’s death doesn’t really require a spoiler warning. I mean you would basically need to have lived under a rock to not know the shocking decapitation that befell the Stark patriarch. I guess people should have seen it coming when the show cast Sean Bean in the role given Read More

Product Review: Portable Tea Infuser Bottle AKA Tea Capsule from Pumeli. . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Sat, 01/07/2017 - 21:05
Are you ready for a Product Review? Portable Tea Infuser Bottle AKA Tea Capsule from Pumeli is what’s up next here at Sororitea Sisters! More and more companies seem to be coming out with tea infuser bottles so today I am going to tell you what makes THIS Portable Tea Infuser Bottle AKA Tea Capsule from Pumeli different! First and foremost I will say that the vibrant yellow color and sleek curvy design are very Read More

Hitting The Shack Pot: My Holidays

The Devotea - Sat, 01/07/2017 - 20:34

Lately, I have been increasingly concerned about Australia becoming the 52nd state of the US, language-wise. I read an Australian bestseller where the entire book, including the title, used the ugly American spelling of ‘jail’ for ‘gaol’. Why? Did they authors think Australians are so dumb and dyslexic that we might think her husband was […]

The post Hitting The Shack Pot: My Holidays appeared first on Lord Devotea's Tea Spouts.

Spiced Apple Chai from Adagio Tea

SororiTEA Sisters - Sat, 01/07/2017 - 16:00
This tastes spot-on like spiced apple cider. It tastes precisely like something one would buy at a farmer’s market from an Amish person. You could imagine them hand-mashing it, mulling it, and dropping in a dallop of cinnamon. Totally real ingredients, all the indulgence, with none (or almost none) of the calories. You’d then carry your cup of this cider into a pumpkin patch, with your partner, who wants to “share” it with you. But Read More

A Handblended Detox Tea for 2017! Let’s Detox from The NecessiTeas

SororiTEA Sisters - Sat, 01/07/2017 - 12:00
Detox – also known as – Let’s Detox from The NecessiTeas is an interesting blend. The blended base is Honeybush and Rooibos. But it also has Lemon Myrtle, Lemon Peel, Star Anise, Ginger, Licorice Root, Juniper Berries, Lemongrass, Marigold, Stevia, Birch Leaves, and Willow Bark. My favorite part of this mix of ingredients is the ratios of ingredients which are all done nicely. Nothing is overdone. Everything blends well. The Lemon Myrtle, Peel, and Grass Read More

Let’s Go Nuts! from Tea Taxi . . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Fri, 01/06/2017 - 20:00
A lot of tea companies provide nut based herbal blends. The most famous I can think of is Forever Nuts by DAVIDsTEA. I enjoyed that when I first tried it but quickly fell out of love with it. Unfortunately, so many other blends taste just the same. This is not like those blends. This tea is just so much better. I prepared it as an eggnog latte today, mostly because I have a whole lot Read More

What You Liked about Notes on Tea in 2016

Notes on Tea - Fri, 01/06/2017 - 18:47

Have you been reflecting on last year and making resolutions for this one? I haven't made any new resolutions for 2017. I will continue with the ones I made last year: to hand write more letters, to take better care of myself, and to discover and explore more teas.

I took stock of several aspects of the blog. After reading Tea For Me Please's post about the importance of accurate analytics, I queried the program for a list of the 10 most popular posts written in 2016.

Resolutions for 2016 + Teavana's Wellness Teas Review
Resolutions for 2016 + Paper Source Hello!Lucky Bird Stationery Kit Giveaway
Tea Review - Ippodo Tea Bag Set
Interview - Teplo Bottle Founders
Tea Review - Mizuba Tea Co. Matcha
Endangered Species Chocolate Bars and Spreads Review + A Giveaway
Tea Cultivars - 12 Chinese Tea Cultivars
Favorite Tea Ware - Kym Cooper of The Steepery in Australia
Ching Ching Cha Chinese Teahouse in Georgetown, Washington DC
Tea Review - Four Tieguanyin Oolongs

More than a third of the top 10 were reviews of tea or places. One fifth of your favorites were giveaways but I imagine you liked the content surrounding the prize. Another fifth were knowledge posts (interview and cultivar information). Although only one Favorite Tea Ware post written in 2016 made it in the top 10, this series has been well read since the first one with Jee Choe of Oh How Civilized in 2014. The last one of 2016 was published in October and featured tea ware from Jeff Cleary, the UNYtea Guy. Analytics provided great feedback. I will continue to provide the content that you like. I certainly enjoy researching and writing about the topics. One subject that didn't make it to the top 10 was tea and food. However, this is a nexus I am interested in so I will keep writing about it. I haven't shared my DC afternoon tea experiences. I will review a matcha cookbook in the early part of this year. I typically test and share recipes from the tea cookbooks I review. Check out this Matcha Breakfast Parfait from The Healthy Matcha Cookbook by Miryam Quinn Doblas. (If you are looking for a savory option, consider tea and cheese pairings developed by Cheeses of Europe and Bellocq Tea.)

I also looked beyond the blog. When you consider my Instagram content, your 9 favorite Instagram posts were leafy with more than 50% of the photos featuring tea leaves of various types and in various states! Starting top left and proceeding clockwise:

1st Flush Darjeeling c/o ITEI
Minto Island Tea Company Black Tea 2016
Minto Island Tea Company Steamed Green Tea 2016
Floating Tea Leaves Da Yu Ling 2016
At Te Company with Sara of Tea Happiness
L'Age de The China Beauty Rings
My first clay tea pot
Nilgiri Coonoor c/o ITEI
Japanese Green Tea c/o Shizuoka Tea Research Institute & pineapple linzer

I greatly appreciate your varied modes of support and participation. Best wishes for the new year and success in all that you do!

- Georgia

Friday Round Up: January 1st - January 7th

Tea For Me Please - Fri, 01/06/2017 - 17:00
Best Teas of 2016
+Rachana Rachel Carter put together a list of some of her favorite teas from the past year. I have to say that she has great taste. Several of my own favorites made the cut!

The Tea-Stained Glory that was 2016
+Robert Godden drew some inspiration from my post on Monday and put together a top 10 of his own blog posts. If you haven't read his writing before, this entry is a great place to start.

Oolong Owl's 2016 Tea Consumption and Stash Data
I don't know anyone who keeps more detailed records of their tea drinking than +Charissa Gascho. Her yearly state of the tea union is something that I look forward to reading every year, mostly because it gives me delusions that my stash isn't THAT bad.

Bourbon from Dammann Freres

SororiTEA Sisters - Fri, 01/06/2017 - 16:00
Even though I still drink coffee in the morning to get myself going before work, with the arrival of the cold weather (finally!) I have been reaching for more tea. It’s so nice to pick a tea and sip on it throughout the afternoon and evening. This one sounded warming and sweet, just what I needed this evening when a sugar craving hit. Sipping… I love that the black tea base is mellow, while also Read More

Marshmallow Krispy Treat from The NecessiTeas. . . .An Handmade Treat!

SororiTEA Sisters - Fri, 01/06/2017 - 12:00
I will admit it. . I have an addiction to The NecessiTeas. I love their handmade blends and the unique teas they offer. And this is just one of many that has recently captured my heart! When a tea has marshmallows in it, it is an instant buy. There is no thought of “Do I really need another tea?”  The tea instantly goes into my cart.  So when Marshmallow Krispy Treat showed up at my door, Read More

My tea got wet

A Tea Addict's Journal - Fri, 01/06/2017 - 09:01

Well… that’s sort of the idea, isn’t it, getting your tea leaves wet? In case you can’t tell what’s going on – on a recent trip, I took some tea with me to drink, since I don’t like drinking whatever the place I’m staying at might provide – it’s too much of a lottery unless I’m visiting Taiwan. So, one day we went outside, and when I came back, I met the cleaning lady still working. A short while later, right after she had left, I discovered that my bag of tea was gone. So…. long story short, we fished it out of the garbage, and she claimed that the bag – what you see above – was already that way when she came so she threw it into the trash. Now, I don’t think anyone in my family is insane enough to throw some wet, spent leaves into a bag of dry tea leaves, and I’m pretty damn sure my kids aren’t old enough to learn how to clean up yet, not this way anyway, with a stray tissue to boot. Needless to say, this cake looked nasty, wet all over, and looked like a bit of a lost cause.

Except, it’s not, because of the magic of puerh. Your tea got wet? What to do? Well, you can dry it.

I scraped off the leaves that got wet, and the rest of the cake, since it’s the center of it anyway, the leaves are pretty dry. Some are still a bit damp, but nothing that indoor heating on a cold day can’t fix. A few hours later, everything is dry to the bone again. I brewed some tea up the next day – no problem. All good as new.

You can’t do this with loose leaf tea. If this were a bag of oolong, for example, the whole bag would’ve been toast. However, because this is a solidly compressed cake, and because the bag wasn’t doused in liquid, other than the surface layer of leaves not much else got wet. In fact, once I scraped off the wet leaves the rest already felt pretty dry to my touch. Leaving it out overnight merely made certain that everything got dry – it probably wasn’t strictly necessary. This illustrates two things: 1) puerh is pretty resistant to moisture and dampness, and it takes a lot to get a cake thoroughly wet, and 2) don’t panic when accidents happen. It’s just tea.

Blast from the past: A bowl of tea, broth, rice, and memories

T Ching - Fri, 01/06/2017 - 09:00

Looking for a dish that comforts in the cooler, darker days of winter?  A perfect combination of a simple broth and Japanese green tea, ochazuke is the dish that brings me back to my college days, when cooking in a dorm on a hotplate seemed the height of ambition.  Traditionally the fortuitous combination of leftover bits of fish or other protein and cooked rice, this catch-all bowl of goodness might also use a properly made dashi (a sheet of kombu seaweed, dried bonito flakes, and water) as a base, topped off with some ribbons of velvety lightly smoked salmon.  But drinking lots of green tea back in those days meant that there was always some leftover brew to pour into the bowl, mingling the grassy or toasty flavor of the tea with the other flavors of the dish.  More than a way to use up leftover brewed tea, ochazuke became the perfect late-night snack back then and today the tradition continues, albeit in a more planned-out way.

Given that Japanese green tea and seafood of all kinds are a match made in culinary heaven, it isn’t surprising that this delicious, easy-to-prepare dish resides squarely in the home-cooking tradition.  It’s not something you would find on the menu of a refined kaiseki multi-course-style restaurant.  It’s a dish that might be considered too humble, too rough, or too impromptu.  But for all that, it’s certainly worth adding to your end-of-a-busy-work-day dinner repertoire.

In my kitchen, I like to use a bit of chicken stock (homemade or purchased) combined with the simplest Japanese dashi broth as the base.  If there’s some Italian risotto-style or Thai sticky rice left over – both of which have enough starch to hold together – I like to compact it into rough patties, maybe 3 inches around by ½ inch thick.  Then, I sauté them slowly and carefully in a bit of olive oil to crisp and brown the surfaces, allowing each rice cake to crisp on one side before attempting to turn it over to brown the other side.  This crisp rice cake then becomes the main event in my own cross-cultural version of ochazuke.  And if I have some wild-caught salmon that has been grilled or pan sautéed from dinner the night before, it, too, will enter the mix, along with a tangle of thinly sliced scallion greens and a scattering of toasted sesame seeds, raising the elegance factor up a notch.  For the tea pour-over nowadays, I tend to use houjicha, with its deeply roasted flavor, as the element that ties together all of the other elements of the dish in a nourishing, but simple, package.  Since the dish is really meant to be improvised based on what morsels you have on hand, you really won’t even need a recipe.  But if you’re casting about for one, Elizabeth Andoh’s books on Japanese cooking are a good place to start.


The post Blast from the past: A bowl of tea, broth, rice, and memories appeared first on T Ching.

Night Time Tea from Harlow Tea Co. . . . Getting Your ZZZ’s in 2017!

SororiTEA Sisters - Fri, 01/06/2017 - 00:00
What do Red Rooibos, Orange Peel, Lemongrass, Suma Root, Peppermint, Anise, and Hawthorn Berries have in common? They are all IN Night Time Tea from Harlow Tea Co. that’s what! And before we get to the aroma and flavor of this Rooibos based tisane perhaps you are wondering what Suma Root is? In case you are interested in different roots, herbs, seeds, etc like I am you might be surprised that Suma Root has many Read More

Bigfoot from Wendigo Tea Co. . . .There has been a sighting!

SororiTEA Sisters - Thu, 01/05/2017 - 20:00
A classic case of me being drawn in to trying a tea because of the name. I mean…who wouldn’t want to try Bigfoot Tea? I introduce to you…Bigfoot Tea from Wendigo Tea Co. Why was I so excited to try Bigfoot Tea from Wendigo Tea Co? Well, because I live in one of the supposed ‘hot spots’ in the US for Bigfoot Sightings! It’s true! A local winery even named a wine after Bigfoot. So Read More

Ginger Lemongrass from Tea Forte. . . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Thu, 01/05/2017 - 16:00
I was gifted this adorable box of Tea Forte silken infusers tea. There are several flavors but I just can’t stop drinking the ginger lemongrass. Ginger and lemongrass are two of my favorite flavors. I’ve also been a fan of drinking ginger tea for awhile now. Combining the two flavors is absolutely brilliant in my opinion. Everything is balanced in this blend. I can taste and smell both the ginger and the lemongrass. The ingredients Read More
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