Tea Love: Instilling a Love of Tea, One Sip At A Time

Posts tagged ‘Tea Love’

Another Great Tea Love Talk, Another On The Way, And Dying Easter Eggs With Tea

First and foremost, I want to thank the Fairfield Free Public Library for hosting  me this past Thursday!   It was another wonderful group with some insightful guests.   Unfortunately, I did arrive a little late but everyone was very gracious, gave me ample time to set up, and I think we had a lovely conversation.   I got to hear from people who brewed tea in an Indian fashion – strong with milk – people who had Kombucha tea (which they said was delicious), and others who absolutely hated tea but was willing to give it a try (he said he would always be a coffee drinker at heart, but I am glad he at least gave it a shot!).   We talked about the affect that the staple and glue has on a cuppa (while I found no evidence swaying either way, try and use loose tea anyway) and how green tea can assist with weight loss.

Second, I have another Tea Love talk coming up!

Tea Love Hosting Children's Event at West Milford Township Library

Tea Love Hosting Children’s Event at West Milford Township Library

Yes, West Milford Township Library asked me to return, but this time, for a children’s talk.   I will be hosting an afternoon tea with all the boys and girls (fancy dress is required!), teaching them about the afternoon tea history, having a relay race, a mini fashion show where they can show off their tea cups, and breaking for lunch and a book.   Come on out, it’s bound to be a lot of fun!   And Tea Love will be giving out prizes at the event :-)

Finally, onto a fun topic that I wrote about for the Riverdale, New Jersey newsletter – dying Easter eggs using tea.

Everyone knows that tea stains.  Teeth whitening commercials always address those pesky coffee and tea stains on your teeth that will be magically removed with one application of their fine product.  Clothing commercials feature red wine, coffee, and split tea mugs dashed across lily-white table clothes, only to be removed with the power of baking soda, peroxide, and awesome stain-fighting power.  But, with Easter just around the corner, children and adults alike can use the staining power of tea to make their own tea-infused eggs.

You can dye the eggs with one of two methods – the standard dip method where, rather than use food coloring tablets, you would use tea, or a method where you can give the eggs a marbled look.

To use the standard sip method which will produce an egg similar to your other Easter eggs, take your eggs and put them in a mixture of a tablespoon of vinegar, a cup of water, and a very strong-colored tea such as a raspberry herbal.  Allow it to soak refrigerated for a minimum of two hours, though the longer you leave the egg in the tea, the stronger the color will be.  When you take the eggs out and start eating them, you should get a slight taste of tea with each bite.

For a different look, you can also try the tea egg method.

Marbled Tea Eggs

Marbled Tea Eggs

According to blogger Ellen Easton, writer of Tea Travels, the tea eggs, also called marbled eggs due to the marbled look they get when they are shelled, are sold in Asia as tasty snacks or appetizers.  One can often find them on the streets being sold by vendors, though you can also find it in the restaurants and even convenience stores as well.

According to blog Appetite for China, to create these, hard boil the eggs prior to dying.  When the eggs are cool enough to handle, gently crack the eggs either by rolling them in a paper towel or by tapping them all over the shell with a spoon.  You want to be careful not to break any of the shell off the egg so that you get the cracks and lines but not a huge splotch of color.  Put the eggs back into the water and add two tea bags of black tea, ½ cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar, 2 pieces of star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper, and 2 to 3 strips of dried mandarin peel.   Cover the eggs by an inch, then bring the water to a boil.  Lower the heat then to a bare simmer, and allow the eggs to stay for at least one to two hours or until you reach the desired flavor and color.

When you are ready to serve, get the camera and watch the pleasant surprised faces as people get to see your lovely creations.

One Talk Down, One To Go!

Yesterday’s Tea Love Talk at the M. Allan Vogelson Regional Branch Library was a huge success!   Thank you to the library for hosting the talk and thanks to all of those who came out to hear it :-)

We had about thirty people from all over come to learn about about tea.   Some people were more coffee drinkers than tea drinkers, and expressed their both positive feelings towards tea (“Wow, apricot black tea is really amazing!”) and negative thoughts regarding tea (“I need a bold drink like coffee.   Tea is dirt water!”), but all responses were welcomed as everyone was in good humor.   One woman mentioned how she was just watching the History Channel that morning and saw an expose on how caffeine changed the world with their main focus being on tea.   She went on to explain that the TV show “How It’s Made” also did a show on tea and it was highly interesting.

There was a woman who made tea but drank coffee, a woman who was amazed that tea originated in China rather than Britain, and a woman with a mug in the shape of a terra cotta planter that advertised her friend’s business.   A wonderful couple who came to America from India 40 years ago explained to me that “chai” translated literally meant “tea” in multiple languages, so we laughed how “chai tea” is in fact like saying “tea tea”.

Sadly, we had to cut the party portion of the tea short, as there was another group that came in directly after us, but it was a lot of fun!

I can’t wait until my next one!   Disappointed that you missed this talk?   Make sure you come to the Fairfield Public Library on Thursday, April 10th, for my next one!

Tea Love Talk At The Fairfield Free Public Library!

Tea Love Talk At The Fairfield Free Public Library!

Plus… I have another talk that I will be announcing soon.

Another Talk?!

Another Talk?!

 

New Tea Love Talks!

Hi everyone!

A quick announcement :-)   I have not one, but TWO Tea Love talks coming up in April!

Make sure you see the fliers below and attend :-)

I hope to see you all there!

Tea Love Talk At The Camden County Library!

Tea Love Talk At The Camden County Library!

Tea Love Talk At The Fairfield Free Public Library!

Tea Love Talk At The Fairfield Free Public Library!

 

Coffee And Tea Festival – New York City, Baby!

Next Saturday to Sunday, March 22nd – 23rd, the 9th annual Coffee and Tea Festival will take place in New York!   This event will be held at the 69th Regiment Armory, 68 Lexington Avenue (between 25th – 26th).   VIP Hour is held Saturday, March 22nd, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM.   The general public can then join in on the fun Saturday, March 22nd, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sunday, March 23rd, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.   While Saturday is currently sold out, Sunday still has a few tickets left!

What is the Coffee and Tea Festival, you might ask?   Over 60 vendors from around the world selling tea in one spot, hosting tastings, and giving away gift bags!   What more can you ask for?   Not only that, there will be special foods that are meant to complement all the teas that you are tasting, adding an extra delight to the show.

Who will be at the show?   Well, a small sampling of the tea vendors include DavidsTea, serendipiTea, Harney and Sons (a favorite and a company that I had tried to work for but sadly, without luck), Damn Fine Tea, Salada (anyone remember that tea contest that Tea Love had a while back?), and many others!

As everyone who knows me knows, I am obsessed with philanthropy, charity, and giving back.   The Coffee and Tea Festival is no exception.   This year, the Coffee and Tea Festival has partnered with Cup for Education.   According to the Coffee and Tea Festival website, “Cup for Education is a non-profit organization that is helping poor, rural coffee communities of Central and Latin America build schools within their communities, and assist in providing them with teachers and the basic tools needed to educate future generations of coffee farmers. Cup for Education has bettered the education of children in over eight countries through the implementation of schools, computer labs, libraries, playgrounds, and more.”   The organization will have a booth at the festival.

A traveling tea exhibit will be present where artist Michele Brody collected tea-stained bags, asking drinkers to write their thoughts and general reflections on the tea, dubbing the exhibit “Reflections in Tea“.   Brody will be present to sip some tea with you.

Finally, the events!   Multiple events pertaining to tea and coffee will occur throughout the day.   Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a little more about Taiwanese tea.   Or perhaps the robust black tea that, per this workshop, conquered the world!    Maybe you want to sample some tea with a cocktail, chocolate, or cheese.   Not to fret; there is a workshop for you.

The event is sponsored by:

- Salada and Red Rose

- Ito En

- Capital Teas

- The Disney film “Saving Mr. Banks

- Roast Magazine

- Fresh Cup Magazine

- Tea Time Magazine

- The Tea House Times

- The Village Voice

Got some free time?   Get on over there for the experience of a lifetime!   The next festival will be November 8th and 9th in Philadelphia.

Japan Earthquake – Three Years Later

As some of you are aware, March 11, 2014 marks the third-year anniversary of the now infamous Japanese earthquake, an 8.9 magnitude quake that triggered a tsunami, a volcanic eruption, and a nuclear meltdown.   According to Global Research, Centre for Research on Globalization, “On April 12, 2011 the Japanese government officially announced that the severity of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster had reached level 7, the highest on the International Nuclear Event Scale. Before Fukushima, the only level 7 case was the 1986 Chernobyl disaster…”

People know Japan for their famed tea ceremonies, matcha tea, and amazing atmosphere.   During the 2010-2011 school year, my good friend since fifth grade, Sara, decided to go study at Soka University, immersing herself fully into the Japanese culture and gaining some amazing friends in the process.   Sara’s mother and I decided to go on a visit to see Sara in March.   About ten minutes after Sara’s mother and my plane landed in Narita Airport, the earthquake hit and we went on a wild ride consisting of sleeping in airports, feeling tremors throughout the night, meeting amazing angels who took us in at a moment’s notice, and thanking God the moment we touched down on American soil five days later.

I could go into more detail regarding our experiences, but that might be a post for another day.

I will, however, say that the people we met there were so magnanimous, beyond compare to anyone I have ever met before.   Masana, who stayed with Sara’s mother and me while we struggled to get a hold of Sara via cell phone during the midst of the earthquake.   Not only that, she, along with foreign exchange student Peter, bought us food, drink, and kept us safe and calm during all the events while we were at the airport without any funds to support ourselves.   Hairoko, who housed us during the rolling black-outs that plagued the towns we were visiting.   Momoko, who welcomed us into the Soka University dorm room where Sara’s mother arranged our flight information.   Momoko and her friends also fed us and kept us calm during the disaster.

I still thank them for all of their help to this day, and still look at them as angels for all that they did for complete strangers.

Our Group Of Vagabonds, Eating Breakfast Thanks To Generous Strangers

Our Group Of Vagabonds, Eating Breakfast Thanks To Generous Strangers

Now, three years later, the Japanese government is still dealing with radiation levels.   They now also have to deal with radiation-contaminated water.   People are still missing after all of this time.   The people still need help.

To help the people of Japan, please consider donating to the Red Cross.   The funds aid in long-term recovery projects and general assistance to those in need.

Don’t forget these people.   They still need our help.

My Valentine’s Day Tea Box Creation – Revealed!

So, as many of you have seen on Tea Love’s Facebook page, I have been talking about how I used an old tea container for my boyfriend’s Valentine’s Day gift.

A while back, my sister-in-law gave me some chocolate mint tea in this charming wooden box.   She wasn’t a big fan of it, but she thought that I might like the tea.

The tea was rather tasty, but I must admit, my main attraction was to the box:

My box of chocolate mint tea from my sister-in-law.

My box of chocolate mint tea from my sister-in-law.

The top slides back and forth on the top, keeping the tea inside fresh.   While the box is not made of a high-quality wood, nor is it very durable, it is not exactly meant to last forever.   However, for some reason, I just could not bring myself to throw away this cute box.   Something stopped me.   It had way too much potential and, as an avid crafter (after all, I have made earrings and necklaces out of used tea bags!), I knew I would find some use for it.   Thus, I stored it away for safe keeping.

Then I met my boyfriend, Camilo.   Also an avid artist and a tea lover, he thrives on the creative.   You can often find him at my Tea Love talks, helping me unpack, repack, serve tea, and just chatting away with anyone with a listening ear.

Camilo's And My Recent Trip to the Museum of Modern Art

Camilo’s And My Recent Trip to the Museum of Modern Art

Well, I got into the television series Dr. Who, a BBC show with a time-and-relative-dimension-in-space-traveling alien., not too long after he and I met.   We were both quickly hooked on the show, often binging on numerous episodes a night just to see what adventure our Doctor would be going on and see how he would save the universe from imminent destruction.   We constantly talk about the show, read about it (especially my friend’s Dr. Who and Theology blog, Whovian Theology), and generally just act like five-year-old children when anything Dr. Who-related comes up.

Then, for Valentine’s Day, I got an idea – why not make Camilo a TARDIS (the ship that the Doctor uses to travel)?

The Actual TARDIS From The Show

The Actual TARDIS From The Show

So, after a bit of clay molding, painting, gluing, nailing, and frustration, I finally produced a TARDIS worthy of the Doctor.

My Creation!

My Creation!

Since the box was starting to part, I decided to nail the side together to keep it secure.   Then I white-washed it so that I had a clean surface (as much as I love tea, I did not want the tea branding to show up underneath the paint).   Using some clay, I constructed the top of the TARDIS, which was also the hardest (the lantern kept breaking off, so that was slightly annoying).   I sanded the box down for a more secure fit, did some painting (including glow-in-the-dark paint so that the TARDIS would “light up” at night), and filled it up with some candy.   Voila!    A TARDIS made from an old tea container!

Timeline of the TARDIS

Timeline of the TARDIS

Have anything you have made from old tea products?   I have heard some people who have used their containers for candles and others who have “flower tea pots”.

Share your creations here in the comments or go to Tea Love’s Facebook page to share a picture!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine's Day From Tea Love!

Happy Valentine’s Day From Tea Love!

Tea and The “L” Word

During the month of February, l’amour is found wafting in the air. The birds seem to chirp a little bit more merrily, the sun shines a little more brightly and roses and chocolates are flying off the grocery store shelves.

Now is also the month where more people search for the elusive love potion, the elixir that is destined to make men and women fall in love and bind fast to one another for the rest of eternity. People have been searching for that special mixture for ages with parties searching for items that were moist, produced flatulence (per eighteenth century Europe) and were warm. Martin Downs, author of Aphrodisiacs Through the Ages, explains, “Almost everything edible was, at one time or another” considered an aphrodisiac.

Of course, tea is no exception to this rule. In fact, it is a common belief that foods and drinks containing caffeine such as coffee and tea might stimulate the senses and cause excitement, thus setting an ideal mood. However, Paola Sandroni MD, neurologist at the MayoClinic and author of Aphrodisiacs past and present: a historical review, states, “I think the effect is much more general,” she says. Though the caffeine might stimulate the central nervous system, they do not seem to give the body the love bug.

That still does not stop stores from cashing in on this idea. Popular tea brand Adagio Tea, which has a warehouse in Garfield, NJ, sells an aphrodisiac tea that claims to be “Like a warm summer’s kiss on the beach, this tea will take your breath away. It’s love at first sip! Need to feel some love? Tangerines and strawberries are natural and tasty aphrodisiacs.” The NY Daily News wrote an article in May 2013 about how Ceylon tea can help rev the libido and improve blood circulation. Going down the aisle of the Asian supermarket, one can often find a box of Horny Goat Weed herbal tea for sale.

Whatever the case may be, what harm would there be to brew up a tasty cup of Masala chai and a box of truffles? Travaasa.com published a recipe that is designed to stir the senses and send the drinkers to Cloud Nine.

Ingredients:

- Bay leaves

- Cinnamon

- Ginger

- Green cardamom

- Fennel

- Anise

- Cloves

- Black pepper

- Darjeeling tea or black tea

– Combine all the ingredients except the tea in a pot of water and bring it to a boil

– Allow the mixture to simmer for five minutes

– Steep the mixture for 15 minutes

– Add two teaspoons of tea. Note, if you want a stronger brew, simply add more tea

– Boil the water for another five minutes

– Serve in your favorite tea cup and enjoy

Thank You, West Milford Township Library!

Hello everyone!

I apologize for not posting last week!   But here I am again with a thank you to the West Milford Township Library :-)

So, at the talk, I explained basic tea knowledge, including the history of tea, the science behind tea, the medicinal benefits of tea, and finally, how to brew a good cuppa.

We had over 50 people at the West Milford Township Library, all with some amazing tea knowledge!   At the end, we celebrated the day with tea and goodies made by the Friends of the West Milford Township Library.

Everyone had wonderful tea mugs, including proper tea saucers and china, some heavy mugs that seemed sturdy enough to hold a whole pot of tea, and even some mugs that would be suited for a museum.

Some of the patrons told me that they have tasted tea from all over the world, including Israel where they have an herbal mint tea of mint leaves and sugar with a touch of lemon, another who sampled tea in Turkey, and yet another who sampled from Africa!   Obviously, we had some very well-traveled tea samplers as well.

One patron asked for some tea shops in the area where they could search for some good loose and bagged tea.   While I could not provide the answer, not being from the area, all the other patrons stepped up and threw out so many names, I was in awe!   So many places to shop in West Milford for tea!   Obviously, I am growing up in the wrong town.

At the end, people thanked me for the talk and some mentioned that they exchanged contact information with one another in order to host a tea party of their own.   The power of tea, bringing people together for a relaxing cup :-)

So again, thank you so much, West Milford Township Library, for being wonderful hosts!   I hope to come again to give another talk.

Tea Love Talk Today!

I'll Write About My Talk Next Week!

I’ll Write About My Talk Next Week!

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