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

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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.

Tea Love Talk Today!

I'll Write About My Talk Next Week!

I’ll Write About My Talk Next Week!

Some Tea News And A Tea Review

First, an apology for all my lovely tea-sippers.   Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you think of it), I was so swamped last week.   One of my good friends from college slept over, then we took my other good friend out for her birthday all day Saturday, and Sunday was dedicated to more friends :-)   In other words, no post last week.

However, I have two exciting fun news items for all of you in the New Jersey area!

1 – I am doing ANOTHER Tea Love talk!   This one will be in Riverdale, New Jersey at the Riverdale Public Library.   Make sure you call and RSVP!   Seating is limited.   Attend, hear an awesome talk, get some tasty tea samples from The Tea Spot in Cranford, New Jersey and even enter to win a basket of tea goodies from The Tea Spot!   Not only that, but I’ll let you in on a little secret – that’s my birthday :-)   Give me an awesome birthday gift and attend the talk!

I Hope You Can All Make It!

I Hope You Can All Make It!

2 – There is an art store/organic boutique in Cranford called Artemisia.   Some of you might remember me raving about their teas that they supply called Miss Tea, an organic blend made in Brooklyn, New York.   Well, Wendy of Artemisia informed me that they will be getting some new flavors of Miss Tea in shortly!   So keep stopping by, looking around, and asking about those delicious teas :-)

So, what’s the deal with Miss Tea?

Miss Tea is a Brooklyn-based business that specializes in organic teas and herbs.   Why invest in organic teas?   Because they tend to be healthier for you, since they do not use pesticides and herbicides, and are healthier for the environment.   What could be better than that?

According to the Miss Tea website, “We bring you products from the finest tea growing regions of the world – globally responsible sources who practice sustainable growing methods and fair trade for the complete cycle of workers, from the pickers to the sellers.”

One of the nicest things about the Miss Tea products?   You can see every part of the tea, which is intentional.   I just bought my friend who stayed with me last weekend a jar of the FemininiTea, which is a blend of red raspberry, peppermint, and nettle leaves, oatstraw, ginger root, dandelion leaves, rose petals, chamomile flowers, horsetail, and stevia leaves.   Even in the picture on the website, you can see the separate leaves and petals!   As I tell my guests at all my Tea Love talks, the more that you can identify in your tea, the better.   That means less tea fannings and less scary unknowns.

It is also an affordable tea.   Tea itself is already expensive at times if you are looking at high quality.   Throw in the fact that the tea is organic and you could potentially pay that much more.   However, you can get a substantial amount of tea from this purveyor for a decent price.

And the taste?   Well, I obviously would not be writing about it to you if it weren’t incredible!   Full flavored, just the right amount of sweetness, lovely color – I couldn’t ask for more.   This is definitely a tea I would recommend buying again and again.

So, in ending, remember to a) RSVP to my Tea Love talk on September 21st and b) buy some amazing Miss Tea from Artemisia!

Until next time <3

Shedding Pounds With Green Tea?

People who know me know that I like my gym.   I might not get to go as often as I would like to, but when I do, I work out and I work out hard (and fun, usually doing something stupid like trying new machines and almost killing myself in the process).   I have been on a mission to lose weight for quite some time.   While working out this past week, a thought struck me.   Everyone always talks about losing weight with green tea.   While we all know how many snake oil products are out there, promoting their ability to help you shed the pounds in little to no time at all, I was curious if this one had any, well, weight to it.

So, curious, I turned to Facebook to ask for your opinion.   General consensus is that yes, it does help.

But Does It Really Help?

But Does It Really Help?

But, while it would be nice to take a Facebook poll and find out the secrets of the world, real life dictates you need to do your research to find out the truth, not just go by social media.

So, does it actually help?

I tried punching “green tea lose weight” into Google and came up with 22,300,000 results!   Articles ranged from WikiHow explaining how to drink tea (not necessarily green tea) to get a tiny waist, to Science Daily posting studies regarding weight loss and green tea.   Even popular website Calorie Count (of which I am a huge fan, especially for their yummy, healthy, low-fat recipes) chronicle how green tea has helped with weight loss.

There are lots of weight loss products that explain how they use the power of green tea to boost your metabolism and thus help you lose weight.   Again, a quick Google search pulled up 1,980 products in my area alone.   I think that I can go out on a limb and say that’s a lot!

Now, what do the heavier, scholarly articles say?

Well, we can’t make this easy, can we?

According to an article in Obesity: A Research Journal, a scientific study, funded by Novartis Consumer Health in Nyon, Switzerland, decided to look at 76 men and women who had BMIs ranging from 25 to 35 kg/m2, considered to be clinically obese.   The group was split where some received placebos and some received green tea pills.   From there, each division was then given a dose of low caffeine and high caffeine.   Those that had a lot of caffeine in the study seemed to have lost more weight!   However, if you do not drink a lot of caffeine, then green tea seems to help you with weight management, partially due to fat oxidation (breaking down fatty acids, which increases energy) and thermogenesis (generation of heat).

In the end, I would still always recommend exercise and eating well.   However, incorporating some tea will not hurt you in your weight loss journey and may even help out with your weight management, depending on your caffeine intake.

Drink tea, be happy, and maybe even have a happier waistline.

And The Winner of the First Ever Tea Love Contest Is…

Cynthia S!!!!!!!

Cynthia, congrats!   Tea Love will be shipping out your packages of iced tea (much needed for all of these hot and humid days!) and a beautiful box of Red Rose tea with a collectible nautical figurine.

Here's What Cynthia Won!

Here’s What Cynthia Won!

Hopefully you can post the photo of your figurine to Tea Love’s Facebook?

In the meantime, curious what Cynthia wrote to win the box of tea?   Read on :-)

***

My Story

Like many of the Boomer generation, I grew up in a large family, not rich but never felt poor. Most Christmas times, we got pajamas and underwear, and not the fancy ones, the practical ones sturdy enough to pass down the line, along with the shoes, dresses, coats.

Well, that was fine. We were happy just to open the presents and decorate the tree. One Christmas, though, I got the most wonderful gift, I thought. It was a real china tea set. It had a teapot, the creamer and sugar bowl and four, count them, four cups and saucers. I played with that set for hours, on rainy days. I could pretend I was had so many friends who enjoyed my teas.

I still have that tea set and to my credit, from five years old till now (60+), I never broke one piece. It probably cost $2.00 when new but to me it is priceless. I thank my mother for saving it for me, so that just maybe, I will be able to pass down to my nieces’ kids.

Lots Of Exciting News In The Tea Love Realm!

Good morning, fellow tea sippers!   Tea Love has A LOT of exciting news to share with you this wonderful day :-)   I’ll break it up into four parts, to help you out:

1. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!

A Very Lovely Father's Day To All The Wonderful Dads Out There, Especially Mine <3

A Very Lovely Father’s Day To All The Wonderful Dads Out There, Especially Mine <3

I hope everyone is doing something nice with their dads today.

2. Tea Love is hosting another talk!

Yes, I will be hosting another talk!   This one will be held on Tuesday, July 16th, at 6:45 PM at the Bradley Beach Public Library, 511 Fourth Avenue, Bradley Beach, New Jersey 07720.   Learn tea basics and be sure to bring your own tea mug to partake in some tea samples.   Tea will be provided by Tea Spot, located in Cranford, New Jersey, and we will be holding a raffle with two baskets!    Sponsored by Bradley Beach Public Library.

Come Out To See Tea Love Speak On Tuesday, July 16th, 6:45 PM!

Come Out To See Tea Love Speak On Tuesday, July 16th, 6:45 PM!

3. Tea Love is hosting a contest!

If you follow my Facebook page, then you saw that on Thursday, I posted a picture of a mysterious package.   Wanna know what was inside?

A Fun Package Of TEA!

A Fun Package Of TEA!

Tea Love will be giving away some of this lovely tea, courtesy of Red Rose and Salada Tea!   You might remember my blog post on Red Rose Tea from January 27th this year.   Well, now Tea Love will be giving away a collection of tea to one lucky winner!   All you need to do is send an email to CAFelegi@aol.com with your name, your address, and your best tea story (500 words maximum), anything you want as long as you write about tea.   The winner will have their story posted on my blog on Sunday, July 14th and will have this shipped to them:

If You Win The Contest, You Will Receive These Lovely Teas

If You Win The Contest, You Will Receive These Lovely Teas

The package will include 1 (one) box each of Salada Raspberry Green Tea Iced Tea, Salada Peach Nectarine Green Tea Iced Tea, Salada Berry Patch Black Tea Iced Tea, and Red Rose Original Tea.   Winners must be located within the U.s. to receive this prize.   Sorry, all international readers!   The blog post with the winner will hold the first name and first initial of the last name only.   Tea Love will not use any information provided outside of the contest.   No purchase necessary.

4. A Review!

For the rest of June up until July 7th, I will be reviewing these amazing tea packages for you and telling you how wonderfully fantastic they are!   Our first tea?   We’ll discuss the Salada Raspberry Green Tea Iced Tea.

I brewed myself a cuppa last night and chilled it, according to the directions.   This morning, I took my first sip and I must say, absolutely lovely!   There is a hint of raspberry amongst the sea of vegetative green tea.

However, that being said, the green tea isn’t so overpowering that you need to load this particular tea up with sugar to try and get a little sweetness in it.   If you’re not a green tea fan, you might want to add a small spoonful of sugar, but not a lot.   Taste test it before you put the drink in the fridge to cool so that, if you do need sugar, you can add it in and have it dissolve while hot.

The tea is also relatively strong, as well.   There is enough caffeine where I did not need a cup of coffee this morning, but it doesn’t have me crashing either.   One thing that always disappoints me is when I have a cup of tea that tastes more like water than it does tea but this tea has the perfect ratio.

The smell of the tea is rather sharp and you can smell a lot more of the green tea than you can the raspberry.   Since it’s iced, it has a different smell than a cup of hot green tea, but it is interesting and tasty, nonetheless.

Look-wise, it looks gorgeous!   It has a light reddish amber tinge to it and, if placed in a glass pitcher with some ice cubes and maybe even some fresh raspberries on a sunny summer’s day, you have yourself quite the pretty picture.

Overall, I definitely highly recommend this iced tea on a hot summer’s day!

Undressing The K-Cup

My company now has a Keurig machine a floor above me.   Very delightful, I must admit.   It’s nice having instant tea or coffee with the push of a button.   For a bit, I was stocking up on chai tea lattes and, after a hard day, my coworkers would always be able to find me racing upstairs with my mug and cup in hand.

But I was asked once, how is the tea for a Keurig machine?   Well, I know that I’ve had it before and it’s been tasty, but I can’t exactly leave it at that, can I?   Is this a high-quality brew or just something to grab when you are in a rush and need tea in the next thirty seconds?

So, I asked to borrow my sister-in-law’s K-cup (and I promised her I would pay her back the full 25 cents that I now owe her as a result) and dissect exactly what is within those little white cups.

First, the unbrewed version:

A K-Cup of Earl Grey

A K-Cup of Earl Grey

So, when I opened up the K-cup, this is what I found – tea leaves that were almost resorted to a powder.   Now, as many of you know, I highly advise against this if you are looking for a high-quality brew.   The more you can identify within your tea (meaning I can pick the leaf up and know that it is a leaf), the better your tea is.   The reason why you want to identify the leaves and the parts of the tea is because your tea becomes bitter the more it is broken up.   While this is all well and good for certain teas, it is not appropriate for all.

However, one reason why the K-cups probably contain this finer tea is because it will brew that much faster.   And when you have thirty seconds of 192-degree water hitting the tea leaves, the faster the brew, the better for the process.   However, given that you cannot control the temperature, nor the time for the brew, it is a bit iffy.

Now, what does it look like when the tea is brewed?   While I did have to use a different tea, here’s the picture:

Lemon Herbal Tea

Lemon Herbal Tea

So, the stream of water only hit the middle part of the cup.   Meaning only the tea in the middle of the cup got the main blast.   The rest doesn’t even look like it was moved (other than that little bit in the bottom right-hand corner that I moved).   So, considering that you have a portion of the tea hit and the rest that just kinda… sits there… this is not a positive sign.

So, in the long run, if you want to grab a fast cup of tea, just understand that the Keurig cup isn’t exactly high quality.   Fine if you want a quick cuppa but understand that high-quality tea can never be done quickly.

Prep Work Almost Done!!!

WOW!   My first Tea Love seminar is almost upon us!   I’ve written my notes, sent out my blasts, picked up the tea from the lovely Tea Spot, and am just so psyched!!!

Now what else do I need?   I need YOU!

Make Sure You Come Out!

Make Sure You Come Out!

 

*Please note that, on the Patch, the date reads Friday, March 27th.   It is actually Wednesday, March 27th.   I apologize for the confusion*

Come out, have fun, learn more about tea and enjoy a cuppa with yours truly :-)   Hope to see you there!!!

Reblog – Don’t spoil good Tea with bad preparation

While searching the web, I stumbled across the Tea Trunk, another blog dedicated to tea.   On it, the writer posted Don’t spoil good Tea with bad preparation, a movie from the 1940s detailing how one should properly prepare tea.

Definitely sit down, relax and have a look!

Man Cannot Live By Bread Alone. Tea, On The Other Hand…

Now, I love my tea.   Let no man nor woman ever question that fact.   When time allows, I’ve been known to sip 5-6 cups in a single sitting.

I also love my food.   As I write this, I munch on a slice of pizza, sullen that I could not find my chocolate fudge that some children in my Youth Group made me.

If you ever asked me if I would be willing to give up food and drink tea for the rest of my life?   I would have to turn you down.   However, a gentleman from Calcutta decided that, after what was apparently a terrible offense to his stomach when his wife arrived late with lunch, he would never drink food again.

According to The Telegraph, Bhismadeb Sarkar was waiting for his lunch one afternoon, 1PM sharp.   Well, his wife came in at 1:30PM with a plate of rice, fish, and vegetables.   Mr. Sarkar was so offended with his wife’s tardiness that he immediately threw the plate and exclaimed that he would “stop eating totally.”

… Um, wait, what?   Isn’t that kinda against the laws of science and all things holy?

Well, per 2007 The Telegraph article, since 1985, Sarkar has gone on living without eating a single thing.   Instead, he prefers about 18-20 cups of tea a day.   He insists that he feels fine with only the tea, stating, “Call me crazy if you like but since then I have not had anything except tea. I drink 18 to 20 cups daily without milk.”

Bhismadeb Sarkar Enjoying a Cuppa

Bhismadeb Sarkar Enjoying a Cuppa

Even stranger, this same article references another person who decided that surviving on only tea for the rest of his life would be a good idea.   Debabrata Dutta, however, decided that he would rather live on tea than on what he deemed to be sub-par food.

Dutta was once a wealthy man, being born to a well-off farmer family, became a pauper after his family died.   His inheritance ran out after only ten years.   He never thought he would have to work a day in his life and now, he was stuck washing dishes at a local hotel.

Dutta states, “I don’t like eating ordinary food like rice and vegetables.   The hotel owner, Subrata Sit, offered me Rs 100 ($1.88) a month and a lunch of rice, lentils and vegetables every day.   I refused it.”   Instead, Dutta decided to drink 22 cups of tea a day.

“I have never tasted such food in my life. I used to eat quality rice, meat and various kinds of fish delicacies,” he states.

Doctors at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital said a person can survive on tea but would lose physical strength.

“Normally, a cup of tea contains around 100 calories, which means they are both getting around 2,000 calories daily,” states Dr Madhusudhan Chatterjee.

Hospital superintendent Debashish Bhattacharjee advises that, “They would fall ill sooner or later. Everyone needs a balanced diet.”

Now, admittedly, I have had days where, rather than eat, I will just continually drink tea, not paying attention and eventually realizing that I hadn’t eaten anything all day.   However, I would NOT advise this kind of diet for anyone.

Now, 22 years of this?   What are your thoughts?   Is this a hoax?   Or are Dutta and Sarkar really going this long without any food?

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