A Reflection on Returning

You know, sometimes, it takes a lot of back and forth to persuade yourself to get back into the ring. You can tell yourself you have too many commitments, that you are no good. That your website needs a complete overhaul and that you lost your readership anyway. Why should you get back into writing for enjoyment? (for those that do not know, I am a writer by trade for a nonprofit, in addition to freelance writing and editing).

But, even though my last post was in 2017 and those posts were getting sporadic at best towards the end, I saw something amazing happen. People still liked my Facebook page, still would find me in web searches, click on links from Pinterest that led to my work. I kept my WordPress for freelance work, and would sometimes check on the stats for Tea Love and be amazed. How on earth are people even finding me now?

Life has gotten worlds busier, reader. But life is meant to do that. Back in 2017, I was working at a job that, while I loved, I also knew was not the right fit for me. I was delving deeper and deeper into the nonprofit world, finding refuge there as I helped others struggling with homelessness, poverty, and hunger. While the feeling was magical watching others being helped, it was also a lot of work and time that sometimes left me feeling drained by the end of the week. My budding relationship, though still full of love and hope, also had a lot of roadblocks placed in our way by society, making it difficult to stay afloat (we have been together since 2014 now, as the roadblocks are slowly wasting away). Maintaining a blog about tea, as well as doing talks every once in a while, simply became too much. And so, Tea Love went into hibernation for a few years.

Now, I am working at a job that I adore, doing what I love – writing and advocating for others. I live in an apartment not too far from my family, friends, and boyfriend. I am about to become an aunt at the end of the month, if you can believe that! I continue to advocate for others by serving as a board member of a local nonprofit dealing with homelessness while also running a chapter of their emergency winter sheltering program.

It took some time falling into place. Maybe more than I would like to admit. And things are still finding their way to their proper homes. I am still finding my way at the age of 31, and probably will be for the rest of my life. But I think it’s time to look back at my successes, and see what I can revive to help me continue to be me.

And one of those is to start Tea Love again.

I hope you will all forgive me for the time it’s taken to start again, and I hope you will all rejoin me in this journey of exploring tea, correcting old mistakes, and working hard to bring timely information straight to your inbox every Sunday.

Until then, keep sipping ❤

Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING Season Is Back!

October has just started and yes, I have already had a pumpkin-inspired tea.   Around this time, my friends and I stalk the haunted houses, indulge in pumpkin-flavored products, and gorge enough candy where we regret ever committing to a diet in the first place.   We always hear about PSL (thank you, Starbucks), but did you know that there are plenty of healthy teas that are also pumpkin-themed?   Take a look below!

It’s Pumpkin Time! – Family Food Blog

Pumpkin Pie – Made by Premium Steap – A Lifestyle of Tea

I first found out about Pumpkin Pie from a coworker, who was kind enough to bring me a cuppa while we worked endlessly on a project (yay for that project finally being completed!).   It was my first day meeting her, and the topic of tea came up (of course it did).   She told me about this magical Pumpkin Pie and I tried it.   It warmed every sense within, and the taste was divine.   Seriously, I know I rave about tea, but I often sort of shy away from some of the more specialty flavors since sometimes, they just overdo the hype.   But the blend contains pumpkin, cinnamon, and other spices without leaving a gritty or powdery taste in it.   And the best part?   You actually taste the pumpkin!

Pumpkin Chai – Made by DavidsTEA

One of the things that I love about DavidsTEA is that it is environmentally conscious.   Bring in a reusable container, they will fill it up with tea.   You don’t need to drain your pocketbooks buying their air-tight containers (spoiler alert, they are quite awesome and you should keep your tea in an air-tight container regardless, but that’s another story) and their tea is mighty tasty.   One thing to keep in mind though, I tell everyone that their tea is not “pure” in the sense of it ONLY being tea.   They usually have add-ins, and Pumpkin Chai is no exception.   Doesn’t mean that it’s bad, but it does mean you might be getting some sugars that you would not otherwise get in your cuppa.   This tea is spiced with caramel, pumpkin candies, cinnamon, and cloves and advertises as being great as a latte.   Move over, Starbucks!

Sweet Harvest Pumpkin – Made by Celestial Seasonings

My heart is always torn with Celestial Seasonings.   On the one hand, I ADORE their herbal fruity teas.   On the other hand, they sometimes fall short.   This tea is a black tea, automatically making it a bit stronger, spiced with cinnamon, ginger, roasted chicory, natural pumpkin flavor, and more.   So the good news is, the strength is there, not like their peach blend.   Plus, it is also a bit different from the others which streamline to be pumpkin spice thrown into a tin of black tea and then calling it a day.

Bad news about all of these?   All of them are black teas, so all contain caffeine.   If you are looking to watch your intake for whatever reason, stick to a nice cinnamon apple.

Gross Post Of The Week – Wash Your Cups

For those of you who don’t know, I get Google Alerts in my inbox every day for the words “tea + drink”.   This has yielded some interesting new stories, such as the idea of cheese tea.    Well, the latest alert?   Has me more sad than anything….

 

If you drink coffee or tea over at your office, I HIGHLY recommend you wash your mugs both before and after you drink.   Per Mirror.co.uk, Charles Gerba, Ph.D., professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona, states that 90 per cent of most office mugs carry dangerous germs, and 20 per cent of those carry fecal bacteria.

 

AKA poop.

AKA yuck.

256344-dual-flush-round-corner-toilet-white-open

I don’t want to drink out of toilets anymore than you do.   So, why is this a thing though?   Do people actively bring mugs back and forth from the break room to take a poop?   How do we find and stop these heinous individuals who share more of themselves than you ever care to be exposed to?

In fact, it comes about most often when you use the office communal sponge (thank God I keep mine in my desk).   These sponges harbor germs and might not be thrown out as regularly as they should be.   Therefore, when you wash your mugs using these sponges, you are really just wiping a cesspool into your cup rather than actually cleaning it.

Your best bet?   Take your mug home and wash it in your dishwasher.   You can probably also get away with disposable cups or, as I do, have your own sponge.

Because no one wants to drink poop.

 

SPECIAL POST IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK, OMG!!!

So, I haven’t posted in a bit because I’ve been HUGELY busy with work (who isn’t?).   Like, stay in the office until 10:00 AM and work on Saturday kinda busy.

But I just wanted to announce THE PEQUANNOCK PUBLIC LIBRARY TEA LOVE TALK HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED!!!

Make sure to get over to the library (477 Newark Pompton Tpke. Pompton Plains, NJ 07444 Telephone (973) 835-7460) by 7:00 PM to learn all about Tea 101 and sample some amazing teas provided by my personal provider, Clara Ngo (previous owner of the Cranford shop Tea Spot, now awesome mom of a very cute child).

Questions?   Want to RSVP?   Contact Debbie Maynard, Library Director, at (973) 835-7460.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!