Mindful Tea and Slowing Down

Not so long ago I visited New York. More specifically, Time Square, and it was nothing short of overwhelming. Everything vied for my attention – the people handing out flyers on the street, the cars laying on their horns, the flashing advertisement signs, the aromas, the buildings, and the endless crowds of people hurrying down sidewalks in massive clusters. There was always something to eat, something new to see, something strange to experience. I had fun but, by the end of my stay, I found I wanted nothing more than to wake up in my quiet apartment, in a sunny room where all I could hear were the birds and I could infuse my morning with the enveloping fragrance of jasmine flowers.

The city may be an exaggerated version of a society taught to rush headlong into hard work, but even if you don’t live smack in the middle of the Big Apple, there’s still much to be distracted by. Our phones are a constant buzz of entertainment; everything from the news to the weather to the daily lives of everyone else. We move tirelessly from one task to the next until finally collapsing at the end of the day. It leaves little time to enjoy the calmer parts of our lives. The little things like having the time for a good breakfast or taking a moment to breathe in the air and shake the stress off your shoulders.Croissant jam coffee orange jice at white wooden table.

Studies have shown that listening to the sounds of nature for five minutes a day can drastically reduce stress levels. (I’m sure I don’t have to mention that stress is known to be the leading cause of a long list of ailments.) This understanding isn’t even a new one.

Think about the culture of tea. Many societies around the world see tea making not only as a healthy beverage but a work of art. Everything from plucking and drying the leaves, to brewing and drinking of the tea, asks for patience, grace, and internalized harmony. It’s a process that asks those participating to put aside the worries of the past and future and delve completely into the elegant and beautiful task at hand.

Every morning I set time aside to brew my favorite tea, to make myself a light breakfast, and to savor every sip. It’s not only greatly improves my focus throughout the day, but it gives me that quiet moment I need to go about my day in a calmer state of mind.

Since this is the month of love, why not dedicate a good portion of it to self-love. Put your phone away on lunch breaks and savor your meal. Go for a short walk after dinner. Or, like me, take some time in the morning to be still and enjoy the simple pleasures your life has to offer.

As always stay healthy, and drink tea.

~ Melissa, Tea Barista.

Ti Kuan Yin – The Legend

It was some years ago, during the start of my budding tea enthusiasm, when I took a journey to visit family in Montana. We were driving through the snowy mountains on our way to Yellowstone in Wyoming when we rolled our rickety old truck into a small village. The streets were cobbled and the roofs were snow dusted. Among shops selling trinkets and the cafes offering black coffee, there was a gem.

I found myself wandering into a home for tea tradition, celebrating not only the unique qualities and flavors but the history as well. The story that captivated me most, was the story of an oolong tea, Ti Kuan Yin.

In Fujian’s Shaxian province, during a time of great poverty, there stood a neglected stone temple on the outskirts of a small village. An old farmer frequently visited the temple. He swept away debris, lit incense, and prayed to the goddess of compassion, Guanyin. One day, in a time of great despair, he went to the temple as usual. He finished his sweeping but, when he went to light the incense, the statue of Guanyin sprung to life. The old farmer fell to his knees, at which point the goddess, in her kind manner, whispered, “The key for your future is just outside this temple. Nourish it with tenderness and it will support you and yours for generations to come.”

She reverted to stone once more.Eastern turquoise Ti Kuan Yin tea

True to the goddess’s word, there was a shriveled bush outside the temple doors. From that point onward, the farmer swept the floor as always, lit and incense, and also watered the bush. When the leaves grew plump and healthy the farmer discovered that, when steeped in hot water, it made a refreshing drink. He clipped some branches and brought it to the village where his neighbors could plant it too. After a time the farmer experimented by drying the leaves in a stone wok until they became the dark, iron color. It reminded him so much of the Goddess, he named the tea, Ti Kuan Yin, Tea of the Iron Goddess of Mercy.

To this day, Ti Kuan Yin continues to be the most beloved olong grown in the Fujian province.

I don’t think the man who told me this story, would know how closely I held it over the years. Safe to say, I purchased the tea and it remains one of my favorites.

Oolong tea is typically served with meals since it may aid in improving digestion.  Other studies indicate that, due to high amounts of flavonoids, oolong may aid in improving bone and skin health, lower risk of heart disease, and prevent diabetes. It’s also delicious.

The Green Teahouse has many wonderful oolongs to choose from, including Ti Kuan Yin, which features in our Strawberry Rose blend. Come in to try a cup, or purchase a bag in store or online as www.thegreenteahousecom.

Stay healthy, and drink lots of tea.

-Melissa~ tea barista

8 Reasons to Drink White Tea

There’s so much to love about White Tea…its delicate flavor, and smooth pure taste. White Tea is the least processed of all teas, it’s simply picked & dried, giving it the highest level of antioxidants compared to other processed teas.

Whether you enjoy a hot cup of aromatic Jasmine Silver Needle or a fruity & refreshing iced cup of Pink Cherry Cider, your body will thank you.

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So why should you drink white tea? What makes it different from other teas? Read on to learn more!


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Shop Our White Tea Selection

TEA-Garitas Anyone? DIY Tea Cocktails

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Cinco de Mayo is almost here & margaritas are on everyone’s mind! Put a spin on a classic & get mixing with TEA.

A lot of restaurants & bars use margarita mix, which is loaded with sugar, empty calories & artificial ingredients (leaving you with a terrible headache the next morning!)

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Try a TEA-GARITA instead! Tea is a healthy low-calorie mixer.

Celebrate while replenishing your body with antioxidants, vitamins & minerals. Plus you’ll love trying a unique & delicious take on a classic.

Get steeping at home with 3 Refreshing, Healthy & Easy Tea Cocktail Recipes!


 

Watermelon Margarita

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Silver Tequila
  • 3 oz Sweet Watermelon Tea
  • 1 tbs Agave
  • 1/4 cup coarse salt (for rimming glass) optional
  • fresh berries to garnish

Directions:

  1. Steep 1 tbs of Sweet Watermelon in 3 oz boiling water for 3 minutes. While tea is steeping sweeten with agave.
  2. Strain out tea leaves & let tea cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. While tea is cooling, prepare cocktail glass with salt rim if desired (*see below for easy DIY tip). 
  4. Fill glass with ice then pour in tea & tequila.
  5. Garnish & enjoy!

 


 

Starfruit Green Margarita

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Reposado Tequila
  • 3 oz Starfruit Green Tea
  • 2 tbs fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbs Agave
  • pineapple slices

Directions:

  1. Steep 1 tbs Starfruit Green in 3 oz of under-boiled water (170°F) for 2 minutes. While tea is steeping sweeten with agave.
  2. Strain out tea leaves & let tea cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. While tea is cooling, prepare cocktail glass & lime juice.
  4. Fill glass with ice then pour in tea & tequila.
  5. Top it off with lime juice, garnish & enjoy!

 


Tangerine Ginger Margarita

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Gold Tequila
  • 3 oz Tangerine Ginger Tea
  • 2 tbs fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbs Agave
  • lemon/orange slice to garnish

Directions:

  1. Steep 1 tbs Tangerine Ginger in 3 oz of boiling water for 3 minutes. While tea is steeping sweeten with agave.
  2. Strain out tea leaves & let cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. While tea is cooling prepare cocktail glass & orange juice.
  4. Fill glass with ice then pour in tea & tequila.
  5. Top it off with orange juice, garnish & enjoy!

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Enjoy your Tea-Garitas & celebrations, and be safe!

Try this recipe at home? Tag us in your photos on Instagram, we’d love to hear from you!


Enjoy your margarita with salt?

*To Rim Glass: Run a lime wedge along the rim of your cocktail glass. Pour 1/4 cup coarse salt onto a small plate. Hold glass upside down & twist the rim in the salt back & forth until its evenly coated.*