Monday, February 21, 2011

Teas that I no longer Carry

Some people have been asking about teas that are no longer available on the new website.  A number of factors led me to scale back the line, including lack of reliable availability of certain ingredients, and a couple of my distributors going out of business.  So, with apologies to anyone whose old favorites are no longer available, I invite you to check out the current line that includes many of my most popular blends from The Good Leaf and some new goodies too.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A lifestyle or just a drink?

I was reading an interesting thread over at egullet earlier.  The discussion is about whether tea is a lifestyle trend or just a drink.  The discussion was triggered by this article in the New York Post. Because I don't normally read the Post (you know, it used to be a real newspaper), I wouldn't have otherwise seen the article which suggests that tea is a hot new trend for the urban chic set.


It's nice that Lady Gaga sometimes carries a teacup and sometimes wears a meat dress. One of these things has a real short shelf life, and the other .... Well, throughout the world, tea is the second-most consumed beverage (water is first), with a history dating back thousands of years.  Customs, ceremonies and cultures have been built around it.  Think about the British tradition of afternoon tea; the Moroccan custom of mint tea, and perhaps the best example being the Japanese tea ceremony, which truly does reflect a lifestyle and even an aesthetic tradition known as Wabi Sabi. The first book of tea was written about 1300 years ago, and thousands of books describing The Way of Tea, The Way to Tea, The Path of Tea, etc have been written, along with dozens of guides to hosting tea gatherings and so on and so on. So, one thing for sure, pop stars, hipsters and fashionistas did not create or discover a new trend.

And about the discussion regarding tea as a drink or a lifestyle.  It's both.

What's a lifestyle?  It's what you do in your life.  And if there's a certain pattern or style, that's your lifestyle. If you like to ride your bicycle it doesn't mean you lead an "active lifestyle"; you can bike ride and be completely sedentary otherwise. But bike riding may be one of many active behaviors you engage in regularly; hiking, going to the gym, eating lean foods; it may even be the catalyst for all those other healthy and active behaviors. That's an active lifestyle.  But still, even if you lead an active lifestyle, when you bike ride, you're just bike riding.

And I'm sure there are plenty of relaxed and mellow people who start their days with a nice cup of coffee. And then they take it easy.  But coffee can be part of a fast-paced, amped up, high stress lifestyle as well.

The same goes for tea.   I know I talk a lot on the site about building on your "tea-infused lifestyle".  I think that sounds lovely, and I suppose it also sounds very serious. Like you can't just have a cup of tea; it has to be meaningful and it has to lead to all kinds of great things like achieving perfect health and harmony, and perhaps denouncing all material goods.  But that's not what I'm suggesting. It doesn't have to be serious at all; it's just tea.

HOWEVER, whether you care about it or not, each cup of tea offers your body benefits, simply based on the chemical properties of the drink, and those benefits are conducive to a healthier and happier lifestyle.  And if tea becomes a drink of choice, you get the bonus benefit of mini-opportunities to pause and slow down, to be mindful, and to connect with yourself, with others, or with something larger than yourself.   Experiencing the inherent benefits of tea and building on them with mindful tea-drinking practices as part of your "lifestyle" doesn't take away from it being just a cup of tea - simple, easy, tasty, and not too serious.

So put on your meat suit and drink some tea.  And enjoy it because the benefits are happening whether you're "trending", "lifestyling" or just thirsty.