Tea and Climate Policy?

Tea and Politics are HOT. (No pun or Paris Hilton reference intended.)

When I opened my Google Alert email this morning and saw this post on the New America Foundation Blog. I chuckled. Now that’s what I call a segue! Having spent many years in advertising, I can tell ya that’s some seriously borrowed interest. And a way to garner attention! Especially since Obama and Tea seems to be of interest these day. Hmm… (Again, thank you Twitter!)

I get the feeling there are many who see tea as well, weak? I suppose it can be depending on how long you steep it. Or that tea is only for people on the left (I’m in the middle) who practice yoga (which I do) and hug trees (no comment.)

Tea is strong (especially at 5 minutes), makes people happy, is a unifier and has been at the center of many major events throughout history.  Remember: The Boston Tea Party became one of the primary catalysts for the American Revolution that led to the independence and subsequent creation of the United States.

How absolutely fabulous would it be for TeaPeeps like me, and the world in general, if our hopeful New President were to enjoy a cuppa tea at a Press Conference? With Republicans. Or, perhaps while he reviews how he is going to bail us out and reform Healthcare. I would be overwhelmed with joy to know that he wasn’t making important decisions on Red Bull.

Tea is here to stay. And, all things are possible over a simple cup of tea. Like… World Peace. 0% unemployment. And Climate Control.  Am I reaching? Maybe a little, but remember, I was trained by Ad people.

Article below:

Does Obama Drink Tea?January 27, 2009 – 2:32pm

“Tea or coffee? It must be the former, because everyone I know is trying to read his tea leaves, especially when it comes to energy and environment policy.

Crystal balls and beverage dregs may be reliable methods of forecasting some things in our future, but when it comes to sustainability (and that’s really what you mean when you say “energy/environment” or “climate” policy) look to California for a hint of where to focus your personal or corporate viewpoint in the coming months. Here are three big areas where the Golden State is leading and, I believe, the Obama Administration will gladly follow.

First, climate policy. On November 18, 2008, shortly after his election, then President-elect Obama delivered a speech to our Governors’ Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles that left no doubt he will expand California’s climate action plan – – and greenhouse gas reduction targets – – to the federal level. If you missed that important speech, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvG2XptIEJk

The second California sustainability trailblazing that we should watch is in what’s called “green chemistry”. Governor Schwarzenegger set policies and signed laws that require a growing number of manufacturers to formulate products, from bug spray to baby bottles, with non-toxic ingredients and chemicals. Given the anti-science approach taken by the Bush administration on environmental and public health issues, look for the new President to rapidly order his bureaucracy to build on the sound science and smart policy of states like California on a host of these programs that make us healthier.

Last, take a look at energy efficiency. Californians are 40% more energy efficient than average Americans and it’s not because we don’t enjoy watching the SuperBowl on a 72″ Hummer of a TV. It’s because of state energy efficiency standards for appliances and buildings that save people lots of money, along with regulatory policy that incentivizes utilities to invest in energy efficiency programs for consumers. Watch for the feds to do a quick cut-and-paste.

There are other ways the feds will follow California in these matters, with more to come now that so many are inspired by the new President or scared straight by climate change, so stay tuned. But for now, I’ve got to run – – I think I hear the kettle whistling.”

And now I will segue from

Try our Drink for Change Blend. It’s delicious!

Happy Sipping!

Tea and Climate Policy?

The Green Tea Martini for New Years Eve

img_intro_1
me, and a cuppa green tea spiked with vodka

With only 3 days left until the new year, I have to admit, I can’t wait to say goodbye to 2008. Out with the old and in with the new. I have high hopes for 2009. So much tea to taste. Blends to create. Gardens to visit. People to spend time with over afternoon tea. And… more time to spend nurturing my little tea company, Pearl Fine Teas, that is slowly, but surely, making its way into the hearts of many.

So, rather than talk about how we should usher the New Year in with a nice traditional cuppa, I’ve decided to share with all of you one of the most fabulous cups of “tea” I’ve had in the last year. Namely the GREEN TEA MARTINI! Think about it… It’s the perfect combination of fun and antioxidant. What better way to say “Happy New Year” than with one of these in your hand.  I can tell you from experience that this baby goes down smooth, so take it slow. And choose a designated driver.

GREEN TEA MARTINI COCKTAIL

1 Serving (Scale ingredients to servings)

2 oz lemon vodka (Absolut Citron)
1/2 oz Grand Marnier® orange liqueur
1 oz chilled green tea (we used Dragonwell)
honey to taste

• Steep loose leaf green tea, but not too long so it doesn’t become bitter. Cool off and add some honey to sweeten lightly.
• Combine tea, vodka and Grand Marnier in a martini shaker with ice and shake until chilled.
• Pour into a martini glass pre-rimmed with sugar crystals (makes the glass look cute and adds a bit of sweetness)
• Garnish with lime or orange slices.

Happy Sipping!

*If you liked this post, please share with a friend!

The Green Tea Martini for New Years Eve

Christmas Tea at the Mayflower Hotel

img_00111
Amy, Mysoon, Nicole (owner of Quiet Mind Yoga), Tiffany, Rochel (owner of Joyful Bath Co.)

Every year it’s the same. I send out an email in August to my “TeaPeeps” suggesting a Sunday in December for us to meet for Christmas Tea. A bit early for an RSVP, but this way we are all on the same page and can actually make it happen. It seems to work because this is our 5th year! Amy, Mysoon, Nicole and Tiffany were all past students of mine (when I was teaching design and creative thinking) who obviously transitioned into being dear friends. Rochel was a past vendor of mine, who is now a dear friend. Nicole has recently followed her heart and has started a yoga studio here in DC called Quiet Mind. Rochel has done the same with following her heart and has started her second business called Joyful Bath Co. Amy and Mysoon have followed their hearts and passion and are both working as designers and Tiffany followed her heart into a wonderful job that has her traveling to exotic locations like Vietnam!

A fabulous group of woman,  we met today at 315p at the Mayflower Hotel, in downtown DC. I’m sure many of you have heard of  hotel – think Eliot Spitzer.

The Mayflower Hotel  is elegant and their afternoon tea is well done. I have often met many a client for tea here, but was impressed with their version of Christmas Tea. Decorated with poinsettias on each table and a harpist in the corner of the room, each of us was offered our own 2-tier of savory and sweets.We decided that we likes this rather than a large 3-tier in the center of the table.

food2It began with a selection of savory tea sandwiches including: smoked salmon, grilled vegetarian sandwich on focaccia bread, smoked duck and a mozerella on pita. Delicious! Rochel enjoyed it so much, she requested a refill! The sweets section was abundant and I don’t think any of us were able to finish what was offered. There was a raspberry fruit tartlet, chocolate eclair, black currant scone, clotted cream and lemon curd, raisin brioche, coconut rocher and hazelnut macaroon and their signature banana bread. We often add on a glass of champagne, but this year we skipped the bubbly and just enjoyed the tea. I enjoyed a pot of Wild Blueberry. And I believe there were some oohs and ahs over their Mountain Spring Jasmine tea. I had a sip – quite good. The tea menu included the following: Breakfast Americana, Darjeeling Choice Estate, Earl Grey, Wild Blackberries, Orchid Oolong, Mountain Spring Jasmine, Sencha, Chamomile Citrus, Ginger Twist and Organic Mint Melange. All I believe from Mighty Leaf. I thought the service was good and the overall experience was pleasant.

menu2
The menu

The room was filled with many young woman who were obviously there with family and friends to celebrate season and enjoy each others company. I can say that our Christmas Tea event has become something I look forward to each year. Though we many not see each other for 364 days, we can always count on coming together in early December over tea and treats to catch-up on whats happened over the last year. I truly treasure the time we spend together and look forward to next year!

Here is a little bit of history on the Historic Mayflower Hotel:

The Mayflower Hotel was known as the “Grande Dame of Washington, D.C.,” boasting more gold than any other building in the country except for the Library of Congress. Just four blocks from the White House, this grand, historic hotel remains not only a place to make history but to absorb it; throughout the last 80 years the hotel has hosted events that have changed the course of human affairs. Its opening function, the annual banquet of the Washington Chamber of Commerce, was totally eclipsed by Calvin Coolidge’s Inaugural Charity Ball held two weeks later in the Grand Ballroom. The ball began a long tradition of presidential use of the Mayflower. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover ate lunch at the hotel every day for 20 years, and President Harry Truman lived at the Mayflower during the first 90 days of his presidential term. Franklin Roosevelt lived in Suite 776 during his pre-inaugural period and dictated his famous, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” speech there. In 1942, the hotel staged Washington’s first blackout drill, installed air raid sirens and first aid stations on every floor, turned the roof into an observation post and made plans to convert the barbershop into an emergency hospital. Harry S. Truman announced his intention to run for the presidency in 1948 at a Jackson Day dinner at the Mayflower (“I want to say that during the next four years there will be a Democrat in the White House and you are looking at him.”)

1127 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20036 USA
Phone:  1-202-347-3000
Fax:  1-202-776-9182

Christmas Tea at the Mayflower Hotel

The Wonderful World of Tea and Honey

honeycomb2

All of a sudden, I’m fascinated with honey. Honey producing, honey bees, honeycombs, worker bees, honey facts. All of it. I had no idea honey was so complex and magical. I’m in awe of those  little honey bees that work so hard for us to enjoy some sweetness in a simple cup of tea. We must thank the honey bee – especially the worker bees (who are female, only live 6-8 weeks and do all of the work) for gifting us with such sweetness. Read on if you want to learn more…

10 Fun Facts about Honey

  1. In order to produce 1 pound of honey, 2 million flowers must be visited.
  2. A hive of bees must fly 55,000 miles to produce a pound of honey.
  3. An average worker bee (female) makes only about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
  4. It would take approximately 1 ounce of honey to fuel a bee’s flight around the world.
  5. Honey contains vitamins and antioxidants, but is fat free, cholesterol free and sodium free!
  6. Honey is less than 20% water.
  7. Honey speeds the healing of open wounds and also combats infection.
  8. Beeswax is edible. If you’ve eaten a Gummy Bear, you’ve eaten beeswax.
  9. Honey is the only produce with NO EXPIRATION DATE.
  10. Tea and Honey are a perfect match! Both are known to contain antioxidants which help prevent damage to cells and tissues

23 Honey Varieties (Did you know there were so many? I didn’t)

  1. ACACIA – made from nectar collected from Acacia tree blossoms which produce a honey that is remarkably clear and pure. Popular and sweet with a mild, delicate floral taste.
  2. ALFALFA – light in color and mildly scented floral aroma. Its delicate nature doesn’t overpower other flavors making it a perfect with tea. Not as sweet as most honey.
  3. AVOCADO – tastes nothing like the fruit, avocado. Dark, fairly rich and buttery in flavor.
  4. BASSWOOD – one of the few varieties that that is light color but has a strong biting distinctive lingering flavor. Very good with teas like Earl Grey.
  5. BLUEBERRY – made from the tiny white flowers of the blueberry bush. Light amber in color, has a pleasant flavor, a slight tang, and a blueberry aftertaste.
  6. BUCKWHEAT – hard to find. The darkest of honeys with a full-bodied flavor. Rich in iron. Popular with honey lovers. Has been found to contain more antioxidant compounds than some lighter honeys.
  7. CLOVER – a classic honey with a mild sweet taste. One of the most available and popular varieties.
  8. EUCALYPTUS – a special herbal flavor which carries a hint of menthol. Traditionally used as a protection against colds and headaches. Try it in your morning or afternoon tea.
  9. FIREWEED – One of the most popular honeys. Very smooth, delicate, and buttery in taste.
  10. HEATHER – thick, amber in color. Strong, fragrant and floral with a very lingering aftertaste that is almost bitter. High in protein content.
  11. LEATHERWOOD – a native eucalyptus found in the south-west of Tasmania, Australia and is the source for 70% of the country’s honey. Excellent on wheat toast. Adds a fantastic aroma to tea.
  12. LINDEN – light yellow color and a delicate, fresh, woody scent. Known to have sedative and antiseptic qualities. Used in the treatment of colds, cough and bronchitis.
  13. MANUKA – found only in New Zealand’s coastal areas, and comes from the flower of the Tea Tree bush. Said to be antibacterial and helpful for healing of sore throats, colds, indigestion, stomach ulcer, acne and pimples.
  14. ORANGE BLOSSOM – light in color, mild in flavor with a fresh fruity scent with a fragrant citrus taste.
  15. PUMPKIN BLOSSOM – harvested once a year in the early fall. Dark amber-colored liquid with a light floral fragrance. Tastes nothing like Pumpkin Pie. A seasonal honey –  limited as the bloom is short and does not produce much nectar.
  16. RED GUM – found in Australia. A darker honey with a thicker consistency, bold taste and higher level of antioxidants compared to others.
  17. REWAREWA – found in New Zealand. Full bodied and malty. A classic dark red premium honey with a caramel, slightly burnt flavor. Quite unusual.
  18. PINE TREE – from Greece. Less sweet, a little bitter, with a strong aroma. Rich in minerals and proteins. Resistent to crystallization.
  19. SOURWOOD – light-colored, delicate, with a caramel or buttery flavor, and a pleasant, lingering aftertaste.
  20. SAGE – produced in California. Light in color, heavy bodied and has a mild but delightful flavor. Slow to granulate, making it a favorite variety among honey packers.
  21. TAWARI – from New Zealand’s Tawari trees. Golden in color with a creamy butterscotch flavor.
  22. TUPELO – a premium honey produced in northwest Florida. Heavy bodied but with a mild, distinctive taste. One of the sweetest honey varieties.
  23. WILDFLOWER – also known as “multifloral” or “mixed floral” honey.  Its color can vary from very light to dark. Flavor range from light and fruity to tangy and rich.

honeybear115 Recommendation for Pairing Tea and Honey

  1. English Breakfast or Earl Grey Tea: Blueberry honey
  2. Lemon or Mint Tea: Clover honey
  3. Jasmine Tea: Alfalfa or Sage honey
  4. Irish Breakfast or Assam Tea: Eucalyptus honey
  5. Ceylon or Darjeeling: Orange blossom honey

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, or rather honeycomb. Honey seems to be an uber-super-duper food that just happens to have a natural affinity with tea. Lucky us!

Today, December 12, 2008, you can read a cool article at Mail Online UK by Jenny Hope on tea and womans  health: “Women who drink three cups of tea a day may be protecting themselves against heart attacks and strokes.”

Newsmax.coms article on June 20, 2008: “The clearest consistent evidence points to an association between tea consumption, in excess of three cups per day, and a reduced risk of myocardial infarction or a heart attack.Dr. Ruxton found that drinking up to eight cups a day would deliver optimum benefits from polyphenols without affecting sleep quality.

I hover around 8 – 10 cups a day so I should have the heart of a infant. Or, I should be glowing…or levitating… or something like that. Here’s an 11th fun fact about honey:  When adding honey into tea, wait till it’s not too hot to avoid destroying its natural goodness.

Happy Sipping!

* If you liked what you read, please recycle. Send to someone who might be interested!

The Wonderful World of Tea and Honey

Give The Gift of Tea… for 20% OFF!

gift the gift of tea
gift the gift of tea

It’s cyber-monday and we are doing our part to stimulate the economy by offering a 20% Discount on tea and teaware from today through December 24th! Just enter Code TLB20 at checkout! And… If you order totals more than $100, shipping is FREE!

Need suggestions on what teas to give? How about…

Earl Grey de la Creme or Earl Grey Lavender
Perfect for the Earl Grey lover who might be interested in trying something different. de la Creme is smooth and creamy with notes of vanilla. Lavendar is light, refreshing and very aromatic. Both blend nicely with the oil of bergamot!

Counting Sheep
Know someone who needs to chill? Having trouble relaxing and falling asleep. We aren’t sleep doctors, but we have to admit… Counting Sheep seems to relax the TeaPeeps here at Pearl Fine Teas. The blend is light and fresh and has strong notes of citrus. The aromatherapy alone should have you sawing wood. Caffeine Free to promote total relaxation and a peaceful end to your day. Just don’t sip and drive with this blend… you could fall asleep behind the wheel!

Bora Bora
Did your plans for a tropical vacation fall by the wayside this year because of the economic climate? No worries. Sip Bora Bora and imagine yourself on a tropical island… sun warming your skin… We know its no substitute for a real vacation, but why not sip this healthy green tea blended with passionfruit to warm you from the inside out?

Ceylon
One of the most outstanding Ceylon teas you will ever drink. Our Ceylon is from Shawlands Estate in the Uva region of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Takes well to milk although best drunk black. Full bodied, soothing and complex. Superb!

Maojian
Maojian is one of China’s most famous green teas, grown high in the mountains in misty tea gardens with brief sunlight and cold nights. The difficult conditions yield strong leaves that can withstand rolling and high roasting which creates its wonderful rich flavor and aroma. If you haven’t tried this green tea, you are missing something special.

Silver Needles
Long, soft and downy, Silver Needles are the first spring buds of the Da-Bai tea plant. It comes from Fuding, a serene region with soothing waterfalls and crystal clear lakes. The peaceful setting is reflected in the flavour: soft, mellow, with the sweet freshness of honeydew melon. A classic not to be dismissed.

How about a teapot to go with all this loose leaf tea? We’ve touted the virtues of the wonderful iPot and still stand by our recommendation. Choose from a 17 oz version in Scarlet, Jasmine, Pink, and Eggplant Damask. Or a 24 oz version in Scarlet, Pistachio, Ocean Blue, and Sky.

There’s a lot more tea on the website so have a peek!

Happy Sipping! Happy Shopping!

Give The Gift of Tea… for 20% OFF!

Smith and Hawken, Pearl Fine Teas & Orchid Oolong

metro-ce-logoh3The Big News for today, November 4th is… well, who will be our next President. It’s pretty hard to trump that, but given that we are totally TeaCentric (and have already voted) we have some Big News of our own to share with our fellow TeaPeeps and followers:

I have been invited to speak and show at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show right here in Washington DC at the new Convention Center! We are selling our fabulous loose leaf tea along with some amazing tea ware.  Our booth is #910 (right across from Beer, Wine and Spirits) so if you live close, stop by and introduce yourself. I am a featured speaker on Tea on Sunday, November 9th from 12:30-1:00pm. Very exciting.

pearl_orchid1The even BIGGER NEWS is that Smith & Hawken has signed on to support us! They have asked us to create a holiday event exclusively for their Chevy Chase, MD store. The seminar is called: “Tea in the Garden: Understanding Orchids and Orchid Oolong Tea.” Pretty fabulous! They will also be present at our booth and are outfitting our space with orchids galore and furniture from the store which should be just fantastic. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to not only speak at the Metro Cooking & Entertaining Show, but to help with this exclusive holiday event for Smith & Hawken. Anyone that knows me can tell you that it is truly one of my favorite stores. What an opportunity!

Orchid Oolong Tea. The Garden. What could be better? Check out the press release that went out today.

If you are not familiar with Orchid Oolong, you may be missing out on a spectacular experience. Here is a brief description of the one we carry at Pearl Fine Teas:

orchid oolong
orchid oolong

High mountain green oolong from Taiwan which is shipped to Fujian Province China to be scented with fresh orchid flowers. Yulan, the type of orchid we use is a much larger flower and much more aromatic than a jasmine. The danger can be that the tea absorbs too much moisture or becomes over scented and the crucial balance between tea and orchid taste is lost. This year’s crop represents the zenith of the art of scenting.

How can you not be enticed?

Remember: Please Vote! (and sip tea, we did!). There’s still time!

Smith and Hawken, Pearl Fine Teas & Orchid Oolong

Thank you, Tea Guy Speaks

When I woke up this morning and opened my email box (actually its always open and the computer is always on), I clicked my Google Alert email. I do this every morning as I sip some new tea or an old favorite. In case you are wondering, this morning I was sipping PG Tips. Yes I know, not my own but you can’t argue with a PG Tip and I don’t mind saying so. Plus, we love the PG Tips Monkey! Anyway…

I click on my Google Alert and scan, and scan, all the way down to Blogs. And I’m reading, and reading and I notice this article on Presidential Teas and I think, “Wow, someone else came up with the idea too? How odd.” Then I realized I was reading about my very own little tea company: Pearl Fine Teas.

Tea Guy Speaks posted a lovely bit about us on his fabulous blog and rather than thank him via comment to the post, I decided to thank you in a more grand way: by blogging right back.

Many of you probably already know about his blog and how amazing the info is about the tea world. I often look to it for things I wouldn’t ordinarily find. Like the fact that there was a Tea Drinking Gorilla who recently passed away at age 48 or that World Tea News wrote about us and I didn’t even know it.  You can read the bit called: Politics Inspires Tea Blends on their site.

When I posed the question on Twitter a few weeks ago, I had no idea people would be so interested. Seems its spreading like wild fire. It’s looking like California is taking the lead with blend orders. Thank you TeaPeeps of California! And thank you Tea Guy Speaks for the nod.

Remember to Vote. And drink tea.

Thank you, Tea Guy Speaks