8 Minutes

 

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“There’s only one thing more precious than our time
and that’s who we spend it on.” – Leo Christopher

Let that quote settle into your bones for a minute and you’ll quickly realize the magnitude of that statement. How and who do you spend your time with?

If you think about it, the only real currency that matters is time. And its finite. And human beings traditionally have a love/hate relationship with it. We skip the present moment (it feels too hard) and often live in the other two realms: Dwelling on the past, and worrying about the future. We also seem to default to 1 of 2 states of being:

• Too busy, not having enough time and wasting the present moment
• Thinking we have all the time in the world, and missing opportunity

Up until a few weeks ago that was sort of the norm. But things have changed and life is different. One day we were living life on autopilot plugging along not thinking about the present moment, still defaulting to one of the realms (past or future) and in an instant, everything stopped and we all experienced a collective kind of whiplash from the Black Swan (aka: the Corona Virus/Covid-19.)

Some say life as we knew it is gone (maybe that’s a good thing) and that as a global community we have entered a period of profound change. What that will look like on the other side anyones guess because it is still an unknown. And for humans, the unknown is scary.

So our relationship to time has changed in an instant and we’re trying to buy time with the hope that the purchase will save lives, and humanity as we know it. And all we can do is wait it out. All we can do is try to live in present moment and let time have its way.  This waiting has forced our hand and pushed us all into a collective TIME OUT.  For some it’s a welcome reprieve from life and a chance to regroup, take a breath and exhale slowly. For others its immensely uncomfortable.

It doesn’t help that the last 3 years have been down right difficult for so many people and especially challenging in terms of finding ways to be in the moment and relax. I see this weekly at the farmers markets where I sell tea. Every week, I listen to people share their secrets, unload their stresses and everything in between. Some call me a TeaTherapist. But I’m just a good listener – because the truth is my answer to most of life’s challenges… the prescription I find most helpful… is always the same: Tea.

Yes, dear ones – Tea. Tea for everything, every challenge, every problem, every person. Tea for breakfast, tea for lunch, tea at tea time and tea for dinner. Because tea my friends, cures everything. Far fetched? Nope. And here’s why…

Tea forces you to have a direct relationship with time. It forces you to be in the present moment, to think about what you are doing. To pay attention, and to breath. And the beautiful part is that the investment is minimal. For the people that tell me that tea takes too long to make, is not worth the investment in time, I say: Phooey! It takes roughly 8 minutes. How do I know that?

Because I timed it.

From the time I decided to make tea and got out of my chair in my home office, walked down the steps and into the kitchen to…

  • Filling the electric kettle with fresh water
  • To choosing the tea vessel I wanted to use and getting it out of the cupboard
  • To scooping and measuring the tea leaves (in this case green Korean Sejak)
  • To waiting for the water to heat to 174˚ƒ
  • To pouring the water over the leaves
  • To infusing the leaves depending on type (in this case 2 min for Sejak)
  • To taking the tea ware to my table
  • To sitting down to sip the tea
  • To finishing the first infusion (I then poured another)

EIGHT (8) MINUTES. A spec of time.

The point at which relaxation in the body started was the moment of thought for wanting to make tea. It just increased from there. Since we all have extra time on our hands now, why not give in to the healing power of what tea has to offer both physically, emotionally and mentally and use this gift of time to be present. You can add an extra minute each day working up to more and more time spent having tea – a kind of meditation if you like. No other distractions. Just you and your tea.

So the moral of this story is that time is relative; time can be our friend or foe. Lets choose the former. Let’s choose to carve out a tiny part of our day to spend with tea.

I wish you all safety and wellness…

Happy Sipping
~The Chief Leaf

8 Minutes

Tea Giving Day 17: (Breakfast Blend)

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“In Britain, a cup of tea is the answer to every problem.

Fallen off your bicycle? Nice cup of tea.
Your house has been destroyed by a meteorite? Nice cup of tea…”

 

It seems to solve every problem or challenge in the known universe. I’ve written about how the simple act of making tea starts a chemical reaction in the body and brain which promotes relaxation. It’s a ritual of comfort. And as we know about rituals, it has tremendous benefits on personal well being. Making a cup of tea says, “I care.”  It’s an act of love towards the other person and yourself.

Add to that, drinking tea has been scientifically proven to have a number of health benefits due to the antioxidants and other chemical components like L-Theanine, which helps to relieve anxiety.

The next time you’re aggravated, annoyed, upset, challenged by someone or something follow the British and:  Put on the Kettle and enjoy a cuppa. As you already know, Tea can be consumed as a warm drink or a chilled (iced tea) – which is how many Americans like it.

Tea was introduced to Britain in the 7th Century by Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese wife of King Charles II. She made sure to bring a large chest of tea with her when she arrived in England in 1662. This put drinking tea in fashion within the royal court. Over time tea made its way through class structure and became the everyday people’s drink it is today.

The habit of having tea at breakfast is said to have originated with Queen Anne the successor to King Charles II when she chose tea as her drink of choice for breakfast. The royal court and subjects began to follow her lead.

What’s interesting about traditional English Breakfast Blends is that it didn’t actually originate in England. It was a Scotsman named Drysdale who come up with the first Breakfast Blend of black tea that was quite strong. He simply called it “Breakfast Tea”  – and because Queen Victoria loved “all things Scottish” it immediately became popular.

Close up of small porcelain English teapotTea merchants in London used the power of branding and marketing and changed the name to what is now known as ENGLISH Breakfast Tea which is how its most commonly known today.

A bit cheeky of them, don’t you think? 

For those of you who love a classic cuppa, Breakfast Blend is for you. It’s a smooth blend of Indian Black teas: Assam and Darjeeling that marry together perfectly. It has the strength and character to stand up to milk or cream and sugar, but it’s balance enough to enjoy on its own.

On Day 17 of our 25 Days of Tea Giving, please enjoy 25% OFF our Breakfast Blend. Use Code TEAGIVING17 at checkout!

Go fire up the kettle… and Happy Sipping!
~The Chief Leaf

 

Tea Giving Day 17: (Breakfast Blend)

Recovery

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Trekking down to our local school to cast a vote in this historic election is both an honor and a privilege not taken lightly. This election more then ever, we give thanks to that one thing that kept us sane over the last few months: TEA.

It feels like a hundred years ago rather then 8 when Obama and McCain were battling it out for the Presidency in 2008 – when we all thought that election was intense. Twitter was “newish” and we were all trying that thing called tweeting. I remember sitting at the computer trying to figure out this new medium and fired off a tweet into the void as Pearl Fine Teas and asked: “If Obama and McCain were tea blends what would they be?

To our surprise, people actually responded.

Winter 2009 Tea A MagazineLong story short… what happened was an interesting chain of events that culminated in a contest where we took votes and suggestions, and then blended 2 teas to represent each candidate. We announced the winner on Nov 4, with fulfillment the week of the inauguration.  Through all that new tweeting I met Jack Cheng  when he was part of Steepster.  Jack reached out and showed me 2 illustrations he had done of each one of our blends made entirely out of tea leaves (you can see an early blogpost here.) They were and still are fantastic, and ultimately ended up on the cover of TEA. A MAGAZINE.  I noticed recently through a feed on Facebook that Adagio Teas created an illustration of Trump and Bernie paying homage to our Obama-McCain!

This time around I wondered (like last time) what the blends for the candidates might be for this election with Trump as the (R) candidate and Hillary, the (D) candidate and America’s first potential female president. So much has changed these 8 years in the U.S. and in American Government. At the moment we are a nation divided, and its been a brutal campaign. With all the unusual shenanigans that went into this election year we all traveled a very long road to get us to today: November 8th. Regardless who wins tonight, there is no doubt that we will need support for the days, weeks, months and 4 years ahead.

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Recovery Infusion Blend (Organic/Kosher)

So this time around in honor of the 2016 Election Year, Pearl Fine Teas will offer an  (Election) Recovery Blend: An inclusive blend with health benefits to help: the Left, the Right and the Middle.

Here is a breakdown of some of the health benefits from our newest caffeine-free infusion:

 

• Roasted chicory root: Eases digestive problems, prevents heartburn, reduce arthritis pains, detoxes, boosts immunity, may reduce heart disease.
• Ginger root:
Boosts immunity, calms an upset stomach, helps with nausea, warming, stimulates circulation.
• Lemongrass:
Detoxes, helps insomnia, boosts immunity, excellent tonic for nerves.
• Lemon balm:
Reduces stress and anxiety, helps promote sleep, eases indigestion.
• Orange peel:
Vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, pectin.
• Lemon essential oil:
calming, detoxifying, antiseptic, sleep inducing, anti-fungal.
• Hibiscus:
Lowers blood pressure, and boosts immune system.
• Coriander:
High in manganese, iron, magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and protein.
• Cinnamon:
High in antioxidants, lowers blood sugar levels, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal.
• Rose petals:
Immune Boost, improves digestion eases stress and anxiety.
Rosehips: Rich in bio flavonoids, pectin, vitamin E + B complex, selenium, manganese
.

We’ll offer this blend at the TeaTent and online soon on the new Pearl Fine Teas website.

It’s still early in the day as this post goes live, and we won’t know who our next President will be, but our hope is that the road to recovery is a short one and that the great divide will heal sooner then later.  No matter what happens we are grateful that one thing is certain:  there will always be TEA.

#TeaUnites
#teasaveslives
#tealove
#sipteafeelhappy
#teainDC
#teainVA
#teainMD
#TeaTent
#TeaGirl

Recovery

Local Tea Company Owner Becomes Washington, D.C’s 1st Certified Tea Professional

NEWS RELEASE


New STI LogoWASHINGTON, DC,  May 27, 2009 – Elise E. Scott, Chief Leaf of online tea merchant, Pearl Fine Teas, has completed the Specialty Tea Institute’s (STI) 2 year program and is now the first Certified Tea Professional (CTP) in Washington, D.C. Ms. Scott was one of 8 people who completed the certification during the 2009 World Tea Expo, which was held in Las Vegas in May. To date, STI has certified only 23 Tea Professionals worldwide.

The three level, eight-course certification process, included classes that covered sensory evaluation, white, green, oolong and pu’erh teas and culminated with the black teas of China, India and Sri Lanka.

Upon completing the certification, Ms. Scott said, “It was a long 2 year journey filled with a lot of travel; sipping and study time–basically a total immersion into the world of tea. I loved every minute. More importantly, this training adds to my credibility as a tea professional and I take that very seriously.”

Ms. Scott has studied under many notable tea industry professionals, including Bill Waddington, Owner, Tea Source; Donna Fellman, Tea Education Alliance; Phil Parda, Owner­, Zhong Guo Cha; and Richard Guzauskas of Tea Forte, QTrade, Shangri La and STI Advisory Board Chairman. She also studied under Cynthia Gold, Tea Sommelier at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and will spend 9 days in Taiwan this June studying oolong teas with Thomas Shu, 3rd Generation Tea Master and Vice President of ABC Tea House.

Pearl_LogoAbout Pearl Fine Teas
Since 2006, Pearl Fine Teas has been providing premium, limited edition and rare loose-leaf teas along with custom creative blends and tea ware to tea lovers worldwide. The company focuses on top notch customer service, education and information about the world of tea. The company’s blog, TeaLove®, was launched on August 2008 and has received national attention for its posts on tea and politics.

For more information, visit www.pearlteas.com, www.tealove.wordpress.com or follow Pearl on Twitter at www.twiter.com/pearlfineteas.

TAlogo_NewAbout STI and The Tea Association of the USA
The Specialty Tea Institute is a division of the Tea Association of the U.S.A and is dedicated to serving the needs of purveyors in the specialty tea industry. The primary objective is to provide a credible source of information which will allow merchants to decide if entry into the world of specialty teas is the correct choice along with protecting their best interests, creating an environment conducive to growth, and developing positive marketing and media impressions about the world of tea. The tea industry looks to the Tea Association of the USA, Inc, The Tea Council of the USA and the Specialty Tea Institute (STI) for its wholesale and retail needs.
Website: http://www.teausa.org

 

Local Tea Company Owner Becomes Washington, D.C’s 1st Certified Tea Professional

Yoga Teapots and Cherry Blossoms

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I love teapots. I have a giant collection of them and can’t stop buying new ones. I probably need to open a store just to showcase them all.

I ventured into teaware last fall. I’m picky about my pots so I made sure to test them over and over again. Sometimes you see a cute design, take it home and it drips when you pour. Me no likee. Or, the mesh infuser is too thin and bends making it impossible to use again. Me really no likee.

Then there are the ones that just dont hold enough water for teatime. You know, the ones that give you just one cup of tea. I need at least two per sitting.

I’ve been happy with the choice I made with regard to iPot Teapot and have decided to keep them around for a while. There are some others I’m testing out in the TeaLab, but I’m not ready to release just yet.

Recently I ordered some new designs. How cool are the ones with the yoga positions etched into the side? Love it. Will definitely keep a few for me. 🙂 I am offering them in 3 colors: Bamboo and Grape (tree pose) and Carribbean Blue (lotus pose). There are matching cups as well that make such a nice gift. Either for yourself or someone who loves tea and yoga.

I also just had to have the Cherry Blossom design which is simply gorgeous and perfect for this time of year. We are in Cherry Blossom Season here in DC so it just makes it all the more fitting.  It a also has a matching teapot.The duo is so feminine.

If you are subscribed to this blog or follow me on twitter, Im going to offer you tealove peeps 10% off both the Yoga design and the Cherry Blossoms if you order by April 5, 2009. Just use code: CB10 at checkout.

Happy Sipping! Happy Spring!

** If you live in the DC Metro Area, please come to the Woman’s Show of Northern Virginia April 3-5 at the Dulles Expo Center. Stop by and say hello. We’re in Booth 1019.

Yoga Teapots and Cherry Blossoms

A Ramble on Tea Reviews (and Wine): Part 1

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It’s just after midnight here in our Nation’s Capital. And I’m wondering why President Obama hasn’t ordered any of our “Drink for Change” blend? Which then led me to Twitter. Random? Of course.

While on Twitter I noticed a significant jump in people following Pearl Fine Teas. Interesting. I hadn’t been paying attention the last few weeks. I clicked to see who was interested in us. Even more interesting. As I browsed the list, checking out fellow TeaPeeps and clicking on their sites or being led to other sites related to tea, I noticed something even more interesting than the last interesting thing…

puter1There are a TON of Tea Review websites out there. When did this happen? So I sat with this thought for a bit… Why are there so many sites that review tea? Why do so many people want to review tea? Why are people building websites and social networks around reviewing tea? Is anyone really interested in someone else’s review of tea? Remember, I was in advertising for many years and my default is extreme curiosity and intense questioning about things like this.

I must admit here on my very own TeaLove Blog, which is mostly about tea and my thoughts on things related to tea (hence totally teacentric) that even I am only mildly interested in another persons review. There I said it. From a business perspective I love the idea of people trying our teas, having an opinion about it (hopefully positive) and then telling others. I like the idea of community. I don’t know how I feel or what I think just yet on the whole “review” thing.  Not knocking the reviewers, just so curious on this new trend. And forming an opinion. (Because I always have an opinion on something.)

I mean… I’ve seen movies where critics have given 2 thumbs down for a movie that I loved. Dare I admit to loving Anchorman? Shallow Hal? Dodgeball? Did I fall asleep watching Ghandi? I really did. But I did love Slumdog Millionaire!

When people ask me what tea they should drink, I always pause for a moment, and then suggest teas that I believe are of high quality and value, and why I think they may like it. However, even though I may like that tea, it doesn’t mean someone else will. High quality aside.

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i love this wine

A few years ago I had a client who was (I think still is) the CEO of a bank. He and his wife were lovers of California wines. I remember talking to him about my growing interest in wines and reading Wine Spectator. He looked at me and said, “Elise, drink what you like and forget the rest. Who cares if something got a low rating. If you like it, drink it.”

I had no reply to that. He was right. Plus he was my client. And a lot taller then me. I feel that way about tea as well. If you like it, drink it.

I LOVE good tea. I also LOVE good wine. But what does good really mean? I’ve had the pleasure of sampling collectible wines: 1989 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape (Yes! It’s true!); 1996 Latour Corton Charlemagne; 1989 Paul Jaboulet Aine, Hermitage La Chapelle; and a fabulous 1990 Caymus Cabernet Special Selection. I’ve also had Yellow Tail and an unbelievable Pinot Noir from Sonoma-Cutrer for $45 a bottle that left such an impression, I’m ordering a case. Seriously.

lipton4I’ve also sampled many spectacular teas. Some considered so good they are collected and sold for a small fortunes in Asia (ie: puerh). Some I liked and some I didn’t. I’ve also had Lipton. Who hasn’t. There is a time and place for all things, including Lipton Tea. Think iced on a hot summer day.  I refuse to bash Lipton, though I know some people who do. Sir Thomas Johnson Lipton began in 1870 and is currently one of the biggest tea distributors in the world. Its been around for 139 years! People like it.

“Whats her point you may be saying…My point is that, some of us are tea snobs. Some of us are wine snobs. Some of us are both. Is being a snob really such a good thing? I dunno. In the end what matters is what tastes good to YOU. Enjoy the pleasure and the journey of sampling teas and form your own opinion on the leaf (or grape). For good or for bad, its the pleasure of discovering what you like that’s fantastic. And, if you find a tea you absolutely love ENJOY IT. If it happens to be a tea in a bag from a roadside diner paired with the meatloaf special… Who cares. If YOU like it, sip it. (I can feel the tea community twitching as I type this.)

pearl_logo-smallAll that said… I do prefer a whole leaf tea to fannings and anyone out there who would like to review some of our teas (Teaviews & Steepster) and shout out good things to the world about us … you know where to find me.

Ok it’s now 2:23am. I’m done rambling for now and will formulate more thoughts soon on this fantastic growing phenomenon. Part 2 to come…

Happy Sipping! (both tea and wine)

A Ramble on Tea Reviews (and Wine): Part 1

“Hope” Tea and Aloha United Way

auw-logoTeaGreetings, TeaPeeps! I am thrilled to report that Aloha United Way has decided to give Pearl Fine Teas at their 2009 Annual Recognition Luncheon held on April 17, 2009 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. 450 people will be attending!

Jody Shiroma-Perreira, VP, Marketing & Communications thought it would be a wonderful idea to offer loose leaf tea as a favor for those attending the event! They are calling the tea “HOPE” – a Temple of Heaven/Gunpowder based green tea. As some of you may know, I spent 5 glorious years living and working in Honolulu and one of my very first accounts when I arrived was AUW! It holds a special place in my heart and I am sincerely honored to help support Aloha United Way!

“Hope” Tea and Aloha United Way