Nepali Tea

A friend recently introduced me to this really amazing website called “Kickstarter.”  Kickstarter essentially is a place to raise funds for creative projects.  Case in point, my friend used Kickstarter as a place to raise money for an independent animated film she is making called “One Per Person.”  She recommended the site to me since she knows I would love to start my own business and also as a place to possibly raise capital for my jam making.  It’s really an amazing place to reach out and help the “little guy.”

Kickstarter is also one of those websites to get lost in.  It has everything from art, music, film to food!  Yes you got it food!  It is so inspiring and if you need to kick (pun intended) your creative juices into high gear this place will do it!  It’s refreshing to see people passionate about the projects and work they are creating.

During my perusing of Kickstarter, I came across a company called “Nepali Tea Traders.”  After reading about the company and their intentions I immediately sponsored them.  In return for my contribution I was rewarded with the most delicious tea.  I selected a set of black tea.  The first a Himalayan Masala black tea.  Incredibly tasty with a nice hint of black pepper and spices.  I’ve been partaking each morning with just a splash of milk.  The second is the Shangri-La Classic Organic Black Tea, this one I have yet to try but look forward to a cup when I get to work:)  I cannot wait to order more varieties and support a business that stands for so much more than the bottom line.

If you haven’t already please check it out.  It feels good to reach out to a small business and help support a dream!

Kickstarter

Nepali black tea

Big Bear and Tea

I’ve recently returned from a rather shortened sabbatical.  I was on the East Coast visiting family when hurricane Sandy hit.  Fortunately, my family is safe and well.. Unfortunately, my trip was cut a bit short due to the flight cancellations, and difficulties traveling.  I retreated back to LA and settled back into my Hollywood Hills retreat.  My little place is coming along and feeling cozier by the minute.

Heading back to work in less than a week, I made a very short escape to Big Bear Lake.  It is located a bit over 2 hrs outside of LA.  It is known for outdoor activities such as hiking, snowboarding and skiing.  The weather being still a bit warm for the latter, I decided hiking would be on the agenda.

It was my first time visiting the area and was pleasantly surprised to find two tearooms.  One unfortunately was closed however, the other was suggested to me.  It appeared to be more of a coffee shop, however, when I entered I noticed quite an impressive lot of loose leaf tea.  Also many interesting tea accessories.  It was really such a treat considering that I missed out on shopping my favorite tea shops in Toronto.  Also, I was happy to find that all of their teas can be ordered online.

Have a look for yourself and if ever visiting the area, I highly recommend a visit to

The Tea and Coffee Exchange.

PS: They also made a To Die For pumpkin chai with fresh pumpkin puree!

Hiking Big Bear

This tea house was closed:(

The Tea & Coffee Exchange

 

 

 

Boston Tea Party

Have you heard, there is a new museum that has cropped up in BostonBoston Tea Party Ships and Museum.  Just in time to celebrate the birth of our Country, a few days before July 4th I received an order of tea from Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.  The particular teas are a special blend created by the museum’s master blender Bruce Richardson.  The gift pack I ordered contained two teas which were created specifically to commemorate the opening of the museum.

The first called Abigail’s Blend (which is also the namesake of the tea room at the museum)- is a blend of Chinese black tea and also a bit of India and Kenya.

The second tea (which has become my iced tea addiction!)  Is a Strawberry & Apple loose tea.  It is an herbal blend and caffeine free.  It represents the colonists love of tea and in rebellion and boycott of England created their own blends out of herbs and fruit.

The museum looks to be an exciting and educational outlet to celebrate our beautiful nation.  I look forward to visiting in the fall!  If you are interested in reading more about it pick up a copy of  Tea Magazine, there is a great article featuring the museum as well as other interesting tidbits on tea and the world of tea.

Here’s to tea and independence:)

Orlando teatime part 2

On my last night in Orlando I gathered some of my girl’s and headed to Infusion Tea in College Park.  This area of Orlando has really grown since I moved away eight years ago.  It’s a fantastic little “secret” in Orlando, hidden from the tourists and known by locals.  It has a wonderful main street with restaurants and antique shops.  When I read about Infusion tea I knew I had to check it out!  It is a great teashop with fantastic food but also a coop with a cool shop attached selling really fun and funky items.

After over-indulging the previous night on wine and cheese it was nice to have a calming cup of tea and an organic salad.  It was a really fabulous visit and of course it helped by having good company!

Infusion Tea in Orlando, FL (College Park for those in the know!)

http://www.infusionorlando.com/

 

funky shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

display of teas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lavender cupcake I couldn't resist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tea and Spices

Currently I am in Florida taking a mini break and enjoying the warm weather.  While here a friend of mine referred me to a small quaint little town called Stuart, FL.  Stuart is on the east coast nestled between Orlando and West Palm beach.  It has a really cute historic downtown that is right on the inlet.  While wandering the downtown I came upon this darling spice shop.  The shop is called “All Spiced up.”  It is owned by a lovely woman named Ana.  As I perused the delicious smelling spices I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ana also carries tea in her shop.  Not only does she carry Elmwood Inn Fine Teas but she also carries tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation.  Did you know the US has a tea plantation?  I have heard the urban legend but never actually encountered the teas.  So you can imagine my surprise when I saw them at this wonderful shop!  I immediately purchased a tin of “Plantation Peach.”

As I sit here writing, I’m sipping a cold, refreshing glass of peach tea and it is fabulous!  I can close my eyes and fantasize that I am a true Southern belle sipping tea on a wrap around porch of a grand olde Plantation!

I cannot wait to plan a visit to Charleston Tea Plantation!

http://www.charlestonteaplantation.com/

 

 

 

Charleston Plantation Peach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If ever in Stuart, FL be sure to drop by and say “hello” to Ana!

http://www.allspicedup.net/

All Spiced up - Stuart, FL

Sweet Dreams…..

Lately, I have been hearing from many friends of their inability to sleep at night.  There are times in my life where I’ve had bouts of insomnia as well as being someone who suffers from anxiety (should explain my yoga and tea connection:)  In these situations I’ve always tried to take a more natural approach to healing my body whenever possible.  I am not a doctor or a holistic healer by trade, however, I’d like to share a few things which have helped me when I’m finding it hard to snuggle up at night and get a restful sleep.  As always, go by what your body tells you and do your own research into the matter and if you have a doctor/natural practitioner who you trust consult he/she as well.

TEA

In the later part of the evening I usually try to avoid caffeine or a tea with very low caffeine content, some alternatives which are naturally caffeine free to try would be an herbal infusion or a Rooibos tea.

Chamomile an herb which has a long history as a relaxant as well as other health benefits.

Valerian Root was recommended to me last year when I was having a lot of trouble sleeping.  I swear by this herb.  I take the Gaia brand capsule.  I haven’t found the ingredient in tea as of yet but I’m sure it must exist:)

Lavender is another “magic” herb for me!  I keep Aura Cacia Lavender calming oil in my bedside table.  I sniff it or place a couple of drops behind my ears.  Lavender also pops up in many tea infusion.

Many tea blenders are beginning to also recognize the connection between yoga and tea and are coming up with their own unique blends.

Elmwood Inn Fine Teas– has recently launched their Ayurvedic Blends.  Which are low caffeine, soothing teas that promote relaxation.

http://store.elmwoodinn.com/search.aspx?find=ayurvedic+tea

I also keep a variety of Yogi Teas around.  One of my favorites is the Yogi Tea Bedtime tea.

http://www.yogiproducts.com/

***When looking for a “tea” keep in mind that any blend which contains the tea-plant, “camellia sinensis” will have caffeine, unless it specifically states that it is caffeine free, decaffeinated or low caffeine.

Yoga

One of my favorite yoga poses to promote a calm mind which in turn helps with sleep is legs up the wall.

photo courtesy of Yoga Journal

Also a great article I have come across in Yoga Journal giving some tips to help with calming the mind and having a peaceful night sleep.

http://www.yogajournal.com/dailyinsight/yjnl_20110217.html?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=site&utm_campaign=dailyinsight

And if all else fails.. snuggle up with your favorite sleeping companion:)

Sanctuary T and a day in the city….

I headed to New York City yesterday, or as it’s known to us East Coasters, “The City.”  I spent the day with my fabulous California girl Sunny!  We walked from her Tudor City hideaway to the very chic “Sanctuary T Restaurant” located in Soho.  It was quite a brisk day in the city with temps hovering around 30 degrees, warming ourselves in a cozy tea lounge was exactly what the day called for!

Sanctuary T is really lovely, cozy and not a doily in sight!  They offer a full menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner as well as wine and tea infused cocktails.  The menu is also themed with “tea” infused, health conscious choices.  After much internal debate, I settled on the smokey steak salad with the lapsang vinaigrette  – DELISH!  I finished my brunch with a cup of Toasted Almond tea and the uber yummy house made peanut butter ice cream sandwich.  Their tea menu is extensive and it was such a tough decision.  However, the toasted almond came highly recommended.  The smell was so fragrant and the infused leaves beautiful, it really worked well as a dessert tea.  I regretfully left the restaurant empty handed of a tea purchase.

If ever in Soho and need a respite from the busy streets of NYC, grab a bite and a cup of tea at Sanctuary T!

http://www.sanctuaryt.com/

 

Yoga Ayurveda – Tea Season

There is nothing more comforting than to curl up with a good cup of tea on a cold, dreary winter day.  The yoga journal article below gives wonderful suggestions for the types of tea to drink for whatever ails you during the winter months.  The tea recipes are taken from the Ayurvedic tradition which seeks to keep the body and mind in balance with nature and keep disease and poor health at bay with prevention.

One herb that has been getting a lot of buzz is the Indian herb Tulsi or holy basil.  The herb is said to aid in detoxification, it’s rich in antioxidant and also known for its restorative powers.  My good friend Deb suggests the “Organic India,  Sweet Rose Tulsi.”  Tulsi can also be purchased in bulk to create your own healthy blends.

Yoga Journal – Yoga Ayurveda – Tea Season.

Tulsi herb

 

 

Organic India tulsi tea

 

 

 

Enjoy a cup to good health!