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

The digital age and tea

I am fortunate enough to work for an amazing animation studio (with a long legacy to boot!)  The past couple of weeks there have been a slew of interesting guest speakers and field trips that have really provoked thoughts on the digital age we reside in.

The animation industry moved from 2D (hand drawn) to what most people currently see out in the theaters 3D (computer generated.)  With this change came the transition to use Photoshop to create the art and backgrounds as opposed to hand painting.  I’ve always been a little dismayed by this concept.  I realize that it is quicker and cheaper and easier to make changes but what have we lost with this digital transition?  The company I work for has a library of artwork steaming back from its first feature film.  Beautiful works of art which are now carefully preserved for future admirers.  I wrestle with the disheartening feeling, now that we have moved to a mainly digital media, what will we have to show to inspire the next generation?  A Photoshop JPG (albeit equally as crafted) can never take the place of a tactile canvas.  There are no brush strokes to absorb; the smell, texture.. it’s all taken away with a digital piece of art.

In yoga we are taught about balance and moderation.  Everything has its place.  I wonder in this technical age if we can find that balance?  What if the great Masters only painted in Photoshop would the Mona Lisa have the same appeal?  Would she hang quite as majestically?  It is easy to be seduced by “convenience” but let’s step back a moment and realize the impact it has on the grand scheme of things.

I think of tea and the advent of the tea bag.  To have a perfect cup of tea it is a timely process, it becomes almost a meditation.  If we were left with only low-grade tea bags filled with “tea” fannings our palettes would surely suffer.

I have an IPhone and a laptop however, to unplug I still go to bed at night with a real book on my bedside table and a good cup of slow brewed loose leaf tea……

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa jpg- see not the same

Good cup of chai tea

Good cup of chai tea

Good book

Good book

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

What to do when you brew

To brew a proper cuppa it takes a bit longer than your average tea bag, however the results are so much more fulfilling.  When brewing my favorite morning tea- chai, it can be steeped anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes and because it is a black tea the water should be completely boiled (about 212 degrees.)

What this means is an average of 10 to 15 minutes of your morning is spent making this warm, spicy elixir. Somewhat of a luxury for a girl on the go!  And you know what they say; a watched kettle never boils:)

Always looking for a way to multitask, I’ve been doing a mini yoga routine while preparing chai tea.

  1. Start in Tadasana– take a few deep cleansing breaths
  2. Inhale arms up over head and exhale down by your side (do several to warm the body)
  3. With feet hip width apart- move into gentle side stretches– move slowly from left to right.  Remember to breath, inhale left arm up and exhale stretch to the right side, while right arm travels down side of the body.  *Repeat on other side (again, do several to warm the body up)
  4. Mini sun salutations– Repeat step “2,” only this time include a forward fold.  Let the head drop below the heart, grab opposite elbows, sway and move hips while you gloriously drink in the lower back stretch you will receive.  (Repeat a few rounds)
  5. If you are feeling warmed up, delight the upper body with a fulfilling shoulder stretch.  This can be gomukasana arms, eagle arms or interlace hands behind the back and lower the body forward, stretching the arms up overhead.  Rolling the shoulders back to receive the shoulder stretch.

Be sure to set a timer so you don’t become too absorbed in the relaxation of yoga and forget about your tea:)

Tea tips

  • For Black Tea– boil water (205- 212 degrees)
  • Pour a bit of water over the leaves to “wake” them up- swirl and pour out the water.
  • With leaves “awake” fill tea pot with boiling water
  • Set timer (black chai- 5-10 minutes or more if so desired – I’ve been loving Elmwood Inn’s Indian Chai)
  • Pour in a cup – add a touch of honey and your favorite milk product ( I love almond milk with mine!)
  • Drink in the joy of starting your day off right!