Sunday, January 17, 2010

All the tea in China

There's a lovely young student in the South Glens Falls school district, Emily Meyer, who is diligently trying to raise money for a once in a lifetime experience with People to People. She's been chosen as one of their ambassadors this year, and the trip she anticipates making will be to China! That would be a dream come true for me!

I've decided to help her in a unique way ... I will be donating a portion of the proceeds of all the teas from China sold between January 17 and the beginning of Chinese New Year, February 14. (Year of the Tiger ... can you hear the jokes starting already?).

So what teas come from China?
All the Pu Erh
Most of the White Teas
All the Artisanal teas (Blooming/Flowering teas)
Many of the oolongs
The iced tea blends (Sorry, :0( Arctic has been discontinued)
Many of the green teas
Any black tea that comes from Hunan, Yunnan, or Keemun, plus the smoky teas
All the yellow teas !

I know that's a lot of tea, but this is the opportunity of a lifetime and its only for a month.
If you'd like to make an additional donation to help Emily reach her goal of raising over $3,000, please contact me and we'll make arrangements for that to happen. (Please note that these donations are NOT tax deductible. This is donation you just make because it feels good to make a dream come true).

Pu Erh, cholesterol, weight loss and you!

This is largely a repost from last year, but it bears repeating. Local doctors are sending people to the tea shop to try a regimen that includes this tea in order to avoid cholesterol medication. Most of those who stick with the tea avoid the medication. While the earthy scent can be tricky to adjust to at first, in my opinion it's easier than adjusting to the $40.00 monthly prescription price tag that comes complete with side effects. Additionally, folks continue to happily share reports of reduced C-reactive protein levels (increased levels have been associated with sudden fatal heart attacks) and triglycerides levels. Pu Erh also has a loyal following of those who are giving up coffee or cutting back on caffeine, as this tea is quite dark and rich, though never bitter. So far in 2010, in just 11 business days, 4 people have come into the teashop to excitedly report that their cholesterol has dropped! This excites me to no end! It's one thing to send a customer out knowing they go equipped with the tea that is capable of keeping them off the medication. It's quite a different happiness when I see the excitement and hope in their eyes as they tell me of their most recent success. The average cholesterol reduction is about 60 points over 6 weeks if three cups of tea are consumed daily. One person reported a drop of 80 points as a result of drinking only one cup per day.
From last year ... This is the time of year everyone tries to lose that holiday weight and head back toward that shapely bathing suit figure. If people come into the shop looking for the ``weight loss tea’’, I usually recommend one of two teas. One of them is Pu Erh. Pu Erh (pronounced Pu-Air or Pu-Er) comes from Pu Erh county in Hunan province. It is not uncommon for it to be made up of leaves plucked from ancient trees rather than from carefully cultivated bushes. It is a post-fermented tea. This means that all the normal processing to be a black tea, a green tea, or a white tea has already been done, and then the tea is aged. Essentially, it is composted, but likely without the worms and all. While in the past this composting occurred in highly guarded caves belonging to the emperor, it is now likely occurring in a climate controlled setting. During this processing the tea takes on an earthy quality. Tea can then be pressed into cakes or tuo cha, small single servings of Pu Erh that resembles a tiny birds nest (pictured in this post). It is also available in a leaf form, which seems earthier, but more popular due to the ease of preparation. Some say it tastes like dirt.

I’ll tell you the black tea loose leaf version, which is what I carry at the shop, certainly smells earthy. The older it gets, the more mellow it becomes. I find it to be a very smooth, relaxing cup of tea. It is believed that the caffeine level is reduced during processing.

The most popular Pu Erh I carry is Immortal Nectar, as found in this collection.
I admit. I hated the first cup I ever drank, but told myself I must be professional about this, and I continued to drink the sample. By the end of the sample, I wanted more. It had become my go-to tea. And I had lost weight, to boot! While there is no carefully controlled scientific evidence available to support the notion that Pu Erh is effective as a weight loss tea, I’ve had in-shop results. I invited 15 willing participants to drink Immortal Nectar for 10 weeks – one cup with each meal, for a minimum of three cups a day. Many of those participants had physicals before they started so they knew their exact weight, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and C-reactive protein levels. Of the 16 participants, 15 lost weight. After 6 weeks, we started receiving reports about cholesterol and triglyceride levels being greatly reduced. Cholesterol reduction was the most popular result.

After 6 weeks, the average cholesterol reduction was 60 points. One woman saw a reduction of 123 points while another saw a reduction of 102 points. When someone comes to the shop looking for Pu Erh now, it is not uncommon to learn that they have been sent by a doctor. For many, this may be an easy all-natural, organic way to avoid being put on cholesterol reduction meds.
Together they lost 164 lbs. The participant who gained weight (6 lbs.) learned that drinking this tea was not a license to eat Crispy Creme donuts for breakfast and lunch. May common sense prevail.

Love spicy food? Pu Erh is the perfect spicy meal complement. I've found the only food I don't think it is suited too is sushi and sashimi. Not a big problem in the standard American household (for sushi and sashimi, try a nice light oolong)

I asked the father of a Chinese friend of mine how he could explain the effectiveness of Pu Erh in a weight management program. He surprising replied … ``Maybe it’s not the tea.’’ He went on to explain he theory that historically, Chinese consume most meals with a cup of tea while Americans take their meals with a cold beverage. And then he asked ``if you are going to put grease down the drain, would you follow it with hot water, or cold water?’’

Could it be that simple?
Well worth a try, I’d guess. And why not make tea that hot beverage?

All we are saying, is give teas a chance!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Cinnamon Apple Rooibos on Sale 01/09/10-01/12/10

Windy and cold in the Adirondacks on
Saturday, 01/09/10.
A high of 18°F ... sounds like tea drinking weather to me!
So how about a tea to warm you -- body and soul!
Cinnamon Apple Rooibos will be the
tea of the day on Saturday
And on Saturday morning we'll be baking
Cinnamon Apple scones to go with it.
Additionally, so you can continue to enjoy this
warm, cozy anti-oxidant rich tea in the
comfort of your own home ...
Cinnamon Apple Rooibos
is on sale
Saturday, 01/09/10!
One ounce, $2.00 (16¢-20¢ per cup!)
Two ounce, $4.00 (16¢-20¢ per cup!)
Four ounce, $7.00 (14¢-17¢ per cup!)
Eight ounce, $13.00 (13¢-16¢ per cup!)
One pound, $25.00 (12¢-15¢ per cup!)

Stop in and warm yourself from the inside out!
(Internet customers enter code CINROO in the special comments section of the online order form. Valid for internet customers 01/09-01/12)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Snow Water

A short poem to enjoy with a cup of tea ...

Snow Water
By Michael Longley

A fastidious brewer of tea, a tea
Connoisseur as well as a poet,
I modestly request on my sixtieth
Birthday a gift of snow water.

Tea steam and ink stains. Single-
Mindedly I scald my teapot and
Measure out some Silver Needles Tea,
Enough for a second steeping.

Other favourites include Clear
Distance and Eyebrows of Longevity
Or, from the precarious mountain peaks,
Cloud Mist Tea (quite delectable)

Which competent monkeys harvest
Filling their baskets with choice leaves
And bringing them down to where I wait
With my crock of snow water.

While I'm not familiar with Clear Distance as a tea, I do carry Silver Needle, one that can be called Eyebrows of Longevity and Cloud Mist tea. All you need is the snow water. Many of us have access to plenty of that!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Sixth of January

The Sixth of January
by David Budbill

The cat sits on the back of the sofa looking
out the window through the softly falling snow
at the last bit of gray light.

I can't say the sun is going down.
We haven't seen the sun for two months.
Who cares?

I am sitting in the blue chair listening to this stillness.
The only sound: the occasional gurgle of tea
coming out of the pot and into the cup.

How can this be?
Such calm, such peace, such solitude
in this world of woe.

From Moment to Moment: Poems of a Mountain Recluse (Copper Canyon Press)

Monday, January 04, 2010

It's National Hot Tea Month!

January is National Hot Tea Month!
I think Joe Simrany, President of the Tea Council in the USA summed it up nicely by stating:

``This January is the perfect time to consider tea as part of a healthy diet. As a new year and new millennium begin, people are making resolutions to eat and live healthier, and there’s no better time to celebrate tea’s healthy attributes than National Hot Tea Month.''

Naturally I agree ...

It's also National Soup Month!

And January 1-7 is Resolution Week. Such a good time to work tea into your healthier-for-the-past-four-days lifestyle. Perhaps paired with a great bowl of soup.

Here's a nice recipe that pairs soup with tea ... the tea is in the soup! Nice vegetarian soup or even vegan with the right pasta choice.


5 cups vegetable stock, broth, or bouillon
4 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 tsp dried thyme, lightly crushed
3 cups chopped broccoli
8oz. small shells or other macaroni shapes
1 cup prepared green tea
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice (about one lemon)
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste


Combine the stock, garlic, and thyme in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the broccoli and macaroni, reduce heat, and simmer until the macaroni is just at the al dente stage of tenderness, about eight to twelve minutes according to package instructions. Stir in the tea and heat through for about a minute. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and pepper, and adjust the salt if necessary. Serve immediately and piping hot.

Need a little different?
Substitute other chopped cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi) for of the broccoli.

For a main dish soup, add 1/2 pound firm tofu or chicken, diced

Enojy with friends, perhaps some awesome hot bread, and of course, a cup of awesome tea.