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Tea Mascots

Have you noticed that some tea companies and organizations have “tea mascots?” I am using the term “mascot” loosely. By that, I mean an animal figure used as part of outreach, branding, or to engage people. Three examples immediately spring to mind—Waddy the Frog at the Charleston Tea Garden, Tippi the Tea Mouse at the East Frisian Tea Museum, and Luff (a bison) at Being Tea.

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MoTEAvational Quotes for Overthinkers +

As we near the end of one year or begin a new one, I reach for motivational quotes to inspire me to think about how I have grown or hope to grow in the year ahead. I feel so lucky when I hear ideas that really resonate. I know this practice may seem cheesy, but if some quotes are motivational for you, why feel sheepish about it? In this blog post, I share a handful of my favorite moTEAvational quotes for overthinkers (and more).

This year, I have experimented with pairing some of these thoughts with my tea photos. Placing the words in this medium has been a fun creative challenge. It has also helped me more deeply absorb the ideas. I hope you’ll find them helpful, too!

Brene Brown quote inside a cup of tea that speaks to overthinking. The quote: "How much we know ourselves is extremely important, but how we treat ourselves is the most important."
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Blog Tasting Notes

Review of Tea Kit #1 from Samovar Tea

Looking for a kit with an elegant assortment of loose-leaf teas and accessories? Perhaps one that arrives beautifully presented in a red and gold box and contains mostly organic ingredients? If you thought “yes,” I have a recommendation for you! In this post, I share my review of Tea Kit #1 from Samovar Tea.

The tea kit contains two accessories, four loose-leaf teas, a tisane (herbal tea), and a tea guide.

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Habit Tracker Experiments

This is the time of the year when many people start thinking about how they might develop more consistency in their healthy practices and intentions and, maybe, add some new positive habits. I’ve been working to cultivate a system that motivates me and gives me a sense of accomplishment, without increasing negative feelings for missed goals. I was looking for some accountability without guilt, in other words. (And, aren’t we all, Tea Friends?) So, I ran some habit tracker experiments this year. In this post, I’ll share my reflections with you.

I have been focusing on three main practices: walking, meditating, and engaging mindfully with my tea. These practices have really helped me navigate better through life. My intention is to do each of these things on most days. I was looking for a way to chart my progress. My preference was to find a method that wasn’t digital.

After a mindful tea session using bowl tea and journaling
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Embrace Your Tea Path

This post is for anyone who keeps thinking they have to “do” or “be” with tea in a certain way. Are you surprised by the direction your journey into tea is taking? Is there anything you could acknowledge and release to better embrace your tea path?

Path of Tea
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Tea Soundscapes and Mindfulness

If you follow me on Instagram @teainfusiast or have been reading this blog for a while (and previous posts like this one), you may have already noticed that I credit tea for helping me bring more mindfulness into my life. I don’t want to misrepresent myself. Sometimes, I am quickly splashing tea into a mug and running to a meeting or the next thing. But, most days, at least once a day, I slow down and have a mindful cup of tea.

This image shows an image of tea sliding down a tea scoop into a teapot that might evoke the tea soundscape for some viewers.
Can you imagine the sound of the tea pearls cascading down the tea scoop and hitting the bottom of the teapot?
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Tasting Notes

Master’s Collection from Naoki

I have been delighted to spend some quality time with the high-grade matcha included in the Master’s Collection Matcha Set from Naoki Matcha. Part of the name of each tea in the collection reflects its region—NISHIO Bloom, UJI Harmony, and WAZUKA Hilltop. In this post, I share my reflections on each matcha, which I preferred straight, and which as a latte.

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What Kind of Tea Guest Are You?

We all want to be good tea guests, right? Let’s consider why serious tea enthusiasts (and sometimes even intermediate tea lovers) can, despite our good intentions, be intimidating guests. And, let’s try to fix that. This post is Part Two in a two-part series. You may want to read Part One, What Kind of Tea Drinker Are You?, and take the handy quiz in that post, before reading on.

Two cups of tea
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What Kind of Tea Drinker Are You?

What kind of tea drinker are you? Why is it important to know, you wonder? Serious tea enthusiasts, I’m sorry to report, intimidate the general public. What’s worse, we also make our friends nervous.

This post is Part One in a two-part series. It shares a handy quiz to help you diagnose the extent to which your relationship to tea is likely to intimidate your friends. Part Two, What Kind of Tea Guest Are You?, shares advice on what to do about it.

These items are a clue to what kind of tea drinker you are
Do you have lots of teas, teaware, tea-shirts, and/or accessories?
Your answers provide some clues to what kind of tea drinker you are.
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Blog Recipe

How to Make Sparkling Tea from Concentrate or Cold Brewed in Seltzer

I *love* sparkling tea. By that, I mean Camellia sinensis prepared with seltzer. (Depending on where you live, you might call it carbonated water, soda water, or something else.) This post shares some tips for making sparkling tea at home.

Sparkling tea was on my radar for a while. Alas, I didn’t encounter a place that served it until the summer of 2019, when I visited the 29B Teahouse on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. I ordered an excellent ceremonial grade matcha and a glass of sparkling Darjeeling tea, knowing that I could never drink that much caffeine at once. My plan was to drink about half of each. Reader: I drank every drop of both. It is probably the most tea drunk I have ever been. #NoRegrets

Darjeeling Sparkling Tea
Sparkling Darjeeling tea at 29B Teahouse in August of 2019

Sparkling Darjeeling was a revelation. It was incredibly floral with a rich tapestry of aromas and flavors. I couldn’t believe how delicious it was. I had previously assumed that I couldn’t make my own sparkling tea at home since I didn’t have a seltzer machine (AKA soda maker); however, that delicious glass of effervescent liquid sunshine made me determined to figure out how to do it. I tried two methods–one by making a concentrate, the other by cold brewing directly in the seltzer.