Tea at Night – T Ching

Inspired by Michelle’s post about tea and health, I thought I would write about the one time I absolutely never drink tea: Late at night. A regular sufferer of insomnia, I have learned through experience that I can’t have caffeine within five hours of bedtime, else I’ll toss and turn for at least a couple hours. There are some decaffeinated camellia teas; I favor black tea with vanilla (my favorite being Harney & Son’s vanilla comoro) with a little heavy cream. Something about the vanilla and cream makes it instantly soothing, in addition to the comfort of a hot drink. But there are drawbacks to decaffeinated tea, especially the extra processing and chemical exposure that it usually involves (more information here).

A reasonable alternative is herbal tisanes. There are lots of options: The list of tisanes to drink for flavor is basically endless. And then there are those that are even known to help with insomnia or trouble sleeping. I’m just going to mention what I think are the big three: chamomile, lavender, and valerian.

German Chamomile is the first herb many people think of when they can’t sleep. It’s a powerhouse for soothing, relaxing, and calming anxiety; with a mellow, lightly floral flavor that mixes with almost any other herb and helps smooth out the flavor. It can also be very beneficial for people who have digestive troubles that lead to sleep difficulties, as it’s also used for soothing a sour stomach. The bright yellow color is not only cheerful, it’s strong enough to use as dye or for naturally bringing out highlights in hair. It’s safe for almost everyone to use, except for those who are allergic to plants in the daisy family. The only problem I have ever had with chamomile is that the little bits tend to get stuck in my mesh tea strainers and are a hassle to get out!
German chamomile can have some contraindications with medications, including those that contain estrogen, those that are changed by the liver, and some sedatives.

The scent of lavender is downright heavenly, and there’s nothing like walking through a field full of the clusters of purple-topped stems. When used in a tisane, lavender is well known for its mind-soothing effects; and is commonly used to treat restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, and headaches. The taste is naturally sweet and very floral with a distinctive flavor, but can be a bit strong. Remedies involving lavender go back for centuries, from ancient Rome onward. I remember learning how to make lavender pillows as a child, a practice that started during the Middle Ages. Queen Elisabeth even used it in tea to treat her migraines. (Source)
Chamomile can have contraindications with sedative medications.

Valerian Root
Well known and commonly used as a sleep aid, valerian root is on the stronger side. Similar in effect to taking melatonin, it’s a heavy sedative. Some people need to use it regularly for up to four weeks before they see an effect. There are mixed opinions of whether it causes drowsiness in the morning, so some caution might be advised until you are familiar with the effect that it will have on you. When used in a tisane (usually tiny pieces of root) the flavor is dry and musty, so if flavor is important you might want to mix it with something else. (Source)
Valerian Root can have serious contraindications with sedatives and with alcohol.

As always, be extremely cautious of using herbal supplements without first consulting a medical professional with some knowledge of herbs or willingness to research.

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Americans Choose Tea Over Coffee for the Health Benefits

I was surprised when I heard about a study done by Kelton Global and the Tea Council of the USA in 2015. They concluded that 82% of Americans drank tea for the health benefits as compared with only 71% who choose coffee. We are a country that is slowly and steadily finding alternative ways to improve our health. Our crippled health care system isn’t looking to optimize our health. They’re, for the most part, offering band-aids to alleviate symptoms that plague our increasingly ill population. Western medicine doesn’t deal with chronic illness in an optimal way; they offer expensive medications instead. It is the unfortunate reality that chronic illnesses are overwhelming our health care system. With pharmaceutical giants who have huge lobbying funds at their disposal, they continue to influence the course of health care in this country. I think they’re no better than drug dealers. It’s all about money and repeat business. When it comes to “natural” products that have the potential to improve health, you’re basically on your own: Your insurance won’t cover it. The pharmaceutical companies aren’t interested as there are insufficient profits to be made from plants. If they can synthesize it, then they’re good to go with the newest and greatest new wonder drug that will cost a small fortune. Unfortunately, when they look for the 1 or 2 active ingredients in the compound of the plant, they leave out the hundreds of elements that work synergistically to optimize the medicinal value of the plant and to effectively avoid side effects when ingested together. As we know, ALL pharmaceutical drugs have side effects. Plants do not if taken properly and poisonous plants are avoided along with possible allergens that may affect an individual adversely. A good example of a potential plant allergen is wheat. Most people can tolerate it just fine while others cannot.

Americans are finally coming to realize that we must each take responsibility for our health. Supplements have become mainstream with the industry reaching 37 billion dollars in sales in 2017. I believe that whole leaf tea has a role to play in our health and wellness and apparently, most Americans agree. So drink up and know that you’re taking positive action to improve your health with each and every cup or glass. The more tea you drink, the less high sugar beverages you will consume.  I consider it one of the easiest changes to make when moving toward enhancing your overall well being.

Magazine Covers – T Ching

The first issue of the weekly magazine The New Yorker was published on February 21, 1925, in New York City of course. The cover features a dandy named Eustace Tilley – an apparent tea enthusiast. Could you imagine Eustace Tilley drinking anything else? Difficult to picture him holding a glass of orange juice, no? Apéritifs may be essential but to quench thirst Eustace Tilley drinks tea!

I started subscribing to The New Yorker in the mid-1990’s, canceled in 2016. Even after a recent attempt at the KonMari Method, I could not bring myself to recycle the countless issues on the bookshelves, inside the closets and boxes. Many writers and artists dream of having their work published in this premier literary magazine, whose cartoon selection process was featured in a 60 Minutes segment. My favorite activity, after receiving each issue, is not examining the cartoons but concocting a title for the magazine cover. Below are two covers in my collection that are somewhat related to tea. How will you entitle them? I should leave the “official” titles in the Comments section below.

Images provided by author

DIY Beauty Products Made With Green Tea

Green tea may be thousands of years old, but it’s the latest superhero skin-care ingredient – and for good reason. Dermatologists such as NYC’s Joshua Zeichner rave about its antioxidant properties, specifically catechin polyphenols, which mop up environmental free-radical damage. Numerous studies have revealed the powerful beauty-enhancing effects of green tea, but it’s not just about brewing up and enjoying a calming cup – it can also be used to great effect in your daily skincare regime. 

Reduces Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles

Don’t throw away your used green tea bags! Cool them in the fridge and then lie down for 15 minutes or so with them on your eyelids. The antioxidants and tannins in the tea will work wonders with dark circles and puffy eyes. They act by shrinking the blood vessels underneath the delicate skin around the eyes, which takes down swelling and puffiness. What’s more, the vitamin K contained in green tea helps lighten any dark circles you might have under your eyes. 

Green Tea Steam Facial

Green tea leaves can make a wonderful steam facial. The green tea-infused steam gives your skin a powerful hit of antioxidants, which go to battle with free radicals. The steam also helps soothe sensitive skin, detoxify your pores and keep your skin hydrated. It smells wonderful too – helping you to relax while you let the steam do its work. 

It’s easy to do. All you need to do is put the kettle on, pour some boiling water into a large bowl with a couple of bags (or some loose) green tea, and cover to allow it to infuse for a little while. Give your face a gentle cleanse and then put a towel over your head to trap the steam in the bowl and stay there for 10 minutes or so. When you’re done, just rinse with cold water. Apparently supermodel Miranda Kerr does this regularly and if it’s good enough for her.

Make a Skin Toner

It’s equally simple to make a green tea toner, which can harness the anti-inflammatory and DNA mending capabilities of its polyphenols. Green tea also helps balance hormonal levels, which is very helpful in the fight against spots (not something that only affects the young). 

To make the most straightforward type, just add a green tea bag – or a couple of tablespoons of loose leaves – to a cup of boiling water and allow it to steep for about 5 minutes. Then remove the bag (or strain the liquid), transfer into an airtight receptacle and keep cool. Then just use it as you would any other toner – morning and evening after cleansing. It will stay fresh for about 4 days in the refrigerator. 

You can jazz the toner up a bit by adding some lemon juice, honey, vitamin E oil, witch hazel, and baking soda. The honey is anti-aging, the lemon juice helps brighten skin tone, the witch hazel aids cleansing, and the vitamin E can heal sun damage. The baking soda not only helps soothe irritated skin but also acts as an exfoliator. Thanks to the baking soda and witch hazel, this toner will also keep for longer – about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Green tea drinkers know that age is just a number. Who doesn’t want to keep skin looking youthful and plump? There are so many ways your skin will benefit from green tea, whether you simply drink it (delicious hot or cold) or knock up your own DIY skin product – certainly an inexpensive way to treat yourself. Put on the kettle, enjoy your brew of choice, and let your skin’s beauty speak for itself.  

Read more about Japanese green tea and skin health

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Blast From the Past: tea as metaphor for life

This poem by Thich Nhat Hanh clearly expresses what I have been trying to touch upon in a couple of my most recent posts. The simple act of making and enjoying a cup of tea can teach us so much about how to best live our lives. So take a moment to read this poem and then begin to live the tea life.

You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea.

Only in the awareness of the present,
can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup.

Only in the present, can you savor the aroma,
taste the sweetness,
appreciate the delicacy.

If you are ruminating about the past,
or worrying about the future,
you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea.

You will look down at the cup,
and the tea will be gone.

Life is like that.

If you are not fully present,
you will look around and it will be gone.

You will have missed the feel,
the aroma,
the delicacy and beauty of life.

It will seem to be speeding past you.

The past is finished. Learn from it and let it go.

The future is not even here yet.
Plan for it,
but do not waste your time worrying about it.

Worrying is worthless.

When you stop ruminating about what has already happened,
when you stop worrying about what might never happen,
then you will be in the present moment.

Then you will begin to experience joy in life.

Original article by Sandy Bushberg, posted June 2007.

Replace Your Cigarette With Tea

The human mind is a powerful tool and can be used for accomplishing great things and even things that seem impossible: Unless of course it is being dominated by an outside force–or in this case chemicals–that inhibit our own willpower from quitting what we don’t want to do in the first place.

Smokers yearly suffer from an overwhelming amount of attempts to quit smoking, yet many never seem to succeed: all in the name of Nicotine. Nicotine is the culprit as two chemicals called dopamine and noradrenaline affect the human brain by changing your mood and concentration levels, thus causing an inevitable addiction. Unfortunately, nicotine does reduce stress and anxiety and for that reason alone is why so many smokers utilize it. Since nicotine is used to relax and “get away”, it’s the reason why users of this drug seem to always want to come back to it no matter how many times they call it quits.

While many smokers have failed to quit by the hundreds of thousands of methods that many claim to say succeed, those who are tea lovers are in for a real treat. It’s known that tea has an overabundant amount of health benefits such as boosting the immune system, fighting cancerous disease radicals and so on, but did you know you can utilize tea as replacement therapy to combat smoking addiction to cigarettes?

When a victim of drug abuse needs to overcome an addiction, one can’t simply just let go of said addiction so easily because the chemical state of the brain is so greatly altered; it’s somewhat nearly impossible to quit without the help of an external remedy. Smokers instead need an aid to help assist in kicking the addiction to the curb; in this case, the wonderful leaves of the camellia sinensis plant or “tea” can do just that. What better replacement strategy other than tea!

You can effectively utilize tea as a replacement aid to remedy and overcome cigarette smoking addiction completely without having to spend a fortune. The antioxidants found in tea not only help you relax and reduce stress mentally and physically, tea can detoxify and remove any toxins that are left in the body such as heavy metals and those pesky cravings for tobacco that smoking originally created. Some ex-cigarette smokers even claim that because of tea’s powerful relaxing sensation on the mind, it’s one of the main reasons why the switch from cigarettes to tea just works; having something natural that lets you unwind beats inhaling toxic synthetic chemicals that although help you unwind, also kill 1,300 people daily.

You don’t need to worry about which specific tea to drink although there are recommended teas that are better suited to stopping smoke addictions such as Mimosa tea, jasmine, chamomile, and green tea. It’s crazy to think that the chemicals found in herbs can be used for medicinal purposes instead of harming our bodies by them. The irony of all of this is that in its pure form, tobacco is derived from a plant and so is tea. Instead of being enslaved by an addiction caused by tobacco, replace a bad habit with a good one. Include a daily routine of consuming tea at your desired pace and flavor that will support a positive and healthy life!


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The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – everything but tea!

On May 20, 2018, this tea drinker enthusiastically attended The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Oregon.  Sponsored by Opportunity Connections, this fundraiser was loads of fun for kids of all ages.

Opportunity Connections is a “private, non-profit organization that has been serving people in the Columbia Gorge since 1967.  We offer assistance for people with developmental disabilities to live as independently as possible while working and enjoying activities in their own communities.”  Several of the adults receiving services are former students of mine, and the opportunity to see them dressed in their finery at a beautiful historic hotel was too good to pass up, so I purchased a ticket and put it on my calendar a full month ahead of the date.  Certainly, I would have time to convince someone to go with me.

After the third friend turned me down (now I know how teen boys feel when Prom rolls around), I could not possibly handle another rejection and resigned myself to going alone.  First hurdle side-stepped and the second loomed: dress. What is it about a tea party that just screams out “girly dress”? Dresses and I have never been comfortable companions.  My ’50’s childhood had a weird dress code: little girls wore dresses to school until we developed a “waist,” at which time we could upgrade to separates – skirts and blouses or skirts and sweaters.  Hosiery was another milestone reserved for first communion or bat mitzvah (age 13). I never did develop a waist, a point of great consternation for my mother, meaning the benchmarks of my first communion, nylon stockings, and separates arrived on the same day; sealing my utter distaste for the dress.  I had to have one for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, however, and I found one online. Advertised as a “tea party dress,” I was set.

All dressed up and wearing sensible shoes, I arrived fashionably late and was seated at a table with the Mad Hatter, two fetching children, and their grandparents.  The dining room was festive with “Alice in Wonderland” decorations, place settings, and a lovely teacup at every place. Scores of children dressed to the nines scampered about, some in full costume.  I caught sight of several former students. A silent auction was held in one room, croquet outdoors, a free make-your-own-hat station in the foyer, and an impressive display of beautiful – if impractical – teapots.

Soon, a three-tiered serving tray of scones, biscuits, lemon tarts, chocolate-covered strawberries, and tiny sandwiches, – crusts cut off – arrived.  My very first tea party, with all the classic trappings, was about to begin. A server dressed like Alice herself brought around a pretty teapot and poured English Breakfast into my cup.  Not very hot, it was pleasant enough, and I drank six or seven cups as I watched the proceedings. I was most interested in what the children were drinking. The choice was simple – water or English Breakfast.  I walked around the dining room, hearing some variation of “Moooooom, I don’t like tea,” at least a dozen times. The adorable little girl at my table dumped her tea into a water glass, splashed some cream into her cup, and drank that.  (Her grandfather later reported that after two egg salad sandwiches, a lemon tart, and three chocolate covered strawberries, the cream in the cup made a hasty return trip.)

Although the afternoon was quite pleasant, I sensed a missed opportunity.  The goal of raising funds for a most worthy cause was realized by the large turnout, successful auctions, costume contest, and generous donations.  But why mediocre-quality English Breakfast tea for a largely under-ten-years old crowd? Why not jasmine pearls – a tea that most children like? A child’s first tea experience should be memorable – as this one certainly was – and leave the kiddos wanting to drink more tea.  Most of the children in attendance left thinking that tea is nasty, and many will carry that impression with them forever, refusing to experience the tremendous variety of good whole leaf tea.

If I can figure out a way to do so diplomatically, I hope to persuade the organizers to include quality and kid-friendly whole leaf tea next year.  Instead of tea being the afterthought of a splendid event, why not make it one of the features the children – and adults – look forward to? Ideas are welcome, readers, so bring them on!

All photos provided by author, photos of children used with permission.

Tea’s Role in Shaping Health Conscious Americans

When I first became enamored with tea, I did what most newbies do – I explored the history of tea. Reading yesterday’s post, A Thirst For Empire, got me thinking about the role that tea is playing today in the 21st Century.

As a former Coca Cola addict–and I use that term clinically–I had often joked that if soda was my worst addiction, I was doing quite well indeed. Little did I know at that time that my four cans of Coke a day were very hazardous to my health. It was when I attended a conference of the American Herbalist Guild that I finally understood the dangers of soda. My personal introduction to tea was guided by my desire to eliminate soda from my diet and find something that was actually healthy for me to drink instead. A trip to Southeast Asia sealed the deal when I finally had my first cup of green tea that was properly brewed using high-end whole leaf tea leaves. The rest, as they say, is history!

Given my awareness of tea and my growing interest in green tea, I felt compelled to introduce Americans to this amazingly healthy brew. In my heart, I believed that if people could shift away from high-sugar beverages and come to appreciate and LOVE tea, it had the potential to have an impact on their health. I started T Ching in 2006 with a strong focus on the health benefits of tea. Much to my surprise, that didn’t sit well with tea aficionados at that time. They were very much turned off by the focus of health benefits and felt that the delicious taste and ritual of tea was what should be addressed. I disagreed. I believed that once people made the shift for health reasons, the taste and ritual would be the obvious next step in the progression for tea lovers.

Tea consumption has grown each and every year since 2006 and I believe the biggest driver has been the health benefits of tea. Over centuries, tea has played an important role in the culture of that time. I believe that’s happening now as well. As of 2016, supplement use in the U.S. became a 37 billion dollar industry. Tea is currently a 12.5 billion dollar industry and growing briskly. The general public “gets it”. They finally understand that we must each take responsibility for our health and wellness. We must manage our stress, engage in physical activity, and eat a healthy diet. Tea is an excellent part of a healthy diet.

It is most distressing to learn that our youngest citizens will be the first generation who aren’t expected to live as long as their parents. Our children are heavier than they’ve ever been and sicker than they’ve ever been. I believe there are 2 primary reasons for that:

  1. Decrease in physical activity. It used to be that kids went out to play after school, running around with their friends, maybe on their bikes or playing games that challenged them physically. Today’s kids are often found on their computers or smartphones. This decrease in physical activity takes a huge toll on general health.
  2. Increase in consumption of soda.  Go to any mall in the U.S. and you’ll see kids drinking soda. Next time you’re at a restaurant, check out what the kids are drinking. More than likely, it will be a soda. Health conscious parents encourage fruit juices which typically are full of added sugars and certainly without their pulp which plays an important role in how our body deals with the natural sugars in fruit. When I encourage young moms to introduce their little ones to tea, they become consumed with worry about caffeine. They are clearly missing the boat. A small cup of tea, lightly brewed, will have less caffeine than a few Hershey Kisses – and no one seems concerned about that! By encouraging a tea habit in our children, that will go a long way to ensure that they will become dedicated tea drinkers throughout their life. What child wouldn’t be interested in drinking a “grown up” hot beverage in tiny little cups?

I am proud to have been an early adopter, whose focus was on the health benefits of tea. I am delighted that tea is playing an important role in the critically important health and wellness movement that is sweeping the country and the globe. I believe consumers will be the ones to save our dysfunctional health care system by taking responsibility for their own health. With our focus on wellness, we can determine what each of us must do to increase the likelihood of abundant health.

If you’re a regular reader of T Ching, then you’re already aware of how terrific tea is. Make an effort to turn on your extended family and friends to this amazing beverage. The gift of health is the most important gift of all.

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A Thirst for Empire – T Ching

Tea has a rich and varied history, but you’d be surprised at what a HUGE impact it had on the modern world. The book, ‘Thirst for Empire’ focuses on how tea was developed from an obscure commodity only available to the rich to a driver for imperial expansion and mass marketing that affects us to this very day.

The book starts off just as tea was becoming an important commodity and its primary source being from China. To the British, this became the opportunity to use their vast trade networks to control distribution and later production of this product. But because it was relatively unknown to the common person, markets and demand needed to be created.

Tea itself was a new beverage that competed with existing industries at the time, and because it was foreign was seen as a threat by some. So between domestic habits (i.e. beer) that may have been impacted or distrust of foreign goods, there were plenty of early critics, as evidenced by a popular writer below:

“Tea was an idle custom; an absurd expense, tending to create fantastic desires, and bad habits, which must render us less happy or more miserable than we should otherwise be”.

The Feminine Aspect

Part of tea culture became associated with women, initially because, although tea was sold in coffee houses, many women of means didn’t enter those overwhelmingly male establishments. Twinings was one of the first to recognize this and created tea specific stores nearby aimed at women.

But apart from this, the book shows how the tea house movement exploded in London particularly, and became a huge business.

Temperance Movements and Processed Food

Tea became the obvious choice for the rise of temperance movements in the 19th century. Shunning alcohol, these societies created lavish tea parties to attract new members; and offered all sorts of breads, cakes, butter, cream, fruit, and sugar. In a roundabout way, these movements with tea at its core contributed to a change in eating habits and dramatic increase in the consumption of sugar.

Globalism and Free Trade

As the 18th and 19th centuries progressed, globalism and world trade increased. Tea and other commodities like it were a source of major tax revenue. And these policies created friction, eventually leading the North American colonies to thumb their noses at tea. The Boston Tea party was a result, which led to harsher punitive measures by the crown, which led to armed revolt.

There was a point where the entire British navy was funded by the tax on tea; and the rise of the East India Company, a massive multinational company with implicit state support reigned supreme.

Establishing Food Standards

Tea also led to such conflicts as the opium wars: With the British supplying opium to China to counter the trade surplus that occurred with China. Later on, India was found to have some great growing regions and a movement of pacification and exploitation to convert countryside into tea plantations took place. As a result, there was a push to encourage the purchase of tea from these imperially-controlled areas, and charges of adulteration (some of it being true) of Chinese tea along with racist stories (i.e. Chinese tea contains the sweat of dirty plantation workers) to convert more British consumers to drinking “empire” tea.

It was the adulteration of tea–such as using food coloring to change a green tea into black–that led to a series of standards for inspection and certification, which became some of the first food safety laws.

Spread and Decline of Empire

Tea was also thought of as a way to pacify and civilize British empire subjects, from India to Africa. It was thought of as a way to impose British standards of civilization upon their subjects, whether they liked it or not. It is interesting how India resisted tea at first, then made tea their own by spicing it up, going against British norms.

Eventually there were nationalistic movements to support the empire and to persuade people to only buy tea with EMPIRE tea logos on it. This was particularly emphasized in the beginning of the 20th century and during World War 1.

During the post-World War 1 depression, tea became the subject of commercial campaigns, with professional organizations funded by growers to market and advertise tea not only in Britain, but her colonies. Here we saw massive consumer relation campaigns with cartoon characters like “Mr. Pott” to push the mantra of “tea revives you.”

During World War 2, tea became a comfort while the world was in flames, with a cup of tea giving the British the ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude during the Blitz and offering comforts of home to soldiers fighting thousands of miles from home.

The end of the book deals with the decline of tea after the war. With the British empire effectively dismantled, the United States was now the global superpower, and with it, American products and marketing flooded the world.

Where tea was a staple, the familiar Coca Cola signs sprung up. Mass market soft drink and, hip coffee bars all took a toll on tea consumption, as did the geopolitical disruptions in the former colonies affect production.


This book is a very detailed historic account of how the business of tea affected all aspects of the world socially, economically, and militarily. And while there are  enormous amounts of details to sift through, those who are fond of tea will especially appreciate the numerous side stories of this important beverage. Peppered throughout are photos, and the early marketing slogans and advertisements are especially interesting. A great addition to any library, and pairs well with tea! 


The Importance Of Teapot Design

One of the many perks of founding T Ching is that I get solicited by tea and teaware companies to review their products. I was delighted to get such a request from notNeutral regarding their CALA collection of teaware.

When my box arrived, I was very excited to have a look and actually hold my teapot. After removing the outer box, I was impressed with their white packaging. When companies take the time to produce interesting packaging, it sets the stage for what will be inside. I was not disappointed: I was immediately taken with their elegant and modern teapot interpretation. This sleek 16-ounce porcelain teapot with removable strainer basket accomplishes three very important tasks: It provides an optimal space for whole leaf tea brewing, a smooth pour, and visual excitement. I received two 6-ounce tasting cups which are equally as elegant and beautiful as the pot. This is a set that my husband and I will use every day, rather than wait for special occasions with company. As many of you have come to learn, a poorly designed teapot isn’t enjoyable to use. When consideration has been taken to ensure that each task it must perform is done to a high standard, you will be ensured of a teapot that you’ll enjoy for many, many years to come.

Many of you may not have noticed the tagline on the top left of the blog which reads Tea // Design // Life.  For me, design is such an important element in our lives. To interact with objects that bring beauty into our daily routine is something that resonates with me. Each artisan teacup, each handcrafted teapot, each exquisitely designed teapot is something that connects me with the artist or designer. When I put my whole leat tea into such an object, I also acknowledge the tea grower whose efforts provided the tea for my daily ritual. We are all connected. We are all part of the tea culture that I so love and embrace.

How about treating yourself to a very special tea set. It will bring you pleasure each and every day.