Ti Kuan Yin

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Ti Kuan Yin by Adagio Teas

Description: Our fine version of Ti Kuan Yin produces a cup that is warm, soft, and soothingly mineral in texture. It has notes of toasted walnut and tender collard greens with an intriguing lingering floral aroma. In flavor it is lightly orchid with gentle astringency; a meditative cup

Dry tea smells floral and grassy but also slightly sharp/peppery

Liquor is a golden green color in the cup.

Steeped tea smells floral, more so than the dry.

The tea itself has a light floral flavor, like lavender or jasmine, and needs nothing added to be sweet. It is a palate cleanser, leaving you feeling calm and refreshed

Tea Rating: 4.5/5


This post is along the same vein of the one from the beginning of the year, about how I felt when I checked out of Facebook for a while, and was partially inspired by my roommate.

As a group, we usually all (myself, my fiance and my roommate) sit down to dinner to together. Often, we watch a movie or an episode of a T.V. show at the same time.

[There are some things to say about this practice, but in another post]

The other night, my fiance and I were unenthusiastically talking about watching a particular show that we are a few episodes behind on because we’re not exactly pleased with the turn it has taken.

Our roommate looked at us with a bit of a raised eyebrow and said “If you’re not pleased with it why are you watching it?”

We looked at each other, and shrugged. We had no real answer.

This got me thinking.

We are very much in control of the media we consume; the shows we watch, the post we share, the articles we read. We are even in control of how we get that input or information.

Yet, so often, we act as though we’re not.

We act as if watching a T.V. show means we’re obligated to watch it until the very end. Or that having a Facebook account means that we need to check it constantly, or that it must be how we get our news.

None of this is true.

I’m put in mind of the KonMari method if de-cluttering: if it brings you joy, keep it. If not, let it go.

Obviously not all the media I take in during a given day is going to be joyful. As an adult member of society I feel that it is important to be informed about what is going on in the world.

But that does not mean I have to get it from a source that inundates me with negativity as social media often does. I can subscribe to the local paper and e-mail newsletters from various sources just as easily as I can scroll Facebook. And, more importantly, those things would be potentially more meaningful and varied than my News Feed.

As far as my recreational media goes, if it feels pointless or predictable or disappointing to me, then I can let it go. No one is holding me hostage forcing me to continue.

I feel that a good story (no matter how I view or read it) will make me feel things other than joy, because the point of a good story or art at all is to shine a light on things you’ve never thought of, or hold up a mirror that’s not edited by your own mind, to make you think, and to inspire you to question. But if all I’m feeling is disappointment or dread when I think of a show I’ve been watching, then that is just a one-dimensional as a constantly-happy sitcom (not that all sitcoms are this way) and I don’t have to keep it in my life.

I have the option of watching or not; being plugged in or not.

We all do; we just have to actually make the choice.

 

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Strawberry Cream

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Tea of the Day: Strawberry Cream by Teavana

Description: Imagine luscious peaks of whipped cream brightened with slices of ripe strawberries. This rich desert treat is served on a snowy white tea base reminiscent of a delightful, creamy, strawberry dream

Open the bag, very strong strawberry smell. Smells maybe a bit artificial; like strawberries and cream hard candies

Liquor is bright pink in the cup

Smells like strawberry, tastes like hibiscus. Adding sugar brings up the strawberry, but not by a lot

Tea Rating: 2.5/5


A while back, I came across this quote “So the small things came into their own: small acts of helping others, if one could; small ways of making one’s own life better: acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter.”

It has been stuck in my mind ever since

What are acts of love? Act of tea? Acts of laughter?

Acts of love, I think are those little things that add up to be more important that you might imagine: cooking their favorite foods, little gifts just because, love notes in unexpected places, walking hand in hand when you go to place together, and so on.

Acts of laughter is another easy one, too. It’s dancing around like you’re five again whilst doing chores, playing games with your loved ones, playing with your fur babies like they’re still puppies or kittens, unabashedly laughing at the silly things in life; just remembering that not everything in life has to be serious.

So, what are acts of tea? If we follow the same logic for the other two, then acts of tea are the other simple acts of life that end up meaning so much. It’s taking time to select good tea (and good food), to prepare it correctly, to enjoy it slowly, savoring each taste and each smell. It’s the “stop and smell the roses” mentality, I think. Acts of tea are reminders that if we rush through life looking at the big picture only, we miss the small things that make life really worth living.

Actually, now that I think of it, this blog is an Act of Tea

Take a moment and think: what Acts of Tea do you have in your life that slip by unnoticed?

Jasmine Pearl

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Tea of the Day: Jasmine Pearl by Sipping Streams

Description: The tightly rolled pearls of this tea unroll when steeped to make a tea with pronounced floral and fresh green tea scent, a full-bodied and refreshing sweet taste and a pleasing, long lasting floral aftertaste.

Dry has a very subtle sweet/floral scent

Liquor is honey gold in the cup. Light, sweet and flowery. A very tranquil relaxing tea and a great way to refresh and recharge any time of day

Tea Rating: 5/5


Relaxing day, just cleaning house and putting up Christmas decorations, then happy conversations and tea,

Days like this, so calm and slow, really recharge my batteries, so to speak and I predict that I’ll sleep deeply tonight.

An exercise in self esteem.. Ten things I like about me that I would be envious of if I saw it in someone else

Hardworking

Dedicated

Determined

Giving

Honest

Confident

Caring

Positive

Prepared

Spontaneous


” Tea had come as a deliverer to a land that called for deliverance; a land of beef and ale, of heavy eating and abundant drunkenness; of grey skies and harsh winds; of strong-nerved, stout purposed, slow-thinking men and women. Above all, a land of sheltered homes and warm firesides—firesides that were waiting–waiting, for the bubbling kettle and the fragrant breath of tea”—Alice Ripper, To Think of Tea

Peach Tranquility

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Today’s tea is:  Peach Tranquility by Teavana [herbal tisane]

Description: Blend of candied peaches, pineapple, lemon myrtle, roman chamomile, sunflower petals and rose hips

Looking at the dried blend, it looks more like mixed fruit that you would eat more than a tea. Smells very much like peaches, with a hint of something more sharp or tart

Once steeped, the tea is a very light golden color in the cup.

The flavor is also very light. Though it smells very much like peaches as you drink it, the flavor is sweet, but not overpowering with a slightly tart finish (I like this factor but I can see why others may not). Needs very little sugar.

I let the tea ball sit in the tea as I drank it, and found that it improved the flavor, as it got more flavorful but not more bitter over time. The second steep of the tea produced pretty much the same results as the first, though I did let it steep longer before taking the first sip of the second cup.

What I’d really like to do with this tea is get a very large tea ball or figure out how to make a large tea bag and make a large pitcher of iced tea with it, letting it steep at least over night. Something tells me it would be fantastic like that.

Tea rating: 3.5/5

The name of the tea sparked today’s thoughts… What do you think of when you hear the word tranquility?

To me tranquility means to be calm or at peace, which is really a hard thing to achieve. It’s also going to be different for everyone. Someone might feel most at peace surrounded by people while someone else would rather just be alone. For me, tranquility comes in motion. My most tranquil moments come when my bills are paid and my chores are done and I’m out walking my dog; or sitting outside (or at my window if it’s too cold) on a breezy day and watching the trees sway and listening to the sigh of the wind.

So today, ask yourself “where do I find tranquility in my life?” and then take the time to go to that place or do that one thing, because everyone deserves a little peace in their lives, if only for a moment.

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”
Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady