Welcome to my tea blog! Here, have a cup of tea :).

In this blog, I will be drinking a lot of tea, but I am willing to share! I also will talk about my quest to create a comtemplative tea lifestyle and slow things down so that I can enjoy my life more, and about how drinking tea brings peace to my day.

It, truly, is the pause that refreshes, and I am asking myself how I can create more of that and less of the crazy-buzy, hurry-to-get-to-the-next-thing energy that all too often adds pressure and tension to my day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summertime Iced Tea Retreats...

Five Signs that You Need an Iced Tea Retreat

(1) You're thirsty but you don't really want water.

(2) It's hot out there and the heat has zapped your energy.

(3) You have to admit that the heat has made you a little bit grumpy.

(4) It seems like every time you sit down, the kids are calling you to do something else.

(5) You can't decide whether to drink the iced tea or pour it all over you!

This lens will give you everything you need for a summer filled with iced tea retreats!!

Do You Need an Afternoon Tea Time Just for You?

7 Signs that You Need an Afternoon Tea Retreat...

(1) You have been feeling a little out of sorts lately.

(2) Sometimes you get stressed out and it takes a while to calm down.

(3) Your kids complain that you are too busy and you have had thoughts about needing to slow down and find time to relax.

(4) There are times when your life gets so hurried that you eat or drink standing up, gulping down your food as quickly as you can.

(5) It often feels like you're just going through the motions of your day.

(6) You are always on the lookout for interesting experiences to share with your kids, as part of a homeschool curriculum, or a way to share time together after school.

(7) You have always enjoyed tea but have never really taken the time to savor it.


Tea is so beneficial for your health and wellbeing that if you found that you could relate to any of those statements, then pausing for an afternoon cup or glass of tea would help. But if more than three of those statements resonated with you, I encourage you to find the time to take a break for tea.

If, like me, you could relate to them all, then I encourage you to add meditation to your schedule, as well. Both tea and meditation have been life-changing for me! If you'd like to read about my journey with tea and meditation, check out my experiences during the 21-day meditation challenge.

Want a free afternoon tea retreat kit? Click here to request one!

Mother-Daughter Tea

If you've never considered holding a Mother-Daughter Tea for family, friends or even the ladies in your church group, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Usually, simple is better, easier and more elegant. After deciding on your theme just add tea bags, hot water, lemonade and a few finger foods and you are ready to host a well-planned tea party.

If you don't have a full tea set, you can find some very nice cups, saucers and tea pots in places like Goodwill or other thrift stores for very little money. You could also borrow them from your friends or, should you decide to make this an annual tradition, everyone could bring their own special cup just for the occasion.

Here are three tea themes perfect for moms and daughters of all ages. Choose one of these or create one of your own to make your tea party even more special.

Mother-Daughter - This can be a special time for moms with grown up daughters. Simple decorations with a simple flower arrangement to grace the table alongside tea cups and saucers can be pleasing to the eye as well the heart.

Finger sandwiches, cookies and scones finish the menu. For a special treat, have the mothers and daughters write a note or letter to each other sharing how much they are appreciated.

Mommy & Me - For moms of younger girls this theme would be really cute if the moms came elegantly dressed and the girls were able to rummage through a trunk with donated dresses, shoes, gloves and jewelry so they could look just like mom. Include cookies or simple finger foods along with lemonade, punch or hot chocolate for those that prefer it over tea.

Have the invitations ask the children to bring a stuffed animal guest to share the table. Think about the tea parties you hosted as a child and let your imagination run wild.

Beach Time Tea - With this theme, why not take the opportunity to serve flavored iced tea instead? Use iced tea glasses instead of tea cups and serve typical summer appetizers.

Have everyone dress in straw hats, sunglasses and flip-flops or sandals in anticipation of the warmer weather.

Deepen Your Connection with Your Children with an Afternoon Tea Time

Deepen Your Connection with Your Children with an Afternoon Tea Time

"I started drinking tea when my children were preschool age. Somewhere along the line we started having Afternoon Tea together after school. My children are now teenagers and love having tea almost as much as I do."~~Brenda Hyde

The typical menu for tea time seems to include several different types of tea sandwiches, cut into squares or triangles (cucumber, chicken salad, egg salad, etc), some kind of quiche, grapes, scones, cookies, cake or pie, and finally, tea!

(1) If you have more than one child, and you want to share tea time with them all at once, make sure you also plan special times alone with each one. Perhaps a weekly afternoon tea for each child, separate from the regular one.

(2) Give your child a personalized invitation to the first tea, and then, explain that you would like for it to be a regular get-together. Your child will love having special time with Mommy.

(3) Tea time is a great way to reinforce everything you are teaching your children about manners, without them being intimidated.

(4) You can have theme parties occasionally if you would like. Here are some great ideas (dress-up tea parties, fairy princess tea parties, etc)...at Tea Party Ideas but you want to make sure that your regular tea time isn't so elaborate that it becomes impractical.

(5) Spend the time getting to know your children better. Ask what was special about their day or invite them to tell you a joke. Mary Ann and Kimberly, a mother and daughter team, suggest this conversation prompt: "Tell me something you want me to know about you".

(6) You can make reading part of the ritual, as well. You can read a book together while you are enjoying your afternoon tea or right after you finish.

If you start these intimate tea-time conversations when they are young, they will be a favorite routine as they grow older.

"Activities such as tea parties, reading, family game nights and craft time will stay with them forever as gentle memories that will carry them through difficult times in their lives. Plan your tea party today, and enjoy an afternoon of magic and whimsy with your children!" --Brenda Hyde

The Tea Ritual

Afternoon Tea

"The tea ritual allows us to slow down, to focus, to open up to a broader view of our lives and feel more grateful for the miracle of our existence.Whether you have tea alone or with a spouse or a friend, the ceremony is more important than the tea because it is a time you set aside to break free, to listen, to reflect, and to enjoy a simple, inexpensive, gracious act." --Alexandra Stoddard

Having a regular afternoon tea time can be any or all of the following...

A way to nurture friendship.

A way to share intimate time with your child after school.

A way to help your spouse transition into being at home again after work.

A moment alone for reflection, perhaps while journaling.

The typical menu for tea time seems to include several different types of tea sandwiches, cut into squares or triangles (cucumber, chicken salad, egg salad, etc), some kind of quiche, grapes, scones, cookies, cake or pie, and finally, tea!

You might even decide to start a tea club...

Here is Tamera Bastiaan's account of how her book club/tea club is set up...

"One person from the group decides to host the tea. They then get to choose the book and the date (around six weeks from the last one). They send out the invitations to all of us. We all read the book and show up for tea at the hostess's house on the appointed day. We have tea and discuss the book. Our group really loves to read and is GREAT about getting onto a lot of interesting, interpretive questions and discussions."

Starting a tea ritual is a way to connect more deeply with yourself, with your children, with your family and your friends.

Chamomile Tea


"When taken internally, British researchers discovered that this sweet aromatic herb can enhance the immune system by stimulating the infection-fighting white blood cells. As such, chamomile tea may be helpful if you have a cold or the flu. It certainly does no harm to try several cups of brew!" ~~The Editors, Nutritional Supplement Education Centre

Other Great Benefits

(1) Stress and Anxiety: It has a very tranquilizing effect and is a good way to calm down.

(2) Digestive Problems: Chamomile tea has been shown to help with heartburn, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, morning sickness and other stomach upsets.

(3) Miscellaneous: It can help with tension headaches, allergies and menstrual cramps.

"By steeping one heaping teaspoonful of either herb in one cup of boiling water for five to 10 minutes and drinking the tea one to three times a day the allergy sufferer can reduce their symptoms."~~Joy Borthwick, Herbal Medicine at Suite101.com

"Drinking chamomile tea is one of the easiest ways to tackle migraines, and should be consumed as soon as one notices migraine symptoms in order to avoid severe headaches." ~~Buzzle.com

(4) Children: Because it is so gentle, it is safe for use with children.

The Different Kinds of Tea

What are the differences in the varieties of tea?

Here's a quick guide to Black, Green, White, Red and Oolong Teas. One difference is the length of time the tea leaves have been fermented. Black tea has been fermented the longest, and white tea the least amount of time.

Black Tea

Black teas give you a robust cup that is especially nice in the morning as a pick me up, and is the variety we know as English Breakfast, Ceylon, Assam and Darjeeling. It is lovely with a bit of milk or served over ice with a little sweetening.

Green Tea

Green tea has a wonderful palate-cleansing flavor that is a perfect accompaniment to Asian food. It's also a wonderful ingredient for the skin. Green tea has been shown in studies to burn calories. Specifically, about 80 calories a day.

That can add up to a couple of pounds lost over the course of a month, so why not add a cup of green tea to your daily diet? Green tea is particularly delicious with Japanese and Chinese food. Its palate cleansing qualities complement these cuisines nicely.

White Tea

White tea is the least processed of teas. It has a very delicate flavor and is usually brewed with hot, not boiled water and steeped for a shorter time. White tea offers the highest amount of antioxidants of all teas. It also offers antiviral and antibiotic properties (similar to green tea but even more so).

But it does have some caffeine, so if you are avoiding caffeine, check the labels.


Rooibos or "red" tea, is actually not a tea at all. It is an infusion of the African red bush. Rooibos has no caffeine so it's perfect for pregnant moms and chidren.

Soothes Colic

Rooibos has a soothing effect on the central nervous system. It has been reported to aid colic and sleeplessness. In some parts of the world, Rooibos is the mom's prescription for colicky babies and kids with stomach upset. It's quite gentle on the stomach. Rooibos also has a soothing effect on the skin, relieving itching and certain skin irritations like eczema and diaper irritation.

Loose Tea is Best

Tea snobs claim that the best tea is loose, so consider buying yours from a supplier that doesn't bag their tea. Bagged tea often contains "tea dust", the lowest quality tea. High quality loose tea can actually be brewed twice, making it more economical

How to Brew a "Proper" Pot of Tea

Here's How:

(1) Fill a tea pot with tap water to warm it up prior to adding tea leaves and boiling water.

(2) Fill tea kettle with fresh, cold, non-distilled water.

(3) Place kettle on stove and bring to boil.

(4) Just before kettle begins to boil, pour water from tea pot and add one teaspoon tea leaves per cup to pot, plus an additional teaspoon for the pot.

(5) Remove kettle from heat right after it comes to a boil and pour 6 ounces per cup into tea pot.

(6) Let tea steep 3 - 7 minutes depending on desired strength.

(7) While tea steeps, ask a friend to "do the honors" by serving the tea to your other guests.

(8) Add cold, whole milk, or lemon to tea cups depending on preference of guests.

(9) Pour tea into cups using a strainer to catch loose leaves.

Tea Comes to America

History of Tea

"Tea was first brought to North America by the Dutch in the 17th Century. The Dutch colony of New Amsterdam was acquired by the English who renamed the settlement New York and passed on many of the tea drinking customs that were common in England.The cities of Boston and Philadelphia adopted the English style of tea drinking and their use of fancy silver and porcelain tea products symbolized their wealth and elite social status." ~~Teavana

"Tea has had a significant impact in American history and our resulting freedoms have led to some interesting American tea inventions that have contributed to modern day tea drinking as we know it.

In 1904 at America's first World's Fair, iced tea made its debut. Richard Blechynden had the novel idea of serving his brewed tea on ice since no one was interested in drinking hot tea during the summer heat wave."~~Teavana

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade Happiness

I decided to move out of my comfy chamomile rut and begin to experiment with other teas. And I want to combine tea with meditation. I'm reading a great book about it called Tea Here Now: Relax and Rejuvenate with a Tea Lifestyle - Rituals, Remedies, and Meditations.

So I am going to start having afternoon tea every day that I am able to create space for it. I used to do it when my son was younger, and he and I both loved it! He would wake up from his nap and I would make tea for both of us.

Well, today, I decided to try Teavana's Strawberry Lemonade tea and I am loving it! I wish I had made a whole pot.

Within a few sips, it was making me happy, which prompted me to think about how there could be happiness in little moments like this one. Sipping my tea, watching the breeze gently ruffle the trees outside my window, enjoying the warm, bright afternoon sun... life is good!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Have you heard?

Tea has been found to be better for you than water!! Really! I love tea and was so excited to discover that, because I remember once, right after I fell in love with apricot tea, that I lost weight because I wanted to drink tea more than I wanted to eat.

Could that happen again?

Well, I'm on a quest to overhaul my eating habits and if tea can help me, I'm all for it! I want to start experimenting with tasty teas and see what happens. I would love for it to help with some of my health challenges, including weight.

So let's go see what happens!

You coming?