11/27/13 8:19 AM
8/5/13 11:43 AM
7/31/13 9:57 AM
6/25/13 8:54 AM
Do you drink green tea? Even if you don't, it's likely that you've heard about it and its suggested benefits. Well, just in case you happen to be "on the fence" this amazing beverage, we had to share this recent article we found on Care2.com: 13 Reasons to Drink Green Tea.
And if you DO drink green tea already? Feel even better about it! Enjoy.
6/3/13 12:26 PM
Did you watch Super Soul Sunday yesterday? Oprah Winfrey's guest was none other than Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist master and spiritual leader for many around the world. Frequently during his conversation with Ms. Winfrey, he spoke of meditation and, at one particular point he referenced a tea meditation. To quote him,
"In [my] view, every moment can be a source of meditation: walking, eating, even drinking tea.
"We have the practice of tea meditation. So when you pick up your tea, you might like to breathe in, in order to bring your mind back to your body, and become completely, fully present in the here and the now. I don't think of the past anymore. I don't think of the future anymore. I am free from the past, from the future, and there is a real encounter between me and the tea. And peace, happiness, and joy is possible during the time I drink my tea.
"It takes one hour to just enjoy a cup of tea. Brotherhood and sisterhood, and every moment is a moment of happiness."
Wise words, indeed (but it will require much work on my part to make a cup of tea last one hour!).
Thank you Thich Nhat Hanh and Oprah Winfrey for a truly wonderful hour. (To view a transcript of Naht Hanh's interview on Oprah.com, click here.)
5/23/13 5:33 PM
We've just received the new harvest from Long Jing village - the home of the world famous DragonWell. Harvested March 15, 2013 (pre-qing ming), this is about as fresh as you can get without buying a ticket to China. It's also the best we've seen in some time.
Starting with the freshest and most tender of tea buds, it is then pan-fried to bring out the characteristic flavor. From the alluring aroma to the bright color and velvety finish, this tea will transport you to the lush tea gardens of rural China. It is a truly remarkable tea.
Set aside time today to immerse yourself in all the goodness of this iconic Chinese Spring Tea. No passports required.
Click here to head to our store - and stock up while supplies last.
5/2/13 10:32 AM
So, what activity do you most associate with tea? One of our favorites (and a favorite for many of our customers, too) is KNITTING.
It turns out many of our customers are knitters and artistes of several fiber arts. We often hear from customers how much they enjoy a cup of Tea Zaanti tea while clicking needles on their latest project. Yeah, it makes us think of Miss Marple, too - one of our favorite fictional characters of all time. Speaking of which, did you ever catch the Marple series with Geraldine McEwan on PBS? Soooo great!
Knitting can be a lot of fun, as well as a great way to relax and unwind (no pun intended, lol). A perfect compliment would be our Relax or Chamomile Lavender - or you might want to spice things up a bit and go with the caffeine-free, so they're perfect any time of day.
Whether you're new to knitting, are just starting, or are even a knitter with wicked-good needle skills, you should check out KnitFreedom by our wonderful friend and customer, Liat Gat.
KnitFreedom.com is home to what we consider the best online knitting videos and tutorials. Filmed in high quality video, Liat's patient and thorough instructions have helped thousands of knitters become knitting superstars. You will, too! Be sure to check it out.
And while we're speaking of fiber arts - none of that would be possible without the best yarns. Check out our favorite LYS (local yarn store), Blazing Needles. Amazing yarns and a super fun atmosphere!
So, whatever your favorite pastime may be, grab your stuff, get cozy with a cup of tea, and have at it! Enjoy!
What do you like to do when you're drinking tea? Leave a comment and let us know.
Oh, and a shout-out to another good friend, Susan. Thanks for the super-awesome tea cozy!! She's a genius knitter - and a lot of fun, as you can tell. You can see what she's up to on her blog.
4/23/13 1:29 PM
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Southwest China. On Saturday, a 6.6 earthquake devastated Ya’an City and surrounding areas in Sichuan Province of southwest China. The region produces 14% of China’s green tea, and the spring harvest was in full swing. Several tea factories collapsed and there are reports of landslides and road closures in many of the region’s tea gardens. Read more
4/22/13 5:23 PM
WOW, have we been busy! We’ve been scouting locations, sampling new teas, and working on a whole new website. And it’s only April - whew!
In our latest tastings, we’ve come up with a blend we know you’re going to LOVE: Berry Berry Tart. The name says it all, and one of our reviewers said it best: “Pucker up!”
Berry Berry Tart is a naturally caffeine-free rooibos blend of thirst-quenching herbs and mouth-watering fruit. What you’ll find in this amazing blend: hibiscus, rosehips, black currant, elderberry, and rooibos. We started with a base of some wonderful rooibos, added hibiscus to give the tea a brisk, bold bite, and then topped it all off with some lesser-known, but extremely flavorful, sweet berries. It all adds up to a beautiful red-hued brew with a surprising punch (btw, we like the sweet-tartness of the blend, but you may prefer to add a little of your favorite sweetener).
Whether you’re in the mood for a nice hot cup or a wonderfully refreshing cup of iced goodness, give Berry Berry Tart a try.
Hot: pour 6 oz. of heated water (208-212) over 1 teaspoon of Berry Berry Tart. Steep for 3-4 minutes. Enjoy.
Cold: You can follow the directions above, let it cool to room temperature, and pour over ice OR you can do as above but use twice the amount of Berry Berry Tart, then pour directly over ice. Either way, prepare yourself for a tasty iced treat.
Oh, and don’t forget – you can re-steep the tea for another (milder) cup. We actually brew it twice, adding one cup to the other.
Experiment to find what you like best…and we’d love to hear what you come up with!
PS: This tea has already become the office favorite, both hot and iced. The iced version is so popular that someone brought in a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea maker! Following the water and ice lines on the maker itself, and using an unbleached coffee filter, we add about ½ cup of Berry Berry Tart to the basket and push the start button. It couldn’t be easier; the waiting is the hardest part! (This “recipe” works best for us - you will probably want to tweak your measurement to get the flavor you want.) REMEMBER: don’t throw away the herbs after that first steeping – they’re good for at least one more pot.
1/17/13 10:41 PM
We wish everyone a very happy and peaceful new year.
With a very busy holiday season now behind us, we've decided to take a much-needed break - so, we're closing the office for a few days and hope to catch up on some good reads and rest. We'll be back on January 26; all orders placed until that time will be held and processed when we return. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we hope you'll understand.
1/6/13 10:20 AM
From the first time I "discovered" Dr. Andrew Weil on PBS several years ago, I have been an admirer. I love his outlook on life and I applaud his approach to healing, which integrates many Eastern beliefs and practices into Western medicine. This guy's been a doctor for decades, and he's made a name for himself - he must know what he's talking about, right? That's why I'm always excited when he "talks tea."
For years, I'be been talking up the benefits of drinking tea - physical, mental, and spiritual - to family and friends, but I'm just me. I'm always glad to see more prominent people promoting the virtues of tea, and that's why I wanted to share this latest post from Dr. Weil:
Excuse me while I head to the kitchen for a nice cup of Sencha. Happy steeping!
1/1/13 5:00 PM
Happy New Year!
Well, it's here - 2013 - another new year. For me, it's always been a time to just relax and take time for myself after the hectic pace of the last month or so. I've never really bothered with resolutions (other than "having an even better year than last"), but this year is different: I resolve to make three resolutions by the end of this month (okay, that was funnier in my head).
There seem to be a lot of bugs going around lately: colds, flus, sinusitis, even just good old sniffles. I caught a head cold a little over a week ago and was down and out for a couple days. Then I contracted uvulitis (yeah, it was new to me, too) and had to go to the doctor. It's always unnerving when a doctor looks at your throat and his/her eyes get bigger (no wonder there's such a thing as "white coat syndrome"!). So, she suggested that I drink warm soothing beverages like tea. Yeah, I could do that :)
As soon as I got home, I put on a pot of Soothe. Ahhhhh, just the thing. As the afternoon wore on, I switched to Licorice Mint - double yum! That night it was Chocolate Rooibos. The next day I pulled out Chocolate Pu'erh and then…
Yes, I had a blast re-acquainting myself with some of my old favorites, but it made me realize how removed I've become from some of my teas. Since I was trying to coat the back of my throat, I found myself doing a more mindful swallow, and that resulted in a heightened taste experience - something that I typically do now only when sampling and blending teas. It was a much needed reminder to be more present - in the tea moment and in life.
So, I think I have my first resolution...
12/16/12 1:12 PM
The holidays are a special time of year, and they're one of our favorites. It's a time we like to spend with family and friends - so, we're closing early this year. All orders made by noon MST on December 17 will be processed and shipped that day. (Rest assured your packages should arrive in time for the holiday, too!) All orders placed after that time will be held and processed first thing when we return on December 27. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
We will also be closed for inventory on December 1 and 2.
We wish you the very happiest of holiday seasons.
11/29/12 11:51 PM
We are extremely excited to introduce you to some amazing work from local pottery artist Roman Schoewe. Made with you in mind, these teapots were lovingly handcrafted with a true sense of whimsy. At 16 ounces, they're the perfect size for two cups of your favorite tea (my current favorite is Autumn Oolong), and the earthenware will keep your tea hot while it steeps. The true pleasure comes when you are ready to serve - the whimsical "handles" make easy work of pouring - and they're just plain fun! Let us know what you think.
More are on the way, but don't wait - if you see one you love, grab it! These are one-of-a-kind teapots, and there will never be another one just like it!
11/20/12 11:27 PM
May it be filled with love, laughter, great food - and tea!
Thanksgiving is one of our favorite times of year, and we love to celebrate it with friends and family. There are many things we are thankful for this year - and many of them are you! While we feel blessed for all that we have, we know there are many out there who are less fortunate; that's why we've chosen the Utah Food Bank as our featured charity. As always, a portion of every online sale goes to support the charity's work. Please also consider donating time, money, food, or whatever you can to this great organization.
Our office will be closed Thursday and Friday, but online orders are accepted 24/7 and they'll be processed when we return first thing Monday morning.
We believe in celebrating one holiday at a time, so we won't be sending out any Christmas sales emails until AFTER Turkey Day. In other words - keep an eye out for our big sale event this weekend. You won't want to miss it!
7/19/12 3:17 PM
It's been a crazy-hot summer nearly everywhere in the US this year. Most of us savor a tall, icy glass of tea to quench our thirst and cool down - but what if I told you HOT tea cools you off, too?
I know, it sounds absurd, but a recent segment of Summer Science, aired on National Public Radio, explains the science behind it.
Check out the story here.
7/13/12 10:30 AM
Japanese researchers conducting an investigation of elderly persons with normal or slight cognitive dysfunction found that high concentrations of theanine significantly lowered decline in cognitive function compared to a placebo group.
This result suggested that theanine might even be able to improve cognitive dysfunction in elderly persons, according to a Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin.
Theanine is found in tea leaves. It has a similar chemical structure to glutamate, which is a neurotransmitter related to memory. The Japanese research team found that once theanine passes through the blood-brain barrier, it exerts a brain-protective effect.
They also found that the tea compound exerts a preventive effect on neuronal cell death after transient cerebral ischemia (a mini-stroke). The fewer brain cells that die during one of these mini-strokes, the better the chances are of recovering without any brain damage—which is exactly what theanine seems to help with.
The report “How Drinking Tea Could Lead to Better Memory,” also lists other studies that suggest a combination of theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance. These studies say that a dose of theanine and caffeine prior to performing a demanding cognitive task may significantly improve accuracy and alertness. These two ingredients together could help increase the ability to focus.
SOURCE: Song, J., et al., "Tea and cognitive health in late life: current evidence and future directions," J. Nutr. Health Aging, Jan. 2012; 16(1): 31–4.)
Kakuda, T., "Neuroprotective effects of theanine and its preventive effects on cognitive dysfunction," Pharmacol. Res., Aug. 2011; 64(2): 162–8.)
reprinted from World Tea News
7/11/12 12:38 PM
What do champagne and malt whiskey have in common? What would you think if I said “India”?
"If Darjeeling tea is referred to as the 'Champagne of tea,' a good quality Assam garden such as Khongea produces the best 'single malt whiskies' of tea."Sudhir Prakash
Let me introduce you to the Glenburn and Khongea estates. These two tea estates are situated in the heartland of iconic Indian tea country (Darjeeling and Assam, respectively), nestled near the majestic Himalaya Mountains. This location provides ideal growing conditions for our beloved camellia sinensis.
Why did we choose these particular gardens? With a history spanning more than 100 years and five generations, the Prakash "Chaiwala" family and over 2000 tea-picking families are dedicated to the cultivation, processing, and delivery of outstanding quality tea. In other words, they know their tea - and it helps that they're socially-conscious, too.
More importantly, we love the tea!
Also, they are members of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), which monitors the welfare and working conditions of the tea estate workers and ensures the tea has been produced in an environmentally and socially sustainable way. A step beyond Fairtrade.
The Prakash family obviously take pride in providing quality tea as well as taking care of their workers. They set up the Glenburn Workers' Welfare Trust to improve educational and medical services on the estate, as well as promote cultural activities amongst the local community.
Autumn Oolong: a beautiful and unique Darjeeling with a brillian amber cup, floral notes and a long finish.
Darjeeling 1st Flush: a classic Spring Tea - bright, puckery, and aromatic.
Himalayan Sunrise: two iconic teas masterfully blended for that perfect morning cup.
Khongea: a rich, full-bodied Assam leaf with strong malt flavor.
Moonshine: a delicate and refined Darjeeling with notes of citrus blossoms.
We love the teas, and you will, too.
Here are some interesting facts about the gardens:
6/26/12 10:57 AM
According to researchers at the Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich Heine University in Duesseldorf, Germany, tea drinkers who consume four or more cups of tea per day are 20% less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. The study involved more than 12,000 participants in 26 European cities.
The leader of the study, Christian Herder, was quoted as saying, "Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, but dietary factors may also play a role. One dietary factor of interest is tea consumption. Tea consumption may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by influencing glucose digestion, glucose uptake, and by protecting beta-cells from free-radical damage. This beneficial effect may be due to the polyphenols present in tea."
It is worth noting that those who drank less (one to three cups per day) did not receive the same benefit. The study also mentioned that the biggest benefits were seen by those who did not add milk and sugar.
You can read the DailyMail article here.
5/9/12 4:28 PM
In case you missed it or didn't even hear about it, Dr. Oz aired an episode in February pertaining to weight loss - specifically those few extra pounds commonly found in the backside. Throughout the episode, Dr. Oz discussed various things to help loose unwanted weight; one of these was tea - pu'erh and white, in particular. Here's what one blogger wrote about it (click here to read the entire post):
5/7/12 6:23 PM
This morning, I was enjoying some tea and the beautiful spring flowers in my yard when it dawned on me - Mothers Day is this weekend! Yikes! What do I do?! Well, you couldn't get a more obvious nudge, standing there in the wafting bouquet of our prolific peace rose shrub and sipping some Raspberry Rose Petal - ROSES!
Who didn't grow up without making cards with tissue paper roses in grade school? Or sending a dozen on valentine's day or just to say thank you? Roses have held special significance for most people thoughout the ages, and nothing says "love" better. Growing up in the midwest, I remember my grandmother going to a LOT of work tending and nurturing her rosebushes, from pruning and muching, to spraying and fertilizing. She took such pride in growing her shrubs, and I think of her every time I see a well-groomed bush. I am truly blessed living here, where roses grow like a weed, with little care. This photo is from the peace rose I was given several years back by a dear friend. I placed it below one of the living room windows and pray for breezes. Beautiful, isn't it? And it all ties in with our motto, too. Synchronicity.
I hope you have the chance to spend time with your mother this weekend. Unfortunately, I won't, but she knows she can count on a very long phone call (I know she'll have something to say about the gift I sent, haha). I'll have to ask if she kept any of those cards...
To all the wonderful mothers out there, Happy Mothers Day.
4/25/12 5:36 PM
This is what started it all, the true inspiration behind Tea Zaanti.
We took a trip to Asia a couple years ago, and we fell in love with the people, the culture, the food - and the tea. A dear friend of mine from school owns a large mulberry farm in Thailand and was interested in getting the word out about this amazing herbal. I volunteered to do some research on importing it State-side. Not long after we arrived home, synchronicity slipped in. I learned that there had once been a mulberry farm started here in Salt Lake by some early pioneers and immigrants - with the intent to raise silkworms. Then I came across the World Tea Expo and their community. Flash foward a couple weeks to a 2:00am light bulb moment, where the name and idea came to me in my sleep. The rest is history.
After some minor hurdles, I'm really excited to finally be able to bring this tea to our customers!
I will admit to initially knowing nothing about mulberry, other than the fact that it was/is used to feed silkworms. I did know that it makes a wonderful, restorative tea, though, and that was enough to pique my interest.
This particular strain of mulberry is exceptionally high in antioxidants, particularly quercetin and kaempferol. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, quercetin is believed to be a possible anti-inflammatory and an antihistamine, helping to reduce symptoms of allergies. While more studies need to be done, there is hope that it will have positive affects on cholesterol and a range of inflammatory diseases.
Kaempferol has been studied for possible anti-tumor activities and numerous preclinical studies have shown that kaempferol and some glycosides of kaempferol have a wide range of pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, cardioprotective, neuroprotective, antidiabetic, anti-osteoporotic, estrogenic/antiestrogenic, anxiolytic, analgesic and antiallergic activities (whew, that's a mouthful!).
Most importantly, in my opinion, is the incredible taste; similar to a green tea, mulberry leaf has a slightly nutty, vegetal flavor with a warm, buttery aroma - and since it has no caffeine, it can be enjoyed by anyone, anytime.
We loved our time in Thailand and Cambodia, and look forward to visiting again one day soon. Until that day, sipping this amazing beverage instantly transports me to those exotic locales - I trust it will do the same for you, too.
Let us know what you think of our Mulberry Leaf. We'd love to hear from you.
(By the way, if you ever make it to Cambodia, be sure to stop at Artisans d'Angkor - it is well worth the trip to learn the history of silk and to see how it is produced, from the silkworm to the final product.)
Cheers and namaste.
3/20/12 9:01 PM
World Water Day is Thursday, March 22, 2012
Did you know that every 20 seconds a child dies from water-related illnesses? Or that women, worldwide, spend 200 million hours a day collecting water? Most likely not, because here in the West, we open a tap to fill a pitcher or wash our hands without a second thought. We really don't think about it until there is a problem.
We love our tea. We spend considerable time making sure we find quality leaves and the appropriate teaware to enjoy them, but we seldom give thought to the most essential part of the whole experience - water. Yes, we take good, clean water for granted, but in many parts of the world people don't have access this everyday necessity.
I recently came across an article about an organization that is working to change this and improve global access to clean water. Water.org is an organization with over 20 years of experience helping people in developing countries build and maintain water and sanitation systems. Water.org builds partnerships with local organizations to build projects the community needs, from design to construction and on to maintenance. By promoting community leadership and cost-sharing in these projects, they have seen a better "return" in terms of sustainability and ownership. Click here to read more about Water.org and the wonderful work they do.
1/6/12 5:00 PM
Need another reason to feel good about drinking your tea? A recent study was published touting the benefits of drinking black tea on a daily basis. (Source: World Tea News)
A meta study of 40 research papers linking black tea and disease prevention suggests taking three cups a day can slash the risk of a heart attack by 60 percent and dramatically reduce the threat of diabetes.
Researchers Dr. Carrie Ruxton and Pamela Mason published their work in the December issue of UK Nutrition Bulletin. They estimate people taking three to six cups of tea a day lower their risk of contracting heart disease by 30 to 57 percent compared to those who drink little or no tea.
They report, "These beneficial findings are thought to be due to a variety of positive factors in black tea, such as antioxidant flavonoids and theanine, which help to control blood pressure, regulate nitric oxide production (which impacts on arterial function) and inhibit platelet aggregation (which can cause blood clots).”
"Our review also found evidence of a link between black tea consumption and a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes when one to five cups of tea were consumed daily, depending on the study under investigation," says Ruxton BSc, PhD, Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster.
She says the amount required to produce such benefits should be the subject of further research, but “three to six cups of black tea daily appears to contribute to cardiovascular health.”
Tea drinkers are known to reduce the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol), reduce clotting and manage high blood pressure. Tea helps maintain the production of nitric oxide essential to the health of arteries, as well as inhibiting platelet aggregation, a main cause of blood clots.
12/29/11 3:37 PM
I can't believe it's already the end of another year. Where did 2011 go?! As I sit here sipping a beautiful cup of Golden Monkey, I reflect on what has been an interesting year, both personally and professionally. I don't know if it's the weather or the time of year, but whatever it is, I'm in a very contemplative mood and find myself reminiscing.
I have been lucky enough to check off several big items on my Bucket List this past year, and I have numerous memories to add to my scrapbook of life. I am grateful to all my friends and family who were able to share those moments, and I will treasure them always.
Many of these friends were brought to me through the world of tea. I am constantly amazed at the social power of tea. One of my first, and fondest, memories of tea was an intimate get-together with a dear friend during college. Of course, growing up in a Midwestern coffee family as I did, I thought tea was just something only "the Brits" and "little ole grannies" drank - or it was something you found in scary old mansions with creepy butlers. I was in for a major awakening.
I remember that night when, after a very pleasant meal, my friend Constance brought out a teapot, a metal ball "thingie", two cups, and - gasp - dried up, shrunken LEAVES! What in the world was this?! It didn't look like anything I had seen before. Trying to be a good guest (and priding myself on being adventurous), I figured I better muster up the nerve to drink whatever concoction she was brewing. As she poured on the hot water, I caught the first wisp of aroma. Hmmm, that actually smelled pretty good. The room warmed as the scent intensified and I found that I was actually salivating, even after having eaten such a wonderful meal. The real surprise came when I sipped for the first time (no, no pinkies extended). "Wow! I taste citrus…and…honey…and… So, this is tea?! Amazing!" I had never liked coffee because it was too strong and bitter, but tea just seemed too bland and weak in comparison. I was simply blown away at how complex the taste was; obviously, I had a lot to learn. Meanwhile, could I have another cup?
That was my first real introduction to tea - and Earl Grey still remains one of my favorites. It was also the first step on my journey into the wonderful world of tea.
I hope you find equally memorable moments in your tea travels.
11/23/11 10:10 AM
Thanksgiving is upon us, and we'd like to take this opportunity to share our sincere gratitude with each and every one of you.
Thank you for helping to make this our best year yet. We are truly fortunate to be able to share with you our passion for the perfect cup of tea, and, because of your support, we have donated to several wonderful charities over the course of the year. Whether it's a food bank, an animal shelter, disaster relief, or child education, the work these charities are doing is commendable. We are proud to support them and encourage everyone to contribute what they can, whatever that may be (time, money, or both), to whatever organization you choose. Working together, we can all make a difference in the world - and amazing things will happen.
As a gift of gratitude for you, we are offering a one-day sale on Monday, November 28. All teas will be 15% off. No code necessary; discount will be applied automatically at checkout.
Again, thank you. Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.
11/2/11 4:08 PM
We came across a recent article on the study of benefits of green tea, which suggests huge potential for the non-toxic treatment of autoimmune diseases:
One of the beneficial compounds found in green tea has a powerful ability to increase the number of “regulatory T cells” that play a key role in immune function and suppression of autoimmune disease, according to new research in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.
Read the full article here
11/2/11 2:18 PM
Yes, it's that time of year when the days get shorter and the temps get cooler - that time of year when most of us start to feel the inclination to hibernate. I love fall and winter, and spending time outdoors, reveling in the beauty of changing leaves and drifting flakes; but I also find myself spending more and more time snuggled in a chair, with a cup of hot tea and a book.
This morning, as I was sipping a mug of English Breakfast and looking out on the lightening sky from my cozy chair, I started thinking about those books and I found myself taking a short trip down Nostalgia Lane…
I was lucky to have inherited my desire to read from my parents. While we didn't have a large collection of books, I do remember magazines lying around and books scattered here and there. I also remember mom taking us occasionally to the public library in town - which was a real treat, since we lived out in the country. I even penned a ghost story in second grade and was asked to read it in front of the class - and the principal (now THAT was scary!)
Does anyone remember a time in grade school when they would hand out a list of books you could order? I was so excited, browsing that list of stories that promised to send me on a pirate ship, or in a submarine under the ocean; I would meet mythic and fantastical creatures and people, or travel to new countries. I remember spending days poring over the selection, knowing I had to whittle it down to a manageable number, hoping desperately that my choices would be approved by mom and dad. The day would arrive and I would be called up to the front of class to collect my treasures, then smiling all the way back to my desk, and diving in on the bus ride home. I would devour the books as fast as I could, only to find I finished them all and had to wait for the next go-round. Oh, but then I found the school library! The librarian turned out to be one of our neighbors, and thank her to this day for helping me navigate the world of words. She helped me discover the land of Narnia, hobbits and wizards (The LOTR trilogy is one of my favorite reads to this day), and what it was to be Kidnapped. In high school, was double blessed with a particular English teacher who had a love of teaching and sharing her love of the written word (I think of you often, Ms. Delfs - thank you). I especially remember having to rein myself in from reading ahead of the assigned pages of Les Miserables.
Looking back, I realize how lucky I was (and am) - and how much I take for granted: I can read. How many people can't? My world - my life - would have been so different without this ability, one that I use every day. How could that skill, that gift, change the life of others much less fortunate?
I thought back to a book I read some years ago, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's Children by John Wood. He left a promising and rewarding career to follow his passion, increasing literacy and gender equality in education. This eventually led to the foundation of Room To Read, an organization that has established 1,442 schools and 11,246 libraries, distributed 9.4 million books, and published 553 local-language children's books--benefiting 5.1 million children to date.
In support of this noble vision and worthy cause, we are donating a percentage of every purchase you make, now through the end of the year, to Room to Read. So, every time YOU sit down with a cuppa and your favorite book, feel good knowing that you're sharing your love of reading with others less fortunate.
10/28/11 10:57 AM
Yes, it's that time of year again - a season full of pumpkins, monsters, and imaginations run wild. Most of us have fond childhood memories of dressing up in our favorite costume, running door to door yelling "Trick or Treat" and amassing piles of sweet goodness. I even remember one instance when we found "the mother lode" (translation: full-size candy bars) and snuck back later in the evening to cash in again (bless her heart - she recognized us and gave us TWO more each!)
Sadly, times have changed and the new rage is "Trunk or Treat." Sorry, but that doesn't even sound fun - it actually sounds a little creepy! I often wonder if kids realize what they are missing; but then again, if you don't know any different...
As an adult, I feel a sense of loss. In the past, I've been known to complain about having to answer the door and hand out treats, but now that a hobgoblin on the front stoop is a rare occasion, I have to say I really miss it. Who couldn't help acting scared when you opened the door and a little Frankenstein's monster grunted or a witch cackled? Their smiles and the fun they were having was passed on, door-to-door.
Whatever you and your kids decide to do this year, have fun - but please be safe. Here are some tips provided by our friends at the Salt Lake City Council:
10/16/11 6:00 PM
It is estimated that one in six men living in Western countries will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives, while many fewer Asian men will receive the dreaded news. While the underlying risks of developing this cancer are basically the same (a significant portion of Asian men have prostate micro-tumors), certain lifestyle differences are thought to prevent the micro-tumors from maturing into cancer. Recent studies suggest that drinking green tea on a regular basis accounts, in part, for this disparity.
One double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found a marked decrease in the rates of advancing prostate cancers. EGCG, a polyphenol found in green tea, has the ability to inhibit the function of the androgen receptor - a protein frequently found in prostate cancer cells. Some believe EGCG could prevent these tumors from progressing.
As more and more studies are being done, we will keep you posted.
10/4/11 6:00 PM
A recent Journal of the Association of Analytical Communities International (AOAC) published an analysis of commercially available green tea-based dietary supplements, both liquid and pill. That analysis found that several of the supplements sampled differ chemically from tea. Specifically, the supplements suffered from significant degradation of the catechins and flavonoids found in tea leaves.
A research chemist from the USDA Agricultural Research Service was quoted as saying, "The claim that a green tea dietary supplement is a good alternative for tea leaves is questionable from a chemical composition point of view."
9/29/11 6:00 PM
Most of us have heard about the purported benefits of drinking various herbal tisanes. Now, after examining science-based evidence of health benefits from drinking chamomile, peppermint and hibiscus infusions, researchers say that evidence is compelling enough to warrant further clinical studies.
In the March 2011 Agricultural Research magazine, researchers at the Antioxidant Research Laboratory at Tuft University's USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging describe the following: chamomile has anti-microbial, antioxidant and anti-platelet-clumping activity; hibiscus tisanes significantly lowers blood pressure; and peppermint has significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities, strong antioxidant and anti tumor actions, and some antiallergenic potential - not to mention the well-known calmative and digestive functions.
It seems there may be some truth to those "old wives' tales."
9/14/11 6:00 PM
As written in a recent issue of the British Nutrition Journal (2011), a randomly controlled trial was conducted in the UK, and it was shown that the consumption of caffeinated tea does not lead to dehydration, as many have suggested in the past. The study showed no significant difference between tea and water in hydration.
To view the full citation, click here.
8/31/11 6:00 PM
A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2011) concluded that green tea decreased cholesterol in study participants. Analyzing the findings of research papers published between 1967 and 2010, the report states that the consumption of green tea led to significant reductions in the levels of LDL ("bad" cholesterol). Build-up of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) in blood vessels forms a hard plaque, the most common cause of cardiovascular disease.
In addition to fighting cholesterol, green tea contains numerous antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols - and it tastes great, too! Cheers!
To read the study, click here.
8/25/11 8:22 AM
One of my favorite teas in our line-up is our Darjeeling, from the Castleton Tea Estate. The estate has long been known for its quality teas and our Darjeeling is no exception. The lovely coppery-brown leaves produce an enchanting gold liquor with muscatel notes. A royal treat, any time of day.
As long-time fans of Castleton teas, we were excited to come across a recent article on this magical place, and I wanted to share it with you:
Castleton Tea Estate, perched in Darjeeling's misty Kurseong South Valley, actually has a castle of sorts, as well as a history colored by storybook details. No one is sure of the castle's origin, though it's probably just a building left behind by a long-ago money lender.
Originally planted in 1885 by an enterprising Englishman, the estate has passed through the hands of Calcutta royalty, and still uses names rather than numbers to designate specific areas in the garden. The original name of this garden was Kumseri. The various sections of this gardens are known as Bhalu Khop (bear cave), Jim Basha (the erstwhile manager's domain), Dhobitar (washerman’s clothes line) and Baseri (resting place).
Whimsey takes a back seat, though, when it comes to producing quality teas.
Castleton is planted mostly with China bushes. The estate covers 471.20 Ha (1164.360 acres), about 318.98 Ha (788.216 acres) of which is under tea cultivation. Up to 665 people, including temporary employees, work in the garden during its busiest season. Castleton tea is Orthodox and hand-picked. Exact production techniques are closely guarded secrets, but outside of picking, much of the production process is mechanized to ensure consistency and even production. Castleton was the first tea garden to be awarded ISO 9000 certification in September, 1994.
Binog Gurung, Manager, Marketing, for Castleton, considers the natural environment's influence on the tea plants and, ultimately, the final product, to be of critical importance. “Castleton is unique...
To read the full article, click here.
8/9/11 12:01 PM
Is the summer heat getting to you? Cool down with a tall glass of these refreshing iced tea recipes, brought to you by our friends at Care2:
Iced Tea Smoothie
Makes 2 mugs
1 cup double-strength chilled tea (we love the Mango Ceylon)
½ cup lemon non-fat yogurt
1. Blend tea and yogurt in a blender for 20 seconds.
2. Pour into chilled mugs and garnish with a slice of lemon.
Summer Tea Punch
Makes 24 punch cup servings
2 cups very strong chilled tea (try our Hibiscus Punch)
1 quart apple cider
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 quart chilled ginger ale
Lemons, sliced thinly
1. Combine tea, cider and lemon juice in a punch bowl.
2. Just before serving, add ice cubes and stir in the ginger ale.
3. Top with lemon slices for garnish.
To read the full article, click here.
8/2/11 6:00 PM
Our congratuations go out to Lynda Smith of Salt Lake City; she is the winner of our Anniversary Drawing. Thank you to everyone who has helped make these two years so much fun and fulfilling. We're always happy to hear from you, so please let us know what's on your mind. Maybe you have a tea you'd like to see us carry or you'd like us to sponsor a particular charity - or you just want to say hi. Whatever it is, we'd love to hear from you. Namaste.
6/28/11 10:51 PM
We're proud to announce our second anniversary and, in honor of that, we're giving away a gift basket filled with some of our wonderful teas and teawares. The winner will receive everything you need to brew the perfect cup of tea, including the ever-popular and oh-so green I Am Not a Paper Cup, a French press, a Perfect Cup teaspoon, and his/her choice of two tins of our delicious teas (total retail value over $50!).
Every purchase from now until the end of July qualifies you for one entry in the drawing. Thank you for two wonderful years, and good luck!
5/20/11 9:46 AM
It came to our attention during a recent system update that a conversion glitch caused some reviews to be orphaned - in other words, you probably noticed that your reviews were not visible. We are currently in the process of fixing this, but are sad to report that the post date will not be accurate. The text and ratings will transfer over just as the original post - the only difference will be the date. We apologize for any confusion.
4/11/11 6:00 PM
Osteoporosis affects 10 million Americans - 80% of whom are women. For years, researchers have been looking for ways to slow or stop the onset of this often-debilitating disease. More and more research is being conducted on polyphenols and the benefits of consuming them. Polyphenols are naturally-occuring compounds found in foods and beverages such as chocolate, red wine, and green tea; they are considered to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Scientists at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center recently published a study showing that postmenopausal women had improved bone health markers after six months of daily doses of green tea polyphenols. Read the full article here.
Also related, a new analysis was published on the comparison of green tea to green tea-based dietary supplements. The conclusion? They are NOT the same. The report states that several of the sampled supplements showed marked degradation of catechins and flavonoids. Dr. Pei Chen, a researcher, commented, "The claim that a green tea dietary supplement is a good alternative for tea leaves is questionable from a chemical composition point of view." See, drinking green tea really IS a good thing.
Source: Journal of AOAC International: A Non-targeted Approach to Chemical Discrimination Between Green Tea Dietary Supplements and Green Tea Leaves by HPLC/MS
4/5/11 4:28 PM
Today marks the Qing Ming (Pure Brightness) Festival in China's eastern Jiangsu province. The festival is a centuries-old celebration of remembrance and spring, marking the beginning of the spring tea harvest. Tea harvested before this date has long been renowned for its lighter and more subtle aroma than those picked after the festival. Enjoy a cup of this wonderful tea today.
Growers are anticipating a good harvest this year, compared to the reduced production last year due to drought and cold weather. That's good news for all us lovers of Dragon Well.
3/31/11 6:00 PM
On another sunny note, the Sikkim Assembly passed a resolution favoring the creation of the state of Gorkhaland. Celebrations rang throughout the Darjeeling hills as the news was spread.
3/29/11 6:00 PM
Shipments of India's prized Darjeeling teas have been disrupted since March 4 due to labor disputes between worker unions and the tea gardens. At issue are workers' demands for higher wages (some 100% and more).
Of concern to many is the state of the Darjeeling First Flush harvest. Some of the harvest made it out of India before the uprisings, but most did not. Demand for this "champagne of teas" has always been high during the Easter holiday, and this year will be no different.
There is also political unrest in support of a movement to divide the state of West Bengal to create the state of Gorkhaland. While this movement has been around since the 1980's, there is no indication that the government wants to involve itself in this fight for political reasons. Meanwhile, it is not uncommon to hear about another "bandh" (Hindu word meaning "closed" and describing a form of protest used by political activists). Strikes have seen all shipments of samples and tea leaves come to a halt. There were even reports of tourists fleeing the hills to avoid harassment and local parents concerned for the safety of their children in school.
3/23/11 6:00 PM
3/17/11 5:07 PM
We're all heartbroken over what's happening in Japan. We've also had several questions about the state of Japanese tea farms. Most of Japan's tea growers are located in the southern areas, and received little impact from the tsunami. However, with the loss off power plants and significant damage to transportation, many farmers are concerned about the upcoming harvest. There is also concern over the nuclear explosions and if/how it will affect the tea crop. It's still too early to tell. Click here to read the article. We will certainly keep you posted.
Again, please consider donating to the American Red Cross.
3/12/11 11:38 AM
We've all heard the heartbreaking news about the recent devastation in Japan - the home of centuries-old tea culture and cultivation. To help, we are donating to the Red Cross 20% of sales of our Japanese teas. Whether you choose our genmaicha, houjicha, kukicha, or sencha, know that you are helping a population in serious need.
If you'd prefer to make a direct donation, please go to the Red Cross website and make a contribution.
3/9/11 9:29 AM
We've all heard that green tea is loaded with high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, and it is even suggested that these compounds may help fight numerous conditions from eczema to cancer. Now, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), drinking green tea may also help keep cholesterol levels in check by protecting the body against blood fats, which contribute to high cholesterol.
On that note, I think I'll head to the kitchen and brew another cup of Sencha (which is on sale this month, btw).
3/2/11 9:50 PM
It's March again, one of our favorite months! Not only is spring right around the corner, but it's also time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day - and our founder's birthday (who is 1/2 Irish to boot!). To celebrate such a festive month, all our green teas in the 3 ounce size are 10% off for the entire month. Erin go Bragh!!
3/1/11 12:05 AM
For as far back as I can remember, animals have always been a part of my family. They have been a source of unconditional love and comfort, not to mention wellsprings of laughter and fond memories. For those and other reasons, we wanted to highlight the admirable work done by the staff of the Humane Society of Utah. From spay/neuter services to adoptions and outreach programs, they do so much with so little - and since they are not affiliated with the National Humane Society and receive no money from the state or county, it is vitally important that we support their work. I hope you will join us in supporting this outstanding organization. As our featured charity, the Humane Society of Utah will receive 7% of this month’s net sales on the Tea Zaanti website.
2/26/11 9:00 AM
The search for the fountain of youth has been timeless, and a study by London's Kingston University may show that Ponce de Lyon's quest wasn't in vain. According to this study, if Ponce de Léon were alive today, he could have simply brewed a cup of our Bai Mu Dan or Bai Hao Silver Needle! White tea, the least processed of any tea, and therefore the closest to the true essence of the leaf, has been shown to contain high levels of anti-oxidants as well as anti-aging potential. "Results showed white tea prevented the activities of the enzymes which breakdown elastin and collagen which can lead to wrinkles that accompany ageing." The study also suggests white tea may be beneficial in fighting inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Brew up a cup while you read the full article here.
Our thanks to Liat G for sharing this with us.
2/9/11 12:45 PM
There is troubling news for all our Assam fans: rising temperatures and declining rainfall have reduced the annual production of tea from India's Assam region by 13% in the last three years alone. Read the full article here. As always, we will strive to bring you the best teas available and will contain prices as best we can. Sadly, it seems this is going to be the rule for all teas in the foreseeable future.
1/29/11 5:00 PM
Welcome to the first Tea Zaanti Book Review. Many of us love to drink tea throughout the day while doing many different activities, but one of our favorites is curling up in a comfy chair with a good book. So brew yourself a cup, find that cozy spot, and check out this entertaining book.
Death By Darjeeling by Laura Childs.
This is the delightful first book in a mystery series, where we are introduced to some new friends: Theodosia Browning, Clayton Conneley, and Haley Parker. Theodosia is the owner of The Indigo Tea Shop, Clayton is her right hand man, and Haley bakes all of the wonderful creations that you will read about – so enticing that you almost smell the scones baking as you read.
The story begins as preparations are underway for the Lamplighter Tour in the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina. The evening is going along smoothly until a blood-curdling scream is heard and dishes crash to the ground. One of the city's well-known citizens is found dead and appears to have been poisoned. A tipped over teacup and suddenly it doesn't look good for our new friends. Was the tea poisoned? What will people think of the Indigo Tea Shop? What of Theodosia's reputation? And, who did it? Join Theodosia and her friends as they “Miss Marple” their way through this charming mystery. It will keep you guessing until the very end.
The only disappointing part of my read was that I didn't have any of Haley's wonderful baked goodies at my fingertips. One great surprise was a bonus tea-inspired recipe found at the end of the book. I won't give it away, but it sounds like a perfect summer hors d'oeuvre.
All in all, it was a fun and enjoyable read. I look forward to the next story.
To learn more about the author and other books she has written, visit her webpage.
1/5/11 5:00 PM
We know you're all clever, but are you feeling lucky? Due to overwhelming response these past couple months, we have decided to keep our White Christmas blend as a staple in our lineup. While we love the name - and we're fond of "Christmas in July" parties - we're looking for a new moniker that is less seasonal. That's where you come in. We're running a contest to see who can best name this beloved blend. The contest is open to everyone with a creative spirit, whether you've tried the tea or not (for those who haven't, you can find a brief description here ). The winner will receive a 3 ounce pouch of White Christmas and another of his/her choosing. To enter, submit your entries/suggestions here. Enter as often as you wish. Contest closes January 31, 2011.
12/3/10 2:12 PM
I spent some time at the Utah Food Bank today - and I was extremely humbled. From their participation in the Emergency Food Network (125 sites statewide), to the Mobile Food Pantry, to their Food Box Program (monthly food boxes to low-income, homebound seniors), the Utah Food Bank does an amazing job of providing services to Utah's needy population. While it's shocking to learn that Utah ranks fourth-highest nationwide in food insecurity, it is nice to know organizations like the Utah Food Bank are out there helping.
We're proud to support the Utah Food Bank and want to remind you that 7% of tea sales through the end of the year are donated to them. Since every $1 donation provides $7 worth of services, that's the equivalent of $0.49 for every dollar spent in our store. Together,we can make a huge difference in many people's lives.>
Stay warm, and Happy Holidays!
10/14/10 4:24 PM
Wow! We love tea, but can you imagine 1000 GALLONS of tea? In one cup?! Kudo's to Sri Lanka for its new standing in the Guinness Book of World Records. It will take some doing to best that record! Click here to read the full article.
10/1/10 3:19 AM
I just saw an old episode of "Monk" last night and realized how much I miss that quirky show. I especially appreciated Monk's fondness for round numbers - and how much rounder could you get than ten, ten, ten, ten - or 10/10/10/10? In celebration of our inner quirkiness, we're offering 10% off all purchases on our website on October 10, 2010. I know Adrian would approve. Hand-wipe, anyone?
9/29/10 3:15 PM
We all know that exercise is one of the best ways to lose weight but. let's face it, we don't always do what's good for us. Now, there is good news for those of us less apt to have a gym membership: what you DRINK can help you lose weight!
Most of us are familiar with Dr. Mehmet Oz, the charming and knowledgeable Director of New York Presbyterian's Cardiovascular Institute - and daytime TV health guru. On a recent episode of "The Dr. Oz Show," he addressed the issue of mid-life weight gain, and one of his recommended metabolism boosters was…drinking oolong tea! According to Dr. Oz, "research shows that your metabolism will be raised for 2 hours after every cup of Oolong." We have always enjoyed our oolong teas (especially the Bao Zhong), and now there's even more to love! That's the kind of weight lifting we can all enjoy. Read the full article here.
9/22/10 2:21 PM
We love our tea, not only for the taste and the small reprieve it brings from our hectic world, but also for the many benefits it offers - and it seems they are finding more and more reasons to love this beverage every day. I recently came across another study that illustrates that there is more to tea than the leaf. If you or someone you know has had a stroke, or have advanced risks for strokes, please read and share this information.
Strokes are the second most common cause of death globally as well as a major cause of disability, with up to 20 million strokes occurring annually. According to a study by UCLA, increasing one's consumption of tea to three cups per day reduces the risk of stroke by as much as 21 percent. Click here to read more.
8/3/10 5:13 PM
Earlier this week, the Huffington Post published an article by the well-known Dr. Andrew Weil - a huge proponent of integrative medicine and healthy living. A wonderful endorsement for our beloved leaf. Read the full article here. You can also find out more about Dr. Weil and his work by clicking here.
7/31/10 9:34 AM
We love tea and we love helping others in need, but this time we need your help. We pride ourselves on offering some of the best teas out there, but we want to hear from you. Your feedback and opinions are extremely important; not only do they help us evaluate the teas we carry, but they also help us determine which teas you want to see offered. Please take a couple minutes to let us know what you think; simply register/sign in to your account, browse to whichever tea(s), and click the link to submit a review.
As our way of saying thank you, we are offering 10% off the next purchase to each customer who submits one or more reviews. To take advantage of this offer, use the code REVIEWER10 in your shopping cart; for you locals, or anyone ordering directly through the company rather than the website, simply remind us when placing your order. Offer expires 8/30/10.
7/24/10 11:56 AM
I have heard from numerous people lately that it's just too hot to drink tea. I find this amazing, considering the majority of tea consumed in the US is iced. That got me to thinking about people's perceptions of tea; are we so entrenched in our preferences that we can't even consider "looking outside the bag"?
Many of the people I know drink hot tea all day long; they won't even consider iced tea. Then there are the "icers" I know who think hot tea is too stuffy. Me? I'm right in the middle. I love a hot cup of Ceylon in the morning, with its warm honey notes and the right amount of pick-me-up to jump-start my morning. I will then turn around that afternoon and ice it, enjoying a smooth, refreshing cup to quench my thirst. Both forms have their appeal for me, and I appreciate the subtle differences between the two.
To satisfy my own curiosity, I did a little experiment a couple weeks ago. I provided the tea for a local yarn shop's celebration. For something different, I decided to make a pu'erh/herbal blend and, wanting people to assume it was the standard iced tea fare, I did not put any labels on the iced tea. I got many positive comments on the tea - and even more when I told them what it was (I was especially surprised when some adamant hot tea lovers professed a liking for this iced blend). Some people were so bold as to tell me they would not have tried it had they known what it was - but were pleasantly surprised by the combination of flavors. In the end, it did confirm my suspicion that people are generally afraid to try new things, but when they do, they are fairly open to the new experience.
So, go ahead and live a little. Mix it up!
6/30/10 5:11 PM
With summer now officially here, I am frequently asked how to brew iced tea. I like to start by reminding people that you can "ice" any tea or tisane, so whether you enjoy black, green, white, oolong, pu'erh, or herbal, you can enjoy it iced, too. This is especially good to know for anyone interested in enjoying a cool, refreshing no/low-calorie beverage without caffeine (our tisanes are amazing iced). I've also noticed that icing often exposes new levels of taste in tea that I hadn't noticed before. It's like falling in love all over again.
While I have my preferred method for making iced tea, there are several ways of doing this. In all cases, start with the recommended amount of tea for the number of servings held in the container, but feel free to adjust the amount of tea to suit your taste.
Probably the most popular method is that of using twice the amount of tea leaves than what you normally use to brew it hot. No change is made in the time, just the amount of leaf. The freshly-brewed liquor is then poured directly over a glass full of ice. Very simple, very fast.
Another method involves steeping twice the amount of leaf in one-half the amount of water needed for a regular serving. This liquor is then poured into a shaker filled with ice and served up James Bond-style. Again, fairly simple - and great fun.
You may also cold brew your tea. Simply place the tea (one heaping teaspoon per serving) in some sort of infuser or large tea bag made specifically for this and place it in a container filled with water. Allow this to sit 8 hours or overnight. Some people throw the leaves directly into the water and then strain it when done. I don't cold brew very often, but I do notice the tea seems more mellow in flavor, if that is a consideration for you. Bottom line - virtually no work and very smooth.
So, what's my preferred method? Well, I love to take advantage of tea's amazing steep-ability. I brew my tea in the usual "hot" manner, using a 1 liter French press. For most teas, I steep it three or four times, adding between 30 to 60 seconds for each subsequent steep, and pour the liquor into a large pitcher; I let that cool a bit and then place it in the refrigerator. Voila! Yes, this can be time consuming - and you have to plan ahead - but I love the ritual of brewing tea, so it's a very pleasant pastime for me.
Whichever method you use - even when brewing a normal cup of hot tea - don't forget to recycle your tea leaves. Your garden or compost pile will love you for it.
Here's to a cool and refreshing summer.
6/30/10 10:21 AM
While surfing online recently, I came across a video about Fair Trade in the tea industry. The video, "The Bitter Taste of Tea: A Journey Into the World of Fair Trade" is a European production that documents visits to both traditional and fair trade tea estates - with some very unsettling and worrisome results. The film raises several questions about the efficacy of the Fair Trade movement - the use of the Fair Trade premiums, in particular. While surely many of the certified tea estates do adhere to the guidelines of Fair Trade, there are obviously some out there that do not - and, like apples, one or two rotten ones can spoil the bunch.
We all choose to drink tea for different reasons, whether it be cultural, health-related, or purely for enjoyment, but I think we can all agree that those who harvest and process this leaf are entitled to a fair wage for their hard work. I believe Fair Trade is a grand and noble concept, and I'm sure it does benefit the workers in most cases - but I have lingering doubts about the program after watching this documentary. Understandably, it is a large undertaking to monitor every tea estate seeking Fair Trade certification and, until adherence can be better policed, we have chosen to not jump on the bandwagon.
We firmly believe in paying fair wages and improving the lives and living conditions of every worker in the tea supply chain; that is why we strongly believe in direct trade tea. We purchase our teas from suppliers who work closely with the tea farmers and processors. By dealing directly with the source, we can be sure that the full purchase price, including any premium, goes directly to the grower and processor, not to cover operating costs of some large organization. Another benefit of direct trade is that it assures certain teas are authentic; for instance, we can proudly say our Bi Lo Chun is origin-authentic because it can be traced back to a grower from the East West Mountain in China (the true origin of Bi Lo Chun).
In all aspects of our business, Tea Zaanti strives to make life a little better with every cup. While we do not currently sell Fair Trade tea, we applaud Fair Trade for its mission. We want people to be aware that there are many tea farms out there that treat their works well and pay fair wages but are not Fair Trade certified. We will continue to work with our suppliers to offer high-quality direct trade teas, and we're confident you'll love them as much as we do. Wherever you decide to buy your tea, please consider the impact that purchase has - from the taste in your cup all the way back to the life of the grower.
The bottom line: Drink tea because you like it. Get to know it. And don't judge a tea by its label.
6/24/10 4:51 PM
A new study from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research "supports the idea that the antioxidants in tea may be beneficial against cancer in humans." Dr. Christina Nagle, leader of this particular study, stated "results indicate that drinking more than four cups a day of black, green or herbal tea may reduce ovarian cancer risk by almost 30%.” It was further noted that "drinking one or more cups green (emphasis added) tea per day may reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer by 40%.” Read the article here.
5/25/10 4:44 PM
What's in your cup? Men's Health just came out with a list entitled "America's Best & Worst "Health" Drinks. It's really no longer a surprise to see all the sugars and other additives in our supermarket shelves, but to see them in supposedly "healthy" drinks? You can be sure that when you drink teas and tisanes from Tea Zaanti, you are getting all the benefits of tea without all the additives. So go ahead, brew a cup - and don't feel guilty adding a bit of honey or sugar; it's still a fraction of what some companies are trying to pass off as "good for you." Read the article here.
5/19/10 1:10 PM
A new study claims green tea may fight type 2 diabetes. Click here to read more. How about some Dragonwell?
5/18/10 1:04 PM
Well, it's been a long journey, but here we are, finally - online. What began more than a year ago as a research project for a friend has morphed into Tea Zaanti.com. We designed the new website to reflect our core beliefs of simplicity, serenity, and charity, and we hope you agree. So, brew yourself a cup of tea, sit back, and browse our site. We'd love to hear what you think - about the site, the tea, tea-related stories or studies, anything. We'd also appreciate you spreading the word and helping us promote peace one cup at a time. See you soon.