Friday, June 8, 2012

Stress Relief & Sonnentor tea "Relaxing Herbal Spice Tea"

I know this one has been a long time coming but between getting ready for a wedding, trying to organize a move and dealing with the first stages of a PhD my mind has been blown the last few weeks :) which brings me to the topic of this post, namely the stress relieving properties of tea.

OK normally I am an anxious creature anyway and I have a very good imagination.  Forget molehills I live among mountains and try as I might to hide this fact from the vast majority of the world I can't quite pull off  being cool. I'm more fire then water and my coping mechanism is to charge at something and bash it into submission. "Wapaa: take that to-do -list"! 

So how does one cope with stress. There are a million different ways! Some people meditate, some people do yoga, some people write blogs :) and some people tell what ever it is that is stressing them out to take a running jump. Seriously anything that involves a good dose of dopamine and adrenaline seem to be a good fix for me(hence the ex-smoker bit). If I am not too lazy to follow through then an evening at the gym, going for a walk/run or possibly some form of martial art   works wonders. Another route to take would  be some life affirming extreme sport (my personal favorite being white water rafting as I haven't quite worked up the courage to jump off a bridge with what is essentially a giant rubber band attached to my ankles). 

However I have come to realize that while my charge up the hill approach to pretty much everything is a good plan for short term projects if you use the fight mechanism to get through everything eventually you end up wrecked. Also somethings in life need detail, precision and patience and if you are a hot headed charger who fights their way to the end you often miss the details and sometimes the pleasure in the journey.  So I have been trying to readdress this balance by going for the more meditative arts. 

My attempt to find quieter ways of stress relief includes both yoga and tea making. Yoga because I really don't have the patience to meditate yet and yoga is something active that promotes meditation. And tea drinking for two very different reasons: Firstly there is the act of making tea and secondly you can make a tea from plants with calming properties.  

The act of making tea relieves stress for a number of reasons but primarily it gets you the hell away from whatever is frustrating the hell out of you. Seriously next time you are working on a problem and you find yourself blocked, instead of trying to push through it, get up and make yourself a cup of tea. Think about the question and the problem but run it in the background as you devote some of your brain power to boiling the water and brewing the tea. Relax, try to let it go and have a drink. Then return to your desk and see if you can tackle the problem more objectively. Maybe you just need to go around the problem, look something up or ask someone. Whatever it is that you need to do getting a bit of distance will help you tackle it. 

There are many plants know for their calming properties particularly Jasmine, lavender and Camomile are the ones that spring to mind on the spot. Both Jasmine and Lavender are known for the soothing and sedative properties of their aroma. 

Jasmine tea is consumed in China, where it is called jasmine-flower tea (茉莉花茶; pinyin: mò lì huā chá). Jasmine tea often uses green tea or oolong tea as a base.

The lavenders (botanic name Lavandula) is a genus of 39 species of flowering plants in the mint family. It has a strong effect and is mostly useful through aroma therapy. It comes with a few health cautions and personally I find it intoxicating in both the good and bad sense of the word. In the good sense used mildly  it will help me sleep. Overuse of it however overpowers and feels suffocating. It is definately a plant I will return to later in this blog. 

Camomile is a common name for several daisy-like plants of the family Asteraceae and are best known for their ability to be made into an infusion which is commonly used to help with sleep and is often served with either honey or lemon. It is recommended that pregnant women don't drink it however as it may cause contractions.

The tea I have tried from Sonnentor entitled "Relaxing Herbal Spice Tea", includes lemon balm, sage, lavender, parsley, fennel and marigold. I found that this tea did not have a strong flavor and mostly what I could taste was the fennel and sage.Common sage is grown in parts of Europe for distillation of an essential oil,  As a kitchen herb, sage has a slight peppery flavor. I did not find it had a particularly relaxing effect however although this may be influenced by how keyed up I was when I drank it. For relaxation I normally rely on Jasmine tea as I find Jasmine not as pungent as Lavender and tastier then camomile. My recommendation would be to find a nice green tea with jasmine flowers if you wish to relax. I would also recommend loose tea rather then a teabag. Take you time brewing the tea. Boil the water, prepare the teapot, sit comfortably and sip the tea from a small cup. Make it a 10min relaxation ritual that allows you to breath and take in the smell and flavor slowly. Root yourself in the present while enjoying your Jasmine tea and breath. 


Friday, May 11, 2012

Sonnentor organic tea-Guardian Angel Tea

My friend Ellen posted me a packet of Sonnentor organic tea to enjoy :) She writes in the accompanying letter that the box of tea bags amounts to 20 new blog posts.  I am going to take that as a challenge and give it a go.  

Cheerfully some of the teas have delightful names such as  "Guardian Angel Spice-Fruit Tea" and  "it's all good! Sweet  Dreams" Which makes me think of your world tour microfiction Ellen and seriously tempts me  :) 

For to-day however  I am going to content myself with describing  Schutzengel Gewurz Fruchteteemischung or as it is translated on the packet Guardian Angel Spice Fruit Tea.   With a name like that it has a lot to live up to. 

 It definitely will lift your spirits and your pulse as it contains apple pieces, coriander, fennel, rosehip, spearmint(without menthol), anise, lemon balm and cornflowers. This is a tea that will blast the demon out of you. Almost hot, it really wakes you up. Fennel, lemon balm anise and spearmint pack the punch and refreshes. However I really don't get a fruity vibe from this tea nor does the coriander really hit home.  I would argue that "Guardian Angel spiced fruit tea" is not entirely the most apt label. "Kick ass, zombie killer" is probably much more apt. This is a tea I would drink to help bust a cold or if  I  really need to put my brain to work. 

Fennel  is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses, and, along with the similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Fennel contains anethole, which may explain some of its medical effects. Anethole which is an organic compound  is 13 times sweeter then sugar and has potent antimicrobial properties working against bacteria, yeast, and fungi. You can grow fennel quite easily and brew a tea from the fresh leaves or you can dry them and save them for later.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Blooming Tea-Flowering Tea

Blooming tea or flowering tea is one of the most beautiful ways to have tea. Blooming tea is made to emulate a flower blooming  and consists of a tea ball made of dried green tea that "blooms" as it absorbs water. Normally they are hand tied bundles and quite time consuming to make. I have included here a link to a video by teaposy who sell blooming tea to give you some idea of the different effects achieved by different flowers. 

According to the Wiki flowers commonly used in flowering teas include globe amaranth, chrysanthemum, jasmine, lily, hibiscus, and osmanthus. My favorite are the  jasmine ones as there is a delicate floral flavor and scent to the tea. Jasmine tea is also particularly renowned for it's relaxing qualities. I received a gift-set of blooming tea a couple of years ago from Teavana which is one of the nicest teashops around for gorgeous tea related gifts.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Barrys Tea Recipes

Barrys tea have put some tea recipes on their website which look enticing.  Here is an example that looks tasty, haven't tried it myself yet though:) If you have any good tea recipes you would like to share I would really like to hear them  

Barry's Lemon and Ginger Noodle Soup


8 Lemon and Ginger Tea Bags
800ml of Chicken stock
4 Chicken Breasts or 500g of pork steak
A 2inch sized piece of ginger finely grated
Juice of a lemon
200g of fine egg noodles
4 Scallions finely sliced


Cut the chicken or pork into thin strips and marinade in the ginger and lemon juice for a few hours.
Place the tea bags in a large saucepan and add 120ml of boiling water and leave to infuse for half an hour.
In a separate frying pan, fry your meat until crispy.
When the tea has infused add the stock and season with salt and papper. Put on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove the tea bags and add the noodles. Cook for two minute or until the noodles are soft.
To serve, divide the soup between four bowls, sprinkle with the meat and finely sliced scallions and enjoy.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Laying the groundwork for the decade ahead

I mentioned in the introduction that I also wanted this site to include stories, words of wisdom and generally the stuff you might chat about over a cup of tea so I have decided to do a short post on my motivation for starting this blog. 

I  remember being told in my early 20's that what you are doing now is laying the groundwork for your health in the next decade. While I didn't have a crazy lifestyle, I had the unfortunate belief that quiting smoking and thinking seriously about my health could wait a little longer. I was of course aware that I might someday become ill or that smoking would eventually catch up with me but it was so far off I didn't really truly consider it.  It was only when  I was unlucky enough be hit with a pulmonary embolism on a return flight from Japan in 2006 that the implications of some of my choices really hit home. 
At the time the sense of shock was like running into a brick wall. I was confronted with the very real fact that I was not invincible after all and that willpower alone is not the only thing that holds a person together. Some major changes had to be made and looking back in some ways I am glad that this happened to me earlier in life because it made me stand up and pay attention to myself physically. As a person who overvalues the mind I was forced out of my head and back into my body.

They say a journey of 1000 miles  begins with a single step. This is daunting enough when you were expecting to take a trip, when you suddenly find yourself dumped in the middle of a vast unknown land and the journey to bring you home is much longer then you ever dreamed possible, then you begin to realize just how hard it is to change even the smallest thing about your behavior. The best thing that can be done for a while is to focus on your feet and to start walking. So that is what I did. It's been almost 6 years down and the journey still continues. I am out of the woods for what initially triggered my journey   but I am forever changed. I will always carry the risk even after quitting smoking but I hope I have learned to turn it for the most part into something that fuels me to appreciate life and not as something that holds me back. 

My love of tea has always been there but throughout the last 6 years it has taken on a deeper meaning, It has come to be a part of my journey to better health and helped me appreciate the little things that make a big difference. It has served as a way to create space for myself in a very busy world and helped distract me whenever an urge to smoke was threatening my desire to quit. This blog is part of my journey and I welcome you to it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tea song by the McGetigans

My good friend Jenni passed this on to me to-day and it really brightened up my day. So good I had to share it here!!! Check it out 

A song about Tea. By Irish band The McGetigans. "We like tea!"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Genmaicha aka Popcorn Tea

I was offered a cup of Genmaicha by a teacher at a school were I was teaching in Shizuoka and I absolutely loved it. Genmaicha is one of my all time favourite teas. 

 Most Genmaicha is made of Bancha(coarse tea) that is stronger tasting and sometimes bitter.  Toasted brown rice (genmai) is added which gives it a nutty  flavour. I  now affectionately called it by it's nickname "the popcorn tea". The reason it is nicknamed the popcorn tea is because during roasting the rice sometimes pops resembling popcorn. 

According to the wiki a steeping time of 3–5 minutes is recommended, depending on desired strength and the source of the tea - some sources recommend as little as one minute of brewing time. On a more social note this tea is sometimes know as the "peoples tea" as it was often cheaper as a result of the rice. 

Genmaicha really makes me smile because I feel like I am being naughty when I am actually being really good to my body. For those who are trying to cut down on carbohydrates I find that the roasted rice feels really satisfying as it tastes to me a little bit like a nutty bread. 

 The health benefits include all the benefits of green tea with claims that it also helps metabolism(I will look into this a bit better to see if there is substance to it) and judging by the amount of information out there first impressions are that it is also a very popular tea.  

Genmaicha is a great introductory green tea, it eases you into the sometimes bitter flavor of green tea as the rice warms it all up. I recommend it if you are just starting to explore the world of tea or if you are just looking to aid your health but have until now found green tea a bit of a leap.  For those of you who are avid green tea fans this one is a delightfully relaxed and tasty bit of fun.

Genmaicha should be available at most good tea shops but it is also available blended with matcha as a teabag from yamamotoyama of America or from amazon for $3.99. Also you can find it at for $30.00 which seems expensive however a little higher quality.  Delicious stuff and just for fun here is the song that pops into my head whenever I think of this tea. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Shizuoka Tea

Several years ago I have the great fortune of working as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) in Japan. I lived in a city called Shizuoka which is located about 172km from Tokyo.  

Shizuoka prefecture is famous for several things, not least for having Mt. Fuji sit on its border with Yamanashi.  Shizuoka is  also famous for onsens (hot springs) and of course for its green tea. (It was also the home of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the  first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868.)

The quality of the green tea grown in Shizuoka is very high and almost half of all the green tea consumed in Japan is produced in the Shizuoka region. 

According to Wiki varieties of green tea such as Motoyama and Yabukita are grown in all corners of Shizuoka city, and the varieties grown  in the Warashina area in Aoi Ward and the Ryōgōchi area of Shimizu Ward are especially well regarded. 

I may be  a bit bias here but if you are looking for a high quality green tea, Shizuoka tea is the way to go. There are many websites dedicated exclusively to green tea from the area such as Shizuoka To learn more about Shizuoka itself & Japan in general you can also check out this travel site. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Masala Chai

This is absolutely one of my favourite  ways to have tea. Masala Chai is absolutely gorgeous. It has this wonderful creamy texture mixed with the warming glow of spices.What is so great about this class of tea is that it can be different every time you drink it. Traditionally there is no fixed recipe  and you can adjust it to suit your tastes. It is made up of a few basic components that are easy to find in your local supermarket. All you need is a black tea (such as Assam or Ceylon), milk, a sweetener of some kind  and warm spices such as cinnamon cardamon & ginger. 

The milk is usually full fat to add creaminess however you can use lower fat milk. Sometimes condensed milk is used to act as a sweetener. The sugar can be any kind including brown, white, honey, syrup. While sugar can be left out some spices work better with it.Spices such as cloves and nutmeg can also be added. Allspice is also a nice shortcut and works well. This is definably one where there is no set rules to the combinations and flavors you add. 

The method of preparing it is also different everywhere you go but a good rule of thumb is that you need to release the tannin in the tea. You must boil or simmer the ingredients together  for a while but also you need to be careful not to burn the milk. The solid tea and spice residues are strained off  before serving. 

There are so many recipes out there for chai it is difficult to choose only one so I have decided to give you a good link to a chai recipe website which has a recipe to suit all tastes and will  help you to get started with preparing this delicious drink the way you like it. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Greek Mountain Tea

My friends at the office introduced me to Greek mountain tea the other day and I have to say I was well impressed. The tea had a very pleasing flavour with a satisfying body and with a bit of honey added it was a warming and very refreshing drink. 

Greek mountain tea is made  using the dried leaves and flowers of Sideritis plants (ironwort). and according to  is aptly named as the plant is to be found on rocky slopes at elevations over 3,200 feet (1000 meters).  Serving suggestions given include serving  Mountain Tea at breakfast or before retiring at night, with  (black) olives, feta cheese, and crusty bread.

It is also believed to have medicinal proprieties and it  is said to have a positive effect on almost any ailment. It is used for colds, respiratory problems, digestion, the immune system, and even for mild anxiety. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory and to reduce fever. 

According to the wiki on Greek mountain tea, scientific studies carried out mainly in countries where the plant is native suggest that there is a high degree of truth to claims of its  healing properties. Sideritis is known scientifically to be anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and as an anti-oxidant. Active elements include diterpenoids flavonoids, and its essential oils.

It may be worth checking out your local pharmacy or speciality tea shop as they may stock some. You can also find it online from Mountain Tea for 9€ per 100gr. This site also provides a nice video on how to prepare the tea. Or it can be found at 
An all round tea that boosts your health-this is definately one to try. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Selling Tea to China

I spotted an interesting news story the other day - a Scottish businesswoman, Anita Crook, has managed to sell tea to China.

This makes me very curious about Ms. Crook's business, Jenier World of Teas. They stock an excellent mix of black, herbal, fruit, oolong, white and green teas, as well as rooibos and flowering teas. But even so, how did they manage to sell tea to China?

Anita Crook says “Never in my life did I think I would be selling tea to China. It is known around the world as the place from where the first cuppa originated – the home of tea, if you will [ . . . ] But I was told by this company that they like the aromatised type and struggle to get the kind of higher quality flavoured tea I stock in their own country.”

Jenier World of Teas has only been in business for three years and they have already achieved the impossible! Prior to starting her business, anita Crook was a plain-clothes investigator for Customs & Excise in the UK. I'd say she would be an interesting person to chat to over a cup of tea!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Emigration, Care Packages & Irish Tea

Seeing as how this weekend is the weekend it is. I figured it would be important to do homage to my home  & to the tea I drink the most. The stuff I love! The stuff of lazy afternoons reading good books or chatting with friends. The black stuff that isn't Guinness. In short this post pays homage to strong black Irish Tea.

Imagine my delight this week when I arrived home to find a large brown envelope :) sitting outside my door.  It contained the essentials for survival as an Irish person abroad; a tin of Cadbury's hot chocolate with a bag of marshmallows on the side, a small gift  and most importantly a box of Barry's tea. 

Now I have lived abroad before and have learned the all important American  term "Care Package". Interestingly enough according to Wikipedia  CARE package  was the original unit of aid distributed by the humanitarian organization CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere).  This has since become know to me as a way to send someone something from home that they are missing in order to ease any of the following; a serious bout of homesickness, cravings for sweets you haven't eaten since you were a child and an uncontrollable desire to read  anything written in your native language that wasn't bought from or isn't available on the Internet. 

Also I have received Care Packages from friends I have met abroad when I had returned home. Most of my really nice green tea has come to me via a good friend of mine still living in Japan. This is doubly awesome as it reinforces a nostalgia for all the new & wonderful experiences you had in a country different to your own.  

However there is a difference of course between leaving to live abroad in a country because you want to experience a new culture & emigrating. Ireland is a country that has suffered way too much from emigration. It is a terribly sad fact of Irish history that a large proportion of its people now live abroad. The history of the  Irish abroad is fascinating & way too long a story to go into fully here but in a nutshell it has defined what it means to be Irish in many ways. 

I remember as a child writing essays on emigration. When the Celtic Tiger got into full swing I was still in secondary school & college, watching the essay topics change to immigration. Sadly those essays on emigration came in handy in the end. 

Nowadays Emigration is not the death sentence it was as regards your connection to your home. Phones, email, cheap plane flights and the internet have made it easier then ever to stay in touch. Plus I think in my case anyway I definately think I will return home. Still nothing beats a care package & mine would not be complete without a box of Barry's.
So here is the run down of two of the Irish teas described by the Irish Times this week.

There are two main rivals in the market as regards tea in Ireland and they are of course Barry's Tea & Lyon's Tea. Most people stick by one or the other but I personally like them both. Both are blended black teas. Both have a wonderful golden colour when brewed correctly & both have a strong flavour. They are what I reach for when I want to function in the morning. According to the Irish Times &  Barry's website the teas used in their blend come from the Assam Valley of India, Kenya and Rwanda. According to their website, Lyon's teas are "grown in plantations all over the world, in countries like Kenya & Indonesia". 

Both companies were founded at the turn of the last century, one in Cork & one in Dublin. By their own reckoning Barry's has cornered about  40% of all tea sales in Ireland with the Irish market being worth about  €78 million (not bad for a country of approx 4million). In short Irish people drink a hell of a lot of tea so if you really want to do something Irish on Paddy's day enjoy a nice cuppa inbetween your whiskeys :P 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Green Tea & Weight Loss

So as regards those words of wisdom promised; in this short post I will start small. One of the key pieces of advice I've read time & time again is to be sure that you are properly hydrated.

Water is of course the first response in staying hydrated, particularly on the run.  However if drinking the prerequisite liter of water just isn’t floating your boat  :P then one very nice alternative is green tea. The joy of it is that you can mix it up by using other ingredients with  a good green tea as a base. This allows you to meet one of the other hard and fast rules of dieting and that is to keep variety in your food and to keep adding different  flavours. In my case anyway, boredom is always death to a diet.

How tea aids weight loss is a question I am going to explore throughout this blog. This involves a fair bit of research so I will work through it, as well as providing my own tips and  inviting you to share yours.  If there is anything in particular you want me to look up, just give me a shout.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Tohoku Earthquake & Tsunami Anniversary Events

This time last year I was at the airport preparing to board a plane to Seattle to attend the wedding of two good friends of mine who I had met during my year teaching English in Japan.  While I was in Seattle the terrible news of the Japanese Tsunami broke and my heart did several flip flops. I was so glad that the majority of my friends based in Japan were in Seattle for the wedding and safe. I was also relieved that the Tsunami did not directly hit the area I had lived in. However I was also horrified by the destruction I saw. One of the reasons this blog exists is because of my stay in Japan and I want to dedicate this post to events that are taking place this weekend in Ireland to  mark the one year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan on 11th March, 2011. 
 This information can be found on the Irish JET Alumni Association IJETAA website

Plum Blossom Tsunami Anniversary Concert
The proceeds from the event will go through Aid Japan for Children to the Midori no Tohoku Genki Programme to support emotionally scarred young survivors of the disaster.

Date: Sunday 11 March 2012
Time: 3.30pm
Venue: Pepper Canister (St. Stephen’s) Church, Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2 (
Tickets: €24 (€20 per ticket for groups of 20 or more) from  or contact /087 191 2571    

The concert will feature soprano Mari Moriya, counter-tenor Daichi Fujiki, and Takeshi Moriuchi on piano.  For further information see

Handel’s Messiah
A performance of Handel’s Messiah by the all-female Toyo Eiwa Jogakuin Choir from Japan, in aid of the relief effort in the areas of northern Japan devastated by last year’s earthquake and tsunami.

This event is presented by Music & Cultural Exchange Center International, Inc., a Japanese organisation dedicated to bringing Japanese music to the world stage.

Date: Sunday, 11 March 2012
Time: 8.00pm (doors 7.30pm)
Venue: St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8 (
Admission: free of charge, donation boxes will be available at the venue
Information: / 01 420 0580

The choir will be conducted by acclaimed Japanese conductor Hideyuki Tsuji, with solo performances by soprano Eri Nakamura and bass Yasunori Okumura.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tea Drinking and Tradition

When picturing the tradition of tea drinking outside of the realms of the kitchen table my imagination leaps to a very prominent cuppa that serves a very important function. I imagine the golden colored liquid inside the Queen of England’s teacup on a sunny afternoon in London. Here in my mind it is also best to picture a crumpet or two, maybe even a scone.  It may seem odd that there is a cup of tea involved when the Queen of England wants to have a chat with someone interesting, why not just meet without this ritual. I’m sure there was tea at the hotel. What does a tea cup sitting in the hands of every Head of State who visit the Queen say about the Queen, her intentions, the visiting Head of State and the meaning of offering someone a cup of tea? 

One surprising place you would expect to find a tea cup is in the hands of a Japanese samurai solider about to do his duty on the battle field. The Japanese tea ceremony is steeped in tradition (no pun intended I swear!) and it is not a delicate one. It is the calm before the storm. The Japanese warrior drank tea with his fellows before heading into battle and the precise movements and etiquette of this highly ritualized process would perhaps help them focus their thoughts and calm their minds. 

A pause and a reflection, something to do with your hands, a way to emphasis or hide a smile, a step back; a tea cup in the hand provide these opportunities. It is the recognition of a peace, something to calm the mind to allow for clear thinking but not so awakening that we get second thoughts, a comfortable ritual that allows us to feel like we belong. You can image that a warrior about to die for his state/lord/country would be in great need of something to calm his nerves, give him pause for contemplating his place in the universe and bind him to the fellow sitting next to him.In short tea drinking is a subtle ritual that has a calming influence that reinforces your place in the group, and locks you in. We use this bonding mechanism every time we offer a cup of tea. The Queen offers a gesture of friendship on behalf of the State through agreeing to have a cup of tea with another head of State.What role does Tea have in your preparations for battle?


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Talking Tea Introduction

Where to begin with tea?  Tea is such a broad topic. There are so many things I can write about. And the topics range from the informative and factual to the emotional, and mythical. I suppose a good place to start is with an introduction.

Tea in my family is strong and black with milk and sugar added to taste. It is a cure-all found in an old teapot, burned to black on the outside and stained brown on the inside.  It is the gossip, the craic, the scandal and the comfort.  A not so ancient tradition, less an art, more a necessity.
 In past letters to the new world one would describe ones wealth and wellbeing in terms of having enough tobacco for your pipe and enough tea for a brew.  

The tea making in my family conjures up images of mother, grandmother, aunts and guest. This was the war cabinet of the elders, brew in hand, dealing judgment.
The War cries: “she did not” ; “If I was in your shoes” and “shocking”. The rallying call: “sure what about it”; “don’t worry about what anyone else thinks” and  “it will all work out for the best in the end”.
Which brings me to the title & first topic of this blog "talking tea" the idea is to share knowledge & words of wisdom  about tea or indeed words of wisdom you have recieved over a good cup of tea.  How do you best like your tea and when? Who is the person you always like to met for a cup of tea and a chat and what are the favourite topics of conversation? It's time for a cup of tea, a biscuit and a chat.