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Welcome to the 76th edition of the Hip Tranquil Chick podcast: a guide to life on and off the yoga mat. Produced at the Pink Palace.
Today’s podcast is an interview with Cindy Pace on TranquiliTea, topped of with a look and pose of the podcast, and fun tunes! View our shownotes at hiptranquilchick.com/blog.
Cindy Pace, founder of Petals & Leaves: aromatic infusions (launching March 2007), is a clinical research scientist, teaist, aromatherapist and self-care advocate who has pursued a lifelong passion for fragrant aromas and tea. Working in a stressful research environment pushed Cindy to seek peace of mind and serenity. She found her calm and solace from her unique tea blends. The concept for Petals & Leaves bloomed from her extensive research on botanicals, tea, and essential oils. She also studied Chado (the Japanese art of tea), aromatherapy and sensory evaluation. Using the ancient art of tea blending as a foundation, Cindy formulated aromatic tea blends that provided aromatherapy & wellness benefits such as rejuvenation, renewal and restoration. Her research & discovery led to the development of petals & leaves aromatic tea infusions and aromatic bath tea infusions. Soon the word got out to Cindy’s friends and co-workers often asked her to make a pot of tea and purchase her teas.
From her years of study, Cindy received several professional level tea certifications from the Specialty Tea Institute, STI. She has a BS degree in Biology, Medical Laboratory Technology certification, and certificates from her study of aromatherapy and botanicals. When Cindy is not blending teas or enjoying a cuppa, she is playing dj on her internet chill out station, nu:jazz lounge. A serious community philanthropist, she is involved in the charities such as United Way of New York and Dress for Success. Her favorite pastimes are talking on the phone to friends, eating delicious food, laughing, traveling, reading books and listening to good music.
1. Overview of tea
“Tea is naught but this
First you heat the water
Then you make the tea
Drink it properly
That is all you need to know”
Sen No Rikyu – Japanese Tea Master
“Tea tempers the spirits, calms and harmonizes the mind, it arouses thought and prevents drowsiness, lightens and refreshes the body, and clears the perceptive faculties.”
Tea is the second most popular drink next to water in the world. It is also considered the drink of hospitality.
The acutal tea plant, Camellis sinensis origins began in the Yunnan region of China. The plant also encompasses eastern and southern China. However wild growth has been observed in Assam, India which is Camellia sinensis varietal assamica also known as Camellia assamica. The variant sinensis grows naturally in eastern and southeastern regions of China. Origins of human use of tea are described in several myths, but it is unknown as to where tea was first created as a drink.
2. Different types of tea
Camellia sinensis is the tea plant, the plant species whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. White tea, green tea, oolong and black tea are all harvested from this species, but are processed differently to attain different levels of oxidation.
White tea, specialty of the Chinese province Fujian, is made from new growth buds and young leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. The leaves are steamed inactivate oxidation, and then dried. White tea therefore retains the high concentrations of catechins which are present in fresh tea leaves. White tea is made from less mature leaves than green tea, and has undergone less processing, resulting in different catechin profiles and yielding greater medicinal qualities in some trials. For white tea, the little buds that form on the plant are covered with silver hairs that give the young leaves a white appearance.
The oxidation process is stopped after a minimal amount of oxidation by application of heat, either with steam, a traditional Japanese method, or by dry cooking in hot pans, the traditional Chinese method. Tea leaves may be left to dry as separate leaves or they may be rolled into small pellets to make gun-powder tea. This process is time consuming and is typically done with pekoes of higher quality. The tea is processed within one to two days of harvesting.
Oxidation is stopped somewhere between the standards for green tea and black tea. The oxidation process takes two to three days. In Chinese, semi-oxidized teas are collectively grouped as blue tea (ê¬íÉ, literally: blue-green tea), while the term "oolong" is used specifically as names for certain semi-oxidized teas. This is what give Oolongs on one the most unique flavor profiles in tea
The tea leaves are allowed to completely oxidize. Black tea is the most common form of tea in southern Asia (Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc.) and in the last century many African countries including Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The literal translation of the Chinese word is red tea, which is used by some tea lovers. The Chinese call it red tea because the actual tea liquid is red. Westerners call it black tea because the tea leaves used to brew it are usually black.
Phytonutrients in Tea
In addition to valuable antioxidant properties tea contains antioxidant (anti-aging) vitamins C, A, B12, B6, E, K & traces of minerals like potassium & calcium, essential oils and amino acid, theanine.
Essential oils contribute to the flavor, fragrance & digestive qualities of tea.
Tea contains varying amounts of caffeine; white tea is the lowest in caffeine. Caffeine accounts for tea's energizing/uplifting qualities, and among caffeine's health benefits, it stimulates the central nervous system, promotes circulation & digestion. These phytonutrients may contribute substantially to the promotion of health and prevention of chronic disease. Heart Disease, Cancer, Anit-Aging, Oral Health, etc.
A tisane, or herbal "tea" is any herbal infusion other than from the leaves of the tea bush (Camellia sinensis). Tisanes can be made with fresh or dried flowers, leaves, seeds or roots, generally by pouring boiling water over the plant parts and letting them steep for a few minutes. Seeds and roots can also be boiled on a stove. The tisane is then strained, sweetened if so desired, and served.
Herbal teas are often consumed for their physical or medicinal effects, especially for their stimulant, relaxant or sedative properties. The medicinal effects of certain herbs is discussed under herbalism. The medicinal benefits of specific herbs are often anecdotal or controversial, and in the United States and elsewhere, makers of herbal teas are not allowed to make unsubstantiated claims about the medicinal effects of their products.
3. Teas for various things (sleeping, colds, etc)
Regardless, if tea infusion is from the tea plant or an herbal tisane, aromatic oils, vitamins, minerals, antioxidant and curative properties will be released into the water and steam. The steam you can actually inhale the aromatics. The compounds release is what make the infusion aromatic as well as therapeutic.
All around Health (Antioxidant Rich, Balance):
- Silver Needle White and White Peony
- Green Tea (Chinese Tea, Japanese Sencha, Matcha)
- Puerh – headache, energy and digestion
- Black Tea (Yunnan and Keemum) – alertness, mental acuity
- Oolongs – slimming, digestion, mood enhancers (Jade Pouchong and Bai Hao Oolong (silver tippy)
- Jasmine Green Tea – afternoon calm down ( aromatherapeutic)
Hibiscus with Rose Hip and echinacea try infused with citron honey, Hyssop, Catnip
Licorice, Anise, Slippery Elm
Raspberry Leaf, Nettle
Lavender and Mint
Fennel, Ginger, Mint, Cardamom, Chamomile
Lemon Verbena, mixed balck tea with mint & ginger
Lavender, Chamomile, Valerian, Lemon Balm, linden & elderflower
How to Brew
Tea - Water Temperature - Steep Time
Green Tea - 160 degrees F - 1 - 3 minutes
White Tea - 180 degrees F - 4 - 8 minutes
Oolong Tea - 190-200 degrees F - 1 - 8 minutes
Black Tea - Rolling Boil (210) - 3 - 5 minutes
Herbal (tisanes) - Rolling Boil (210) - 5 - 8 minutes
4. Tea paraphernalia: your basic tea toolkit (sweeteners that you recommend, tea pots, diffusers, etc)
Use Great Water – Water Filter System (like Pur), Always boil fresh water
Tea Kettle – Electric with Temperature Gage is Ideal. Try Bodum for moderately priced www.bodumusa.com
High End – Zarafina and Zojirushi ( great electric water boilers & dispenser with temperature gage) www.zarafina.com & Zojirushi CV -DSC40VE Hybrid Water Boiler and Warmer www.zojirushi.com
Also on amazon.com
Teapots – Glass for herbals & blooming teas (bodum & jaener), Ceramic Brown Betty Teapot
French Press is one of the best inventions Eva Solo, www.fitzu.com & Bodum
Cast iron best for retaining heat & flavoring (if you have a favorite tea) – good for green tea
Yixing tea pots – clay pots great for oolongs, www.yixing.com
Mediation – Gaiwan, Korean teacup, or Matcha Bowl (set comes with wisk & ceramic bowl & matcha)
Porcelain (Ceramics) for style – Villeroy & Boch
For English tea – Spode, Royal Albert & Dalton (country roses), Flea Markets & Antique Shops
Best tag bags – Try T- Sac (see amazon.com) Biodegradable Tea Filters (various sizes even sizes for teapots, Asian Market
Diffusers for teapot
Sweetners – Raw Sugar preferably Demarara, Splenda, Stevia, Korean Infused Light Honeys
(Quali Quali, available at amazon.com)
Simple Syrup - 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. Boil water in pot. add sugar until it has dissolved. Allow to cool. Transfer to container for storage. (add lemon, lime, ginger, basil or mint)
For Ready Made Botanical Infused Syrups try Sonoma Syrup in flavors like White Ginger & pomegranate - sonomasyrup.com.
5. Making your own blends – when two or more herbs or teas mixed it is considered a blend. Once you become familiar with what type of teas you like you enhance flavors by adding like taste or different taste. For example you could enjoy green tea and enhance the flavor by adding a citrus fruit (lime or lemon), flavor or spice of mint. Adding herbs (ginger, anise licorice, lemon balm, mint, rosemary) basic tea leaves make blends with nectars, fruit juices (Ceres Organic Nectars, POM), simple syrups
6. Courses, conferences, books, etc for us to learn more.
Affordable Way to learn about tea is from books and tastings. If there is a tea shop or bookstore in your area, buy teas, taste them, take notes. Join tea group.
Online tea forums: Tea Chat, www.teachat.com, www.tching.com
Tea Room Lisitngs: Teamap, www.teamap.com
Tea Experience Digest, www.teaexperience.com
Tea: A Magazine, www.teamag.com
Fresh Cup publishes the Tea Journal, www.freshcup.com
Tea Companion by Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Richardson
New Tea Lovers Treasury by James Norwood Pratt
The Book of Tea
New Book of Tea by Sara Perry
Green Tea by Diana Rosen
Chai by Diana Rosen
Tea Here & Now by Donna Fellman & Lhasa Tizer (teaherenow.com)
Mediations with Tea by Diana Rosen
Herbal Tea Remedies by Jessica Houdret
The Book of Herbal Tea by Sara Perry
For a professional interest in tea contact STI, www.teausa.org
Urasenke Chanoyu Center, the study of the Japanese art of tea, branches in the US.
Gongfu – Oolongs
Chado - Japanese Art of Tea, www.teahyakka.com
Great On-line Tea Companies:
Pose of the Podcast: Bridge
Look of the Podcast: tube
Community Corner: e-cards, forum, and desktop are online! Check out our new forum, desktop and ecards on our connect page!
Haute Stuff Shoppe: Shop online for the book, CD, leopard print scarf, or crystal tee.
Soirees, Chats, Booksignings & Retreats:
Bloom Into Spring Le Chic Teleclass Chat. Join us to learn:
o My fave tranquility-invokers
o Creative steps for blossoming this spring
o How to create an action plan to move forward
o Ways to ensure self-care along the way
o Chic and comfy spring trends (including a TranquiliT discount code)
o Yoga poses to assist your journey
We’ll focus on small steps to begin moving in the direction of your hip and tranquil dreams. The fun will be held on Wednesday, April 11 at 8:30pm EST (7:30 CST, 6:30 MST, 5:30 PST). The fee for this class is $29. You can add on a “boost” for a 1-hour 1:1 mentoring session for a total of $150. To reserve your spot, sign up online.
Host a Hip Tranquil Chick Signature ChariTea Soiree! The downloadable PDF has is a toolkit for leading a hip and tranquil book club! All hip tranquil chicks who agree to host a soiree in 2007 will be sent a lovely leopard-print headband and scarf as a host gift. Check out the one hosted in Culver City, CA.
Denver gals - workshops and book signing at Omtime in April.
All gals - Escape with me and like-minded women at our first HTC retreat in upstate NY in June and our first international excursion in Costa Rica in September. Details for all special events at hiptranquilchick.com.
Au Revoir: Share your hip tranquil chickness with me, request show ideas, or pass along feedback by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. A reminder that we’re on MySpace and Frappr, so please connect with the community virtually there, too!
Have a burning question that you’d like hip and tranquil feedback on? E-mail me at email@example.com to have it featured and answered in our dear hip tranquil chick segment found on the blog.
To close out the show, we’re playing podsafe music by new and independent artists from Promonet. Today’s selection is Political Sun by Mod X. You can learn more this week's featured artist, including how to get more of Mod X's music here.
Thanks for joining me for the 76th edition of the HTC podcast.
tea illustration, by Becky Heavner - check out beckyheavner.com to see more of her work!