Sip - Issue 14

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LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT INTERVIEW: JEAN-FRANÇOIS DI PIETRO WU-WO TEA CEREMONY LUNCH: TEA RECIPES A TEA PRIMER BOOK REVIEW: THE TEA GIRL OF HUMMINGBIRD LANE


w e r C w e r B #

Editor: Shabnam Weber THAC President

Assistant Editor: Adi Baker, THAC Communication & Programs Coordinator

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sip is published four times a year by the Tea & Herbal Association of Canada www.tea.ca

© Copyright 2021

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srotubirtnoc

Karen

Donnelly

Sommelier® afternoon

is

a

certified

Professional

tea

event

and

TAC

has

planner,

Tea

been

speaker

an and

teacher for over 20 years. She is the owner of Greenhalgh Tea and manager of the Orchard Tea Room at Rose Hip Barn, Thornton, PA.

Indi Khanna is the Managing Director at Tea n Teas. Tea has been a passion and an integral part of his life for the last 45 years. experience

in

every

single

aspect

Hands on related

to

Tea, stretching all the way from the Tea nursery and

field

blending, trade,

cultivation further

makes

into

manufacture

extended

him

a

into

unique

and

international

individual

in

the

industry.

Theresa Lemieux is

a

Certified

TAC

Tea

Sommelier® Professional and food blogger at  theeverythingkitchen.ca.

She

incorporates

tea

into everyday cooking and baking to showcase the

many

around

wonderful

the

world.

background

A

types

in

of

fine

tea

produced

writer

with

advertising

copywriting, Theresa wants appreciation

of

freelance

tea

to to

a

and

expand more

a

the

general

audience. She firmly believes that there is room for tea in everyone’s life, and that tea really does make everything better.

Kaoru Miller is a certified TAC Tea Sommelier® Professional and the owner of CHACHA TEA. She opened her specialty tea shop in 2006 in Kingston Ontario, which is where you can find her every day having tea with her customers and friends.


In this Issue

Letter from the President An Interview with JeanFrançois Di Pietro Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony: A Ritual of Selflessness & Sharing

Book Review: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane Forged in Steel

Lunch:

Jasmine Berry Smoothie Green Boost Manila's Rising Sun Earl Grey Granola Bars Morning Routine & Tea Very Berry Leather Green Tea Goddess Salad A Tea Primer Chai Energy Balls How to Chai


RITUALom

r f

e th

t n e d i s e r p

We are very much still living in a world in flux and

different state than the one we find ourselves in.

many of us don't know where we are within that

We

flux. We're neither here nor are we there. And so

something

often, impatience sets in as we spiral into the

planning for something we are doing tomorrow,

world that was and the world we're half in.

next week, next month. And yet this very moment

think

about that

how

has

we

could

past

have

better,

or

done we're

is the only one we control.

The Japanese tea ceremony has a fundamental principle Literally

that

runs

I

think,

are

what

get

us

to

the

very

human encounter will repeat itself in the same

reading

way

very

don't know what works best for you. For me it's a

This of course is not a new philosophy

little bit of all the above, but one thing is certain,

moment. I'm

not

telling

heard before.

you

present

anything

in

time

Rituals,

allow us to be present. Perhaps it's the ritual of

be

'one

Ichie.

place'. It is quite simply the belief that no single

therefore,

means

Ichigo

moment we are in now. Finding the ones that

twice;

it

it,

one

and

translated,

through

this

you

haven't

But, knowing the principle and

a

book,

yoga,

exercise,

meditation.

I

it always includes a cup of tea. Truth is, that is the ultimate ritual.

living it are not the same. As you find yourself in a world of 'in between', Being present in what is happening at this very

make yourself a cup of tea, present in every act

moment,

of making it and enjoy this issue of 'sip'.

I

think,

is

one

of

the

hardest

endeavours. Our minds are always working in a


AN INTERVIEW WITH

Jean-François Di Pietro Jean-François

Di

Pietro

started

his

career as a graphic artist, specializing in fine food. He became a coffee roaster and opened a tea shop in 2006 in north Montreal

-

producers.

in

a

He

cooperative is

now

for

part

local

of

the

Camellia Sinensis tea house team where he enjoys every single cup!

He

was

a

competitor

in

the

2019

Tea

Masters Cup Canada competition, in the Tea Preparation category.

What is your first memory involving tea? In my youth, when I had a cold, my dear aunt

Michèle

full-bodied

gave

tea

as

me a

a

really

kind

of

strong

magical

potion, telling me that it would help me to feel healthy again. In my mind, as a young boy of 9 or 10 years old, I started believing that there was something really special in this mysterious beverage.


What does a typical workday in the tea industry consist of for you?

What are you seeing in the market that excites you for tea?

A typical workday at my job is as simple as

I’m

drinking tea and talking passionately about

empowering

movement

in

it with our clientele.

Today,

more

and

young

taking

responsibility

How much tea do you drink in a day?

very

enthusiastic

about

more of

tea

tea

the

women

businesses. women

are

plantations,

proposing new approaches and managing tea businesses in different ways. I’m glad

At

work,

day.

My

I

golden

workdays, off",

so

usually

and I

drink

law

is

around "Drink

anything

can

else

reduce

4

tea

cups only

during my

a on

to

contribute

to

this

social

change

by

working at Camellia Sinensis.

days

caffeine

At

Camellia

Sinensis'

Tea

Studio

project,

consumption. It means that I could have a

located in Nilgiri (South India), only women

whole day without drinking a single drop of

were hired from the surrounding villages to

tea...scandalous, isn’t it?

manage the factory. It’s an opportunity for


them to envision a more promising future.

create

more

We are also expecting the latest harvest of

energy

and

a

centuries ago, when samurai were drinking

Vietnamese

green

tea

coming

from

a

small cooperative composed of 39 women.

tea

to

find

art

or

practice

focus.

peace

a

sport

Preparation,

of

mind

with

as

and

five

courage

before going to the battlefield! Conclusion:

Women

are

not

only

plucking

tea leaves, they also rule the gardens, and

I would finally drink tea Gabacha (a dark

that sounds good to me !

wulong

that

capacities) Club

If you could drink tea with anyone living or dead - who would it be and what tea would you serve?

enhances

with

any

(Hendrix,

Winehouse,

cognitive

members

of

Morrison,

Joplin,

the

the

27

Cobain,

bluesman

Robert

Johnson, all dead at the age of 27), just in case this tea could give them the strength to continue to create more good music and

Without any doubts, I would drink tea with my

grandparents

moment tea

(a

with

and

them.

2nd

share

Between

Flush

a

find inner peace.

peaceful

two

Darjeeling

sips full

of of

If you weren't in tea, what would you be doing?

nostalgia, from the Castleton tea estate), we would most likely talk about our Italian

Most

family recipes and memories of the past… I

distributing business, with products such as

would

them!

coffee, wine, cocoa, spices, etc. There is

Tea is such a good way to prepare a good

something special about working with food

talk!

and

have

so

many

questions

for

likely

in

beverages

importing,

-

by

cooking

constantly

and

tasting

different products from all over the world I believe tea is all about "preparation". Not

you get immediate gratification... Hey, life

of the tea itself, but of the drinkers mood,

is short, I don’t have time to invest in a sad

so I could have a more authentic discussion

career!

with them.

I would also drive a DeLorean car through the

past

(1985),

to

meet

my

younger

What's your favorite fact about tea that surprises people?

self

and have a serious discussion (over a bowl

In

2005,

Richard

of matcha, as a "wake up call") about my

oncologist

future and prepare myself!

became

a

Béliveau,

published

a

best-seller

a

book in

renowned

that

rapidly

Quebec,

Foods

That Fight Cancer. It was the beginning of As

I

said,

I

like

to

consider

tea

as

a

the

antioxidant

mania,

and

from

that

"preparation" for something, a way to get

moment any tea shop had to consider that

ready to discuss,

reality to answer customer questions.

meditate, work harder,


At

that

time,

champion 700

was

moles*

the a

units

great

Japanese per

antioxidant

green

cup.

tea

What

I

at

teas

tested unit 3410

on

are

and

now

our

moles.

considered

our

menu

way

actual That

over

have

that

700

champion

level

would

don’t

necessarily

have to buy a "magic pill".

How do you take your tea?

been moles

now

have

you

The Greek poet Pindar said, “O my soul, do

at

not aspire to immortal life, but exhaust the

been

limits of the possible.” I agree. For me, tea

2005,

or

is

few

years

of

exploration of an infinity of flavours, with a

the

constantly renewed curiosity! Some people

path of new discoveries in a near future. It

will say "with milk please" or "without milk",

also indicates that drinking tea is a healthy

whereas

least

research

impossible

is

that

in

at

almost

that

and

find

fascinating is that, in 2021, about 75% of the

practice

astonishing. are

only

These

the

first

steps

on

all

chaï *Antioxidant concentration measured with the ABTS-TEAC method.

about

tea

I

seizing

would in

my

say

the

"I’ll

morning

That says it says it all.

day

take

my

cereals

by

the

masala please".


What is the most interesting and unique experience you've had in your tea career?

The most thrilling experience in my career was

at

moment middle

the

very

when, of

the

beginning. after

night

That

waking and

precise

up

doing

in a

the

really

Before joining the Camellia Sinensis team, I

creative nocturnal brainstorming about my

had my own tea shop and it had been the

future, I understood that opening my own

most transforming time of my life. Being an

tea

entrepreneur

professional

helped

me

to

develop

many

house

would

help

me

achievement

to and

reach feel

new skills and interests and even if I had to

fulfilled… THAT, was a unique and ecstatic

turn the page, it was worth the effort!

moment in my life !


Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony: A Ritual of Selflessness and Sharing by Karen Donnelly Certified TAC Tea Sommelier® Professional

Rituals help us create a moment in time—a beginning

and

ceremony.

The

end

using

practice

precise

of

rituals

rules

in

help

us

feel in control and balanced. They are also a way of sharing important cultural traditions, connecting

us

to

our

past.

When

the

preparation and sharing of tea is the ritual, we are unquestionably connected to the rest of humankind in a very tangible and spiritual way.

This

observance

of

interconnectedness

and

community is found in the peaceful ritual of the

Wu-

Wo

Tea

Ceremony.

This

tea

ceremony came from a modification of the Chinese Gong Fu Tea Ceremony in 1989 by


Grand Master Tsai of the Taiwanese LuYu Tea Culture. The Grand Master was concerned that the 300-year old style of Gong and

Fu

tea

brewing

become

By

example of tea culture’s history as newer

respecting

of

methods

became

people (as many as 1000 participants at

this

service

demanding tea.

The

another

disappear Although simple, the rules are firm.

tea

just

would

2. Everyone follows the same rules and prearranged schedule—no one is in charge.

popular. is

skillful

interesting

Traditionally,

long,

precise,

preparation

modifications

he

and

of

made

the

would

allow for several people at one time to brew

and

reason,

share

it

ceremony

tea

was

be

together.

important

simple,

easily

For

the

these

International

Convention China

in

in

rules,

any

Wu-Wo

the

2005)

Wu

tea

Yi

can

number

Ceremony

mountains

participate

of

in

a

disciplined and courteous way.

this

that

the

transported

3. Brewing can be any style and any tea.

to prepare anywhere, inclusive, and nonjudgmental.

The ceremony is based on the Gong Fu style of brewing. However, any style that

Wu-Wo self”

translates

and

this

as

“selfless”

practice

is

or

built

“sans

is

on

accepted.

7

comfortable

for

the

participant

is

important principals:

1. Everyone is equal. There is no distinction by rank or social status.

4. Brew the best tea you can with a positive attitude, striving to improve.

The

Everyone

ceremony

is

pre-designated Upon

arrival,

done day,

in

a

time,

each

guest

circle and is

at

a

place.

given

a

brings

of

hot

water,

ground

to

No

equipment.

and

no

comfortable

or

be

ground

preference one

knows

served by.

place is

in

given

who

to

they

the

circle.

anyone, will

serve

own

equipment

vessel to brew tea, 4 teacups, thermos

number, chosen randomly, to direct them their

their

mat

and

footed trays.

serving

and

tray,

carrying Some

siting others

on

tea

bag

towel, for

people a

bring

mat

on

stools

the are the and


5. Tea is served in one direction and received from the other.

6. There is no judgement. Accept and receive the tea served with appreciation and an open mind.

Everyone is quiet and only the sounds of tea

preparation

sense

of

is

each

heard.

other’s

ceremony begins. then

the

There

rhythm

Preparing

readiness

to

start

is

a

as

the

tea,

and

sharing

the

Although made

there

for

are

these

special

events,

progression.

Four

prepared.

participant has or prefers.

Each

serves

the

order

person

tea

to

three

people on their left, keeping one cup for themselves. mat

or

The cups are placed on the

table

working left.

starting

on

the

right

and

The tea will be infused 2

more times and the serving repeated. The

first

cup

is

sipped

thinking

can

all

to

be

a

mix

unpacking

Sometimes

not

The vessel

flowers

and or

of

what

done

to

impress,

but

setting

decorations

as

the

There is an

added to the tea tray or space.

up. are

It is not

part

of

the

participant’s mindful preparation for the ceremony.

of

is

for making tea, the cups, towels, mats, trays

are

sets

it

necessary for participation.

cups prepared seems to be in a single cups

tea

Northwest

Marilyn Wu-Wo

Miller Tea

of

the

Association

those in the circle.

recollected when a participant brought

Sipping the second cup of the wider

everything

tea community.

simply poured out and shared hot water.

Sipping

the

third

cup,

the world as a whole.

reflecting

on

but

the

tea!

No problem, no judgement.

This

person


7. Silence is maintained throughout the whole ceremony with cooperation and thoughtfulness towards everyone.

Introduction Wu-Wo

to

Tea

Equipment;

Wu-Wo

Tea

Equipment and

Ceremony;

&

Wu-Wo

Optional Unpacking

Order. Information can also be found on It

is

expected

time.

that

everyone

arrive

on

Usually, 30 minutes is allowed for

participants to set up.

Once everyone

has finished preparing their space, there is

time

to

photos. the

walk

At

around,

the

ceremony

end

of

begins

chat, this

and

and

30

is

meetings

are

held

Monthly

each

Zoom

month

that

anyone can attend.

References:

no

talking.

Nwwuwotea.com

When the packing is completed and the ceremony read

nwwuwotea@gmail.com.

take

minutes,

there

Instagram @nwwuwotea or by contacting

over,

or

there

may

singing.

At

be

a

poem

this

point,

participants will discuss the teas served.

Farishon, Chris. “Wu Wo Tea Ceremony” Blogger Chris Farishon shares her moving experience of attending a Wu Wo Tea Ceremony at the World Tea Expo. September 6, 2015.

Peaceful, inclusive, and contemplative – this

simple

ritual

of

sharing

tea

with

www.discoverteas.com/journal/fromtea-to-tears

others can be a welcome respite in what can

be

a

stressful

world.

There are

many associations around the world that promote you

the

can’t

Wu-Wo

find

one

Tea

Ceremony.

near

you

and

If you

would like to organize one, help is just a click

away!

Marilyn

Northwest located the

Wu-Wo

in

Portland,

Wu-Wo

Tea

Mid-Atlantic meeting. advocate

Tea

since

at

Business

active 2007,

of

spoke a

Association and

shared

educate

ceremony. ceremony

and

The

promote

complete

can

be

www.nwwuwotea.com.

this

details

of

found They

tea this at

welcome

anyone interested to download and use the documents

provided including

contributor, founder, and lead instructor of the Northwest Wu-Wo Tea Association. T Ching. May 2021 www.tching.com/2021/05/wu-wo-teaceremony-share-the-humanity-of-tea/

Heiss, Mary Lou and Robert J. The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide. Tenspeed Press, 2007.

that

the Association’s most important goal is to

Share the Humanity of Tea” Guest

on

recent

member she

the

Association

Oregon

Ceremony

Tea

An

Miller

Meyer, Dewey. “We-Wo Tea Ceremony –

Miller, Marilyn. Correspondence, August 2, 2021. Presentation, Zoom to MidAtlantic Tea Business Association, March 22, 2021.


&

INFUSIONS Whether pursuing a career in the retail or hospitality industry or enhancing your enjoyment of tea, this program looks at the historical origin of herbs and spices as they are used in tea. HI-101: INTRODUCTION TO HERBS & INFUSIONS (4 WEEK COURSE) HI-102: HERBAL PROCESSING & COMMON HERBS IN TEA (5 WEEK COURSE)

REGISTER AT TEA.CA

ONLINE COURSES

HERBS


how to chai by Tea experts at DAVIDsTEA

IT’S SWEATER WEATHER, AND FOR US, THAT MEANS ONE THING: CHAI SEASON IS HERE! TIME FOR TEA LOVERS TO REJOICE IN THE COOLER DAYS THAT ARE PERFECT FOR SIPPING THE WORLD’S FAVOURITE FRAGRANT, SOUL-WARMING TEA DRINK.


a (broad) history of chai In

North

the

Tea Association promoted tea consumption

common name given to all teas that have a

with the British tradition of simply adding

hint

milk

of

America,

spice.

chai

In

is

India,

currently

where

this

and

sugar

as

preparation

tea and derives from the Chinese word for

canvas for the birth of the spiced chai that

tea,

we all know and love! Undeniably delicious,

habit

in

Before India,

tea

became

locals

masala

beverage

Masala

broadly

consumed

made

means

a

solely

spice

of

regular a

hot

spices.

mixture,

and

This

recommended

delectable beverage was born, chai means

cha.

method.

the

was

the

perfect

we can even say that this has far outpaced the

British

cuppa

in

terms

of

popularity,

especially in North America!

it’s believed this hot drink was invented as a cleansing and vivifying beverage.

For the sake of brevity, the word chai will be used to speak to all forms of spiced tea

Later, in the early 20th century, the Indian

throughout the remainder of this article.


why make your own chai The

brilliance

of

making

your

own

chai

is

preferred

ingredients,

thus

giving

you

a

that you only have to use what you like and

much better chance of not only enjoying it

have

but

anise,

on

hand.

for

instead.

If

you

example,

It’s

a

dislike

then

personal

the

swap

taste

for

choice,

of

fennel

one

experiencing

beverage.

Making

the

true

chai

is

nature

an

of

artform

the that

that

allows you to taste nuances that you can

can make all the difference. This allows for

feel free to play with while staying within

a certain amount of creativity in steeping

the

and blending your chai to include only your

balanced chai.

confines

of

the

basics

of

creating

a

the basics of making a balanced chai So, how do you make a chai? You have to

of it this way: when you brew a black tea,

approach

you

prepare taste,

it

any

not

in

the

dish:

same go

flavour.

for

way

you

balance

(Taste

is

would in

what

smell

a

malty,

through

strong

Through

is

captured

you

mechanism of retro-olfaction, you perceive aromas.

nose.

This

the

and

the

cup.

However,

if

the

perceive with your tongue, whereas flavour

flavours

you

is what you perceive with your nose.) Think

tasted a raw tea leaf, fresh or dried, the


taste remaining on your tongue would be quite bitter. Depending on your culture, the

fragrant/aromatic, and acidic.

did you know?

Balance of taste is easy to master once you

Tea is classified as an herb, and all

understand the basics. Let’s use a bowl of

herbs

oatmeal

categorized

basic

tastes

as

are

an

sweet,

bitter,

example.

salty,

Just

hot,

oatmeal?

(oregano,

thyme,

as

having

bitter

tastes.

add

some

Certainly, when brewed. However,

sugar

if you were to bite down on an un-

walnuts

steeped tea leaf, the taste would

cinnamon

sliced

apples

(heat),

(sweetness),

a

hint

some

(acidity), of

brown

roasted

(bitterness), a pinch of salt when cooking

be

(salinity)

and

and

maybe

a

light

dusting

of

quite

they

are

Pretty boring. But what happens when you some

Are

etc.)

bitter.

salinity

are

Although

acidity

necessary

tastes

nutmeg (fragrance/aroma)? Now you have

when

breakfast!

certain cultures when brewing tea

A

perfectly

balanced

dish

that

are principle

chai. the

In

chai,

added

is

the

the

same

when

sweetness

sweetener

making

derives

chosen,

be

it

a

from table

sugar, honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, agave, and so on. The bitterness is typically derived used

from

as

astringent favourite.

a

the

Camellia

base

base

in

like

Choose

a

sinensis

the Assam

tea

and

are

used

in

(think of Tibetan Butter Tea), they

no one could possibly refuse.

The

cooking

fragrant?

leaves

chai—a is

base

serve as a canvas for your spices.

a that

rich clear can

not

required

to

make

a

dessert-like chai. That being said, a

pinch

of

salt

in

a

chai

balance out the sweetness.

can


getting started with chai There are three main categories of spices commonly

used

in

chai.

Here

are

some

examples of each from which you can draw inspiration:

Hot:

black pepper, cinnamon

(or cassia), ginger

Fragrant:

cardamon, nutmeg, mace,

putting it together

clove

Sweet:

fennel, anise, star anise

For our cuppa, we have our sweet (from the added sweetener) and bitter (from the tea leaves). Now, it’s time to spice up your life!

Step 1: In a small pot, bring 1 cup of water

The most important principle is to choose spices

you

like.

you’re

talking

mainly

of

Pretty

about

spices,

it’s

obvious, a

blend

but

when

composed

essential.

Having

a

growing list of spices you dislike can be a hurdle but certainly not a roadblock.

to a boil, then add your fragrant, hot

and

sweet

spices

(about

2

tablespoons in total). Simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Add about 2 tablespoons of tea, 2

Most

North

American

chai

predominantly

uses cinnamon, cassia, clove and nutmeg. These

were

the

spices

that

were

most

commonly available in the United States in the 1950s—think mom’s apple pie! In India, the spice mecca of the world, every region, family, and individual has their own blend: featuring

spices

pepper,

fennel,

When

comes

it

experiment!

like

cardamom,

cumin, to

your

clove chai,

and taste

black mint. and

½

cups of milk or milk alternative,

and

brown

sugar

(or

your

sweetener of choice) and continue to simmer for another 3-5 minutes.

Step 3: Strain into a mug and enjoy!


chai at DAVIDsTEA At DAVIDsTEA, we’ve taken all these

perfect. We feel this blend embodies

principles

the

into

developing

account

spirit

of

chai,

all

while

maintaining a balanced taste. Steep

warming chai blends. From selecting

it at 95°C for 3-5 minutes, or boil it

the perfect tea base to the featured

to make a chai latte using the steps

spices,

dedicated

above. Looking for a fruitier take on

to. One of the things we love most

the classic? Try Baked Apple Chai—a

about this satisfying beverage is the

fruit infusion where the sweetness of

limitless possibilities!

apple

a

invigorating

very

and

it’s

our

when

craft

we’re

and

figs

is

balanced

by

aromatic clove and hot black pepper. If you’re not confident in your spiceselecting skills, leave it to us! For a more

traditional

recommend Chai. with

our

Crafted a

on

balanced

take

on

chai

Organic a

black

blend

worked

meticulously

on

we

creating a full assortment of chai to

David’s

satisfy any palate. From traditional to

tea

of

We’ve

base

fanciful,

from

caffeine-free

to

ginger,

caffeinated, we have a chai for every

cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and

moment. Bring it on sweater weather;

clove, this chai took us many years of

we’re ready!

research and development to


morning routine and tea by Kaoru Miller

Some

people

new

People create new routines at New Year's

year. If you are a student, or have student(s)

with resolutions. But, we already know that

in your household, that makes sense, doesn’t

many

it? It is a new school year. After two months

New Year comes along once a year. What if

of no school, I feel September is the best

we fall from the resolution wagon? Wait until

month to think about routines since I am a

next year?

mother

of

daughter

off

consider

two to

September

teenagers university

a

myself.

and

people

don’t

keep

their

resolutions.

One

another

is

So, we need more clean slates, don’t we?

starting Grade 11 this September. It is a bit of

Why don’t we consider today as a new day?

a change for my family.

Then we can have 365 clean slates, can’t we?

In

her

Rubin

book, writes

Happier that

at

home,

September

is

Gretchen the

other

January and she encourages us all to take advantage of it with a clean slate. I like the idea of a clean slate.

We

don’t

have

to

wait

for

tomorrow,

next week, next month, a birthday, next year. We can always have fresh start now! I always like to make things easy, and bite size.


We tend to let go of our habits and routines in the summer. as

our

lives

students adults

are

are

Especially this September,

continue

to

going

back

returning

to

change,

many

to

school

and

the

office;

this

change can be overwhelming. To get back to or start our healthy everyday routines,

why

don’t

we

plan

a

mindful

morning routine with a healthy breakfast? And of course, I would suggest that healthy breakfast comes with breakfast tea.

Let's take it one step at a time.

How

do

stopped

I

start

and

my

day?

re-started

I

this

have

added,

routine

over

time. It took me 5 years to come up with this final version. I changed the order many times, and it may be changed again. But for now…

I make my bed, wash my face and brush my teeth. And then, I Meditate Exercise/Yoga Walk my dog Meditation

Clean cat litter box

Have you tried meditation? I started meditation 4

years

ago.

At

that

time

I

was

struggling

balancing my work and my family. I was also trying to deal with my daughter’s mental health

Plant care Breakfast Practice Piano Go to work

issues. I was overwhelmed. I now believe “worklife integration’ works better for me than “worklife balance”.

is key. And I like habits. Why? Because You

I started with only 1 minute breathing techniques and

have built that up to 10 to 20 minutes. I've

found meditation useful in all parts of m y life. I can calm myself when things get intense. My mind

still

wonders,

well,

my

mind

probably

never stops wondering.

meditate

for

minutes. I agree!

yourself,

don’t have to think or decide. I don’t like to decide. Well, I don’t like to use my decision making energy for relatively small things, I should say. I have learned in order not to decide what to do every single day, I need to make it a

I have heard, that if you don’t have 10 minutes to

To start your day on the right note, planning

you

need

to

do

20

habit. And chances are we already have a lot of habits in place. Brushing your teeth


What is Breakfast Tea? Basically, it is blended black teas. My understanding is that it used to be a very strong brew. Because of the hardness of the water in the UK combined with the

strong

tea,

people

needed

to

add

milk

and

sugar.

Today, many companies create different breakfast tea blends. And water is different from place to place so adding milk and sugar is your choice! Try many until you find your perfect cup of morning tea!

You've

probably

come

across

English

Breakfast

before. Perhaps Irish Breakfast or Scottish Breakfast as well. There are so

many more. In Canada, we

have a Canadian Breakfast and I've discovered that even Australian Breakfast, New Zealand Breakfast and Indian Breakfast all exist.

for

example,

something

is

we

a

do

keystone several

habit,

times

a

it's

teeth at night, I floss (Routine) and I have

day.

clean feeling teeth (Reward). I tracked my

Another habit, bringing your shopping bags

new behaviour on a habit tracking app

to the grocery stores. Though, it is a habit

66 days.

now, oh! how many times I forgot to put

feel yucky if I don’t floss every single day. I

them back in my car.

can’t go to bed without flossing my teeth. It

Probably

wearing

a

mask

and

sanitizing

for

Flossing became my habit!! I now

stuck with me.

your hands often are new habits acquired over the last 18 months for us all.

So let’s add drinking tea in the morning to your morning routine!

The power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a

The cue is a trigger that tells you what to

great

habits

do. The night before, put your favourite tea

work. Duhigg explains the habit loop: Cue,

and teacup on the counter and set up by

Routine and Reward. When I read this book,

the kettle.

I

my

And the routine. When you go to the kitchen

teeth every night. At the same time, I read a

in the morning, just fill up the kettle with

study

fresh water and turn it on. SO you will get a

book

wanted

that

for

to

understanding

form

said

a

habit

habit

of

how

flossing

formation

takes

66

days on average.

nice cup of tea - the Reward! And repeat

So, I experimented with myself. I bought a

that everyday. It will become automatic =

package of dental floss and set it beside

habit.

my tooth brush,(Cue). Before I brush my


Now we know how to start a habit, the difficult part is actually to do it, right?

If

There is always a gap between knowing and

doing.

Oh

yes,

I

know!

I

am

Breathing

also

struggling to form a new habit time to time. Even with things I WANT TO do.

20

minutes

morning

is

of

too

meditation

much,

you

every

can

do

breathing excises while you wait for the water to boil for your tea. I have tried 47-8

(Inhale

in

4

seconds,

hold

for

7

seconds and exhale out 8 seconds) and My mentor, successful entrepreneur and writer,

Kevin

Kruse

says

“Live

life

from

your calendar”. I learned from his book to

be

more

intentional

about

time.

What he calls, 'the power of 1440'. We have

only

1440

minutes

a

day.

Ask

yourself, how do I want to spend each minute of my day.

4-4-6 (Inhale in 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds

and

exhale

out

6

seconds)

techniques but they didn’t work well for me. I tried 'box breathing' and it works best for me. Box breathing is inhale in 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale out 4

seconds

and

hold

Alternate-nostril

for

4

breathing

seconds).

is

another

method to try; close one nostril with your I

have

scheduled

things

to

do

on

my

calendar, set many alarms to trigger to do something I want to do. I have found

thumb and exhale completely then close the other nostril with a finger and inhale (and repeat).

an accountability partner as well. Some strategies

works,

important

thing

some is

to

don't. know

The yourself

better. In another words, to know what works for you is the key!!

Exercise This

is

the

habit

most

people

want

to

develop, including me. Problem is, I don’t like to do exercise. I don’t like to go to

Whatever your personal morning routine is, the important thing is that you need energy forget

to

do

that

it.

the

This

is

routine

why

you

begins

can't

in

the

evening. Find out your ideal sleep time. We

need

7

to

8

hours

of

sleep,

so

calculate when you need to get up and count backwards to calculate your bed time.

One hour before your bed time,

have a cup of calming herbal tea, like chamomile. Chamomile tea (Cue), go to bed on time you set (Routine) and you can

start

the

day

with

your

perfect

routine! (Reward)

the

gym.

I

accountability

know partner

that

even

doesn’t

work

an for

me. I joined a gym, didn’t like it and I canceled. I tried Zumba classes. It was fun

but

I

didn’t

want

to

continue.

The

problem is I don’t do what I don’t like to do. SO I figured out why I don’t like what I don’t like. Ah Ha! I don’t like to take that amount of time to get ready, get there, do exercise and come home. It just too much time for a 45 minute workout. One day my friend recommended

a 7 minutes

exercise app and I tried it. Wow. I can do it at home. This is it!! When I started, I couldn't hold plank for even 10 seconds.

We all have difficult times, let’s be easy on ourselves. Pick one habit you want to start and have a wonderful start of a day!

Seriously.

Now

I

can

do

more

than

1

minute. Slowly, but I have progressed. Find the way that works for you and add it as your habit and it will become a part of your routine.


LUNCH by Shabnam Weber


Some of you may be back in an actual office, or maybe you never left. Some of you may still be working from home or have migrated to a hybrid model. Your kids may be home schooling, or perhaps they're back in a classroom. Regardless of where you find yourself, one thing is certain, you need to eat lunch.

I am notorious for being a lunch skipper, which truly is terrible. It's a habit from my teens that I've tried in the past years to shake. Truth is, it doesn't take much to shake the habit, it just takes a little planning.

For me, planning ahead means being organised and thinking about my lunch the day before. Making a little extra pasta for dinner so I can pack it up the next day. Putting aside some salad without dressing to include in my lunch.

I've also found that eating from something pretty, brings me joy.

A soggy sandwich wrapped in saran

pulled out of a paper bag is truly uninspired.. And there have never been more choices in

vessels for

your lunch than today. Those sad paper bags have been replaced by reusable ones, cleverly divided boxes and containers and thermos' in every colour you can imagine.

I hope you try a couple of the recipes that follow and treat yourself to making lunch time special. do deserve it.

You


LUNCH CONTAINERS

LUNCH BAG

THERMOS

MASON JAR

A reusable version of what you.

For soups and stews.

Prepare salads and shake it up.

TIFFIN An old classic, each compartment holds something different.

COMPARTMENT CONTAINER Just as advertised - keep your food fresh and separated.

BENTO BOX Stacked with perfect portion sizes.


DRINK


Jasmine Berry Smoothie What you'll need:

5 teabags or 5tsp Jasmine green tea 1 cup greek yogurt 1 banana 1/2 cup mixed berries 3 tbsp honey

What you'll do:

Make ahead: Steep tea in 1 litre below boiled water (80C). Pour into ice trays and freeze overnight.

Combine 2 ice cubes, yogurt, banana, berries, honey and 1/4 cup water in a blender.

Blend well.

Add

more water to reach your favourite consistency.

There are many variations you can take on this smoothie. Freeze your favourite tea and get creative. If you're concerned about caffeine for the kids, use botanical alternatives. Herbal and fruit teas or Rooibos are all excellent choices.


Green Boost

What you'll need:

What you'll do:

1tsp Matcha

Combine all ingredients in a blender and

1 pear, cored

mix

1 green apple, cored

consistency. Sweeten to taste.

1 cup spinach 1 tbsp honey

well.

Add

water

to

reach

desired


SNACK


Earl Grey Granola Bars What you'll need:

4 tsp or 4 teabags Earl Grey tea 1 heaping cup packed dates (pitted) 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds (loosely chopped 1 1/2 cups rolled oats Chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc. (optional additions)

What you'll do:

Make ahead: Steep tea in 3 cups of water.

Place dates in tea and

allow to soak overnight.

Remove dates from tea, reserve 3 tbsp of brewed tea. Blend dates until fully chopped. Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl – set aside. Warm maple syrup, reserved tea and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper so they lift out easily. Press

down

firmly

until

uniformly

flattened

use

something flat, like a drinking glass, to press down and really pack the bars. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes. Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars (or 9 squares // as original recipe is written). Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I kept mine in the freezer to keep them extra fresh, but it isn’t necessary.

WORK HARD; SNACK OFTEN


Very Berry Leather What you'll need:

Pour fruit puree onto a baking sheet lined with a nonstick liner or parchment paper. Pour until mixture is 1/4"

Your favourite fruit tea

thick. If you have more puree, use a second baking

Fresh fruit (apricots, peaches, plums, berries, apples,

sheet.

pears, grapes)

Place baking sheet into oven and allow mixture to slowly

Water

dry out. This is a long and slow process (8-12 hours).

Lemon juice

You'll know the fruit leather is ready when it's no longer

sugar if needed

sticky to the touch. Remove baking tray from oven and allow to cool. You can roll your fruit leather in parchment to keep fresh.

What you'll do:

Heat oven to 140F. Brew tea ahead of time using 1tsp or 1 teabag per cup of water needed.

You'll need 1/2 cup

of water for every 4 cups of chopped fruit. Prepare fruit by washing, chopping, peeling and coring as required based on the fruit you use. Place fruit in saucepan with brewed tea and cook until soft.

Taste and add sugar if

needed as well as 2 tsp of lemon juice. Adjust according to the amount of fruit you use and the flavour you want. This is based on your taste, so no exact measurements. Pour fruit into blender and puree well.


LUNCH


Lapsang Chicken Wrap What you'll need:

What you'll do:

Spice rub:

Grind all spices for spice rub in grinder or using mortar

7 tsp lapasang souchong tea

and pestle. Store in airtight container.

2 tsp sea salt 1 tsp peppercorn

In a bowl, combine soy sauce, lemon juice, maple syrup,

1 tsp chipotle powder

olive oil and 1 tsp of spice mixture.

1 tsp garlic powder

strips

1 tsp onion powder

minutes. Remove chicken from marinde and grill until

and

marinate

in

mixture

for

Cut chicken into minimum

of

30

cooked inside. Wrap:

Combine 1/4 tsp spice mixture with 2 tsp mayonnaise

2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)

and mix well.

3 tbsp soy sauce

Lay tortilla flat and build your wrap - cooked chicken,

3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

avocado,

1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup

mustard. Roll carefully and wrap in parchment.

3 tbsp olive oil avocado sliced tomato sliced mayonnaise dijon mustard lettuce tortilla wrap

tomato,

lettuce,

spiced

mayonnaise

and


Green Tea Goddess Salad What you'll need:

1 tsp or 1 teabag Lemon green tea 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 1 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, dill, mint, with up to

¼ cup chives or green onion 1 medium clove garlic, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon fine sea salt Lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste

What you'll do:

Make ahead: Steep tea in 1/4 cup of below boil water.

Strain tea and

allow to cool.

Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Store your dressing in the refrigerator to use as dressing, dip or marinade.

Mason jar salads are a lovely way to take a salad to work or school. It's all about layering. Your dressing at the bottom and then build from there - heavier, denser ingredients at the bottom working your way up to the more delicate pieces. You can shake it up and eat out of the jar, or pour into a bowl and combine.


SWEET


Chai Energy Balls What you'll need:

Chai Honey: 3 tsp or 3 teabags Chai tea 1/4 cup honey

Energy Balls: 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 cup old fashioned oats 1/2 cup ground flax seeds 2 tablespoons Chai honey

What you'll do:

Make ahead: Combine

tea

with

honey

in

a

saucepan

and

bring

to

a

simmer. Allow to steep for 15 minutes. Strain out tea.

Combine ingredients for energy balls in a bowl. refrigerator

for

30-60

minutes

to

harden.

refrigerator and roll into bite size balls. Store in refrigerator.

Place in the

Remove

from


Pumpkin Spice Apple Sauce

What you'll need:

2 tsp or 2 teabags Pumpkin Spice tea

What you'll do:

Steep tea in 1/3 cup water.

Allow

to

steep

for

20

minutes.

½ pounds sweet red apples (Gala) 1 ½ pounds Granny Smith apples

Peel, core and chop the apples into 2

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (to taste)

In a heavy bottomed pot, combine the apple chunks, tea, maple

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

syrup and cinnamon. Cover and bring the mixture to a simmer

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or 1

over medium heat. Stir occasionally, until the apples are tender

tablespoon lemon juice

and falling apart.

1

Remove teabag/leaves.

″ chunks.

Remove the pot from the heat. Pour into blender and puree until mixture is smooth. Stir in the vinegar. Adjust to taste, adding more maple syrup or cinnamon. Cool to room temperature, pour into jars and store in refrigerator


10 FACTS ABOUT TEA

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

White, green, oolong, black and pu-erh tea all come from the same plant… Camellia sinensis. Herbal Teas are an infusion of: leaves, roots, flowers, fruits, seeds and barks. It takes about 2,000 tiny leaves to make one pound of tea! People have been drinking tea for over 5,000 years. Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world (after water). Tea has ZERO calories. Tea contributes to your daily hydration. Tea is high in flavonoids which are released during steeping. Cup for cup, tea has less caffeine than coffee. Tea is good for you, and it tastes great!


1 2 3 4 5

5 MYTHS ABOUT TEA MYTH: Tea is dehydrating. Tea is almost all water. The amount of caffeine in tea isn’t a diuretic for most people. Drink tea to stay hydrated! MYTH: Green tea is better for you than black tea. Both green and black tea come from the same plant … Camellia sinensis. Find the tea you like to drink the most! MYTH: Teabags are “floor sweepings”. From start to end, tea is made and packed with pride. Regardless of if you choose to go bagged or loose. MYTH: All herbal teas taste the same. From fruit to spice to flower and herbs. There are more herbal tea blends than you could imagine! MYTH: Tea Keeps forever. Store your tea in an area that is dry, dark, and airtight… but not forever! The fresher your tea the better the flavours.


a tea primer

It is rare for a modern home to not have tea as a staple in the pantry. I think for this reason it is often considered simple and passed over by non-tea drinkers. These are people that I am

almost

lovers

100%

all

information

certain

they

and

will

need

tips

to

be

is

fall

a in

future little

love

tea

more

with

it.

When you take into consideration that tea has been consumed in a variety of ways for over five-thousand

years,

and

that

there

are

so

many varieties available today, there is a tea by Adi Baker that is just right for every person.

This article is a bit of a tea primer to share your tea passion with friends and family who typically turn down tea when you offer it.


so many types just one plant The basic tea types that are available to us in

grocery

stores

or

tea

shops

are

white,

green, oolong, black and pu-erh. All of these tea

types

come

from

the

same

plant,

Camellia sinensis.

This piece of information is something that many find mystifying. No wonder when you compare

a

cup

of

white

and

black

tea

to

each other. They are so different in colour and taste that it is hard to imagine they are the

same

beverage,

let

alone

the

same

plant.

The different tea types are made through a variety of transformative processes that are truly

a

fine

leaves

are

create

a

art.

With

handled

specific

each

in

taste

step,

different and

look

the

tea

ways a

to

certain

way.

Similar to spices and herbs, fresh tea needs to

be

magic can

dried.

This

happens.

be

is

where

Where

transformed

a

into

so

much

fresh

of

green

something,

the leaf that

when steeped, can be light yellow in colour and grassy & nutty in flavour, or can be a mahogany brown in colour and taste sweet & malty.


Comparing walk

white

though

and

simplified

black

tea,

versions

let

of

us

their

creation from start to end.

number of reasons for this, but two of the main

ones

are

production

methods

and

terroir.

Green tea is a good example of different production

methods

difference

White Tea:

in

what

you

leading

to

a

will

in

the

taste

brew.

fresh leaves plucked leaves laid out to wilt

Green

(reducing water content)

(sometimes

dried

whereas

teas

from

China

also

green

are

called

teas

pan-fired pan-fried),

from

Japan

are

steamed.

Black Tea: fresh leaves plucked

The

leaves laid out to wilt

place in a large wok. The heat from the

(reducing water content)

metal pan helps remove moisture content

crushed and/or cut

and

rolled

flavours. Flavours expected from this type

dried

of

Chinese

it

pan-firing

draws

green

tea

method

out/develops

are:

sweet,

takes

desirable

bitter,

floral,

woody and toasty.

In

This is a very stripped down version of the process, but gives you an idea of how the same plant can be manipulated by skilled workers

to

create

different

appearances

place

of

Japanese

tea

the

pan-firing

producers

leaves.

The

steaming

flavour

qualities

steam

process

such

as:

method, their

tea

brings

out

sweet,

grassy

and vegetal.

and tastes.

one tea type different tastes

Tasted separately you can pull out some similar

the

same

tea

type

does

not

mean

they will taste the same. There are a

that

but

them

side-by-side.

each

other

take

on

Japanese

a

the

the

When

Chinese

more green

smokey will

trick

is

tasted

to

taste

next

to

green

tea

will

taste

and

the

be

almost

marine/seaweed tasting in flavour.

This Just because two teas may technically be

qualities,

side-by-side

comparison

can

mean

that someone who thought they didn't like green tea may actually just prefer a green tea produced in a different way.


Different

countries

can

use

similar

production methods to produce the same type of tea, but you will taste a difference in

the

brew.

In

this

case

we

are

talking

about terroir.

There are a variety of countries that have the

necessary

However,

the

climate

soil,

environmental

to

water,

grow

air

elements

and

are

tea. other

slightly

different. These are all part of terroir.

To taste the differences in tea it is always recommended to taste them side-by-side. To see how terroir effects tea try tasting a black tea from different countries, such as India, Kenya and Sri Lanka.

As you are tasting them try to put words to the You

different may

tastes

notice

and

that

characteristics.

they

are

all

sweet,

but what type of sweet? For instance, the sweetness

that

you

will

taste

in

a

black

tea from Assam, India is kind of malty like honey.

Whereas

the

Kenyan

black

tea

might be more of a fruity sweet.

proper preparation In order to bring out the best flavour of different

tea

instructions require

to

types follow.

boiling

water

there Not or

are

all a

tea

basic types

five-minute

steep time.

Just

as

before

I

suggested

side-by-side

tastings, I am going to have you do it one


WHITE

GREEN

OOLONG

BLACK

PU-ERH


more time to see the difference it makes when you prepare certain teas in different temperatures of water.

Using the same green tea, make one cup using

the

chart

below.

boiling When

method

water the

recommended

Make and

teas

the

other

steep

are

for

ready,

in

cup 5

the

using

minutes.

and

find what tastes good

cooled

down enough to taste, have a sip of each.

Following article

all

of

the

(especially

preparation)

will

suggestions the

help

you

in

proper learn

this tea

more

about tea and allow you to discover the ones that you will always want to keep in

Most

people

using

the

will

cooler

prefer water

the

tea

made

temperature

your tea cupboard.

and

short steeping time. The tea made using

Have fun!

boiling water will be too strong and very bitter for most people's taste.

tea steeping instructions TEA TYPE

WATER TEMPERATURE

STEEPING TIME

WHITE

80C / 185F

2-5 min.

GREEN

80C / 185F

1-3 min.

OOLONG

80C / 185F

2-3 min.

BLACK

100C / 212F

3-5 min.

PU-ERH

100C / 212F

4 min

1. Start with fresh-drawn cold water. Bring to a rolling boil. Let sit to temperature suggested. 2. Use one teaspoon of loose tea or one tea bag per cup of water. 3. When the water is at the correct temperature pour it over the tea in the cup. 4. Cover ad let steep for times suggested. 5. Strain tea or remove the tea bag when time is up.


TEA SOMMELIER?

A trained and knowledgeable tea professional who has successfully completed the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada’s certification examination, as a result, is well versed on all aspects of tea as it affects the consumer. He or she will have a thorough understanding of tea and its history, processing methods and preparation and will be able to interact easily with anyone on the subject of tea and make recommendations based on their needs in an approachable and easy manner.

WHERE ARE

COURSES OFFERED? Students can take the program in person through Tea & Herbal Association of Canada (Toronto & Vancouver), through Cambridge Tea Academy (UK). As well, courses are available online through the Academy of Tea, ProTea Academy in Italian and at Escuela Mexicana de Té in Spanish.

LEARN MORE AT TEASOMMELIER.COM

TEA SOMMELIER COURSES

WHAT IS A


LER I O SP T R E AL

Book Review

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by lisa see (2018) Reviewed by Theresa Lemieux Certified TAC Tea Sommelier® Professional

Many tea lovers read about tea, including a lot

of

non-fiction,

knowledge. different

Fiction,

purpose.

ourselves

in

approach

a

know

a

to

novel

lot

about,

however,

We

other

augment

read

worlds. based that

our serves

fiction But

on

a

sense

tea

to

lose

when

we

subject

of

a

we

immersion

can we lost as we shift to a more analytical mode. There is nothing more jarring for the expert

than

an

obvious

mistake

or

myth

situated right in the middle of a story, so that instead

of

believing

in

the

character

and

caring about their struggles, you are pulled up short by the author’s mistakes. That won’t happen in The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.

In

The

Tea

Girl

of

Hummingbird

Lane,

the

research is thorough, the many perspectives


are

given

full

prominence,

treatment

and

the

and

story

is

equal

long

and

winding.

Asia, but

but

the

point

feeling.

search

for

As

here

Haley

each

is

not

and

other,

accuracy

her

and

mother seek

to

establish themselves in the world, they are Nuanced cultural sensitivity is born of the

accompanied

author’s

way.

dedication

to

her

own

Chinese-

by

“…every

tea

every

sip…opens

step

our

of

the

hearts

to

American heritage. While Lisa See is only

remember family, love and hardships that

one-eighth

have been overcome.” Lisa See definitely

Chinese,

her

great-

grandfather, Fong See, was a patriarch of

wants

Chinatown

characters as she wants us to understand

in

Los

Angeles.

He

married

a

white woman when such marriages were

us

to

be

as

moved

by

her

the nuances of tea, especially pu’erh.

illegal and was the first Chinese American to own a Ford, an American symbol of his

So when I approach a piece of fiction that

prosperity and status.

focusses things:

More

influential

history,

than

however,

was

this

the

incredible

Chinese

family

on

tea,

Did

the

information

right?

woven

the

into

I

want

to

author Is

story

the

know

get tea

three

the

tea

information

seamlessly?

Is

the

that surrounded See as she grew up. Just

story interesting, compelling and touching

as

without

the

blend

Chinese into

her

heavy-duty

tea

research?

In

Lane, the answer is a resounding yes, with

seemingly

a minor qualification or two.

her

woman

Chinese

family

who and

of

the

adoptive white American families, See is white

milieu

novel

the case of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird

a

cultural

in

their

around

the

adoptees

grew felt

up

very

much part of that culture. Not content to rely

only

upon

interviewed

her

many

own

experience,

Asian

adoptees

See

when

researching this book. I can only imagine, however, that she too identifies with this response Chinese asked

from

her

American whether

character adoptee, she

is

Haley, upon

the

being

Chinese

or

American:

“One hundred percent American, and one hundred percent Chinese…I’m not half and half. I’m fully both.”

Haley

is

in

fact

Akha,

a

once

nomadic

tribe that lives in several countries across


This

beautiful

novel

is

far-ranging,

covering many aspects of the life of one woman and her family, taking the reader from

the

mountains

of

rural

China

to

downtown Los Angeles, all the while using tea as the thread that ties each leg of the journey together. Tea and family, actually. It’s almost as if the author is suggesting that

tea

along

runs

with

in

the

the

veins

blood

of

this

that

family

ties

them

together.

Li-yan

is

a

young

woman

born

in

rural

Yunnan to the Akha people. The story is of her

education,

the

loss

of

her

first

husband and daughter, who is adopted to an American family in Los Angeles. Li-yan is the only member of her tribe to receive an

advanced

education,

which

results

in

her entry into the tea trade and Chinese society.

The

acceptance yan

two in

remarries

women

their

new

and

find

love

families,

Haley

and

as

makes

Liher

adoptive family proud. But they never stop looking for each other, and so in order to accommodate such a difficult search, the author asks us to set aside our skepticism and

makes

heavy

use

of

many

coincidences to weave the several threads of this story together.

“Every story, every dream, every waking minute of our lives is filled with one fateful coincidence after another.”

With this pronouncement at the beginning of

the

novel,

Lisa

See

sets

us

up

for

a

series of coincidences that allow for her story to come full circle in The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.


Yet

See

Where

is

she

nothing feels

her

if

not

story

self-aware.

depends

too

tea,

the

lives

hybrid

of

the

lifestyles

of

much on this obvious literary device, she

immigrants,

addresses the practice, almost as if asking

women

the reader: well, what would you do? She

them

has a teacher comment on a short story

roles.

in

in

and

a

a

Akha

tribe,

the

Chinese-American

the

changing

society

very

hill

that

strict

had

and

roles long

narrow

of

kept

set

of

written by Haley:

“I’m quite conflicted...As your teacher, I hate to see you fall

harder

This was my experience, too, as a reader. varied

and

jam-

packed with facts, the plotlines meet up a little too neatly, as if the characters were all given bits of the same map to follow. they

were,

essentially.

“No

coincidence, no story,” is the oft repeated phrase throughout the book.

fault

pacing At

but

Oddly, to

that

proof

lived

of

of

it’s

the

times

jarringly

if

parts classic

to

hosted

the

that

are

the

the

in

celebrity

seems

are

to

least

dream

mansion,

dinners by

they

fairy-tale

evoke

experience:

clothes,

rapidly

skimming

as

California

all

story

interest

the

seem

designer

it

writing,

the

not

the

suppose

at

episodes

wedding,

restaurants

is

the

seemingly

believe,

elements,

in

times,

pace,

certain

author.

mother.”

Which

up

necessary

character to find her birth

long,

the

through

mom, I really wanted your main

how

though:

picks

trope of coincidence. As a

matter

another

inconsistent.

back on the Shakespearean

No

There’s

unreal

the

famous chefs. to

I

the

narrator, but also so to the reader, almost more

like

a

quick

summary

before

re-

launching into the main part of the story. It’s telling that tea is barely mentioned as

For

the

most

coincidences

are

part,

the

overshadowed

constant by

the

rich detail, the believable characters, and the intense research into every aspect of the story: international adoption, pue'rh

they

settle

in

this

new

world.

But

as

frivolous, they

materialistic

settle

down

and

start a family, tea becomes the grounding factor of their lives once again.


Incongruous bones

as

scenes

otherwise

some

are,

skillful

of

they

and

the do

more

bare-

that

requires

reaction

deliberate

way

the

internal monologue. I learned more than I

family

be

completely

absorbing.

But it is not only a good story that we are looking want

for,

to

of

see

course.

tea

As

tea

represented

lovers,

and

from

a

culture.

story But

of

a

a

nuanced

to

from

and

the

so

to

knowledge,

ruin

expected

as

tea

not

story unfolds. When the story is good, it is good

the

so

narrator’s

focused

course,

on

tea

is

integral to both.

we

accurately

“If

you

don’t

love

tea,

you

can’t

make

when it’s incorporated into a work of art.

good tea,” our heroine quotes her teacher,

And Lisa See does this incredibly well.

Tea

Master

Sun.

It

follows,

then,

if

you

don’t love tea, and the people who make See has researched tea, especially pu’erh,

it,

from every aspect. After sending time in

Lisa See loves pue’rh, cherishes the bonds

China among those who harvest tea for a

between

living, her appreciation for tea has grown.

loves

She

of

heritage. This book is the perfect homage

picking and selling tea, of processing it by

to all: to China, to America, to family, and

hand,

of

to the tea that unites them all. If you want

western

your friends and family to learn to love tea

health

as much as we tea professionals do, give

attitudes

them The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. I

international

promise they’ll come to you and say “I had

integrates

and

drinking

it,

interests: benefits, and

tea’s

stock

the

the

the

experience

day-to-day with

the

science

changing presence

market.

lived

more of

the

consumer on

the

about

mothers

and

Chinese

and

it

convincingly.

daughters, her

and

American

placed in a ham-handed or obvious way.

can smile knowingly and pour them a cup

There

of your favourite tea.

a

reason

is

her

write

no idea there was so much to it!” And you

always

information

can’t

never

is

This

experience

you

for

exposition, a character and a situation

the


FORGED IN STEEL Indi

Khanna's

life

has

been

tea.

He

has

lived

and

breathed tea for 45 years. To say he is a fascinating treasure

trove

of

stories,

would

be

a

gross

understatement. Indi has been writing his thoughts and

memories

for

the

past

few

months,

and

we

thought we would share one with you. If you don't know

Indi

Khanna,

make

sure

you

visit

Tea'N'Teas,

explore not only his stories but also the beautiful teas of the Tea Studio (teanteas.com and teastudio.info).

My mother, a child of the partition of undivided India who along with her family, just one such of millions of other similarly affected families on either side of the border, had one fine morning been rudely uprooted from her comfort zone to be transplanted into an environment with was totally alien to her as it was to the

countless

others

such

as

herself.

An

upheaval

across the board and without any discrimination.

My Mum was born and grew up in Multan, now in Pakistan. When the riots started she and her family somehow managed to escape unhurt, evading the rampaging side

of

hoards

the

of

unnatural

bloodthirsty divide

goons

which

the

on

either

British

had

thrust upon this vast subcontinent which they were simply abandoning. The upshot was that her family had to somehow wend their way to the other side of a

border

which

had

manifested

itself

almost

overnight. Having managed to get across to India Mummy

and

her

extended

family,

without

any

planning as such, simply drifted along to somehow end

up

in

the

foothills

of

the

Himalayas,

in

Simla

which, till 1947 had been the summer capital of the British.


Following her marriage, Mummy having donned the mantle of a dedicated housewife being totally oblivious to anything outside her immediate surroundings, in course of time had two kids and generally settled down to a life of contentment. My younger sister (Shelly) and I had what could only be described as a wonderful childhood growing up in Simla. Up in the hills at a goodly 2,200 mtrs, Simla was blessed by nature. Which in itself explains why and how the British decided to adopt this small town as the summer capital so that during the hot summer months in the plains of North India, the entire government machinery would regularly shift lock stock & barrel to this pristine environment. Very densely forested with pine and deodar trees, sparsely populated and receiving as much as 2 mtrs of snow during the extremely cold winters so that one could go skating and skiing, how could there be any better place for a kid? I loved every minute of that childhood.

So that I should receive an all-around education (what the school Headmaster described as an equal development of the mind, body and soul) when I was all of five years of age my Dad in his wisdom decided that I should be bundled of to a boarding school. Regardless of the fact that the school was also located in Simla, Bishop Cotton known to be one of the best all boys Public schools in India, was the institution my father chose for me. While in later years Mummy always told me that my being despatched to a boarding at that tender age was a gut wrenching experience for her, she decided to simply put a lid on her emotions. Looking back on how beautifully those eleven years in B.C.S. geared me up to face up to the many challenges I have weathered going through life, even to this day I silently thank my Mum and Dad for having taken that bold step.


My carefree childhood came to a sudden and

Time moved on. Never for even a moment letting

rude halt when my Dad, a transport contractor

down her guard Mummy saw us through college

who owned and ran a fleet of trucks, passed

and university. Following my post graduation I

away

my

joined a plantation company and relocated to

my

the High Ranges while Shelly a little after her

Mum who, without any clue as to how she was to

graduation got married and went off to England

handle

of

where, two years later, a messy divorce left her

raising not only me and my younger sister, but

juggling between a job and raising a little boy.

also her husband’s business which, back in the

With no one else to turn to, she sought her Mum’s

day and probably even to this day, is simply no

help. The upshot being that Mummy, who went

place for a lady. In very short time, one by one

over

and in quick succession the trucks which were all

problem, ended up staying back as a permanent

mortgaged

resident of the UK.

just

having

a

couple

entered

this,

my

had

months

teens.

to

to

of

don

following

Leaving

the

financial

behind

responsibility

institutions

were

repossessed by the banks so that Mummy, with very meagre savings to fall back upon, had to literally metamorphose her lifestyle and had to tighten her belt down to the core to the extent that she was having to eke out a living.

Her single biggest expense at that point of time was the fees for my expensive education which was

obviously

way

beyond

her

means.

Regardless of the fact that she spoke not one word of English, Mummy sought an appointment with the headmaster of the school, Maj R.K.von Goldstein (Goldy), a retired British army officer and

a

through

gentleman.

With

the

school

bursar, Mr Advani, acting as the translator I was told this in later years by the headmaster himself that

the

only

thing

my

mother

was

able

to

convey to Goldy was that her husband had put me in the school which he knew would give me a proper grounding and that while she could no longer afford to pay the fees, she desperately wanted that I should complete my education in this

very

school

and

that

could

he,

the

headmaster, assist in any way. Without so much as a moment’s hesitation the gentleman that he was, Goldy took an immediate decision to waive off

50%

of

my

fees.

Big-heartedness

well

beyond the call of duty which meant that I could complete the remaining three years of my school education in BCS. A debt which I could never even dream of paying off.

to

help

Shelly

tide

over

the

immediate


Over

the

years

had

From the time she entered her 90s, Mummy

had

was steadfast in her ‘decision’ that she would

been created as a private medical practise

hand in her dinner pail only after hitting a

dedicated

century because “when I turn hundred I will be

developed

a

as

firm

to

her

she

aged,

belief

that

health

and

Mummy the

NHS

well-being.

A

little after she turned 95, Mummy was advised

receiving

a

birthday

by the social service that an aerobic class

from the queen”.

card

and

100

Pounds

had been organised for folk of her age and that once a week they would have her picked

A couple of years before she hit her century,

up from home, taken to some location to be

having become rather infirm, we had moved

put through some geriatric moves after which

her back to Delhi so that she could have much

she would be dropped back. I coincidentally

needed round the clock help. On the day in

happened to be in London on the first day

question, she actually did receive a card in

when a bus arrived to pick her up. Shelly and

the post from the office of the queen. Since it

me stood there waving out to Mummy as she

didn’t

boarded the bus, feeling almost as though we

‘dream’, before handing the envelope to her

were

we inserted two 50 Pound notes in the card.

seeing

school.

a

Four

kid

hours

off

on

later

the

first

back

she

day

of

came

Never

include

had

we

the

second

seen

so

element

much

joy

of

on

her

our

looking decidedly unhappy and then made a

mothers face as what that card brought on.

firm pronouncement that this was the first and

She was beaming! My sister having organised

the

last

to

get

a tea party for Mummy in a restaurant where

nature.

Her

her three 90+ geriatric brothers and loads of

reason, ‘that class is full of budhas’ (old folk).

nephews and nieces had all turned up to wish

Regardless of the fact that with age she had

her, every single one was shown the card with

shrunk

the two notes in it accompanied by a very

sucked

never

time into

rather for

she

was

nonsense

ever of

alarmingly,

even

a

minute

going

this

our

dear

stopped

that she was still a spring chicken.

mother

believing

proud “See, I told you so”!


Having lived her dream of reaching her stated milestone and having perked up on

the

day,

enjoying

her

party

and

showing off her royal gift to her siblings, Mummy

simply

lost

her

verve

and

just

went downhill to simply fade away within five months of having ‘hit her century’. In all that time, the card from the queen stayed

under

her

pillow

to

be

lovingly

caressed every now and then till the day that she passed away. As for me, every single day I thank my fate that I was born to this tough-asnails lady and live in hope that at least some of the steel she was forged from is flowing through my veins!

A patiently & beautifully crafted century!

Well played Ma!!

From the time she entered her 90s, Mummy was steadfast in her ‘decision’ that she would hand in her dinner pail only after hitting a century because “when I turn hundred I will be receiving a birthday card and 100 Pounds from the queen”.