My husband and I were recently traveling through Greece in celebration of our 10-year wedding anniversary. As with every country I visit, I sought out the 'local' tea and was pleased to discover a delicious herbal tisane called Mountain Tea. It is made from the dried flowers, leaves and stems of a native plant named Sideritis which grows at high elevations in the mountainous regions of Greece. The tea looks similiar to Chamomile, but has a very different taste; it is much more herbacious in flavor.
It is said that the Greek philosopher Hippocrates believed Mountain Tea has positive effects on both the immune and respiratory systems. In following that tradition, many Greek families still believe the tea has powerful healing properties and take to brewing up a cup whenever they are feeling under the weather.
As it turns out, it's not just an ancient belief. Modern research has shown that the tea can assist in the prevention of osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and even cancer. It also has a positive effect on many different ailments including colds, fevers, respiratory problems, digestion problems, and anxiety.
While it is said that the Greek people live so long due to the olive oil, wine, and exercise as they walk from village to village; perhaps the secret is also to be found in their cups of tea.
What about you, have you discovered any exciting tea traditions in your travels? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below!
It’s never too early to start teaching your kids/grandkids/nieces or nephews to give back. My mother recently found this picture of me at age one donating books to our local library. Without realizing it, my mother and father had instilled in me a desire to give back before I was even old enough to dress myself. While I have no memory of that day, only an old newspaper clipping, the foundation of a heart-attitude was being laid. Along with sharing, taking turns, and using manners I was learning that it was important to give. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a generation of children who know and practice the importance of giving back? Think about how this would affect our society! The good news is, it’s never too early or too late to start these practices with your own kids. Here are a few ideas…
Kids grow out of clothes and toys at a rapid age when they’re young. This usually means you’re bagging things up to give to a thrift store. Instead of the chain thrift, look into local non-profit needs, such as your community’s domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, or foster care homes. Get your kids involved! Let them help choose and bag the clothes and toys, then bring them with you when you make the donation. If your kids are very young, you probably can’t explain to them how this helps others but just the act of taking things that were theirs and giving them away will begin to set the stage in their mind and hearts for donating.
Ask your kids to tell you about a cause they would like to give money to and help them come up with ways to do it! Doing chores, mowing lawns for neighbors, cleaning out cabinets, or babysitting are great ways to raise funds. You can also teach them to build businesses that give back by helping them set up a table to sell things they’ve made whether it’s lemonade or bracelets. Set a goal amount and be sure to create some sort of a chart so they can track their progress and see when they've reached their goal.
Find your local soup kitchen or food bank and spend an afternoon volunteering there. Our local food bank allows kids as young as 4 to volunteer, so it’s a great thing to do as a family. Recycling centers, pet shelters, libraries, senior centers and many other organizations are great places to contact about volunteer opportunities. If your children are older, look into sending them abroad with an organization that takes teens on volunteer trips all over the world. You will open their eyes to how much they take for granted, and they will come home forever changed.
If you shelter your kids from the needs of this world, they’ll have a hard time even knowing they exist. Take them to hear age appropriate presentations by non-profit speakers, read them articles online, and take the time to discuss needs in your community and how you can help.
Lead by example! If your kids see you taking the time to raise money for a cause, making donations and working on volunteer projects they will have even more reason to understand the value of giving. I’ve watched my parents volunteer their time, money, and resources my entire life, so when it came time for me to decide whether or not I was going to make time to give back, it wasn’t even a question in my mind.
Share with me the ways you're teaching your kids to give back in the comments below.
January is human trafficking awareness month, a cause close to our hearts. As you know, Destiny Rescue is one of the non-profits your tea purchases support. They work in 5 countries, rescuing and rehabilitating girls from the sex slave industry.
I had the priviledge of meeting with Cory Nickols who is the L.A. Regional Manager for Destiny Rescue. In this video he shares three tips on how you can be more involved in raising awareness and helping to end human trafficking.
As my nieces, nephews, and many of my friends’ children start back to school, I thought it would be an appropriate time to discuss kids and tea.
Throughout Asia, the Middle East, and certainly Britain, children begin drinking tea as a part of their daily diet as soon as they are able to consume drinks other than water. In fact, the U.S. is one of the few countries that doesn't raise children as regular tea-drinkers.
Many of our children are being raised on fruit juice and sodas instead. As research has shown, numerous issues such as obesity, diabetes, cavities, as well as behavioral problems such as aggression are associated with drinking these high sugared, high caffeinated drinks.
Tea on the other hand has shown numerous benefits including maintaining healthy weight, healthy blood pressure, preventing disease, preventing colds and flu and even cavity prevention! There is also a lot of research to suggest that regular tea drinking can help prevent diseases such as cancer as we age.
Even though a lot of parents know this, I’m always amazed at the number of parents who let their kids drink 2-3 sodas a day, but won’t let them have tea because “there’s too much caffeine.” I completely understand this concern, so I’d like to bring some clarification to this issue and perhaps open your eyes to the realization that tea just might be a better option than soda for your child.
The amount of caffeine in both soda and tea varies depending on the type. Yes, some teas are higher in caffeine than a can of soda (most often black teas) but it really depends on the drink. For example 12oz of Coke has 34mg of caffeine, while Mountain Dew has 54mg of caffeine. 12 ounces of green tea will usually not have more than 37mg of caffeine, while black tea can have up to 63mg. Caffeine levels in tea are affected by the season, the leaf varietal, where it was grown and whether or not it’s blended with anything. Tea has the added benefit of being sugar free and can even help your child concentrate and perform better in school!
In her post “Kids and Tea? You bet!” Author Michelle Rabin shares: Current research coming out of the UK by Tea Advisory Panel dietitian Dr. Carrie Ruxton has actually shown that giving children tea that contains a small amount of caffeine can help kids score better on tests that measure mental agility, attention, dexterity, and memory. “Tea makes a tiny contribution to caffeine intake compared with some soft drinks but when consumed in moderation it is likely to bring benefits associated with mood and cognition.”
So how much tea is ok? In that same article, Dr. Ruxton recommends limiting caffeine intake to 2-3 cups of tea per day for school age kids (over age 4) and no more than 2 cups of tea for kids under 4.
With all of the flavor options out there now from fruity, to spicy, to citrusy, to sweet, you’re sure to find a tea your child will enjoy. The next time you’re looking at drink options to fill your child’s lunchbox thermos consider a nice iced tea option such as Fresh Peach Mango; and when the days turn cold, warm them up with a delicious hot tea such as Rich Vanilla Chai.
If you’re still concerned about caffeine intake or have made a commitment to keep your child caffeine-free, consider herbal, Rooibos, or decaffeinated teas instead of sugary fruit juice or as an exciting alternative to water.
Share your thoughts in the comments below. Do you allow your kids to have caffeine? Do they enjoy tea? If so, what flavors have you found most appealing to them?
The launch of Oprah Chai this past April created a slew of new interest in chai. Whether Oprah’s blend is your favorite chai or not, it’s exciting that she’s created a new buzz around chai and opened the door for more individuals to venture into the world of tea. If you’re someone who had never tried chai before Oprah announced her blend, there are probably a lot of things you don’t know about this unique spicy beverage. So here are a few things you can use to expand your knowledge and impress your local barista.
10 things you probably didn’t know about Chai:
10. While we in the western world use the word Chai to describe tea mixed with spices, sweetener and milk. The word Chai actually just means Tea in many places of the world.
9. Chai is traditionally a combination of bold black tea, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and pepper.
8. Homemade Chai (tea with milk & spices) varies from region to region and even household to household. Each family has their particular combination and ratios of spices.
7. Sugar is often added to Chai to balance out the spice flavor. Be aware that many of the Chai powdered concentrates you buy in the store will include some kind of sugar/sweetener. If you are avoiding sugar for health reasons, always check the ingredients and look for the non-powdered Chai varieties in your tea aisle. Also look for brands that add a sweet flavor in an alternative way, such as Global Teas ‘Rich Vanilla Chai’ which uses vanilla as the sweetener.
6. You may have heard the term Masala Chai before. The Hindi word for Tea is Chai and the word Masala means mix of spices. Therefore Masala Chai simply means Tea with a mix of spices.
5. If you travel within India, you are likely to see a ‘Chai Wallah’ on the streets: a boy or young man who sells cups of tea.
4. The powerful antioxidant properties found in black tea, combined with the numerous health benefits of the various spices, suggests that Chai can help improve digestion, fight inflammation and enhance the immune system.
3. Many people make the mistake of thinking Chai is caffeine free, but it is not. Because black tea is most commonly used as the base tea, Chai contains natural caffeine from the tea. However, there are some companies who use the South African Rooibos as a base which does not contain caffeine. Check the label if you’re not sure!
2. The Chai Latte and Iced Chai Latte are western inventions. They combine a powdered concentration of black tea, spices and sugar mixed with hot water and steamed milk. These are often high in sugar and calories so be aware!
1. You can create your own chai at home! Combine a bold black tea (such as an Assam), cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and pepper. Experiment with varying ratios of each ingredient and choose whether to add milk and/or sweetener until you find your perfect blend.
I always get excited when I hear about companies who promote and support local start-up food entrepreneurs. It's a tough business to break into and even tougher to maintain when you're the little guy/girl. So when I heard about 'Kitchner Oakland's newest venture 'Kitchener Collective', I knew I wanted to be involved!
Kitchener Oakland is "Oakland's commercial kitchen with a community conscience." "A certified and affordable co-working kitchen where micro food entrepreneurs launching catering, baking, or pop-up food businesses can cook, create, and thrive with the support of a strong food-making and entrepreneurial community."
What an amazing and powerful opportunity Sophia Chang has created in that community! Trust me, places like this are hard to come by!
Their newest venture, 'Kitchener Collective' has just recently opened in the Corte Madera Town Center. Essentially, it provides a retail space for all those wonderful start-up food entrepreneurs to sell their delicious products! Everything in the shop is "small-batch, artisan-made food, from sweets to savories, made from conscientious and quality ingredients by the Bay Area's up-and-coming start-up food businesses." An absolute perfect fit for Global Teas!
The space is exciting and inviting. Offering delicious vegan and vegetarian soups made by the delightful Cythia Tolivar of Toliver Works, along with decadent pastries, organic granola, empanadas, salads, quiches, and pot pies. Of course it can all be washed down with a hot or iced organic tea from us (Global Teas) or an organic drip coffee from the local Bicycle Coffee Co.
You can purchase Global Teas to drink on the spot hot or iced and you can also purchase a pouch to take home! It is the perfect place to stop for a cup of tea or coffee and a bite while shopping through the Town Center. Also a great place to put together a unique gift basket of small-production, local products for the foodie in your life!
We are honored to have our teas offered among so many brilliant and inspiring local food products. Always remember to shop local and sustainable whenever possible so more talented and hopeful entrepreneurs can be given spaces like this in which to sell their delectable products!
Stop in Kitchener Collective:
119 Corte Madera Town Center
Corte Madera, CA 94925
Seeking the perfect gift for your mom this Mother's Day? Check out our Global Teas PersonaliTEA chart below to find the perfect tea match for your mom!
Energizing Black – This is a woman who likes to get stuff done! She juggles a busy schedule that includes both hard work and a lot of fun. Her checklists get crossed off and she faces life with a “go get-em” attitude. She is full of life and energy!
Refreshing Earl Grey – This mom is more of a traditionalist. She appreciates good books, British shows and the tradition of a good afternoon tea. She is a teacher at heart and loves sharing knowledge, stories and history. She’s certainly not boring though! She’s the mom helping her kids put on plays, build forts and trying new recipes. She has the heart of a queen!
Healthy Green Tea – This mom seeks balance in life. She strives to make her home a warm and welcoming environment for both her family and those who visit. She’s the mom who does yoga, creates healthy meals and enjoys spending time in nature. She is warm, contemplative and fair. Her presence makes you feel at peace.
Fresh Peach Mango – This mom knows how to have fun! She seeks the most out of life and can often be found playing on the beach and soaking up the sun. She loves activities with family and friends, enjoys a good barbeque and loves to laugh! She enjoys her tea both iced and hot. She is the one who doesn’t take a minute for granted, always enjoying life to the fullest!
Rich Vanilla Chai – This mom is an adventurer. She is intrigued by flavors, places and experiences that are rich and exotic. She’d prefer an Indian curry over a hamburger any day. She seeks to understand people on a deep level and has wonderful stories about the incredible people she’s met along the way. She’s a dreamer, a philosopher, and a romantic. She knows how to focus on important tasks in the present, but is always dreaming about new adventures for the future.
Pure Lemongrass – This mom is relaxed, enjoying life as it comes. She’s not in hurry to be anywhere and is happy to sit and enjoy a pot of tea with you for hours on end. She’ll tell you what she thinks, but only if asked. Her smile is easy and her manner gentle.
Now that you know which flavor suits your mom to a tea, I see "favorite child" status in your future. ;)
Have any excess green tea lying around? Here's a simple, delicious recipe to warm you up and make new use of your delicious Healthy Green Tea.
This recipe known as Ochazuke or Chazuke, comes from Japan. It's a very simple dish, made by pouring hot green tea over steamed rice. The rice soaks up green tea's nourishing properties and is perfect when you're short on time, don't have much of an appetite or want a light, refreshing, healthy dish after overindulging in heavy foods. It's perfect for using up leftover rice and small pieces of meat.
The beauty of this dish, is that you can make it however you like it. Traditionally it includes pickled items, sesame seeds, seaweed strips, pieces of salted fish, roe, scallions and wasabi. However if you're vegetarian or seafood averse, you can make it meatless or substitute the fish with small pieces of chicken or beef. The point is to keep it simple and use items you already have.
So boil a small pot of green tea, grab some cooked rice, add any of the following ingredients, and then pour your hot green tea over top.
*However you choose to make your Ochazuke, be sure to include pickled items, or other salty things as the green tea broth has an extremely mild flavor.
A friend of mine posted this image the other day and I thought it was really powerful! I don't know who originally created it, but kudos to them! There are a couple things in this statement that ring so true to me when it comes to changing the world...
1. DON'T KEEP CALM
Have you ever seen an injustice that angered you, heard of a need so great it moved you tears, or got excited about a cause that you felt passionate about? Me too. All those things, anger, sadness, passion bring us to the opposite place of calm; and you know what: that's exactly where you need to be if you're going to start changing the world. Changing the world starts inside, it's a mental shift, an emotional shift, a heart shift. It's making the decision that you're not going to sit back and stay calm, you're going to be moved by those feelings and allow them to drive you to make a difference. The desire to stay calm, to shut out the injustices in this world kill our chances of ever making an impact. So DON'T STAY CALM, get angry about the injustice and excited about doing something to change it!
2. GET ACTIVE
All that sadness, anger, and excitement means nothing if you don't actually do something about it; and this is where I see a lot of people (with excellent intentions mind you) go back to their state of calm. Changing the world can be such a huge overwhelming thought that we end up doing nothing rather than something. The reality is no ONE person can change the world, but EVERY one person can make a change.
Here are some steps you can take to GET ACTIVE and start changing the world.
SO DON'T BE CALM! TAKE ACTION! CHANGE THE WORLD!
On several occasions I've been asked why Global Teas made the decision to donate $1 from every pouch of tea we sell. Some people think this is a lot considering most companies wouldn't dare to make a commitment to give away so much of the profits; while others have wondered if $1 really can make a difference.
For much of the developed world, $1 is an easy spend. We pay $4 for a single cup of coffee, $10 for a glass of wine with dinner, $12 to see a movie; frivolous spends that we don't think much about. When you learn that half of the world's population (over 3 billion people) live on less than $2.50 a day*, you begin to understand the impact a single dollar can make. The non-profit organizations we support work tirelessly in countries and areas where earning $2.50 a day is a reality. Think about your daily income. Imagine if an organization committed to donating almost half of YOUR daily income to improve your life and those of your neighbors; would it help? At the end of the year, would your life have changed for the better? What if you were lacking basic needs such as clean water, access to a doctor, the ability to harvest your garden without the threat of a bomb accidentally exploding, or wondering if tomorrow morning your family would have to sell you to a brothel owner because they could not afford to feed you? Would someone donating half of your daily income to improve these things in your life make a difference?
We've committed to giving $1 because it can and DOES change lives. Sure, it's a big chunk out of our profits, but that extra magazine ad we could buy each month, or that fancy new copier we could purchase if we didn't give that money away means absolutely nothing compared to the ability to help change another person's life.
It's a wonderful feeling knowing that every time someone buys your product it's another $1 you can put toward making a difference. I am so deeply appreciative for those of you who get it; for those of you who choose to make purchases (from Global Teas or otherwise) that support causes greater than yourselves. I love what Tony Kirwan, President and Founder of Destiny Rescue says: "We only have 2 choices, do something or do nothing." Imagine what would happen if every new company made a commitment to do SOMETHING rather than nothing.
*Statistic from http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
Dezerai Seitzer is the owner and founder of Global Teas, a retail line of tea that gives people the opportunity to help change lives by donating $1 from every pouch of tea sold to a non-profit organization.