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My parents and I are very close. I am so blessed to have wonderful relationships with them both. Even though we live on opposite coastlines, our hearts know no separation. The two newest House Blends in our line up were actually created as tributes to them—San Franni’s Chai and Green Jaguar—and there’s a story behind each blend.

San Franni’s Chai

This blend is in honor of my mom, Franni, and was initially her recommendation. My parents live in San Francisco, California, along with my brother and sister-in-law. I grew up there. However, my family just recently relocated back to the Bay Area. During a visit there earlier this year, I was pretty persistent in visiting the local tea shops. At one of the tea spots, my mom had ordered a cup of Masala Chai tea. It looked so yummy I had to taste. On another day, we visited a different location of the same tea business, and I ordered a cup of their chai without hesitation. I was hooked! After returning home, I was still craving that cup of chai.

Months later my mom mentioned that she had mixed some of our Kama Sutra Chai with our Gingerbread Tisane, added a little agave sweetener, almond milk and chocolate, which turned out pretty tasty. (I love she’s now blending her own teas!) I had to try it myself of course. She was right! It hit the spot! What a yummy treat. I knew it had to become part of our tea line up and share it with our customers. Thanks for the creation mom!

Green Jaguar

This one is in honor of my dad, Bob. The story goes back quite a bit as an inside joke between us through the years. I can’t even say exactly how it came about, but sometime when I was a teenager, I had told my dad I was going to buy him a convertible green Jaguar. I was dead set on being a famous screen actress, so this promise was surely going to be fulfilled along the way.

Fast forward to now. Yes, I’ve been in movies, but rich and famous, not so much. I am however the owner of a tea business. So for his birthday, my dad requested I make him a Green Jaguar tea blend. Now that I can do!

I knew it had to be classy. I started with our exquisite Glenburn Darjeeling Green tea as the base. Then to add some raciness, ginger and turmeric were blended in to get the blood pumping. They provide some very powerful anti-inflammatory action as well. Mission accomplished! (Maybe someday Dad, we’ll get that car too.)

I am so excited they are coming to Virginia to visit us this month! They will also be able to join in at our Wu Wo Tea Ceremony this year and share with me the art of tea; creating more special memories together indeed. Perhaps we’ll find inspiration for another tea blend.

Friday, 30 September 2016 15:44

Wu Wo Tea Ceremony - Sharing the Art of Tea

From the first time I witnessed a Wu Wo ceremony, I knew it was something I wanted to bring to our own community. It was so incredibly moving to me. It demonstrated the power of what tea can be in connecting with people.

This isn’t about performance or perfection like many other tea ceremonies. This one is relatively modern and informal, done with group participation instead of one tea master. Everyone present takes part; no experience necessary. Brewing, honoring, sharing tea together…all done in silence. It’s not a day about sales and business; it’s a day to stop and celebrate the tea community we’ve built through the years. Our tea community is the backbone of our purpose—spreading love through tea.

We have the hot water ready, and participants bring their tea of choice and a teapot or infuser. As we begin, the first steep has an almost awkwardness as we wait. Then the fun begins, and it keeps going steep after steep for as many as you want to do. Two people could be brewing the same tea, but it would probably taste different. Each brew has uniqueness as a result of the energy and intention put into it as it’s made.

There is a bond that forms between participants, as appreciation for each other grows in the sharing of the brews. The feeling of community and joy generates a wave of positivity. I believe this demonstration of peace ripples out into the world, touching whoever is open to receive.

Then gradually it winds down as it organically comes to an end. Everyone is quite high on drinking tea; there is residual elation in the room. We just witnessed and shared in a living, breathing piece of performance art—the profound art of tea.

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