Herbal and Spices – Cinnamon, Fennel, Spearmint

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum)

Both the essential oil and the bark are used for tea, accent piece for hot chocolate’s, hot toddy drinks and also is commonly combined with other teas, herbs for ailments. We also use the powdered form in baking and cooking, plus you can also get a capsule of powdered cinnamon.

The native cinnamon tree is know to grown in India, but is also cultivated in tropical places through out the planet.

A related plant grown in Japan and China is called “Cassia” and is known to carry a more stronger flavor.

Research: “Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health” by Rosemary Gladstar’s

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

A full plant can be used but the seeds are well used to create that “Licorice” taste in teas, baking and flavoring.

This plant helps to aid the acids in intestines and the stomach and is also can increase your appetite, can stimulate the digestive system and relieves gas.

Although the plant does remind us as a Yarrow plant, it is not part of the Yarrow family.

(Research: “Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health” by Rosemary Gladstar’s)

Spearmint (Mentha Spicata)

Both the flowers and leaves are generally used either on their own or blended with other herbs or teas. This plant is part of the Mint family— peppermint, spearmint, catmint.



Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

A beautiful yellow flower can be used as externally for sores, skin ulcers, burns and bruises. This flower is also being used in the cosmetic industry and is known to have a soothing feeling.   

Although this flower is used in other industries, it is also used in the Tea Industry as a color addition to many herbal blends, fruit and black tea blends.  No additional taste.    This flower is part of the potted marigold and generally the petals are dried to brew your tea. But this flower can also be added to your healthy salad and to “the manufactured version of marigold cheese”.

Taste: Neutral     Classification: Herbal Tea (Caffeine Free)     Origin: Italy Region: Tuscany   

 (Research: “Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health” by Rosemary Gladstar’s)


Blackberries & Blackberry leaves

Oddly enough this berry contains flavonoid compounds, organic acids, vitamin C, tannins and these are known to have medicinal properties. The roots and leaves are one of many effective treatments for the runs.

(Research: “Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health” by Rosemary Gladstar’s)

Coffee roasting

About coffee and coffee roasting…

Coffees are generally named after the regions that they are grown in Guatemala Atitlan, Fazenda Santa Izabel (Brazilian). The Panama estate coffee is one of many La Torcaza Estate and the Costa Rican Tarrazu coffee. The coffee plantations also gain the farm’s name or estate to the country that the coffee is grown. Blue Mountain coffee grown, processed and bagged in Jamaica.

The coffee beans are sorted through and are divided into weight, color, size, visible defects and density. This is called grading, very rarely will you see defected beans in with high-grade large beans. Color of the beans change when the roasted in uneven and depending on the roasting techniques. If the coffee is factory roasted, generally it is put into a large drum and roasted in a high scale machine – coffee roaster.   If the beans are roasted on an open fire in a pot, the roasting maybe become uneven.

The temperature of roasting the beans plays an important role and the time frame for roasting. A general table top roaster has a temperature of about 500 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, but this is a very small roaster and you can only roast about 1/2 cup at a time and it takes roughly 20 minutes to 1/2 hour for the beans to be roasted. This particular table roaster allows you to adjust the roasting from light to dark. The large scale roaster, the high-end roaster also have a range of roasting capabilities and these roaster can roast pounds and pounds of coffee at one time. Roasting of any coffee is a technique and a lot of hard work.

Based research knowledge of roasting procedures.       Research: Coffee Cafe by Sherri Johns

Antique paper

Creating antique paper

Tear or use a fancy scissor cutting tool  (one used in Scrapbooking) on the edges of the paper, then bunch the paper up into a ball, then spread out the paper so that it is flat.    Then use a Black hot tea bag directly over the paper in different sections of the paper.

To simply create the aged antique look in common white paper.   Let dry before using.

Black Tea bags can also be used to die clothing, using white material turning the material off-white.

Experiment with different teas to change the color effect (green teas can be also used to die fabric a light green).

Creative ideas from “Victoria—The Pleasures of Tea” by (Text by Kim Waller & Foreward by Nancy Lindemeyer)

Qigong (Chi-i-Kung) helps Winter blues

Now that winter has arrived how can that energy be created without feeling the winter blues.
Get plenty of rest, find some types of exercising you enjoy, drink plenty of Green tea, find that “Zen field” and try to relax from the busy work week.   The creation of the “Zen field” is that inner peace or space that you relax into to take the stress off the body.   It is a sanctuary were you can deal with the inner stresses through you life.
Thanks to a my dear friend, Jo-Anne whom started me off by getting together to enjoy Qigong, (pronounced Ch`i Kung), qi in qigong, “can mean air” (Reference: Wikipedia), and the gong meaning “work”, therefore combined is called “lifeforce”. (Reference: Wikipedia) 
Qigong combines movement of the inner body energy.   The beginning of the session, the practice version warm-up to get you started is very fulfilling with the renued energy that you receive when you have completed just the practice version warm-up, for beginners.    Just ask Jill, she joins in on occasion to get her session in and wow, she had instant energy and she looks forward to some other sessions.  By the time you have practiced the warm-up, then you have some energy to continue on the first lesson. 
Try Qigong and renue your energy. 

Elements that can damage your teas

What are the 3 major issues that can damage the taste of your fine Green and other fine Teas? 

Light, exposure to other foods, and moisture.
It is better to store your Green and other teas in a non clear container.
Also important is that the size of the container should match the quantity of the tea inside.
If tea is place into a huge container the taste may start to change the properties of the tea .   The tea will begin to oxidize inside the container.
Can tea be stored at room temperature?   Yes. 


According to our research — The Book of Green Tea by Diana Rosen

About High Tea

High Tea

The original High Tea came from the Upper Class and Rich society with their silver setting in coffee and tea, cream pitchers, sugar bowls with tongs and even silver tea caddies (tea chests). Everything is creatively hand-made silver accessories.

The hot water was placed in an urn and usually on a separate table. The urns were usually quite heavy and rested on a cradle.

Between the expensive tea came also the expensive of their sugar supply, Both were placed in a cabinet with a lock.

The early 1600 for Chinese tea was a whopping cost of over $2,500 per pound. Tea was equal to the cost of gems paid by the “nobles”.    In Edinburgh, a jeweler sold tea right next to their luxury gems.    

Along with the favorite High Tea came the dainty sandwiches and the adorable line of sweet desserts. The English were known to have cream that was clotted and a full range of scones to choose from for the sweet delicacies.

For most of the common folks during this time, the price of tea was not affordable.

It is not known how the tea really arrived, but only the rich could afford the premium tea.

Many centuries past and tea became a popular drink in Great Britain. By placing a kettle on the stove and enjoying toast with home-made jam or some plain bread.    Just a simple way to fill the taste buds with a cup of tea and sweet bread.

Reference: “Healing Teas” by Marie Nadine Antol