Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tea quotes!

I found a page on Quote Garden about tea. These little tidbits from famous people really capture the unique effect that tea has on our lives. I'll post a couple of my favorites here, but you should definitely check out the page! The link is right here :)

Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.  ~Author Unknown

Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary.  ~Chinese Proverb (So true!)

If you are cold, tea will warm you.  If you are too heated, it will cool you.  If you are depressed, it will cheer you.  If you are excited, it will calm you.  ~Gladstone, 1865

Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings!  ~Author Unknown

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.  ~C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sniffles and Sneezes?

It's that time of year! The cars parked around campus have a light yellow dusting all over them; they're covered in pollen, and it's getting in our noses too. My seasonal allergies tend to hit me more in the fall, but hay-fever is making people miserable right now. 

My friend David is a particularly severe case. He's completely lost his voice this week because of his allergies! Since I have a history of prescribing tea for just about every ailment under the sun, David came to me and asked for some tea to make his throat feel better. 

Now, just about any hot tea is going to have a soothing effect on a scratchy throat. But we want to get to the root of the problem, don't we? So I made him rooibos.

Rooibos tea (I pronounce it "roy-bows") is an herbal tea - i.e. made from a plant other than Camelia sinensis - that is made from a bush that grows in South Africa. It's got a distinctly red color, earning it the commonly used (and more easily pronounced) title, "red tea."


Rooibos tea lays claim to a long list of health benefits, from fighting acne to curing colic in children. But it also contains two important bioflavonoids, called Rutin and Quercetin. These bioflavonoids block histamine, which is the cause of inflamatory allergy symptoms like itchy eyes, stuffy nose, coughing, etc. Just drink rooibos tea regularly and you may even be able to ditch the allergy drugs - this wonder-tea is a safe and natural way to keep those sniffles at bay. 

More good news: rooibos tea is caffeine-free, and does not have the iron-blocking effects of other teas. So you can drink as much as you want! Hydrating, allergy-fighting, and refreshing. Not to mention the antioxidants and other health benefits. So don't just sit there! Follow your itchy red nose to the grocery store or a nearby tea shop and pick up some red tea!

I have one more suggestion to combat your seasonal allergies: try adding some locally-sourced honey to your rooibos tea! Local honey is said to help assimilate the body to local allergens, since it contains trace amounts of pollen from the plants in your area. Definitely worth a try, in my opinion! Head to your local farmers' market or get online and do some hunting to find yourself a local apiary (that's fancy-talk for bee farm). And then enjoy! Honey goes great with red tea.

For this post, I got some of my information from Teavana's page on rooibos. They have some scrumptious rooibos blends for sale, so be sure to follow the link and check them out!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's Always With Me

I promised this post on Twitter a few days ago - sorry it's a couple days late - busy week!

"It's Always With Me" by Susan Glasgow
Photo source

This weekend, while I was home in St. Louis on spring break, my mom took me to the Craft Alliance in the Delmar Loop to see their biennial teapot exhibition, this year titled, "Hot Tea" after one of the whimsical pieces featured in the collection.
"Hot Tea" by Dixie Biggs

I snapped some pictures on my mom's phone so that I can share my favorite ones with you! (The more professional-looking photos are from the Craft Alliance website.)

Some of the pieces are actually usable teapots, while others are sculptures inspired by teapots. As the currator explained, even the most abstract ones contain elements of the teapot: maybe a rounded body, or perhaps a handle or spout. Each teapot and sculpture is for sale - mind you, for quite a chunk of change. But these are some gorgeous works of art, so it's no surprise that the prices range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars!

The exhibit was lovely, and I had a great time perfecting my, "I'm a highly experienced teapot-inspired-art critic" face - one eyebrow raised, thumb and forefinger stroking my chin, slowly nodding. Makes me look smart.

Like I said, I've posted some of my favorites below. But I highly recommend going to see the exhibit for yourself - it's open through April 22nd, so pop on over to the Craft Alliance as soon as you can! You can check out their website here for hours, contact information, and the address. There's also a Facebook page, and you can check them out on Twitter at @CraftAlliance. 

"Heart Teapot: Internal Combustion" by Richard Notkin

"Olive Teapot" by Kliss Glass
Photo source

"Peace Teapot" by Eric Serritella
(Fun fact: that's not made of wood! It's ceramic, faux bois)

"Secret of Tea" by Qun Liu

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Life and Tea Times of Anna Bohn

Greetings, Blogosphere!
Let me introduce myself. My name is Anna. I'm a junior at a small but wonderful college in the middle of Missouri, and I am passionate about tea. With this blog, I'm hoping to bring others into the wonderful realm of tea drinkers, as well as provide some interesting facts and history about this timeless beverage. But first, I think I'll share a bit of my own history with tea.

I'm not quite sure how it began. My sisters were coffee-lovers in high school, but I didn't like coffee until college (unavoidable, I'm sure you'll agree). It may have been the need to branch out during from hot chocolate on our frequent Starbucks runs. Or maybe it stemmed from my family's love of Chinese food, leading to hot tea with our buffet lunches. But for whatever reason, I started drinking black tea from time to time in early high school, always with several packets of sugar. It wasn't long after this that I discovered the Teavana store at my local mall, and the real obsession began.

For those of you who don't know, Teavana is a self-proclaimed "heaven of tea." It can be found in many malls in the US, as well as online. For your first visit, I recommend going to a physical store. They have tantalizing samples placed strategically outside the store. After trying the samples, I wandered into the store, and as time went on my appreciation and knowledge of tea grew. I became more sensitive to the nuanced tastes and I used less and less and then little or no sugar.

Several years and a six month subscription to a Tea of the Month Club later, I consider tea not just a yummy and healthful alternative to sodas and coffee, but a hobby and an integral part of my lifestyle. I'm by no means an expert, but I hope you'll journey with me through this blog as I continue to explore the fascinating world of tea!