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Tea for the ailing

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As the months fly by, and signs of spring slowly emerge from the warming earth, I pause for a quick glance back.  What have I accomplished?  Where (and how) have I spent my time?  What do I have to show for my efforts?  Is my “life by design” materializing?  Or am I just wandering around, a little lost perhaps, stuck ...
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Tea and chicken soup for the body and the soul

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For the first time in more than four years, my body has succumbed to the seasonal flu virus.  It’s really been about two decades since I have had a full-blown flu debilitate me for days on end.  When others around me catch the bug and I witness how it affects them, I feel quite fortunate, thankful that I got off ...
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Bliss in discovery

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I was strolling through Chinatown last weekend, killing some time while waiting for a client to open a nearby shop.  During my stroll, I ducked into a herbal remedy store to smell and gaze at the myriad concoctions and dried stuff that filled every corner of the pungent shop.  Over on one of the sidewalls, my eye caught a glimpse ...
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Empowering Kenya’s small-scale tea farmers

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When you can get good orthodox tea from Kenya, it tends to be exceptional.  I have enjoyed numerous cups of Tinderet and Millima, and the odd cup of Kamba purple tea over the years and always asked myself why I do not drink more of this.  As it turns out, one of the most popular teas I sell is Irish ...
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The pushback

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Teaopia was a much better concept than Teavana from a customer’s perspective, although the idea for Teaopia was hatched after its founder was lured into a Teavana outlet at a Tampa megamall.  With a keen eye for retail trends and a wealth of shopping-mall expertise, Teaopia’s founder took all that was good about Teavana and incorporated it into a Canadian ...
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A tea life

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As I sit here, this first Saturday of September in my back yard, trying to compose a coherent piece of tea prose, I initially (as often happens) come up empty-handed.  So, I get up from the patio table and head indoors to find a cup of inspiration in my cluttered cupboard of tea samples.  The first box of tea my ...
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When less is more

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There are few consumer product sectors that – when reduced to their most basic form – offer you a significantly better experience.  Imagine walking into a car dealership and telling the salesperson you want to buy new wheels with every bell and whistle available, but were only prepared to pay their basic version price.  You know full well the options ...
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Thomas Love

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When my 7-year-old niece comes to visit, one of the things she loves to do is swim and drink tea with her uncle.  Her first choice for a swim is the ocean, but up here in Canada in January, swimming in the sea is best left to polar bears and spot prawns – not skinny little girls with little fear ...
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The hunt for the perfect cultivar

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November is when the tea bush drops its hazelnut-sized seeds and withdraws into winter hibernation.  It is the last hurrah of the growing season in the northern hemisphere for Camellia sinensis. As my tea plants recede into protection mode from the harsh winter temperatures, I lift my head up for a moment and restart my search for yet another hardy ...
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Chai – some attempts at art and a few almonds

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It was just this past September when I discovered Almond Breeze as a viable alternative to organic dairy.  I had seen it at Queensdale Market a few times, but had taken a pass on it because it was in a tetra pack.  I try never to buy anything in those containers, as they are incredibly costly to make and very ...