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Q&A with Rosanne Muncy of TeaPrints.com

TeaPrints Gaiwan Tshirt

TeaPrints

I’m really excited to have recently discovered TEAPRINTS.  I mean, how can you not possibly not love a t-shirts design that proudly displays: “KEEP CALM and GAIWAN ON” – brilliant!  And, a great way to strike up a “tea-conversation” when out in the wild.

TeaPrints Gaiwan Tshirt

Rosanne Muncy, CEO and Founder of TeaPrints, took notice of my love for this particular t-shirt and was kind enough to send me one. I really like the simplicity of the design, and the high quality of the t-shirt is definitely noticeable.  My TeaPrints shirt arrived pre-shrunk, which I prefer, and has a comfortable classic fit (note: the women’s t-shirts are more form-fitting).  TeaPrints also has a 7-day return policy, and a great FAQ page on their website to help you determine the best size and other details and answers to frequently asked questions.

TeaPrints currently offers a collection of T-Shirts, Hoodies, Totes, Posters and Gift Cards. TeaPrints also has a blog with frequent posts on useful information for tea folk, along with active social media channels (see links at the end of this post).

I’m really impressed with Rosanne, along with the origin story of TeaPrints and where she is taking the brand.  To learn more, check out my Q&A with Rosanne below.

 

Interview with Rosanne Muncy of TeaPrints

Q. Tell us a little more about yourself (especially about your time living in Morocco). And, how did you come up with the idea to build and launch TeaPrints.com?

A. I am a tea lover, organic gardener, and a nature lover. I became a tea lover at the age of eight when my family lived in Morocco for many years. I was a tomboy and spent a lot of time with my dad. My dad was friends with the Berber tribe leader and local hero, so I was able to experience Morocco in a unique and in-depth way.

I distinctly remember the first time I experienced Moroccan Mint tea. I can even smell it every time I close my eyes and reminisce. We were in a large tent, lots of people were milling around, there was an exhibition of horsemanship and shooting, but all I could focus on was the delightful aroma of the tea. It was fascinating to watch them prepare the tea and then pour it from many feet high into the beautiful tea glasses. The taste was just as exquisite as the aroma and as beautiful as the teaware. I fell in love!

In 2014 I opened an online tea shop, Tealated, and quickly realized that I enjoyed promoting tea much more than selling it. Tea is so diverse and can transcend obstacles between different people and cultures. It is an excellent way to make new friends, it helps to maintain health (especially if you use tea to replace toxic habits like soda addition, cigarette smoking, etc.), and it is delicious! I decided to close my online tea shop and focus solely on promoting tea and tea culture. TeaPrints is all about having fun while enjoying tea and starting a conversation about tea with others.
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“Talking Tea” with Jen Piccotti of An International Tea Moment

Talking tea JenPiccotti

“Talking Tea” is a weekly feature where I check-in with some of my favorite tea people online.

This week we feature Jen Piccotti from An International Tea Moment:

Q. Jen, can you tell us a bit about why you started An International Tea Moment, and what you like most about running the blog?

A. I first started my tea blog when my oldest daughter was born. It was a creative outlet for me, something that I could control, when the rest of my world felt so chaotic and unpredictable. I wrote simply for my own enjoyment and sanity, and it was mostly memories of tea moments I had experienced around the world with different friends and family.

I was surprised when I realized people were actually reading it. Then tea companies started reaching out and asking if they could send me tea to try. I felt like I had won the lottery! I think now the thing I enjoy most is connecting with such a variety of interesting people who enjoy the simple pleasure of tea… and also receiving samples of some of the most amazing teas in the world!

Q. What is one of your favorite “tea moments?”

A. One of my favorites is the first time my oldest daughter suggested having a tea party with me. She was 4 years old at the time. It was so sweet to experience that with her and imagine future “moments” as she grows up. A Persian Princess Moment.

Q. What general advice or tips would you have for someone that is new to tea?

A. Try different things and then enjoy what you like. If you like fruity teas, explore those. If you enjoy teas that smell flowery, try some floral blends. There’s no way to do it ‘wrong.’  Drink what you like and don’t be afraid to try something new when you have the opportunity.

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T CHING – Nurturing a Community of Tea Lovers

T Ching tea blog

One of my favorite tea websites to visit on a daily basis is T Ching. There’s new content posted nearly every day (sometimes numerous posts per day) and always a wide variety of tea-related topics. “Bringing people together with tea” is one our main goals here at the TeaMinded blog, and this includes introducing people to great resources that contribute to the tea Community — and T Ching delivers on that front, in many ways.

What follows is our overview of T Ching – a website worth visiting and bookmarking!

T Ching tea blog

Introduction to T Ching — How It All Started & What’s It All About

Michelle Rabin and Sandy Bushberg started T Ching to fulfill their vision and passion for tea lovers all over the world. They wanted to create a tea community where every tea lover could visit and share their thoughts on everything that has to do with tea making, the health benefits of tea, tea brewing and living a healthy life.

In reading about the formation of T Ching, it’s evident that one of the main reasons the site came into existence was due to concern for the declining state of health in not only the US but all over the world. The founders of the site knew that something as simple as drinking tea can be an effective way to reverse the unhealthy trend that is damaging the lives of millions.

Michelle and Sandy spent more than 25 years working in the healthcare industry, helping people overcome their bad living habits and changing them into healthy ones. Among these poor lifestyle choices, one of the unhealthiest is the increased consumption of high-sugar beverages. This is what the T Ching founders wanted to change as they sought to bring awareness to the masses of how damaging these drinks can be and show them the benefits of having a healthy substitute in the form of tea.

T Ching is for all tea lovers, from the hardcore traditional tea brewers to the casual/occasional ones.

It’s clear the aim is to be more than just a blog that informs its readers about tea — it’s about inviting readers to the all encompassing “journey” of tea, the benefits of drinking tea, the people who grow it, their tradition of tea brewing and the many ways of classical tea drinking, the tea rituals of many countries, and the peace that comes with enjoying a cup of tea.

The Various Content & Features of T Ching

With an amazing team and community, T Ching is one of the most informative and entertaining tea blogs. When visiting the T Ching website, you’ll be greeted with a clean and easy-to-navigate site design. You can easily see what the T Ching community is all about  — including core areas of TEA, DESIGN and LIFE.

The different categories on the website’s homepage direct readers to topics which are discussed on posts written by the contributors. Some of the latest posts on T Ching are aligned at the center of the website. From news related to the world of tea to new recipes that provide readers with an inside look into the health benefits of the many varieties of tea.

The different categories of the website (at the time of this review) include:

T Ching tea blog categories

The Most Popular T Ching Posts

Let’s have a look at some of the more popular and sections of the T Ching website.

News

The news archive is where you can read everything that is related to tea. From newly researched health benefits to the many different ways you can use tea in different aspects of your life. This section is full of interesting articles, such as how leftover teabags can be used to better your skin, how tea is increasing in popularity across the globe, or some of the latest news and trends related to organic tea farming. You can even read about how herbal teas can help reduce chances of colon cancer.

The fascinating stories coming in from all over the globe are a must-read for any and all tea lovers. This category is updated on a regular basis, so you can expect to find new and interesting stories and facts related to the world of tea frequently.

Recipes

The recipe posts on T Ching are an archive of different recipes of not only simple tea brewing, but different dishes that go with tea, ways of making different blends of teas, iced teas and so much more. By going through the many recipes, you’ll realize how much the folks at T Ching are committed to providing useful content.

These recipes are all very accessible, and the teaware and ingredients are easy to find. An example of the diversity of posts in this section include numerous Matcha tea recipes, how to make tea ice-cream and where you can watch Japanese cooking programs.

Health and Wellbeing

You may have come across numerous articles outlining the health benefits of drinking tea. Even though most all teas are beneficial for your health, you can easily get confused about which tea to drink to remedy a particular ailment. The posts in this section cover such things as how different teas can be helpful in cleansing your blood, reinvigorating your brain cells, soothing your sore throat and losing weight with the help of tea. The posts are very specific, which separates T Ching from other tea blogs that are more broad.

There is nothing more natural than treating health issues with the help of tea. Tea has been associated with helping people deal with hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol and even cancer and Alzheimer’s. This is a must-read section of archives to increase your knowledge about the many health benefits of tea.

What I also really like about this category on T Ching, is that the content delves into the well-being of tea, covering the more “mindful” and meditative benefits of enjoying tea. A personal favorite topic of mine..and T Ching really delivers on this front!

Tea Education

This section is all about tea and its various nuances. With so many tea varieties, T Ching does a great job of keeping readers posted on how they are grown, picked, packaged, and most importantly brewed. T Ching is full of people who love tea, which is evident as their writers are continually testing and trying new offerings, and sharing their experiences with readers around the globe.

You can learn some of the best ways to brew a particular type of tea, ways of growing your own tea and how you can use tea to power through the day. Whether you are new to tea, or a seasoned enthusiast, you will likely find something interesting to learn, share and talk about with family, friends and others in the tea community.

History & Spirituality

Here you learn more about how tea can help soothe the mind, body and soul. This section gives you a glimpse into how vast the world of tea really is.

You will find articles covering many cultures, and how tea has been (and still is) a part of traditional and spiritual heritages. Every culture brings its own unique ways of brewing tea, different designs and styles of teaware and other cultural nuances.  For example, you can learn about the role of dragons and other mystical creatures among the Chinese culture — and why these figures often grace teapots and teacups (or learn more about the Japanese culture in relation to the natural aspects of mountains and tree spirits).

Travel

The travel section, as the name suggests, is all about the people travelling the world in search of the perfect cup of tea. Many go to countries like Japan, China, India and Taiwan in search of tea. Some travel to find new teas and different blends. The contributors share their stories and tales about their many adventures around the world. Most of the people who travel to these regions also sometimes end up establishing businesses with the local tea farmers.

The demand for good organic tea (and fair trade) is growing around the world as well, and it has become imperative for tea merchants to understand this market and how to acquire tea from sources that are pure and organic. If you are a fellow traveler yourself going on an adventure to find something new in the world of tea, you can read up about the different teashops in the places you are going to.

T Ching Social Channels

T Ching can also be found on popular social channels.

T Ching on Facebook and twitter

In order to stay in touch with their readers and to also spread the word of tea, T Ching is active and engaging on popular social networks. This allows for more people to give their thoughts on the blog posts which have been published, and also for the readers to share their views on everything related to tea.  For the visitors, there is also detailed info on how to get in touch with someone from the T Ching team.

Regular updates, and any site news or new blog posts, will be easier to follow if you subscribe or add the RSS feed to your favorite blog reader.

T Ching’s Support for the Tea Community

The tea community is made up of so many caring and interesting people — and T Ching plays a key role in this community.  So many of us are looking for inspiration, encouragement and peace of mind. This is where tea comes in…and where T Ching delivers.

Additionally, it’s evident that T Ching supports practices which ensure the sustainability and wellbeing of the planet.  They believe in a core set of values – as the T Ching community shows a sense of personal responsibility towards the environment. This demonstarted with their blog posts that encourage the practices which contribute to the sustainability. T Ching is also committed to covering topics related to organically grown, high quality tea — and teas directly from the farmers, and of the highest quality.

T Ching encourages everyone to be responsible human beings and reduce the individual and industrial impact on the world’s ecosystem by reducing the carbon footprint and to take be a part of the mission for a healthy and sustainable future.

T Ching tea blog website

Conclusion

I really enjoy staying in touch with the tea community around the world, and T Ching plays an important role. There is always something new to learn and share, and contributors are continually posting interesting and engaging content (both with blog posts and discussions/feedback in the comments section).

If you want to be a part of a tea community that is vibrant, friendly, knowledgeable and inspiring — I definitely encourage you to follow along with T Ching (and subscribe and/or add the RSS feed to your daily blog reader).

(photos copyright of T Ching)

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“Talking Tea” with Ricardo Caicedo of My Japanese Green Tea Blog & Podcast

Talking Tea wit Ricardo Caicedo

Talking Tea wit Ricardo Caicedo

Ricardo Caicedo from My Japanese Green Tea is an authority on all things green tea. His blog posts, and podcast episodes, offer the perfect balance of information and entertainment.

Many thanks to Ricardo for taking time to “Talk Tea” with us.

Q. Ricardo, can you tell us a bit about why you started the My Japanese Green Tea blog and podcast? And, what you like most about being a tea blogger and podcaster?

A. I have always been fascinated with Japanese culture, and while living in Japan as a student I experienced green tea. When I came back home, I wanted to learn more about it, but since I couldn’t find a place online like I wanted, I decided to create my own.

As I explore and learn more about Japanese green tea, I share my knowledge with everyone, which is the primary goal of the blog and the podcast.

What I like the best about being a tea blogger/podcaster is that I have been able to meet many people of the tea industry, including fellow tea bloggers. Even though I don’t live in the US, I was able to talk with most of them at the World Tea Expo this year, which was a great experience.

Q. What is one of your favorite “tea moments?”

A. The best time that I have with tea isn’t related to drinking it, but when I hold a tea tasting. In my country, Colombia, tea isn’t very popular but I’m trying to change that little by little. When someone discovers loose leaf tea and is marveled at it, it makes me very happy.

I have an online tea store, Kyusu Teas, where I sell Japanese teas. The tea tastings are my main form of marketing.

Q. What general advice or tips would you have for someone that is new to green tea?

A. A lot of people still think that all green tea is bitter. This only happens if you’re brewing it incorrectly, or if it is of low quality (such as the cheap green tea in teabags) to start with.

Follow the general guidelines when first brewing a specific type of green tea, and then you can adjust them to your taste. Japanese green tea in general shouldn’t be too bitter but refreshing, slightly sweet and easy to drink.

Q. What post are you most proud of on your blog?

A. I have a page where I have a list of the Japanese tea cultivars (cultivated varieties of the tea plant) and also link to their descriptions.  It’s far from complete, but it’s something that hadn’t been done before in English, and it seems that a lot of people have liked it.

Q. Tell us about the very most recent cup of green tea you had, and why you chose it.

A. As I’m sure many tea lovers do, I have to admit that I’ve accumulated too much tea. That’s why I’ve been drinking the older teas that I have very frequently, before they go past their expiry date.

This month I’ve been drinking a lot of fukamushi sencha, it’s a deep steamed sencha which has a dark green color and a good body. It’s popular in Shizuoka prefecture.

Q. Do you have any recommended tea websites or blogs for our readers to check out?

A. For tea reviews, I recommend Nicole Martin’s blog: Tea For Me Please. For general info on tea, World of Tea from Tony Gebely, which won the best tea blog award at this year’s World Tea Expo.

You can find Ricardo at the following links:

Ricardo Caicedo of My Japanese Green Tea

Blog and Podcast

Online store (Colombia)

Google+

Twitter

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“Talking Tea” with Nicole Martin of Tea For Me Please

Talking Tea with Nicole Martin of Tea For Me Please

Talking Tea with Nicole Martin of Tea For Me Please

“Talking Tea” is a weekly feature where we check-in with some of our favorite tea people online.

This week we feature Nicole Martin from the very popular blog: Tea for Me Please.  Many thanks to Nicole for taking time out of her busy schedule to “Talk Tea” with us.

Q. Nicole, can you tell us a bit about why you started Tea for Me Please, and what you like most about running the blog?

A. It first started as a personal log to keep track of what I drank. After a while, I noticed that other people were actually reading what I wrote. There’s so many things that I like about running the blog that it’s hard to choose. I love getting to try amazing teas but I also really enjoy getting to meet people from all over the world.

Q. What is one of your favorite “tea moments?”

A. An impromptu tea tasting in a food court at the Fancy Food Show. We drank out of little paper ketchup cups but somehow it worked.

Q. What general advice or tips would you have for someone that is new to tea?

A. Drink as much tea as you possibly can and don’t be afraid to try something new. There is a huge world out there to explore!

Q. What post are you most proud of on your blog?

A. I’d probably have to say that my recipe for Red, White and Blue Tea Sangria is one of the ones that I’m most proud of. It’s been pinned on Pinterest more than any other blog post and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on it.

Q. Tell us about the very most recent cup of tea you had, and why you chose it.

A. My most recent cup of tea was a really nice sheng puerh that I received from my Global Tea Hut subscription. I chose it because the name King of the Forest made me really curious.

Q. Do you have any recommended tea websites or blogs for our readers to check out?

A. I definitely suggest checking out Tony Gebely’s blog, World of Tea. He’s writing a book on tea so there’s lots of great nerdy info. TeaDB is another great one. I really enjoy their tasting videos.

You can find Nicole and Tea For Me Please at the following links:

Nicole MartinTea For Me Please Blog
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram