Make yourself a perfect cup of tea and put your feet up. Shopping from home is the best! Here are some 2021 holiday gift deals for tea lovers on your list (or yourself) that Tea Deviant has actually experienced. Some are Christmas focused where others work as gifts for all faiths and celebrations.
Award Winning Japanese Green Tea (& Coffee)
Japanese Green Tea gave Tea Deviant a 20% off coupon code for Black Friday through to Cyber Monday: teadeviantbfcm2021 This code is good from 2021/11/25 11:00PM PST to 2021/11/29 11:59PM PST and it works on both Japanese Green Tea Co. and Japanese Coffee Co., covering both tea and coffee lovers on your holiday list!
I am proud to be an affiliate for this company. A Global Tea Championship Winner three years in a row, this company has exceptional Japanese green teas on offer - beautiful gyokuro, matcha, sencha.
One of my favorites is the powdered Green Tea with Japanese Orange (Mikan). This tea was created when the Arahataen Tea Farm, where Japanese green Tea Co. sources their teas, partnered with Japanese high school students for a year. They taught the students farming and in turn learned about their taste preferences. Japanese Green Tea Co. then created teas that suited the young Japanese palate.
JapaneseGreenTeaIn.com – Free Shipping within USA only; international depends on location
Japanese CoffeeCo.com – Free Shipping for orders above $100 (worldwide)
They have a specific site for customers in India also: https://www.japanesegreentea.in/
Christmas Themed Tea to Fandom Tea to Fine Single Origin Tea
It’s more than just one days of sales over at Adagio Teas. They’re having a Black Friday week! They have a wide variety of teas to please a wide variety of palates.
Get $5.00 off for entering your email, free shipping on orders over $25 and free gifts for certain order thresholds.
Their holiday offerings include the 12 Teas of Christmas gift. The box has one metal ornament for each of the twelve days each with a different tea. Give the whole box as a gift or top your presents with an ornament each.
Their Christmas Advent Calendar is a way to enjoy a new tea every day December 1st to the 25th. Get one for yourself and a friend and use it as a way to connect. If they’re far away you can plan video calls with them discovering a new tea together.
They have holiday themed teaware and individual teas. If you love Terry’s Chocolate Orange you’ll love Puerh Chorange. Reindeer Fuel is a limited edition energy packed blend that includes black tea and mate along with mint and cacao. The blend is well balanced and makes a delicious tis-the-season latte.
I am not an affiliate for Adagio, but I have tried many of their teas and they are a solid brand.
Celebrate the Holidays in Japan Without Leaving Home
I know we’re all tired of the pandemic, but some innovations have evolved from it that we may not otherwise have had. Arigato Japan, a foodie tour company in the country, developed live virtual tours in answer to the travel restrictions that ensued. I attended one of their online tea experiences early this year. It felt good to have something new to engage in connecting with other tea lovers from all over the world in the midst of such limited pandemic contact.
They are having a Christmas and New Year in Japan experience online available now through January 5th 2022. It is a historical and cultural dive into the holidays in Japan with a local virtual guide that lasts one hour and fifteen minutes. This is a family friendly tour.
In anticipation of the return to travel to Japan, Arigato are also offering a 15% discount on their in-person tours with the coupon code BF2021AJ at checkout from November 26th to November 29th, 2021. It is good on all tours in 2022 except for the Ultimate Ramen in Tokyo.
I am not an affiliate of Arigato Japan though I have enjoyed one of their virtual experiences and think it is a smart, innovative way to keep connecting with the country.
In many ways tea is a very enjoyable and healthy addition to the day. However, there are times when It can interfere with your feeling and being the fierce force of brilliance you want to be. Here are five times when tea is bad for you.
1. Drinking Tea too Hot and Frequently
When having hot tea, I prefer it to be what I’d define as hot. When having iced tea, I prefer it truly cold. Anything in between is just bleh. However, there is such a thing as too hot.
There have been multiple studies on the correlation between frequent hot tea drinking and increased incidence of esophageal cancer. Certain cultures have higher rates of this cancer than the US, where it is low. Iran and China are two countries where tea plays a huge part in daily life and includes many cups throughout the day. These countries also have a larger percentage of esophageal cancer cases.
Studies have also shown that it isn’t just tea that can increase this risk (one study showed a 90% increase in risk), but any overly hot beverage (>150℉/70 ℃). Also, it was found that tea had a protective effect against esophageal cancer when consumed at lower temperatures.
So the issue isn’t tea really, but heat and frequency. Tea is a great choice for this kind of study because of how integral it is to daily life in many cultures.
In the end: just be aware of your tea temperature before you drink it.
2. Drinking tea too late
Depending on your caffeine sensitivity, having tea too late in the day can cause caffeine induced insomnia. Science time: caffeine inhibits the natural production of adenosine, which is necessary for quality sleep. Caffeine does this by connecting to cell receptors that should be taking in adenosine, and it gets away with this because it has a similar structure. When adenosine receptors are blocked melatonin production goes down.
The half life of caffeine is generally 4-6 hours. So having tea less than 6 hours before bed may cause you to lie awake contemplating your life choices. It also may cause you tense muscles or even anxiety.
Tea most often has less caffeine per cup than coffee, unless you’re talking about matcha. Still, your sensitivity is individual. If you’ve been having any sleep difficulty, consider feeding your tea addiction earlier in the day.
3. Tea on an Empty Stomach
Again, this is a personal sensitivity issue. Have you ever known someone who could eat just about anything? If that isn't you be careful having your tea on an empty stomach. It can cause stomach cramps, digestive issues and even diarrhea.
Matcha is the worst for this, because you're consuming the entire leaf and the potency is much higher. If you are new to matcha don't have it in the traditional concentration. Try it as a latte, or at the very least, more diluted first, and not on an empty stomach.
4. Too Much Tea
They say you can never have too much of a good thing. Who said that? Even with my love for tea I know there is a ceiling.
Having something in your stomach may not buffer you from tea’s caffeine effects if you have too much of it in a short time. I speak from experience. My bandmate and I were on our way to a music festival. The traffic was heavy and my body couldn’t wait. Had to leap out of the car and run to a local drug store to use their facilities. It was a tea induced episode and I knew it. Not dangerous, just awkward.
The general medical guideline for caffeine is less than 400 mg per day. Bear in mind that doesn't take into account body weight or individual sensitivities. Listen to your unique body.
5. Tea Interacts with Some SUpplements and medications
This may seem contrary to number 3 but studies have shown tea can be problematic when had with food or supplements. Tea can inhibit the absorption of iron. It also reacts with some medications like ephedrine, theophyllene and echinacea.
Theophyllene and echinacea can increase the caffeine effect of tea. Ephedrine can heighten the risk of some conditions like high blood pressure and stroke.
Make sure to consult with your doctor if you are taking any medications, and for guidance on moderating your caffeine intake if needed.
Tea is a joyful and healthy addition to life when approached with knowledge.
Protect your health. Don’t be afraid, be as informed as you can. Listen to your magnificent machine of a body so you can enjoy your tea and life to the fullest.
This is not a sponsored post
For some of us everyday is Halloween, and no, we don’t get tired of it. The flavors of fall, however, are seasonal. Adagio Teas has both the season and the holiday covered with teas and teaware.
Of the teas I sampled my favorite is the Puerh Hazelberry. Normally I see puerh as a category of tea that is best experienced unflavored and in multiple gaiwan steeps. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go for me. The dry leaves smell like dessert with the fruit and nut flavors overwhelming the tea. But when the leaves are wet that’s when I could smell the earth of puerh rising up over the strawberries, hazelnut and cream.
Though dark in the cup, don’t be afraid. This is an amiable darkness with a soft touch that is not astringent at all. It is a friendly puerh with smoothness and a touch of that walking through a wet forest experience that I love. The earthiness of this puerh is on the whole mild with subtle mushroom notes, and capable of multiple steeps. I still preferred it without any sweetener or milk, though it can handle both if that is your cup of tea.
They also went fall on their matcha with Matcha Cinnamon Apple. It’s unsweetened which is best for customization. I don’t usually do flavored matcha but the flavoring is both natural and mild so the tea is still the star. The matcha is a tasty Samidori cultivar from Uji, Japan, a vibrant green and not bitter.
This is great as a latte and sweetener brings the apple cinnamon flavors out. I also enjoyed it plain though as the matcha is good quality. If you are new to matcha having a latte is a great introduction as it can be intense on your stomach especially if empty. Remember, once opened, store your matcha in a cool, dark place away from sunlight and have it within two months or it will begin to turn bitter. Be good to your matcha and it will be good to you.
TEA NOTE: When preparing matcha traditionally it is best to use a chasen bamboo whisk. Using a spoon may leave you with chunks. For me chunky matcha is a no. If texture is important to you, get one of these tools for your matcha preparation. It is easier to use in a flatter based bowl, or dedicated matcha bowl. For a latte or smoothie using a blender will work.
Adagio has a limited edition box of six Wicked Teas in decorative metal tins (I think I was sent last year’s designs but the teas look to be the same). Though small the tins are packed with enough loose leaf tea to invite a friend over for a pot. (Or three. No judgments.) They are all flavored and lightly sweetened blends. Two are caffeine free and the rest have a caffeinated black tea base. Notable ones for me:
There are eyeballs in this tea. Candy eyeballs. I love that. It reminds me of that Sherlock episode where an eyeball is shown floating in Sherlock’s tea (Adagio has a tea just for that fandom too). These, thankfully dissolve into sweetness (no experiments or heads in the fridge necessary).
The creme and caramel flavors mixed with this black blend lend a dessert taste. I think milk (of choice) is a good complement here, amping up the creamy feel. The sweetness is mild, but sufficient for me. Whatever the mystery black blend is it is low in astringency but full enough in body to shine through when milk is added.
TEA NOTE: I think the candy eyeballs are only in the six tin sampler pack version of this tea, not the a la carte version.
This is a black tea base with apple pieces and sugar in it, red sugar. It does look pretty almost like a magical element (poof! You’re a toad!) No. This tea won’t give you the powers of an animagus or transform you into an amphibian, but it is the essence of fall apple picking during Halloween.
I let the water boil and then cool slightly, steeping at about 205° for four minutes. I also used one and a half teaspoons for an approximately 10 ounce mug. I liked it brewed at this strength and time. The tea tasted good with nothing else in it. The sweetened apple flavor definitely came through while the cinnamon is playing peek-a-boo in the background. If you prefer your tea extra sweet you could use a no calorie sweetener of choice, honey or simply more sugar. This Tea pairs well with a simple tea biscuit too.
TEA NOTE: If sugar is a no no for you try one of Adagio’s many other unsweetened fall teas
The other teas in this box are:
The ingredients for each tea are not listed in the box I received, but all of the info is available on the Adagio website. I get it. It keeps the look of the box clean and gives you a reason to visit the site.
Tea Infuser Cups
The company has a fall and a Halloween double walled infuser cup available, and they sent me the Bones one. It includes a fine mesh brewing basket that hooks to the rim of the cup and a lid. The volume isn’t listed on the box but it holds about 10 ounces. I like having multiple forms of teaware for different brewing styles and situations. Pros for this tea infuser cup:
Thanks to Adagio for providing the teas for this adventure. For more Halloween tea check out these posts:
Tea and a Tale: Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Join my mini-tour of The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and a bit about tea in the 1800s.
Tea Halloween Style - Dragon makeup and pumpkin coffin scones!
Happy Halloween! Get out your Tea Cauldron - Make your own pumpkin tea at home
Go get your Halloween tea on!
Tea party, tea and consent, Russell’s teapot...Yes, I love to drink tea, but I also find it intriguing how tea has been used as a symbol in so many ways socially, politically and so on. It's wild that this piece of common crockery has such a history worldwide it can be used like that. I recently discovered a way it was leveraged on the border of philosophy and religion. During a session of sending memes back and forth with a friend I found one of a teapot in space with the name Bertrand Russell on it. Loving tea and being a scifi fan I thought the image was fun, but I realized there was something more. I was surprised that I hadn’t come across this before.
A Bit About Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, mathematician, teacher and writer who lived from 1872-1970 (98!). His parents died when he was a baby and he was raised by his grandparents. His grandfather was a member of parliament. He saw both world wars, and their ends. A fierce advocate of humanism and freedom of speech, he was fined and imprisoned for some of his writings that criticized war and government. Yet, he went on to become a Nobel Prize winner for literature.
He is known for many thought provoking quotes. Here are a few:
“To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already 3-parts dead.”
“If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.”
Russell was a prolific writer and speaker, but the cosmic teapot is one of his most well known concepts. The idea behind the analogy was that the burden of proof is on the claimant not the detractor.
His argument went like this:
“If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes.
But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense.
If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.”
This analogy, which has been called the cosmic teapot, the celestial teapot, Russel’s teapot, and Bertram’s teapot, became famous and associated with atheism. However, Russell himself felt that even his assertions should be questioned stating:
“The rational man will not be so sure that he’s right. We ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn’t wish people to dogmatically believe any philosophy, not even mine.”
I know enough to know that I don’t know everything. One thing I do know is that I adore tea, the taste of it, how we gather together to share it and how it continues to inspire discourse.
This is not a sponsored post
All Classic Tea Flavored And Funky For Love Of Tea Herbs Infusions Lifestyle And Health Matcha Meditative And ASMR Sessions Recipes And Uses Specialty Tea Brands Spices Tea Accessories Tea Adjacent Tea And... Tea And A Laugh Tea And Art Tea And Holidays Tea And Music Series Tea And TV Tea Around The World Tea Cocktails Tea Events Tea In Film Tea In History Tea Innovations Tea Pros Tea Shops/Shops With Tea Tea Types Teaware