Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tea and Cup Wisdom

Green Teas & Honey ~ No, not contraband!

Just a quick post to let y'all know that I am still here. This past week has been one of the more hectic ones, so this post is fitting in that it shows one of the little pleasures that I have had time for even in the busiest of times.

The above photo shows an old favorite and my new love in organic loose leaf teas. The jar on the left contains organic Gunpowder Green Tea. That's the old favorite. Its leaves are tightly curled up into little grey-green balls, I assume resembling the look of gunpowder, and it brews up into a strong, sort of musty cup of green tea, depending of course, on how much tea is used and how long you let it steep. It gives me a good kick-start in the mornings. I tend to just put a couple of teaspoons of loose Gunpowder green into the coffee filter of my automatic coffee maker and let the water pour through it to make a very nice, very easy pot of morning tea. Works great, although it doesn't sound like it would, does it?

My new love, is shown in the little custard cup on the right of the photo. That is organic Jasmine Green Tea. I have tried many jasmine flavored teas over many years, and so far, after just one cup, I proclaim this one the very best. The runner up jasmine tea was one I found about 20 years ago that had little white jasmine flowers in it, but it was expensive, kind of hard to find and not labeled organic. Now this jasmine tea is still quite expensive. It retails for about $36 per pound, but a pound of tea lasts a very long time. This is top quality loose leaf organic green tea in my opinion.

Both of these teas were purchased by me from the Frontier Naturals company. I am a retailer who sells Frontier Naturals products and their sister company products (Aura Cacia and Simply Organic) so I do have access to their wholesale quantities and pricing. From time to time I personally sample new products with the idea of adding them to my product inventory. These wonderful green teas have impressed me with their taste and their exceptional quality, so I will definitely consider adding them to my inventory. The only hurdle is figuring out some nice packaging to be able to offer smaller, more affordable quantities of tea to my customers. Not many would want to buy a whole pound of loose leaf tea, I think.

These teas have brought me comfort and pleasure, and I'd like to be able to offer the same things to my customers. Any ideas from you all on how I could package a few ounces of tea that would be attractive, sanitary and convenient for my customers?

One more thing to share with you before I go back to my busy work week:

Starbuck's Cup with Quote

This is a photo of a cup that I got at our local Starbuck's Coffee house last night on my way to class. I rarely go into Starbuck's since I pretty much stopped drinking coffee about a year ago, but I still had a bunch of funds left on one of my gift cards, so I thought I'd better go spend them before they close our local store, which could happen any time now if you've been watching the national news. I bought a tea drink that was very tasty and took it to my computer class with me. During a lull in the class activities I happened to notice that my cup had a quotation on it that I read and really liked, so I am sharing it with you today. You can click on the photo of the cup and read the quote directly, but here it is below to make it easier to read:

"The world bursts at the seams with people ready to tell you you're not good enough. On occasion, some may be correct. But do not do their work for them. Seek any job; ask anyone out; pursue any goal. Don't take it personally when they say "no" - they may not be smart enough to say "yes". "

~ Keith Olbermann

I find that the universe reminds me of things that I may already know but have forgotten, right when I need to remember them again. I find quotes like this popping up, books falling at my feet, people I haven't heard from in ages, songs that have a message all presenting themselves to me right when I need to hear, see and know them the most.

They are little reminders to me that we are not alone in this life. We are all connected in some way.

Enjoy your quiet moments. Drink your tea or coffee or glass of wine. Ponder life in all its intricacy.

© Copyright 2009 Mountain Harvest Basket


Hardware Bob said...

Thanks for the tea experience, preparing and drinking it seems somewhat ceremonial, and it does almost make one want to abandon coffee for the more delicate taste. I am not sure I have the patience for the process.

Me, I gotta have my morning coffee injection often before the coffee maker is even finished.

Good words and thoughts on that Starbucks cup, so true about it and the Universe. We're definitely not alone.

frugalmom said...

I love, love, love my hot tea. I am having some right now actually. As I sit here. I have to say tho, I just cant seem to get a palate for the green teas. They are so bitter to me.

I love the idea of them. They are so healthy for your body...I want to like them. Sigh. Ill keep trying.

As far as the packaging goes...could you place the loose tea in those empty tea bags that they sell and then offer a certain number of the bags for sale? Or even keep the loose tea in a jar and then let them purchase as much as they like?

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Bob,
Yes, the act of preparing the tea probably does contribute to the relaxation as much as drinking the tea does. I still like coffee very much. I love how it looks and tastes, but it doesn't love me back. I just don't feel that good when I drink coffee these days.

Hi Marcee,
I enjoy the various black teas too, and some herbal ones. Black tea and green tea are from the same plant, just at different stages in growth and processed a bit differently, so both are still good for you. I actually like my green tea brewed very strong because I enjoy that bite that it has. Sometimes too, I will add honey to sweeten it if I am in that kind of mood.

I like the loose tea in the big jar idea and letting my customers buy the tea by the ounce. That is a nice idea. Then they can take it home and store it any way they want to. Thank you!

I actually had a sales rep from the Frontier company contact me today and offer to show me some storage tins that they have for sale in their catalog. Somehow they learned of this blog post about the teas and got my email address from blogger to contact me. Very odd. At least my blog is getting read apparently by more folks than I knew.

Zitrone said...

Hey Farmer Jen-
Farmgirl just called and helped me.
I simply wanted to tell you that I read every comment you make on her blog. I love the way you write and share on all kinds of issues.
I'll be back in a while.

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Zitrone,
Thank you for visiting my Mountain Harvest Basket blog and for giving me such wonderful praise! I really appreciate that. I try to make my blog as interesting as possible yet still keeping it simple and fun. That's why I chose the name for it that I did. My Mountain Harvest Basket gathers a little bit of everything from my rural life experience, just like my garden harvest baskets gather all kinds of veggies, fruits, nuts, herbs and flowers.

I so enjoy reading Danni's Critter Farm blog. Hers was actually one of the blogs that inspired me when I first started blogging. She writes about many, many things and in such an interesting and entertaining way.

I saw on your Blogger profile page that you have a blog too, but sadly, there were no posts written in it. You should write some stuff there to share your experience with us. I am sure it would be interesting and fun once you got started. You sound like an interesting and very sweet woman from what I've read about you on Danni's blog.

Thanks again for visiting me! Glad you found me. Someday, I will get back to expanding that other blog you found and write about my various craft interests.

Zitrone said...

I enjoy Keith Olbermann a lot, but didn't know that he's quoted on Starbuck's cups!
As far as packaging your tea, I'll be dreaming about cute little containers, pouches, cups, envelopes, wooden mini boxes, etc., tonight. I so love my green teas, but for the most part they are not in very imaginative containers. I think the big glass jar is a great idea, but how would I get my hand into that jar if it is in your store.....?

frugalmom said...

Wow! Were you excited that they contacted you? Or was the initial surprise the majority of your reaction.

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Zitrone,
Thank you for the tea packaging suggestions. I think I know how I may package the tea now. Frugalmom's jar suggestion gave me some ideas.

Hi Marcee,
No I wasn't excited by the sales rep contact. I have been a wholesale customer of theirs for a few years now and am pretty familiar with their product line and sales reps. I was just surprised that something I had posted in my blog 24 hours before, had been read by someone involved with the company from which I purchase my tea, and that prompted a sales rep to contact me. I just did not know that my blog reached so many people. Obviously, I have more "lurkers" than I realized.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Looks like I'm late to the party again. :-)
This is mostly because I have absolutely nothing clever to say about tea, sadly. I'm really not so much a tea drinker. I've always wanted to be, though, because I think it's way better for you than coffee is, but about all I can stand to drink is peppermint. I guess my taste buds just aren't refined enough yet. lol
Lurkers on blogs? Gasp. :-)

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Danni,
Glad you visited. I miss your comments when you just lurk.

Peppermint tea is not my favorite. I usually only drink it when I am sick or need to settle my stomach. I like to mix peppermint and chammomile tea together and sip it all day when I am sick.

I love coffee, but I feel better when I don't drink it. It seems to bother my stomach and may be contributing to my trouble sleeping, although that is likely more due to menopause hormone issues. I do crave coffee sometimes. I like the taste and aroma. Green and black teas are supposed to supply lots of antioxidents and other nutrition, so I enjoy drinking those. Sometimes with honey and/or lemon, sometimes plain. I also like raspberry herb tea and Lemon Zinger. I like my teas brewed strong and they must be very hot when I drink them. Either that, or iced in the summer. I am very picky.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm also surprised how this happens to me quite often, just when I need the reminder or the bit of support and encouragement, or a warnig or some kind.

Oh, and I do love a good cup of green tea, too. I'm in an English Beakfast and EarlGrey kick right now.
Where are the teas grown, that you have avalable?


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oooh! And I meant to say that I used to drink coffee, but after one cup, I'd get terrible cramps, so I avoided coffee for a few years. Recently I came upon a Folger's coffee called 'Simply Smooth'. It's roasted to be gentle on the stomach. And it's true. I can drink two or three cups and I have no coffee cramps. And it tastes good, too.

I still prefer tea over coffee, though, unless we have company that likes to drink coffee, then I may drink a cup.....with lots of milk :)


Farmer Jen said...

Hi Lisa,
Both of these green teas were grown in China. Thank you for the Simply Smooth info. I may try that when I crave coffee again.