Alba Aloe & Green Tea Moisturizer – review

This probably one of my favorite moisturizers. It’s not too thick, but leaves my skin nice and soft. Maybe it’s an illusion but I swear that after I’ve been using it for several days in a row that my face looks thinner and more luminous. I like to think it’s the green tea that’s doing wonders for my skin. And it has a nice light, clean, floral fragrance.

According to their site:

This oil-free, daily moisturizer infuses the skin with rejuvenating aloe vera, one of the world’s most perfect substances for skin-repair, and Camellia sinensis green tea, a powerful antioxidant which protects from free radical damage, has anti-inflammatory properties and repairs and strengthens.

Certified organic aloe vera, green tea antioxidants and oil-free humectants absorb instantly to replenish essential nutrients and protect skin against dehydration for a soft, healthy, luminous complexion.

It’s nice for everyday wear, but it doesn’t contain an SPF. So I usually wear it at night and use something else during the day to keep me from getting sunburned.

Alba | Alba Hawaiian

A cup for the champagne of teas

Darjeeling has been called the champagne of teas and puerh the wine of teas, so what better cup to serve them in than one that looks like a wine glass. I saw these for the first time last year at the gift shop in the Centre Georges Pompidou. I’m sure if you’re crafty and have the right tools you could make them yourself, but I’m a little wary of chopping a glass in half and soldering it onto the bottom of a tea cup. If you know of an easy way to recreate these without risking embedded glass shards, cuts and burns, let me know.

Hoch die Tassen – thorsten van elten

SUCK UK – MyCuppa Mugs

At some point in every relationship you’re going to have to make a cup of tea, or a cuppa if you’re British, for the other person. And depending on how much of a tea fanatic they are, you may be judged by the color of your tea. And if you haven’t been paying attention to how they like their tea, oh boy will you be in trouble. There’s something just a little wrong about dating someone for several months and then realizing that they don’t even know how you take your tea.

Luckily there’s a mug out there to help you get out of this mess. Along the inside there are shades of tan/brown going from light to dark. Once you have the mug, all you have to do is have the other person pick the color that they like their tea. Or if you’re more sly, have them make it in the mug once and then see which swatch it matches.

I wish I had this when I was in England the first time and incorrectly made the wrong color tea for my flatmate. She’s a classic British woman, of course, and like my tea like my chocolate – milky.

A simple cuppa tea – saving relationships everywhere.

SUCK UK – MyCuppa Mugs

Britain’s leading nutritionist recommends daily high tea

Tea, little cucumber sandwiches and scones with Devonshire cream! – who wouldn’t want that every afternoon. Of course, if we ate our normal meals plus high tea it might not be too good for you. But Jane Clarke writes in the Daily Mail that we should have it:

So often, when we’re tired and hungry, we overeat; we then sleep badly and can pile on weight. It’s a classic scenario but easily addressed by having afternoon tea (and then a lighter supper, such as fruit, soup and salad).

The key there is a light supper – not a full on roast. I know if I have a little snack and tea late in the afternoon I’m more productive at work and less likely to head home early hungry for supper. And it gives me yet another excuse to try new teas.

Jane Clarke: High tea helps beat the afternoon slump | Mail Online

Fluoride and tea don’t mix – according to new research

According to recent research findings, fluoridation puts tea drinkers at risk of damaged bones, discolored teeth and soft tissue harm. What most tea drinkers probably don’t know is that tea has naturally high fluoride levels. Excess fluoride can weaken bones and discolor children’s un-erupted teeth. And you could be getting more fluoride than you realize if you live in a region that fluoridates its water.

Whenever I see new studies come out, I take them with a grain of salt. We don’t know who sponsored the research or what they were trying to prove that could have influenced the way they conducted their research. But this one gave me a little pause because I drink a lot of tea.

According to 1997 ADA data, you shouldn’t have more than 3 mg (women) or 4 mg (men) of fluoride per liter of water daily. It’s much lower for children. In 2006, the National Research Council reported the basis for those levels should be reduced.

In the study, four cups of tea delivered 0.8 to 1.8 mg of fluoride, reports Cao et al. in Food Chemistry. “Among populations habitually consuming black tea, water fluoridation is not only unnecessary but also possibly harmful…The target organs of chronic fluoride intoxication are not only the teeth and skeleton, but also the liver, kidney, nervous and reproductive systems,” they write.

A March 2008 Food and Chemical Toxicology study found up to 4.5, 1.8, and 0.5 mg/L fluoride in black, green and white teas, respectively, when brewed for 5 minutes (61 teas sampled). Brewed teas could contain up to 6 mg/L fluoride depending on the amount of dry tea used, the water fluoride concentration and the brewing time, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

The examples of what too much fluoride combined with tea at not good. Case Reports by Cao and Yi in the Journal of Fluorine Chemistry (February 2008) “Fluoride and Tea” showed:

  • A 57-year-old Englishman’s misdiagnosed Paget’s disease (weakened bones) with osteoarthritis was finally correctly diagnosed as skeletal fluorosis caused by his long-term heavy tea-drinking habit.
  • A Pakistani woman’s dental fluorosis resulted solely from tea which she consumed from age two.
  • A 36-year-old Chinese woman’s ten-years of joint pain disappeared when she stopped drinking tea.
  • French doctors identified 5 patients who developed bone softening (osteomalacia) from drinking tea.
  • An American woman’s fluoride-caused debilitating joint pains disappeared when her two-gallon-a-day iced-tea habit stopped.

While there are definite benefits of fluorinated water, if you’re a heavy tea drinker you might want to make your tea with filtered water…just in case.

USDA: Fluoride in Food

Learn the way of tea – Japanese tea ceremony

Avon Global Ambassador, Reese Witherspoon Participates in Traditional Tea Ceremony and Meets with Breast Cancer Survivors in Japan.  (PRNewsFoto/Avon Products, Inc., JUNKO KIMURA)

Avon Global Ambassador, Reese Witherspoon Participates in Traditional Tea Ceremony and Meets with Breast Cancer Survivors in Japan. (PRNewsFoto/Avon Products, Inc., JUNKO KIMURA)

Over the summer, Reese Witherspoon was in Japan as part of her Avon Global Ambassador duties to raise breast cancer awareness. And the lucky girl was treated to a Japanese tea ceremony – and dressed in a traditional kimono. I’m not too sure how traditional it was, because it involved sitting on proper chairs when you’re supposed to kneel – a difficult task for most Westerners when they’re not in a restrictive kimono.

So what should a Japanese tea ceremony entail? I’ve been lucky enough to experience one at a tea shop in Vancouver called T that holds a chadō once a month in their small traditional Japanese tea room within the shop. We crawled into the room, knelt on tatami mats (then switched to a more comfortable position when my kneels cried uncle), and Mrs. Saikaino of the local Urasenke Foundation hosted a “thin tea”, where she explained everything that she did during the short ceremony. A “thick tea” does not allow for talking and can go on for four hours – that I would love to experience once.

There are so many intricate details to the ceremony, but basically it involves making the green tea from a matcha powder, passing around the cup, turning it, and drinking from it. Wikipedia actually has a rather good explanation of the chadō.

To find a Japanese tea ceremony where you are, try contacting your local Urasenke Foundation. The one in New York holds regular demonstrations and classes. And the Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, CA is about to host their annual Hakone Daichakai on October 19 – they’ll have several tea sites hosting thin or thick tea. Register by Oct 10.

Low-tech iced tea brewer – pitcher set

Even though Fall has arrived here in the Northern Hemisphere, there are days when you need a nice iced tea to help pick you up during long days at work. And if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, well this is just in time for your summer. Tea Forte has a nice little brewing/pitcher system for making fresh iced tea when you need it.

I haven’t tried it out yet, so I don’t know just how nice of an iced tea it makes. But it does look pretty.

Star Wars tea towels with a Japanese theme

I found this cute and zen-like tea towel from a company in Japan. This one should be entitled “R2D2, Mt. Fuji Off Kanagawa” lafter Hokusai’s print. On the site there’s a whole set of 7 Star Wars themed tea towels.

I can’t read Japanese so I’ll just make up names for them. There’s also a lightsaber Christmas, C3PO cherry blossoms, Vader and Yoda Christmas, zen stormtroopers, and Dark Side/Light Side dueling heads.

Seeing as I can only find them from on a Japanese site, you might want to order them now if you want them in time for the holidays. Of course, you’ll probably need your Japanese reading friend to help you make the order…

【楽天市場】オフィシャルグッズSTAR WARS 和てぬぐい:ココロ商店

Tea time wall clock

Looking for the gift that says it’s always time for tea? These cute clocks might be your cuppa tea. Not sure if it’s the image, but the color looks slightly off to be a real cuppa tea or coffee…but maybe you can switch out the face easily with a piece of card that looks more like the correct color of your tea.

Designer furniture, unique home accessories – Tea time wall clock

Tea Bag Sqeezer

It is said that you should never squeeze a tea bag into your cuppa because it’ll make the tea bitter. But what’s a girl to do if she drinks several cups a day and doesn’t want all that extra water in her trash or compost? Use a tea bag squeezer. Just be sure to squeeze the tea bag in the sink instead of your nice cuppa tea.

Tea bag squeezer- Crate & Barrel