I found this great post on pinterest the other day and had to share it.  I drink tea in every way possible, and it’s safe to assume that I always have a pitcher of some form of iced tea in my fridge.  The fabulous thing about tea is that everyone has a unique recipe and combination, and I’m always looking for new ideas.  So…here are some great ones – click HERE for the recipes and ENJOY!


January 16th

I’m feeling great!  And the best part is that I’m getting through my day with more energy.  I have added two shakes to my daily routine.  I’ll give you the recipe below.  They keep me full and going all day long.


Start your day with five minutes of quiet – your time – breathe – stretch and start your day. 

“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.” ~Max Ehrmann

Take care of yourself, your body, your heart and your soul.  It won’t be treated by others any better than you treat it.


Go home and watch a comedy.  A silly, mindless ridiculous comedy.  Laugh.  Laugh.  Laugh.  And then laugh some more.


Yes, the broken record continues…drink lots of liquids.  Lots and lots and lots.

I make these two shakes every morning – 2 litres each – and bring them to work with me – I drink one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Green Drink:
1 cup kale + half an apple + 1/2 cup grapes + 2tsp Agave.  Place in blender, fill half with water and blend well.

Fruit Drink:
1 cup frozen berries + half an apple + 1/2 cup grapes + 1 banana + 1tsp Matcha.  Place in blender, fill half with real orange juice and blend well.
I prefer the Fruit drink in the afternoon because it satisfies my blood sugar low in the afternoon.

Hot water with lemon
1 cup low fat yogurt with muesli and berries

Yunnan Imperial 

1 avocado mashed, squeeze of lemon, chilli powder.  Spread onto a whole wheat tortilla.  Makes two tortillas.

Rooibos Prickly Pear 

Chicken Breast with Shaved Brussel Sprouts – click for recipe.  Don’t turn up your nose!  I love brussel sprouts.  Yes, I always have.  But these brussel sprouts are treated like slaw – try it!

Hibiscus Herbal iced.

January 15

Okay – so I gave you a break this weekend – I won’t be doing that again 🙂  I admit to having been guilty of a glass of wine and my ‘out of the box’ was going to a Sake store on Saturday and having a ‘flight’ of Sake.  It was such a great experience!  Never done a Sake tasting before.


Ahh…my favourite quotes…Seussisms:

“Today you are YOU, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive, that is YOUER than YOU” – Dr Seuss


 Read a newspaper today – but not your regular news.  If you lean left…read news that leans right.  If you lean right…read news that leans left.  Open yourself to a different side of the argument.  You may still disagree with it, but true discourse comes from hearing all sides of the debate.


You still drinking?  I sure hope you are.  Dehydration can lead to lethargy, poor skin, low blood pressure.  Just drink!  I’ve said it before, I’ll keep saying it – water isn’t the only source of hydration…tea is as well.

Hot water with lemon
Oatmeal made with water or skim milk – a squeeze of Agave and a sliced banana

Cream of Avalon 

 Chili Spiced Salmon Salad – click for recipe.  I love these kinds of recipes because spice is my answer to removing fat from my diet.  Fat is flavour unfortunately, but so is spice…without the…well…fat!

Imperial Jasmine 

Moroccan Turkey Skillet – click for recipe.  Yup…spice!

Moroccan Mint iced, sweetened with agave – add a splash of club soda

Low fat yogurt with cinnamon – slice an apple to dip into the yogurt
Sliced vegetables – carrots, celery, etc with a fat free Greek yogurt and horseradish dip.  This is one of my favourite dips! The greek yogurt is thick enough that it doesn’t make you miss any of the fatty thick dips and horseradish has ZERO calories!

As the warmer weather falls upon us, so too, have this season’s Darjeelings! This year, The Tea Emporium is offering three different Darjeeling teas from different tea estates. This year’s offerings are all first-flush darjeelings, which yield a more delicate flavour than its later counterparts, or other black teas, for that matter! Often nicknamed ‘the champagne of teas’, once you try a Darjeeling, you will see why.

Because a darjeeling is quite delicate for a black tea, it is important to brew the tea like a green or a white tea – with a slightly cooler temperature than boiling hot. Let your fresh, hot kettle water cool for about 5 to 7 minutes, or immerse some ice cubes into your hot water to get the optimal brewing temperature.

Makaibari Darjeeling FTGFOP1 1st flush 2012

Harvested from the Makaibari Estate in the Kurseong Valley, this tea is pleasant, sweet, and distinctly muscat in aroma. The leaves are indicative of spring – vibrant green and lovely. This tea has a smooth, buttery finish that coats your tongue, a bit of a conundrum, considering its light buttercup-yellow brew. It has a distinctly muscatel-grape flavour, without the tartness, of course; only the sweetness. $4.95 / 10 grams

Castleton FTGFOP1 1st flush 2012

This Darjeeling is harvested from the Castleton Tea Estate in the Kurseong South Valley. The tea is grown in an altitude of 2300 m. above ground level! The finished leaves are olive green in colour; its aroma, when wet, smells of damp earth and flowers. There is a slight astringency to the brew, but it is buttery smooth on the palette, with a delicate, sweet, and floral finish, almost reminiscent of orchids. $3.95 / 10 grams

Dooteriah FTGFOP 1st flush 2012

This beautiful Darjeeling comes from a tea estate founded in 1871. The wet leaves impart a savoury-sweet aroma, while a subtle earthiness accompanies the light and delicate finish on your tongue, which is also, quite interestingly, reminiscent of smoke. $3.95 / 10 grams


For a slight twist on a classic on those sweltering hot afternoons, I like to serve Darjeelings iced, inside a chilled, fluted glass; unsweetened, of course. The experience is very much akin to sipping champagne. When making teas iced, double the amount of tea and brew accordingly.

To acquire some of these Darjeelings, or to find out more about our tea gallery, visit one of our four locations below:

  • 351 Eglinton Avenue West
  • Loblaws Maple Leaf Garden
    60 Carlton Street
  • First Canadian Place
  • 337 Danforth Avenue

The hot days of summer are upon us and with that the instinct to grab an ice cold drink. The truth of the matter is that a hot beverage in the heat is what will actually cool you down.  I know, I know, counter-intuitive for us – but it’s true.  By bringing your inner temperature up to your outer temperature, your body actually manages to cool itself.  I could tell you all about your body needing to maintain it’s core temperature and the effect that temperature has on the hypothalamus – but just look at the Bedouin’s in the dessert.  These desert living nomads live in the hottest place in the world – the Sahara can reach up to 58 C – and their beverage of choice…you guessed it…hot tea.

For those of you that still aren’t buying it – Just Ice It!  That’s right – take your favourite tea and chill it – it’s as easy as 1-2-3.

Iced Tea
Steep 6 tsp of your favourite tea –  in 1/2 litre of boiled water.
Remove tea and sweeten to taste.
Top with 1/2 litre of cold water OR fill pitcher with ice cubes.
Voila!  Iced tea.

Alright – so according to some scientists in Lyon, France – they have solved the mystery to the dribbling teapot – not only have they solved the mystery – they’ve solved the problem!  Can’t wait to see this in action.  Here is the full article.


Jeff Fuchs has spent a large part of the last ten years travelling and living in Asia – his fascination with indigenous people has led into a passion and love for tea.  Jeff has documented his travels along the ancient tea trade route – 6,000km over 7 months – in his beautiful book – The Ancient Tea Horse Road.  We are very fortunate to have Jeff contribute to our blog as well as appear as a guest on Saturday October 17th to speak of his travels.  This is the second part of a two part piece Jeff has written for us.

Padding down from our 1500 metre perches in the tea mountains, I am re-entering the town that we had set off from hours earlier that day with my understated host and guide, Ren. He glides through the lush wet forests seems as he leads me to his simple thatched home (and the inevitable tea within) that we are making our way towards.

DSC_1160 copyUp some stairs and past an elevated ‘floor’ of withering tea leaves covered by a clear plastic roof, we pass into a sitting room that appears to be a depository for tea in every possible form. Tea’s carefully manicured aesthetics are nowhere to be found. Here tea is both product and food with little need for pretense of anything else.

Bags billowing with tea fill out a quarter of the room, with tea cakes and bricks lining the wall space while a tea table and a half destroyed couch make up the ensemble. A grey kettle sits on the table awaiting orders

Ren’s father appears, a slight handsome man with delicate features, and we sit while tea is prepared. A simple bamboo draining table sits with cups and a flared serving cup, the chung, and that is all. No precious pots, no cylindrical smelling cups, no trinkets of bamboo….nothing to distract from that which is central to this little event: the preparation and consumption of tea. Ceremonies, famed for their detailed movements or chronology in other tea cultures have no reign here. It is in many senses an entirely practical preparation in a land of practicals.

My young host’s eyes gleam slightly as grabs a handful of leaves out of a huge bag for my inspection; leaves from the ancient trees that we had just returned from. Children here from a young age drink tea almost exclusively and I can see that he, like me, is in need of a cup (or six) of tea. Slightly twisted and completely understated, there is no hint in the dried leaves that he presents to me of what lies in wait for the palate. Tea’s from this region are designated Pu’erh by its proximity to the ancient market town of the same name. The tea we are about to consume is typical of what is consumed here,’ raw’. Pu’erh here is served green or raw and in loose leaf form. No textured forms, no stunning moulded teas here – the emphasis is on the taste.

Ren’s hands are a magnificent blur of activity as he pours off the first serving, removing the bitter froth and awakening the leaves. The second serving thankfully makes it into cups and in quick succession into my greedy mouth. Up until now there has been nothing even remotely pretentious in anything I have seen or done and the tea, which blasts onto and into my palate, is no different. Pungent, vegetal and bitter it departs into the throat with an almost sweet tang. The session of drinking is interrupted finally by a lunch – prepared by the father on a simple fire that hums in another room on the bare floor.

Buzzing with the stimulants and phytochemicals that rush through my bloodstream the meal settles the tea ‘high’ slightly…but not for long, for as we finish up the meal the father is already ushering me into the tea room for another tea session. Slumped forward with minute cup after minute cup brought up to my mouth one of tea’s other great Asian uses comes into play: its digestive abilities. Another hour passes as the ‘tea high’ seems to reach a climax…and continues still.

Sweats run along my ribs and I feel that welcome ‘high’ return as the cups surge into me. Cup after cup course in with no discernable drop in potency reveal another of tea’s ‘great abilities’ – to repeatedly endure onslaughts of boiling water while still able to provide potent flavours and stimulants.

For all of tea’s rampant abilities as a healer, aid, food and provider; for all of its appeal as something that transcends time and space in painstaking ceremonial rituals, tea for these tribes that have grown and cared for tea still represents a unifying fluid. A simple need served up without fanfare bringing people together regenerating not only the body but the community as well.

While the Asian world is full of poetic adulation for tea, here in the south of Yunnan they refer to a simple long standing belief regarding tea and people, “the truth is in the sip”….in my case that would be ‘sips’.

I leave some hours later in a pleasant state of ‘tea high’ with a renewed appreciation of both my hosts and the fluid that brought us together.

Jeff Fuchs has spent a large part of the last ten years travelling and living in Asia – his fascination with indigenous people has led into a passion and love for tea.  Jeff has documented his travels along the ancient tea trade route – 6,000km over 7 months – in his beautiful book – The Ancient Tea Horse Road.  We are very fortunate to have Jeff contribute to our blog as well as appear as a guest on Saturday October 17th to speak of his travels.  This is the first part of a two part piece Jeff has written for us.

Long considered a panacea for life, tea’s status in Asia has been vital and unquestioned for centuries. For all of the whimsy and legend associated with tea at times tea leaves, their harvesting, preparation and consumption have always been essentially simple. It is perhaps because of this inherent simplicity that tea’s timeless potency has endured. This ‘tea truth’ can find no more loyal bastion of geography than in one of the original birthplaces of tea – a subtropical strip of lush forests, overwhelming heat and a land that can claim over two-thousand years of unending harvest, worship and consumption: the southwestern corner of Yunnan province. In the days of the Ancient Tea Horse Road the famed Tibetan traders referred to this landscape simply as Jiayul or ‘tea country’. A land whose relatively unchanged methods and adoration exists still.

nanAncient tea trees, (adoringly called gu shu in China) and their massive trunks and branches cut the muddy path in front of us into segments…tea here grows on trees that explode for metres in every direction. It is literally an all-consuming forest of tea. A lean and wiry guide from the local Hani tribe smoothly eases his way through a sopping forest of rain and humid air – we are treading back to his home after visiting a precious tea forest of ‘ancients’ – tea trees that have remained happily secluded (and productive) for centuries. Centuries old trees make way to tea trees that are over a thousand years old; forests tended by and fawned over by successive generations of Hani people who have lived in these mountains side by side with their precious green commodity for as long as anyone cares to remember. The tribes of southern Yunnan refer to tea as a part of the culture, a part of the very soul of the place. Tea and its consumption here are ‘all of the time’.

leaf5Voyaging down to this region is a kind of ‘back to basics’ journey in relation to tea. Deep in the rumpled Nannuo Mountains this area is one extended tea landscape that flows and blankets for kilometers. Rice and corn stand in isolated enclaves – tea is the unquestioned green ruler of the land. Production methods, harvesting techniques and tea’s preparation have changed very little in this corner of the world and in a kind of homage to this fact the teas that are produced here are some of the most exclusive and valued teas on the globe. For all of the talk of a tea’s ‘vintage’, the fuss of its colour designation and its complexities in the mouth, tea from this region is easily identifiable by it’s simple requirements of preparation and its ‘bitter-sweet’ assault on the palate.

Padding down from our 1500 metre perches in the tea mountains, I am re-entering the town that we had set off from hours earlier that day with my understated host and guide, Ren. He glides through the lush wet forests seems as he leads me to his simple thatched home (and the inevitable tea within) that we are making our way towards. (TO BE CONTINUED)

We see so many teapots and teacups – but these we found truly beautiful and inspirational.  They are teacups that are lovingingly adorned with handwritten haiku poems.  The artist says:  ‘…my hope is that those that drink their favourite blend from my cups will enjoy those peaceful moments as they read my original haiku.”  If you’re interesting in purchasing these beautiful cups – you can do so at Teaspoon and Petals.


Not sure how long to steep your tea for?   Wrapped up and forget about your tea?  I don’t know about you – but there really is little more annoying than tea that is oversteeped.  Fret no longer – because in our technology age, there is a solution for EVERYTHING.  We LOVE this site!  It quite simply tells you when your tea is done steeping – simply click on the type and the timer starts!  BRILLIANT!