General Inspiration Journal Tea

Evening Rituals

You would think my house is packed with every style teapot imaginable in every colour available.  The truth however is that I have three castiron teapots that are my go to teapots for everything.  And I get as much pleasure using them today as I did the day I bought them.  Part of my new habits for life, although not listed in my original post, has been to develop new rituals that make me happy.  So here it is.  I will often have a cup of tea at the end of the night, but rather than make a mug, I’ve started the ritual of making a small pot with a lovely teacup and saucer on a small tray which I will take up to bed with me.  The teapot you see in this picture is my very first Japanese Tetsubin – it’s 20 years old and as fabulous as ever.

It may be in my head – it likely is – but my evening tea tastes better and I feel better.  Better for saying to myself…you’re worth the time to do things nicely…just for you!  Be good to you.

Journal Tea

Tea in the News + My Update

So here’s a small update for you on my ‘habits’ as well as my cold.  I am well under way on my promise of de-cluttering!  Yay!  I thought this would be the most difficult, which is perhaps why I tackled it first.  I’ve started the de-clutter at home as well as in the office, and it feels great.  I’ll keep you posted on further progress.

As for that cold…after battling through some excruciating pain last week, I ended up at a walk-in clinic and was diagnosed with a full blown throat infection.  So now, I’m on antibiotics and on the mend.  The moral of the story:  stop being a hero, go to the doctor so you don’t end up with a throat infection!

Now on to tea news.  This beautiful article was in the Daily Telegraph recently and I just loved it.  One of my favourite things about tea, as anyone who knows me already knows, is the diversity and the people.  So many different traditions revolving all around the same lovely leaf.  Take a browse for yourself by clicking HERE.

General Health Journal Tea

Fighting the Cold

I’ve been fighting a cold for two weeks now, which begs the question:  why have you not gone to a doctor yet?  To which I’ll give the very unsatisfactory response:  it just doesn’t seem to be a priority at the moment.  I know…weak.

What that has left me doing, is self-diagnosing and self-medicating with any natural concoction I can get my hands on.  You see, I’m one of these very unfortunate people who can’t tolerate almost all medications, that includes children’s cough syrup.  My staples for the past two weeks have been:  oil of oregano – vile tasting; Oscillococcinum – an herbal remedy that helps with cold and flu symptoms; and yes…tea.

Interestingly, the thought of milk in anything makes me want to gag when I have a cold – so the teas I reach for are different.  I’ve been downing Ginger Sencha, for its green tea properties, its ginger properties as well as the fact I can squeeze lemon and honey into it to soothe my throat.  Is it possible that a shot of bourbon falls into the cup at bedtime?  Perhaps… Don’t judge a girl with a cold!

I hope most of you have managed to keep yourselves from this horrible virus that has invaded the city, for those of you that haven’t, feel free to use my remedies…or…better yet…get yourselves to a doctor! 🙂


General Health Inspiration Journal Tea

Good Habits

So we’ve made it out of 2014 in relatively one piece and are facing a fresh new year.  It’s a blank slate really, and that’s the way I like to look at it.  Forget detoxing, and re-booting and resolutions.  Let’s just decide to start new habits.  Good habits.  Healthy habits.  We’ve all heard the phrase:  It takes 21 days to form a new habit.  I’m afraid that it is a myth.  Reality is that it takes about 2 months to form a habit – but come on, what’s 2 months relative to a lifetime of a good habit??

So instead of making lists of what I want to give up, I want to make a list of new habits I want to form.  In case it’s not on your list already, quickly add:  DRINK TEA to the top.  It’s such an easy habit to form.  It’s tasty and healthy and you know I could fill this page ten times over with reasons why this is a habit everyone should form.

I want to be realistic about my new habits.  So I’m committing myself to a schedule I think I can keep – regular yoga classes and running as part of my exercise regimen.  I developed shin splints after several years of rigorous running, so am forced to reconsider my habits.  Second, I’m already an avid reader, but am committing to the habit of making a few of my books non-fiction.  The topic can vary.  Next, I love podcasts and listen to them in the car all of the time – so my new habit will be finding a podcast I wouldn’t normally listen to…and just give it a go.  The last habit on my list is a big one:  de-cluttering.  I’m not quite sure how I’m going to master that one, but I think I’ll start by getting into the habit of putting something in a ‘trash’ or ‘give away’ box every day.  I won’t be overwhelmed with the task of de-cluttering all at once.

Most important of all, I’ve wrangled an accountability buddy into this – which means we check in with eachother every month to check on how each is doing with their list of habits.

Some things will be easier than others, but I know I’ve got the best habit already down:  DRINK TEA!  I’ll let you know how I do with  the rest 🙂

General Inspiration Journal Tea


It’s that time of year again…yes…my favourite time.  I admit it.  Despite being in retail and planning for Christmas months in advance, nothing beats the feeling of Christmas…for me.  So I thought this year, what is the best gift we could give to all you shoppers?  Gift wrapping was the resounding answer.  Personally, I don’t understand, as I love gift wrapping.  I theme my gifts every year and take the greatest pleasure in wrapping my gifts.  This year’s theme…pompoms wrapped on the packages.  It seems however that many of you do not share my love of gift wrapping.  So we have our ‘wrapped and ready’ gifts for you.  We’ve chosen our favourite tea sets, travel mugs, tea selections, and have them all wrapped with beautiful paper, ribboned and ready to put under the tree.  Doesn’t really get easier than that.  That leaves you with an extra few hours on your hands to sit and enjoy a cup of tea yourself.  One of my favourites at this time of year is Baked Apple.  It’s possible that a little bit of Calvados falls into my cup while wrapping presents in the evening.

Take time and enjoy the season – there is a different energy in the air…and it’s not all about stress.


Brewing Journal Recipes Tea


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!


Health Tea

Calming Chamomile

It’s been a hectic few weeks and we’re settling in nicely at the office and the new Eglinton store. All the relaxing teas are definitely helpful!

There’s been a lot of talk about the amazing properties of teas like matcha and rooibos (well-deserved, of course!) but one tea that often gets overlooked for its healing properties is chamomile.

Chamomile has been used for millenia to calm the nerves, reduce anxiety, and to ease stomach discomfort. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, making it a good remedy for cramps and minor stomach issues. chamocup

It has a soft, mellow,  honey-like flavour. While it is a calming herbal tea, it does not induce sleep so feel free to enjoy it throughout the day, particularly if you are trying to reduce your intake of caffeine. If you prefer herbal blends, why not try an orange blossom chamomile tea (Yogitea) or for more traditional herbal tea lovers, there’s always Herbal Relaxer with mint, sage and melissa flowers. Chamomile tea can also be used as a tonic for irritated skin. Brew yourself a cup and enjoy its aroma and many wonderful benefits!


General Journal Tea

The Grand Opening

It’s finally here everyone! Our new pride and joy, a new addition to our family of stores – the Tea Emporium, Oakville!

It has been a crazy ride. Long hours, planning and obsessing, but at last the goal has been achieved and I couldn’t be more happy. There is something so gratifying about building an idea from scratch and making it come alive. The dream is no longer dreamed about, it has been brought into reality. I think we all can relate to the initial feeling of excitement, intrigue and anticipation. These factors drive us, motivate us and bring us closer to success. But these feelings do not disappear after the goal has been achieved. I can honestly say that I feel even more excitement now that the store is finally operating. Like the mechanism in a clock, everything has fallen into place, ticking and turning, it is all finally in motion.

The opening was absolutely magnificent! Our team began with cutting the ribbon. Me holding the scissors and shaking a little from all the giddiness built up inside. Once the scissors cut the ribbon, laughter was joined by cheers and applause. It was as exciting and as simple as opening a present. The moment couldn’t be any more memorable and a sense of relief couldn’t be more awaited. With the ribbon finally draping off the front doors, we invited everyone inside. Awes and ohs echoed inside the room. The store filled up instantly! The cheerful crowd awaited patiently as we sampled numerous iced teas, Green Tea Moroccan Mint, Sunburst Raspberry, Baked Apple and Lichee Congou. My trusted mixologists presented everyone with specialty made mocktails and paired them with with delicious, custom made macaroons and waffles. Joy swept across the faces of our team and I couldn’t be more proud. At the end of the night, we locked the doors with a sense of accomplishment and pride. I put the key in my pocket and finally took a deep breath, happy to open these doors once again the next day…


I want to thank everyone who made it out, your support is always such a great motivator and we take pride in your continuous satisfaction. So thank you for being so wonderful and we hope to see you all at our new store again!



Journal Tea Tea Education

Weekend recap

What a weekend! I hope that some of you got a chance to stop by and say hello to us at Abbey’s Kitchen Stadium event this past Sunday. It was great fun and honor to be one of the proud sponsors and of course a part of a great cause (all proceeds go to support the My Food My Way youth nutrition education program). Abbey’s Kitchen Stadium yet again brought an amazing line up of up and coming chefs of Toronto that blew us all away: Andres Marquez/Howard Dubrowsky of Fonda Lola, Rodney Bowers of Hey Meatball & Food Network, Peter Ramsay of the *NEW* Geraldine, Jesse Vallins of The Saint.  And of course the event could not have been complete without the lovely panel of judges: Trish Magwood, Mike Chalut, Vita Chambers and Maggie McKeown!

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Battle Two blew us away. The food was absolutely fantastic and the secret ingredient this time….pickles! From pickled soup to tortillas with pickles the winner ended up being a master of turning something traditional into something new, tasty and exciting – Rodney Bowers of Hey Meatball with his legendary meatball sandwich and of course pickles, don’t forget the pickles! Delicious simply doesn’t cut it, believe me. Not only was the day filled with yummy treats, the music was phenomenal. Special guest and judge, Vita Chambers performed a beautiful ballad that left our stomachs hungry for more.

We were also very happy to chat with a few of you who came to say hello at our Tea Emporium stand – I hope you all enjoyed our refreshing iced teas! If you missed the first two rounds, do not despair, round three is on its way – more food, drinks, music and raffle prizes to come and of course more of our Summer Iced Teas!



I also wanted to mention the CAWEE Afternoon Tea event that was held this past Friday at the King Edward Hotel, where I was honored to give a speech on a brief history of tea! It was also amazing to hear some inspirational stories from other women entrepreneurs and executives – quick shout out to Julie Ellis, co-founder of Mabel’s Labels and Ellen Roseman, journalist and author of “Fight Back”, both of whom gave a few useful business tricks and tips we all enjoyed. And of course it was a pleasure to meet and network with other vibrant and talented women in the business industry while nibbling on savoury finger sandwiches (tomato confit with cucumber goat cheese and fresh basil was phenomenal) and delicate pastries (lemon posset with muddled bumblerries, yum!) It was a perfect afternoon, and I am so happy to have been a part of it.




Recipes Tea

Long Weekend!!

Well the summer is here…and the bbq’s will be on…and the drinks will be flowing!   Yay Toronto, we are allowed to officially say that WINTER IS OVER!!  There!  I said it!  If we get a freak snowstorm, you can yell at me 🙂

I will be spending my weekend partially gardening, partially meeting with a client, partially preparing for the Tea Sommelier class I’m teaching next week, partially with friends tonight bbq’ing and partially with my family.  Yes, a lot of partiallys.

A long weekend is not a long weekend though without a fabulous cocktail recipe.  So, the intention here was to create a tea based Kir Royale, hence the name.  You can absolutely smell and taste the black currant.  But for some amazing fluke of cosmic interference, the combination of the Black Currant tea and the Prosecco produces a concoction that tastes like a fruit beer – actually, exactly like Frühli.  So…what better cocktail to make for your Victoria Day BBQ???