Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Zarafina Tea Maker Suite.

To my fellow tea drinkers:

May I present the most amazing of machines;
The Zarafina Tea Maker Suite.

We at Insani-Tea have recently acquired this magical machine (courtesy of Zarafina) and would like to share the joy with each of you.

I don't want to sound like a commercial or anything but if I could I would seriously buy one of these for all of my friends and family.
Even if you're not an avid tea drinker, this is such a lovely machine to have.

I love love love love love tea and this tea maker makes it so much easier to enjoy it.
It's really easy to use and aesthetically pleasing. It even comes with a jive little tea pot and two cups. The day I got it, I actually made about five pots of tea in one evening. :)

One of the nicest things about it is that it automatically dispenses the tea into the pot so if you have to run to do something it doesn't over steep and make the tea bitter or too strong. It's also perfect for iced tea drinkers. It has a setting for the intensity of the tea you want. strong, medium or mild. So when you want iced tea, just set it to strong, and if your tea is already spicy you can put it to mild...or whatever you feel like at the time.

Recently, my little seven year old brother, one of the pickiest kids on earth, has started drinking tea a lot, and he loves it so much, mostly because its way cool, but also because its not too strong and he gets to make it himself. The machine works with both loose and bagged tea, so when he wants tea he can just stick a few bags in it and push start.

Another brilliant feature about this tea maker is how you can basically "customize" your pot of tea. You simply set each feature according to what you want, ie: whether its black, green, white, oolong or herbal, it knows exactly how long is needed for steeping, whether its loose or in a bag, and the intensity.

I know that tea is supposed to calm you down and that it's nice that it takes a while to make so you aren't in such a rush...but sometimes its nice to wake up in the morning and have tea without having to get up fifteen minutes early! :)

Well, I could go on and on about this amazing thing, but I'm pretty sure you get the picture.
and if any of you want to have a tea party, let me know and I will show you this lovely tea maker as well, hooray!

If you would like more information on the Zarafina Tea Maker Suite, just go HERE.

Have a brilliant day!
- Katelyn

P.S.: A big thanks to Zarafina for allowing us to evaluate and review this machine.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Camp Loll Organic

As some of you know, I am currently a summer staff member at a scout camp in the high mountains of Wyoming, sandwiched between Yellowstone and the Tetons. I initially had a number of anxieties about doing this for another summer, as many of my beliefs are very incompatible with the Boy Scout philosophies. The experience has proved very interesting though, as there are a number of people working here that are very accepting, and a couple who are like-minded unto myself.

We have formed a small tea society of 4-5 people, and it started out being the case that we take turns buying tea - but then we got to thinking. Why should we buy tea when we are in the middle of a goddamn forest?! Instead, we have been harvesting local herbs and drying them in ther kitchen cupboard. We have most recently been making a kickass horsemint tea. We also have been going for wild strawberry and raspberry leaves, as well as many other native herbs.

The forest up here is truly amazing, and there are tons of good outlook points of the location. One need only climb one of the neighboring Tetons to see some of the magnificense of this area, and the two Yellowstone waterfalls within walking distance of camp are pretty impressive as well.

We call the finished product Camp Loll Organic, and drink it usually once a day or more, made in a large tea kettle with my swiss gold infuser. It is jive.

I am glad to see a post or two on here since I have left. It pleases me greatly. Thanks, Nikhil!!!

I am currently in an internet cafe in Jackson Hole typing this posting. Jackson hole doesn't have a whole lot going on, but enough to break up a little of the monotony of week after week of teacking the same old things.

The staff up here at the camp is amazing as always, and I find that I can be far more expressive of my personality than I thought I could reasonable be. People just don't seem to care so much what I think and believe up here, which is kinda counter-intuitive considering the ultra-conservative Boy Scout environment.

Anyhow - Fresh herbal teas are delicious, and I will certainly post more information on this when I return home.

Cheers for now,
Relznuk Zero Relznuk

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Bewitch'd With Indian Poyson

Relznuk asked me a while ago to contribute a guest post here. I was only too happy to oblige, but things got really busy. So now, after much procrastination and numerous delays, I am pleased to finally contribute the first (of what I hope will be several) guest posts. The following is cross-posted on Tea. Uncomplicated, a blog by The Simple Leaf.

It's safe to say that not everyone was thrilled with the increasing popularity of tea during most of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In Britain, a slew of commentators were pointing out the evils of this newly discovered beverage.

This particularly poignant passage bemoans the effect of tea on the British national psyche. It appeared in The Gentleman's Magazine in 1737, under the title Observations on the effects of tea.

Observations of the Effects of Tea
[read the full archived version]

Tea is utterly improper for food hitherto useless in physick, and therefore to be arranged among the poysonous vegetables. Were it entirely wholesome as balm or mint, it were yet mischief enough to have our whole populace used to sip warm water in a mincing and effeminate manner once or twice a day. . . In this manner the bold and brave become dastardly, the strong become weak, the women become barren; or if they breed, their blood is made so poor that they have not the strength to suckle, and if they do, the child dies of the gripes. The poor people's children which are bred with it, as they really are in the cities and towns, are only fit for footmen and chambermaids. . .I leave any one to judge what soldiers we are like to have. The Spaniards very likely had felt the force of English beer within the last 20 years, if the use of it had not been exchanged for warm water bewitch'd with Indian poyson.

For further exploration into the history of tea, I would urge you to check out Roy Moxham, Tea: Addiction, Exploitation and Empire (New York: Carroll and Graf, 2003). I'm halfway through this book — every page has nuggets of fascinating trivia interspersed with tea's rich history. Well worth checking out.