June 2011 CelebriTEA posted!

Meet our June 2011 CelebriTEA - an international tea blogger extraordinaire, Jen Piccotti!

RealiTEA: Green Tea Exports Banned for Radiation

Japan: some green tea exports banned for radiation

Looks like our questions about whether or not tea would be harmed from radiation poisoning has been answered.


iHeartTeas.com - Rachel Carter, May 2011 CelebriTEA

CelebriTEA for May: Rachel Carter

What is a CelebriTEA? This Keen Tea Thyme post features popular tea bloggers and their histories, passions, stories. Why? The online tea community is a vast resource of knowledge, tips, experiences – a place of conversation and sharing of passion.

Meet Rachel Carter: dedicated wife to Ralph (of 14 years!) and adoring mother to four-year-old Alexandria.

Lately, her plate has been chock full. Or should I say her tea cup runneth over? 

This tea enthusiast combines her passion for the world’s most popular beverage with her natural inclination to share knowledge and enjoy what brewing tea has to offer.

“I love my tea friends,” said Rachel. “It is great to read their blogs. Everyone has so much to share. I love reading and hearing about new teas, accessories, and what business someone is starting. I find our tea community is tightly knit like a family. We support each other.”

Rachel’s been blogging too here: http://myteasandmore.com/. This site, which is under a makeover to transform into iHeartTeas.com, offers her take on fave teas, new accessories and everything else tea. She reviews a variety of tea, anything she can get her hands on. Tea reviewing can be a subjective matter, but Rachel has a system. “I review teas based on flavor, accuracy based on description and tea type,” she explained. “I also consider the visual appearance of the leaves.”

Rachel doesn’t just blog, though. After joining Tea Trade – an online tea trading, selling, sampling Web site – Rachel decided to start selling teas in sample packs, under her new brand name, iHeartTeas. Check out her many products here: http://teatrade.tinypay.me/#q=user:ss0YORHB

Plans are underway to eventually create a company – maybe, Rachel said. “I’m working on it, but I want to take things slow. I want to do this right. I am glad I am in a position where I can do it right.”

Business is booming. She’s a hit at Tea Trade, and is grateful for the opportunity to belong to the site. “I will eventually have a site dedicated to my teas which at this point come from my personal stash. The idea is if you place an order you click on the item and are directed to Tea Trade. I don't want to forget my friends there. If it weren't for their support and of those associated I wouldn't have this success.”

Rachel, a stay-at-home mom, spends lots of time with her daughter – sampling teas and taking her to swim lessons and preschool. Little Alexandria has already shown a penchant for tea, like her mom. Rachel said her daughter helps her put together orders from Tea Trade and is developing a tea-tasting palate.

So what kinds of tea does Rachel (and Alexandria!) recommend? She lists the following teas as her go-to brews:

  1. Milk Oolong - thepuriTea 
  2. BenShan - Chicago Tea Garden 
  3. Sweet Velvet Fog - Adagio signature blend by Rachel 
  4. Genmaicha - Obubu Tea 
  5. Matcha - DoMatcha 
With all these things to keep her busy, Rachel still finds time to enjoy other activities such as scrapbooking. In fact, she is a representative of Close to My Heart, an in-home scrapbooking company. “But honestly, I do that for myself,” she added.

She also loves to travel, enjoys sampling different wines and is a self-proclaimed “tech geek.” “I love my gadgets especially my iPad, I don't even have regular TV everything I do is streamed,” she said. And what TV shows would that be? SyFy channel mainstays: Warehouse 13, Star Gates, Battlestar Galleticas.

But what it comes down to for Rachel is that her love of tea is a permanent part of her life – always has been and always will be. Originally from India, Rachel said tea is like water in her home. “Tea runs through my veins and it always has been,” she said. “I love the constant discovery tea brings me. Every cup is a new adventure. It is a newly discovered treasure with every cup.”

Want to be featured on Keen Tea Thyme as a CelebriTEA? All you have to do is be a tea blogger and want to share your love of tea. E-mail me [at] keenteathyme@gmail.com for more info.


June is National Iced Tea Month

Welcome summer with iced tea! Try it cold brewed - Culinary Teas has a wonderful selection and they are currently on sale. Or brew it yourself and add cold water. Frank over at 52Teas (a KeenTeaThyme tea pantry staple) has a great selection of iced teas to try.

Got any other fave selection(s) to add? E-mail away!

Happy Summer, Happy Brewing!

Why drink tea? - May 2011 Poll Results

The majority of you who voted in the May 2011 Poll drink tea for the following reasons:

  • It's enjoyable, interesting and fun (70%)
  • It's comforting, warm and so many varieties (76%)
Voters had a chance to select more than one answer, including the two listed above. The results are in. Why do we drink tea?
  • 47% said health benefits 
  • 29% said "because coffee sucks" - a fun answer, and I hope voters picked this one along with another option
  • 35% because tea drinking is in your blood (heritage, family reasons)
  • 23% said "why not?" - another fun answer :)
  • and 1% said "other"... Hmm, now you've got me curious!
Check out the June 2011 Poll - what is your favorite type of tea? E-mail me reasons why for a chance to be featured as a June 2011 Pollster. Featured comments will be posted with the results at the end of June/beginning of July.

Happy Brewing!


Simply Helping People

“Simply Helping People” – how one man’s quest to save his life became an internationally reknown tea company

By Carolynne Keenan/Keen Tea Thyme

Who knew that one man’s quest to save his life would eventually take root as a successful international tea company?
In 1977, Sir Jason Winters (known then as simply “Jason Winters”) was given terrible news – he had merely months to live before his body succumbed to cancer.
But Winters had an incredible will to live – and found a way to live well into the 21st century.
When he was 46, the Englishman was diagnosed with terminal cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Basically, he had a tumor wrapped around a vein in his neck and it was killing him. He underwent five weeks of cobalt radiation treatment, and doctors pressed him to have radical neck surgery – including the removal of his tongue, jaw bone and neck muscles.
Winters refused, and began a search to find an alternative to losing such a large amount of his face and neck. He traveled to Mexico and began receiving Laetrile injections, a product made from crushed apricot pits. This worked – for a time, as the tumor began to shrink.
But a few weeks later the tumor returned with a vengeance, and Winters turned to religious books, which referenced using different types of herbs blended into medicines.
Many of those herbs, at the time, were not available in England – but Winters didn’t care. He searched the globe for the herbs locating them finally in the US, England and Singapore. Once he found them, he blended them into a tea and brewed up a cup.
Winters began experiencing remission after drinking the tea regularly for a few weeks. Within months, the tumor was gone. And from there the legend was born.
His herbal blend became known as Jason Winters Herbal Blend and he eventually formed an internationally renowned tea company. Before his death in 2004, Winters was knighted in Malta; wrote numerous books (including his autobiography detailing his miraculous recovery); appeared in radio, television and newspapers; and spoke to millions worldwide.
His son, Sir Raymond Winters, has followed in his father’s footsteps, as he is co-founder and president of Tri-Sun International/Sir Jason Winters products (SJW).
But Sir Jason Winters never intended to create an international company. “We never really envisioned an international selling brand,” Sir Raymond Winters said. “My father just wanted to save his life.”
What began as simply a tea product has morphed into an entire healthy living campaign with a variety of products. “Always check with your healthcare provider first before starting anything new,” Sir Raymond Winters said. In addition, SJW are not meant to replace any cancer treatment, but could be used in conjunction with treatments. Testimonials are available on the SJW Web site, as well as online. Cancer-free and/or otherwise healthy people who enjoy tea may want to try the blend (and the flavored versions) as a healthier alternative to just “plain” tea.
Those new to the product line, Sir Raymond Winters suggested trying the Classic Blend first, as “this was the original tea blend formulated by Sir Jason Winters over 30 years ago.”
SJW’s product line includes both loose tea and bagged tea, plus numerous vitamin and herbal supplements.
The tea is pre-brewed. Why? “This process makes it easier and quicker to brew the tea,” Sir Raymond Winters explained. “If we just cut up the loose tea and put [it] into bags this does not brew very well.”

Currently the tea selection is Jason Winters green, oolong and herbal tisanes, he added. “We try and offer new natural flavored teas as customers request them.”
In addition to teas, in Japan the company uses the Jason Winters blend in ice cream, bread and cookies. “We have many ideas,” Sir Raymond Winters said. “But [we] try to keep my father’s vision in mind…to help people.”
The products are available on the SJW Web site, as well as some health food stores, pharmacies and grocery stores. For more information, visit http://sirjasonwinters.com/ and
http://sirjasonwinters.com/catalog.htm (download online version or request print copy).

Sources for this feature
·         Sir Raymond Winters interview via e-mail; special thanks to Angelo @ SJW for facilitating interview & thanks to Sir Raymond Winters for taking the time to answer my questions
·         “Killing Cancer” by Sir Jason Winters
·         The Sir Jason Winters story as posted on the Web site http://sirjasonwinters.com/story.htm
·         Additional information compiled (and verified) @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Winters (sources verified)

Images Used with Permission/Copyright preserved