Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Spring Teas are Arriving in Shanghai

Due to unseasonably warm whether in China spring teas are already being harvested, much earlier than usual. Zhuyeqing green tea, from Sichuan Province, and Wenzhou also a green tea, from Zhejiang Province are already being sold in Shanghai.

While early spring teas are often the highest in quality the best is yet to come and will go on the market in early to mid March.

The highly anticipated Longjing, aka Dragon Well, green tea from the village of the same name in Zhejiang Province is one of China's most famous green teas. The buds are already sprouting on these plants and the first of 2007 from this renowned village will be available for purchase soon and I will be the first in line! The early spring Dragon Well is superb and every year I cant wait to try these harvests in the highest grades.

Experts predict if the warmer weather continues tea production will be up this year in China and prices should remain almost unchanged, good news for us all!

Until next time, Beth

Friday, February 23, 2007

It's All About the Boar, aka Pig

Its All About the Boar a.k.a. Pig

This year's celebration is all about the Boar, the twelfth sign in the Chinese lunar calendar.
A person born under this sign is courageous and sturdy with a strong "stick to it" attitude, willing to patiently stay on task giving 100% until the job is done. A strong sense of duty is balanced by an equally strong pursuit of desires which can lead to trouble.

Somewhat naive when it comes to judging others, the boar has a tendency towards blind trust. This naivety may be driven by the boars own strong character traits of loyalty and trustworthiness, an exceptional quality leading to mutually beneficial friendships. With a calm, cool demeanor this popular, diplomatic sign is often the moderator between opposing sides wishing for harmony among all beings.

The ability to let bygones be bygones allows this peacemaker to let go and surrender in confrontational situations, making it almost impossible to hold a grudge. The big hearted, charitable boar would rather give then receive and can be somewhat offended when not met with the same giving attitude. For the boar "what's mine is yours and what's yours is mine" with little ability to understand why it should be any different.

Always the giver, the boar is a good listener with limitless sympathy and a willingness to do whatever possible to help out, making this sign well suited for social work, either as a volunteer or a career. The Boar is a social animal, so to speak, belonging to associations and clubs of many types. But more than anything the boar loves to party and party and party some more.

With a tendency toward overindulgence and a taste for the finer things in life the enormous appetite of the boar can lead to tremendous guilt and remorse a strong emotion that will emerge with even the slightest transgression. The boar exhibits tremendous energy and is known for putting his heart and soul into his career, working tirelessly throughout life.

This outwardly jovial character may have somewhat of a rough exterior, speaking his mind openly making him a poor match for more public positions. The boar is either super tidy or super messy, rarely falling in the middle.

Ms Boar is personable and modest and is a devoted wife and mother. For her it is a labor of love and if the rare occasion arises that she does complain it's brief. She expects nothing in return for her industrious efforts and makes the finest of hostesses.

For the thick skinned, but big hearted boar the inability to say no will prove to be his biggest weakness and his overgenerous and overoptimistic nature will cause him the most problems in life. The boar will receive the greatest benefit out of life working unselfishly for the benefit of the majority as his generous instinct requires.

The best suited relationships for a happy life would pair the Boar with the quiet and sagacious (discernment and good judgment) rabbit, gentle sheep or possibly the tiger. Secondary possibilities are the rat, ox, dragon, horse, rooster and dog. And while he can tolerate the company of another boar he will actually be bored? The snake and the monkey are not a good match for the boar.

There are other elements that influence what type of boar you may be. These elements are water, metal, earth, wood and fire. Every sign in the twelve year cycle has a fixed element that further details personal characteristics. Additionally the time of day you are born influences your boar type with all twelve signs ruling a specific time of day. It can become complicated, but equally interesting and fun.

Metal Boar - 1911, 1971
This is a more dominate boar who is proud and passionate but may lack refinement. He underestimates his enemies and overestimates his friends and will never concede graciously. With unbelievable endurance this boar is never a quitter.
Famous Persons Born in the Year of the Metal Boar- Hubert Humphrey - Ronald Regan - Lucille Ball - Rosalind Russell - Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.

Water Boar - 1923, 1983
This more diplomatic boar is resourceful and believes strongly in miracles, which can work against him. A great party-goer this boar loves to be among people and has tremendous goodwill. Be careful water boar because when you are negative you have a tendency to overindulge and can't seem to get enough of anything.Famous Persons Born in the Year of the Water Boar - Prince Rainier III of Monaco - Henry Kissinger - Maria Callas - Lee Kuan Yew.

Wood Boar - 1935, 1995
This boar is a master manipulator and has a greater concern toward personal gain. With a gift for bringing people together this boar is a great promoter who gets along well with everyone. Willing to help all he comes in contact with this boar will likely devote a great deal of time towards charitable efforts. As a persuasive talker this boar will succeed in ambitious corporate ventures. With the cheerful, positive demeanor this boar will have everyone supporting his efforts good or bad.Famous Persons Born in the Year of the Wood Boar - King Hussein - Julie Andrews.

Fire Boar - 1947, 2007
This is your year! Powerful and intensely emotional this heroic boar can be in for a life of tremendous achievement or tremendous despair depending on how tightly he controls the overwhelming energy he possess. Pigheaded determination and a firm belief in his own abilities this boar will try anything once and will probably succeed. However if unhappy, this boar can be a guilt ridden, willful bully. The all important family will drive this boar to achieve great wealth to support a lavish lifestyle for loved ones. This boar is giving and can become infamous amongst friends for his generosity. Famous Persons Born in the Year of the Fire Boar - Andrew Jackson - Hillary Rodham Clinton - Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery.

Earth Boar - 1899, 1959
This peaceful boar is devoted to both work and family and believes that charity begins at home. Motivating others thru personal actions this boar is patient and steadfast with a strong sense of financial responsibility and is poised for material success. Geared toward harmony and tranquility this boar will steer clear of negative situations and be a reliable, thoughtful friend. A great love of food and drink this boar needs to be cautious watching out for overindulgence.Famous Persons Born in the Year of the Earth Boar - Ernest Hemingway - Humphrey Bogart - Alfred Hitchcock - John D. Rockefeller.

I thought somebody might like to read this for fun so instead of rewriting the whole thing for the blog I just posted the published article, hence the legal jargon at the bottom not normally included in my blog posts.

Until next time, Beth

© 2007 Teas Etc., Inc ABOUT THE AUTHOR Beth Johnston, a tea importer and noted tea expert, publishes an informative monthly newsletter on tea, tea history, health and lifestyle enhancements.

Chinese New Year Article and Open House

The Chinese New Year open house was a blast on Sunday with an estimated 150-200 people stopping in to celebrate! The food was good, the tea was excellent but best of all was the company, thanks to all who attended to celebrate with us.

For those of you who attended the open house I am working on gathering the recipes and photos to post here on the blog asap.

As promised, although a few days behind schedule, here is the links to the Chinese New Year articles.

Read about the history and traditions of the Chinese New Year -

Read about Amy Zhang's personal experiences growing up in China and the traditions celebrated by her family during the Spring Festival -

What's your sign, find out what your lunar sign is and some of the characteristics associated with it -

Until next time, Beth

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tea is Mainstream

This post has been in my head for weeks and while it may be a bit dated I thought it was great news for tea in the US.

Tea is definitely gaining popularity and becoming more mainstream which was never more apparent then when I was sort of watching the super bowl (I know it was February 4th but I did say this was dated) and saw an ad for Snapple tea RTD's!

O.k. it was an RTD (ready to drink) and if you don't already know it RTD's have minimal benefit(check out my January post on the US News & World Report article), certainly not like a quality, freshly brewed tea. But it was tea and not beer (this is the super bowl after all) and this broad exposure may get people thinking about the choices beyond, and much better than, soft drinks and lattes.

Just a note for anyone in the south Florida area, we are hosting our annual Chinese New Year Celebration - The Year of the Boar- this Sunday, February 18th, at our shop in Lake Worth. For directions, time and more info click on the link

Amy Zhang wrote an article on her personal experiences celebrating the New Year with her grandmother and how traditions have evolved in China, which will be posted here in time for the start of the New Year this Sunday, check it out!