Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Green Tea Sports Drink

Ingredients: Organic green tea, honey, sugar, salt, lemon and (not shown) coconut water

 Hello!  It's been a loooong while since I've posted anything. A lot of life has happened since, and I'm also posting frequently on Instagram @stephwtea. But here I am with a bit more time on my hands, planning to share occasional musings on tea and life here once again. (Are blogs dead? Possibly - still, I write.)

I've transitioned out of my 25-year corporate career. So what have I been doing? Walking - a lot! (Plus cocooning and putting the foundation in place for my work going forward.)  Back to the walking - I turned 50 earlier this year and I want to mark the milestone year with something physically challenging. I decided to hike, in one day, a well-known trail in my region that happens to be about 50 kilometers (31 miles). I've been training since Dec 30th, my last day of work. 

The color is all natural, from the tea and lemon juice

It's been fantastic! And a LOT of miles, which brings me to the subject of this post. I don't usually do sports drinks for two reasons: 1 - I think they're over-utilized in general and 2 - I don't like the flavor of the commercial ones. And yet, once I got up to 4+ hours of hiking, I needed something in addition to water. My heartfelt thanks to Jenna Braddock for the original version of this recipe! Jenna is a dietitian and personal trainer, and determined what was necessary to make a balanced drink in terms of sugars and electrolytes. Deep gratitude! I took the original recipe and customized just a bit, reducing how much is made and upgrading the quality of tea to loose, organic green. (I'm using the Young Mountain Tea Darjeeling Green.)

Field testing: a winner!

Here's my version of the recipe, if you'd like to give it a try. It makes just a bit over 2 cups.
  • In a heat-safe vessel, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 generous tablespoon of loose green tea. Steep for 4 minutes. (Important note: This is a very rare moment when I will suggest you use boiling water on green tea, and for this long! Usually, it's a shorter steep and much cooler water. Here we're making a concentrate.)
  • Remove the leaves after 4 minutes.
  • To the hot tea, add and stir until dissolved:
    • 1 TBSP of honey (fructose and glucose)
    • 1/2 TBSP (aka teaspoon and a half) of table sugar (sucrose)
    • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Let the tea mixture cool a bit, then add 1 cup coconut water and 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Chill and then enjoy out on the trail!  (I usually make this the night before.)

Monday, November 22, 2021

Favorite Things (Holiday Tea Gifts)


If you're looking for gifts for the tea lovers in your life, here are a few that I recommend. These support small businesses, people whom I know personally and respect deeply.


Young Mountain Tea - Try the tea bundles! 15% off sale through Dec 12. Support sustainable futures for Himalayan tea farmers and families.

Jasmine Pearl Tea Company - Among many great choices, they have just released a Sampler Set, blended in partnership with Young Mountain Tea. Jasmine Pearl has a wide range of herbal options for those in your life who prefer caffeine-free deliciousness. 

Floating Leaves Tea - Carrying some of the best Taiwanese oolong teas available in the US! I recommend Oriental Beauty (sweet), Dong Ding Traditional A (roasty), and 2021 Winter Smooth Water Baozhong (light, excellent broth).  Sale Fri 11/26 - Mon 11/29.


Papaya Bento - Art prints inspired by Camellia Sinensis, along with notecards of the same prints (I LOVE these!).  Artist Mitra Nite

Vintage Christmas Cookbook - Cookbook by tea lover and author Angela McRae.

Padded Tote for Gaiwan/Small Teapot - If you sew, you need this pattern! Snuggle in that precious tea ware.

Note: I received no products or compensation for this post.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Breakfast Picnics


During the pandemic, daily walks have been a means for me to find sanity, comfort and even joy. Sometimes all three in a day, sometimes just holding tightly to sanity. 

I occasionally add a breakfast picnic to the outing, and it's definitely a boost to my well-being. It typically works like this:  I pack up my backpack with a very simple breakfast (muffin, scone, etc.), a cup and saucer (maybe two), a thermos of tea and maybe a tablecloth.  Then off I go for my walk, ending where I can sit and have a quiet moment. 

Even if it's on your patio or front steps, consider giving this a try!  Now that many of us are moving into cool weather, don't give up.  A hot cup of tea warms my heart and soul. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020



Today, the latest season of The Crown was released (Netflix). To celebrate, I made homemade crumpets. They're not difficult, basically a yeasted pancake. But they do take an investment of time, and I make them infrequently.  

I made crumpets to celebrate, but also (mostly) to distract myself. As COVID cases rise, we do our part to protect one another. For me, that means the continuation of staying home and not traveling to see my family. This is very hard, but I believe it's necessary. So I distract myself as best I can.

I enjoyed tea and crumpets in the sunniest corner of our home, which I've nicknamed the "solarium." Now, to a little binge watching...

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

100 Years of (some) Women's Suffrage, Tea and More to Do


My copy of the tea set used by Alva Vanderbilt Belmont,
commissioned to raise funds for the suffrage movement.  More info

This month in the US, we mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted some women (mostly white women) the right to vote. The hard truth is that it took another 45 years for women of color to be guaranteed voting rights with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. 

Tea was a fueling beverage for the women a century-plus ago, laboring for suffrage. As we note the hard-fought victory of the 19th Amendment, let us also drink in the bitterness of this tea -- that many sisters of color were unable to vote until 1965. And another 10 years for Americans whose primary language was not English. 1975 -- that's in my lifetime. A moment of silence to acknowledge these transgressions. And a commitment to work for social justice.  

Following the model set by women in the UK, US women met over cups of tea to strategize and proselytize.  One infamous moment: In July 1848, Jane Hunt invited Elisabeth Cady Stanton to her home for tea, along with Lucretia Mott, Martha Wright and Mary Ann McClintock. These women were impassioned, and the gathering led to the Seneca Falls Convention just 10 days later. 

Let us now name some of the Black Suffragists who worked hard for voting rights: Sojourner Truth, Daisy Elizabeth Adams LampkinFrances Ellen Watkins Harper,  Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Mary Church Terrell, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Ida B. Wells.  Latinx suffragists include: MarĂ­a Amparo Ruiz de Burton and Adelina Otero-Warren Thanking Indigenous/Native American suffragist Zitkala-Sa and the Iriquois model of inclusion. Gratitude to Chinese-American Mabel Ping-Hua Lee and Japanese supporter Komako Kimura, who came from Japan to march with women in New York.  These are just a few of the many women of color who were committed to the cause. 

The ingenuity of the suffragists impresses, still today. They used tea parties to educate others, enlist support and raise money. 

There were at lest two special brands of tea sold for the cause, Equality Tea being one. Given that tea packaging is fragile, little physical evidence of this remains. 

In addition to the tea set shown above, the National American Woman Suffrage Association sold a demitasse cup and saucer embellished with "Votes for Women" on a gold rim. 

Image left: courtesy the California Secretary of State
Image below: courtesy liveauctioneers.com 

By the way, I've just learned that in the US, the preferred term was suffragist (not suffragette).  Read more

I'm indebted to and inspired by these suffragist women. I continue to think about how tea can play a role in the work of social justice.

Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas statue in Rochester, NY
"Let's Have Tea" by Pepsy Kettavong

Image from commons.wikimedia.org

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Memories in a Tea Cozy/Cosy

How do you spell it?  Tea Cozy (common in the US) or Tea Cosy (common in the UK).  I appreciate both styles.  :-)  Anyway you spell it, they're handy. I dislike cold tea, and a cozy/cosy helps!  Especially this one, which has a thermal lining in the middle.  I used these instructions to make one sized for my smaller teapots. I wanted to feature the Darjeeling text, and on the other side, Ceylon, so I fussy cut the fabric.

This fabric was a gift from my "room friend," affectionately called Rose MacGyver due to her cleverness in devising solutions to all kinds of needs when we were traveling in China, Tibet and India. We also traveled together to London, and so it's my attempt to connect these adventures (a British-inspired cosy with the Indian tea-growing region prominently displayed). 

That's the DH, dear hubby, gardening in the background at a community garden plot 

This cozy/cosy also connects me with my trip back to Darjeeling this past October, and another dear friend who was my traveling companion, AM. I dream of the day when I can host a tea where these two women can meet and share talk of travel.  

I've been using this cozy/cosy nearly every day, and thinking of my friends and our adventures! Comfort and warmth in tough times.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Tea School, of Tea Fest PDX

The Portland Tea Festival is launching an online Tea School!  The classes are really awesome and really affordable! I hope you'll take a look. I'm teaching a class on Bowl-Style Brewing this Wednesday, 4/29 at 1 pm PDT.  It's a brew-along, and will be lots of fun!