I have a tea obsession

ITM BarcelonaIt all began when my Aunt Jane took me to Lisa’s Tea Treasures somewhere near San Jose, CA when I was entering my senior year of high school. For that afternoon, I felt absolutely transported to another time and place, where life could be as simple as tea and cucumber sandwiches, where conversation was easy, and everyone was on equal footing. My Mom stoked these fantasy fires by serving tea and cookies whenever my college friends visited – all served in proper tea cups with cream, sugar, lemon wedges, etc. She even gave in to my penchant for sugar cubes rather than plain granules. I began dreaming of owning my own tea house where I could help create those moments for others.  Then life happened. I graduated from college, travelled abroad, married my high school sweetheart, moved from Boise, ID to “the O.C.,” got a jobby job, climbed the ranks, quit the jobby job, finished my Masters degree, started my own consulting firm, had a baby, became a VP for one of my former clients… And the tea house? Well, that dream remained, though in different strains. Over the years, I attended tea trade shows, dabbled in blending, begged my way into a waitress job at a tea lounge, hosted afternoon teas at my own house, visited every tea room in a 50 mile radius, but mostly savored the memories of the International Tea Moments I’ve shared with different friends and loved ones over the years.

In this tea log, I’d like to share those moments and invite you to share yours as I explore new teas, new tea venues, and revisit old favorites. I may not have my tea house, but I’ve got my tea moments – and that’s just fine.

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22 responses to “I have a tea obsession

  1. Hi there!

    Okay, I know you don’t know me. We’ve never met and my only connection to you is that I’m one of many who enjoy your blog. I’m not writing to complain about something you wrote or tell you about grammatical errors. The reason I’m contacting you is to talk about my new business, My Tea Shelf. I don’t sell shelving units or golf supplies, but if you haven’t figured it out by now – I sell tea. Great tea, in fact. Tea so great you should try it. For free! But more on that later in the letter.

    My Tea Shelf is based out of my kitchen in Seattle, Washington. By taking my extensive knowledge of drinking lots and lots and lots of tea, I realized I love tea a lot. So much so that I convinced myself to make my own and sell it to others who might enjoy tea as much as me.

    So I started blending together organic herbs with fair trade certified herbs and what I got was pretty amazing tea. Now, I’m well on my way to over 20 teas and after lots of testing I’ve decided they are ready for others to taste as well.

    That’s where you come in. I’d love to send you a few samples – totally free. All I ask in return is some exposure on your blog. A full write up about my teas would be amazing. A link to my site would be icing on the cake.

    With your help, I hope I can take my little business and make it a career. You’d be helping my small dream come true and give others the opportunity to drink simple, organic, homemade tea.

    If you’re interested in helping, I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me simply by replying to this email. I mainly deal with organic and fair trade certified teas.

  2. Tarcy Hilen

    I was just led to this blog today and feel like I’ve been missing out as my passion for tea is often misunderstood. My in-laws are in Seattle so we travel there at lease once a year. Every visit brings me to Miro Tea in Ballard. It’s the kind of place I’d like to own one day, with my own favorite teas. I love that you can sample tea, in a real tea cup, not a plastic throw away. And they serve crepes, sandwiches, dessert, etc. Board games and books are also provided for customers who come in. Anyway there are a couple favorites there as well as other tea places but I find that I ended up drinking the same few teas all from different places so i get in a tea rut and have been pregnant or nursing for so long that i hesitate to blend my own with herbs. Anyway, I’d be interested to getting your web address or chatting about some of your favorites. I’m more that happy to support the local tea shops. I’ve sent a few emails to Miro Tea with my credit card number to have some favorites shipped out to me here in Orange County. I’ve also turned at least 4 families to tea but we are all limited to Teavana in Mission Viejo as our local source for purchasing. They have good quality tea but are expensive and corporate. Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you as well as being a part of Jen’s blog.

    • Jen

      Hi Tarcy – thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your experience with Miro Tea! I’ll have to put it on my list of places to visit. If you haven’t had the chance, you absolutely must visit the Tea House on Los Rios in the historic district of San Juan Capistrano. We’re limited here in the O.C., but there are some great tea moments to be had!

  3. Tarcy Hilen

    Jen, I loved your intro. You have a knack for writing. I just found your blog, actually was referred here by Megan M. and am thrilled not only to be an ongoing supporter but also be part of your drawing. I love trying new teas. I’m a newbie blogger so I’ll have to feel my way around your site but for now wanted to say hi and I look forward to the humor and education I know I will find here.

  4. Meg

    Hey Jen,
    I’ve been reading your blog and I really love it! I always knew you really liked tea, but I love that you’re blogging about it! Next time you come to Seattle, let’s go to the Queen Mary Tea House…it’s one of my faves! I t have a blog as well…it’s about knitting, cooking, traveling…but mostly knitting. I hope all is well for you, Gene and Edie!

    I’m feeling the need to go brew a cup of tea. I never heat water in the microwave….for me, I love the process of making tea on the stove and hearing the tea pot whistle. Now matter how quickly I want the tea, it doesn’t matter to me how long it takes to heat up the water. Plus, it’s cold and rainy here all the freakiin’ time, so it’s nice to have a warm beverage.

    • Jen

      Hey Meg! Thanks for telling me about your blog. I’m definitely checking it out. And I know what you mean about boiling the water in the kettle. It’s a key part of the ‘moment.’ I hope to see you in Seattle soon!

  5. I was just led to this blog today and feel like I’ve been missing out as my passion for tea is often misunderstood. My in-laws are in Seattle so we travel there at lease once a year. Every visit brings me to Miro Tea in Ballard. It’s the kind of place I’d like to own one day, with my own favorite teas. I love that you can sample tea, in a real tea cup, not a plastic throw away. And they serve crepes, sandwiches, dessert, etc. Board games and books are also provided for customers who come in. Anyway there are a couple favorites there as well as other tea places but I find that I ended up drinking the same few teas all from different places so i get in a tea rut and have been pregnant or nursing for so long that i hesitate to blend my own with herbs. Anyway, I’d be interested to getting your web address or chatting about some of your favorites. I’m more that happy to support the local tea shops. I’ve sent a few emails to Miro Tea with my credit card number to have some favorites shipped out to me here in Orange County. I’ve also turned at least 4 families to tea but we are all limited to Teavana in Mission Viejo as our local source for purchasing. They have good quality tea but are expensive and corporate. Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you as well as being a part of Jen’s blog.
    +1

  6. Dear Jen,

    I would love to send you a selection of our teas for your tasting! Please check out our website if you are not already familiar and get back to me with a mailing address and we will send out information and tea samples for you to enjoy and hopefully review on your blog!
    Please let me know if you are interested!
    Thank you!

    Bess Hammer
    Brand Ambassador
    two leaves and a bud tea co.

    • Jen

      Dear Bess,
      Thank you so much for contacting me! I am always thrilled to receive tea samples as fodder for review and future blogs. I just ordered some green tea from you yesterday as part of my ongoing Green Tea Party. Any samples you would like to provide please send to:
      Jen Piccotti
      6 Hearst
      Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

      By the way, I’m hosting an intimate tea event in Ashland, Oregon on August 8 for about 12 guests. If you have single serving samples of your current favorite, I’d love to share them as party favors. But please know that is just food for thought and not a demand of any kind. I am absolutely delighted that you would like to share some of your tea with me for review.

      Thank you again for contacting me, and have a great week!

      -Jen

  7. Hi,
    I saw you mentioned Tipu’s Chai in a tweet. I work with the company and was wondering if you’d like to review them on your site? Could you please email me to discuss this?
    Also, here’s a coupon code good for 10% off your entire next order from Tipuschai.com: CHAI4LEAVES. Thanks again for bangin’ the Tipu’s drum!

    • Jen

      As a matter of fact, just getting ready to post a review today! You were kind enough to send me the sample of Instant Chai. My husband is in love with it!

  8. Great site and story here! I always love bumping into fellow tea enthusiasts online. You have a real gift for description!

  9. John Passuth

    Hi Jen –

    Love the site. Below is some informaiton on a contest by TEEKANNE Herbal Wellness Tea called, “My TEEKANNE Moment”. I thought this would of some interest to your readers. You can lern more about the contest by going to favoritetea.com or visit our facebook page at facebook.com/TeekanneUS. Also, I would love to send you samples of the entire line (12 flavors) for your review. Just let me know. Thanks.

    John

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