Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chamomile Tea is for Blondes!

I love blonde hair- which is the reason my hair has developed the texture of straw over the years. As I get older I keep getting blonder...and blonder. Unfortunately, it has become even too blonde for me (I am not trying to channel any of the Golden Girls)and my hair stylist's expensive attempts to add "caramel sprinkles" to my hair has not worked. On Sunday night my husband and I went out for a fabulous dinner and over the course of the meal he kept looking at my hair. Now, this man does not normally look up from a plate of pasta to look at me so I knew there must be something sticking up or hanging from my head. I asked him if there was something "on my hair" and he told me that he was noticing how white my hair was. He said this with the same enthusiasm he had when our accountant told us the balance we owed the IRS so I was pretty sure that it was not a compliment. By Sunday morning I had become obsessed with my white hair so I headed to the pharmacy to see what do-it-at-home trouble I could purchase. In the shampoo aisle I spotted a "Chamomile" shampoo that advertised its ability to add golden hi-lights. Well, chamomile was listed as the last ingredient on the shampoo bottle so I decided to go home and see how I could make some chamomile infused shampoo with a higher concentration of chamomile. Now, I know that chamomile has long been used as a hair rinse but I figured that chamomile infused shampoo would be better since it could be left on the hair for a few minutes to allow the chamomile to do its trick. I mixed 1 TBSP of shampoo (for color treated hair) in a 1/2 cup of cool, very strong chamomile tea. I took it in the shower and washed my hair with it, I slowly added the entire 1/2 cup of mixture and let it stay on my hair for about 5 minutes. I was really surprised after I blew my hair dry that I actually had hi-lights. I repeated the process on Monday morning and have to say that I am thrilled with the results- very subtle but natural looking. The power of tea in action!!

To try at home:

Use 3 teaspoons of loose chamomile and steep in 1/2 cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain. Stir 1 TBSP of gentle shampoo into the cool tea. Wet hair and shampoo with mixture. Repeat once each day until desired results are obtained.

A Little Inspiration for Wednesday!

Many of my customers know Annie Hart (renowned Story Artist) who performs her original story art at our shop in Philadelphia. Annie is a master break-through coach who has inspired and propelled many people to live their dream. I am lucky to call Annie my friend- and she keeps me in line when I start to stray from my own dream! Please check out her blog for a bit of inspiration.

Annie will be performing a special story in the garden at The Hill Tea Bar on June 12th at 7pm.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First Flush...Tea Stories...June 12th

Help us round out our month long Anniversary Celebration with a special storytelling event in our garden on June 12th at 7pm. Annie Hart, local story artist, will be featuring a special "First Flush" story to tie in with the annual release of first flush darjeeling. Sample some darjeeling while you enjoy the event.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Year in Tea!

One full year in the tea business has passed and I am still as excited as I was on the first day! In addition to playing with my tea all day (as my husband would put it) I am working on my PhD in the Philosophy of Business and I just completed a research paper on "Job Satisfaction". It was the absolute validation that my decision to be my own boss was the right one. I am more convinced than ever that all of our experiences are building the path to something great...if we are not afraid to take chances and stay motivated to keep moving forward. I have been proud over the past year to use my business as a venue for promoting local farmers, supporting women business owners and as a meeting place for community seminars. Research supports what I always believed- the fact that workers want to be successful and if they are not it is because management will not let them be. If you are not happy have a cup of tea and think about where your path is leading you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Discover The Wines of Summer- June 19th

We just listed our June wine class on the events calendar.

Enjoy an exceptional selection of 8 different summer wines with perfectly paired cheese selections. Learn foolproof wine and food pairing concepts. The class will be taught by a professional wine educator. June 19th- 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Cost is $40 per person. Reservations required. Cheers!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tea and Fashion in Historic Chestnut Hill!

Calling all Fashionistas! Stop by our shop on Sunday, May 17th for a designer trunk show. Summer fashions from a famous LA designer will be on display and a professional stylist will discuss tips and tricks to help you get the most from your wardrobe. 11am to 2pm. Tea and clothes...what could be better?

Rooibos Helps Sinus Headache

Last week I taught a class about Tea & Health and there were many questions about Rooibos. Rooibos is not tea since it does not come from the Camellia sinensis plant. It is mineral rich and studies raise the possibility that the herb could be useful in aiding deficient immune responses in allergies and infections. There is a following of people who believe that Rooibos helps with migrane headaches. Yesterday I woke up with a throbbing headache, the kind that stabs you behind the eyes. I figured it was a sinus problem since it was confined to the right side of my head. I took ibuprofen (a lot of them!) but it did not work. Since I was surrounded by tea, as I am every day in my shop, I decided to give Rooibos a try for my headache. I drank two 16ounce cups of hot Rooibos in the afternoon and 2 more cups after dinner. This morning the headache was gone. Now, this could have been a fluke but next time you have a sinus issue or headache give it a try.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Real Chai

One of my very good friends is originally from Sri Lanka and she only drinks the darkest, black tea and grew up drinking "real chai". We invited her to dinner on Sunday night for her birthday and I thought I would test my best chai recipe on her. I have been refining my recipe over the past three years, and since I received my friend's endorsement, I am going to share the recipe. Now, remember that this is not as quick as making chai with a concentrate or teabag but it is oh so good! I promise it is worth the time.

For 2 mugs:

32 ounces whole milk
6 cardamom pods (broken)
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1 star anise
10 peppercorns (black or red)
3 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons loose leaf Assam (whole leaf)

Place milk in sauce pan and heat slowly over low heat- Do not allow the milk to boil. After 3 minutes add all ingredients except the honey to the warm milk. Simmer, while stirring, for at least 10 minutes. The longer it simmers, the better it tastes! After a minimum of 10 minutes stir in the honey. Strain and serve in 2 mugs. (PS. you can add a splash of real vanilla extract for a vanilla chai)

Garden Festival Rescheduled for May 17th

The garden festival was rained out on May 3rd- but it is rescheduled for May 17th...Rain or Shine!
Don't forget to stop inside The Hill Tea Bar on the 17th to check out the designer trunk show that will take place in the garden room.