Archive for November, 2012

Give thanks! The origin of Chinese finger tapping

There are so many reasons to be thankful for tea; and accordingly, there are many ways to express our thanks, as well. The next time you find yourself in a tea room or being served tea, consider saying ‘thank you’ by tapping your finger on the table or the tea cup three times. You’ll be showing your gratitude in a very ancient way!

Finger tapping, or tea tapping, dates back to the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911 A.D.). According to legend, one of the Emperors during this period was fond of traveling throughout the country in disguise, in order to observe his subjects unnoticed. One day in a public place, the emperor poured himself a cup of tea, and then proceeded to fill a servant’s cup as well. The servant was so moved, he had to show his respect in some way but to kneel formally would betray his master’s expressed desire for privacy.

Cleverly, he used such sign language to silently acknowledge the gesture and express his thanks. He “bowed” with the middle three fingers – two fingers represented the prostrate arms and the other, the bowed head. Here is a video to learn more about Chinese tea culture. Saying ‘thank you’ verbally and nodding silently are also proper ways to show your thanks. As is serving tea to your guests! What are you thankful for this time of year?

Warming Winter Chai—Healthy, exotic, & easy to make at home!

With a myriad of exotic spices, chai speaks to our indulgent nature. First, chai aromatically tempts. Then, one escapes into a cup of sweet complexity. Finally, this tea gives us a healthy punch of spices that are often overlooked. By the end of this memorable experience, one is usually a fan for life.

While many of us love this popular drink and order it often while out and about, few of us know how easy it is to make on our own. This winter, Zhi would like to make it easy for you to enjoy your favorite chai from the warmth and comfort of your home. It’s also a simple drink to share when traveling to visit others this holiday season.

Not only is chai delicious, but commonly used spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and fennel are said to boost the immune system, clear the sinuses and support the digestive system. Heart-healthy black teas are also good for bones and teeth.

Zhi Tea offers several varieties. The most familiar is Masala. Cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger gracefully combine in our Assam tea from India.  This popular chai is great on its own, yet is hearty enough to uphold milk and sugar. To enjoy this tea, consider this easy recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cups almond milk
  • 4 teaspoons of chai
  • agave or sugar to taste

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Tools: large pot, strainer; Serves 4

Directions:

  • In a large pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
  • When boiling, add 4 heaping teaspoons of chai.
  • Change heat to ‘medium’ and steep for 3 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of almond milk to tea.
  • Bring tea up to a warm drinking temperature and sweeten to taste.
  • When ready, carefully strain into thermos or pour direct into serving cups. (One might also strain into another large pot and serve using ladle).
  • Sprinkle w/cinnamon, nutmug, or cacao powder.

Craving chocolate? Try our Cacao Chai! Love coconut? Try our Coconut Chai! Looking for a chai with a little less caffeine? Our Kasmiri Chai with a rare green tea base. Want a completely caffeine free treat? Try our Kenya Chai made with rooibos.

 

Food done right! Zhi Tea is a top 100 sustainable food company

Zhi is honored to have been handpicked by TakePart.com as one of their 2012 “Tastemakers,” small, food-focused businesses that are doing their part to change for the better the way our communities eat.

Editors looked at thousands of businesses across the country before selecting shops they feel live up to the Food, Inc. ethos of fixing our nation’s broken food system. They wanted to showcase independent artisans who are lovingly committed to sustainable, organic, humane products. It was a hard selection, but they finally narrowed it down to 10 cities and 100 businesses — and Austin is well represented!

For the entire list of nationwide leaders, visit their website. Zhi looks forward to visiting these foodie friends when we travel next. Do you live in these towns? Have you had their treats and agree? We’d love to hear about it!