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Tea book recommendation - Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties (Second Edition)

Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties

Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties provides a fantastic gateway to enter the world of tea. This is the book I recommend for any tea drinkers who are about to start a journey as a tea drinker.

Tea book recommendation - Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties (Second Edition)

I met this book while I was working at Barnes & Noble as a part-timer when I was in college back in 2015. For people who are not familiar with Barnes & Noble, it’s a bookseller brand with the largest number of book retail stores in the United States. 

Tea book recommendation - Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties (Third Edition)

I found this book while I was walking around the store floor out of boredom and slowness. The moment was almost like finding an oasis in a desert. At first, I was intrigued by the cool book design. Soon after, I was fascinated by the fact what tea really was! 

Tea book recommendation - Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties (Third Edition)

It’s been more than 7 years and now there’s a 3rd edition for this book (I read 2nd edition). Whether it’s 1st, 2nd, or 3rd edition, it’s a great book to learn about tea without feeling overwhelmed. 

Tea book recommendation - Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties (Third Edition)

The book covers black, green, white, yellow, oolong, pu’er, perfumed, aromatic and smoked teas and includes:

  • An overview of the history of tea
  • Tea families, varieties, cultivars and grades
  • How tea is grown, harvested and processed
  • The tea trade worldwide
  • Profile interviews with tea industry personalities.

Special features that loyal tea drinkers will especially enjoy are:

  • Local tastes and methods of preparing tea (e.g. macha)
  • Tasting notes and infusion accessories
  • Teapot recommendations
  • Caffeine, antioxidant and biochemical properties of 35 teas
  • 15 gourmet recipes using tea
  • A directory of 42 select teas.
I feel nervous scared about getting the COVID-19 vaccine (4)

Guided Meditation for Anxiety & Stress (COVID-19 Vaccine Panic Attack) Relief 😱🧘🏿

Did you know some COVID-19 vaccine reactions, including fainting, dizziness and nausea, were due to anxiety, not the shots themselves?

If you are about to get vaccinated whether it’s Pfizer, Astrazeneca, Moderna, it’s natural to feel anxious.

For me, getting the COVID-19 vaccine was one of the most scary experience I ever experienced!

I feel nervous scared about getting the COVID-19 vaccine (6)

I wanted to chill. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about the tiny possibility of getting the severe side effects.  

Something was pressuring my left chest. 

I couldn’t breathe. 

I wasn’t myself. 

Although I knew there was a little chance for me to get a severe side effect like heart failure or death, I felt like I was going to die…

  • What if I have underlying disease that I am not aware of? 
  • What if my heart fails? 
  • What if I get a severe allergy reaction? 
  • What if I die? Who’s gonna look after all my belonging and mess!? 
  • What was my medical, life insurance policy? 
  • Wow. There are so many things I said I would do, yet didn’t do. 
  • Why do I feel so scared? 
  • Where is this fear originated from? 
  • Does this mean I love my life so much? Why am I terrified? 

I tried my best to cut the negative thoughts in my head. However, my brain wouldn’t shut. 

My mind and brain created a living hell out of me. 

I was doomed.  

There were times I wanted to kill myself. However, this was the first time I wanted to live, but feel like I was going to die. 

Later I found out I was experiencing a panic attack. 

 

“If you felt like you were gonna die because of the vaccine, why did you register for the COVID-19 vaccine?” 

 

Yeah, I could wait. 

I could skip. 

However, I didn’t want to run away.

It’s been more than a year since the pandemic happened. The COVID-19 is still interfering with my daily life. I didn’t want to live under fear of getting COVID neither. 

  • I made sure my medical, life insurance are all good. 
  • I cleaned my house. If I end up dead, I didn’t want someone else to go though my mess or unorganised space where I just moved in. 
  • I talked family and friends.
  • I expressed my concerns and fears of getting vaccinated publicly. 
  • I cooked the entire week of meals in advance because I knew I had more probability of staying alive. 
As you can see, my mind was all over. 
MCEC Melbourne COVID-19 Vaccination

I wanted to get vaccinated. However, every step was a challenge to me. 

Even when I arrived at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to get a vaccine, each step felt like a quest to conquer. 

It was a struggle.

That’s when I remembered 4-7-8 Breathing Technique .

I feel nervous scared about getting the COVID-19 vaccine (7)

What Is 4-7-8 Breathing Technique? 

The 4-7-8 breathing technique is based on pranayama breathing exercises, the ancient yogic practice of controlling your breath. 

Dr. Andrew Weil, an American celebrity doctor graduated from Harvard Medical School developed this breathing to relief stress and bring relaxation. 

Dr. Weil refers 4-7-8 breathing as a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system”.

I feel nervous scared about getting the COVID-19 vaccine (7)

How To Practice 4-7-8 Breathing - Simple Version 

  • Inhale 4 seconds 
  • Pause 7 seconds 
  • Exhale 8 seconds 
  • How to Practice 4-7-8 Breathing - Complete Version 

    1. Find a comfortable place to sit with your back straight. If you have insomnia, you can do this laydown for good night sleep. 
    2. Place your tongue against the back of your top teeth and keep it there. 
    3. Exhale completely through your mouth around your tongue, making a whoosh sound. Purse your lips if it helps. 
    4. Close your lips and inhale through your nose for a count of four.
    5. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
    6. Exhale completely through your mouth making a whoosh sound for a count of eight. 
    7. This completes one cycle. Repeat for three more cycles.
    I feel nervous scared about getting the COVID-19 vaccine (7)

    While I was waiting for my turn to get vaccinated in front of a booth, this breathing technique popped up in my head.

    After using the breathing technique, I felt much calmer and less anxious. 

    Through this experience of getting vaccinated, I learned everyone experiences different kind of fear. I wondered whether I wasn’t callous about other people’s pain in the past.

    You can use 4-7-8 breathing anytime when you feel stressed.

    4-7-8 breathing can

    • Reduce anxiety. 
    • Lower blood pressure. 
    • Improve sleep. 
    • Lower tension, anger, depression, pain. 
    • Enhance concentration. 
    • Reduce negative emotions. 

    Guided Meditation for Anxiety & Stress Relief 🍵

    I’ve created a guided meditation to cope with anxiety & stress. 

    This meditation will lower anxiety & stress level right away. 

    Breathe, relax, you are safe. 

    Sending warm hugs, 
    Soo

    More Resources

    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (5)

    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji(ごちそう茶事) Review

    Have you ever watched something that gives you a different perspective and leaves a question to think?

    I joined the Japanese tea documentary, gochisochaji(ごちそう茶事), screening hosted by the Global Japanese Tea Association on Wednesday, 30 June 2021, 8-10 pm in Japan time. 

    The event included watching the documentary and talking with the producer, Makoto Takatsu. It was a virtual event, so I could join from Melbourne, Australia, an hour ahead of Japan time. 

    How I felt about the event: communal, connected, informative, interesting, relaxing. 

    How I felt about the documentary: communal, informative, diverse, not too boring, dedicated, provides a new perspective & outlook. 

     

    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事

    Film Title: ごちそう茶事 Gochisochaji 
    Producer: Makoto Takatsu
    Editing Director: Go Okada
    Music: Hitomi Tamura
    Theme Song: Kojiro Fujiwara “To the Other Side”
    Title: Genu Shiraishi
    Production: Japanese Tea Documentary Film Production Team
    Distributor in Japan: office.gochisouchaji
    JAPAN / 2021 / 52min / Japanese (with English subtitles)
    Website: https://gochisochaji.com/

    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (13)

    Before screening, I prepared Japanese sencha and Tonkatsu (a Japanese dish that consists of a breaded, deep-fried/tempura pork cutlet.). I brewed Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha that I received as a gift from Yunomi. I ordered Tonkatsu from DonDon. 

    What I enjoyed the most

    1. Diverse Topics 

    I enjoyed watching gochisouchaji because it provided short sequences of topics while covering a variety of topics.  I find some documentaries too boring or too serious to follow. Gochisouchaji was easy to follow. 

    Topics: 

    • The people devoted their lives to Japanese tea 
    • Scent of freshly picked tea leaves  
    • What separates a master from an amateur?
    • Shitori(Moist)
    • Gogumi (Blending) techniques
    • Japanese tea and tea drinking culture have evolved through the ages.
    • However, Japanese tea today faces many challenges. 
    • Profound changes in lifestyle. 
    • A new gateway to Japanese tea
    • Uji, Kyoto prefacture 
    • Tradition of the Uji Region
    • Japanese tea with new character 
    • Makurajaki, Kagoshima prefacture 
    • Breeder 
    • Sofu
    • The cultivar loved by modern teaists Sofu
    • Reassessing the withering technique 
    • Withered aroma of yumewakaba 
    • Gokase, Miyajaki Prefecture
    • The times and Kamairicha
    • Traditional yet new tea attracting young people 
    • Attracting young people 
    • Successors of Japanese tea 
    • Rediscovery of Japanese tea
    • And More 
    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事

    2. Diverse People 

    I enjoyed watching the interviews from people related to Japanese tea industry. For me it was especially interesting to know what tea breeder does. Check out the documentary if you are curious 😀 

    • Oscar Brekell, Japanese Tea Evangelist 
    • OTA Katsunori, Tea Grower, Kaneta Otaen 
    • Moriuchi Yoshio, Tea Grower, Moriuchi Tea Farm 
    • Nakajima Tsuyoshi, Onishi-en Tea Factory, 10th Dan in Hand Rolled Tea 
    • Maeda Fumio, Yamahachi Maeda Lotaro Shoten Tea Master, 10th Dan in tea appraisal
    • Tada Masanori, Tea Master, Tada Tea Products 
    • Sakurai Shinya, Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience 
    • Koyama Kazuhiro, Charista, Saten Japanese Tea 
    • Fujioka Hibiki, Barista 
    • Tsuji Kiyohara, Tea Grower, Tsujiki
    • Nesumi Atsushi, Senior Coordinator Makurazaki Tea Research Station (NARO)
    • Watata Yoshi, Tea Sommelier, Omotesanto Chachanoma 
    • Florent Weugue, Aozuruchago (Thes-du-Japon)
    • Shimizu Keiichiro, Tea Master,  Sayamacha Specialty Shop Bizenya 
    • Miyajaki Akira, Tea Grower, Miyajaki Sabo 
    • Yokoyama Yoko, Tea Grower, Miyajaki Sabo 
    • Okajami Megumi, The Tea Company 
    • Tajima Nobuyoshi, The Tea Company 
    • Ishida Shinji, Restaurant Owner, Nogizaka Shin
    • Obata Kazuki, Urushi & Tea Lover
    • And more 
     
     
    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (7)

    3. A New Perspective and Outlook 

    With diverse topic and people, it naturally gave me a new perspective and outlook.

    " You need to be able to talk with the tea. Tea is a living thing in a sense. I think tea is always sending us signs, telling us what to do next. The question is whether you can keep pace with the changes. Do tea leaves obey your orders? Do leaves line up and get ready to be rolled when they are told to do so? As an old saying goes, the appearance of the leaves mirrors their internal qualities. I think a beautiful looking tea is beautiful on the inside as well."

    Nakajima Tsuyoshi, Onishi-en Tea Factory, 10th Dan in Hand Rolled Tea
    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (12)

    4. Tea Brewing Techniques 

    The documentary also showed how tea professionals use own style to brew and taste tea. I enjoyed watching different styles of brewing.  

    " The most important parts about brewing tea are the flavour, maintaining the quality that the growers produced, and being considerate to the person you're serving. I think that a cup of tea can for a heart-to-heart connection. Brewing tea with consideration is what matters most."

    Sakurai Shinya, Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience
    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (11)

    5. Tea Dedication

    While watching the documentary, I could see how the tea industry is supported by people with dedication and caring. 

    During the chatting with the producer time, Takatsu-san mentioned that he was able to complete the 3 years of production by the support and dedicated people in the tea industry. 

    It reminded me how to appreciate and cherish tea leaves. I had a good self-reflection time during the event and while writing this review. 

    Global Japanese Tea Association

    Thank you Global Japanese Association (https://gjtea.org/)  for hosting a fun and informative event.  

    If you missed the screening, you can rent or buy the gochisochaji at Vimeo now.  

    Have you already seen this documentary? Let me know how you enjoyed it 😀

    Stop Order White Fairy Tea (BạCH Trà Tiên)

    Stop order White Fairy Tea (BạCh TRà Tiên) until locals find a solution to harvest the tea.

    vietnam white fairy tea (BạCH Trà Tiên)

    For the sake of my love for tea, there are two things I want to tackle in the tea industry.  

    One is environmental issues that directly affect our planet and people’s health.

    The other is human rights issue.

    • Environmental issue: is certain tea production harming the environment and people’s health? For example, tea pesticides, incorrect labeling, wasteful packaging, and mass production.
    • Human rights issue:  is certain tea production harming basic human rights? For example, child labor, minimum wage, hostile working conditions, etc.

    I understand that these issues are very complex and cannot be fixed overnight.

    However, these issues need to be addressed so people including tea workers can enjoy tea through generations.  

    If you work in a tea field 12 hours a day and barely earn to support yourself. Would you be thrilled to drink a cup of tea? I would be so angry, I might throw a tea-cup! 

    If you drink a tea that was covered by tea pesticides that can be poisonous to your body. When you end up in a hospital, will you be able to see your tea the same as before? 

    vietnam white fairy tea (BạCH Trà Tiên)

    This morning, I read an urgent post from Ha Giang Tribes and Tea through the International Tea Talks

    vietnam white fairy tea (BạCH Trà Tiên)
    Photography ⓒ Ha Giang Tribes and Tea

    AN URGENT CALL FOR YOU FROM VIETNAM TEA MOUNTAIN

    Starting along with the mountain range of Tay Con Linh in Hà Giang Province.

     You will disappoint to find that some very big plantation tea trees – two or three people can barely join hands around the trunk with thousands of years old– had been cut down to collect these buds, called: ” White Fairy tea” – Bạch Trà Tiên.

    A kind of special/unique Shan tea and very good quality

    I call proposal for you guys, as responsible consumers/buyers/tea lovers/…you should stop order that kind of tea until the local people find a solution to harvest the tea without cutting down these trees!


    source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1647370545538088/permalink/2461768967431571/

    vietnam white fairy tea (BạCH Trà Tiên)
    Photography ⓒ Ha Giang Tribes and Tea

    What is White Fairy Tea – Bạch Trà Tiên.?

    To understand what is White Fairy Tea, you need to know what is Shan Tea.

    What is Shan Tea?

    Shan tea is a preciously distinctive tea plant that only inhabits in remote provinces of far North Vietnam, especially in Ha Giang. 

    Those ancient wild tea plants have been known to reach heights of nearly 15 meters and boast diameters of two meters.

    People have to climb up the tea tree to pick the buds. It is said that in earlier times, trained monkeys were used to collect tea leaves from inaccessible places.

    Shan tea’s buds and young leaves are covered in a thin layer of snowy hair, which creates the name “Trà Shan Tuyet”- or Snowy Shan Tea.

    Being cultivated organically and harvested naturally, Shan tea is sold at a high price for its superb characteristics.

    source: https://www.vietnamonline.com/best-of-vietnam/3-most-popular-tea-varieties-in-vietnam.html

    White Fairy Tea is a type of white tea that is more rare and special Shan tea. 

    It is heartbreaking how people are irresponsibly cutting down the ancient trees to collect the buds for the White Fairy Tea.

     I urge you to STOP your purchasing of White Fairy Tea, BạCh TRà Tiên as requested until the locals in Tay Con Linh in Hà Giang Province find a solution to harvest the tea without cutting the ancient trees indiscreetly.

    Are you supplying ethically sourced White Fairy Tea? Do you know further information about how the ancient tea trees are surviving?
    Please leave a comment