My name is Suzanne. I am a herbalist and nutritionist. A practitioner of natural healing. A teacher, alchemist, traveller, adventurer, believer of magick, and devotee of yoga, meditation and ritual.
I believe in living each day connected to nature and honouring all living beings.
And I am a lifelong student of tea; of its Zen, art, and poetry.
Nearly three decades into drinking, studying, and learning about tea, I have only become more and more besotted with the etiquette, ceremony, aesthetic, and health properties of all things tea.
I love a full ritual of tea with yoga at dawn or conversing with friends over a pot of something special. And I love the commonality I have shared drinking tea with amazing folk all over the world; in the deserts and mountains of India, remote villages in Turkey, enchanting tearooms in Japan, ancient markets in Morocco and serene tea gardens in Sri Lanka.
That my love of tea is so in sync with what I know as a herbalist and nutritionist to be wholistically healthy, is one of life’s great gifts. Monk Eisai, the founder of the Japanese tea ceremony and author of ‘Tea Drinking Cure’ says it so very simply: ‘Tea is the elixir of life’.
A Personal Point of View
Hence the reason it is the stuff of folklore and legend, with every ancient culture in the world, possessing its own romance, stories and ceremonies woven around their enjoyment of tea.
Whether sipped in solitude, enjoyed as a cup of kindness with a friend, or as the keystone to a wild and wonderful tea party, tea has the ability to add a special magick to your moment.
In the fast-paced, noise-filled, hectic lifestyle of modern times, tea offers a chance to slow down your day and be a little more Zen… ‘Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves; slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.’ – Thich Nat Hahn
A Historical Point of View
Emperor Shen Nung was a renowned herbalist and scholar, who in 2737 BCE was sitting beneath a Camellia Sinensis tree, while his servant boiled drinking water. Some leaves from the tree blew into the water, Emperor Shen Nung decided to try it, and the first cup of tea was created.
Whether this story is true or not, it is universally agreed that tea originated in China.
Commercial tea plantations began emerging during the Chinese Han Dynasty (206–220 CE). By the end of the third century CE, tea was China’s number one beverage. And by the eighth century CE China was trading tea along the Silk Road to Tibet, the Himalayas, the Middle East, Turkey, and into India.
Tea reached Europe in the sixteenth century CE, but initially was not so popular, as it often spoiled in the long sea voyages.
To remedy this, a new production method was devised.
Until this time all tea was green, which is its natural colour. To ensure non-spoilage in the long sea voyages, tea crafters allowed the delicate green leaves to naturally oxidise before drying, thus resulting in black tea. Black tea travelled much better and lasted much longer than the delicate green, and it wasn’t long before black tea had taken Europe by storm.
As the world’s number one beverage after water, tea is now more popular than it has ever been. Nearly every culture has developed its own signature ritual around the making, serving and drinking of tea.
Note: black, green, white and oolong tea, all come from the same plant, the Camellia Sinensis. It is only the harvesting and processing that changes the colour.
A Health Point of View
The reason that Green Tea specifically has so many health benefits is because of the way it is processed. Black tea and oolongs are processed in a way that ferments them. Green Tea’s processing avoids this fermentation. As a result, Green Tea retains the maximum amount of bioactive compounds, nutrients and benefits.
Green Tea is loaded with polyphenols, which function as powerful antioxidants (the good guys). Antioxidants reduce the formation of free radicals (the bad guys) in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage and premature ageing.
One of the more powerful compounds in Green Tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which has been studied as a treatment for various diseases including cancer, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. It is believed to be one of the main reasons Green Tea has such powerful medicinal properties.
Green Tea contains less caffeine than coffee, but enough to produce an effect. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which works synergistically with caffeine to improve brain function, i.e. improves focus, mood, alertness and general cognitive functioning.
Green Tea’s bioactive compounds can help prevent plaque build-up in the brain and inhibit the activity of enzymes associated with the development of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
The catechins (phytochemical compounds) in Green Tea inhibit the growth of bacteria and some viruses. This can lower the risk of infections and lead to overall improvements in dental health, a lower risk of cavities, and fresher smelling breath.
Research also suggests Green Tea will help with metabolism, weight control, stress, chronic fatigue, skin disease, and treating inflammation.
In the words of the Monk Eisai again:
‘Tea is a miraculous medicine for the maintenance of health. Tea has extraordinary power to prolong life. Anywhere a person cultivates tea, long life will follow.’
So what’s different about GreenWitch Tea?
We humbly suggest that it is our combination of quality, purity, taste, value, organic and fair trade practice, knowledge, ethic and love.
Certified organic or grown spray free
Our teas that are grown in Australia are grown pesticide, fungicide and herbicide free. All of our teas that we source from overseas are certified organic.
This of course means both a purer tasting tea and a healthier tea. Healthier for you the tea drinker, for the tea artisans who grow your tea, and for Mother Earth as a whole.
- Our teas are Fair Trade. This means every worker from every tea garden that we source our tea from is paid a fair wage, and there is never any child or forced labour.
- Every Fair Trade worker is well trained and highly skilled in their craft, and is taught the philosophy of passing their skills on to the next generation, thus engaging in Seventh Generation Sustainability.
- Fair Trade tea gardens are family or village co-operatives. This means money goes back into the education and health care of not just each worker, but all members of their family as well as all members of their village; which in turn helps to loosen the grip of multi-nationals in the area.
- And Fair Trade also means that growing and harvesting is sustainable and eco-friendly to not only the local environment, but via example and osmosis, the entire global community.
Our practices are eco-friendly
Our canisters and pouches are not just recyclable, but also re-usable. Our heat sealed bags are biodegradable cellophane. Our printing is done on recycled or forest sustainable paper. And our inks are made from soy and contain no chemical nasties.
We are carbon neutral
Carbon neutrality for GreenWitch Tea means we take responsibility for any greenhouse gas emissions that our business may have been part of in the past, present or future.
To put that responsibility into action, our team planted over 2,000 trees in 2015, and we will be planting at least another 1,000 trees every year for the next five years.
Our office is solar powered. We support other businesses that are carbon neutral. And we lobby politicians to use green energy practices.
Sourcing our Tea
We love both Japanese (steamed) and Chinese (panned) Green Teas. But sadly due to radiation in Japan and pollution in China we have found it increasingly challenging to find traditional teas grown in ancient ways in healthy soil and pure air.
So for the past seven years we have sourced, tasted, and evaluated teas from around the world until finally our quest has yielded just such teas. Superb Japanese teas grown on fertile river flats and in the lush rolling hills of Australia, and equally excellent Chinese teas grown in the pristine mountain air of Sri Lanka.
We also believe that tea is an art form. And to this end, we have made sure our teas are grown traditionally by tea artisans, in accordance with nature, and in a way that honours the grower and the drinker.
Sensibility and Love
GreenWitch Tea wants to leave a tiny green footprint upon the earth. And we genuinely want to leave this world a better place because we were here. So everything we do, we try to do with love and kindness; for people, for animals, and for the greater good. We are committed to bringing this sensibility to our tea and hopefully on to you, our customers and friends around the world. We commit to being honest, fair, ethical and compassionate in all our dealings. And we commit to providing you with delightful tea to help enchant your day, hoping that you in turn will pass some joy on to the next person.
Please note: GreenWitch Tea is in no way advising you on your health issues. For all personal ailments consult your personal doctor | health practitioner.
Also of note: Yes, GreenWitch Tea does ship our teas to friends and customers all over the world.