My name is Suzanne. I am a herbalist and nutritionist. A practitioner of natural healing. A teacher, alchemist, apothecarist, traveller, adventurer, believer of magick, and devotee of yoga, meditation and ritual.
I am a lifelong student of tea; of its Zen, art, and poetry.
And I believe in living every day connected to nature and honouring all living beings.
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’.
I believe there is no other drink that sates the senses like tea does. The colour, fragrance, taste, and effect on both body and spirit, have no equal.
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
There are many lengthy, fascinating and insightful studies on the history of tea, some of which I will blog about. But for a brief version here, I start with the legend of the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung.
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.
There are more and more studies emerging that show Green and White Teas can slow down certain types of cancers, protect against heart disease, help prevent premature ageing and promote overall health and wellbeing.
The reason that Green and White Teas have so many health benefits is because of the way they are 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. White tea has no processing at all, and hence, is even richer in nutrients again.
Green and White Teas are 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 and White Teas 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 and White Teas have such powerful medicinal properties.
Green Tea contains less caffeine than coffee, White Tea less again, but enough to produce an effect. They 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 and White Teas’ 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 and White Teas 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 and White Teas will help with metabolism, weight control, stress, chronic fatigue, skin disease, and treating inflammation.
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. And also the orginality, naturopathic blending, and holistic (body, mind, spirit) combining of our signature herbal blends.
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 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.
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 (of two) has planted over 13,000 trees in the past five years, all indigenous to the areas we have planted them.
Our office is solar powered. Our water is tank water only. We support other businesses that are carbon neutral. And we lobby politicians to use green energy practices.
We love both Japanese (steamed) and Chinese (panned) Green and White Teas. But sadly due to radiation in Japan and pollution in the flatter parts of 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 decade or so 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 either in the higher mountain regions of China, or in the pristine mountain air of Sri Lanka.
We also believe that the planting, growing, harvesting, serving, and drinking of tea ~ are all equally part of ‘art of tea’. To this end, we have made sure our teas are grown and harvested by traditional tea artisans, in accordance with nature, and in a way that honours the grower, picker and drinker.
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.