Posted by: mgtidaho | November 11, 2014

Tea Spy

sedan chair 1Six years after the Opium War in 1848, British enjoy tea so much that they built up a tea trade. This trade represented as much as 5 percent of its entire gross domestic product. The East India Company no longer has a monopoly on China’s tea trade. The tea from China became unreliable. Britain urgently needed to find new source of tea supply.

Britain decided to create its own teas from India. Robert Fortune, a botanist of the Royal Horticultural Society, was commissioned to go to China in search of workers who might want to move to India. This was a very dangerous trip as China maintains high secrecy around tea production. All plantations are strictly off limits to foreigners.

Fortune wore Chinese dress and disguised himself as a woman from northern China. People from that region are taller. He hired helpers and traveled in a sedan chair. His comfort was short lived when he encounter an angry mob who chase him to a cemetery and threw a brick at him. They yelled “foreign devil”, searched his pocket, and pinned him down. He struggled free and ran for his life.

Along his journey, he fell in a boar trap. If it wasn’t for hanging branches, he would have surely died there. He had some success collecting some plants. When he sailed through the Formosa Channel, the furious bad weather took most of what he collected.

He was lucky many times including the occasion when five pirate ships, fully armed, approach his ship. All the fearful sailors went to lower decks leaving Fortune to deal with the desperate situation. He took his shotgun and waited until the enemies were in close range, shot precisely killing the helmsmen of two ships. When terror spread among the crew, they backed off.

In 1851, after 3 years of this challenging journey, Robert collected two thousand plants, seventeen thousand seedlings, and a team of experienced tea workers in four vessels ready to set sail out of Hong Kong. The secrets of the China tea held for thousands of years, were now leaving on South China Sea.


Posted by: mgtidaho | February 2, 2014

Shifting the old self

butterflyAs I embark on the next phase of my business, now on its 7th year, expansion comes with shifting of self. How you view yourself to receive and perceive the world makes a difference in creating the outcome you desire.  I must change who I am to become who I need to be for a growth that includes many people.  A readiness begins with changing the old way of looking at self, shedding of old believes and replaces it with a fresh look at the world.

Looking back at my youth living in America, I had always looking the people and groups from the outside.  Moving from Hong Kong to Winslow, Arizona, how does one complete for attentions of friendships that were already there from childhood in a small town. Moving to San Francisco, CA 18 months later, still watching classmates laugh and play as an outsider.  Moving again from San Francisco to Ontario, OR in my 10th grade, the view didn’t change. Nothing escapes my watchful eyes of the connections between people.

This separation goes on and never stops until you become aware it. Notice it and set an intention to change.  A frightful dream came to me that jolt my consciousness, a wake up call to make me get ready for what is to come.  Imagine this: A scene of a wealthy family living in a big mansion.  They have many hired helpers to run this household.  One day, an employee is fired. This employee is associated with people who will do harm over money or whatever reason.  As the employee leaves the household, all securities are in place for lock down. Cars going inside by way of iron elevators that turns in full circle. Beyond the iron fence, in the distance, the big house elevated up on a hill. One young man is not at home as he is on his way to college. He was being beat up by unknown people while his entire luggage left his procession. Perhaps 10 pieces on a rolling cart disappear while he lay facing down on the ground.  If this young man is me in a future life time, what must I change today?

This is not the only visual that came to me, but the most frightful one.  In order for me to receive my human family, I must change my consciousness to include myself in it. No longer am I willing to view myself as an outsider.  I am here to stay until my work is done.  I am here to contribute to anyone who is willing to give me their time. If you are still wondering where you are going, come join me for Tea Classes and begin a journey of self discovery, expand your awareness to make life better for yourself and those around you.

Victoria Chow, Tea Specialist
Morning Glory Teahouse

Posted by: mgtidaho | August 11, 2013

Jasmine (Organic)

Fog curls around the peaks of Mt Lushan in Jia...

Fog curls around the peaks of Mt Lushan in Jiangxi province, China (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As most teas are hand processed in China, this Jasmine Green Tea is no exception.  You might wondered what is hand process tea?  Countries that have the tradition of mass produce tea will glide a machine over the tea bush, cutting off the top layer with leaves and branches to produce tea.  Teas needs to be sorted, hand shape, fire or stream.  To mass produce tea, much of these steps are done by machine in some countries.

Morning Glory Tea stocks most teas from China.  This Jasmine Tea is not an artisan tea like a display tea or a formed tea.  However, it come from Jiangxi Province, China.  A region that is dedicated for organic farming.  Since 1996, it continues to receive certifications and awards both domestic and international.  With close to 30 awards and certifications, it is becoming a leader in the green movement producing not just organic tea products, but also organic herbs, flower, and mushrooms.

The artisan tea we stock such as the Jasmine Pearl or Jasmine Ring has up to 8 natural infusion of Jasmine flower scent.  This Jiangxi Jasmine Tea is naturally sweet, has about 3 Jasmine flower scent infusion, just the right balance between the scent and taste. If you like the scent of Jasmine, this one is definitely worth a try.  This this is now available at Natural Grocers, Boise. We plan to reach other 88 Natural Grocers within the next 3 to 4 months.

The recommended steeping temperature is 175 to 185 F no more then 3 to 4 minutes.

Posted by: mgtidaho | August 7, 2013

Earl Grey punch

Apple juice

Earl Grey punch

Love ice tea in the summer. This is one that would be good with meal or a citrus dessert.

2 TS Earl Grey Tea

1 1/4 boiled water and 1 1/4 (300ml) cups of orange juice

1/2 cup plus 2 TS (150ml) apple juice

1 (220ml) cup gingerale

1 TS sugar (optional)

mint and 10 ice cubes

dark rum or dry wine (optional)

Steep tea in boiled water for 4 minutes. If you choose to add sugar, you can use the hot water to melt the sugar.  For a refreshing taste add the mint at this time as you add the sugar. Combine steeped tea  with orange and apple juice into an one quart container.  Chill it for a hour or two.  Remove mint before serving over ice cubes. You can dress up the glass with new mint leaves and lime.

Posted by: mgtidaho | June 29, 2013

Weekly Tea Meditation classes are back h

Weekly Tea Meditation classes are back Reserve your space today

Posted by: mgtidaho | June 29, 2013

Tea Classes has been added

Tea Classes has been added for Boise, ID area. See what date works for you.

Posted by: mgtidaho | April 24, 2013

China Earthquake hit Tea Center

Map of epicenter of May 12, 2008 earthquake in...

Map of epicenter of May 12, 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province in China (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

April 20, a 6.6 earthquake shook Southwest China crushing tea factories in Ya’an City in Sichuan province, a hub of Chinese tea production. This area contribute 14 percent of China’s annual tea production. Sichuan is a beautiful region that leads to Tibet.

It rained for a few days after the quake, making rescue more difficult. Lushan is the hardest hit with at least 25 confirmed dead, and 2,500 injured and 20 missing. Rescuers saved 91 trapped under rubble.  The preliminary death count is estimate 207 killed with 11,500 injured but these numbers are expected to rise as rescuers reach remote villages. Red Cross is providing rescue effort. Americans had already donating $1.13 million to recovery from the disaster.

Victoria Chow, Tea Specialist

Posted by: mgtidaho | March 3, 2013


Butter served with a butter knife

The idea that fat causes heart disease began in the late 1960s with an American scientist named Ancel Keys. After a cherry-picked study of diets in seven different countries, he found that a diet low in animal fat protected against heart disease and that a diet high in animal fats led to heart disease. As a result, representatives of the American Heart Association announced on television and in print that a diet, which included large amounts of butter, lard, eggs and beef would lead to coronary heart disease. This resulted in the American government recommending that people adopt a low fat diet in order to prevent heart disease.
ImageNervous Americans took this low fat approach and erroneously turned it into no fat.  The current diabetes can be traced to this low fat fad. By depriving foods of nutritious fats something had to be added back in to the foods to make the taste relatively tolerable.
But here are the facts: Fats are like big slow burning logs one puts on the fire to last all night, thus creating slow burning energy. They’re the best fuel source for the body. Fat satiates us, and digests slowly. This means there is a slow release of the fat molecules from the food.
A huge food crusade against dietary fat ran rampant through the 1980s and ’90s, as dietary fat was indiscriminately replaced with grains, and saturated fat was replaced by unsaturated fat.
Enter corporate food. These corporations (just who you want making your food) outdid themselves replacing the satisfying taste of natural fat with weird artificial concoctions, the most notable of which is high fructose corn syrup. The food scientists use cutting-edge technology to calculate the “bliss point” of sugary beverages or enhance the “mouthfeel” of fat by manipulating its chemical structure.
(Click here to read about the new book, Salt, Sugar, Fat, How Food Giants Hooked Us, though the title is a tad misleading.)
These additives are largely in the form of simple refined carbohydrates, which–as it turns out–are exactly the foods that spike blood sugar and eventually make us fat. By the 1980s, grocery stores in the U.S were stocked with an impressive selection of unnatural foods that tasted kind of like real foods, i.e.: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Cool Whip, and Kraft American Cheese, to name a few.
These engineered processed foods are made with altered chemicals, addicting sugars, and poisonous additives. Without the fats to slow digestion these foods caused hypoglycemia, which prompts a person to eat more of the same thing. Now the U.S. as a nation is fatter than at any time in history.
The problem is that these foods cause inflammation and, unbelievable as it sounds, heart disease. We also replaced healthy solid fats (see below) that had been used for frying with fragile vegetables oils, turning them into hydrogenated and saturated fats that are indigestible. When there are essential fatty acids in the small intestine, special hormones are produced that prevent the hunger contractions. Thus a careful balance of fat in the diet becomes critical for someone trying to lose weight.
Properly prepared essential fatty acids do not turn into fat when we consume normal amounts. Fat has many jobs in the body. While unused fats may be stored as fats for slow burning energy they’re main function is to rebuild healthy cells, hormone production, and protect the neurons in the brain.
The point is that eating a fat from animals not only gives a person long lasting energy, but good gut health, and it tastes good. Fat does not make us fat. Eating refined grains and sugars makes us fat.

This article is published by NourishMe  base in Sun Valley.

Posted by: mgtidaho | February 11, 2013

Soup up for a cause

3 Girls Catering

3 Girls Catering

Tomato Strawberry Soup

Archie’s Place

Willowcreek Grill Eagle

Willowcreek Grill Boise

Jenny's Lunch Line

Jenny’s Lunch Line

Many restaurants, food trucks, or catering companies were at this winter event, so many soups to try in 4 hours.  For $7.50 per person, you can try as many soups as you like. The money raised from this event goes to Ronald

MacDonald House.  Some restaurants do not have any representative there as they just donate the soup.  Over 150 people attended this tasty event.  One bonus for the attendees is that they let Incredible Edibles provide cupcakes and fresh baked bread instead of soup.

Since presentation is not the reason to vote for your favorite soup, we evaluate base on taste.  Tasting can include the sensory effect of smell, texture, and flavors.  I will also add the healthy ingredients, the heart and intention of the chef that makes the soup appealing.

I watched many cooking shows and offered monthly tea tasting classes.  There is a different between a good cook and a chef.  I think a cook can follow a recipe to makes a good dish while a chef knows how to combine ingredients together to bring out a more complex flavor profile on the final dish.

With that said, I first absorb the scent of the soup.  If the aroma is appealing, I taste the soup and see what‘s in it. I realize that these sensory preferences are different for everyone.  Since coconut and curry appear to me, I tried several version of this soup.  Jenny’s Lunch Line has a Coconut Curry soup with lots of ingredients and aroma.  Chad Anderson of Willowcreek Grill has a chunky jalapeño Cheese soup that is very creamy with vegetables, spicy cheese flavor.  Archie’s Place serves an unusual cold Tomato soup with sweet strawberries.  It is smooth and mildly sweet.   Bacon served a very delicious Cream of Bacon Mushroom soup3-Girls-Catering also makes a Coconut Curry Soup.  Burgerlicious made a Cheeseburger soup with some secret ingredients. According to the chef, she had tried many different ways to make this soup to create its cheeseburger flavor, including good quality meat from a local farm.

I really appreciate owner operator businesses and enjoy meeting so many foodie people at this event. It has something for everyone, including vegetarian who do not eat meat. Looking forward to another one next year.

Victoria Chow, Tea Specialist

Posted by: mgtidaho | January 21, 2013

I am a dreamer

World Tai Chi & Qigong Day event in Rio de Jan...

World Tai Chi & Qigong Day event in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil (Brazil) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Imagine you are confronted by a group of people with guns and you do not have one.  Perhaps in this scene, your child is with you.  From their fearless heart, he or she will take action to protect everyone else.  Most of the people who have guns were men.   Although they didn’t hurt anyone, they were using the weapon to show power.  Is our war about power, religion or territory?   Is this scene happening now or could it be a dream of a future life time?

People are frantic to buy guns thinking they may not be able to get one in the future.  I look deep inside to see how I can create a different future.

I do not have an agenda for religion or territory, but as an Asian female, I am very well aware of power male and female inequality. The struggle has gone on for centuries.  I am writing to tell you that I own up to this conflict and willing to change my view point.  By accepting the responsibility, perhaps I can bring different outcome for the future.  It is especially important if your child has blood on their hands because of it.

On the same day that these thoughts came to me; I was solidifying a location for a Tea Meditation Class.  This class although can be for anyone, I was only able to invite women.  I was not in a place to see men in this class even though it can be highly beneficial.  The Qigong exercise will help each person balance their male and female (Yin and Yang) energy.

Come join us for weekly meditation. Yes, this class is for men and women.

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