Make it at home - Good Medicine's Chai Recipe

Make it at home - Good Medicine's Chai Recipe

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We love chai - chai tea, chai lattes, chai coffee, chai ice cream, chai cake. The list of drinks, snacks, and things you can bake with chai is endless and mouthwatering. However - brief history lesson - the word chai really just refers to tea. Masala is the spice that we've come to know and adore. If you were to travel to India, the origin of that chai latte, it is referred to as a masala chai, or spiced tea.

Before the tea trades began, kada was a traditional concoction of healing spices and herbs that was sipped on in India. Once trade routes began to open up, both tea and milk became popular, and the three came together in beautiful harmony. That origin is the route Good Medicine has taken for our special house chai, focusing on a base that will nourish you and your loved ones.

Making chai is an art...feel free to play around with our base once you've made it! We love adding golden paste, matcha, chocolate, or cacao as we mix our base into latte form. Freeze it in ice cubes for an easy way to spice up your drinks. Let us know what you come up with, and check out our loose leaf chai teas for a perfect present for the chai lovers in your life! 

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Ingredients

(yields approx. 2 gallons)

20 cups water

19 tbs ginger root (minced)

2 tbs ginger powder

4 tbs coconut shreds

4 tsp cinnamon cassia

2 tbs hulled cardamom

12 allspice balls

12 cloves

20 black pepper balls

2 tbs turmeric powder

Cooking Directions

-Grind cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, cloves, black pepper together in herb grinder.

-Over medium/low heat, dry cook all the dry ingredients including the ginger and turmeric. Stir frequently, cooking until well- mixed and very fragrant- approx 5 minutes.

- Add water to dry ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for up to 2 hours.

-Strain off spices and store in glass container in fridge

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Chai Latte

9 oz of Chai Base

3 oz Milk

Tea of choice (Crescendo is our favorite - use your favorite black, green, roobios, mate, or matcha!)

1 Tbl of Honey (optional)

Combine ingredients into a warmer or small pot on the stove. Steam.

Strain into cup

Enjoy!

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Transitioning with the Seasons & Flowing with Fall

This time of year, all of us at Good Medicine Tea, are feeling that extra urge to cozy up with a warm cup of tea. We are feeling into the changes of the seasons and the changes that are happening in our own lives. How about all of you?

Most recently, we are grooving with the transition of our beloved 1029 May Street, from Good Medicine Tea Lounge to Good Medicine Center for Healing Arts. It has been almost two months since community classes have begun, with monthly events and weekly series. It is amazing to see the growth, variety, and healing outcomes of the offerings. --www.goodmedicinetea.com/events/?view=calendar&month=October-2017  is the best place to view our monthly offerings.

--We also have added a facebook page, Good Medicine Center for Healing Arts, to highlight events, updates, and share photos.

It has been amazing to feel how the space has transitioned in such an open, nurturing, exciting way. There is a saying, that the best events in life happen outside of our comfort zone. Re-arranging the lounge, taking out the previous comforts of the interior set up, has only brought in fresh, enlightened energy. It truly feels that the space is now ready to hold us and nourish us in a new way.

We are delighted to have the Good Medicine Team shine their light in a new way, offering classes and events, as well as our talented community members. If, as reading this, you are feeling a desire to bring one of your gifts to host a class series, workshop, or monthly event, please email us at gmhealingarts@gmail.com.

Lastly, our whole selection of loose leaf tea and custom tea bags are still available for purchase via www.goodmedicinetea.com or goodmedicinetea@gmail.com and can be shipped, or picked up at 1029 May St. Hood River, OR. Of course, we have our canister also still located at our many retail locations around the Gorge. 

Thank you! We feel blessed to be part of such a supportive community. With love and warm tea, to your health!

 

 

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Tea Travel: Ecuador Guayusa Part 1: From Planting to Drinking Guayusa Tea

My goals of Tea Travel have been manifested! I can not express enough gratitude for my experience volunteering with Fundacion Pacha. When I finalized my plans to begin my travels in Ecuador, I knew that exploring the world of Guayusa was a must. Since I began working with Good Medicine Tea, I have fallen in love with Guayusa.  This sweet, earthy, emerald green tea, warms me with a clean, focused energy.

Guayusa is grown traditionally in Ecuador, in the Oriente, on the brink of the deep Amazon Rainforest. With a warm, humid, tropical climate, Guayusa soars. The indigenous Kichwa, have always grown Guayusa and use it for a daily ritual drink. Traditionally shared around a fire at four in the morning, Kichwa shamans would help interpret dreams. I had the pleasure of staying with a local family in the community of San Jose and take part in this sacred ceremony. Interpretation of dreams, fuel for the day’s labor, and a sense of gratitude for what the Earth provides.

    The traditional harvest of the Guayusa happens at six in the morning, rotating amongst the chakras (family harvest plots). Filling our hand made baskets with fresh dew kissed Guayusa leaves was a highlight of my week. After the harvest, the women displayed a traditional dance honoring the Earth for providing us with water and harvest.

    We left the community after two days, to bring the Guayusa leaves back to the Pacha processing factory in Santo Domingo. Here the leaves are placed in drying beds and turned multiple times per day for over a week. Next, I witnessed the processing of the dried leaves to be prepared for loose leaf tea.

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4 a.m. Guayusa Ceremony

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Drying Beds

  Later on in the week, while with my next home stay family, I planted baby Guayusa trees in a new chakra plot. Taking the babies from a previous cutting, showed the integrity of the plant and its will to flourish. Blending right into its perfect habitat amongst banana trees, yucca, other tropical fruit trees.

 

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Planting baby Guayusa trees

Seeing this amazing craft, from planting to harvest to processing to then enjoying as a loose leaf tea was stunning. It grew my love and passion for this medicine. I am grateful for this opportunity to learn first hand where a tea, that is a powerful part of my daily ritual, has begun. It has brought a more sacred aspect to what tea means for me, what I am putting into my body, and feeling a worldly connectedness and support through the power of plants.

Salud y Amor, Brittany

 

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Guayusa Chakra

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What direct trade relationships & beyond organic means to us

As Good Medicine Tea evolves, we are striving for and creating new direct trade relationships with tea growers through our own personal tea travel experiences. We feel this is truly the most direct source we can come across and are thrilled on these new relationships.

This week we are highlighting our newest collaboration with Ecuadorian Guayusa! PACHA foundation/Pacha Guayusa. http://www.pacha.ec/index.php/guayusa 

We are pleased to be the first tea company in the United States to proudly supply this Ecuadorian grown fantastic product.

Stay tuned for a blog post from Brittany Anna on her introduction & discovery of Pacha while volunteering with the foundation in April. As well as our favorite ways to enjoy this bright green energy for the body & soul.

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A Season of Change at Good Medicine Tea

Dear Beautiful Good Medicine Community,

We are making an evolutionary leap, and we hope that you will jump with us. It’s time for us to grow, and so it is with great joy that we announce the creation of the Good Medicine Center for Healing Arts.

In this transformation, The Good Medicine Lounge is transitioning into a space for classes and events where our Community can come together and learn sustainable practices for spiritual growth, well being, and Vibrant Living! The Healing Arts Center is home to a growing community of physical, mental, and energetic healers; we are going to allow their skills and teaching to come into the forefront of what we offer in the Good Medicine Lounge.

We have built a home for our hearts in The Good Medicine Lounge, now we want to open that home up to our Community so that we can grow and live more vibrantly together! We welcome our community to bring their own ideas for regular meditations and classes, as well as workshops and individual events. Check in with us as our schedule of offerings takes shape in the weeks to come and reach out to us if you have something you want to offer!

Good Medicine Tea is thriving and you can purchase our teas online. We are supported by many local businesses where you can purchase and enjoy our tea as well.

We can’t wait for you all to join us as we move forward!

With Love and Gratitude,
Your Friends at Good Medicine 

Camellia Sinesis, The Mother of All Tea

Although many tea connoisseurs would attest to the statement that “all tea comes from the same plant,” this is never the less accurate.

I was amazed to learn that white, green, black, pu-er, and oolong teas were all products of the same plant. This is fascinating to me so I began to explore what made them so different. Below is a short guide to each and a way to more closely connect to your next cup…

*Disclaimer* – There are many factors which make a tea unique, everything from the process after picking to the location and soil of the roots. These in general are rough guides. What makes tea so unique are the many factors which create the art that is.

White Tea:

This tea is made from the leaves and buds of the camellia sinensis. Unlike other processes, this tea is typically left to wither and dry in the natural sun. Thus is the process that defines White Tea. The name ‘White Tea’ comes from the small, silver-like hairs on the unopened buds and contains the highest amount of antioxidants.

Green Tea:

As mentioned before, it is the process which dictates the classification. This process in particular has a broad spectrum…

Some artisan methods include: Sun-drying, basket, charcoal, or pan firing.

Some more modern methods include: Oven-drying, tumbling, or steaming.

Many believe that a re-firing of the leaves improve the flavor and increase the shelf life of the tea.

Two examples of varying processes include the flat, rolled tea leaves from Japan called Sencha (their most popular tea), and another popular green, Jasmine Pearl, which are tea leaves and buds picked and stored until the jasmine harvest. Just before bloom the tea leaves and the jasmine buds are set to “mate” during the night when the jasmine blossoms open, releasing their fragrance.

Black Tea:

Refers to the process of oxidation that takes place with typically a “stronger” flavor. Also known as “red tea” within China.

First the leaves are withered by blowing air. Next the leaves are either put through the CTC (crush, tear, curl) Method typically used for bagged teas, or the orthodox method which is done either by hand or a more delicate machine. This method is used typically for loose-leaf, a more traditional form. Next comes the oxidation process which occurs through controlled temperature and humidity. This can be done on a conveyor belt, or simply on a tray on the floor.

Finally comes the drying which “arrests” the oxidation process, stopping it in it’s tracks!

Oolong Tea:

What is characteristic about this tea is the unique process of intense withering under the sun as well as the oxidation process taking place before “curling and twisting.” Another distinct aspect of this tea is the wide array of distinct flavors that are presented.

Pu-erh Tea:

What separates this tea from others is the fermentation process that takes place after the leaves have been dried and rolled. Unlike other teas, Pu-erh continues to mature with age and will often have the province and date attached.

So here they are! The main 5 that you are likely to run into in your daily life. Here at the Good Medicine Lounge we carry all of these wonderful variations and would love to share with you a cup.

With a Warm Belly,

Tate

Growing Tea in the Columbia River Gorge - Part 1

For a number of years, I’ve dreamed of growing tea in the Pacific Northwest. Last spring, I took the first steps towards making this happen!

Tea is produced from the leaves and leaf buds of Camellia sinensis, an evergreen tree. White, green, oolong, pu-erh and black teas are all made from this plant, but are processed differently to obtain different levels of oxidation, and a wide variety of flavors.

First tea seeds — a cold hardy seed from Georgia (south of Russia) parented by the cultivar “Kokhida”

First tea seeds — a cold hardy seed from Georgia (south of Russia) parented by the cultivar “Kokhida”

My first step toward growing tea was researching whether it was realistic in the Columbia Gorge area… here are my notes from Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties:

The Soil

  • Acidic, pH 4.5-5.5 is best, this helps the tea absorb nutrients
  • Rich in minerals (nitrogen, potassium)
  • Covered with a deep layer of hummus
  • Central root needs to get a solid grip at depth of 6 ft, so soil should be loose (not limestone or clay)
  • Permeable, well-draining, but with good moisture retention

The Climate

  • Tropical or subtropical (Uh Oh!)
  • Minimum 60″ rain per year
  • Dry season should be no longer than 3 months
  • Average temperature 65-68º F
  • Minimum 5 hours of sun per day
  • Relative humidity 70-90%
  • With the exception of some cultivars, trees are likely to be killed by temperatures below 23º F
  • Growth slows considerably when temperatures are low throughout the year, but climatic variation can help develop flavors

If you’re familiar with the climate in the Columbia River Gorge, it probably won’t surprise you that the things I was reading were pretty discouraging. I knew that if I ever wanted this to work I’d have to find a very cold-hardy variety of Camellia sinensis.

First tea seedling coming up!

First tea seedling coming up!

 

Hopefully, I found it! In the spring of 2015, a shipment of cold-hardy tea seeds were imported from Georgia (country, not state), and I ordered 100 seeds.

In the next installment, Growing Tea in the Columbia Gorge: Part 2, I’ll lay out my method for starting the seeds, and the things that worked well (and that didn’t work so well!).