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My guest is Chris Olsen, Marketing Director of Teatulia. They have a beautiful selection of “organic single garden teas”—black, green, and white—plus herbal infusions, sold loose leaf and in tea bags. They grow all of their teas in their single USDA-certified organic garden in northern Bangladesh, where they benefit from perfect growing conditions: The soil is developed with the use of organic cover crops and mulching, while the growing area is irrigated by rainwater. We’ll be talking about how tea is grown, different types of tea, and ways to enjoy organic tea. I myself drink iced green tea every day and love to explore combining it with various other flavors, so I’ll add my ideas too.

Chris gave us a lot of great information about the differences between non-organic and organic tea. Did you know that pesticides are sprayed on tea leaves right before they are plucked, and the first opportunity the leaves have to release this pesticide is in your teacup? I’ll never drink non-organic tea again. And we learned about different types of caffeine (they are not all alike) and how they can act differently in your body. And he spoke about the widespread environmental and social benefits of the Teatulia tea gardens, more than is on the website.





A Cup of Organic Tea

Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Chris Olsen

Date of Broadcast: July 11, 2013

DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and this is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world.

Even though it can sometime seem that there are toxic chemicals all around us, there are many, many things that we can do to live in a less toxic way that is healthier for us. There are many organic and natural products, we can remove toxic chemicals from our body. There’s so much that’s known now about how to live in a toxic-free way. It’s just a matter of learning about it.

And that’s what this show is about, to introduce you to some new ideas that you can use in order to live toxic-free.

It’s Thursday, July 11th 2013. I’m here in Clearwater, Florida and it’s overcast, so there may be some thunder and lightening, but we’ll see. We’re in thunderstorm season now and anything can happen. But if we get cut off, just hold on because I’ll be right back with some back-up power.

Today, we’re going to talk about tea. And beyond that, we’re going to talk about organic tea. My guest today is Chris Olsen. He is the director of marketing and product development for Teatulia. Teatulia is unique because they have a beautiful selection of organic, single garden teas.

Now, what’s that, a single garden tea? We’re going to find out from Chris. Hi, Chris.

CHRIS OLSEN: Hey, how are you?

DEBRA: I’m good. How are you?

CHRIS OLSEN: I’m doing well this morning. The sun is up here in Colorado, so I’m sorry to hear about the rain in Florida.

DEBRA: Oh, it’s okay because we need rain. And this is just the summer pattern. I’m used to it. I get wet every day. So tell us, how did Teatulia start? Who started it? How long has it been around? What was the idea behind it?

CHRIS OLSEN: Yeah! Well, there are some brothers that lived in Bangladesh that in 2001, with their father, they actually started the garden or planted the garden. It’s a hundred miles of Darjeeling and it’s right on the border of Bangladesh and India.

So as that grew that they created as a social enterprise basically to create jobs, but they realized the tea tasted really, really good. People really loved it. So they had a plant where they decided that they wanted to create their own brand and introduce it to either Europe or the U.S. and Canada.

So one of the brothers in Bangladesh, his name is Anis, he was friends with the CEO of Teatulia who’s Adam. They met in college in New York years ago. He happened to be out for a work trip staying with Adam and Linda and he basically asked Linda if she wanted to help consult on a tea company that he wanted to launch in the United States. So she did and she found out that there was a great opportunity here and a huge point of differentiation, so they decided that she wanted to be a part of the business.

So the branch launched very small at a farmer’s market. It was about 2006. And then it was accepted into Whole Foods in 2009. And now, just as of last month, we are in the shelves of Target nationally, which is pretty exciting.


CHRIS OLSEN: Yes! so we’re definitely growing. Our message is resonating it seems to be at least with a lot of the retail buyers and consumers as well. So that’s pretty much the history of Teatulia and how it started.

DEBRA: That’s great. So I think that probably most people don’t know much about just how tea is grown in general. So you refer to it as a garden, rather than a farm or a ranch. Are all teas grown in garden?

CHRIS OLSEN: Well, the term is more marketing than anything. Other common terms are ‘single estate’ or ‘single source’. We’re just playing with ‘garden’, ‘single garden’ because the whole garden-to-table trend, which is extremely popular here in Colorado in the Pacific Northwest, that seems to really resonate with people a little more than ‘single source’. A lot of coffee companies, they talk about direct to source, single source, so I don’t know, we just kind of like the feelings that the word ‘garden’ evokes in people, so we’ve been using that.

But traditionally, tea, the tea plant – let’s say it’s a tree and they trim it down and it’s like plantation-grown. It can either be grown under the shade or it can be grown under the sun. It just depends on what style, what region, what variety.

We have one of the world’s largest organic gardens. It’s at 2000 acres and we can keep adding to it because where they decided to create this garden was in an area where there’s a lot of room, a lot of space to do that. So that’s how we have the ability to be a premium brand or a large brand and have single source. Other companies don’t. They have to source from different gardens and they blend it together in order to have enough inventory to fulfill the demand.

DEBRA: Yeah. So I would presume that one of the benefits of having a single source tea is that you could know what’s going on with how it’s grown and where it’s grown and not be wondering that. I know when I lived in California, I belong to what’s called a CSA (a community-supported agriculture) and I could go to the farm where my food was being grown, I could talk to the farmer, I could harvest the food myself if I wanted to, I could plant seedlings, whatever level of participation I wanted. I could actually really know how my food was being grown.

I think that that would be the case here with having your single source organic teas that I see in the description on your home page. It says, “The soil was developed with the use of organic cover crops and mulching and the growing area is irrigated by rain water.” That just sounds so lovely to me to know that the tea is being watered by the rain and not by industrial water that may have all kinds of chlorine and fluoride and all kinds of other things in it.

So that would be, I’m presuming, the advantage of having a single source tea. Any others?

CHRIS OLSEN: Yeah. I mean, that’s definitely one of them. I think we could add to that just the purity of the flavor of single source. It’s like a single estate wine compared to a blend. It tastes better usually. Obviously, taste is subjective, but that’s what we think here.

One of the big things too is the overall global footprint. For other key brands, larger key brands that do blends, they go to tea auctions. And then they purchase tea. So it’s shipped around from warehouse to warehouse to warehouse until it’s finally blended and put into a teabag.

With ours, it’s direct. We order it from the garden. We have processes in place and it comes right to where we need to get it packed. And then it goes right to the consumer. So it’s a lower overall global footprint for sure. We’re utilizing way fewer resources.

It’s also fresher than a lot of the other teas out there because as it’s sold from different tea market to market and moved around, some tea can be a year to a year and a half to even older by the time it reaches your cup where most of our teas, it depends where you’re at, the velocities of selling, but it’s fresh – six months, four months, it could even be three months or so.

So I will definitely add those two components to just have – well, and the accountability like you mentioned. Yes, we can document what we’re doing in the garden, we can show videos. We could kind of make that connection. We’re organic, we’re Rainforest Alliance, we’re kosher, more direct trade. So we can prove all the money that’s coming in and that we’re giving back to help these people. We can show pictures and tell the stories, which well get into this later in the show just the impact that it’s actually having there.

DEBRA: Yeah, yeah. I just have this sense as I’m looking at your website – it’s and you can also find it on my website at – you do have pictures and we can look and see and it’s like I’m seeing this hand harvesting the tea leaves and it’s like my own hand pulling the leaves off of an herb in my garden, my very own garden. So I really make a connection between your garden and my garden.

And we need to take a break, but we’ll be back. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m talking with Chris Olsen from Teatulia. And when we come back, we’ll talk about what are the pesticides and things that are used in ordinary teas. So stay with us.


DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Chris Olsen from Teatulia. So Chris, tell us something about how teas are ordinarily grown.

CHRIS OLSEN: Ordinarily grown? Well, most teas out there are non-organic. So obviously, they’re using pesticides in the growing process to keep infestations at bay. Tea gardens are large and what that kind of does to the land, you don’t really see many bugs, you don’t see animals or birds. I like to equate it a little bit to kind of this barren wasteland. I mean, sure, the plants look good, but there’s really nothing else kind of going on.

So traditionally – well, not traditionally, but recently, that’s how most tea out there has been grown. A lot of the really big brands that you’ll find at the big box retailers are not organic.

DEBRA: And are there any other toxic exposures that people might get from tea like teabags, bleach form teabags or anything like that?

CHRIS OLSEN: Well, it depends. I mean, yeah, there’s lots of different packaging out there. For teabags, we have two different formats. One, we use a pyramid teabag, which is also called fuso and it allows one to brew a whole leaf, like have the whole leaf tea brewing taste and experience, but the convenience of a teabag.

The only other option you have in that regard is brewing that loose. But people consider that to be a little messy.

So the teabag that we use, it’s corn based, so it’s fully compostable. But there’s some other brands out there that use plastic instead of this corn material we use, so obviously, when you’re brewing tea at temperatures in the hundreds of degrees and it’s plastic, it can definitely seep toxin. So I would say you definitely want to be aware of the large pyramid teabags.

As far as the common pillow packs, these are the ones you would find in a Lipton or a Celestial Seasonings. It’s the paper bag. I would definitely recommend doing unbleached just because the paper is not treated, less toxins in the paper as well.

The best to remove all toxins is really just to brew it loose, which was the way the tea was meant to be brewed. But other than that, I would say no. I mean, a lot of it I guess does depend on the water and how they irrigate things and what could be in the water and how that gets into the tea. As you mentioned earlier, we use rainwater and what-not, so it’s purer and cleaner.

But I would say that’s pretty much all of the toxins that you can get into really.

DEBRA: I brew my tea. I drink a lot of tea. I drink tea every day. I’m not particular a coffee drinker. I will occasionally drink coffee. But I drink tea every day. I usually drink green tea. I’m a big fan of green tea because it gives me a little bit of perk, but it doesn’t have a lot of caffeine in it and I like the flavor of it. I usually mix it with some other types of tea just so that I have a variety of flavors. Like today, I’m mixing my green tea with mint. And a few weeks ago, I was mixing it with a tea that had a lot of citrus in it.

But I always brew it just loose and my favorite way to do it is I have a French press coffee maker. I don’t know if everybody knows what that is. It’s a glass beaker and then it has a plunger on top and it presses the little screen down so the water goes through. But then, usually the coffee grinds would be at the bottom. But I use it for tea. And so my tea goes to the bottom and the rest of it stays on the top. It works better than anything I’ve ever used.

I think it’s brilliant. I think it’s a brilliant piece of food preparation item. To use it for tea I think is perfect.

CHRIS OLSEN: Yeah, that’s a pretty popular method for sure. We sell to a lot of restaurants and a lot of restaurants prefer to serve it in a French press as opposed to a teacup.

DEBRA: Good! I didn’t know that.

CHRIS OLSEN: Traditionally, when we think about tea, it’s been teacups and it’s been – I think a lot of people especially in this country are – you know, some people love it. They love that old aspect of it, but a lot of people are just brewing it differently and using different means to brew it as well. I’ve seen people brew it through coffee makers. That’s where they get their fix, fine restaurants and it tastes amazing.

And I’ve seen people pack it into their own handmade teabag and stuff too. It’s cool! It’s pretty amazing all the different methods of brewing tea and how people really, as we say, geek out over it.

DEBRA: The most unusual one I saw as in a restaurant recently where it had a container that the loose tea went in and the hot water. And then after it was brewed, they brought it to me and they’ve said, “Now, this needs to steep for three minutes. We’ll come back and tell you in three minutes.” And so, they came back.

And then what I was supposed to do as a customer is to squeeze a little handle and then the tea comes out the bottom. I ordered it as iced tea. So you don’t need a glass of ice. I squeezed the handle and the tea came out, the bottom of the tea thing into the ice and it was the perfect glass of iced tea. It was pretty amazing.

But there are a lot of other ways.

CHRIS OLSEN: There are. You bring up a really good point though. I mean, a very important note in brewing tea –and I think just in this country as tea is slowly emerging and becoming more and more popular – is one of the problems (and everybody has probably seen this or have done it themselves. I mean, I’m certainly guilty of this before I joined Teatulia), I would throw my teabag in to the cup. I would put hot water, I would brew it and I would just leave the teabag in. That is the absolutely worst mistake you can make if you’re drinking tea.


CHRIS OLSEN: …because when you over-steep tea, that’s when it gets really better. That’s when it gets really astringent and doesn’t take good. So that’s when people are throwing milk and sugar and stuff into it to sweeten it. I mean, sugar tastes good, but it’s necessarily the most healthiest thing for you when you’re pumping a couple of packets of that.

So there’s proper ways to brew tea. It’s important to be very cognizant of that. Three minutes, that’s good that they said that. Have a tea timer or whatever just to make sure you brew it correctly, so it tastes really good.

DEBRA: That’s a very good point and we’ll talk more about that after the break. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest is Chris Olsen from Teatulia and we’ll be right back.


DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. We’re here today with Chris Olsen from Teatulia. Chris, I’m looking on the Teatulia website and there’s a whole page that talks about how your growing practices are more organic than organic and that you practice natural farming practices. Can you tell us about that?

CHRIS OLSEN: Ah, yeah. Well, I mean, this is just like using natural rainwater. I always had trouble in pronouncing his name.

DEBRA: [inaudible 00:27:27]

CHRIS OLSEN: Yes, I always – I can never. I don’t know. My tongue doesn’t go that way. But we really pull a lot from his teaching. And basically, that’s to do nothing gardening. You just kind of let it come about. This is like the natural kind of wild way of farming. We pull a lot from that. At first, we were 100%. But obviously, we need to weed a little bit. We kind of have to maximize growing potential and stuff too. So if we have the dry season, sometimes, we kind of have to help out a little bit, so we could ensure that we still have some tea.

But we’re not using irrigation. We’re not using sprinkler systems for water. All the water that we are using that we might have to pump over is rainwater that we’ve collected. So that’s essentially better than organic. It’s perfect for the environment.

We’re actually in the process of closing the loop, using like a biodiesel factory for how we’re processing the tea. And when I say ‘processing’, we’re not changing the chemical compound. It’s drying the tea. That’s how you get white to black. So we’re in the process and I think mid to next year, early to mid next year is when we plan to totally close that loop.

But also, the social side of things. We’re not just organic tea, but we’re a direct trade type of a tea. We’re not certified because the certification doesn’t exist in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries. I think it’s rated the second poorest country in the world and we’re kind of the armpit of the armpit, so to speak.

So we have a really strong mission on the social side of things. Traditionally, when the British came and they started growing and cultivating tea, they went up to India and they essentially would kidnap well-calved females from India, pop them down in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, other parts of India. And it was like indentured servitude. They wouldn’t pay them any money that they could spend outside of the plantation because you know, the plantation would have a general store, a bar, whatever. So that’s where they would go to get their essentials. They wouldn’t educate them. They wouldn’t give them shoes.

So I actually visited some of these garden that have been around for 150 to 200 years. It’s a depressing place. I mean, the energy is just sucked out and the people aren’t happy. We’re trying to make a difference. We created this garden to create jobs. We have a literacy program where every Thursday, the tea pluckers and members of their family, but only women because we really are trying to support females here, they go and they learn to read and write.

It’s kind of a cool story, but when we went to visit them, me, being the marketing director, we have this entourage of photographers and videographers, I had this idea. Let’s interview some of these ladies. It’ll be great content on YouTube, typical American thinking.

The first lady we interview. We had a translator, but I asked how do you feel about the literacy program and the response was, “I just learned how to count. I realized the men at the bazaar had been robbing me my entire life and now that’s not going to happen.” She was 33 years old. I mean, our jaws just dropped and it really put it into perspective what we’re doing over there. It’s quite amazing.

And then we also have this – if you know microlending. It’s an evolution of microlending. It’s our cattle lending program that we do over there. That’s just to create jobs and to create limited – not limited wealth, but wealth for a lot of the Bangladeshi people around there. That’s successful. Now, we’re ten years into it and a lot of their kids are still in school.

One family, their kids are in the University. So I can go on and on, but these are things that we consider more than just organic.

DEBRA: Yes, it definitely is. I can really see from all the things that you’re doing that you’re reallyconsidering this tea as part of not only the ecosystem, but the social system of the place. Part of natural farming is to leave the ecosystem intact and include protecting the wildlife and all of those kinds of things, so that there’s an ecosystem there and it’s not just clearing the land and planting the crop. I think it’s really beautiful the way your company has integrated everything.

And all of that is I think essentially there in a cup of tea when you drink it. It’s like it’s all there. You can see all that goodness. I mean, for me at least, I think about where everything comes from and the effects of everything. That is so present in what you’re doing.


DEBRA: Yeah! isn’t that wonderful?

CHRIS OLSEN: Oh, yeah, it actually is. You know, one other important note just so I don’t forget. I wanted to kind of just talk about organic and non-organic tea really quick if I have some time. Is that okay?

DEBRA: Okay, sure. Yeah.

CHRIS OLSEN: Okay! So one thing that we noticed when we were outside – I mean, you never really hear about this in the media. I haven’t. But when we visited the non-organic tea, we learned their growing process. The leaves are plucked basically every eight to ten days. It depends on the rains. But after the leaves are plucked, they spray it with a pesticide that in Bangladesh in this particular garden, it had an LD of five. LD stands for lethal dose and I was told that 10 is harmful to a human. I don’t know in what parts or what-not, but that’s what I was told.

So they spray the plant again right before plucking with the same level of LD and then they pluck the leaves and it goes right into processing. It’s cut up and it’s put into a teabag. So the first time the leaves are rinsed off the pesticides is when you infuse it in your cup.
DEBRA: Oh, my God!

CHRIS OLSEN: It’s disgusting. It’s shocked us.

DEBRA: I had no idea.

CHRIS OLSEN: So it’s really important. And it’s great to hear, we were at a function a couple of weeks ago and we heard the CEO of Honest Tea and he’s talking about that now. That makes us feel good because obviously, Coke bought them. It’s been kind of hush-hush I think within the industry, but it’s a scary thing. I will never drink non-organic tea.

With coffee, it’s kind of okay because they spray a cherry and the coffee bean comes out, so it doesn’t affect your body as literally. The same thing with fruit. You can peel fruit. But with tea, you have no option at all. The pesticides come right out in the cup.
So I definitely want to just bring that point up because it’s quite shocking for a lot of people.

DEBRA: I’m so glad that you did because I didn’t know about that. Wow! Well, you’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest is Chris Olsen from Teatulia. We’ll be back in a moment and find out more about organic tea.


DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Chris Olsen from Teatulia. Chris, I’m still thinking about what you just about how non-organic tea is sprayed with pesticides right before it’s picked. It just made me – you know, there’s so much tea available. Some of it or most of the tea that I buy, I buy at the natural food store although I’m going to start ordering from you directly.

CHRIS OLSEN: Oh, that sounds good.

DEBRA: Yeah! A lot of it is organic. It’s a natural food store. But also, there are these tea stores now in the mall and they have all these different flavors and they’re not always organic. In fact, most of them aren’t organic, but they’re so appealing.
And now, I’m thinking, “No, if I wanted to taste like mint, I think I need to grow mint in my backyard and put it in my green tea.” You just re-organized my thinking about tea because that’s horrible, what they’re doing.
CHRIS OLSEN: Usually, they cave.

DEBRA: Not something I want to drink. We have just this last segment left, so tell us about the difference between black, green and white tea.

CHRIS OLSEN: Yeah, for sure. It’s quite interesting because a lot of people think that they’re just totally different teas or plants, but they’re not. They all come from the same plant. So if you’re called a tea or considered a tea, you come from the camellia sinensis plant. The difference between white and green and black and oolong and pu-erh, these are all types of tea, it’s all in the processing.

So when they pluck a leaf, for white tea, it’s minimally processed. Usually, it’s the white bud. That’s why they call it ‘white tea’, it has the white hairs on it. It’s before the leaf unfurls. So usually, they just pluck that, [inaudible 00:40:57] to let it sun dry and then that’s essentially what you’re drinking.

Studies that have come out that white teas contain the highest level of antioxidants and the least amount of caffeine.

For green tea, it’s processed a little differently. And there’s two different ways. The Asian – well, I guess Bangladesh is in Asia, but the Chinese or Japanese way is it’s plucked, it’s oxidized a little bit longer or sit out in the sun a little bit longer. And then they pan fry it and that’s why you get the toasty taste. They pan fry it just to break the rest of the membranes, so it doesn’t start to ferment or go back.

We steam. On the other side of the Himalayas, typically, it’s a steaming process here we steam it to dry out the rest of it. So the steaming has a little more of a grassy, earthy taste and the pan fried is a little more toasty.

Then for black tea, it’s fully oxidized. That’s where it’s set out in the sun for maybe a day or two or three. It just depends on weather conditions or what-not. That’s considered to have a high level of antioxidants as well and then the highest amount of caffeine.

But one more important note is that most Americans tend to classify caffeine as all being the same. And it’s not. Caffeine, there’s a lot of depending factors here. How does your body absorb it? Some people can drink coffee before they go to bed. Other people can’t. Same thing with tea. I can’t really drink green tea because it gets more wired than coffee. But I can drink black tea all day long and be fine.

So when I say like high levels of caffeine, low levels of caffeine, what does that really mean? The caffeine different. The caffeine that’s in coffee is different than the caffeine in tea, it’s different than the caffeine in chocolate.
I always find it fascinating when we in this country try to clump the caffeine conversation into, “This is exactly how it is and it’s black and white…”

DEBRA: I thought it was all exactly the same caffeine. I really did.


DEBRA: This is the first I’ve heard of this. Wow! I’m going to research that some more.

CHRIS OLSEN: Yeah. I mean, in chocolate, it’s the theobromine. I can get really technical here, but in tea, it’s the theophylline. I forget what the actual Latin term is for coffee, for the coffee bean, but yeah, it’s all different types and your body absorbs it differently. It’s quite fascinating once you start reading up on it.

DEBRA: Well, I’m certainly going to do that. Occasionally, I don’t want to be drinking lots of caffeine all day long, but it’s nice to have – I don’t want as much as in coffee, but I’ll have a little piece of chocolate or I’ll have a cup of green tea and I had no idea that there was any difference. Probably the caffeine in Coca-Cola is something different altogether.

CHRIS OLSEN: Oh, yes! And Redbull, it has that chlorine.

DEBRA: Industrialized caffeine.

CHRIS OLSEN: Yeah, Yerba Mate, it has mateine in it. And then you have like the coca plants that they do cocaine and stuff like that from. That has its own type of – so yeah, it’s quite interesting and fascinating. So that’s the primary differences between tea. You also have herbs.

DEBRA: Yes, tell us about that.

CHRIS OLSEN: The correct term is ‘herbal tisane’ or an ‘herbal infusion’, but it gets a little confusing here, just as tea is re-emerging, so a lot of people call it herbal tea. But those, like a chamomile does not come from the Camellia Sinensis plant. So therefore, it’s not a tea on account of the flower. They consider that an herbal tisane.

Rooibos or Yerba Mate, those are also considered herbals. Even though with Mate, there’s caffeine in it, it doesn’t come from the Caellia Sinensis tea plant, so it’s considered an herb. There are thousands of different types of herbs out there obviously as well. Some of my favorites are Mate and the Rooibus, the hibiscus.

DEBRA: I like those too. I like those too. So tell us, are there health benefits to tea?

CHRIS OLSEN: Yes, there are health benefits of tea, but we have to be a little careful because the FDA these days are really tracking down on certain health claims. So I guess my answer to that would just be yes, get online and kind of research what kind of benefits you’re looking for and you’ll find all the information that you probably want to make an educated decision online.

But yes, tea is a healthy alternative to drinking sodas, drinking a liquor or whatever every time. Everybody is different. It could be healthier than coffee for some people. It just depends on how your body absorbs things and what-not.

Yes, in a lot of studies – we haven’t had RT study just to preface that – but RTs in other regions of the world, it’s found to have really high levels of antioxidants, high level of other nutrients like l-theanine, magnesium, things like that. So yes, tea is definitely healthy.

And that’s one of the reasons I kind of got into tea. I used to be a big soda drink being a typical dude from Colorado. I hit a certain age and my metabolism has changed and I realized, “Hey, I don’t feel as good as I did when I was 22 drinking them out and do every day.” So that’s kind of how I migrated over to tea.

It feels good to preach the word of helping people just kind of migrate over to tea and just try to enhance their healthy eating habits.

DEBRA: Well, one of the things that I like about tea is that first of all, I think that it’s really important for people to drink water, but I think that tea is like a good step, the closest thing to water that has flavor because it’s mostly herbal kinds of things, it’s plants. The benefits of those plants are getting into the water and you’re drinking them, so there’s flavor, but there’s also as you mentioned the minerals and things that could be enhancing the water. It gives me a little flavor without giving anything – well, as long as it’s organic – without giving anything that’s negative that I can identify. It’s just so pleasant.

And also, I was thinking, I hadn’t thought about this until we actually started the interview, but there’s the whole thing about the tea ceremony, the Japanese tea ceremony. Such a beautiful thing of the whole ritual of making tea and putting attention on the drinking of tea and the benefit of tea. I think about that when I’m drinking tea. It just has so many positive things associated with it.

You can do things like make hot tea, make iced tea, add a little fruit juice. You don’t have to necessarily put white sugar in it. It’s great with honey. It’s great with any of the natural sweeteners. There’s so many infinite varieties of things that you can do with tea. It’s pretty amazing. It is a great alternative to soda, it really is.

CHRIS OLSEN: It feels great. You can create your own blends and your own flavors. That’s kind of what I do here, I handle the new product of [inaudible 00:48:56]. It’s a blast because you’re just mixing things together. Sometimes, it works and sometimes, it doesn’t.

So one other important note that I would just like to mention is going back to brewing tea. I know a lot of people like to cold steep and they like to sun tea. Just what I found is a lot of the herbs and stuff out there, not all companies treat their teas and so there will be microbes in them. I would always recommend brewing your tea hot and not making a sun tea or not cold steeping it especially if you have herbs in there because you just never know what could be lurking in those herbs that could get you sick. So it’s always smart and we always recommend people to always hot steep their teas.

DEBRA: And that’s a great way to end our time. Thank you so much for being with me, Chris. I learned so much about tea that I didn’t know. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. And if you enjoyed this show, tell your friends.


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