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How much caffeine is too much?

Espresso, matcha, yerba mate, hot cocoa...even some soaps and lotions contain caffeine! We encounter the stuff every day, and as a society, we love it. But how much caffeine is too much?
For starters, why do we even need to moderate caffeine? What's the big deal?
Caffeine is a highly addictive substance, like sugar or cocaine, according to studies by many institutions. It doesn't take a lot to develop a dependence. How many folks do you know who "can't function" without their morning cup of coffee? The science behind the hook is simple. Caffeine can disguise itself as adenosine, the molecule in our bodies that makes us feel tires, and take its place. This not only delays our feeling of tiredness, but also spikes our adrenaline and dopamine production, making us feel rad and happy and ready for action. When the caffeine wears off, our exhaustion catches up with us hard. We get cranky, tired, sore and headachey. Know what the easiest fix for this bad feeling is? That…
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Cold Brew Season!

It's that time of year, friends! All the coffee shops here in Seattle are bragging about their cold brews again, and we refuse to sit out on the fun. Did you know you can cold brew your tea for the same smooth, delicious, lightly sweet results that have people obsessing over their summer coffees? Totally true and totally easy.

Cold brewing is fab. Just throw 2-3 tablespoons of loose leaf (or a few teabags) and cool water into a pitcher/teapot/fancy carafe/whatever, and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, strain the liquid off the spent leaves (or just remove your teabags) and enjoy your tea.

There's a super cool trend circulating the tea industry the last year or two that takes cold brewing to a whole new level. Have you heard of ice steeping? This is my new obsession for Japanese green teas in particular. Sencha, Genmaicha, even the delicate and beautiful Gyokuro can turn on you and develop bitter edges in a snap if you don't brew them just so. Personally, fin…

Our new tea tasting series!

Hello!

This month we are pleased to announce our first educational tasting series here at the tea room. Join us Thursday evenings at 5:30pm for a guided journey through the world of tea! I will personally be serving teas from various categories and regions and leading a discussion on the science, history and culture behind different teas. These are free events, though of course we encourage you to pick up some loose leaf to take home while you're here!

Our first educational tasting session is scheduled for Thursday, May 17th at 5:30pm and will focus on green teas. We'll experience toasted and steamed, high and low altitude green teas, side-by-side for an enriching look into what it means to be green.

Mark your calendars,
Friday


Mental Health Awareness Month

Hello, friends.

I'd like to take a moment to remind you that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We generally keep things pretty light and fun here at Friday Afternoon Tea, but today I'd like to chat on a more serious note. Just about everyone I know struggles with their mental health to some degree. I've lost my best friend to suicide and seen others I love battle Bipolar Disorder, depression, dysmorphias galore and stress burnout. I personally have struggled with eating disorders, PTSD and OCD my entire adult life. This is everyday stuff. It's not glamorous, it's not fun, it's just the reality of being a Person in this world.

I don't have anything particularly profound to say on the subject, so maybe even posting this is silly. I just wanted you to know that you are Seen and Cared For and that it is OK to be your lovely, struggling, patchwork self. If you need to take a breather from it all and gift yourself a break from carrying this around with you, I…

Top Ten Uses For Your French Press

Oh french press, how we love thee. These handy dandy suckers are great for more than just brewing up yummy loose leaf tea and coffee! Read our top ten ways to get the most out of your french press around the house.

10. Squeeze excess water out of veggies. Thawing out frozen spinach for a lasagna recipe? Just put it in your french press and let the plunger wring out all that extra water! All you have to do is press down and pour out.

9. Rehydrate dried foods. Whether it's plumping raisins for a cake or making that instant soup, simply put the dried goodies into the press and cover with water. When your food is rehydrated to the desired level, pour off the extra water and you're good to go!

8. Juice berries. Berries are the easiest fruits to juice with the most intense flavor packed into them. The only problem is those tiny dang seeds! Try throwing a handful of berries into your press and the fine mesh of the plunger will hold all the seeds back while letting the super tasty jui…

BTB: Raise the Dead

Today's episode of Behind the Blend may feel a bit out of season, but it's a particularly chill and blustery April morning and I've been thinking a lot about death and seasonal shifts lately. So, for today's foray into synesthetic perception, I would like to introduce you to an old Friday Afternoon fave: Raise the Dead. 



The inspiration: This blend was originally commissioned by our lovely friend Tara (aka The Geeky Hostess) to celebrate the release of the movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Tara wrote me before the movie launched, asking if I'd like to collaborate on a collection themed around the movie. We had way too much fun with the project! I used my Synesthetic Superpowers to taste up three blends: Darcy's Delight, Mrs. Bennet's Nerve Tonic, and Raise the Dead. Tara paired each tea with her super fun naturally-colored sprinkles (sadly no longer available) and the teas got picked up by Espionage Cosmetics as part of a subscription box for their fans…

April showers bring new teas!

That's how that saying goes, right? Right...

Yes, my friends, we have exciting new products in stock! Now available online and in-store for your gifting and personal consumption:

The General's Jasmine
Keemun Mao Feng
Kenyan Purple Tea
Single-Estate Matcha
Four Seasons Taiwanese Oolong
Green Earl Grey

We also have some new geeky blends in development. They're a secret for now, but look forward to a shinier, more geek-proud site full of thrilling collections soon!

Love,
Friday