Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More than a cuppa tea

When I decided to go into the tea business, I wanted to offer more than just a cuppa tea (not that there's anything wrong with that). I was enthralled by the history of tea, as well as by the capacity of tea to offer unparalleled health and well-being benefits. Tea is associated with ceremony, spirituality and connection; and for centuries, tea has been the chosen beverage for meditators seeking insight and personal awakening. Tea's association with hospitality and ability to facilitate connection and transcendence is elegantly portrayed through the Japanese tea ceremony, chadao (chadao means the way of tea), which builds on four priniciples: harmony, respect, tranquility, and purity.

In designing The Good Leaf teahouse, I hoped that in addition to providing bubble tea to the tapioca deprived population of Albany, and premium loose leaf tea to our local aficioanados, I could also provide an oasis in the heart of urban Albany and an atmosphere conducive to experiencing "the way of tea".

Although I offer no formal tea ceremony, every once in a while I am delighted to get a hint that I achieved my goal. Most recently, Deb Cavanaugh was sitting in the teahouse and asked me for a piece of paper and pen. Later she offered me the following:

The Good Leaf

It's tea time on Lark Street,
The sound of inspiration floating through the air.
Apricot Oolong warms me from the inside out.
Pumpkin bread with orange glaze soothes my sweet tooth
and calms the growling beast in my belly.
I am at peace in this timeless place,
The big red Buddha laughing away my busy bustle,
a zen fountain washing away all anxiety.
I have found my muse.
I am at peace in this world.

I thank Deb for allowing me to share her prose.

Deb Cavanaugh is a poet and musician. She is a member of the musical duo Cavanaugh and Kavanaugh, www.cavandkav.com and will be celebrating the release of their CD at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs at 8pm on November 29th.


Albany Jane said...

I absolutely adore your shop.

You've created a great atmosphere, and I contend that Tropical Fantasy can cure just about antyhing.

Michelle said...

Thanks Albany Jane, I really appreciate your warm comments. True, Tropical Fantasy is amazingly delicious; I have a bunch of new teas coming out in the next couple of weeks that I'm really excited about. On another note; I'm pretty new to blogging but have been enjoying your blog (thanks for commenting on my shop on albany eats) and added a link to it on mine.