Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Break

The Good Leaf will be enjoying a holiday break through the New Year.  Our web store will remain active. 

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday and wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Creating a Memorable Holiday Season

Today, I offer you an exercise that hails back to my days in private practice psychology.  It's a simple, but powerful imagery exercise to help you focus in on and create a memorable holiday season.

Here's what you do: think back to your happiest holiday memories. Take a couple of moments to really get into the experience.

  • What do you remember?
  • What was most important to you?
  • What made you happiest?
  • What kind of sensory memories came back to you?

 Over the years, I asked this of many people. People describe time with loved ones and friends, smells, tastes, laughter, meals. People's fondest memories don't revolve around the gifts they received. Sure, they may remember the excitement and expectation around opening brightly covered packages, but no one has ever told me that their best holiday memory was the "......" they got.

So, as you plan your holidays this year, consider these questions. 
  • What memories do I want to create for myself and the people in my life this year?
  • What might keep me from creating that experience?
  • What can I do about it?
Choose at least one concrete action you can take to help create your most memorable holiday experience. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Build a Blend and More!

This one is turning out to be our most popular holiday gift this year! It's the Build a Blend Complete Tea Blending Kit.  It includes everything you need to create your own custom tea blends. 

Health, creativity, and fun in an elegant gift box!  Hurray!

Today, Joe is at the Delmar Farmer's Market and has a few kits with him; they're also available at the shop and for online purchasing.

While you're browsing, check out our other holiday gift ideas.  I think I'll try to feature some of them in the coming days.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Season Hours

I started my job today.  It was weird to sit at a desk. Tomorrow I'll start to make my space my own and bring in a little tea stash; I've been feeling very Oolong lately so I think it will bring Juicy Melon and Jade Oolong.

For the holiday season, the Lark Street shop will be open Wednesday - Friday from 5:30pm to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 6pm.  This will be effective December 2-24.  We'll also have a table at the Delmar Farmer's Market for the next three Saturdays.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Teas for Thanksgiving

Allow me to suggest some teas to complement the Thanksgiving table.  With the Thanksgiving meal itself, I recommend a medium bodied black tea such as a second flush Darjeeling or an amber oolong. If you want to go for a flavored tea, Mulled Cider Black Tea is a clear choice. Chai would work as well.  After the meal, I recommend Tranqulity Tisane.  It's a mild and aromatic spice blend with a nice amount of soothing ginger and licorice. In keeping with the theme of the day, your tummy will be thankful.

Have a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Change's Gonna Come

So, I'll just lay it out for you: I was offered a full-time job and I accepted it.  The offer came at the very end of last week, and I start right after Thanksgiving.  Anyone who has been in my store probably knows that it's "my" store.  The Good Leaf is completely owner operated and I don't have a replacement "me" just yet. 

This sounds like bad news for the Good Leaf, but it won't be. For a little while, however, I'm hoping you'll bear with me through this transition.  I am committed to The Good Leaf, and will stay open as much as possible through the holiday season, because I put together some really awesome gift packages.

So here's my idea; I will be open as usual from now until Thanksgiving. Then, beginning on Wednesday, December 2nd and through Christmas I'll be open Wednesday - Friday from 5-8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12-6.  We will also have a presence at the Buy Local Bash this Saturday from 5-9 pm in the Troy Atrium and at the Delmar indoor Farmer's Market on Saturdays in December (located at the Delmar Presbyterian Church at Delaware and Cherry).  And the webstore always remains active for online shopping.

This will allow me to be available for holiday gift shopping, and will also give me some time to figure out the best next step.

I hope you'll understand that in such uncertain economic times, it would be unwise to pass up an opportunity.  While The Good Leaf is stable, I don't know what the future holds for small businesses like mine.  Over the past year, I've seen many great small businesses fall victim to this economy.  Many were great local businesses, and others were small tea companies like mine throughout the country.  Three of my favorite teahouses in New York City closed within the same month.  So although my return to full-time employment will require some re-working of my company, at least of my full-time presence at the Lark Street shop, it's the best insurance policy I can provide.

I sincerely apologize for this short notice, and especially apologize to all my regulars who spend time at The Good Leaf studying, socializing, or just relaxing.  I hope you'll find time to stop by before Thanksgiving and during my limited holiday season hours. 

Finally, I want to let my customers know that the past year and a half has been the most rewarding and enjoyable of my life and it's because of you. You have shared your time and your selves with me, and I have relished your company.  I commit to doing everything I can to continue to offer you a tranquil oasis that delivers health and well-being in delicious, sip-able portions.

I will certainly keep you updated.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Teas

It was so nice to be back in the shop today after being closed for two weeks. Because I spend so much time there I guess I have habituated to the aromas, but today I basked in the full sensory experience. Floral, spicy, fruity, warm, inviting and sweet....pure pleasure. 

In my previous post I mentioned all the blending I've been doing. Well, I've got product! Today I introduced two new teas, Coconut Cream Pie Green Tea and Limited Edition Mulled Cider and will have Goji Crape Green, Sunshine Black, and Cherry Blossom Green available tomorrow. And Butterscotch Pudding Black Tea, Good Night and Focus Tisanes will be available by the end of the week (probably).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Re-Opening, New Stuff, Clearance Sale, More

The Good Leaf will re-open this Tuesday, November 17th.  I've missed the shop and all my great customers.

But my time has been put to good use.  I've been busy putting together some fantastic Tea Packages called Tea Solutions. They combine teas with simple, yet highly effective strategies from positive psychology and mind body medicine.  I think they're great ways to enhance the functional qualities of gourmet tea and they offer great value.   I also have a great Starter Kit for tea novices called TEA101.  I'm sure these packages will make really nice holiday gifts.  I'm putting together a couple more that will be ready in the next few days. Along with these packages, I've introduced a few new teas incluing Butterscotch Pudding Flavored Black Tea, Sunshine Flavored Black Tea, Good Night Herbal Tisane, and a few new flavored green teas will be available as well - Goji Grape is my favorite; it reminds me of Welch's Grape Soda.  They're not all up on the website yet, but they will be. 

I also have a couple of seasonal teas that should be ready later on this week. 

So I'm clearing out a few teas to make room for the new stuff.  Yummy Biscotti, Fireside Spice, Cocoa Loco Verde, and Harmony are all on clearance.  The price for any of these teas is now $5 for a tin, $10 for 8oz and $15 for 16oz.  These prices will continue while supplies last.  All of these are really nice teas; I just am out of space.

There are some more changes ahead for The Good Leaf; I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Little Hiatus

The Good Leaf will be closed for a couple of weeks beginning on 11/4.  We'll be preparing for a busy holiday season.  The webstore will remain open and I will keep the blog active and updated. 

Friday, October 16, 2009

New Tisane - Swine Away

Okay, a disclaimer first: nothing I'm about to say has been evaluated by the FDA, I don't intend to diagnose or treat illness with what I'm saying here, and my words are not meant to substitute for competent medical advice, but - in India, a combination of herbs and spices including holy basil is being recommended to boost immunity and prevent flu.  I didn't say it - they did

Anyway, I blended up a batch of the recommended combination of holy basil, ginger and pepper. It's spicy and delicious and I'm calling it Swine Away for now because I like that name, but I might give it a name change later on. It tastes great even if it doesn't do anything good for you.  But I bet it does. I've become really convinced about holy basil (aka tulsi) of late.  It's considered an adaptogen, which is an herb that helps the body combat stress and maintain balance, and there's some western scientific support for its benefits and a tremendous amount of tradition and folklore behind it. You can read a little about it here.

So Swine Away is in the shop, and you can find it here in the webstore too.

Update:  Swine Away is now called Flu-Less (because I found that name more amusing).

The Meaning of Tea

We are now carrying the inspirational documentary film The Meaning of Tea

From the back cover: Travel on a journey through India, Japan, Taiwan, Morocco, England, France, Ireland and even Tea, South Dakota. The Meaning of Tea unveils tea's mysterious appeal and considers the question of whether any inherent "meaning" is to be found in tea, particularly in this amped-up, high-tech era, increasingly dominated by mass-marketing and fast food. By visiting places where tea is still revered and investigating its role in these societies, the file reveals the profoundly positive role tea may play in the renewal of our world. 

This movie is absolutely captivating. Not only is it a beautiful film to watch; the soundtrack is fantastic, and the film-maker offers us charming and thought-provoking glimpses into everyday tea culture across the world. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tea Sale at Delmar Farmer's Market

We are finishing the season at the Delmar Farmer's Market by offering a closeout sale on our full sized clear top tins.  The tes is perfect, the tins are perfect.  The clear top tins are attractive and make great gifts.  All clear top tins will be on sale for just $5 regardless of previous price.  Prices ranged from $5 to $23 and most were in the $7-$10 range.  We're doing this because we just made the change to new packaging.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mulling Spice

Yesterday I really started to feel like it was fall with all the wind and the blowing leaves, so I blended up a batch of Mulling Spice.  It's a classic autumn spice blend and I'll be preparing it in small batches all season long. You can use it for your mulled cider or wine, or to make your own spice tea blend.  It's not up on the website yet, but it's available in the shop. If you want to order some for delivery, feel free to call or email me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Cinnamon Roll Black Tea

Inspired by the Cinnamon Bun cookies we've been carrying courtesy of Park 19 cookies of Saratoga, I blended up a Cinnamon Roll tea. All I can say is that it's very good. 

Friday, October 2, 2009

Tomorrow Farmers Market Yay, Lark St Nay

Tomorrow, October 3rd, we will be at the Delmar Farmer's Market (yes, in the rain), but the Lark Street shop will be closed.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More About Mate

Today the American Botanical Council published a review of a recent study finding that Yerba Mate consumption may help to reduce cholesterol levels.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yerba Mate - if you drink it or plan to, you should read this.

When I opened The Good Leaf on Lark Street, I knew I intended to serve traditional yerba mate (I can't add an accent mark, so just know it's pronounced mah tay, not mate like first mate), but had no idea how popular it would be. It is really popular!  So here's a little about yerba mate; interesting stuff, but please read on to be aware of data regarding mate and potential cancer risk.

Yerba Mate is a species of the holly plant native to South America. Yerba means herb and mate means gourd (or something like that).  Yerba mate leaves are infused to yield an energizing beverage that many people enjoy as an alternative to coffee. It is traditionally consumed in a hollowed out gourd called a mate, with a filter straw called a bombilla.

There are two basic types of mate - green and roasted. Roasted Mate tends to have a smoother and more mellow flavor, and green mate is a bit sharper and bitter. In my shop, they're equally popular. Mate is often blended with other herbs and flavors, and I create custom mate blends for many of my customers. With the increase in popularity of flavored teas, there has also been interest in flavored mates, and my mate decadence, which is a mate with chocolate and caramel flavor has been hard to keep in stock.

Evidently, yerba mate is consumed everywhere and all the time in many South American countries. Though I haven't traveled there myself to experience this first hand, I heard that it's not uncommon for people to carry around their mates wherever they go. I have also heard that there are mate stands all over the place for people to refresh their mate. Evidently it is common to drink mate with friends, passing the mate from guest to guest, but many people drink it on their own all day long.

Preparing Yerba Mate

In traditional mate preparation, you fill your gourd about 1/3 to 1/2 way with mate, some cool water is initially poured into the gourd, followed by warm water. Like green tea, brewing in boiling water may cause yerba mate to become bitter, and may even be associated with increased cancer risk. After allowing some time for the herb to infuse the water, the infusion is consumed and the gourd refilled. A single gourd is often shared by several friends, with each refill being passed to the next participant. Yerba Mate may be consumed warm or cold, and may be shared or consumed alone. 

Mate may also be prepared as you would prepare any tea. This method of prep is referred to as mate cocida. For mate cocida preparation, infuse 1 teaspoon per 6-8 ounce cup in steaming water as long as desired.

Yerba Mate and Caffeine

Yerba mate contains mateine, and in reviewing the research I can't come to a confident conclusion as to whether or not mateine is chemicaly similar or identical to caffeine, or whether it is a different compound. There appears to be a heated debate which has gone on for decades. In any case, the experience of mate is energizing yet relaxing in a way, and I have consumed a good amount of it in the past few years, so I can attest to my favorite part of the mate buzz - no crash. Therefore as far as I'm concerned, either mateine is a different substance than caffeine, or other elements of the yerba mate plant work alongside the caffeine to alter the way it affects the body, and it doesn't really matter to me if it's really the same thing as caffeine or not.

Yerba Mate and Cancer

There is also heated debate as to the health benefits of mate that I have to share with you. Some research suggests that mate offers significant health benefits, many believe it is a weight loss aid, but other research suggests that frequent mate consumption may be associated with increased occurrence of various cancers, especially esophageal. Here's a link to an article that I believe summed it up well:  This review of the literature suggests that the mate risks are not related to water temperature, but may be more related to the quantity of mate consumed.  Their conclusions would suggest that mate cocida preparation is more prudent than traditional gourd preparation. 

On the other hand, other data suggest that yerba mate may help fight cancer. Such reports have typically been found in the alternative medicine literature, where reports of yerba mate's myriad health benefits proliferate. Additionally, the Yerba Mate Association of the Americas provides information about the health benefits of mate, suggesting mate offers greater anti-oxidant benefit than coffee or green tea, and does address the mate/cancer link by attributing those findings to other factors such as smoking in the mate drinking population, and consuming hot mate through a metal straw causing scalding of the throat.  Here's that link:

Finally, the FDA classifies Yerba Mate as GRAS (generally recognized as safe), for what that's worth.

Once agin, I can't come to any conclusions with confidence, but I can't be flip about the data on mate and cancer the way I am about mate and caffeine. I think it is something that you need to be aware of and take into consideration when you choose whether or not to drink mate, and how to prepare it. 

At the end of the day

So the bottom line appears to be, mate is popular, mate is energizing and offers a pleasant buzz that is similar to a caffeine buzz, but without side effects.  Mate is fun and enjoyable, and mate may offer some health benefits but regular consumption of traditionally prepared yerba mate may be associated with certain cancers.  I find these data of concern, but not enough to remove mate from my tea menu.  I do, however, plan to make this information available to customers who purchase mate paraphernalia. You need to make your own decision about mate; for me, I choose to prepare my mate as mate cocida, and as with most other substances, I find moderation to be a good choice, and I do and will continue to enjoy mate from time to time.

Friday, September 25, 2009

No Farmer's Market Tomorrow

We will not be at the Delmar Farmer's Market this weekend, but will be returning next weekend.  The Delmar Market will continue in its Bethlehem Middle School location through the end of October. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Premium Tea made Accessible

Fall is here, and I just brought Golden Buddha Oolong back into inventory. This Wuyi Oolong, also known as Jing Fo, is a relatively new cultivar.  It brews into a light amber cup with toasty notes of caramel and cinnamon, and it's one of my favorite teas.  I had it in stock last year, and unfortunately, the price on many of the Wuyi Oolongs (as well as some other popular teas) increased significantly over the past year. I tried to stay away, but customers continued to request it, and I missed it too much myself.  So Golden Buddha is back! 

I also added a webpage for our premium line of teas.  We have Gyokuro, Silver Needles, and several others.  They are such good teas, and I want the experience of sipping one to be available to everyone.  So I updated the pricing for all our premium tea.  They're now available for purchase by the ounce and I reduced the prices on the larger size packages of teas in this line.  Now these sublime teas can be an affordable luxury, with even the most expensive tea in our line costing about 85cents/cup when brewed!  Click here to explore our premium line.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lark Fest and Farmer's Market

We've been busy preparing for Lark Fest. Lark Fest is Albany's biggest street festival.  Musicians, merchants, and lots of people.  This year, Moby will be the headliner! At least on Lark St, this seems to be generating more excitement than President Obama's upcoming visit. 

During Lark Fest, we'll be offering a special limited but delicious tea bar menu. 

We'll be serving:
Orange Pekoe Black Tea
Almond Black Tea
Summertime Blue Black Tea
Tropical Fantasy Green Tea
Creme Saver Rooibos
Sweet Tart Tisane

Almond Milk Bubble Tea
Blue Hawaii Bubble Tea
Raspberry Delight Bubble Tea
Mango Green Bubble Tea
Cinnamon Bun Bubble Tea
and the famous Lark Street Pop!

Our full line of loose tea and teaware will be available. 

Weather's supposed to be good, so it promises to be a great day.  Hope to see lots of you there!

Oh, and Joe will be at the Delmar Farmer's Market tomorrow morning with a nice selction of our popular signature blends. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September Tea Bar Promos

For the rest of September, we'll be running a few teabar promos.

Student Tuesdays: Show your student ID for $1 off any bubble tea or other specialty tea drink all day Tuesday.

State Worker Wednesdays: Stop in for your discount. $1 off any bubble tea or other specialty tea drink anytime on Wednesday with your government id.

Giving Back to Those Who Give on Thursdays: Hospital workers, EMTs, you who dedicate your career to helping others, we offer a little bit of gratitude with $1 off any bubble tea or other specialty tea drink on Thursdays.

Friday, September 11, 2009

This week at the Farmer's Market

This week at the Delmar Farmer's Market we'll be debuting our new tea tins.  Joe has a nice selection prepared to offer you including many of our most popular signature blends.

You'll find:
Root Beer Black Tea
Tropical Fantasy Green Tea
Love White Tea
Sweet Sin Rooibos
Chamomile Sonata
Tranquility Tisane
and Mate Decadence

and several others including Orange Pekoe, Gunpowder and Pure Rooibos.

New order forms will be available for anyone interested in ordering our other products.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Royal Tea!

Guess who is going to be enjoying a nice cup of Good Leaf Tea Oolong au Lait this afternoon?


Yep - the Royals are paying a visit to our Capital City today. It's the first visit by Dutch Royalty in 50 years! They'll be visiting the state museum and meeting with Mayor Jennings and Governor Paterson. Then they'll be visiting the Executive Mansion and enjoying scrumptious fare prepared by Executive Chef Noah Sheetz; and our tea will be served.

Okay, the TU story is not about the tea. But still; I'm excited!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

All Kinds of New!

We have been so, so busy this summer working on making changes. I am especially excited about our new packaging. We're now offering our teas in these beautiful new tins; they're brightly colored, and color coded according to tea variety. The tins are of a higher quality than our previous tins, they're larger, and offer greater value.

We introduced several new blends this summer including Sweet Sin, a pomegranate cinnamon flavored rooibos, Red Hot, a spicy cinnamon black tea, Relax, an herbal blend chock full o' soothing stuff, and a floral tisane we blended up for our dear customer and friend, Gerard. We are cleverly calling it Gerard's Blend. And we've got a few additional blends in development.

And finally, although I anticipated that it would take me a couple of hours and it took me about 3 months, our webstore is finally updated with all our new products. Check it out!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

After our Summer Vacation

We've been closed a couple of times this summer for stuff that came up. But next week, we'll be closed for our regularly scheduled summer vacation. We'll be back on August 25th, just in time to greet the students who'll be returning at around the same time.

We'll also be introducing several new teas, great new packaging, and the availability to purchase larger sizes.

Have a great week and we'll see you soon!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Roobi Sipper

Thanks, Melissa, for naming our new Rooibos. Roobi Sipper will be the name of our new Pomegranate Cinnamon Rooibos blend. And Melissa won our gift certificate.

Some other names you offered were:

  • African Bearclaw
  • Autumn Breeze
  • Gummy Bear
  • Spice of Life
  • Fruity Flower
  • Absolutely Fresh
  • Autumn Symphony in 'mmm' minor
  • Name it Cinnamon Pomegranate Rooibos
  • Breath of Fresh Air
  • Spicy Red
  • Sweet Fall
  • Autumn Afternoon
  • Babbles
  • Wild Pacific

Thank you everyone!

  • Orchard

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Today at the Delmar Market

Today we're featuring some of our personal favorite teas:
  • Organic Selimbong Darjeeling - 2nd flush
  • Santa Fe Bizcochito
  • Summertime Blue
  • Tropical Fantasy
  • Iron Goddess of Mercy
  • Sweet Tart
  • Very Strawberry
  • Blueberry Bliss
as well as a nice little assortment of our sample tins

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Top Chef Master Used Tea ....

and lost this weeks 4 way master chef competition pretty much because of it. I'm talking about Bravo's Top Chef Masters; Top Chef is one of my favorite shows ever and I like this season's Master Chef competition. The food they are preparing is creative and beautiful and the contestants and critics are always respectful and well behaved Not typical reality TV. Anyway, Nils Noren, the head chef at the French Culinary Institute seemed to have this weeks win in the bag. For his main course he prepared a salmon that looked like it would simply melt in your mouth, and for his dessert course he prepared a chocolate and goat cheese ganache with cara cara orange gel, and Lapsang Souchong whipped cream.

Oh, how excited I was to see someone using tea as a culinary ingredient in a cooking competition! But for those of you who are unfamiliar with Lapsang Souchong, it is a smoked tea. I think I will dedicate a blog post to this tea shortly because I am a huge fan of Lapsang and use it frequently in cooking. Not everyone likes it, but it's definitely a tea to try or at least to sniff. In fact, a few years ago a list of 100 foods to try before you die was circulating on the web, and Lapsang Souchong was on the list. In terms of the taste of Lapsang, people describe campfire, bacon, the woods, Christmas, and occasionally burning rubber!

So, Nils infused his whipped cream with the not at all subtle smokiness of the Lapsang Souchong - with disastrous results. One taster was unable to take a second bite, and the program (edited of course) didn't show a single person who enjoyed the combination of chocolate, cheese, orange, and smoke as a dessert. He was commended, however, for his culinary chutzpah.

I was kind of bummed to see that tea was the ingredient that destroyed an otherwise close to perfect meal, but I was happy to see Michael Chiarello win the competition; he's awfully cute and charming and seemed to "need" the win more than the other contestants.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Help! We're stumped

We have a really nice new rooibos blend but we can't come up with a name. It's fruity, sweet, a little spicy, and nicely balanced. But that would be a cumbersome name.

So we're having a contest. Help us name our tea. Stop in and try a sample or take a sniff. Offer us the gift of your creativity and we'll enter you into a contest to win a $10 gift certificate. And you'll also earn our sincere gratitude.

The name our rooibos contest will continue all week. We'll announce our winner on Tuesday July 21st.

Thank you for your support during our time of need.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sweet Treats

We now have chocolates from The Chocolate Gecko back in stock. In addition to the chocolate buddha truffles that have our Red Chai in the filling, we also have their very popular Komodo Krunch toffee, chocolate covered orange peel, peanut butter cups, grahams, and assorted truffles.

And in addition to the artisan chocolates, we are also carrying gourmet cookies from Park 19 cookies of Saratoga. We're featuring their Chocolate Chip Pretzel cookies and the ridiculously delicious Cinnamon Bun cookie. Park 19 cookies were featured as Rachael Ray's Snack of the Day!

With the addition of these delicious treats from local businesses, I will no longer be baking here at The Good Leaf. But I know you'll be delighted with these new items. And over the course of the summer, I will be looking for a few addtional local food merchants to expand your choices.
If you would like to place a special order for any of my baked specialties including the green tea cupcakes, red velvets, vegan nirvana, green tea or earl grey cookies, madeleines, brownies, or my chocolate chip pretzel cookies, just contact me a few days in advance, and I'd be glad to whip up a batch especially for you.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Delmar Market July 11

We're back from our fun roadtrip to Cleveland where we visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is one of my favorite places; unfortunately the drive is not the most exciting one, but an interesting audiobook and a stop at the Dinosaur in Syracuse on the way home definitely helped.

We're preparing for the Delmar Farmer's Market for tomorrow. Hopefully the weather will hold out; I just looked online and saw those all too familiar lightening bolts on the picture of tomorrow.

In any case, we'll be featuring:

  • Orange Pekoe Black Tea
  • Earl Grey de la Creme Black Tea
  • Tropical Fantasy Green Tea
  • Moroccan Mint Green Tea
  • Juicy Melon Oolong
  • Rooibos de Provence
  • Blueberry Bliss Tisane
  • Harmony Herbal Blend
  • Chamomile Sonata
We'll also be featuring our Red Flower Jasmine (pictured above). This is a jasmine flavored blooming tea. We'll have it at a special price tomorrow only. Normally, Red Flower Jasmine sells for $2/bloom - we will be offering it in packages of 4 for $6. If you haven't tried blooming teas, they are quite the experience. Blooming teas are made of up to 50 tea leaves all tied together, often a flower is tied into the center. When you infuse the bloom in hot water, the tea blossoms to reveal the flower within. Our flowering tea is scented with jasmine to enhance the experience.
As always, we would be delighted to take your orders for any teas we don't have with us, and we'll deliver them to the market the following week.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Delmar Market Tomorrow

Even though the Lark Street shop will be closed tomorrow on the fourth of July, we will be at the Delmar Farmer's Market with a nice assortment of our favorite teas.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Today's tea pun is courtesy of the Albany Times Union.

I've been damp for the past two days. I swear, it doesn't feel like iced tea season. But according to the calender, it's summer and in theory, that's what we should be drinking. So, today's Times Union has an article all about the refreshing beverage. It offers thoughts on good choices for iced tea blends as well as a variety of ideas for how to brew a great cup of iced tea. I admit that the reason I'm telling you about it is because The Good Leaf was one of their sources of information. So I think you should read it, and then brew yourself a nice cup of hot tea, cause it's wet and chilly out there.

Those Summer Hours Stunk!

Those summer hours were just not working. We're going back to the old routine. For the remainder of the summer we'll be open Tuesday - Saturday 12-7; just like old times sans Sunday. In September we'll open on Sundays again as our busier season starts up.

We also have a few additional closings to note

July 4-8
August 4-6
August 18-22

If you stop in and ask why we're closing in early August, I'll tell you a really good story!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Couple of Closings

This summer, The Good Leaf will be closed a few times and I'll keep you updated here.

First, we'll be closed June 28th, Sunday for a Specialty Foods Conference.

Then, we'll be closed July 4th and 5th for a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Big Springsteen exhibit!

That's it for now.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This week at the Market - Teas for Dad

Last weekend the Delmar Farmer's Market was phenomenal. The weather was perfect, turnout was great, and the market is full of vendors. We saw loads of fruit and veggies, breads, crafts, and of course, there's The Good Leaf. This weeks theme: Teas for Dad. We'll be featuring Orange Pekoe black tea, Lapsang Souchong black tea, Earl Grey black tea, Moroccan Mint green tea, Love white tea, Vanilla Infused rooibos, Red Chai, and Harmony tisane. Great choices for last minute Father's Day gifts.

And again, in addition to the teas we'll be featuring, we're always happy to take orders for delivery the following week, and if you would like us to bring a tea any week, feel free to call or email and we'll be sure to have it ready for you. A full tea list will be available on site.

See you there!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Milestone

Today marks our one year anniversary on Lark Street.
My sincerest gratitude for your support!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Delmar Farmer's Market

We are so excited to be starting at the Delmar Farmer's Market this weekend. The market will be held on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm at the parking lot of the Bethlehem Middle School on Kenwood Ave in Delmar. The middle school is just off the four corners heading from Delaware toward Elsmere Ave.

Besides us, you'll find a great variety of local farmers, caterers, crafters, and even a table for chair massage courtesy of Suzy Yoga.

Here's how we're going to do it. Because we can't carry all 75+ varieties of tea to the market, each week we will feature an assortment of our teas with a common theme. In addition to selling those teas at the market, we'll also have a variety of gift packages. And here's the best part; we will be glad to take orders for anything from our entire teashop. We will deliver all orders to the market the following week. For anyone who has wanted to visit our Lark Street boutique but has been concerned about parking, here's your solution!
So this week we'll be featuring our favorite teas for iced tea.
In attendance will be Orange Pekoe black tea, Lichee black tea, Summertime Blue black tea, Tropical Fantasy green tea, Lemon-Aid rooibos, Sweet Tart tisane, Blueberry Bliss tisane, Very Strawberry tisane, and Purely Peppermine tisane.
We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kelsey Lane Photography

I meant to post this earlier, but if you have an opportunity to get to The Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark Street this week before Friday, Kelsey Lane has her photography on exhibit there. The exhibition is called Earth Uncovered and she describes, "I photograph nature through all its unique stages. Capturing an organic world may often be hidden by the troubles of our modern world. I invite you to take a closer look at the hidden beauty that is our EARTH UNCOVERED." With both landscape shots and macros, Kelsey skillfully illustrates the phenomenal beauty of our land from its awesome expanses down to the simple perfection of the smallest details.

If you can't get to The Wine Bar (it's at 200 Lark) to see her work, you can check out Kelsey's photos online by clicking here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer Hours

In response to the customers who have requested I open earlier in the day, and to those who have requested I remain open later in the evening, and given that The Good Leaf remains a one woman operation, I think I've come up with a great solution.

Summer hours beginning this Saturday, May 3oth.

Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Sunday: 10am - 4pm
Wednesday - Friday: 12pm - 9pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday

Thanks for your input and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blending, Brewing, Baking, Blogging, Tweeting and now....


We're putting up some YouTube videos. We've got three uploaded so far. Here's our channel: If you look at the little icon on the left side of the page, you will find out that I am a guru!

Anyway, it's been fun and film-maker EJ has been doing a great job; until the camera fell on the floor and broke. So, please enjoy our brief first season because we're on hiatus pending repair.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

First Flush Darjeeling

Just as wine lovers eagerly await the late November arrival of the new Beaujolais, tea lovers anticipate the springtime arrival of the first flush darjeelings. The Darjeeling region of India is in the foothills of the Himilayas. The harsh weather conditions result in slower growth of each year's tea crop and only three to four pluckings occur each year. The first plucking, after the early spring rains, yields the first flush darjeelings. Like early season wines, early season teas tend to be lighter and fruitier with some astringency.

This past year, drought conditions in the Darjeeling region resulted in great concern over the quality of the 2009 Darjeeling harvest. But I'm very happy to say that despite this concern, the Risheehat estate has produced a wonderful 2009 first flush Darjeeling, and I have some (so you can have some too).

Light and delicate, this tea has characteristic astringency and really nice tropical and stone fruit flavors. It's also available at a very reasonable price.

My webstore is in the midst of a major overhaul, so I don't yet have it available there, but it's in the shop right now, and if you stop in, I'd love you to try a little. And if you'd like to order some online, just send me an email and we can arrange it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

If there was ever a perfect Mother's Day gift ....

Several posts ago, I described the pretty tea cozies Petra has been making for our shop and told you we had a project in the works. Today I'm really excited to be debuting The Good Leaf Tea Wallet by Petra. The tea wallet is perfect for anyone who likes to take gourmet loose tea on the go, whether traveling to work or taking a short trip.

Crafted from quality cotton fabric, in vibrant prints with coordinating lining, these loose tea wallets come loaded with a tin of gourmet loose tea, a stainless steel tea measuring spoon, starter pack of tea filters which fit in their own pocket, and a few packets of raw sugar. The wallet folds closed and is held together by an elastic band; even the elastic band is pretty. Petra has a great eye for fabrics and exquisite attention to detail and these tea wallets are exceptionally well-made.

Available only at The Good Leaf, these hand-crafted gourmet tea wallets sell for $19 and come fully loaded. Just in time for Mother's Day.
One more thing: If you can't get into the shop or don't live in the area and would like a tea wallet, you can order one. But I don't have them up on the website just yet. (I have a bunch of updating to do). If you would like to order one, email or give me a call at 518-434-0132.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Root Beer Floats

Shortly after I opened, a customer came in and asked me if I carry root beer tea. I didn't; and it sounded both weird and intriguing but to be honest, I forgot about it shortly thereafter. She came in about a month ago and asked again; so I decided to work on a root beer tea.

It's ready. It's a black tea and it smells just like root beer. When you drink it hot, at first it's a bit strange because it's not sweet, and root beer is not usually hot and flat unless you leave it in your car on a summer day when you spend a few hours get all sweaty outside and then you get into the car looking for something refreshing and take a swig of hot root beer; and it's not refreshing, but it is strangely delicious. Just like my new root beer flavored black tea when you drink it hot.

But when I sweetened it a little and added seltzer - it was pretty much root beer! So starting today, I'm offering root beer tea, sparking root beer iced tea, and root beer floats!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Now I'm a Twit

Thank you, EJ, for helping me become a twit. I am now tweeting at . I don't really know what I'm doing yet, but it seems pretty simple. I'm going to tweet about what's going on with The Good Leaf - like when I create new blends, set up specials, and bake peanut butter and jelly scones. You can view twittering on the sidebar of this blog and on my web home page. I invite you to follow my tweets (is that right, EJ?)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Online Audio Stress Management Programs

Here's a blast from my past.

Many of you know that I am a licensed psychologist and prior to opening The Good Leaf, I worked in psychology for well over a decade. For me, the transition from psychology to tea was a gradual one that culminated in what was, in one way, a drastic change, but in other ways, not so much.

I practiced psychology from a positive perspective and offered stress managment, mind/body and life enhancement services to my clients. My approach was always to help people find simple and manageable approaches to experiencing a good life. While I was working in psychology, and as my interest in tea began to grow, I began to see tea as the official beverage of the good life. My clients were seeking simple solutions, and there's no simpler one than the one you can drink! In a quest for consumable solutions many people try to eat or drink away their troubles, but we all know how well that works. While not a universal panacea, tea is pretty close to a magic elixir and I promise that the tea hangover is much more pleasant than the martini hangover.

When I chose to pursue the tea business full-time, I did so whole-heartedly and knew that I would not have the time or energy to continue my psychology practice. My regret was letting go of the resources and programs I created. So I kept my websites, and published. The problem is that I still get calls from prospects and must explain that I'm no longer practicing. I'm sure they wonder why I keep the websites active.

Recently I realized that with a little creativity, I can find ways to bridge the two disciplines and offer people wellness solutions combining tea with the positive and mindfulness based type of psychology I practiced. The little creativity hasn't arrived yet (it's still brewing), but in the meantime, I offer you a page from my past life. Click here for a few online audio programs that teach deep breathing, relaxation and mindfulness skills. These were the foundational skills I shared with my clients, and they offer far-reaching health and well-being benefits.

I hope you find them valuable.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

New Tea and Vegan Friendly Options

I just brought in a new blooming tea. I'm no longer carrying the Blooming Lily White Tea. This new one is a Blooming Green Tea with a Red Flower and Jasmine scent. I know that blooming teas are very popular these days, but I've had trouble with some of the mass produced varieties; the more elaborate ones tend to fall apart and sometimes they just taste pretty awful. I have also seen some exquisite blooming teas that are obviously well crafted and taste wonderful, but these come at a premium plus price point. I like this one because it's not too fancy so it tends to bloom without problems, it tastes nice and it works well for multiple infusions. Plus, it's not crazy expensive.

One more thing: I've been working to offer more options to my vegan customers and now offer a nice vegan cookie with carrots, oatmeal, walnuts and coconut. It's adapted from a recipe I found on one of my favorite food blogs, 101 cookbooks. I'm also offering almond milk and hemp milk in addition to soymilk as vegan friendly drink options. Hemp milk - who knew? It's good.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Baked Things

Recently it was brought to my attention that many people don't know that I offer fresh baked goodies at The Good Leaf, so today I'm blogging about baking.

Since I've been in the tea business, I discovered that I love baking. I always considered myself much more of a cook than a baker given my intuitive style and defiant streak which I figured did not work well with baker's formulas. Early attempts at baking were .... bad. But what started with a small batch of scones I baked up for my weekend stints At the Warehouse, has become pretty much an obsession. I have grown to love the science of baking and more than that, the fragrance of baking. Now, I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about how to bake rosewater madeleines, chipotle brownies, thumbprint scones, or how to improve on a basic yellow cupcake recipe.

Baking for the teahouse has been a challenge given time, space and traffic; but it's been a lot of fun. I bake everything myself from my home kitchen or in the shop, and up until this point, I've been feeding the obsession; baking what I researched on the web or dreamed about the previous night or what would strike my fancy in the morning.

So I figure I'll tell you about some of the things I've been baking lately. During the week, I mostly have cookies available, with an expanded selection on the weekends. Because I don't have access to a full service or large scale baker's kitchen, I bake in small batches, but I am able to take special orders given a couple of days notice.

Home Baked Stuff you might find at The Good Leaf Gourmet Tea Company
  • Tea Infused Butter Cookies: Earl Grey, Green Tea, Persian Scented (fyi: this is not a cookie that smells like a Persian; it's a pistachio, cardamom, rosewater cookie - I'm taking a little break from this one until the pistachio problem is solved)
  • Big Cookies: Chinese Style Almond, Traditional Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip and my favorite - Sweet and Salty Pretzel/Chocolate Chunk Cookies
  • Cupcakes: Red Velvet, Green Tea, Lemon
  • Muffins: Sweet or Savory
  • Teacakes: Lavender scented, Orange, Chai Spiced
  • Madeleines: Traditonal genoise a la Proust or sometimes non-traditional a la Michelle
  • Brownies
  • Scones: Ranging from blueberry to cranberry walnut to peanut butter and jelly

If I can figure out how to twitter or tweet or whatever it is that tells people what you are doing every second of the day in real time, maybe I'll start telling you what I baked each day. If someone wants to tell me how to do that, that would be awesome.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Early Closing This Friday

I want to let you know that The Good Leaf will be closing at 5pm this Friday, March 20th, the first day of Spring!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Weightea 2009

The updated Weightea package is now available. This package, which is designed to help you use tea as a weight management aid, was very popular last year, and I took your feedback to tweak the package a bit, so it's new and improved! Last year, this was a customizable package with lots of choices. It took quite a bit of explanation and some customers found the choices to be a bit daunting. So this year I simplified the package and chose three terrific teas as a new introductory weightea package.
Here's the quick skinny:

The Weightea ™ Introductory package includes three teas – an “Ancient Chinese Secret” to boost your metabolism, an “African Activity Aid” for hydration during and after activity, and a “Temptation Tamer” to keep you on track all day long.

The Ancient Chinese Secret: Juicy Melon Oolong *
Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong from China has been skillfully blended with melon flavoring and sweet licorice. Herbalists believe licorice is a weight loss aid; and we know it provides loads of natural sweetness and makes this tea a delicious and beneficial treat. For full benefit, research suggests drinking several cups of oolong tea daily. *If you would prefer an unflavored tea, you may substitute unflavored Iron Goddess of Mercy for Juicy Melon Oolong.

The African Activity Aid: Rooibos Lemon-Aid
Organic green rooibos is the perfect backdrop for tart and uplifting natural lemon flavoring. Drink this iced while exercising, and you’ll be happy and hydrated. Add just a touch of sweetener (we recommend stevia or agave nectar) and it tastes just like lemonade!

The Temptation Tamer: Maté Decadence
To complete your weightea ™ package we offer you our Maté Decadence. We chose roasted yerba mate as the base for this blend, not just because it’s delicious and smooth, but because there are many who believe yerba maté is also a weight loss aid. With no calories and chocolate and caramel flavoring, this decadent infusion will curb your cravings.

Your Weightea ™ package includes one tin of each of these high quality gourmet teas. Each tin brews 25-30 cups of tea. The weightea packages costs $18.00. Click here for more info or to order.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Handmade Cup Cozies

I am happy to be collaborating with Petra Jancovicova, a talented local designer and tea enthusiast. She created these really cute reusable cotton cup cozies exclusively for The Good Leaf. They work so well with our eco-friendly hot cups (and I'm sure they'll work with other cups too). And when you buy one for $5, you'll get $1 off a cup of tea at the time of your purchase.

We currently have a few in stock and Petra would be happy to take orders if you are interested in a particular color or fabric. Petra is also working on a functional tea wallet that we designed collaboratively, and it should be ready very soon.

To see more of Petra's work, visit

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Teas: Flower Power and Japanese Cherry

I can't wait for spring anymore. I don't know how the weather was by you if you don't live in the Capital Region, but it has been really brutally cold and windy here lately. I am now officially protesting winter and am bringing out springtime teas!

Japanese cherry green tea is a popular tea that I have available only while my supply lasts during early spring. It is light bodied green tea (a sencha) flavored with the essence of cherries and reminds us that cherry blossom season is right around the corner. I offered it last spring and it was very popular, so come and get it.

Flower Power - this is one of our new signature teas. To be honest, I have been working on this tea on and off for over a pretty long time. Basically, I designed a label that I thought was really cute and needed to come up with a tea to fill the pretty tin. It took a long time to come up with the right blend of tea and flowers, but I'm pleased with the result. With a base of white and lightly oxidized oolong, Flower Power blends a brilliant bouquet of flowers - roses, lavender, mallow, calendula, and more, along with a hint of delicate fruit flavoring and a teeny bit of stevia for a touch of sweetness. Enjoy a multi-sensory experience with Flower Power and pause to notice the beauty and fragrance of the dry leaf before savoring the warmth and taste of the brewed infusion.

So for me - it's spring!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Customer Appreciation

I really appreciate your business and want you to know it!

I've been planning this update to my customer appreciation program for a while and am ready to roll it out.

Many of you have been carrying a Good Leaf Tea Totaler's Club card with you. (For those of you who don't have one, it's a punch card you use when you purchase drinks at the teabar. With ten drinks, you get one free.) I will be continuing that program and you can pick up a card at your next visit, but I'm expanding the program.

You can still carry the card if that's your preference, but I have additional ways for you to earn rewards. I am now keeping a customer book at the counter. You can create a customer page and we'll track of your purchases. Using your customer page, you can earn rewards in 4 different ways.
1. Get a free tea or specialty drink on your birthday!

2. Track your teabar purchases in the customer book just like you would with your card and you won't have to carry the card anymore.

3. Take the Tea World Tour and earn rewards for trying different teas. We'll track the different teas you try, and you'll earn periodic rewards for exploring the world of tea.

4. The Kilo Club: For those of you who prefer to puchase your teas in larger quantity, we'll track your bulk tea purchases and you'll qualify for a free tin of tea for every kilo of tea you purchase.

It's all your choice. You can continue carrying the card if you don't feel like keeping track in the customer book, or you can participate in one of all of the new Tea Totaler's programs. Or you can skip the program completely and just know that you're appreciated.

Thank you so much for your business, and I will continue to do my best to provide you with the product and service you deserve!

Upcoming Closures

Just a heads up:

We'll be closed next Sunday, March 1st.

We'll also be closed April 16th-19th.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Important National Holidays

Guess What?

This Thursday, February 19th is national chocolate mint day. You probably didn't know that, but I feel like I would be downright unpatriotic if I didn't do something to acknowledge this important national holiday. So to celebrate, this Thursday I'll be featuring my Mint Chocolate Chip black tea. Mention this blogpost for a cup of Mint Chocolate Chip black tea for just .99 (regularly $2.49) and $1 off any tin of Mint Chocolate Chip. Just ask for it quietly, because Wednesday the 18th is national drink wine day and I intend to fulfill my civic duty.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Love is The Good Leaf's limited edition Valentine's tea. It's absolutely beautiful. If I knew where my camera was, I would upload a picture. (When I find it, I'll edit this post to include a picture of Love)

Love is white tea embraced by rose petals and kissed with the essence of strawberries and cream. It smells like love - sweet, innocent, young love. While the fragrance is reminscent of the bubble yum I was chewing when I fell in love with Josh Rabinowitz in junior high school (I never had the courage to even speak with him; that's the kind of innocent young love I'm talking about here), the flavoring of this tea is subtle so as to not overpower the delicate white tea.

I'll be featuring all my favorite romantic teas in the shop from now through Valentine's Day. When ordering Love, I recommend the following phrasing, "Brew me up some love, baby" (the "baby" part is optional).

For a romantic Valentine's gift, choose a regular tin of Love and heart shaped tea infuser in a pretty red gift box with ribbon for $12.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hey - What about those New Year's Resolutions?

Remember January 1st? That's the day everyone resolved to lose weight and get healthy and fit. They say the average New Year's Resolution lasts about 6 weeks. Let's see if we can't figure out what that's all about. What happens about 6 weeks after January 1st?

Hmmm - February 14th, Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day with its obligatory chocolate and other decadent confections. Valentine's Day comes 6 weeks after we set our healthy lifestyle resolutions and it's the perfect set-up to blow them.

The climate is right for a self-indulgent butterama and sugarpalooza. Because we're getting a little sick of depriving ourselves, getting a little sick of the dark, sick of winter, getting sick in general, and this year we're frustrated by an unrelenting winter and terrified about the economy. Our resolve has weakened and we're vulnerable, and maybe even ready to let go.

Now, I know for a fact that people can indulge for a day, and get right back on track. But unfortunately, that's not what usually happens. Once we break the seal, we have a tendency to just keep on going, and that's really too bad.

That's why TEA makes an awesome Valentine's gift. Healthy, indulgent, beautiful, fragrant, and completely guilt-free. No calories! It doesn't throw us off track, but can satisfy the Valentine's Day gift criteria.

With gourmet teas, there are so many great indulgent options. Chocolate teas, fruit teas, floral teas, dessert teas - the choices go on and on. I even have a rooibos blend with rose petals and little heart shaped candies called Sweetheart Red.

So, as you read this, I'm busy filling the shop with great Valentine's gift packages, and in my next post, I'll introduce my limited edition Valentine's Day tea - Love.

Stay tuned (and stay warm - tea helps).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Teas #1: Coffee Break

I'm very excited about my new teas. I have about 6 or 7 of them, and I'll feature each of them in my next few blog posts. Today I'll be featuring:

Coffee Break - a tea for those breaking from coffee

I can't tell you how often people come into the shop telling me that they're looking to get off coffee. They're looking for a coffee replacement that offers a rich morning brew with a good kick of caffeine. I designed this tea with those customers in mind and in the process I created my own new go-to morning drink. I love this blend! Coffee break is a black tea and mate blend that offers a full bodied but incredibly smooth brew with a roasted aroma sure to satisfy just about anyone's coffee craving.

In the process of designing the blend, I drank a lot of it. A LOT OF IT! And I can attest to the energizing qualities of Coffee Break. It's been many years since I've been really cranked up on caffeine, but I was again while I worked on this tea. In the past, when I used to drink a lot of coffee, I would get energized, but jittery, nervous and irritable. With Coffee Break, I was enlivened, energized, productive, and happy. Then the effect slowly faded and I was able to sleep at night. It was the perfect buzz! My small circle of test subjects were surprised at how it truly works as a coffee alternative (even though it doesn't really taste like coffee - it's not pretending to be).

It's brand new in the shop and will be available on the website in the next week or so.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Closed Today

We will be closed today, Jan 27th, due to a death in the family.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January is Hot Tea Month

It's true - and June is National Iced Tea Month.

And that got me thinking, and exploring the web. And in my meandering I learned that today, January 14th is National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day, January 15th (my grandma's birthday) is Strawberry Ice Cream Day, and January 27th is Chocolate Cake Day. And while not a food (as far as I know), January 20th is National Penguin Awareness Day.

Just another educational gem courtesy of The Good Leaf.