Tè verde

Tea, a drink that has spanned centuries and miles.

Tea is certainly one of the most popular and consumed drinks on the planet. Although there are legends that trace the discovery and use of tea back to protohistory, its history probably begins in China around the third century, initially used as a ritual beverage, and then ended up being known and used on a large scale throughout the Asian continent and quickly in the rest of the globe. The first mention of tea in a European text dates back to the 16th century, when the tea ceremony (Cha no yu) was developed in Japan. Contrary to what one might think, in Europe the first to consume tea was not the English, but the Dutch, who were the first to import it into the European and American continent at the beginning of the seventeenth century.


There are countless types of tea available on the market, but they all come from the same species, Camelia sinensis. The difference between the different types is mainly due to the post-harvest treatment carried out on the leaves. The name of the type of tea therefore depends on the oxidation of the leaves, so we will have green tea from unoxidised leaves, black tea from completely oxidized leaves, and an intermediate variant between the two oxidations called oolong. There may be other variants and names always given by the particular type of oxidation. While the name of the variant is usually given by the growing region, such as Darjeeling, black tea grown in the Indian region of the same name, or by other important factors such as Lu Mu Dan, which owes its name (“Green Peony”) to the characteristic shape in which the shoots are woven.


We are often used to preparing tea in the same way, regardless of type or variety. Actually, every tea releases the best of its characteristics if properly infused. Black tea loves a decidedly high water temperature (even over 90°), while green and white teas are best enjoyed when poured into water at temperatures not exceeding 70°/80°. The same goes for the infusion minutes, which, although varying from a few seconds to well beyond 10 minutes depending on the specific variety and traditions, should be approximately 1-2 minutes for green and white tea and 2-3 minutes for oolong and black tea.


tea infuser


In addition to its ceremonial and recreational uses, tea has also been an important protagonist of historical events. As in 1773, when in the port of Boston, in protest against British taxes, some American settlers poured all the cargoes of tea from ships. Even in literature, tea is often an important element, as in the case of “Alice in wonderland” Lewis Carroll, where the mad hatter and white rabbit are intent on drinking (or not drinking) tea. Or as in the novel “In Search of Lost Time” by Marcel Proust, where tea can even lift the mind and self-respect, to name just a few examples. And if it’s charm is unquestionable, tea is equally loaded with beneficial properties, some of which are scientifically proven. Theanine for example, with its psychoactive properties, is able to reduce stress and perhaps, although not yet scientifically proven, has a positive impact on the immune system.


So all we have to do is drink a good cup of tea, be it 5 pm, as the British or at any time it’s more congenial!
If you want to give a new touch to your tea infusions, you could use one of my custom tea infusers. Take a look at my shop.


What kind of tea do you prefer? Do you have your own personal tea ritual? Do you drink it straight, or with milk or lemon? Tell me about your relationship with this noble and ancient drink.

Cani, gatti e altri animali da compagnia

Dogs, cats and other pets: a little help for taking care of them

Dogs, cats and other pets are valuable life companions.
It is now well known and studied that living with a pet from an early age helps to reduce the onset of possible future allergies. They are used in pet therapy, to help adults and small patients. They are trained to assist people suffering from diabetes, so that they can see when a crisis occurs. The list of how valuable the company of a pet is could continue for a long time, but those who have had the good fortune of enjoying their company, know that there is no need for any “valid reason”, study or belief, just their presence. The warmth and the company they are able to give, often equal, or at times exceed, that of any human beings. Sometimes you just have to look at them as they sleep, play or do something tender or funny to improve your mood throughout the day.


I have two dogs, Iris and Nanà, one black and one white. Literally the yin and yang that complement and contrast each other at the same time. They go through from one extreme to the other: one loves the heat, the other the cold, one likes to go out late at night, the other would like not to have to put a paw out after sunset, one loves fish, the other runs away for the smell alone. Even physically, as well as for the colour, they are at odds, one is tall and slender, the other low and squat, but in terms of agility things are reversed: the slim one is awkward and the other surprisingly agile. One is almost as waterproof as the ducks, the other seems like a rag to be wrung after a single drop of rain. Whoever wants to follow me in this telematic adventure you will end up getting to know them better.


Having pets, dogs, cats, turtles or whatever else in one’s life, has innumerable and undeniable virtues, but taking care of them at its best implies a serious and not indifferent commitment.
Among these commitments, one of the most important is their diet. In a jungle of information given by veterinarians, experts in the field, the internet and word of mouth, you often end up in total confusion. But slowly we learn to manage this aspect in the best way, understanding what, and how much is suitable for our friends with two, four, eight legs(not only dogs and rabbits, even spiders can become faithful companions of adventures) or even none in the case of fish or snakes. XD Once I had identified what was best for my two pets the problem was solved. I travel by foot or by public transportation, regardless of the lack of efficiency of the latter, so it’s never easy to travel far and wide in search of the best quality and price for food or other articles for them, and then return loaded like Santa on Xmas Eve.

Amazon has really helped me. In addition it has recently opened a dedicated section on it’s website in www.amazon.it: Pets’ Products. However, following a friend’s suggestion, I have been using the Amazon Pantry service for a year now. As you must know, Amazon pantry is obviously not limited to animal products only, it’s almost entirely a home shopping service (with the exception of perishable foods).
To make it short: You have a box to fill as you add items to your cart, it increases the percentage of space occupied. Space is occupied differently by each product, according to its size, weight and fragility. For example: a bag of chips could occupy more space in percentage than a packet of dough, because it needs an adequate volume in order to arrive whole in our homes. Once you have reached 100% volume, more or less of what you need in your shopping cart, proceed with the order and within a couple of days at most your groceries will comfortably arrive at home. The cost of the box is €3.99(in Italy), but it is often reset to zero through promotions of various kinds, or by buying 5 products among those listed on the page: Pantry Promotion. (it is therefore often advisable to always check when there are products that are more suitable for your needs. I use it, as well as to buy food for my two dogs, also for “heavy” food to be transported, such as various boxes, preserves and so on and for some unhealthy snacks and chips, because in addition to being comfortable as a service, it also has rather competitive prices.

So if it’s not easy for you to carry kilos and pounds of pet food or just want to enjoy the convenience of having everything you need at home, without effort and without wasting time between various shops and supermarkets, I recommend you try it. It really made a difference for me.

In addition, as you can see from the photos, I’m not the only one to appreciate the comfort of the service :-p

As you get to know the stories of Iris and Naná better, I would like to learn about your pets! Do you have a pet? What is it’s name? Does it fly, walk, jump, crawl, swim,….? And if you don’t share your life with any pet, what would you like with you? 🙂