I grew up in the South watching my mother steep tea bags until the tea was barely translucent. She would add several cups of white sugar, resulting in a syrupy mix otherwise known as sweet tea, with emphasis on the sweet. This was my first experience with tea.
Fast forward several decades later to a diagnosis of breast cancer. This was the moment I first came to understand much more about the possibilities of tea. It all started when I read Anticancer and discovered that green tea has anti-angiogenesis properties. This is a big word that simply means that green tea may inhibit the growth of blood vessels to cancer.
It all started when I read Anticancer and came across the author’s research on how green tea has anti-angiogenesis properties.
After learning about the benefits of green tea, I was all in. The author’s favorite teas were Sencha and Gyrokuro. I knew enough at that point to look past the regular grocery store tea aisle if I wanted the real thing. Believe me, I wanted the real thing! I was fighting a fierce opponent from every angle, and that included what I was drinking.
That was about the time I discovered Teavana.
I had a friend visit from out of town just before my diagnosis. When I have guests, shopping is usually on their “to-do” list. One of the places we had to visit was Teavana. There wasn’t a Teavanna store near her home and she was in “tea withdrawal.”
“Teawhatta?” I asked. She assured me I would understand once we were there.
I learned afterward that the Teavana name was developed to mean a Heaven of Tea. In retrospect, this was a sign.
We were greeted with cold and warm tea samples outside the store. Both were sweetened slightly with something called German rock sugar. We were told about the health benefits in each tea. We watched as tea tins were brought to the counter, lids were removed, and how the smiles grew on the faces of customers as tea aromas wafted toward them.
The smell of wonderful tea mixtures filled the air. I was greeted at the counter with a warm smile. The team member shared several wafts of tea with me. After much deliberation, I decided to purchase one of the blends I had sampled.
Once I learned about the benefits of green tea for warding off the fast growing blood vessels in cancer, I headed back over to Teavana. On the Wall of Tea sat tins of Sencha and Gyrokuro. My love affair with green tea blossomed!
I now enjoy a mixture of Sencha and Gyrokuro every day since that first visit. When I became a yoga teacher–another outcome from working through cancer–I began to share my passion for tea with my students by serving tea after class. This allows students to slowly transition from their practice back into their life.
I have since moved past cancer and into living life fully. I am taking my love of tea with me every step of the way!