The Great British Tea Festival 2018 Roundup



Yesterday, the very first Great British Tea Festival was held in Derby (UK). It was a super event in its infancy and here’s hoping it grows even further. Unlike any tea event I’ve attended it was placed to attract a whole spectrum of tea drinkers. From those seeking something cultural to do on a Sunday afternoon to those like myself who eagerly awaited renowned speakers in the world of tea such as Jane Pettigrew.

The location was spectacular. In a Grade II listed old railway building. There was a string quartet playing in the centre, surrounded by clothed tables served by Elements Tea and Coffee House Derby.


I was particularly fond of the vegan white chocolate and matcha blondie made by elements.


Surrounding in the outer and inner circles were exhibitors selling an array of fine teas and teaware with copious brews to try. I was particularly impressed with…

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Hibiscus Tea VS Roselle Tea (infographic)

Apparently, there is a confusion around the internet and herbal tea community about Hibiscus Tea and Roselle Tea. Most of tea lovers understand those are the same. Even Google thinks that these 2 terms are interchangeable.

Google search result page mistaken Hibiscus tea and Roselle tea
Google thinks Hibiscus and Roselle are the same herbs

When search “roselle tea”, Google shows results of Hibiscus tea. Actually, the whole page provides hibiscus tea search results.

This indicates that people and sites that have “authority” enough to explain about hibiscus tea and roselle tea might have mistaken these 2 herbs.

You may also have found this confusion in blogs and other communities by yourself before. Now, let’s see below chart, how Hibiscus tea and Roselle tea are different.

Infographic - Hibiscus Tea VS Roselle Tea
Infographic – Hibiscus Tea VS Roselle Tea

Hibiscus Tea ≠ Roselle Tea

The Blooms
The booms are different. Hibiscus has thin and fragile petals, while Roselle has thick and strong petals. Hibiscus is usually seen as in florescent. Roselle is usually seen as in budding.

Scientific Classification
Both are in Genus: Hibiscus, but our “Hibiscus” is in species: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, while our “Roselle” is in species: Hibiscus sabdariffa.

Both seems to have similar taste characteristic; berry like tangy / tart.

Tea Color
Both seems to have similar tea color as well; ruby like. However, Roselle tea can be infused in deeper ruby red in some case.

Health Benefit
According to “Complete List of Herbal Tea Benefit (2019)” Both tea play different parts to taking care of our health.

Hibiscus Tea health benefits:

  • Contain high antioxidants
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower blood fat levels
  • Boost liver health
  • Promote weight loss

Roselle Tea health benefits:

  • Maintains healthy teeth and gums
  • Promotes healthy pregnancy
  • Treats common cold
  • Prevents constipation
  • Removes muscle weakness, numbness, and fatigue

I personally not quite surprise seeing herbal tea community have mistaken these 2 herbs. Since they are foreign herbs to most of tea lovers. They both are tropical herbs and probably still not that famous yet. Fortunately, the place that I’m living inhabit both hibiscus and roselle. And people are familiar with them since the ancient time.

Hopefully, this article and the infographic would help our herbal tea communities, at least, a little bit better.

Sip Well ☕

#roselle #hibiscus #health #herbaltea #herbs #tropicalherbaltea #tropical #infographic


2 Good Reasons Why You Should Quit Coffee Today


According to a statistic number from the International Coffee Organization (source), approximately 1.6 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every day, EVERY DAY!

Why Coffee is so much popular?

Coffee is addictive. Caffeine is a psychoactive drug that everyone allow to take, in public, with pride. Sounds irony, right?

Caffeine is not only the most used psychoactive drug on the planet but it is also one of the oldest. And the very reason that nothing can stop its growth is … want to guess?,


It’s a 100 billion dollar industry across the globe. Business Insider put it that, coffee industry is only second after crude oil (source)

Beside of that, our minds also give convincing reasons to have a cup of coffee everyday. For instance,

  • Women indicated that drinking coffee is a good way to relax.
  • Men indicated that coffee helps them get the job done.

We all have good reasons for a sip. Then, why this article suggests otherwise?

A cup of coffee get bumped in the air and contained coffee spill in the air. A written "Boss, I quit"

2 Good Reasons Why You Should Quit Coffee Today

Here are 2 simple and straight-to-the-point reasons, why you better stop drinking caffeinated drinks:

  1. Make you less attractive
  2. Die Too Soon / Live with pain

We urban people put high priority on being attractive. And we have a lot to accomplish, so we don’t usually plan to die too soon. Let us breakdown each point.

Annotation: Below references mentioned many times of caffeine weight in mg. To help you illustrate easily, a cup of coffee (237 g.) contains 95 mg of caffeine (source).

1. Make you less attractive

• Coffee cause anxiety

Caffeine is known to increase alertness. However, at higher doses, these effects may become more pronounced, leading to anxiety and nervousness (source). One study even found that those who ingested approximately 300 mg (about 3 cups) of caffeine experienced more than double the stress of those who took a placebo. Being anxious, nervous, or stressful, definitely makes you look less attractive. Not welcome to any kind of intimacy relationship. Watch your drinking level, don’t loose your coolness.

Coffee might cause depression

This might sounds counter intuitive, but caffeine also cause depression too (source).

If you want to be looking healthy and cheerful, not seems to be depressed like someone who stuck in one’s world. Beware of depression. Beware of the amount of caffeine you have taken in a day.

• Coffee causes insomnia

What is bad about insomnia? You lower your daily life performance. You can’t fully control your consciousness. Imagine, you are talking with your date who’s not there with you — his eyes and his mind have gone somewhere else. And, hey, this is a vicious cycle – you lack of sleep > you drink more coffee > insomnia > drink more coffee > …

The researchers found that, only 4 cups a day is already enough to put healthy people into insomnia (source).

If you have someone you care about, tell the person to control the amount of coffee in a day. Or for best, quit drinking coffee right away.

• Coffee cause headaches and lead to migraines

Well, if you are someone who failed trying to quit coffee before, you will argue on this. One who has addicted to caffeine and stop drinking coffee would experience a badly headache. Yes, that’s because of the withdraw effect. And, it does not mean coffee prevent you from having headache. You may regularly have headache, but did not notice the high possibility it might caused from your brown-bitter drink (source) Just a simple headache can make you look ill, unhealthy, cannot control yourself, cannot manage yourself to prevent the symptom. After all, you look less sexy. Be shine, smile, not headache.

• Coffee is an Addiction

Addiction shows the person’s weakness. It is one of the iron rules from personal development class. Beside of health issue, most of a becoming CEO will be forced to quit smoking habit. Why? Because addiction shows weakness. It shouts to your audience that you are depending yourself on the things you addict to. You are under its influence. A person who is under influence of something cannot be relied to leading people. Cigarette, liqueur, or coffee, no difference in this case. Weak is weak, no excuse. You might not plan to be a CEO. However, being strong is always more attractive than being weak.

• Coffee cause frequent urination

Excuse your date or your folks for toilet too often would not make you look good. It makes you look ill, having (bladder) control problem. Quite ashamed symptom isn’t it?

Increased urination is a common side effect of high caffeine intake due to the compound’s stimulatory effects on the bladder. You may have noticed that you need to urinate frequently when you drink more coffee or tea than usual. If you drink a lot of caffeinated beverages and feel that your urination is more frequent or urgent than it should be, it may be a good idea to cut back on your intake to see if your symptoms improve. A research also suggested that, individuals with lower urinary tract symptom should avoid or be cautious in consuming caffeine containing foodstuffs (source).

2. Die Too Soon / Live with pain

• Coffee linked to early death

We should not be the one who tell this bad news to you. But according to Caffeine Informer, there are too many documented death by caffeine that we would want to mention here. In case you don’t have time to go through caffeine-death documents above. Here, a quick one for you. A study about Association Between Caffeine Intake and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality, found that participants who had a caffeine intake of less than 10 mg per day, all-cause mortality were significantly lower than participants group who had a caffeine intake of more than 10 mg per day (source).

10 mg, people, 10 mg! Why bother 10 mg of caffeine per day to live a little longer. Isn’t it better to stop drinking coffee now?

• Coffee cause digestive Issues

Many people find that a morning cup of coffee helps get their bowels moving.

Coffee has a stimulating effect on the intestines that can cause diarrhea. Coffee, energy drinks, and caffeinated drinks can be triggers for people with IBS (source). Other studies found that caffeinated beverages may worsen gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in some people (source). These symptom and disease are painful to have. Furthermore, It will irritating your living and disturb your concentration in your goal.

• Coffee increased risk of heart attacks

This one is fatal. A study with young adults (18-45) who were diagnosed with mild hypertension had 4 times the risk of having a heart attack if they consumed the amount of caffeine equivalent to 4 cups of coffee (source).

• Coffee can cause muscle breakdown

Muscle Breakdown in this case is not the muscle you build in gym, loosen down. It rather mean Rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis is a very serious condition in which damaged muscle fibers enter to the bloodstream, leading to kidney failure and other problems.

In one case, a lady presented in hospital with nausea, vomiting, palpitations, and tea-colored urine 6 hour after drinking 1 liter of black coffee containing approximately 565 mg of caffeine for mental alertness. Fortunately, she recovered after being treated with medication (source). A liter of coffee might sounds quite a large amount, but actually it is equally around 4-5 cups of coffee. Which I bet some of us already has that amount in daily basis. This might not found very often, but it could be really harmful if it happens.

• Coffee may raise high blood pressure

High blood pressure or Hypertension seems to be not in concern for young people. If you are over 35 years old, this issue might come to you a little closer and closer every year you aging. American Journal of Hypertension reported a study with hypertensive patients, who were given 250 mg of caffeine. The data revealed that their pulse wave velocity and blood pressure increased lasted throughout the study (3 hours), with peaking at 60 minutes and decreasing progressively thereafter (source). According to the above study, it’s clear that, anyone who’s with Hypertension should reduce amount of daily coffee consumption. Or quit it for the best.

• Coffee increase chance of breast tissue cysts in women

A study found women participants who consumed 31–250 mg of caffeine per day had a 1.5-fold increase in the odds of breast tissue cysts (breast lump) disease, whereas women who drank over 500 mg per day had a 2.3-fold increase in the odds (source).

• Coffee could reduce fertility in women

Women who regularly consume coffee reduce their chances of getting pregnant by 27% (source). The researchers also recommend that women who are trying to get pregnant should quit consuming caffeine. On the other hand, another study showed that caffeine did not effect semen quality or sperm count (source).

How to quit coffee?

  1. Download and read this AWAKE ebook (Thanks to CaffeineInformer)
  2. Discipline, Discipline, Discipline
  3. If you can pass the first-week withdraw, you are free.

Way forward

We cannot deny that coffee has already managed to dominate our pop culture. We invite you in to our little “quit coffee club” but what would you have next time hanging out with your date or your friends in a cafe?

Well, green tea has rather low amount of caffeine (35 mg, around 3 times lesser than coffee). A cup of green tea should keep you busy for the entire session. Or, if you are someone who believe in “100% is easier than 98%“, I mean to quit caffeine 100% and do not want to touch it any longer. Drink herbal tea. There are several kinds of herbal tea available in coffee house. Some of them even designed to replace coffee. Keep trying new herbal tea to find what kind of herbal tea is your cuppa. There’s some herbal tea that exclusively made for urban people too.

Take care and ensure your share this article to your beloved coffee-addict friends.

Sip Well ☕

#quitcoffee #stopdrinkingcoffee #caffeine #coffee #coffeesideeffect #urban #attractive #health #greentea #herbaltea #howtoquitcoffee #migraines #insomnia #headache #anxiety #depression #addiction #heartattack #IBS


‘T’ is for Tea: What all the acronyms in tea grades mean

Another occasional unrelated to (herbal) tea article 😀 This time is about acronyms / jargon used in caffeine tea world. Not hurt to swipe your eyes through the list quickly.

Ever wondered what all the different letters of the alphabet in your tea packaging stand for?

These acronyms are ‘grading terms’ to give extra information about the tea. The grades give vital information about the quality of the tea leaf and can be a helpful guide when buying teas. The quality of the tea leaves is graded based on size, shape and wholesomeness of the leaves. Although it is not the only indicator, it is a good guide to help buyers understand what they can expect from the tea including strength, taste and aroma. 

The grading system

OP: Orange Pekoe
FOP: Flowery Orange Pekoe
GFOP: Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
TGFOP: Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
TGFOP 1: Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe One
FTGFOP: Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
FTGFOP 1: Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe One
SFTGFOP: Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe 

Understanding the terms

ORANGE PEKOE – is the tea industry’s term for describing the quality of tea leaves. The word is derived from the Dutch word ‘oranje’ (royal) and ‘pak-ho’ (Chinese for white) or the colour of the fine young shoots. 

TIPPY – signifies the abundance of young buds. 

GOLDEN – refers to the gold hues in the tea leaves 

FINEST TIPPY GOLDEN – signifies that the tea has a high concentration of light-coloured tips. As a rule, the tips of the tea plant are the lightest shade because of the absence of sap. 

FLOWERY – indicates the tender delicate buds picked with the tea.

The Number 1 at the end of the classification – refers to the delicate operation used to pick the tea: usually 1 bud to 2 leaves. Coarser leaves are left behind on the plant. 

Applying it to organic Darjeeling Tea

The highest quality of Darjeeling Tea is FTGFOP1 or Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe 1.

It refers to tea that has been carefully produced from even-sized leaves and tender tips. 

FTGFOP1 is only used to categorise whole leaf teas that are not crushed. It is the highest quality of the Darjeeling Tea family and therefore will have the most delicate taste and flavour. 


How To Identify Quality Tea

I know this is not really all about (herbal) tea. But I came across this article and I thought it worth to re-post here.

How To Identify Quality Tea

Whether you’re new to tea or have been sipping for years, it’s important to be able to identify high-quality loose leaf tea. Simply relying on four of your senses will help you on your path to becoming a tea connoisseur. Here’s what to note each step of the way.

Sight: Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of tea processing: CTC (cut, tear, curl) and Orthodox.

In the CTC method, tea leaves are sent through a machine that cuts, tears and curls them into small pellets. CTC processing is suitable for teabags and delivers a dark stong brew quickly, though sometimes at the expense of the more subtle aromas of tea.

In the Orthodox (or “long leaf”) method, tea leaves are delicately handled to ensure minimal breakage. Orthodox-prepared teas are rolled, preserving the leaves’ aromatic compounds and retaining the tea’s complex flavors. Therefore, high-quality loose leaf tea leaves should look, well, like tea leaves. Avoid loose leaf tea that looks crumbly or appears to contain a lot of stalks and woody fragments, as it will be less flavorful and complex. As you steep the tea, the leaves should unfurl slowly.

Touch: In general, high-quality dried tea leaves should feel how they look: smooth, whole and sturdy. It should also have a slight heft in your hands; if your tea feels feather-light, it may be an indication that it was over-dried or is getting old. High-quality loose leaf should not crumble or disintegrate with gentle handling. Steeped tea leaves should feel slippery and smooth to the touch.

Smell: No matter what kind it is, high-quality tea will have a distinct aroma. If you inhale deeply and are getting only trace amounts of scent, this could be a sign that the tea is low quality or getting old and stale. Green tea should smell grassy, light and fresh, while black tea should smell earthy, floral and sweet. When steeped, excellent tea should be deeply aromatic and amplify the unique scents of the dry tea leaves.

Taste: Great tea will have a strong, recognizable taste and mouthfeel. Sip slowly, allowing the tea to roll over different parts of your tongue; you should be able notice different flavor notes and mouthfeels. The best-tasting green tea will feel and taste smooth, bright and refreshing; while black tea has a deeper, more intense taste. Regardless of what type of tea you’re sipping, excellent tea will activate different flavor sensations on your tongue as you drink. Flavors that are barely noticeable, overly astringent or unpleasantly chemical-tasting are an indication that you are drinking low-quality or old tea.

Next time you sample a new tea, be sure to run through these four senses: sight, touch, smell and taste. The more tea you’re able to try, the easier it will become to tell high-quality tea apart from lesser options.


How A Tropical Herbal Tea Can Fit Into Your Urban Life

Letter "URBAN LIFE" overlay on a city junction


Urbanisation is definitely one of an inevitable mega trends. Emerging countries have their cities urbanised; China, India, Brazil, Ukraine, Vietnam, Thailand, and so on – to provide a better quality of life to their citizen. Recently, OPPEIN – Chinese based home furniture service, has released a video ad for Chinese New Year 2019. See it below.

Obviously, the film shows us how wonderful it would be if a town is getting urbanised: family members will be closer and have more chances to take care of each other. I personally captivated by this film itself.

Downside of Urban life

We love urban life – it’s (almost) perfect. Yet, everyone knows that nothing come with a price. Urban life can be safe and convenient. But, let be frank, we’d live in pollution. In city, pollution comes in every form, affects you physically and emotionally; noise, air quality, careless people, crowd places. Not many cities pass-through this phase. Emerging cities still have to thrive on. Also working in city and be challenging. Long hours in office, stressful situations, high targets, tough colleagues, such and such. That’s our expense of living in urban.

Tropical Herbal Tea That Born Urban

People in Tropical Green Line also are urban by native. We suffer those urban downside as much as you do, if not more. So we came up with a line of products called immersé tea (The long story will be telling you later). Here come the “URBAN ELIXIR” concept, which aims to be the undeniable choice of drink that would ease urban toxin, restore the balance to this busy life. And it must speak urban language to urban people. Meaning, the drink must be designed to answer your urban lifestyle, without compromise.

In Tea Bag

This drink must be in form of tea. Since you can store easily compare to ready-to-drink (RTD) bottle. Lighter weight. Easy to bring with you anywhere. Easy to share to your loved ones. Longer life without preservative. Tea lovers always prefer loose leaf tea. Because it is the best choice. In case of herbal tea, especially tropical herbal tea, the herbs themselves are already exotic. We don’t want to see you are frustrating measuring how much you should put loose leaf tropical herbal tea for a brew. Therefor, we finish the blend into tea bag. So the frustration could not occur. Spare your time and mind for something else that matter to you.

Made of Tropical Herbs

After studied and experiments, we decided to have the tea made from tropical herbs only. Since, more than two thirds of the world’s biodiversity resides in tropical regions, providing important ecosystem functions and services at global and local levels. The tea from tropical herbs would also be the most effective kind of tea that solve urban sickness as we address about.

Mobile Assistant

Urban people love convenience. We do really well aware. Since our herbal tea have different immerse times (steep time), and definitely you wouldn’t want to remember what timing for which tea. Therefore, we build a tea brew app, which would help you timing your perfect cup of herbal tea.

Herbal Tea Music

The herbal tea must represent every sense of relaxation. Audio aesthetics is not an exception. A chillout album is carefully craft for your pleasure, either while waiting for your brew or while you are sipping it. This herbal tea music is a collaboration work with Complex Routine who has a handful albums/EPs in electronic music genre.


The package is the first touch point. Therefor, we mindfully design each element; graphic, icons, font, color, and dimension for you to grab the tea box, bring it home, place it on your desk or shelf with proud.

That’s how two different agendas such as Urban life and Herbal tea fit together.

Enjoy your urban life and take care ones you love.

Sip Well ☕