Archive for December, 2012

As we approach a new year, the Teatopit family is thinking about the future and our hopes for health, wealth and happiness in all forms. While a nice cup of tea is always a comfort, for hundreds of years, people around the world have found comfort and reassurance in the reading of tea leaves. Since Teatopit is enamored by all things “tea,” we thought we’d look into this practice.

The art of tea leaf reading, also called Tasseography or Tasseomancy, is a form of divination strongly associated with European fortune tellers, though Middle Eastern cultures also practice the reading of coffee grounds. Beginning with molten substances like lead or wax, the practice evolved to tea after it was introduced by Dutch merchants to Europe via trade routes to China.

In a reading, the subject drinks a cup of tea and leaves a bit of liquid in the bottom of the cup. The liquid is swirled a bit in the cup, turned upside down on a saucer and then turned right side up. There are different ways of reading—some readers interpret the patterns and shapes made by the tea leaves, sometimes the negative space between the leaves is read. Special cups, with symbols that may be interpreted using accompanying guides, may also be used. In tea leaf reading, time frame is interpreted by how close the leaves are to rim, closest being the most immediate.

When done alone, tea leaf reading is highly personal and subjective. The objective is to quiet your mind and allow not only your eyes, but your heart, to see the patterns that your leaves make. Interpretation of the patterns is up to you based on the issues you are facing—the meaning of what you see is supposed to resonate with you and hopefully provide clarity. Be sure to use loose tea (bagged leaves are finer) and a teapot with a wide spout so you’ll get enough leaves in your cup, and a rounded cup that will allow leaves to stick to the sides.

After Teatopit feels like we have the hang of this “art,” we look forward to sharing our experiences with you, so be on the lookout for Part II. In the meantime, share  your tea leaf reading pics with us!

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Here at TopIt, we’re so happy to be featured in the Holiday 2012 issue of Matters Magazine. They captured the story of TopIt—our love of a quality cup of tea, our roots, both in England and here in New Jersey, and most of all, our design of a product that filled a need. TopIt is proud to be featured with other local businesses in the issue, and local residents can support New Jersey retailers Kitchen a la Mode in South Orange, and Perch Home in Maplewood by purchasing TopIt there. Remember to tell them you saw TopIt in Matters Magazine!

The holiday season is busy and there’s usually no time to put your feet up and relax with a cup of tea, but at TopIt, we have an idea that both gives you a holiday party theme and lets you enjoy your favorite beverage. This season, throw a party inspired by the tea-loving region of your choice. From India to Russia, tea is considered a drink of ceremony and tradition. Add a festive playlist and décor, and the possibilities for your fête are endless.

For a Russian-themed tea party, brew black tea (the tea of choice in Russia) in a samovar and serve it with pastries like syrniki or fruit-filled pirozhki. For an Indian-theme, brew Chai or Darjeeling (grown exclusively in India) green, white or black tea and serve it with cham-cham or ras malai. Finally, for a traditional English Christmas tea party, light a fire and serve Victoria sponge cake and cucumber sandwiches. Whatever tea you choose, have TopIts on hand for proper steeping (and give them to your guests as gifts!).

For the host, tea parties are less pressure than cocktail parties–they can take place earlier in the day and involve less prep. And for guests, let’s face it–just holding that warm cup is soothing! They are a win-win during a time of year when days are jam-packed and all we really want is to slow down and catch up with friends and family.

We’d love to know if you’re inspired to throw your own holiday tea party, please share photos with your friends here at TopIt!

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Theodore Roosevelt