A spectacular start to Chinese New Year

Take a trip to the #LandofLuck without leaving London.

I’ve teamed up with Air China to share with you a true taste of China – perfect timing to ring in the Chinese New Year.

Celebrate the lucky Year of the Pig and perhaps land yourself a little bit of luck!

I hope you enjoyed my last post, where I had the pleasure of being able to share some top tea tips, thanks to Air China’s #TeaUpYourYear campaign. I hope to share more of her thoughts on tea and time out in a future post – watch this space.

Chinese Tea Ceremony - tea being poured from blue and white tea ware

Chinese Tea Ceremony

An event to remember

In this next, sponsored post, I’m excited to announce that the lovely people at Air China have kindly invited me to experience their exciting, immersive Land of Luck event as an exclusive preview, before it opens to the public on 9th January! I’m so looking forward to seeing what it’s all about!

Book your own bit of China at The Bargehouse

You can book tickets to the event, which is taking place all day on 9th February at The Bargehouse, OXO Tower Wharf, at London’s South Bank, for only £10 – tickets and more information are available via Air China’s Facebook page and on the link above.

Sessions will start every 30 minutes from 10am – 10pm and you will have an hour-long taste of China and how to shower yourself in luck this most auspicious of years, The Year of the Pig.

Your exclusive sneak peeks

I’ll be sharing some sneak peaks of the show and what you can expect to find at the event in the run up to 9th February, but you can look forward to all this:

Tea Sessions – hosted by The Tea Whisperer, to teach you all about the art of tea making and luck

Chinese ‘Lucky’ Knot Tutorial – learning how to create a Chinese ‘lucky’ knot that you can gift or simply keep for yourself

A Lucky Menu – everyone will enjoy the following six Chinese dishes created by Chef Ching He Huang

Flavoured Prosperity (fish)

Wealthlings (vegan dumplings)

Rolls of Abundance (spring rolls)

Longevity Noodles (noodles)

Lucky Snaps (crispy seaweed)

Rich Ribs (pork ribs)

Good Fortune Fruit – (apples for peace and clementine’s for luck)

Beverages – chose from a Chinese beer, Jasmine Green Tea or soft drink

A wishing tree

I wish, I wish…

Make your own luck…

I hope you can join me in celebrating this Chinese New Year in style!

*Exclusive Tea with Rachael ticket offer! 10 lucky readers can get half price tickets to the Land of Luck event! Enter tea19 as a discount code on the ticket booking page.*

Until next week – wishing you lots of luck, tea, and joy in a healthy and happy new Year,

Rachael xx

Tea up your year!

Featured

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had some time to enjoy the festivities, drink plenty of lovely tea and enjoy some treats. Today is known as “Blue Monday”, as festive fun fades away and the realities of January set in. But, rather than being blue, it’s time to think positive! It’s actually a fantastic opportunity to take stock and decide what you want out of the year ahead – I find my thoughts lend themselves to this at this time of year. It’s an ideal time to get in touch with your dreams and work out how you will achieve them. And, as usual when contemplating life, my thoughts turn to tea…

In good company

It appears I’m not the only one – according to the UK Tea and Infusions Association, 165 million cups of tea are drunk in Great Britain. So why not combine your cuppa with your plans and resolution for 2019 and take this “opportunitea” to support your lifestyle, health and wellbeing?

Chinese Lucky Cat for Chinese New Year
Wishing you luck and good fortune for the year ahead – land your dreams this Chinese New Year with the help of the humble cup of tea, Air China and tea expert, Lera Zujeva

Time to Land your Dream

Chinese New Year is coming up in February and that’s another ideal time to look back on the year that has passed and look ahead with excitement and enjoyment at the year ahead. Air China has also turned their thoughts to tea, and have teamed up with tea expert, Lera Zujeva. This year, the Chinese Year of the Pig, symbolises fortune – and what better way to set your intentions for a year of good fortune than weaving this into your everyday cuppa? As part of Air China’s Land your Dream campaign, they will explore how the art of tea making can help body, mind and spirit – and how it is about much more than just your usual cup of builder’s brew.

Tea and wellbeing go hand in hand

Regular Tea with Rachael readers will know that I often talk about the benefits of tea for health – both physical and mental – and now is a great time to find out how your cup of tea can make you feel happier and healthier. Tea can play an important part in prioritising self-care and mental wellbeing. As we have touched on before, research has also found that drinking black, green or oolong tea may offer physical health benefits, such as protection from cardiovascular disease and cancer, reducing the risk of kidney stones, strengthening bones, teeth and boosting the immune system.

Combining mindfulness and the ritual of tea

Chinese culture brings tea to the forefront in treating the body and mind and helping improve overall wellbeing. Lera explains: ‘Tea is so much more than just a drink, it calms the mind and brings harmony to our life. In Chinese culture medicine and health is viewed in a holistic way, Mind, Body and Spirit and are key to achieving a complete state of balance. Tea is this miraculous plant that works on all three levels. My teacher Wu De says: ‘Most diseases nowadays are either caused by stress or aggravated by it, so anything that calms the mind and brings peace and harmony into our lives, is conducive to health. I personally have experienced it in my own life and am dedicated to relaying this message to others.’’

Lera has an inspiring story, having achieved what many of us dream about: she left her 9-5 job to follow her dream of travelling the world to practise the art of tea and now specialises in how mindfulness and tea can be combined to create moments of peace in an increasingly hectic pace of life. As part of her collaboration with Air China, Lera’s has shared her top tips to help create balance in your life with tea:

Lera’s top tea tips for a happier and healthier life

  • The brewing ritual. However you choose to make your tea, it is an opportunity to pause, to stop, to exhale and have a few moments to yourself without the need to run and do and think, connecting to your senses. You will really notice the benefits, as this is when you truly engage in the moment, which can also lead to more inspiration and ideas.
  • Make sure your tea break is just that: a break. If you have more time, switch off your phone and decide that however long your tea break is, you will fully concentrate on the ritual and yourself. This means no phones or distractions – by fully connecting to the experience, you can recharge and create a sense of peace and harmony. 
  • Timing is everything. In the morning, it is better to have darker stronger brews, while afternoons are better suited to lighter teas. Take inspiration from British tea traditions and enjoy a strong assam brew in the morning and lighter teas like Darjeeling First Flush in the afternoon. This will help connect your body and mind to how it ebbs and flows throughout the day.
  • Pay attention to the seasons. The benefits of the tea ritual change from season to season. In winter, it is important to enjoy more warming teas like black tea or dark roasted oolongs.  When summer comes, switch to cooling teas such as green, white and oxidised oolong teas.  This will help maximise the holistic benefits. 
  • Brain function. Tea can enhance how your mind works. For example, wild Sheny Puerh can help provoke creative thinking thanks to the unique blend of stimulating teas. GABA Oolong, on the other hand, can have a calming effect, preventing over-excitement of the nervous system, helping bring clarity and rationality to your thinking. 
  • The Yin and The Yang. Although it contains caffeine, tea has a different effect to coffee. It is released into the bloodstream slower, and its effect is longer, resulting in a more even energy experience.  A unique amino acid called L-Theanine increases alpha brain activity, promoting relaxation without drowsiness, resulting in being alert, focused and energised from the caffeine, but also relaxed, content and inspired from L-Theanine.

You can watch Lera’s video with Air China here.

Lots to look forward to

I’ll be talking more about tea and health in the coming months, as well as joining in Air China’s Chinese New Year celebrations, which are coming up on 9th March.

Lots to look forward to… Until then, sit down, breathe, relax and enjoy that cup of tea.

Why not share some of your dreams for the year ahead with me, too?

Rachael xx