Thursday, April 10, 2014

Swimming in Matcha

Originally published on T Ching by Adela Hasas, head of Educational Enlightenment here at Sencha Naturals
I’ve been with Sencha Naturals for over six years.  Green tea is the reality of my life. I use it as a tool, as an indulgence, as a remedy, as a reward, as a gift, and as the key ingredient in all of our products. It’s part of my daily world, and I don’t think twice about it. What this also means is that I make the mistake of assuming everyone else knows everything I do about this marvelous little leaf.
 Just a few weeks ago, I was visiting a close friend who mentioned that he’s been having difficulty concentrating at work. I responded, “Why don’t you just use matcha?” He had no idea what I was talking about. “What the heck is matcha?”
Oh dear.
To me, it’s ubiquitous. You mean, not everyone knows that matcha promotes tea powderfocused relaxation, that Buddhist monks use it to meditate without falling asleep, and that it does this by way of its rich content of the amino acid L-theanine?
I guess not everyone’s swimming in matcha.
“So, what do I buy? Like, chamomile?”
 Ohhhhhhhhhh dear.
I briefly explained that it’s green tea, that it’s the whole leaf, that it’s not just a steeped tea bag that you toss out, but it was no use. I’d already lost him. 
I don’t get it; why did he tune out? I wasn’t being overly-technical or preachy. I brought it up as matter-of-factly as someone would bring up painkillers as a remedy for headaches. What could I have done differently? How do you explain matcha to someone who thinks chamomile = green tea = chai latte = Snapple?
More importantly, how do you get them to believe you? To try it out for themselves? To join you in your happy frothy whirlpool of decadent matcha? Come on in, the matcha’s fine….

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Green Tea +C is a sofi Finalist!

Exciting news! Our Citrus Ginger blend of Green Tea +C is a sofi Award Finalist! Vote for us at the summer Fancy Food Show in NYC!
Looks like we're not the only ones in love with our fragrant & fizzy, natural & masterful, immune-support blend of green tea goodness....


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

B Corps for the Better Good

Instead of being the best in the world, how about being the best for the world?

In 2010, we joined a community of 900+ companies around the globe that are proudly certified as B Corporations.
A new type of company that focuses on environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and corporate accountability, B Corporations are changing the modern economic landscape and encouraging others to "B the Change."

The wide-ranging community consists of major corporations, one-person startups, and everything in between. Companies like Patagonia, Method, Etsy, Seventh Generation, and of course us at Sencha Naturals, are all aligned for a bigger purpose.

As a certified B Corporation, we believe that every company, no matter how small, can make a difference. We take the sustainable road less traveled, and measure success beyond profits. We volunteer in our community, give back to various charities, work with local & sustainable suppliers, use biodegradable & recyclable packaging materials, and participate in micro-lending programs to give opportunities to those less fortunate.

Come join in! To become a B Corp yourself, or to find other B Corps that you can support, visit BCorporation.net.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Honest Tea is actually honest

Originally published on T Ching by Adela Hasas, head of Educational Enlightenment here at Sencha Naturals
I don’t drink bottled tea. I’m not a tea snob – yes I am – I just don’t drink bottled anything. However, I will admit, if my KOR water bottle’s empty, I’ll buy whatever has the least sugar in it. Sometimes, that’s Honest Tea.
I’ve never known much about the company, except that they were somehow involved with Coca Cola. Then, a few days ago, our entire team at Sencha Naturals headed over to a live talk with Seth Goldman, the President and “Tea-EO” of Honest Tea, presented by the Live Talks Business Forums in downtown Los Angeles.
A super smiley man, Seth clearly embodies the “refreshingly honest” take of doing business with a mission. He is a genuinely nice, positive person who cares about bringing healthier products to the mass market.
He mentioned that Honest Tea started in 1998 with the goal of supplying better-for-you, far-less-sweetened teas, and has expanded to incorporate lines of low/no-sugar juices, sodas – and even kids’ drinks – all of which are organic and Fair Trade. 
And unlike the major bottled tea companies at the time, Honest Tea actually brewed fresh tea leaves, rather than using concentrate or low-grade fannings (the bottle of Honey Green Tea I had at the seminar actually had a couple small floating leaves inside. I liked that.).
The company accepted Coca Cola as a minority investor in 2008, still keeping itself as an independently run business. And while Seth still calls the major shots, he’s not a fan of micromanaging, believing instead that if he inspires his [mission-driven] employees with a certain goal and equips them with the proper tools, they can be trusted to shift the gears themselves.
The other major takeaways from Seth’s talk were:
  • Don’t get distracted (keep your focus on your values and main purpose).
  • Always be “on.” Meaning, be prepared to pitch your idea wherever you are, because you never know who you’ll run into in your day-to-day. (Seth’s partner Barry just so happened to be drinking Honest Tea while doing yoga next to Oprah Winfrey.)
  • Be “meaningfully different.” As in, you or your product/service must stand out from the crowd enough so that you cannot be easily replaced or duplicated.
  • And finally, decide exactly what business you’re in. Surprisingly, Seth doesn’t consider himself as part of the tea business. Therefore he doesn’t want to get involved with tea bags or owning a bottling plant, etc. He simply wants to focus on the honest philosophy of the brand, promoting organic, Fair Trade drinks to the mass market, and creating a healthier population and more sustainable planet along the way.
For anyone the least bit curious, Seth released a comic-style book called Mission in a Bottle, documenting Honest Tea’s history to where they are today. This picky tea drinker has already purchased herself a copy, and, what the heck, a couple bottles of the Honey Green. It’s not that bad. It’s actually pretty good. Honest.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hello Green Tea, Will You Be My Valentine?

Tea is not very sexy, is it? And neither is heart health. But this Valentine's Day, both of these things are super important in keeping you well so you can enjoy your sweetheart (or your future sweetheart!) for as long as possible.
Multiple studies have shown a correlation between green tea and improved heart health. It decreases bad cholesterol, increases the good kind, reduces high blood pressure, and prevents the buildup of harmful plaque.
And this funny-looking thing is EGCG, one of green tea's most active components. This powerful antioxidant has also been heavily studied for its health benefits, and is only found in green tea (not black). EGCG has been shown to neutralize free radicals, which are harmful scavengers that would otherwise damage or kill your cells.

To get the most out of your green tea, consume the whole leaf. If you can't do that, steep yourself a tea bag. If you can't do that, go for an extract of EGCG. But try to stay as whole as possible, to preserve antioxidants and keep helpful micronutrients intact.

Little things add up! For a quick assessment of your heart health, check out My Life Check from the American Heart Association, and see which areas you can improve. Take up a fun new physical activity, add more veggies to your plate, and drink your green tea!

Be your own Valentine this year... love your heart!

References

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Meet Your Matcha!

How many of us actually know where our food comes from? It's kind of a big deal, especially when large agri-businesses are taking responsibility for our health. But here at Sencha Naturals we believe in accountability, and so we work with small farmers who actually care about the quality and sustainability of their crops.
We source premium Organic green tea from small Japanese estates that still practice centuries-old farming techniques. And our leading farmers and tea masters have received national awards for their tea-tasting and selection abilities, which have been refined along generational lines.

And what is matcha, anyway? It's a green tea variety that's grown in the shade, and the leaves are stone-ground into a fine powder that can be used in beverages & edibles alike. By consuming the whole leaf, matcha provides a wider array of health-boosting antioxidants compared to a standard tea bag (in which the leaves are steeped & then tossed out). This is also why our company slogan is "Green Tea Beyond the Tea Bag!"

In particular, the shade-growing process of matcha results in high levels of the amino acid L-Theanine, which has been shown to promote focused relaxation (and Buddhist monks use matcha to meditate without falling asleep!). This is in contrast to sencha, which is the same type of green tea plant, except it's grow in the sun, thereby resulting in higher levels of the catechin EGCG, a type of antioxidant that green tea is famous for.

All of our SEN CHA products contain a blend of matcha & sencha powder, to give you the best of both worlds! In addition to this double-dose of green tea, our Green Tea Mints and Green Tea +C are natural, vegan, and gluten/GMO/sugar-free. Here's to you, taking tea out of the bag...


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Announcing Yuzu Ginger!

We're excited to launch our newest seasonal flavor: Yuzu Ginger! Only available for a limited time, and 15% off in January! This new addition to our “Artisan Edition” line of Green Tea Mints combines the Yuzu citrus fruit and real ginger for a tangy mint with a spicy kick.
Introduced to Japan during the Tang Dynasty, the aromatic Yuzu Fruit was traditionally used to bring in the winter solstice by being added to herbal baths. Resembling the flavor profile of fragrant grapefruit, the tart Yuzu is unlike most citrus fruit, in that it is not typically eaten for its pulp, but rather used for its oil, zest, and juice. Popularized in Asia mainly as a fragrance, Yuzu is now making its way to the West as a potent culinary flavoring for both sweet & savory dishes.

Also originating in Asia, Ginger has been used for millennia in folk medicine, as a culinary spice, and as a potent herb to promote general wellbeing. The word itself comes from Old English for “spirit spunk, temper,” referring to the warming sensation of this spicy yellow root.

This is already our favorite mint here in our Sencha office. Get yours before the season ends!!