We’ve been fortunate to have many great facilitators throughout the years at FFLB. One of our generous supporters has helped us “tea” up for greatness over and over again! Steve Schwartz, known throughout his industry as the “Master Tea Blender”, has always been ready to support our women and team with generosity and immense knowledge. We asked him some pressing questions about his area of expertise. Start a brew, sit back and learn a bit about the art of tea!
FFLB: How do you source your tea?
SS: Direct from origin whenever possible. I have relationships with farmers all across the world and work with them to source the top 2% of the world’s finest teas.
FFLB: Can you offer a brief two-sentence summary about tea’s origin?
SS: We believe true tea should come from Asia. All true teas come from the camellia sinensis evergreen shrub, which is the foundation for white, green, oolong, black, and pu-erh teas. If it isn’t from this shrub, it just isn’t a tea.
FFLB: Are there any types of teas that you recommend avoiding? If so, why?
SS: No, any tea that allows you to take a moment out of a busy day – whether it’s for the taste, health benefits, or simple satisfaction that brewing the perfect cup brings – is a good tea in my eyes.
FFLB: Are loose leaves better than teabags? Vice versa? Or is there no difference?
SS: High-quality, organic loose leaf and specialty teas are typically better in quality and taste.
FFLB: The most enriching tea or type of tea for general well-being is ___.
SS: I deeply enjoy gyorkuro for its grounding effect. It has a clean mouth feel and a grassy finish.
FFLB: Is there a type of tea you would recommend for cancer patients?
SS: I would recommend the process of brewing loose leaf teas in general. The mindfulness used in preparing the water, selecting the leaves, brewing the tea, and finally enjoying the cup can be highly therapeutic.
FFLB: The most popular tea from the Art of Tea collection is ___.
FFLB: The healthiest and most effective tea sweetener is ___.
SS: I recommend either stevia leaf or raw local honey.
FFLB: How does tea compare to pure water consumption?
SS: 98% of what is consumed while drinking tea is water, making it a great way to hydrate while also experiencing the benefits of whatever tea is brewed. Therefore, a great water source is very important for enhancing the tea experience.
FFLB: Forget jam and bread! The best tea-time snack in your opinion is ___.
SS: Fresh baked, warm chocolate chip cookies.