Saturday, September 29, 2012


Mighty Leaf Tea was born for the sole purpose of infusing life into an ancient indulgence by creating tea products that reach new heights of quality and innovation.
The genesis of Mighty Leaf Tea came in 1996 as a result of a shared passion and dream envisioned by husband-and-wife team Gary Shinner and Jill Portman when they founded their teahouse on Fillmore Street in San Francisco.
Their passion is for creating the most incredible handcrafted tea blends found anywhere, globally sourcing the finest ingredients available. Paralleling the highest standards of quality at Mighty Leaf Tea is ongoing creative innovation.
Our specially created handcrafted Tea Pouches are designed to unleash the essence of the quality that is Mighty Leaf Tea. Supporting our quality and innovation is our promise to deliver the highest level of customer service excellence in serving you the finest tea products available.
Mission Statement
From the handpicked organic tea blends, to the hand-stitched biodegradable silken pouch, the common thread that runs through Mighty Leaf is the human touch. A touch that resonates with the artist within the individual and fosters a more sustainable world.
Mighty Leaf Tea supports the fostering of long-term prosperity for artisans and their communities locally, regionally and globally in tea-growing regions through monetary program support. We also promote and encourage sustainable farming and production methods for tea-growing regions around the world through corporate partnerships and sourcing practices.

We have carried the Mighty Leaf brand fro a number of years.
It is a quality tea that can be had in a silken pouch or loose leaf.

Handpicked whole leaves, blossom, herbs fruits and spices
Hand chosen to satisfy the discerning palate
Handcrafted artristry of  small batch whole leaf blending
Handcrafted, hand- stitched silken Tea Pouches
Hand of the artist that  creates Mighty Leaf style
Right now our Mighty Leaf Tea selections are limited to the pouches (boxed):
Variety       10.97
Chamomile Citrus       10.35
Green Tropical       8.59
Organic Breakfast       10.35
African Nectar       10.97
Green Mountain Jasmine       10.35
White Orchard       10.97
Organic Green Dragon       10.35
Green and White Variety     10.97

Friday, September 28, 2012


The CURIOSITY Shop has just received a new shipment of Doctor Who items.  Please note that supplies are limited.  These are just the thing for the Whovian in your family with Christmas around the corner.
TARTIS  Christmas Ornament

Dalek  Christmas  Ornament

Stay Strong Stay Sonic T
Fourth  Doctors  Sonic  Screwdriver
Build  Your  Own  Sonic Screwdriver
The Sounds of Doctor Who on a Keychain
Doctor  Who  In  Your  Pocket
Tardis  Coin  Bank
Keep checking with us as we have lots of items we will be getting in between now and the end of November.
Cheers All!
And no we don't have this card - sorry . . .


River Song is Amy and Rory's daughter, also known as Melody. Also known as Mels. It's complicated.
River was born with the power to regenerate but used up all her remaining regenerations when she saved the Doctor after she poisoned him because she was programmed to kill him... Very complicated.
He first (more or less) met her on the planet of The Library, so her journal is (or will be!) packed with information the Doctor feels he shouldn't know about yet. The tragedy is, he knows how River dies, so when the two of them have that picnic at Asgard and do whatever they did together at the Singing Towers, he'll have a terrible secret that he won't be able to tell her.
River shares the Time Lord's buccaneering sense of adventure, as well as his knack for getting into trouble. But as for just how much they meant to each other: spoilers!

Melody Pond is the daughter of Rory Williams and Amy Pond. She was conceived on the TARDIS while it was in flight. Exposure to the Time Vortex as such a young a vulnerable stage altered her DNA the way it altered the DNA of The Doctor's people. These changes have given her abilities like The Doctor namely that she can regenerate.
Melody was kidnapped and brainwashed to kill The Doctor by Madame Kovarian (who worked for The Silence). She was later revealed to be Mels, Amy and Rory's childhood friend.
She regenerated into the woman known as 'River Song'. In the forest where she was raised for a time, they have no word for Pond. "In the forest the only water is the river". That mantra led to Melody Pond changing her name to River Song in order to hide her identity.
River Song is a sometimes companion to the Doctor. The River and the Doctor are romantically linked and eventually become married. Because the Doctor travels thru time and River usually does not (without him) they often meet in a non-chronological order. Generally speaking as we see the Doctor's relationship with River grow River's knowledge of the Doctor decreases. She is played by Alex Kingston.

River Song spends the majority of her time in a prison for the murder of "The best man she ever knew". That man is revealed to be the Doctor. That death however was not permanent and River frequently escapes the prison as she wishes.
As a child, Melody at some point left the care of Madame Kovarian and became indoctrinated by the Silence. She was made into a weapon to kill the Doctor. At an unknown point in her time-stream, while still only a little girl, Melody ended up in an orphanage in America in 1969 (where photographs were left of her and Amy) and later at a warehouse base in Florida. They put her into an Apollo astronaut suit that had been upgraded with alien life support systems. She used the suit to make calls directly to President Nixon in the Oval Office, begging for help. This led to her first physical meeting with the Doctor (in their meeting as a baby she had been a Ganger), though a brief one, due to her escaping from the spacesuit.
She moved to England under unknown circumstances, where she searched for and befriended the younger versions of her parents, Amelia Pond and Rory Williams. Nicknamed "Mels", she became close friends with them and helped them realise their love for each other. During this period in her time stream it is unknown where, or who she lived with; however it is highly possible that Madame Kovarian, or The Silence arranged for her to be raised by adoptive parents.

Also known as: Melody Pond / Mels
Home Planet: Earth (More or less)
Random ‘Yes!’ Moment: Confronting the Stone Dalek.
Fact! She once tried to kill the Doctor using poisoned lipstick!
First Appearance: Silence in the Library
Most Recent Appearance: The Wedding of River Song

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Estate  Black  Tea
Good leaf appearance and full bodied with lovely flavour. The cup is coppery bright with golden notes. Brisk with hints of flowery fragrance that is unique to this estate. Grade: FBOP (Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe).
This black tea comes from the famous Kirkoswald Estate in the Dimbula region of Sri Lanka. The Kirkoswald estate is known for their ability to produce high quality black teas with a robust and intense flavour.
Dimbula Tea is perhaps the most famous among Sri Lankan (Ceylon) teas, as Dimbula was one of the first areas to be planted after tea took over from coffee in Ceylon in 1870's. The area of Dimbula covers slopes on the Western high grounds of Sri Lanka from 3,500 to 5000 feet. The South-West Monsoon rains have a significant impact on the quality of Dimbula teas. The leaves of Dimbula Tea are long and wiry and give an exquisite taste, with body and strength and a powerful aroma.
Not only do we serve Kiroswald as our house tea (made fresh daily - from the leaf tea and NOT from a concentrate!) but we also sell loose leaf Kirkoswald by the ounce.  Priced at $ 4.25 per ounce.

KIRKOSWALD (Estate Black Tea)
Country of Origin: Sri Lanka
Region: Dimbula - Bogo Valley
Grade: FBOP (Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe)
Altitude: 4000 - 4500 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox Cup
Characteristics: Good leaf appearance and full bodied with lovely flavour. The cup is coppery bright with golden notes.
Infusion: Tending bright with golden yellow highlights.
Ingredients: Luxury black tea.
Information: Kirkoswald was developed as a tea estate by 2 partners. Kirk and Oswald. Initially they cultivated coffee but the devastating coffee blight in the mid 1800's caused them to switch to tea. Kirk and Oswald remained as the owners and managers of the estate until their deaths in the late 1800's. In 2002 Kirkoswald won two awards given by the Tea Association of the USA for the best Pekoe and FBOP from the Dimbula District. Crowning achievements for a well run estate.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of Aislaby for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Even though milk and a dash of sugar help capture the floral character of this tea, it is perfectly acceptable to consume this tea ‘straight-up’.
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water].
Please note that this tea may tend to go cloudy or ‘milky’ when poured over ice; a perfectly normal characteristic of high quality black teas and nothing to worry about!

Rory Williams  and  Amelia  Pond
With the final episodes of this seasons Doctor Who being aired on BBC America everyone is asking: What's to become of Mr & Mrs Pond?
If you have been following Matt Smith's incarnation of The Doctor then you will have certainly become attached to Amy (whom we have seen grow up, get married and have a baby: Melody Pond Williams) and ever-faithful Rory.  But as their terms as companions come to an end the questions rises - What's to become of them?

The Angels Take Manhattan
will be the final episode until the
Christmas 2012 Special!

Details are starting to trickle in about the day loyal fans of the BBC’s hit space odyssey have been dreading – the day when we say a finale goodbye to The Doctor’s faithful wedded companions, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill). In a two-part story written by series showrunner Steven Moffat, ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’ sees The Doctor and Amy race against time through the streets of Manhattan to save Rory’s life as statues throughout New York start coming to life around them.
The episode reunites The Doctor with his guns-a-blazing bride River Song (Alex Kingston) – whose skills will probably be needed more than ever and will mark the return of fan-favorite villains The Weeping Angels. While traveling with the Doctor has shown the beloved couple many wondrous sights and adventures, it has also taken a hefty toll, including the abduction of their only child – which rendered Amy unable to have more kids and almost took the their marriage with it.

Ever wonder what happens to the companions when they're not whizzing through space and time with the Doctor? The BBC is going to show you — in a special five-part Doctor Who prequel, all about the lives of Amy and Rory, called Pond Life.
Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan will be featured in their own 5-part collection of short webisodes which will appear at the start of the new season on September 1st, but will premiere online on Monday the 27th on the BBC1 YouTube channel.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pu-erh Tea is a Chinese Cholesterol Remedy and Overall Health Tonic

Saturday, August 01, 2009 by: Zephyr Faegen

For over 2000 years, a special tea that originates from the Yunnan Province of China has been coveted for its preventative and curative properties. This tea is known as Pu-erh. The tea's cultivation can be traced as far back as the Han Dynasty (202 BCE-220 CE) and was made from the leaves of da ye or broad leaf tea. The leaves of this variety of old wild tea tree when picked, are taken and put through a process of delicate maturation.
Pu-erh Tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for generations to inhibit "internal dampness" (a term used in Chinese medicine to describe a build up of internal energy due to the splee's inability to transform energy that it receives from the stomach) and to invigorate the activity of the spleen and stomach. Other traditional uses include the removal of toxins from the body, curing dysentery, weight loss, improving eyesight, promoting blood circulation and reviving those who have over indulged in alcohol.
More recently, researchers have taken interest in Pu-erh tea for its ability to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, protect connective tissue, and its ability to attack free radicals within the body. In multiple studies done in several countries, pu-erh tea has shown significant success in reducing blood cholesterol. One study done at the Wun-Shan Branch Tea Research and Extension Station in Taipei, Taiwan compared the effects of green, black, oolong, and cooked/black pu-erh teas on cholesterol in rats. The study showed the rats fed the cooked pu-erh tea leaves had an increase of HDL-C (good cholesterol) and a decrease in LDL-C (bad cholesterol) where the rats given the other teas had varying decreases in both types. This means that with pu-erh tea you get the best of both worlds, an increase in the cholesterol that you do want and a decrease of the cholesterol that you don`t.
Pu-erh Tea is truly a wonder tonic but one must be careful when shopping for this sought-after tea. There are many knock-offs and fake pu-erh teas out there, and the older the tea, the more expensive it is. Sometimes tea cakes can sell for thousands of dollars. Another concern is for the quality of the tea leaf itself. Many of the cheaper teas can contain fluorine which, when ingested over a period of time, can lead to fluorosis or fluoride poisoning. When you are looking for a good pu-erh tea make sure that you are dealing with a reputable tea house or seller, make sure that the tea is from the Yunnan province of China, and make sure that the packaging states that the Tea was cultivated from wild da ye or broad leaf tea trees. This may be a difficult task because most pu-erh teas today are cultivated from multiple trees and from different areas. In the end it's really the fermentation process that gives pu-erh its distinctive taste and curative properties but if you're a tea purist, good luck hunting down a true aged Pu-erh tea; it's difficult and you might just pay an arm and a leg.
That could be true.  But here at The CURIOSITY Shop we have authentic Chinese Pu-Erh at reasonable rates:
   Golden Pu-Erh     2.25 / ounce
   Xantou Mandarin Black Pu-Erh     6.00 / ounce
   Chinese Organic Pu-Erh     3.00 /ounce
   Pu-Erh Tao Cha (Bird's Nest)     14.00 / nest
It is characterized by its reddish brown tea leaf colour, deep red infusion-colour, special aroma and rich flavour. Making pu'er tea:
1) Temperature of water: 100°C (boiling)
2) The proportion of tea to water is 1:50
3) Water: pure water or spring water
4) Over-boiled water may reduce the oxygen, which will influence the activation(and flavour) of the tea
5) Steps:
   a) Preparation: prepare the utensils and the pu`er tea
     i) Warm and clear the utensil: pour boiled water into the utensil
     ii) Place the pu`er tea into the utensil
   b) Wetting: pour the boiled water into the tea pot
   c) Steeping: steep the tea for a reasonable timed

An amazing loose leaf Pu-erh our Golden Pu-Erh is aged for 5 years deep in the mountain caves of Yunnan China. As with wine Pu-Erh tends to get more valuable as it ages and Pu-Erh that is 5 years or older is more rare and therefore more highly prized. This delicate tea boasts a hint of mustiness with elemental notes. So next time you're in the store why not try some and see for yourself.

HELLO,  I'M  K-9
K9 — occasionally styled K-9 — was the designation given to a series of intelligent, dog-like robots who served as companions for the Fourth Doctor, Leela, Romana, Sarah Jane Smith and Starkey.


Professor Marius (scientist who worked at the Bi-Al Foundation in the year 5000 as a specialist in extraterrestrial pathological endomorphisms. While off Earth he also wanted a dog so he constructed K9 to accompany and assist him in his work. He helped the Fourth Doctor defeat the Swarm, although he himself was briefly infected by it and so freed the Nucleus and made it grow in size. Afterwards, Marius gave K9 to the Doctor to take with him on his journeys), who invented the first K9, described him as "my best friend and constant companion." Marius had a dog on Earth, but weight requirements did not allow him to bring his real dog into space; he built K9.  However, K9 might owe his existence to a temporal paradox. According to one account, the Professor copied the remnants of one of the versions of K9 created by the Doctor and given to Sarah Jane Smith.

K9 stayed with Leela on Gallifrey for many years. It was only after the disappearance of her Time Lord husband, Andred, that Leela and her K9 met Romana and her K9. The two K9s did not get on well and competed.  After Leela became Romana's bodyguard and after many important missions on her behalf, Leela's K9 was destroyed by an exploding bomb. Leela was heartbroken, but refused to have a duplicate unit built

The episode School Reunion sees Sarah Jane and K-9 return to the series. The Doctor (David Tennant) provided K-9 with a sonic tune up to get him rolling again as Sarah Jane isn't the most technically minded!
However, K9 survived this and the Last Great Time War. He witnessed the murder of Zanthus Pia by Ahab. His Jixen henchmen fought him and were transported to 2050 Earth. K9 self-destructed to protect the humans nearby, then regenerated into a more advanced model.

Who let the dog out? Humanity’s best friend K9 gets a complete 21st Century makeover as he wags his way into his own TV series.

K9 made his UK Terrestrial D├ębut 18th December 2010 on channel Five.

K9 and his three teenage companions become the earth’s front line defence against dangers threatening from anywhere and anytime in the galaxy.

 And so the story continues.  Supposedly the K9 series is coming to the US at some point in Time.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


New findings released at 5th International Scientific Symposium on Tea & Human Health reveal tea to have preventative health benefits including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as stroke and heart attack. Leading nutrition scientists from around the world convened at the United States Department of Agriculture Wednesday to present the latest research supporting the role of tea in benefiting and promoting better health.
The Tea Association of Canada compiled the overview that follows.
Interest in tea's potential health benefits has grown exponentially. In just the past five years there have been more than 5,600 scientific studies on tea, forming a substantial body of research on this world wide consumed beverage.
“There is now an overwhelming body of research from around the world indicating that drinking tea benefits human health,” says Dr Carol Greenwood, who is a Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest.
Dr Greenwood, an expert on the relationship between diet, nutrition and brain health, went on to say “the compounds in tea appear to impact virtually every cell in the body in a positive health outcome, which is why the consensus emerging from this symposium is that drinking at least a cup of clear green, black, white or oolong tea a day can contribute significantly to the promotion of public health.”
Of particular interest to Dr Greenwood and the medical community was the numerous heart health studies presented that Tea supports heart health and healthy blood pressure, and appears to be associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart attack.
New research presented by Claudio Ferri, MD, University L’Aquila, Italy, found in 19 normotensive and 19 hypertensive individuals that black tea was able to reduce blood pressure. In the hypertensive patients, black tea appeared to counteract the negative effects of a high-fat meal on blood pressure and arterial blood flow. Hypertensive subjects were instructed to drink a cup of tea after a meal that contained .45 grams fat/lb. body weight. The results suggest that tea prevented the reduction in flow mediated dilation (FMD), the arterial ability to increase blood flow that occurs after a high-fat meal. In a previous study conducted by Ferri, tea improved FMD from 7.8 to 10.3%, and reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by -2.6 and -2.2 mmHg, respectively, in study participants.
Also of interest among the findings is research suggesting that green tea and caffeine may trigger energy expenditure that may promote weight loss. Another study illustrates how tea may help counter the adverse effects of high-fat foods on blood vessels, which could possibly reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, the most common cause of death in the North America.

Tea and Body Weight
Obesity is the largest public health concern in North America and there are few strategies that provide long-term success. New research on tea catechins suggests that they may provide a benefit in maintaining body weight or promoting weight loss.

Tea and Bone and Muscle Strength
Osteoporosis is a major public health concern for many older women and men as the disease is responsible for two million fractures a year and 300,000 hip fractures in 2005. The disease leads to loss of mobility, independence and reduces quality of life for many older Americans.
Researchers at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center conducted studies with 150 postmenopausal women with low bone mass to see if the addition of green tea flavanols , Tai Chi exercise or both green tea plus Tai Chi could help improve markers for bone health and muscle strength in study participants. At the end of the six-month clinical trial they found that 500 mg green tea extract (equivalent to 4-6 cups of green tea daily), alone or in combination with Tai Chi, improved markers for bone formation, reduced markers of inflammation and increased muscle strength in study participants.

Tea May Improve Mental Sharpness
Consuming black tea improved attention and self-reported alertness in a human study conducted by Unilever R&D, Vlaardingen, The Netherlands. In this placebo-controlled study, designed to measure attention, task performance and alertness, subjects drinking tea were more accurate on an attention task and also felt more alert than subjects drinking a placebo. This work supports earlier studies on the mental benefits of tea. In addition, two other studies provide a broader perspective on tea’s effects on psychological well-being, showing benefits for tiredness and self-reported work performance, as well as mood and creative problem solving. These studies provide support for tea’s benefits for mental sharpness, as measured by attention, mood and performance.

Bioactive Compounds in Tea
Tea is one of the most thoroughly researched for its potential health benefits. The leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant contain thousands of bioactive compounds that have been identified, quantified and studied for their mechanisms of action. While many of these compounds act as antioxidant flavonoids, not all of tea’s benefits are thought to be solely from antioxidant activity.

For example, new research presented by Alan Crozier, PhD, of the University of Glasgow, UK, revealed that while many tea flavonoids in green and black tea are digested and absorbed, others are more resistant to digestion and travel mostly intact to the lower gastrointestinal tract, where they provide a probiotic effect by enabling beneficial bacteria to thrive.

Tea Provides Profound Health Benefits
The latest data provide further evidence of tea’s potential role in promoting good health, perhaps due to the fact that tea flavonoids are the major contributors of total flavonoid intake in the U.S. diet:

  • Tea drinking may play a role in helping to prevent cells from becoming cancerous;
  • Tea may play a role in enhancing the effect of chemotherapy drugs used for treating certain cancers; and
  • Flavonoids in tea, among other compounds present in tea leaves, may help ward off inflammation and vascular damage linked to chronic conditions associated with aging.
“As the second most consumed beverage in the world next to water, tea accounts for a significant amount of the flavanol intake worldwide,” states Joe Simrany, President, Tea Council of the USA, which has been spear-heading this International Tea & Human Health Symposium since 1991. “This gathering of renowned global nutrition scientists is the world’s leading platform to release new research on tea, and acts as a catalyst for continuing research on tea in areas as diverse and novel as cognitive function, bone growth, weight management, cancer and vascular function.”

The symposium was sponsored by American Cancer Society, American Institute for Cancer Research, American Society for Nutrition, American College of Nutrition, The Linus Pauling Institute, American Medical Women’s Association, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Tea Council of the USA.

20 Sep 2012
By World Tea News

Tom Baker: 1974 - 1981
Teeth and curls. Jelly babies. Lovable robot dog. Ahhhhh-har. Scarf. Have I the right? Ooh, my everything! It's the end...
The Fourth Doctor was the fourth incarnation of the Time Lord known as the Doctor. He left all ties of his previous incarnation's exile behind on Earth, setting off to travel the cosmos. He initially travelled with Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan, but Harry chose to remain on Earth when the opportunity arose. The Doctor and Sarah continued on their adventures until the Doctor was summoned to Gallifrey, necessitating that he leave Sarah Jane behind as humans were not allowed on Gallifrey at that time.
After leaving Gallifrey, he met and travelled with Leela of the Sevateem. During his travels with Leela, the Doctor gained a new companion in the robot dog, K9. Returning once more to Gallifrey to stop an invasion, Leela and the original K9 stayed behind there. On the White Guardian's orders, the Doctor began looking for the Key to Time with fellow Time Lord Romana and K9 Mark II. Once that search was concluded, the Doctor and a newly-regenerated Romana went on the run from the Black Guardian. They accidentally passed into the smaller universe of E-Space.
During his travels in E-Space, the Doctor gained a new companion in the young mathematical genius Adric. Romana and K9 stayed behind in E-Space as the Doctor and Adric departed for N-Space.
Once again encountering his old enemy the Master, the Doctor and Adric met a Traken girl named Nyssa. She later joined them, along with the human Tegan, to help him prevent the destruction of the Universe by entropy. While stopping the Master from using this threat to blackmail the Universe into servitude, the Doctor fell from the Pharos Project telescope and regenerated for the fourth time.

Souvenirs from many different worlds littered the fourth incarnation's pockets. He would sometimes relax by playing with a yo-yo and liked to drink ginger beer.
He would often have jelly babies with him and offer them as a greeting. While past and future incarnations also showed occasional fondness for the sweet, it was never as frequent as this incarnation's love for them. In his later life he developed a great fondness for tinkering about in his TARDIS. He relied upon his sonic screwdriver at least as much as in his previous incarnation.
He was also not adverse to winding up his companions on occasion, such as once fooling Leela into standing and playing with a yo-yo for an extended period of time, with her believing it was an experiment.  On another occasion, he caused Romana to nearly panic when he pretended to become possessed by the Black Guardian.

Like several of his later incarnations, his pockets were dimensionally transcendental. The array of items he carried included:
  • a seemingly endless supply of Jelly babies
  • a galactic passport
  • a cricket ball
  • a yo-yo, which, with a sheepish grin, he would explain was useful for taking gravity readings
  • a selection of books, including his 500 Year Diary, Oolon Caluphid's Origins of the Universe and a Tibetan language handbook
  • a magnifying glass, gemstones, handcuffs, and an etheric beam locator which also detected ion-charged emissions
  • a lockpick
  • a football rattle
  • a magician's cane
  • a clockwork egg-timer
  • a breathing tube, a barrister's wig, and an instant camera
  • On one occasion, he even dropped a cup containing a hot beverage into his pocket.

The Fourth Doctor brought the world of Doctor Who to a broader audience than any of his previous incarnations.  The next Doctor to reach the prominence of Tom Baker would be David Tennant.  Tom Baker was my First Doctor.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


At The CURIOSITY Shop we try to de-mystify TEA.
First, Camellia Sinensis is the plant from which all tea varities descend.  The way in which the tea is processed determines its particular category.
BLACK TEA is robust and is used as a base for many flavoured blendings.  Black tea is fully oxidized or fermented which gives it its appearance.   It is said to help with circulation.
GREEN TEA has a light taste with grassy overtones.  It is rich in antioxidants.  If the grassyness of the green tea is a problem then one might try a YELLOW TEA which has been fermented longer than the green.
OOLONG TEA (also known as WULONG tea) has a sweet and flowery taste.
PU-ERH is a complex tea that is close to black tea.  It is said to help with weight loss.
WHITE TEA is a rather exclusive tea as it is picked early and not fermented for very long.  It is very rich in antioxidants.
All teas are fermented or oxidized.  Black teas are oxized the most while white teas are oxized the least.  As a general rule of thumb the higher the tea is grown the better - like a
Himalayan Darjeeling.  Although this is not true of all teas.  Teas are very much like wines or coffees, the ground or earth on which they are grown add a lot to the taste of any particular variety.
Numerous systems exist for the grading of tea - green tea alone has three nomenclatures: one for Japanese green tea, and two for Chinese green tea (domestic and export).  'Orthodox' grading takes into account leaf size, appearance, and quality.  The following is a basic nomenclature for Whole Leaf orthodox grades (broken leaf, fannings, and dust have other codes):
SFTGFOP ............... Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
FTGFOP .............................. Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
TGFOP ........................................... Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
GFOP ....................................................... Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
FOP ...................................................................... Flowery Orange Pekoe
OP ...................................................................................... Orange Pekoe
FP ...................................................................................... Flowery Pekoe
P ...................................................................................................... Pekoe
PS ................................................................................... Pekoe Souchong
While this list looks intimidating - it really is just a descriptive grading system.  The SFTGFOP is a special or very fine leaf that is golden in colour and is picked from the tip of the tea tree or bush.  This is considered prenium leaf tea.  The name Orange Pekoe is a description given to all fine whole leaf teas.  As the list descends the quality goes down.  The exception is the PS (Pekoe Souchong) which refers to the third leaf from the tip it is larger and more course than the newer shoots.
The above is an illustration of Pekoe Souchong.

The  Dickens
Cafe & Tea Bar
Tea Should Not Be Complicated
It Should Be Enjoyed
The CURIOSITY Shop introduced the Dickens Cafe & Tea Bar in 2011.  This was a natural extension of our continuing interest in providing a source for Teas and Tisanes.  We are one of the oldest purveyors of leaf teas in the United States. 
Our first venture into the tea business was in 1998 when we initally opened (146 Laurens), we kept having customers come in and ask for teas.
In our location on the corner of Laurens Street and Park Avenue we opened a Tea Room in 1999.  Amazingly, within six weeks of our Tea Room opening there we several other tea rooms opened in the greater Aiken area.  Alas, they are no more.  This is where we really began our venture into loose leaf teas.
When we moved to Richland Avenue we were forced to downsize and the Tea Room went by the wayside - but, our selection of leaf teas continued to expand.
Today we have one of the finest selections of leaf teas, tisanes, and speciality trade teas in the Southeast.
It has always been one of our missions that:
Tea should not be complicated, it should be enjoyed.
To that end we have always strived to provide an atmosphere that is conductive to the enjoyment of the consumption of our teas and tisanes.  Now, with the addition of the Dickens Cafe & Tea Bar, we are able to fullfill our mission!
We now provide not only the finest selection of teas, but, a full service area where we can  provide tea drinkers with the opportunity to sample our teas, purchase our teas, and simply enjoy a cup of tea with a scone or dessert.
Monthly we host an Afternoon Tea by reservation (our next will ba a Champaign Tea on the 25th of October).  We can also host private tea parties, birthday teas, and tea tastings for small groups.
We are in the tea business and have a knowledgeable staff that can provide for your tea requirements.
In our selection of teas and tisanes that we sell and serve we particularly try to find ones that are organically grown (for they have not been genetically modified), fair-trade, and not comercially harvested.
                    The  CURIOSITY  Shop
                          Serving Tea Since 1998