An inspirational quotation; exquisite description of a tisane, blend or whole leaf beverage; a story rich with character and conflict; revelation; reflection; as well as exercises for the reader’s growth make up each chapter in this remarkable how-to book. Life by the Cup: Ingredients for a Purpose-Filled life of Bottomless Happiness and Limitless Success. I admit to being put off at first by the deeply personal nature of the author’s disclosure, but this reservation was soon put aside by the splendidly written exposition moved along by compelling narration.  Tea weaves its way throughout, each chapter a cup of tea.

Let me share excerpts from the chapter “Pluck the Positive”: ” . . . fair-trade black tea z_glassjars_englishbreakfastleaves from the Uva province of Sri Lanka, the Nilgari Mountains of Southern India, and the Yunnan province of China. . . Sipping this morning blend today, I can’t help but reminisce about the importance it had for me when I was first starting out – it meant the world.  This tea was the pure, clean canvas on which I could paint infinite colors and possibilities.  These leaves carry flavor notes of raisin, tobacco flower, rum, hay, and the balmy afternoon rains of Sri Lanka..  This tea also has a bit of caramel on the palate, with high notes of optimism and promise.  The caffeine content is fairly high, waking you up, kicking you in the butt, and sharpening your senses to how amazing you are and what more you can be.”

The chapter goes on to describe the women who pluck the tea, from the staggering number of plucks required for a kilo of tea to the expected daily harvest for each worker.  The author’s connection to and curiosity about the women who labor for her daily cup ends up a fascinating lesson in the amazing accomplishment that makes up that cup. The exercise for this chapter, “Plucking the Positive,” is to compose a prayer of gratitude as you sip your tea.  Say thank you for three things as you sip that first precious cup.  Your day will be better and you will be able to see the good you are looking for.

Along the way, the author’s credibility in motherhood, herbal medicine, and tea blending is firmly established and reestablished.  Although the book can be read as a straight-through crash course, it is best savored chapter by chapter like a good cup of tea.

You can learn more about the book here.

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