Samurai means “to serve.”

Tamurai means “to serve through tea.”


We begin with the selection and consumption of high quality tea. Through the consumption of tea, we make the connection to the earth and the sun. As our astronauts and NASA researchers continue to learn, only the connection to our earth, our atmospherically filtered sunlight, and that which they produce can sustain life as we know it.   Through this connection and creation, our mind, body, and soul are supplied with a cascade of life sustaining nutrients and antioxidants. Certain combinations of these nutrients are found only in the various teas created by our wonderful planet. The teas we support and supply are organic due to the fact tea is one of the few consumable products which makes its way directly from field to cup without any cleaning or washing. If a tea plant or tea field is sprayed with toxic harmful chemicals or fertilizers, they are consumed with the tea.  An additional consideration is that when consuming the highest quality of tea: the first growth, the earliest picking; the highest concentration of nutrients are consumed.  Older tea leaves are found to be out of balance, with higher concentrations of minerals that may be harmful to our health.

Nature designs tea to be consumed at a slower pace, so we encourage tea to explore the internal universe within each of us. As we unfold the discoveries within, we can then make the peaceful and harmonious connections with those we encounter in life. These connections whether individual or shared bring much satisfaction and joy. It is with this spirit of joy we thank you for sharing your journey of tea, spirit, and life. It is with great honor that we recommend and make available the products and services contained within.

 “I have three treasures, which I guard and keep.  The first is compassion.  The second is economy.  The third is humility.  From compassion comes courage.  From economy comes the means to be generous.  From humility comes responsible leadership.”  —Lao-Tse

Once we are on the journey of balance, we are then ready to seek the harmony of the “me/we” relationship that allows the healing of our world and those of its inhabitants.  We learn of how we connect and influence community.  We learn and share the vibrations that are so subtle, but yet so powerful.  These vibrations can only be felt with the heart and measured by the health and harmony of our internal and external environments.

We begin our quest with tea, share it through meditation & prayer, and grow it through our understanding and developing awareness as keys to unlock the secrets within.  Meditation & prayer unfolds Lao Tse’s compassionate courage, tea flowers the economy of generosity, and our growing humility through understanding allows us to lead others by example.


Tea Grading

Tea Grades fall into the following broad categories: Whole Leaf, Broken Leaf, Fannings and Dust. Black tea is subject to the most extensive grading system. The first grade of a black tea is called OP or Orange Pekoe (pronounced as peek-oh.) Pekoe comes from the Chinese word for white hair. This references the silvery down on new leaves and buds. The ‘Orange’ half of the name is that the Chinese used to flavor these leaves with Orange blossoms. Another is a reference to the Netherlands House of Orange, a powerful entity in the early days of tea trading. Currently, ‘Orange Pekoe’ describes leaves, specifically the best tender leaves plucked from tips of the plant’s young shoots. Tea leaves get graded as follows during the manufacturing process.


SFTGFOP: Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

This grade is primarily used to grade Darjeeling teas with a large proportion of leaves having golden tips on new leaf buds- a guarantee of quality.

FTGFOP: Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

Another grade primarily used to grade Indian black teas consisting of exceptional quality OP with lots of tips.

TGFOP: Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

Golden refers to the buds, which have a lighter color than other leaves.

GFOP: Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

FOP with a certain amount of golden tips.

OP: Orange Pekoe

Long, pointed leaves that are harvested when the terminal buds open into leaf. Rarely contains “tips.”

FP: Flowery Pekoe

Shorter, coarser leaves. The next leaves down from OP.

PS: Pekoe Souchong

Pekoe leaf further broken down is Pekoe Souchong.


Shorter and tightly rolled leaf style (for Indian Souchong). But when used for grading Chinese teas this refers to large leaves.


A variety of tea that is very rare. The leaf is extra large and when brewed the infused leaf extends to at least an inch to an inch and a half in length.


GFBOP: Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe

FBOP: Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe

GBOP: Golden  Broken Orange Pekoe

TGBOP: Tippy Golden Broken Orange Pekoe

BOP: Broken Orange Pekoe


BOPF: Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings

Leaf size that is smaller than BOP is graded as fannings. This grade is primarily used in tea bags since it is small and steeps very quickly.

A grade of tea only describes the leaf style of that particular tea and not the quality. Quality of a tea can only be decided after tasting it.

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Green Tea and Blood Sugar Regulation by Joe @selfdecode.com


A couple of weeks ago I got some feedback from a customer that really made me smile and I just have to share it with you because it just goes to show how important our brand new Blood Sugar DNA Report is!

Julia emailed just to let us know how grateful she was, as she’d struggled to lower her blood sugar through her diet for years. But after reading an article on blood sugar on SelfHacked and deciding to give SelfDecode a go, she finally had it under control.

She said she worked hard to optimize two of her genes, but that one fix in particular had been particularly helpful in the end. The two problem genes were…

The FTO gene

The FTO gene, known for its role in body weight control, is active in the liver and affects blood sugar metabolism. Julia had an over-functioning FTO gene which promotes insulin resistance. When your body is resistant to insulin, your blood sugar levels go up.

The GCKR gene

GCKR codes for the glucokinase regulator, a protein involved in the prevention of low blood sugar levels. Julia’s variant of GCKR is associated with elevated blood sugar levels because of the increased activity of the glucokinase regulator. It’s as if the glucokinase regulator tries too hard to prevent low blood sugar and instead causes elevated sugar levels!

The fix: Green Tea

Julia said she had started drinking two cups of green tea per day to try and combat these genes and the effects had been great, her blood sugar was finally comfortably in the normal range.

Green tea’s active compound EGCG both reduces the expression of FTO in fat cells and decreases the production of the glucokinase blocker, lowering blood sugar by targeting the negative effects of both of these genes.

The take-home

Sometimes all we need is a simple fix. For some people like Julia, drinking green tea will work and for others it wont. This all depends on how your own body works. Our fixes are personal to you, because we’re all different!

That’s why we created the Blood Sugar DNA Report. This report analyzes 26 genes (like the FTO and GCKR genes) related to blood sugar levels and provides you with personalized diet, supplement and lifestyle recommendations to help combat the negative effects from your genes (like Julia’s green tea!)
Find your own fixes today by signing up for SelfDecode and downloading the new blood sugar report!

You can get your genes tested for the first time with our highly secure DNA kit or upload an existing file and we will analyze it instantly to provide you with your results.
Speak soon,
Joe and the SelfDecode Team
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Turmeric & Cinnamon Benefits by Jan Sheehan

What Do Turmeric & Cinnamon Do for You?

By Jan Sheehan

Turmeric and cinnamon are spices that add flavor to foods and appear to have health benefits. These spices are inexpensive, calorie-free and easy to find in most supermarkets and natural foods stores. Because tumeric and cinnamon are safe with no side effects, they may be worth a try for their potential health benefits. Keep in mind that ground spices release flavor more slowly than whole spices.

Turmeric Description

Turmeric is a spice commonly used to make Indian curries. It has a distinctive yellow pigment and is usually sold in ground form. It comes from a root related to ginger. Turmeric has been used for many years in Asian countries to treat a variety of health problems. MayoClinic.com notes that turmeric can compliment rice, potatoes and lentils, giving your dishes a sharp, spicy flavor.

Tumeric Benefits

Turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In a study of 45 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, published in the March 9, 2012 issue of “Phytotherapy Research,” 500 milligrams of curcumin, an antioxidant in turmeric, improved symptoms as well as a prescription anti-inflammatory. Heart patients may also benefit from turmeric. Treatment with curcumin helped promote healing after a heart attack in a study published in the July 24, 2012 issue of the “British Journal of Pharmacology.” Because inflammation may play a role in cancer, turmeric is also being studied as a possible cancer therapy. Laboratory and animal studies regarding curcumin and cancer are promising, but studies in humans are just beginning, notes MayoClinic.com.

Cinnamon Description

Cinnamon comes from the bark of the evergreen cinnamon and cassia trees. A wide variety of cinnamon types are available throughout the world, with the cinnamon sold in grocery stores usually a combination of many different kinds , according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The flavor can vary from spicy to sweet. MayoClinic.com suggests adding cinnamon to sweet vegetables, such as squash and sweet potatoes. Cinnamon is also delicious in fruits salads, baked beans and pumpkin pies, as well as sprinkled on top of hot cocoa, oatmeal or toast. Cinnamon comes in ground and stick forms.

Cinnamon Benefits

Research suggests cinnamon lowers glucose, possibly by boosting the effect of insulin in the body. In a review of six clinical trials published in the May 12, 2012 issue of “Clinical Nutrition,” 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon taken daily for up to four months lowered the blood sugar levels of patients with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon may also have a beneficial effect on cholesterol. In one animal study published in the April 4, 2012 issue of “Pharmacognosy Research,” cinnamon lowered total and LDL cholesterol in both healthy and diabetic rats. However, MayoClinic.com notes evidence showing that cinnamon lowers cholesterol is scarce.

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