Hoogly Blogs / biodegradable tea bags
Hello and a Hoogly New Year to you all! It’s that time of year again; a time of reset and resolution; a time of looking forward to the months ahead; of new challenges and high expectations; of learning from our mistakes and setbacks in an attempt to do better this time round. At Hoogly, we are always searching for ways to help you feel happy and empowered, and this month we are sharing our top tips for achievable New Year’s Resolutions. Obviously, drinking more Hoogly Tea is the number one target for 2023, because this is a sure-fire way to tranquillity and mindful bliss—but we also have a whole load of equally amazing suggestions, so buckle up and see if any of these ideas strikes a chord…
- Boundaries. This is a tricky one to get right, but hugely beneficial in the long run. Learn to say no in the right way and at the right time. If you can master this simple-sounding (but often difficult) act, you will find yourself with more time, more productivity, more belief in yourself and a good work-life balance.
- Become a better listener. Give people around you the time and space to express themselves. Active listening will make others feel respected, valued and understood, and the feelings will usually be reciprocal.
- Mind-wandering. Give your brain the space to make connections and form ideas without the constant interruption of technology or conversation. Allow your thoughts the silence they need to coalesce, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much your focus and creativity is bolstered.
- Social Media time out. Maybe start with a ban on checking your socials first thing in the morning and last thing at night. If you can, expand the times when you are tech-free, and attempt wherever possible to avoid ‘doom-scrolling,’ endlessly swiping through content that lasts only for a few seconds. Engage in an activity that fills you with joy, one that makes time melt away in a positive way, and focus exclusively on being present in that activity. Your mind will thank you.
- Be health-conscious. This doesn’t mean an all-out blitz on every aspect of your life, but small and positive changes as you are able. Walk or cycle instead of driving where possible. Dodge the lift and take the stairs. Eat an apple instead of a chocolate bar. Chose proteins over trans-fats. Drink less coffee and add more water. Even doing these things once or twice a week can make a big difference, and the positive changes you notice might just motivate you to continue!
- Gratitude. Start a journal and jot down three things each day that you’re thankful for. It can be big or small, getting a new job or simply narrowly avoiding a downpour. Go back over these notes every night and focus on the positive things in your life, gently pushing away negativity.
- Read more books. Of course, this requires a certain investment of time, but if you can carve out some moments from your schedule, this traditional hobby is a hugely mindful way of relaxing, as well as offering (depending on the genre) excitement, cosiness, educational value or a darn good fright!
- Drink more Hoogly Tea. This comes in at number 8, despite being the most valuable item on our list! As you know, being more Hoogly is about tapping into the Danish sense of cosy, calm and joyful living, focussing on the things that matter most in your life, and treating yourself to things that put a smile on your face. It is about slowing down and appreciating the people, places and hobbies that we love; it’s about being kind to yourself; it’s about fluffy socks, candlelight baths and baking cakes; it’s about board games with friends, light conversation for the sake of conversation, and surrounding yourself with people who make you feel special. And all this joyful Hooglyness has been condensed and curated into our wonderful selection of teas, offering you a tantalising treat to help you shed the day’s stresses and a deliciously Danish taste of comfort that you can turn to time and time again.
And now introducing our brand-new addition to the Hoogly shop: Silver Needle White Tea! This is the champagne of all white teas, utilising only the top buds of the Camellia Sinensis to produce beautifully smooth and elegant loose-leaf brew, ideal to send as a delightful gift to your nearest and dearest, or simply to enjoy as an indulgent treat for yourself.
If it’s possible, our next newcomer might be even more spectacular! Jasmine Flower Balls Green Tea are intricately hand-crafted, jasmine-scented Green Tea balls, whose blossoms unfurl as the brew infuses to reveal a stunning display of delicate flowers. This is a mesmerising spectacle, perfect for wowing guests on special occasions, and ideal for adding light and cheer to the dark winter months!
That’s it for now, Hoogly lovers. Good luck with your resolutions—stay safe and take care of each other!
Written by Chris Bedford
The Magic of Mindfulness: Ichigo Ichie
As you all know, at Hoogly, we are committed to helping you find that perfect feeling of calm and relaxation, by offering you a delightful selection of delicious teas, and adhering to the Danish concept of Hygge, which celebrates the things both big and small that bring you joy, and a commitment to focussing on these things, leaving your stresses and strains behind you. Because Hygge works so well in our lives, we are always on the look-out for concepts and ways-of-being that complement our ethos, drawing inspiration from cultures and beliefs from around the world. With this in mind, we would like to draw your attention to the Japanese philosophy of Ichigo ichie.
Translated as “Once, a meeting,” or “In this moment, an opportunity,” ichigo ichie informs us that every meeting, moment or experience is a unique treasure that will never be imitated in exactly the same way. It asks us to be aware that letting these moments pass us by means losing them forever, to our detriment.
As we become more attuned to ichigo ichie, we learn to take a step back and acknowledge that every morning we wake up, every sunrise we experience, each day we spend with our family and loved ones is incredibly important and valuable, and deserves our utmost attention. In a society dominated by mobile phones, social media, emails and 24-hour news cycles, this lesson becomes ever more vital as we seek ways to navigate a culture of distraction, information overload and political divisiveness.
As you begin to cultivate ichigo ichie’s practices, you will hopefully discover a happier and more fulfilling life, helping you become untethered from fears about the future or heaviness related to the past. You will appreciate the gift each moment brings and live fully in the moment, in a calm and mindful way.
Here are some of ichigo ichie’s guiding principles:
- Live as if every moment will never be repeated. Greet and bid farewell to people with “ichigo ichie,” reminding yourself of the unique nature of each interaction.
- Don’t put off those magic moments. Opportunities may only present themselves once: if you don’t make the most of it, it is gone forever. Seize the moment and treasure your life.
- Be in the moment. Imagining what will happen in the future and trawling through the past can lead to negative emotions. Concentrate on what and who is in front of you. The possibilities of now are limitless.
- Meditate. Find a cosy, Hygge-inspired nook or soft pillow and remove yourself from the hustle and strain of your day. Step back from all other thoughts, observe the world around you and be grateful for the miracle of life.
- Try something new. Allow yourself to experience something outside of your usual routine. There is nothing more invigorating or exciting than finding a new passion and grabbing it with both hands. These moments are what life is about.
- Be aware of your senses. Notice the beauty of the way we perceive the world around us. Allow yourself to watch, listen, smell, touch and taste without distraction or interruption. Make a note of the things you experience. Describe what you have discovered and the way it makes you feel.
- Don’t wait! There’s no point in putting off celebration. Holidays, parties and events are fabulous—but try to recapture the spirit of these happy moments in your everyday life. Make every day worth singing, dancing and blowing out candles for!
- You’re never stuck. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, and you find that you can’t properly engage with ichigo ichie, then tap into the transformative nature of humanity. We can mould and adapt to new circumstances and challenges—give yourself the opportunity to create something bold, new and exciting!
And what better way to accompany a mindful philosophy than one of our gorgeous Hoogly teas! Savour the moment with a stunning scent and tantalising taste as we help you navigate the day in style!
How about a tea that recreates an ever-popular tasty treat? Blueberry Muffin Rooibos is a wonderful brew for any time of the day, combining the unique flavour of Rooibos with sweet berry tones, offering a delightful drink to return to over and over.
As the warm weather approaches, revive your senses with Citrus Bloom herbal infusion! This refreshing drink is a dazzling combination of bright citrus notes and a lively trio of peppermint, rosemary and sage, finished off with a warm scattering of fennel seeds. It’s like a burst of sunshine from the kettle!
That’s it for now Hoogly fans. We hope you find the ideas of ichigo ichie enticing and of benefit. In the meantime, take good care of yourselves and keep drinking tea!
Written by Chris Bedford
Turn Over a New Leaf in January!
Greetings Hoogly lovers! Today I’m going to talk about the New Year, and all the opportunities this brings to treat yourself to some Hygge magic. Yes, it’s soon going to be January, that wonderful period of calm reflection, a period collective exhalation after the mayhem of December, turning thoughts away from shopping lists and decorations towards longer-term goals and projects.
Every year, my resolutions are the same: eat better, spend less, tidy more, and read more books. I like to think I’m relatively consistent in sticking to them—at least until mid-March. But the resolution that brings me the most joy and satisfaction is the book-reading. I think carving out time to chill out and become absorbed in a book is one of life’s true pleasures, and one of the most Hoogly things you can do. Hygge, after all, is about focusing on the things that bring you comfort and happiness, and doing those things in the cosiest way possible. So, this January, get in your PJs, pull on your big socks, plop yourself down in your softest chair, and let yourself be fall in love with the literature!
And if you need some top tips for books to read in 2020, then here are Hoogly’s top five books to inspire, thrill and comfort!
- The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. This is a stunning gift book for all ages, featuring exquisite illustrations and beautiful conversations between the four animals that will lift your heart, stir your emotions and bring a smile to your face. One to keep on the shelf forever.
- Starve Acre by Andrew Michael Hurley. A stark departure from the first choice on the list, this is a wonderfully disturbing little horror novel about a couple who have lost their young son. In the mother’s despair, she turns to a group called The Beacons to find answers about the visions she sees of her son, but in her desperation to find hope, she may possibly unearth something terrible. A gothic rural setting and a pacy narrative make this essential reading for the dark nights of winter!
- Blue Moon by Lee Child. Jack Reacher is back! The six-foot-seven former military cop must use every inch of his brawn, logic and intellect to get the better of two criminal gangs who are vying for control over the town where Reacher has just shown up. If you haven’t read Lee Child before, fasten your seatbelt for the best thriller writer in town! The plots are devious, the action is intense, and Jack Reacher one of the coolest, most addictive characters ever created! Electric, white-knuckle stuff!
- The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. A romantic novel set in 1930s Kentucky, this absorbing read tells the story of Alice, who, disillusioned with married life, joins a travelling library led by feisty and rebellious Margery O’Hare. But not everyone is overjoyed with the women’s desires to spread the love of books and they come up against stiff resistance that threatens to crush their dreams. Can the women’s belief in each other, and the power of books, win the day?
- Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. Now the hit BBC show is underway, huge swathes of us are rediscovering the classic His Dark Materials series, in which plucky Lyra and her shape-shifting animal daemon embark on an adventure that will bring them in contact with witches, child-snatchers and warrior ice-bears, whilst seeking to discover the dark secret at the heart of her world. This is the first in the original trilogy that has captured the imagination of children and adults alike with its imagination, narrative skill and epic world-building.
And what better way to accompany your bestselling book than a beautiful brew? Make Hygge one of your New Year’s resolutions and enjoy the scintillating scents and tantalising tastes of Hoogly Teas, bringing tranquillity, relaxation and joy wherever and whenever you need it.
If you aren’t quite ready for the end of the festive season, why not spend January indulging in our uniquely wonderful Christmas Cake Rooibos—a harmonious blend of fruit and spices that will delight friends and family, even on the coldest, darkest days. Truly, a gift that keeps on giving!
If it’s luxury and elegance you’re after, then look no further than White Choc & Chilli White Tea! This creamy and sweet Chinese brew is an aromatic treat, perfect to add a little heat to winter, with a taste that will lure you back time and again!
So that’s it for this month, friends. I hope Santa brings you everything you wish for, including some good books and, hopefully, some delicious Hoogly delights! You deserve it!
Written by Chris Bedford
A Time of Waste
Plastic is a pretty remarkable material. It’s cheap, strong, long-lasting, and can be made into any shape you can imagine. Humans are so enamoured with the invention that since the fifties, it’s estimated that we’ve created over eight billion metric tonnes of plastic. Although plastic has been put to good use and has been a success in many areas of our everyday lives, the impact of its supreme durability is now becoming horribly evident.
Nearly eighty percent of plastic made in the last seven decades has been discarded onto landfills or into the general environment. Less than ten percent is recycled, and the rest is incinerated. This has led scientists, conservationists and activists to call on the population, from top to bottom, to urgently reassess the way we think about and use plastic.
The statistics they cite are damning. More than 8 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into the sea each year, and some experts estimate that, by the middle of the century, there will be more plastic than fish, and that 99% of all seabirds will have eaten some plastic during their lives. The sea also contains over fifty trillion particles of micro-plastic—five hundred times the amount of stars in our galaxy. Sea turtles can mistake plastic bags for tasty jellyfish, floating plastic can tempt a swooping seagull, and young perch will readily eat plastic over plankton. Scientists think that this waste effects over six hundred species, and the damage done by consuming this indigestible poison is often lethal, which is not only an obvious disaster for the creatures themselves, but also has a knock-on effect on our species, as we eat so many sea-dwelling creatures ourselves. Owing to the fact that plastic can degrade into fragments tiny enough to pass through the gut and into the flesh of fish and other animals, we are already consuming the waste plastic that is polluting our oceans. This is not good news, as some plastic is toxic and can cause disruption to the normal functioning of hormones. Additionally, plastic has been known to attract other spilled pollutants and poisons like a magnet, which simply heightens the importance of removing it from our oceans.
It’s not just the sea that is affected, of course. There are over three hundred billion pieces of plastic in the once-pristine Artic, and some of the remote Pacific Islands have some of the highest levels of plastic pollution anywhere on the globe.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s now thought that plastic may be contaminating the air. Microparticles from cosmetics and microfibres from synthetic clothes wash into our sewage systems and enter treatment plants, finally finding their way into the sea. Some particles, however, combine with the sewage and are then used to fertilise farmers’ fields. Once these dry, and the wind picks up, these particles may be blown into the atmosphere where they can be inhaled as we go about our lives.
The good news is, the world is beginning to respond to the problem. The United Nations has engaged in a ‘War on Ocean Plastic,’ creating a CleanSeas campaign which have notable signatories, including the UK and France, Brazil and Italy. The UK itself has enforced a ban on microplastics in “rinse-off” cosmetics, and has tried to raise awareness in communities about the best ways to recycle, and how to avoid single-use plastics where possible.
And we at Hoogly are doing our part too. Our ethos, Hygge, is about being cosy and content, focussing on the things that bring you joy, and most importantly, being kind to yourself. But being cosy starts in your surroundings and your environment: we want the natural world, from which we take so much pleasure, to be as beautiful and healthy as possible, so that it can provide purity, safety and comfort to us now and in the future, helping us find balance and tranquillity in our everyday lives.
To this end, all of our tea pyramids are fully biodegradable, giving you peace of mind every time you flip on the kettle and indulge in our tasty range of brews. In addition to this, we will very soon be packaging and presenting our tea pyramids in fully biodegradable cellophane bags made from natural, renewable sources. The new NatureFlex bags are static-free, compostable, heat-seal viable, and won’t biodegrade on your shelf. So now you can relax, enjoy the Hoogly moment, safe in the knowledge that you’re sharing a smile with Mother Earth.
And if you’re looking for help navigating your way through our delicious selection of eclectic treats, look no further than our Hoogly Brew of the Week: Early Grey black tea. Our riff on an old classic provides the perfect way to unwind in style, with a delicate blend of Sri Lankan tea leaves, infused with bergamot oil and complemented by zesty lemon and sweet orange, offering a scintillating scent as well as a treat for the taste-buds!
That’s it for now. Until next time, look after yourself and the beautiful world around you—and don’t forget, for a huggable cuppa…it has to be Hoogly!
Written by Chris Bedford