Alaskan Tea time

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Disobey stress by making golden moments

You’re invited to a Tea Time like no other! Expect rugged eye-candy mountains and raw forest to set the surreal backdrop, the warmth of a cup of something hot to soothe your body, and the heartfelt connection created over a cup of a cozy concoction to be whimsically calming…but this cup of tea is an adventure in its own right! Call it stress management with grit because the tea is basically a reward for the effort required to get to the party spot. Sometimes, you have to make your moments. They won’t always just come to you.


This Alaskan version of the more well-known Japanese Green Tea Ceremony is the best informal tea “ritual” to ever emerge out of the frozen tundra! Other tea traditions from around the earth tend to be ancient, from Tibetan butter tea, to the Cacao Ceremony, to Indian Chai, to the stately Russian Samovar tea; even English Afternoon Tea is over 100 years old. But Alaska is young, so having seen everything done before us, we know what to adopt and what to ditch. That means we also use coffee and other local wild herbs, so it might be more appropriate we call this spritely jaunt into the Alaskan woods “Hot Drink In the Wilds,” but bear with us

These dudes look proud of their Samovar

Alaskans are cultural pioneers, so we won’t just use just coffee and tea!–Not when the arctic forest is filled with an explosion of immune-boosting betulinic acid-dense cancer-fighting chaga! Or when there is local high alpine rhodiola rosea, with rosoavin to balance cortisol and give adaptogenic energy-enhancing power. Why rely on caffeine alone? New horizons are easily found in the Last Frontier, and it’s high time the tea ritual is elevated in society again, and other herbs are given a spotlight and platform!

Making a fuss over creating a one-of-a-kind  cup of tea in the middle of the woods is a symbolic act to cut through the craziness of modern stress levels, which are literally killing us. Let’s get back to being “real” again, which, funny enough, can be kick-started with a quirky tea party in the woods. Feel absolutely free to awaken your inner 6 year old and bring a pink boa and sparkly tiara to this tea party –this is a judgement free zone!

For most, though, this experience has all the overtones of a Lord of the Rings scene, or a Pinterest “nature escape” board. But this is real life. It’s moss or snowshoes or lichen-encrusted rock underfoot while you also sip on a concoction that you will never be able to buy at any coffee store…

Alaskan culture is eclectic, so expect this tea (and coffee) time to be, too! All the varying cultures that have settled Alaska left their mark, creating the off-beat vibe that Alaskans carry, from attitude to clothing style. Alaskans are like a walking, talking thrift store of accumulated perspectives. Your tea mugs or bowls will definitely not match. As descendants of voluntary outcasts, we are comfortable with a “rebel” label and have been taught what to apply the middle finger to (such as stress!).

Sushitsu Sen said, “a cup of tea is a cup of peace.” Therefore, thoughtful tea drinking is, at its core, activism. As the rat race seems to intensify, the most sane thing to do is detach from the drama. Disengage. Go take a tea. Or meditate. Or plant a garden. These wordless, defiant acts change our reality. Embody a “cup of peace,” and crown your hard-won moment with literal gold in your cup (yes, gold flakes are floated in your tea for a “golden moment”—we love puns and sarcasm). 


Whether tea is thrown overboard in a Boston Harbor or sipped peacefully in the woods, there’s something symbolic about tea being a tool for revolutions (inner revolutions, that is!—this is not about politics, to be clear—it’s actually a nod to shedding all top-down control methods, including our inner, self-created ones!). It’s not the substance of tea, it’s an action that happens to involve tea. It’s not tea drinking, it’s winning the battle for inner peace, and proving our light overcomes the darkness. 



The Last Frontier

Kaydee, circa 1993, in charge of boiling water at bear camp. Tea making has been a beloved ritual of your host family for a long time

Kaydee making campfire tea early 1990’s. Tea and Coffee are appropriate anywhere, anytime

Step 1) Hike, through woods, down a creek, or up a mountain, whatever your group and natural factors deem appropriate that day. These short hike options are all less than 8 minutes drive from the cabins. If there is severe inclement weather to contend with, watch us adapt to having tea in the covered pavilion or your cabin faster than you can say, “foul weather is not my cup of tea.” But remember the grit of the historic Alaskan gold miners and don’t wimp out too soon!



Step 2) Select the most picturesque spot you can find. Look at previous photos and ask about their location. Guides know where private property is, or where the bear trails are to avoid, don’t worry.



Step 3) Watch your guide pull out quaint hot beverage making equipment from their backpack like Mary Poppins unloading her suitcase. 



Step 4) Wait for water to boil, so please don’t watch the kettle. Look at the mountains instead, or the ravens playing tag. Make a snow angel. Have your guide demonstrate a moose call, and try it out if it’s not actually the time of rut.



Step 5) Dream up whatever hot concoction you want to try first. Chaga with cream? Or a coffee with local honey? Focus is on local and organic, and options are ceremonial grade cacao; French Press coffee; manual-press espresso; matcha green tea; wild Alaskan Chaga tea; local Rhodiola tea; wild Labrador Tea, fresh harvested by you, too, if that’s your sort of thing. Coconut cream, heavy cream, honey, Birch Syrup, etc, will add just the right kind of sweet creaminess to match the moment.



Step 6) Wonder when the last time was you had a hot drink with gold flakes on it. Wait—I can eat gold?