episode 3

What are the
best ingredients
for sleep?

with Celia Aceae

Celia Aceae

steeping together
podcast - episode #03

What are the best ingredients for sleep?

with Celia Aceae

november 2021
Length: 40:46 see all
Listen on:

episode transcript

Marika de Vienne 0:21

Hello and welcome to another episode of Steeping Together. Today with the help of my guest we are going to explore a question that seems to be on everyone's minds these days. How do I get better sleep? So let's face it, we are exhausted. The demands of our day-to-day life seem never ending as we seem to be slaves to our phones and on-call every minute of every day. And a good night's sleep is key to feeling better, more energized, making better decisions, and just generally feeling good. But how do you help quiet your mind long enough to get the sleep you oh so deserve? Today we're going to dive into different sleep ingredients, both their benefits and their drawbacks, in an effort to find the key to finally feeling rested in the morning as we wake. And to do that I have enlisted the help of my colleague Celia Aceae. Celia, welcome to the show.

Celia Aceae 1:18

Hi, Marika. Thanks for having me.

Marika de Vienne 1:20

All right! It's an absolute pleasure. Celia, would you care to introduce yourself the way that you would like to be introduced?

Celia Aceae 1:27

Sure. My name is Celia Aceae, I am a Tea Specialist here at DAVIDsTEA, and usually I introduce myself as a “plant person,” you can take that how you want.

Marika de Vienne 1:38

I mean, I think everyone's imagination has run wild when you say plant person because plant encompasses almost everything. I see green, I see leafy, but honestly I don't know what that means. Are you a botanist? Are you a – end of list, I don't even know what else would be part of that category. Like you're a specialist of herbology?

Celia Aceae 2:02

Well actually, I've studied plants my entire life. Probably since I was about eight I've been reading books nonstop about plants and their benefits, so it's always been an interest. But I studied conservation, officially. So protecting our botany and our plants and the flora around us. And then I studied horticulture. And while I was studying horticulture, I did study a lot about herbs and their functions, that was really my area of expertise. And then I studied tea and tea production. So it all comes back to plants and how they work around us and how they work within us.

Marika de Vienne 2:36

That is a very broad subject. But you've been studying it for many, many years. And one of the things I love about you, Celia, is anytime I have a kind of like ache or pain, you're like the first person I go to in the office. “Celia, my neck hurts. And I think it's because – I don't know, help me, give me a plant that will help! Or you know, I had a really big, big, big lunch, I need help with digestion!” You generally have a solution, and you're not my doctor, you're not anybody's doctor, let's be clear!

Celia Aceae 3:07

Definitely not. That’s my sister…

Marika de Vienne 3:08

Oh good! So it stays in the family.

Celia Aceae 3:14

Yeah. I mean, it probably started with our mother and our grandmother, but we're all very interested in helping people, and you know, it's an interest that stayed within. So that started early.

Marika de Vienne 3:25

That's really cool. And what I like is that like, we said you're not a doctor, you're not giving me or anyone else advice based on who they are as individuals or how their system works. But what I find with you, when I ask you a question either about my immunity or my digestion or something that will make my life a little bit better, you're not giving me anecdotal tales. I mean, you have plenty of anecdotal tales, let's be clear, you're peppered full of just you know, these fantastic examples. However, you give me clear and concise and simple and science-based evidence as to why a certain plant will react within my system a certain way.

Celia Aceae 4:09

Yes, well I'm an avid reader and I always have been. And I am just so passionate about reading about plants and I tend to retain facts pretty well, which is helpful, that's just the way my brain is programmed. But I also do have a lot of experience of working with people. And you're not the only person who comes to me in the office. In fact, I would say most people in this office would say that, and I do have my little first aid kit for just these purposes. But you're right, I'm not a doctor, I just read a lot. I have a lot of experience working with plants and taking plants personally, and so I'm more than willing to share all the time. I do that by offering information and you know, you can choose to take that if you want to or not. I'm not telling you what to do.

Marika de Vienne 4:58

No, you're not bossy person, I will say that just, generally speaking you're not a bossy person. But you always present the ingredient in a really interesting way. You always tell me, you know, its origin. Very often you even know the Latin name, which, you know, for someone like me, who doesn't remember that level of detail, I'm always terribly, terribly impressed. You're also able to explain how it's most likely going to interact in my system. And with me, at least, you have about a 90% success rate in terms of suggestion of things. And so when I was thinking about what we should talk about, because I love talking with you, sleep was paramount on my mind because I think it’s paramount on a lot of people's minds. Like I said at the top of the episode, it's a subject that a lot of people have a lot of questions about. We're really lacking sleep, we really need good sleep in order to feel better. So I really want to dive into it and I want to start with a very specific question. And it's a personal question, but why do certain plants work for me and others don't? And the example I have is any time sleep teas get recommended to me, it's chamomile or it has a lot of chamomile in it. Chamomile is marketed as something to help you sleep. And honestly, on the 39 years I've been on this planet not once has it worked, not once have I drunk chamomile and fallen asleep readily. However, there are other ingredients that work very, very well on me. So just demystify that for me just a little bit.

Celia Aceae 6:40

Yeah, well, you've hit the nail right on head there Marika. I would say, first and foremost, everybody is different. Your body is different from my body from, you know, our colleagues’ bodies. Every single person is so different, our constitutions are different, our energies are different. And in herbs, we work a lot with energy. So looking at people's temperaments, and how their behaviours affect who they are as a person, and that can often interplay with the effects of the herbs. So I would agree with you, chamomile has never worked for me either. And I always had the same experience as you, it's not the ingredient that I reach for first when I think of sleep. Generally, in the herb world, when we're talking about it, we talk about it from a perspective of like helping relax. And it's interesting, when you read studies done with chamomile, it's often given to people two or three times a day, as a supplement or as a tisane and it's not just at bedtime. So I think that something that gets missed a lot when we pass on information verbally is how the plant is administered, or how it's being used. And one of the ways that chamomile is being used is frequently throughout the day to help you relax when you're faced with stressful situations, and that, leading up to sleep, can really help. But it's not going to put you to sleep immediately. Some people might have that reaction, especially if it's helping them relax and the only thing stopping them from sleeping is maybe a stress of some sort. So when they consume the chamomile it's helping them de-stress and then they can fall asleep immediately. That's great, I'm really happy for those people. Some of us are maybe wound a little bit tighter.

Marika de Vienne 8:25

I loved how you looked me in the eye as you said that, like some of us are wound a little bit tighter. What are you trying to say, Celia?

Celia Aceae 8:36

Exactly. So yeah, some of us are around a little bit tighter, and we might need something a little bit stronger. And the other thing is, you know, sleep can – insomnia as a whole can be initiated in very different ways. So it could be, you could be facing primary insomnia, which is really when you can't sleep because of a situation like a lack of ability to sleep itself. You could be facing secondary insomnia, which is when it's caused by something else, maybe like your diet, or maybe you know, you stub your toe and it's throbbing and you just can't stop thinking about your toe throbbing that night. A specific physical pain. Yeah, it could be just anxiety, you know your thoughts at night. All day we're busy, we're distracting ourselves, and as soon as you lay down you just can't stop thinking about one specific thing or many specific things. And that's where different plants are applied for different situations.

Marika de Vienne 9:39

Right. So okay, we both work at DAVIDsTEA, and there's a tea called Chamomile Dreamland. It's a very simple blend. It's a very common blend, actually, where it's essentially just chamomile and lavender. And that tea does have a tendency to relax me more. I wouldn't say that it knocks me out but it does relax me. So it's not the chamomile because I think at this point I'm just frustrated with chamomile because it's never worked for me. So now I'm like, “You're not gonna work when I drink you, why even bother?” So is it the lavender, is it the combination? Like what makes that tea more of an appeasing beverage?

Celia Aceae 10:20

That's a good question. So, you know, we touched on maybe both of us have a little bit more general anxiety. And lavender is an herb that is frequently used for that calming effect, especially for people who have anxiety that is – maybe presents itself in the form of panic. And it's interesting, because when I started really consuming lavender I noticed that it had an amazing effect on me. As I consumed it regularly, it just kind of helped me ease into a bit more of a relaxed lifestyle and I did find that it impacted my sleep. But again, I was consuming it throughout the day, it's not one of those herbs that caused me to sleep right away. And this is another herb that when you see studies done, you see people taking it for like two or three weeks before they notice a huge impact. So this is another thing about sleep ingredients or, you know, ingredients to help us relax or calm down, it's not something that you're just going to sip once and notice an effect. Although in this case, with the lavender and the chamomile, there's also lemon balm in that blend. And lemon balm is an herb that's considered to be uplifting, but also relaxing. It's another one that I don't find puts me to sleep immediately, although it might be considered a little bit stronger for me personally. But it is an herb that people who are maybe suffering a bit more from depression are reaching towards, especially when it's comboed with other heart herbs, so like hawthorn or rose, you know. And I love that lemon balm is in this blend, because it's really you know, you're taking three different herbs that are used a bit more for anxiety and tension easing and combo-ing them. And so that blend is, you know, if one thing isn't going to work for you, maybe another thing is and the other element to this is, you know, often in a pharmaceutical world, we look at one plant, and then we look at the one element in that plant that's having a function on us. And then we take that element out as a specific chemical, and we put it into a pharmaceutical thing. And we consume that. And we're getting that one element. And maybe we're missing out on the other elements that are in the plant that are also having a benefit that we might not have studied as much or we might not be aware of. And this is why a whole plant – and a lot of people believe in like holistic approach to medicine and healing through herbs. And what I like about Chamomile Dreamland is that, you know, now you have three herbs that are all being used for different elements of the same root cause. And so if one thing is maybe not working for you that day, maybe something else is and I also noticed, like shifts in my energy. Maybe chamomile hasn't worked for me for two years, maybe on this one day, when I'm dealing with something that's a little bit less panicked anxiety and more like a different form of anxiety, I guess.

Marika de Vienne 13:21

There are many forms of anxiety, and we do talk a lot about the panicky anxiety because it's the most heightened, and it's the one that people suffer from the most visibly, but that doesn't mean that there aren't other forms of anxiety that other plants would help. I'm going to put a pin in it, Celia, and here's why I'm going to put a pin in it, because as usual, in a normal conversation with you, you are such a wealth of information. There are literally four separate things that you just said that I want to dive into. You said something about heart herbs? Okay, well, we're going to need a part two. You just threw that out there like I was supposed to know what that meant. Like, I don't know what that means, so we're going to put a pin in that one, we're going to keep that for part two. I feel like we're definitely going to be revisiting a lot of the things you threw out there. But one thing you did tell me the other day again, in passing, was that lavender not only helps you to relax, but it's one of the components of lavender is that it helps you to stay asleep. And sometimes our issues with sleep isn't necessarily that we can't fall asleep is that we wake up at one o'clock in the morning and then we just can't go back to sleep. So you said that and I really found myself in that information. Because I am not someone who has a hard time falling asleep but I definitely do wake up and that's when I remember that I forgot to send that email or that I have to call my mother. So is lavender something I should be incorporating more regularly into my routine in order to help to stay asleep?

Celia Aceae 15:05

Yeah, I would definitely try it. Again, this is, that particular study that I was reading that I mentioned to you that said that after six weeks people started to notice that they had reduced awakening frequencies. So they weren't waking up as often throughout the night. But again, that was like after incorporating it into their life, more than just one cup. And that's really cool.

Marika de Vienne 15:29

So you studied the whole plant world. My focus has always been more on tea, and one of the questions I get very frequently with tea, is should I drink more tea to benefit from the antioxidants? You know, there's an antioxidant question out there in regards to the Camellia sinensis leaf. And all the research I've done has suggested that yes, drinking one cup of tea, once a week is not going to increase your receptiveness of antioxidants. It really is something that you have to drink regularly, once a day, twice a day, three times a day, in order to truly benefit from those antioxidants. You're saying it's more or less the same thing with these plants. If you want to benefit from the relaxing or calmative effects of lavender, of chamomile, of lemon balm, integrating them more regularly into your routine is the best way to maximize their effects on your system.

Celia Aceae 16:26

Yes, for these particular herbs, that is what has been found in studies and that has also been my own personal experience. I would say that there are faster-acting herbs, you know, the ones that really if you need something to help you fall asleep immediately there are some more go-tos.

Marika de Vienne 16:46

Okay, so that's what I'm getting to. I am a working mother of two, I don't have a routine, I have a survival method. So it's lovely that if I incorporate lavender more regularly into my routine, hey, I'm going to stay asleep longer.

Celia Aceae 17:05

I'll be honest, there are hundreds of herbs I want to incorporate into my routine more often because sleep is not the only focus in my life. I also want to work on, you know, ameliorating my digestion or, you know, they're just like different elements, different herbs – I feel like I should be taking dandelion root every day, or nettle, you know, for different things. But how do you incorporate all of those into a routine all the time? And maybe it's looking at like what you're prioritising in that moment. Or maybe it's being reactive to the situation going on in in the moment as well.

Marika de Vienne 17:39

I'm really happy that you acknowledge that because the overwhelming amount of decisions we have to make, in regard to our wellbeing is immense. It's my sleep, it's my immunity, it’s my digestion. It's my, you know, time to take mindfulness and a moment for myself. It's my exercise. It's my diet. It's my relationship with my children. It's my relationship at work. It's too much! And it's definitely not helping my sleep!

Celia Aceae 18:09

Have a sip of your Serenity Now, Marika.

Marika de Vienne 18:11

Yeah, we're drinking Serenity Now right now because, quite frankly, I think I need it. This is a really good tea. This is another example of a tea that does not knock me out, though, which is why we chose it for this recording because we're recording in the middle of the day. I have a lot of meetings after this, I don't want to fall asleep after we finished recording today, and Serenity Now is a really interesting choice.

Celia Aceae 18:38

Yeah, this is actually the tea that taught me how to incorporate lavender into my lifestyle. It's one of my favourites, I bring it with me anytime I'm doing a public talk because it just helps kind of relax me and helps me focus a little bit more on the task at hand without feeling that panicked anxiety that you might get if you're doing a public speaking event or something like that.

Marika de Vienne 19:01

Okay, so you're saying that I'm feeling more relaxed now, not just because I'm with you and I feel like I'm learning a lot but because the lavender in Serenity Now is helping. But to go back to where I was originally going, which is I need something to sleep now. Like I don't have time to incorporate all of these things in my daily routine. So it's a hard question for me to ask you because I know that you have such an in-depth knowledge of literally thousands of plans. But if you could only pick three, three sleep ingredients that really are super effective to just knock you out. What would they be?

Celia Aceae 19:44

Oh gosh, great question. So my first my first herb, top, always is linden. And linden goes by many names. It goes by tilia, tilleul, basswood, silver lime blossom. So if you've ever seen that on our label, that's usually how it gets put on ingredient lists. It is not related to citrus at all, it's actually more closely related to chocolate or hibiscus. It's in the Malvaceae family. That's the family that they all belong to.

Marika de Vienne 20:15

I feel like you're just giving me suggestions for more episodes. Like, it's actually related to chocolate. I'm like, oh my goodness! It’s a whole other episode! But okay, linden, I’m focusing, bring me back.

Celia Aceae 20:29

I like to call it linden. It has a very sweet honey-like flavour and I find that when I drink it, it's another herb that is often used for anxiety, but it also knocks me right out. Like, I can drink it and immediately I start to feel my eyes droop a little bit. And it's not something that I'll drink throughout the day unless I'm like really anxious and also really caffeinated to kind of help combat that, but generally it's something –

Marika de Vienne 20:57

Wonder why you'd be really caffeinated. Oh, can’t imagine, working at a tea company, why would you be so caffeinated?! I really like linden, too, it's one of the few ingredients that I actually genuinely feel works on me, like knocks me out. Okay, second sleep ingredient. What are you going with?

Celia Aceae 21:16

Well, a lot of people when they hear that question, they immediately gravitate towards valerian. So valerian is probably the go-to herb for most people when they're looking for something to knock them out right away. Through studies, we have learned that valerian reduces the time before you fall asleep and also it doesn't have as much morning drowsiness associated with it like most pharmaceuticals might. So if you generally take a sleeping pill, you might wake up and you're still feeling a bit groggy, people love valerian because it doesn't have that effect necessarily. I have always struggled with valerian, it's something that I cannot take. And it took me a long time to figure out why. But valerian in the plant world, you know, people say plants have a warming nature or cooling nature. And valerian has a warming nature. And so it's often said that if you're giving valerian to someone who already has a lot of fire within them, or heat, it might just make their anxiety, especially their really overthinking anxiety, a little bit worse.

Marika de Vienne 22:22

What do you mean like heat? Like my husband’s always hot, is that what you mean by heat?

Celia Aceae 22:28

It can be associated, but speaking more energetically. So yeah, I'm always running on the colder side temperature-wise, but I am a very like, energetic person, I'm an extrovert, I have a fiery nature. I'm born in a fire sign, you know, I'm a bit more of a fiery person in general. And so I actually found before I learned all this, that valerian was giving me really bad anxiety. And I couldn't figure out why other people were always reaching for it. And then I read that that’s actually pretty typical for about one in 10 to two in 10 people, that they might experience that that same opposite effect than what you might expect.

Marika de Vienne 23:13

It’s interesting because valerian is an ingredient again, it helps to relax me, but it does help to inspire me. I'm a bit of a night owl and I like to write or create things later in the evening, and I have a tendency to drink valerian at that point. It doesn't give me anxiety, it gives me a kind of creative energy. Which, yeah, it's also confused me as well why people reach for it for sleep specifically, because it doesn't have that effect on me. Again, I feel like you've opened a very large box. And I think that at some point, hopefully, we'll have an episode where we can just link ingredients to zodiac signs. You just threw that out, “I’m a fire sign.” And I was like, well you can't just throw that out there. As per your zodiac sign, which ingredient is best for you? That sounds like a fun episode! It sounds like a separate podcast. But we'll see, we'll see.

Celia Aceae 24:18

You know, when when you brought up this topic with me for the first time I was a little bit worried, honestly – my anxiety kicked in. I was like, oh gosh Marika, you know, sleep is such a personal thing for each person. And when I talk to people about herbs, when I talk to people about plants, I want to know the specifics about their lifestyle, about who they are as a person, about how they react to other to other things and situations. And I can't just tell you, you know, this plant is going to be great for you at this time, without knowing everything else. And I don't want to give just general information, because I don't want people to have the experience that you had with chamomile. I don't want people to take an herb and say, you know, this didn't work for me or it actually made the situation worse and I'm giving up on sleep herbs completely, when you know, just in writing down the herbs that we have in our lineup of teas, I came up with, I think nine. And then when I looked at all the herbs that I wanted to talk about, there are at least 15. So there is something out there for everyone and it's really about taking the time to find out what that looks like, and what what that looks like for you personally in your lifestyle and depending on your nature. And it's about, you know, what's accessible as well. It's about seasonality, possibly. There are so many things that come into play. And I hate to be so general about a plant or an herb and a function when there's so many specifics. And it's so personal.

Marika de Vienne 25:45

I appreciate the nuance that you bring to it. And that's why a lot of the times when people ask for recommendations about tea, our Tea Guides in store, our customer service representatives, they spend a lot of time asking our customers questions, because if we have on our website a tea like Chamomile Dreamland, the description we're going to give is going to fit I'd say about 80-85% of people out there, because we can't give a description that says, well, for this certain kind of person this is gonna work… we're going to have such a large entry for every single tea that it would be it would be overwhelming for people. So it's great that we have this longer format in which to explore this subject, because it's not a “one size fits all” kind of answer. Having said that, what's your third “one size fits all” answer for top three ingredients?

Celia Aceae 26:44

Great question. Back to that. Alright well we talked about lavender already a lot. And that's really the one that I bring with me everywhere. As I mentioned, you know, linden is the one I take all the time and valerian is one that I recommend to other people but that I don't take myself. When I was starting an exploration of herbs and sleep herbs specifically, I was really getting into catnip, actually, but it's not an ingredient that we have in our lineup. So I hesitate to recommend it, which would then bring me to lemon balm because you know, catnip’s in the mint family and I work in families of plants a lot. So lemon balm is also in the mint family, and we talked about how it's a bit uplifting and so it's for a very different purpose. So maybe that's where I would go. A lot of people are – I'm going on and on now!

Marika de Vienne 27:37

I just love it, because you say catnip, and I associate catnip with – I've seen cats react to it. They don't seem sleepy to me!

Celia Aceae 27:45

No, it's interesting because it actually has the opposite effect on humans! So it's very calming. And I dealt with a lot of insomnia in high school and I would drink a full cup of catnip every night before bed because it was the only thing that was helping me sleep. And I would drink a full cup of catnip and then I would drink a full cup of chamomile, not because I was looking for the effect, because I'd already identified that chamomile did not work for me at all, but because it actually just tasted a lot better than catnip. Because if you've ever had a cup of catnip, it's maybe not the tastiest thing out there. So I'd want it in a blend at this point in my life.

Marika de Vienne 28:22

And I hope you don't take offence to what I'm about to say. But I trust you and your wealth of knowledge and your information but I'm going to speak to my doctor before I infuse some catnip just because I feel like I should get just a second opinion.

elia Acea 28:40

Oh totally, oh please do, yeah!

Marika 28:46

Doctor’s not gonna know where this is coming from. But it's just one of those things I feel like I should just run by him if that's all right with you.

Celia Aceae 28:53

Oh, absolutely. But I will say that, you know, like I said I work a lot in plant families, and so we're drinking, you know mint and catnip, if you look at it is very similar in structure, and it looks very similar. We're talking about lavender, we're talking about lemon balm, we're, you know, in our personal lives we consume oregano and sage and like these are all plants in the mint family. So it's a very vast family. It's a very wonderful family of plants. And so maybe you can think about that while you're thinking about catnip as well.

Marika de Vienne 29:28

I don’t know if the information you’re giving me is going to help my sleep because now I'm going to be thinking about it so much that it's unlikely I'm gonna go to sleep early tonight. But Celia I want to thank you for helping me just try to unpack this problem a little bit, the sleep problem that we all have. I mentioned it a few times this episode, you're coming back! Because I have so many more questions for you just related to this. You’re not going anywhere, I'm not going anywhere, we're just going to take a break. We're going to drink some Serenity Now and we'll be right back.

AD BREAK 30:02

Today's episode of Steeping Together is brought to you by Sleepy Lychee. Are you tired? Can't sleep, discouraged by the over-excess of chamomile and most sleep aid teas? Well, this fruity, linden-packed gem of an herbal tea is what I drink when I can't handle all the thoughts that my overanxious brain likes to conjure up just as my head hits the pillow. Thoughts like, “Where is my birth certificate? Does my high school boyfriend still have my Hootie and the Blowfish CD? Are we all just in the matrix?” Sleepy Lychee – because knowing whether or not you're stuck in the matrix is a question best answered after a full night's sleep.

Marika de Vienne 30:42

Welcome back, it's time to play “What Are You Drinking?” The quiz where we ask our guests three situational questions, some realistic some completely out there and they have to use all of their experience and expertise to tell us what they would drink in any one of these situations. Celia are you ready to play “What Are You Drinking?”

Celia: Heck yeah. Lay it on me! I’m so excited.

Marika: So these are kind of on theme. Number one, you've been tossing and turning for hours and counting sheep just isn't cutting it anymore. You decide making a cup of tea might help. So what are you drinking?

Celia Aceae 31:21

That’s the linden, right there! You knew it was coming.

Marika de Vienne 31:24

I didnt know it was coming, I had an inkling.

Celia Aceae 31:29

But you know what, I'd probably at that point mix it with some lemon balm and some lavender because I'd probably be really frustrated that I wasn't sleeping at that point, and I would need something to kind of uplift my mood, so I'd bring in the lemon balm.

Marika de Vienne 31:47

Excellent answer. I guess my next question is, are you steeping it hot or are you making it iced? Because for me, when I wake up in the middle of the night the frustration too is that if I get up to make something I'm losing time. You know, I just look at the clock and every minute ticking by gives me more stress because it's a minute that I'm not spending asleep. And so sometimes I have a tendency to make my herbal teas, my sleep aid teas, iced because I feel like I'm just gonna drink it quickly. And then I can at least get back to, maybe not sleeping right away because it takes time for these ingredients to take effect, but at least I'll be back in a lying down position and I can slowly ease myself into sleep better that way. Whereas making it hot I become like manic and blowing on it, like cool down! The more I blow on it, the more the clock is ticking and the more stressed out I become! Learning so much about me today.

Celia Aceae 32:51

Okay, you make it in a teapot and then you get a very small cup and then you pour it into the cup into the small cup so that it's cool every time you drink it. Pour it from a tall height so that it cools as it hits the cup. And then you just have your warm tea immediately. You don't have to worry about cooling it down. And you slurp loudly to cool it as it enters your mouth.

Marika de Vienne 33:12

Kind of like a traditional Moroccan mint tea because they're gonna pour it from a very high level into small cups and then they're gonna slurp it pretty loud. I love that!

Celia Aceae 33:23

Exactly. But not iced because if I get too cold I’m not going to sleep at all. As soon as I get cold, I can't sleep, so for me staying warm and cozy is the ultimate matter of importance.

Marika de Vienne 33:37

Love it. Are you ready for question two? You're not gonna drive anymore, the stress of the commute is no longer your jam. You are going to take the bus all the way to work and yes, it's a little bit longer but it will be mostly empty and you will have time to read, listen to music, and just generally chill. So what are you drinking?

Celia Aceae 34:00

I love public transportation. First thing that I would like you to know is that one of my top favourite things about the city of Montreal is the metro and public transportation. Honestly, if it's in the morning and I'm heading to work, I would be drinking tea. Camellia sinensis, the tea plant, I'd probably be drinking an Orange Pekoe because that's one of my go-tos in the morning.

Marika de Vienne 34:25

Because of the energy, because of the flavour?

Celia Aceae 34:29

Because of the flavour and the robust nature of the tea just like, kind of gets me ready for the day. It's a whole and complete flavour, is how I think of it. It has some sweetness, it has some astringency, it has just like the all the delicious notes that you can think of in one little tea. Just thinking about getting so excited, for tomorrow morning when I'm gonna drink my next cup of Orange Pekoe!

Marika de Vienne 34:57

It is a popular tea in this office, let me tell you. Orange Pekoe is a pretty classic good standby, it’s a good morning tea, it really is.

Celia Aceae 35:04

It doesn't help that we went to Sri Lanka to source it so it brings back a lot of good memories for me. You know, it’s another reason why I love it so much, but it holds a dear place in my heart for sure.

Marika de Vienne 35:16

Yeah, I know the sourcing trip to Sri Lanka sounded wonderful. I wasn't invited and I'm not at all jealous, let me just preface this by saying I'm totally okay with the fact that you guys got to go to Sri Lanka! And visit our suppliers, but…

Celia Aceae 35:32

Well, you did tell me all the hotspots to go in Sri Lanka like while I was there.

Marika de Vienne 35:37

But I hadn't been with you, and that's the part that I'm not at all jealous about. I don't know why you'd say that! I’m just messing with you. Okay, question three. Okay sure, it's like over 20 years late, but the owl finally arrived. Celia.

Celia Aceae 36:02

I know! I know what owl you’re talking about, I've been waiting for it!

Marika de Vienne 36:05

And your acceptance letter is here. You're about to be whisked away to begin training as a witch or wizard. Wands, cauldrons, magic broomsticks and all. You are going to Hogwarts. What are you drinking?

Celia Aceae 36:23

Okay, I'm so glad you asked. All right, first of all, I'm thrilled to be accepting my letter finally! Wow, I'm so excited. And I am taking out of my private reserves my last cup of Glitter & Gold. It's a black tea with cloves and citrus, and honestly it just feels like every single happy memory that I've ever had in my entire life in one cup of tea. And I'm not a crier, I'm not a person who cries a lot, generally speaking. And when I had a cup of this tea for the first time, I did cry. Yeah, just tears of joy.

Marika de Vienne 37:04

Oh my goodness, because it just reminded you of something? Because it took you a place that you'd never been before? Because of – like what happened? I mean crying is a pretty explosive emotional response to a tea.

Celia Aceae 37:18

It really just felt like every single happy thought and memory that I had had, in one tea. And I guess, it was gifted to me, so it was a gift of love from two of my closest friends, it was a Christmas gift. And I was drinking it alone. And I rarely drink tea alone because I'm always with people, I'm the extrovert of extroverts, as you know. I do not – I'm not alone, often. So I was alone, and I was drinking the tea and I was just having a very intense moment of gratitude and feelings of such so much love and care. And maybe now when I drink the tea it brings me back to that moment and maybe that's why I love it so much. But I can honestly say that I worked as a Tea Guide for four years before coming here, and every person that I shared this tea with had similar experiences. So I don't know if it's a universal thing or not, and maybe it's just my passion for the tea that I'm sharing with everyone. I'm not sure, but generally speaking, this tea has quite the following of people who are passionate about it.

Marika de Vienne 38:29

You're not the first person to tell me about their love of this tea. And I feel bad every time I hear it because as I said, it made very little, a very small impression on me. I thought it was good, but I drank it and moved on to the next thing very, very quickly.

Celia Aceae 38:45

Well, I'm curious if you had the OG in this case.

Marika de Vienne 38:47

Everybody has asked me that. Every time I say that to somebody who loves this tea, like “Did you have the original?” Yes, Celia, I had the original, it's a lovely cup of tea. I did not cry, nor did it change my world. But what I love about your description is not only do I understand, A- apparently how much Harry Potter means to you, these questions are chosen at random,

Celia: Really? Oh gosh…

Marika: And just through your excitement, I can see how much you love Harry Potter and you were able to choose a tea. I don't know why that flavour did what it did to you, but I know that moment, I recognise that moment in myself with other things. And that's what’s just so beautiful, because you can find that with tea, and you'll find your cup of tea that will do that for you. But I just I love your enthusiasm and your description and your pairing, and congratulations. This is a quiz with no points, but you have won “What Are You Drinking!”

Celia Aceae 39:52

Oh thank you! I’m still drinking Serenity Now.

Marika de Vienne 39:57

Well Celia, look, I cannot thank you enough for joining me today, for just sitting down and sharing a cup of tea and talking plants and teas and quizzes. Thank you so much for joining me.

Celia Aceae 40:09

Thank you for having me Marika. It has been a true pleasure. Thank you so much for bringing up the owl.

Marika de Vienne 40:16

I'll remember that for next time. And thank you for listening to today's episode. If you'd like to reach us with comments, questions, or suggestions for the “What Are You Drinking?” game you can do so at steeping.together@davidstea.com or through our website davidstea.com. Have a great week and happy steeping everyone!

Celia Aceae

Celia Aceae

about the guest

Celia’s obsession with tea began as soon as she could drink. Motivated by her love of plants (and insatiable curiosity), Celia studied conservation and natural resource compliance at Lethbridge College in Alberta. She went on to obtain a Red Seal in horticulture from the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture, and currently works as a Tea and Sustainability Specialist at DAVIDsTEA. But we’re not done yet! Celia is also completing an additional bachelor’s degree of Science in Horticulture, basically proving that her love of tea and plants is no passing fancy. With an encyclopedic knowledge of plants and their various impacts on individuals as well as the planet, Celia has committed most of her time to the proliferation of tea and plant knowledge. As a trained Tea Sommelier, she brings joy to those around her by sharing a cup of tea with anyone and everyone, at any time. Fun fact: she lived in Japan for three months studying matcha production and the Japanese tea ceremony, so quiz her, she loves it!

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Who is


about the host

Marika De Vienne studied and worked with tea growers and garden owners in China before becoming a spice and tea blending apprentice. Travelling to places like Thailand, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka turned her into a ravenous seeker and lover of all things tea.

Like many at DAVIDsTEA, Marika has a tea drinking problem. Trust us, we don’t think too much tea is a problem but she’s basically a human science experiment on tea consumption…

So, in an effort to channel this obsession into something a little more constructive, Marika now hosts Steeping Together, where she hopes to spark meaningful conversations over a fresh cup of tea with people from around the world.

Marika De Vienne
Project Lead