T Ching’s mission is to nurture a community of tea lovers by providing a forum for the exchange of information, thoughts, and experiences.
T Ching was borne out of a concern for the declining state of health in the United States and abroad and the recognition that drinking tea was a simple and effective way to reverse that trend. A growing epidemic of diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease that are frequently caused or exacerbated by poor lifestyle choices, touches all members of society, including the youngest. Among the poor lifestyle choices – including unhealthy diets and a lack of exercise – that contribute to these diseases is the increased consumption of high-sugar beverages.
Before founding T Ching, Michelle Rabin and Sandy Bushberg spent over 25 years in the health care field, promoting positive change in the lives of their patients by encouraging them to improve their diets, take supplements, exercise, and meditate. However, these recommendations frequently fell on deaf ears.
Enter TEA. Here was one simple, delicious, and healthy beverage that was easy to incorporate into busy lifestyles. TEA has the potential to improve your health significantly, doesn’t involve changing your entire diet, and doesn’t require you to join a gym or buy exercise equipment. TEA doesn’t even require a time commitment – it’s easy, yet it can affect you in profound ways. One simple step … DRINK TEA.
We, at T Ching, want people to see that not only can drinking tea improve their health in so many different ways, but can also bring great pleasure and enjoyment to their lives.
If you are only willing to make one small change in your life, we think that change should be TEA.
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Michelle Rabin is the founder of T Ching. Ten years ago, she left New Jersey where she’d been in private practice as a psychologist for 25 years, and moved to Hood River, Oregon with visions of tea in her mind, body, and soul. Her mentors, Robert G. Allen (N.Y. Times best-selling author) and Mark Victor Hanson (Chicken Soup For the Soul) taught her that she is limited only by the limitations she imposes on herself. It is her vision and drive that is the inspiration for this innovative new business. She was able to see, early on, the direction the tea industry was headed in this country and was drawn to every aspect of it. A former coca-cola addict, Michelle first discovered green tea as a healthier beverage choice to wean herself off of her coca-cola jones. Her love affair with tea began while studying the traditions of the Japanese and Chinese Tea Ceremonies. But it didn’t end there. As a tea connoisseur herself, Michelle saw the need to educate consumers about tea. Her prediction is that once Americans can make a delicious cup of tea quickly, painlessly, and perfectly, their consumption of tea will significantly increase, bringing it in line with the rest of the world’s enjoyment of tea. Second only to water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. The profound health benefits associated with tea consumption will have the potential to impact health and wellness in this country unlike anything before it. We’re currently working on a new project and expect to launch it this winter. We’ll keep you posted so you can be the first to participate in this exciting new avenue for tea lovers.
A native Californian, born literally on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, Erika Cilengir grew up in the Highland Park/Mt. Washington area of the city, a haven for persons marching to a different beat. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Pomona College, Erika spent four months in Germany, studying German at the Goethe Institute in Luneburg, where she met her future husband. Erika then began her nearly 20-year career as a technical communicator in the computer industry and received a master’s degree in Communication from the University of Southern California (USC). In 1998, Erika made a career transition, moving into business analysis. She continues to work as an IT business analyst, but took a brief break from the corporate world in 2008 to pursue her dream of starting a tea house. After eight intense months of pursuing her dream, Erika decided it was not the right time to open a business and put her dream on hold. But Erika continues to be a tea enthusiast and makes a point of savoring at least one cup a day. Her positive associations with tea began many years ago when Erika regularly spent afternoons with a good friend and tea lover, sampling various teas, enjoying her company, and leaving feeling refreshed and relaxed. Today, steeping a cup of tea is one of the best ways Erika has found to take a break from the hustle and bustle of living. It is a healthy habit that complements her other healthy habits of running and eating well as well as her volunteer work with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
A webmaster based in Virginia, Ryan is a recent east coast addition to the T Ching staff. Ryan’s own tea addiction started with a randomly purchased Sow Mee white tea from an Asian market when he was in college. Since then, he’s expanded his horizons and knowledge about tea, tea preparation methods, and tea production and is in the process of opening a tea shop. Ryan spends his spare time working on personal web projects and music, writing about veganism and animal rights, as well as hanging out with his wife, daughter, and basset/shepherd/bloodhound mix.
Born and raised in Southern California, Zach Hodgson is proud to be part of the T Ching family, working from his new home in Seattle, Washington where he currently makes his living as a freelance photographer and graphic designer. You can find some of his work on his personal web site at www.ZachHodgson.com. His love for tea goes back several years and his affection for photography goes back even further. He received his first camera, a 110 Instamatic, as a gift from his parents when he was only a small child. He received formal training in both the graphic and photographic arts in college, where his professors were quick to point out his natural talent for composition. In 2007, Zach received a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design, and left college with a life-long love for learning and new experiences. He finds himself most often enjoying P.G. Tips black tea, Yerba Mate, and Sencha and Genmaicha green teas as well as an occasional masala chai, often out of one of his mother’s hand-thrown mugs.
Social Media Editor
Alexandra Hoover has been obsessed with tea ever since she visited her grandmother and watched jasmine flowers gracefully unfold in a mug. She drinks too many cups of tea a day and tries to make up for it by consuming more water than the average person (“tries” is the key word). She is a freelance writer who also creates reviews for a travel website and a Los Angeles community resource site. Alexandra has a degree in anthropology and would love to visit Japan to see an authentic tea ceremony in action.
Sandy M. Bushberg is one of the original founders of T Ching and a member of the board of directors. Having been in the healthcare field as a psychologist for over 20 years and as a clinical herbalist, Sandy has a long-term vision of promoting health and wellness and devoting himself to reversing the destructive trend of declining health in this country. He is driven by the realization that if more people don’t start to do something soon to begin reversing this rapid decline in our health, then our nation’s economy will be overwhelmed by the growing costs of healthcare. His interest in tea as an inspiration for promoting health was piqued during a trip to Southeast Asia where he began to study the myriad health benefits of tea. During the ensuing years, Sandy has done in-depth research about tea – its history and health benefits, both physiological and psychological/spiritual – and has obtained certification as a Tea Specialist through the Specialty Tea Institute. Sandy’s strong vision and creative insights have been key in the development of Tching.com.