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Some people like to spill the tea. Rhiannon Woo prefers to drink it and has a business dedicated to those with similar sensibilities.

According to legend the story of tea begins in China. In 2737 BC, Chinese emperor Shen Nung was sitting beneath a tree while his servant boiled drinking water, when some leaves from the tree blew into the water. Shen Nung, a renowned herbalist, decided to try the infusion. The tree was a Camellia sinensis, and the resulting drink is what we now call tea.

Rhiannon is carrying on the ancient tradition - launching ‘A Certain Tea’ in Jasper, Alberta in 2020.

Tea is steeped in Rhiannon’s own family history.

“One of my uncles had a store back home in Ontario and I got interested in it that way,” she said.

“My gran comes from Wales originally, so tea was always just the thing you had at Gran’s house. 

“She always had some kind of tea there and always had the kettle on for when people came over,” Rhiannon recalls. 

The name for her company had been floating in Rhiannon’s head for years and “I finally said, “no I am registering this, it’s mine” and ‘A Certain Tea’ was officially born.

Rhiannon moved to Port McNeill in March of 2022 after her husband, Chris Woo, was hired by the Town of Port McNeill.

“We thought it was a great opportunity for him to come home and be near his folks and bring the kids.”

The couple lived in Jasper for almost 12 years before moving to the North Island.

On Aug. 19, Rhiannon had her first ever vendor table at Port McNeill’s annual Orca Fest market. 

“It was a great success, and I had a lot of fun meeting new people and selling tea.” 

Her second sales venture was at the Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair.

At the moment, Rhiannon offers packaged, pre-blended teas, but has decided “I should dip my toes into creating my own blends.”

Working with tea is something she enjoys doing. 

Tea is a “welcoming and inclusive hobby” with ingredients “from literally the entire planet”, she said.

“I like that it brings people in, and brings people together, and it’s something that you can share with pretty much anyone.”

To learn more about A Certain Tea visit

Local sure about A Certain Tea

By Kathy O'Reilly, North Island Eagle, September 29 2023

tea lady.jpg

Photo — Kathy O'Reilly

Rhiannon Woo launched her business ‘A Certain Tea’ in Jasper, Alberta in 2020 and has brought it with her to the North Island.

Beets help promote a healthy lifestyle

By Susan Holbrook, North Island Eagle, September 29 2023

I guess it’s safe to talk about fall now without upsetting those who want to hang on to summer including myself. The weather is leading us to feel like eating foods affiliated with the season and one of my favourites are beets.  Recently, I was able to get some beets with wonderful tops, which I love to steam and eat with just a little bit of butter. Sometimes I’ve absolutely craved them, maybe because they have a high concentration of minerals. Normally we are used to eating the roots which have a high sugar content. After all, along with sugarcane, sugar beets are commonly used in the production of refined sugars. However, despite this, in my opinion, the benefits outweigh this fact. Packed with essential nutrients, beets are a great source of fibre, folate, potassium, iron, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, silica, selenium, vitamin C and three bone health nutrients manganese, boron, and magnesium.

Beet juice activates liver enzymes and increases bile, which helps the liver’s detox function. For example, beets are high in glutathione and betalains that have been shown to reduce inflammation, protect against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of liver damage. One of the best ways to get beet benefits is in the raw juice. For a flavour zing why not add ginger, apple, or carrot? A 2021 study showed that beets are a good food choice for people with type 2 diabetes. Participants who ate 100 g of raw beets daily for eight weeks showed improvements in cognitive function, glucose metabolism, and other metabolic markers.

Beets have a naturally sweet and earthy flavoru; however, they can also have a slight bitterness. This is due to their high sugar content, which can have a sour taste if eaten raw. When cooked, the flavour of beets can become even more intense. Beets also contain oxalates, which may cause digestive issues in some people. 

Whether pickled, roasted, or raw there are plenty of ways to enjoy beets. I really enjoy finely grating raw beets and adding some to salads. With their rich supply of vitamins and minerals they clearly can help promote a healthy lifestyle. So, why not make beets a regular part of your diet all year round!

Photo — Submitted

Packed with essential nutrients, beets are a great source of fibre, folate, potassium, iron, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, silica, selenium, vitamin C and three bone health nutrients manganese, boron, and magnesium.

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