Episode 305 | February 14, 2023

Finding Zen Within with Anthony Capobianco

A Personal Note From Orion

Today’s calming episode showcases the zen-filled life of Anthony Capobianco. Anthony is a tea sommelier who shares how vital persistence and continual learning are to a successful life.  

Finding balance in the hustle, Anthony’s journey from mortgage banker to tea enthusiast began with a wake-up call. He was pushing himself to the limit and his frequent illnesses forced him to reconsider his approach. 

Inspired by his experiences, Anthony founded Zen Tea Traders and is spreading the message that a simple cup of tea can profoundly impact our health, happiness, and sense of connection.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just looking for a moment of peace, I invite you to join me on this journey and discover the healing power of tea for yourself!



In This Episode

  • [02:57] – Anthony Capobianco recounts his journey into the world of tea. 
  • [06:03] – Anthony shares the steps he took to acquire knowledge and skills to become a tea sommelier.
  • [13:14] – Anthony discusses the importance of taking slow moments in life.
  • [29:24] – Orion explains the ways to overcome limiting beliefs.
  • [33:45] – What are the effects of green tea on the body?
  • [37:47] – Orion curiously asks Anthony if he has ever disregarded his intuition.
  • [46:26] – Anthony describes authenticity as an important value of a person.
  • [57:49] – Anthony’s three top tips to living a stellar life.

Jump to Links and Resources

About Today’s Show

Hello, Anthony. Welcome to Stellar Life podcast. Thank you so much for being here.

Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here and see where the conversation goes. 

I know, me too. Let’s start with your origin story. Then, maybe you can share details about yourself, your mission, and what you look forward to  the most in the future. 

I grew up in Detroit, Michigan in a small town called Royal Oak. I lived there up until about 2011. At that point, I moved to California. Backtracking to my Michigan days, right out of college, I decided to get into the mortgage industry, and I worked in mortgage for one company out of Detroit for about ten years. 

During the whole bluster of the day and going 90 miles an hour, I found myself just gravitating towards tea. I never really understood why, but it was just a way to slow down because I was constantly on this treadmill going 90 miles an hour. After all, a lot was going on in my environment. The mortgage industry is fast-paced. 

If you can picture being on a big open sales floor with cubicles everywhere and about 400 or 500 people, it was just a sea of people. It was consistent noise and movement, and we were all being ourselves and having a great time. It was just like a big family, it was a lot of fun, and we did it for many hours. 

When life comes at us fast, the best thing we can do is to slow down. Click To Tweet

I found myself coming home after the day and just stressing out. The years would go on. I remember going to the doctor. He looked at me and said, “everything is great with you, except you have a lot of stress. You have to slow down.” 

Then I just found myself gravitating towards tea that I had drank when I was a child. My grandmother introduced me to it when I was seven or eight. Then as time went on, I got more into it. 

Eventually, what happened right around 2006 or so was that I found full-leaf tea. So I went down this whole rabbit hole of tea, which enamored me. I’m like, “what is this art form? What is this whole thing about?” It took my interest.

During my mortgage days, I drank tea while I was at the company and started selling it to my coworkers. After that, I started my own business as a hobby. First, I sold the furniture out of my spare bedroom in Michigan in my house in Royal Oak, turned it into a tea space, and started carrying tea and other things. Then, I started selling it to my coworkers.

Then one day, the CEO walked by my desk. Now, I’m in a corporate environment. I was boiling water at my desk with a Japanese Zojirushi water boiler. It’s like steam coming off of it. The CEO walked by my desk, looked at me and said, “Hey, come here.” I thought, “oh my God, I’m in so much trouble.” So I said, “how’s it going? What’s going on?”

He said, “This tea thing that you’re doing, it’s got legs. Keep doing this.” I’m like, “oh, okay.” I got encouragement from the CEO of the company. I was like, “wow, this is great.” Then I found myself going into these different tea events, and then fast forward, I had gotten certifications in tea and went down this rabbit hole again to find out more about this. 

All varieties of tea stem from the same plant. Choose a tea that you personally enjoy.

Are there certifications for tea? 

Yes. Just like you have a wine sommelier, I would be something similar to a tea sommelier. Now technically, there’s no real term for that. It’s bigger in other countries, they have that, but the organization that I worked with here, I asked them if I could use that term to describe what I do because I’ve taken hundreds of hours of courses. I’d spent time in the gardens in Japan on one of my trips just learning about tea. I’ve earned it. They said, “yeah, that’s what you do anyways, so go ahead.” At any rate, I got into it. 

Then right around 2010-ish, I wanted to go to Japan and teach English. This would be a great thing to do and learn more about tea while I’m there. The short of it was the tsunami that happened, so I was questioning, “Am I stuck in this box? Am I stuck here? Yes, I was making a very good living.” 

I was running into that; it’s almost like if you were starving and I handed you something like a Dorito or something, you might say to me this tastes good, but I’m not getting full. That was my life at that period. I was acquiring stuff—sports cars, boats, all this stuff—and it wasn’t filling me up. So I was still stressed at the end of the day. 

I knew that this tea thing, there was more to it. I had decided that I wanted to leave Michigan. I wanted to go somewhere else because I found that many people in that area just stayed in their place, and I wanted to explore. I wanted to go. 

There’s nothing wrong with that for me. I was curious about what the world had to offer. I didn’t get into Japan because of the tsunami. So plan B was, why don’t I move to California? I was interviewed at a mortgage company out there. I left my job in Michigan. My parents thought I was crazy. They’re like, “what are you doing? You can’t just pack and leave.”

One of the things that helped me make a decision was to stop and ask God for guidance.

At the end of the day, everything worked out. But one of the things that helped me make a decision was I stopped and ask God, my higher power, “what is in the door for me? What is my move? What should I be doing?” It’s putting the question out of what I should do and how I get into alignment. Just show me how and I’ll figure out the rest, or show me where and I’ll figure out the rest. Give me some guidance. 

I was watching a show. It came on that night on TV, and it was this whole thing about the Buddha. What grabbed me was a quote at the end of this documentary that said, “to gain anything, you must first lose everything.” So I stopped and started thinking, “you know what? I’m acting as if all of these things in my life made me who I was. They didn’t. I made them.” 

I said I would get rid of the things I thought maybe who I was. So I started acting like I was super cool because I had a sports car, a beautiful girlfriend, this boat, etc., and I had these people around me.

I started getting rid of the things in my life. I kept my house in Michigan. I ended up renting it out, moved to California, my dog came with me, and I was in LA for ten years.

When I moved out there, I kept returning to the mortgage industry because it was a low-hanging fruit. It was very easy to make a lot of money in the industry. The tea business for me was always on the back burner, so it’s a hobby.

Once I saw that I could make a little bit of noise with it and earn a living from it, I gave it more love. Then I’d always back off to mortgage because I was good at doing that. I’m in the middle. I’m the kind of person who could be in a room by myself and meditate for an hour, or have my phone away from me, the TV off, and be in my place working for hours and not be bothered, or give me a microphone, throw me up on a stage in front of a thousand people, and I’ll talk about something.

I’m in the middle. One of the things for me that I wanted to gravitate towards more was living a life for me that was fulfilling. How do I create something that feels right and do that in a way that I don’t know what I’m doing?

Things always seem to work out in my favor when I lean towards my, I hate to say passion because I feel that term is overused, but when I lean towards something I feel is calling me, that’s always been tea for me since 2008. 

I lean into tea, and great things start to happen. I ended up in the Huffington Post and all these TV mornings shows and then podcasts, and all these people were reaching out to me. Then celebrities were drinking my tea. 

I realized from business people that nobody cares what I want. So I have to look at what the market’s doing.

I never paid for any of this. I couldn’t do that with mortgages if I tried. Why? Because with mortgages, I was trying. With tea, I was being. It’s who I am. People always ask me, “what got you into tea?” My answer is, “I want the tea to get into me.” It wasn’t like I was chasing something; it was like something found me and said, “come this way.”

You’re making me want to have a cup of tea right now. It sounds so magical. 

That’s the thing with tea; I wanted to get in front of people. In the very beginning, when I first started doing it, I wanted to do everything my way. I’m like, “I’m going to have it this way, and it’s going to be this and that,” but one of the things I realized from business people was that nobody cares what I want. So I have to look at what the market’s doing. So I changed the direction of what I was doing and thinking along the way to get more people’s attention.

Because at the end of the day, what I’m trying to do is when life comes at us fast, we have to slow down. I teach people to do that with tea. When I go into cafes, I’ll look at their demographic, I’ll look at the area they’re in, and I’ll know this cafe is going to do better with these teas. This other cafe will do better with these teas.

I just remembered; I haven’t been to Starbucks for three years at least. So when I came in Starbucks today and ordered something, I forgot how to order, and I was just like, “give me a small green tea latte.”

I haven’t had green tea in forever, but something in me was craving green tea today. I haven’t had green tea in a year or at least a few months. That’s cool. 

I was just going to bring that up. This is amazing. To your point, this all plays into when life comes at you fast; slow down because it’s not just about tea and drinking tea. It’s about slowing down so you can hear and be led in the direction you’re supposed to go. We think we’re doing these different things, but life comes at us a certain way, and we end up going in another direction. That’s the way we’re supposed to go anyway. 

For example, to your point, for some reason, two nights ago, I saw The Secret. I haven’t watched it in two years, but something told me to watch The Secret two nights ago. I watched it, and then you and I were discussing it. You didn’t know that I watched it, but you said to me, guess who I interviewed yesterday, out of nowhere. You felt prompted to tell me about John Assaraf.

Then I said to you that’s interesting. On my bookshelf, the one I have from any of The Secret people on the show was John Assaraf’s book. I took it down when you told me that. I’m like, “well, I have to read the book now because that’s his book, and I’ve always been drawn to his story.” 

He was the one I heard talk about the vision board many years ago when I first saw The Secret in 2007. So then I put up a vision board and started focusing on that. So he was on my vision board. 

I interviewed him because he had such a big impact on my life. I interviewed people of his caliber before. Sometimes I get super nervous, and lately, I’m not because this podcast has been going on for a long time.

Because he had so much impact on me, when I got to the interview, I was super calm. I’m chill. As soon as I saw him, all of a sudden, I couldn’t even think right. Those vision boards in my life, I feel like I attracted my man and so many amazing things to my life. I was so grateful. I was a little bit all over the place, but it was all perfect in its imperfection and was just wonderful. 

Exactly, and that’s the biggest thing. You don’t have to know how the watch works and what time it is. I say that a lot because I’m a figure outer. I want to know the inner workings of everything. So this is another thing that when I shut up, I get directed in a way. 

Let me give you a real-world example. This sort of thing has happened to me, not once nor twice. I can’t even count 50, 60, or 100 times anymore. Small and large. This all plays into The Secret. I’m in LA, which is circa 2013, and I was at home. I had this wallet that had a money clip on the back of it and had ripped a hole in the back of my jeans.

I was like, “huh, what the heck is going on here?” I got to get another wallet. I wasn’t upset about the fact that it ripped the pants. I started asking the question, “what’s in this for me? I wonder what’s here?” 

It's simple to conform and imitate others to blend in, but the challenging aspect in life is to be genuine and unapologetically yourself. Click To Tweet

I go to the mall across the street from my house and walked around for a little while. Let me back up for one second. I had two dreams in my life. One dream was to visit California. I lived there for ten years. The other one was to visit Japan. I hadn’t gone to Japan yet at this point.

I’m in LA. It’s 2013. I’m in mortgage. I wasn’t doing very well financially. Mortgages have their ups and downs. I was down. I went to the mall to get a new wallet. As I was walking through—I was in one of the stores—I didn’t hear a voice, but I said, “I guess I’ll go this way instead.” This took me to another store, Brookstone, and I found a wallet. The wallet I wanted after looking around for 40 minutes and about to give up.

I came out of the store. There’s a tea place that I used to go to, and this is in the Century City Mall called Lupicia. I see a bunch of Japanese people in the store. I go into the store and speak very little Japanese, but I love Japanese culture.

I speak a little Japanese too. 

I understand a little bit of Japanese. Just the basics. I go to this store and see a group of Japanese people looking at tea and whatnot. Nobody speaks English. They gave me a card or something in broken Japanese, and I could see it said tea or something. Then I gave them my business card, which said tea. 

The guy looked at me and was like, “oh.” He’s freaked out that I have a tea business. He said to me, “come to Japan,” and I said it sounded great. I had to leave, and I’m like, “I can’t go to Japan. I couldn’t afford it.” 

The Secret by John Assaraf

The next day, I’m on my way to church. I’m in Brentwood, and I’m driving down the street. Something told me, “be social.” So I thought, “oh, be social.” I can’t do that at church. Maybe I’ll just go to the farmers’ market. I hadn’t been there in six months.” So I walked into the farmers’ market. I was about to turn around and walk out, and I heard my name being yelled at in Japanese. I looked, and oh my gosh.


Exactly. It caught me off guard because I was like, “wait, it was the people from the mall yesterday. What are they doing here?” I walked and saw a big sign that said Kagoshima Tea Association. I’m like, “wait, what is this?” I walked over, and this woman walked out. She spoke English and said to me, “you’re the tea guy. I heard about you. You have a tea business in LA here. You should meet everybody,” and she introduced me. 

Then this businessman came out and said, “Listen, you come to my home. I will take you all around Japan, show you all the farms, and you can stay at no charge; just take care of the airfare. I’m like, “this is insane.” 

I got goosebumps everywhere. 

Yeah. I left, and I’m like, “I’m going to Japan now.” Keep in mind; I don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, as my dad would tell me at that time. He yelled at me when I told him I’m going to Japan. He’s like, “are you crazy? What are you doing?” 

I said, “I don’t know. I have to go there.” So I put it on my credit card. I messaged a guy the next day. I’m like, “I’m going to Japan.” The following month, every one of my mortgages closed, and I had a five-figure month. I had a record month. 

I made like $25,000 or something and paid off all my debt. I put money in the bank, paid for my Japan trip, and everything worked out. I went on a trip to Japan, which was like a dream come true. I’m like, “how did this happen? I don’t know. I was just called to this situation.” That was just one thing. 

As children, we become curious about things. I became very curious about this law of attraction.

That all came from me having a hole in my back pocket and asking. I wonder what this means. I’ve had things as large as that happen, and I’ve also had smaller things happen. As I said, I’ve lost count maybe 50, 60, or 70 times since I’ve watched The Secret. 

Now I’m not attributing it to the one movie; I’m attributing it to my asking questions. As children, we become curious about things. I became very curious about this law of attraction. What happens if I get connected better to God? I say that broadcasting in HD to God leads me in these different directions. Again, I never hear voices. I just know. 

I haven’t drank alcohol in 12 years. I never quit drinking. It just left me. It just happened. Whatever happens, I’m broadcasting high definition to my higher power. That’s what this is all about. It’s no secret that, no pun intended, you told me what had happened yesterday, and we’re talking about the same thing. We’re all in alignment.

Do you know how I got to Japan? I was 22 or something like that. I was selling new cars, Ford and Mazda, in Tel Aviv. I was bored out of my mind because I was there in the showroom all day long. I made decent money that I had never saved. I was so bored. 

Then I got a book about Japan. I don’t know if I bought it or saw it. I think I saw it, and then I decided to get it. I opened it and said, “wow, this place is amazing.” I highlighted all the amazing places. I want to travel and go everywhere there.

I never left the country. It was my first trip out of the country. Within two weeks, I gave notice. I only had $700 in my pocket, which was good for three days in Japan. I almost don’t have any money. 

I remember the night before I went on the plane. I was shopping for something, and somebody told me a horror story about a young woman who went to Japan and something bad happened to them, kind of holding me back. It’s almost like the universe tests you sometimes before you go to see if you are ready. 

I went there and ended up finding a job; then, I met a beautiful Japanese man. We fell in love, and we stayed together for 3½ years. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life, just following my heart.

I remember when I got to Japan; they had those little temples every few blocks. I would toss a coin, ring the bell, clap, and pray. I was always like, “thank you, my guides. Thank you, my angels. Thank you for being here. I was in awe, gratitude, and faith that everything was going to happen just how it’s supposed to.”

I feel like when you’re younger, you’re less jaded, and you believe in magic a little more. Now I’ve been to all those conferences, all those courses, and whatever. I learned a lot. I think I learned too much for my good. 

I understand how that goes.

Sometimes when you just have this naive open sense of trust, things unfold. Now I find myself asking how I can tap into that. It’s like I’m coming full circle, okay; I learned from all those great people, and I traveled all over the world, and being married to Stephan, we always go and do things. We both are seekers and want to know and learn more. 

Very curious, exactly. That’s the thing, as we get older, in many cases, we lose our curiosity. And as you were saying about—

Not curiosity. I’m not losing my curiosity. It’s more the trust. 

Oh, I’m not saying you. I’m saying many people I know start to lose their curiosity as they get older, and they think this is what I’m supposed to do. I’m supposed to what? I’m supposed to be an adult. I’m adulting now. Everyone just needs to relax. 

Sometimes, the universe tests you before you go to see if you are ready.

Just be a child and trust. I love what you said about tea. I take the moments consciously with my son. I’m trying to do it as much as possible. Set the phone aside and make him much more important than my phone, computer, or anything else.

Children pick up on cues, that’s for sure. Now, everybody’s heads are down, and the kids need attention. I have a friend that’s like that too.

I saw an article with letters from kids aged five, six, and seven. Some of them say my mom likes her phone more than me, and she won’t even notice me if I’m there. So coming back to that present and being present at the moment, it seems like this is a skill that you were very good at. 

One thing I wanted to say about this is that I trained in Karate for 20 years of my life, and my sensei was like my father. He was like my second father.

Insert Video

Twenty years? That’s amazing. I did MMA and Aikido

That’s amazing. 

Not for that long thought. 

The great thing about martial arts is that it wasn’t a fight with somebody else. It was a fight within myself because it was myself that I kept beating up emotionally and whatnot. My sensei used to always say to me, which plays into what you said before, “from basics come secrets, and from secrets come basics.” 

As you said, we go to all these workshops and seminars, and there’s this term-like shelf knowledge with all these books behind me. Yet, when we turn off the power to our thoughts and sit still, a quote comes to me: if you’re looking for someone to change your life, then look in the mirror. That’s when it comes to you. That’s the truth of it. 

All knowledge is self-knowledge.

All knowledge is self-knowledge; as Bruce Lee said, “When we stop, slow down, and get everything out, you’ll get answers. Things will come to you. You might not hear them in a voice, but you’re going to know.” If I go to a farmers’ market after a boxing class or something, I wonder, “why am I craving raspberries? My body just tells me to eat this, eat that. So I guess it’s what I’m eating today.”

It’s the same thing with everything else. For some reason, 12 years ago, my body told me I no longer like alcohol. I never really had a problem. I was on a tea advisory board a month ago, and we’ll get into that in a minute, but I was out in New York for a meeting, and we were at this fancy French restaurant. They were bringing wine around, and I’m like, “I know how to taste tea. I’d like to taste wine and see if I can pick out the undertones.”

Three glasses later, I think I’m drunk. I haven’t been drunk in 12 or 13 years, but I think I am. Let’s just stop the wine. I was picking up the undertones, and I asked the sommelier when he came out, “Am I right up?” He’s like, “yeah, you’re spot on.” I guess it carried over into other things because I’ve never really tried to taste wine to understand the different notes of it, but I was curious about that. 

I only drink once in a blue moon and one glass of wine; I just get really funny. Alcohol makes me super funny. 

I probably won’t drink again for 12 more years. Fast forwarding to everything I got into with this tea thing, I ended up on a tea advisory board. I ended up judging competitions. 

Are there competitions? 

Just like when coffee comes out, or any type of beverage comes out, they’ll have people judge and see different flavors, the number one taste, and all this like the wines and things. The World Tea Expo had an event several times where I judged. We did iced tea to see what the top flavors were. Then they got a little sticker and award and all that. It’s a blind tasting. It’s a lot of fun. I love doing it.

I’m creative, I would say, in that respect. I can’t draw the worth of anything. I’m not that kind of artist or creative, but give me tea, food, or something, and I’ll pick up the different undertones. I just love the art of food and beverage. 

How was your experience in Japan? I’m sure you went to extraordinary restaurants and discovered so many things. 

I felt like I was home when I got there. This is a funny story. I watched Anthony Bourdain back in the day. I love that guy, and I have his book right behind me here. What I would do is before my trips, I’d watch Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations to see what places I should go. 

I walked into this one. It’s called Toriki. It’s a yakitori place with an electric grill where they cook different types of meats, chicken, and stuff. He did an episode where he went into this place. Nobody spoke English there, but I remember walking in the door, and I said, “Anthony Bourdain sent me, the chef.” So someone puts me right in the best seat in the house, thinking that Anthony Bourdain sent me. I was just trying to joke, but it didn’t work well.

They don’t get the humor.

Yeah, I’m terrible with that. They started bringing me out this yakitori, and I was like, “oh, my god, this is so amazing.” The food there was amazing. I’m not going to lie. I did miss my American breakfast after day six. I needed to have some eggs and bacon. I found an American restaurant there and whatnot.

They do have American breakfast there, though. Yeah, they do.

Yeah, I had to find it, though, because I was in the country. I was in Kagoshima, Japan. Not a lot of people spoke English there. So it’s been an interesting journey in this space with slowing down, tea, just trying to figure it out, and becoming the best version of myself. Of course, that seems to change from time to time.

Why green tea? What does it do to your body when you drink green tea?

Remain true to yourself. Exude genuinity and let others catch up with you. Click To Tweet

I’m going to give you a quick Tea 101. If you take an apple, bite into the apple, and leave the apple out for five minutes, what color does the apple turn?

Oxidation turns it brown.

Oxidation makes it brown. Correct. If you picture a shrub in a garden about three feet tall, that’s the tea plant. It’s a shrub. They pick the leaf. You’d have black tea if they left the leaf out all day long. If you put heat on it, you have a white tea, a green tea, an oolong tea, or a black tea, depending on how long it’s been oxidized.

Wow, oolong cha. I forgot about oolong cha. Wow.

Yeah. Here’s the thing. They say that lighter color teas have more antioxidants than darker color teas. Now, it just depends on where the studies are. I tell people this, “all tea comes from the same plant. It doesn’t have to be like medicine. Pick a tea that you enjoy and drink it.”

The key is not to sugar it up and bastardize it as people do with all these latte frappes, mochas, and all this, and they put all this sugar and stuff in there. Taste my coffee. Well, it no longer tastes like coffee. Congratulations. Now it tastes like vanilla or something or another, but I don’t taste coffee.

Same thing with tea. I find that people do that with tea. However—I’m not judging. I don’t care what you do with your tea—I’ll tell you this. If you drink a high-quality or full-leaf tea, you’re not going to want to put anything in it.

I have people always ask me, “what did you put in this? Why does it taste like sweet potato or honey?” I said, “I didn’t put anything in it. That’s just a single-origin tea because the terroir, the area it grows, has those notes. So yeah, all the farmers made it.”

“If you are still looking for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror.” – Roman Price.

Are there teas that are bad for you, have many pesticides and herbicides, and damage your body?

They’ll do reports. Some tea companies out there in the past have gotten nailed for having in the cup, where there are so many pesticides. There are almost more pesticides than tea. I try to find pesticide-free teas.

Many of the farmers that I work with directly for my business are so high up in the mountains that they don’t even need to spray pesticides. So the thing is that a lot of times, what will happen is you’ll get an organic tea, but down the road, they’re spraying for pesticides, and then you have this overspray that ends up blowing onto your actual crop. So it’s kind of red tape-ish.

That’s why I flew there, and I know all my farmers on a first-name basis because I wanted to see what they were doing. First, I wanted to ensure I was getting a good quality product. Then if they are using pesticides down the road, I want to ensure they’re not ending up on my tea.

So green tea keeps you younger?

I can’t say that, but I’ve heard studies and things say that green tea is very healthy for you. So I don’t want somebody knocking on my door and saying, “hey, Zen Tea Traders said that green tea makes you younger. So you’re in a lot of trouble, sir.”

Of course, it’s got lots of antioxidants, so it will keep you fresher and younger.

I never drink tea because it’s healthy. I drink tea because I like it.

If you look at a lot of the stuff out there right now, they have a lot of creams, lotions, and stuff for skin care. What are they putting in it? Tea, green tea. The lighter-colored teas are said to have a lot of antioxidants. The darker ones are great too. I never drink tea because it’s healthy. I drink tea because I like it.

Now, everyone’s not going to be like me, and I don’t expect you to. I just tell people if you like Earl Grey, then drink it. If you like Japanese green tea, Essencha, Genmaicha or something, then drink that. Whatever you’re going to drink, that’s the tea you should be drinking. Don’t force yourself to drink it because it will not last long.

You were talking about following the breadcrumbs, your intuition, and getting into incredible places. Did you have times in your life when you didn’t follow your intuition, and you got a negative outcome out of that?

I don’t normally second guess myself, but I think sometimes, in the past, there were times when I could have moved quicker. I stayed at my one job for ten years when I probably could have left after 5, but I was still finding out who I was. I guess timing is everything, and the time wasn’t right. I wasn’t ready. 

I heard somebody say that whatever we’re going through, we’ll go through. I think I needed to go through some things to get there. I’ll tell you this. Years ago, I was engaged. When I was in Japan, I started writing a story about my life and all these things because I felt like I was on top of the world. Then I’d written down something about this person I wanted to meet. Within two months, I met this person, and it pretty much described this person to a tea that I didn’t even know. So it went on, and we ended up getting engaged, which didn’t work out.

Now, I had to go through her and do the work with her so that I could be ready for my one, as I call it, my final one, the one I want to be with, the one I’m called into existence. I make this joke that she’s in traffic and may be stuck right now. She’ll get around traffic soon, and we’ll meet each other.

Being prepared is not trying to find the right one, but it’s about me trying to become the right one.

There’s this whole thing about being prepared. It’s not about me trying to find the right one. It’s about me trying to become the right one. Because whatever I become, as I’ve proven to myself before, I will attract. I don’t drink; it’s no secret. I don’t watch sports. There’s nothing wrong with either of the two.

I tried to make the point that none of my friends drink or watch sports. I didn’t know that ahead of time. So it’s not like, “oh, hey, you know what, you can be my friend but as long as you don’t drink and watch sports.” I don’t ever say that. I don’t care what people do.

It’s in your vibration. You attract what’s in your vibration, what’s in your frequency. Before I met Stephan, I was on the wrong frequency. We met at a seminar. Before that seminar, my frequency was different. If I met him at that moment, we would probably have a coffee date, and that would be it.

He was not my type or my style. I had a certain type in mind. But when we met at the end of the seminar, after doing such deep work, both of us had clear intentions, and our frequency was super high, then we met at the right place. Because it would be like that, otherwise then we would be just, what’s the saying, two ships?

Yeah, you’re both doing work. Whatever the work was for you at that time, to become the versions where you guys could be perfectly matched.

Absolutely. I love that you said that.

I believe in that wholeheartedly.

It’s very evolved of you to say that. I feel everyone out there needs to own that the shift is within. I feel it because I love coaching too. When I coach my clients, in my view, it’s 80% you work on yourself, self-love, value, healing the past, and creating clarity of vision. Who do you want to become to attract the person that you want? And then 20% is doing the action, maybe going to some places or dressing a certain way.

Maybe it’s even like 90/10 or even like 95/5 because I feel like the shift is mostly internal. It’s about energy and vibrating in this high-frequency energy that matches the high-frequency energy of the person you want to attract. When you were there, you were a magnet. You don’t go hunting. It will come to you just like the tea people showed up twice.

Of course, you need to follow the breadcrumbs. So my next question for you is, what are your breadcrumbs? What are your signs? What signs are you looking for or that speak to you? Is that an animal, or do you open a book and see something or angel numbers? What is it for you?

It’s funny you bring up angel numbers. I get a lot of that. I would say, “yeah, I think that’s a reminder. The number for me, and some people might think this is out there. I don’t know, but I’ll tell you straight up, the number 11 or 1111 shows up for me umpteen times. I’ll text to find it all the time. I’m like, 1111, and we’re going back and forth, like one of my other friends.”

I’m proud of myself for not giving up on my beliefs, not changing who I am, and just being who I am wholeheartedly.

That, for me, is saying you’re in alignment. So that lets me know that I’ve gotten back into the frequency of attracting things, whatever those things are, events, and whatever. 

Recently, I’ve had out of nowhere, even in the past four days—it’s funny I said four—the number 444 has been showing up for me like mad. I’ve had it show up for me three or four times in the past three or four days.

I looked it up, and it said something like, “somebody is trying to give you a message, or your angels are.” So I’m like, “what’s the message? Somebody give me a sign. It says your hard work is about to pay off. I’m noticing some positive things turning for me in the past couple of weeks. 

I tend to have moments where I don’t want to say I question myself, but I question what I should be doing. What is the direction I should be heading? Then I’ll just go silent and wait for something to show up.

I’ll try not to put too much value or meaning on things that my inner voice will say. You shouldn’t have done that or whatever. I’m like, “Okay, well, I did; it is what it is. It all goes back to stillness and calmness.”

Energetically, I’m a very amped-up person. I can be 90 miles an hour. So sometimes, it’s difficult for me to slow down. It’s a constant work in progress, but I’m getting there. I’m doing much better now than I was ten or five years ago. I’m pretty proud of myself for not giving up on my beliefs, not changing who I am, and just being who I am wholeheartedly.

I think that a lot of times, I’m so worried about what people might think. Is it okay to be me? Is it okay to walk into a corporate environment and, have a teapot, a teacup, and sit there and pour tea while everyone else is drinking coffee?

Maybe in the country that you were born in, it’s accepted. Japan accepted it. Here in the US, it’s looked at, “oh, that’s cute. He’s got a little teacup.” They haven’t gotten in here.

I will say that matcha is a thing right now. Matcha is huge. Tea is making it evolve. It’s becoming cool, hip, fun, and sexy. The whole pinky finger in the air and having a spot of tea, the English thing is dying down, and it’s got a cool hip vibe and like, “do you even matcha, bro?” You see that kind of stuff everywhere. 

I think it’s fun because it’s like a tea renaissance right now. It’s changing. I like it because it’s becoming cooler, more fun, and not just Bohemian.

What are the best things you like about yourself when you say, is it okay to be me? Who are you?

That’s an easy one for me. I’m not afraid to change. I’m not afraid to try new things. I’m not afraid to take risks. I’m not afraid to tell somebody who I am if I’m close to that person.

So you’re answering me what you’re not, but what are you?

Good point. I had to think about that. It’s like rewind, like, what did I just say? Just coming up. What am I?

Yeah. You said I’m not this, I’m not that, but what are you that you know that you are? What do you want to be comfortable with around everyone else?

I’m authentic.

Nice. I get that vibe from you. It’s very easy to talk to you. It’s very sweet.

Thank you.

I’m not afraid to change, try new things, take risks, and tell somebody who I am.

I feel like I’m on a similar journey as you. Coming back to me, when I was in Japan, I don’t know if it’s because I’m an Aries, where we are very much like a chameleon. I’m always pretty genuine, but I almost looked Japanese when I was in Japan. People told me when I visited Israel, they’re like, “wow, you look Japanese.” I guess I think my face changed. My mannerisms, everything looked Japanese and small. 

In New York, I acted. I was in an acting school and wanted to be an American. So I moved away from my Japanese Harajuku style or stylish clothes I used to wear. Instead, I dressed and wore a t-shirt and jeans just to be like the other Americans. With business people, I tried to look business and professional.  

What I learned is that it never works. I am the type of person that will always be the one that stands out. You know how when you’re in class, and there are always those kids that they can sneak and nobody sees them? I will never sneak out or do anything bad. But the one time I do, everyone will see it. It’s like I cannot hide.

I have a big personality. Even when I’m trying to be quiet, it’s almost like pushing a cork in the water; it always pops. I can’t dim my light. I’ve been trying to do that for years to see what they will think about me. How can I be more like them? And how can I be more loved? So my journey right now is, how can I freaking be me, my authentic self?

Do you ever think, though? Let me ask you this. Do you ever think that if you’re you, maybe you’re so powerful that people around you will ask, “how can I be more like Orion?” That’s what I think.

Oh, thank you. I never thought of that.

Because if you’re you and you’re that powerful, right? Now, think about this. If you’re you, and you’re being yourself, and you’re that powerful, generating a frequency and a power to draw people around you.

Yes, but you see, it creates a lot of negativity too. It’s almost like I need to contain this because it sometimes makes people uncomfortable. It triggers something they see in me, but I don’t think they have it in them. But everything they see in me, they have in them because we’re all mirrors.

When I look at somebody like John Assaraf, I look up to him, start to forget my words, stumble on my words, and get a little scared. Actually, no. Every wonderful trait I see in him is actually in me because of what I see. If you see something in someone, that means you have that too. We’re all the same spark of God. Somehow, I do (and still do) and am still working on expanding, sometimes holding back to make others feel more comfortable around me.

I would just say, just be you. Let them catch up with you. Because at the end of the day, there’s only one of you. There’s one of everybody, but at the end of the day, a lot of times, there isn’t one of everybody. There’s a bazillion of everybody because everybody tries to fit into the box and do what everyone else was told to do.

If you look at people on Instagram today, I’m sorry, but everybody has the same lips. Everybody has the same hair.

That’s why they’re called followers. I call it followers because everybody follows everybody else. They’re following what everyone else is doing. Being yourself in an area where so many people aren’t original is difficult. So I just say, be you. I’m not going to stop being me. You shouldn’t stop being you.

I’m not stopping being me. It’s just that sometimes, I get nervous.

Regardless of what occurs, stay aligned with your higher power. Click To Tweet

I’m just saying, don’t contain it. Let it out.

But what you talked about before, what will they think about me with a teacup in the corporate environment? So it’s still in the back of my mind.

I did it anyway. I just laughed about it. I remember going into a sports bar with a bunch of my drinking buddies back in the day when I lived in Michigan and ordered a hot fudge sundae.

My buddy’s a big beer drinker, and he’s like, “who the hell orders a hot fudge sundae at a bar where everyone’s drinking beer?” I go, “I do.” They brought it over, and he said, “bro, can I have a bite of that? It looks amazing.” I’m like, “no, it’s not cool to have a fudge sundae in a bar while you’re watching a game.” That’s just me being me.

Sometimes, I question it. I laugh about it. I’m like, “oh, I’m going to get ridiculed for this one.” But I still do it. I still do what I do because if I don’t, I won’t be who I am. It’s easy to be like somebody else to try and fit in.

The hard thing is to try and be yourself authentically, unapologetically being you. That’s not easy because many people, and I do this too, like, “am I going to be accepted, or will I be looked at as a weirdo? Maybe I’m not weird, and maybe I’m just cool. I don’t know.”

I think you’re pretty cool, though. I have a very good judge of character. That’s for sure. 

Thank you.

Do you meditate?

I do. I don’t have a regular meditation schedule, but I do meditate. I have a practice if you will.Sometimes I’ll go 10 minutes, and sometimes I’ll go 40 minutes. I just try to get into the moment.

Have you ever tried plant medicine or had some?

It hasn’t called me. I haven’t decided to do anything like that. I had never really tried. I know micro-dosing is a thing right now. I have a lot of friends that have done plant medicine. It hasn’t jumped out at me. Maybe one day it will, and I’ll try it, but I haven’t had any desire to try it.

So you’re friends with Luke Storey?

It’s funny you just said that. I was thinking about Luke. Luke’s a great guy.

Do you do any biohacks? He is a mutual friend of ours.

I do. I do the LED. I have an LED Joovv thing upstairs that I sit in front of, light therapy. I take cold showers. I do cryo.

I was doing this thing called NeuFit for a while, where you put the electrodes on your muscles, lift weights with it, and it helps increase hypertrophy and muscle growth because it pulses 500 times a second. You lift weights, and it’s pretty good. I do that. I was doing that for a while just for fun. I recently had stem cells, which worked well.

Oh, with whom? Who did you go with?

I went over to Bioxcellerator. I’m friends with those people over there. They’re amazing in Colombia. I went to Medellin, Colombia.

When you drink high-quality tea, you won’t feel the need to add any additives.

In Colombia? Maybe I should do it with my hips. I have a good hip. It just inflamed a lot. Did you harvest your stem cells? Did you harvest bone marrow or adipose tissue stem cells?

No. What happens is the mothers in Medellin, Colombia, donate their umbilical cords to science. They’ll extract the cells from the umbilical cord, so you’re getting fresh cells, which was interesting. The cells that I got the last time I was there—my birthday is March 19th—I got cells from a baby born on March 17th from the umbilical cord. I was like, oh, this is interesting. My middle name is Patrick, so it was like March 17th.

They’ll extract them, and then they inject them wherever. I had a four-millimeter bulging disc in my neck from my old martial arts training. My buddy was a retired MMA champion. I went with him to his orthopedic in LA, whom he referred me to, and the guy said, “we have to pull the disc out of your neck. You’re past the point of no return, and we got to put a metal disc.” I’m like, “I don’t want to have that done.”

My buddy had said to me, let’s go to Colombia. I’m getting some stem cells. I went with him. They injected the stems. Within one year, the bulge in my neck went down from four millimeters to three millimeters. I have full mobility in my neck. It occasionally gets a little sore, but it’s nothing like it was. If I rolled my head around like this, I would have Rice Krispies popping. It’s still there, but it’s very minimal.

I didn’t have any neck problems I had before going in. Most of them are gone. It corrects itself for up to two years and keeps improving. I also have them on my shoulder, hips, or lower lumbar. It was great. They did a good job, and I’m very happy with it.

I did it the hard way when I went to Utah with Dr. Harry Adelson. I harvested my stem cells, and they injected them. It was good, but I feel like I need more. Especially after giving birth, I think my whole skeleton is different. I developed that hip pain. So yeah, that’s good. I’m glad I asked you about it.

I can give you the information. If you want to, I can connect you with somebody over there. I have a person. I’m friends with the owner. They’re good people. I’ve sent him about 20 referrals.

Oh, my goodness. Yes. I think I’m going to go to Colombia. I’ve been to Cartagena before. Where are they in Colombia?

They’re in Medellin. I’ve never been to Cartagena, but I saw pictures. It’s beautiful there.

Yeah, it is beautiful. Wonderful. Wow, this was such a wonderful conversation. Before we say goodbye, I have two questions for you. First, what are your three top tips for living a stellar life? The second one is, where can people find you?

The first one, I would say slow down whatever that looks like. Maybe it’s not meditation or sitting in your living room with the TV off and the phone away from you for 20 minutes. Maybe that’s how you slow down. For me, it’s tea and meditation.

Two, I would say, get yourself moving, get active 20–30 minutes a day, whatever that looks like. If you can get into a gym a couple of days a week, get your hands on some weights, and do some resistance training, that’s good for you. As we age, we want to ensure our bones are nice and strong. Lifting weights can help you increase your bone density, so I recommend that as number two.

And the number three thing, drink water. Please drink water. Remember to drink water because many people are dehydrated and don’t even know it. So I think that’s a big one.

It is a big one.

Can I throw a fourth one in there?


Never stop learning. Don’t stop growing.

Never stop learning. Don’t stop growing. When you get to a certain age, do something different. Take risks. Maybe it’s not a huge risk, but do something different.

I love that. It’s very good for your brain to do something different. It improves your brain quality and increases your connections. Your brain gets smarter.

Neuroplasticity, right?

Neuroplasticity. Yes.

To growth.

Yes. Wonderful. About drinking water, there was research. If you drink a liter-and-a-half a day, within three or six months, you biologically become 12 years younger or something crazy like that.


Water is amazing.

It is.

Where can people find you?

If you’re on Instagram or any social media platform, it’s @zenteatraders. Google or Instagram. I’m mostly active on Instagram. You can check out my website. It’s zenteatraders.com.

If you want to email me, I’m really easy. It is anthony@nullzenteatraders.com. If anyone wants to talk about any questions, I love connecting with people from around the world.

Thank you so much. I appreciate our conversation. It was so much fun. I had a blast.

Thanks. I never really know where these are going to go. That’s what I love about it. It’s organic. Just hop on a call, talk, and see where it leads. I love talking to you. It was great.

Thank you. Thank you, listeners. Remember to slow down, get moving and be active. Drink water. Never stop learning and growing. Take risks, and have a stellar life. This is Orion. Till next time.


Your Checklist of Actions to Take

{✓} Try different tea varieties and discover their benefits. Study their origins, taste, and traditional production methods. This will help you develop a palate for tea and recognize different flavors and aromas.

{✓} Find your passion and identify your interests. Take some time to reflect on what you enjoy doing, what you’re good at, and what motivates you. Then you can discern your calling.

{✓} Ask for guidance from your higher power. Spirituality is a personal journey, so find what works best for you; meditation, prayer, and journaling can help.

{✓} Strengthen what defines you. Write down values, beliefs, and personality traits you deem important and reflect on them often.

{✓} Have confidence in your decisions. Don’t let any negative thoughts or insecurities hold you back. Instead, believe in yourself and trust that you can make the right choices.

{✓} Create a vision board to keep yourself motivated and on track with your goals. This is a great way to visualize what you want to achieve in your journey and a good reminder of why you started in the first place.

{✓} Build your network. Attend events and professional organizations to connect with people in your industry.

{✓} Never stop learning. Even as you age, remember — there’s much for you to still do and explore. Keep your youthful energy and glow.

{✓} Continually pause, rest, and reset. Taking breaks is good for health and balance. Life is about more than work. 

{✓} Connect with Anthony Capobianco through the Zen Tea Traders’ website or email him at anthony@nullzenteatraders.com.

Links and Resources

About Anthony Capobianco

Anthony is the founder of Zen Tea Traders, where he helps people step up their tea game while slowing things down a bit.

A Detroit native, Anthony was grinding hard at work as a successful mortgage banker until he found himself sick more often than not and realized he needed to slow things down. He did this through tea, and he created a simple mindful approach to this age-old beverage that only takes a moment and can help you feel more connected.

Disclaimer: The medical, fitness, psychological, mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional information provided on this website and through any materials, downloads, videos, webinars, podcasts, or emails are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical/fitness/nutritional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek the help of your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, certified trainer, or dietitian with any questions regarding starting any new programs or treatments or stopping any current programs or treatments. This website is for information purposes only, and the creators and editors, including Orion Talmay, accept no liability for any injury or illness arising out of the use of the material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this website and affiliated materials.

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