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Chefast Tea Infuser Set

Walker Tea Review - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 00:38

Ok, so in the past Walker Tea Review hasn’t been the fondest supporter of infuser balls and the like- those things that tempt people to pack too much dry leaf into too little space. Over-packing a tea infuser is a recipe for a flawed cup of tea. If you were to use a tea infuser,...

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Lemon Raspberry Rooibos from Simpson and Vail. . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 00:00
If I were going to name this tea, I’d name it “Lemon Lemon Lemon Raspberry Rooibos,” because the lemon is really the main feature here. It’s the spotlight-grabber. It’s the one that turns ALL the chairs around on The Voice. It’s a very zesty lemon. Not fake or sugary. Like someone actually squeezed out a lemon into a bowl and allowed you to drink some. It’s the real deal. If you like lemon, welcome to the main attraction. The raspberry is the slacker younger sibling. When it arrives in class, its teachers are like “we expect great things from you, Read More

Tea Trend of 2018: The Death of Direct Trade

T Ching - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:00

In 2016 I forecasted that the major trend of the year would be “transparency” for the tea industry. This time in 2017 I was writing a series on Sustainability in the tea industry as I believed Sustainability was the major trend for the year. These trends gave way for the focus and development of direct trade in the industry as well as in the marketing of tea. By the end of 2017, the term “Direct Trade” can be seen on most newly launched tea business’ packaging and even established tea business’ marketing. The term “Direct Trade” originated in the specialty coffee industry. The term is not defined, unregulated, and has become too diluted not only in the coffee industry but also the tea industry.

According to Sustainability journal study titled “Problems with Firm-Led Voluntary Sustainability Schemes: The Case of Direct Trade Coffee,” it was found that between 2015-2016 Direct Trade became a dominate marketing term in the coffee industry. The foundations of the direct trade coffee movement brought high quality and ethics to coffee, but the co-opting of the term by mainstream brands that are loosely using the term to describe their business has diluted the value of the term and practice. For this reason leaders of the original direct trade coffee movement have started to turn away from using the term direct trade and focus more on the transparency of their products.

My company was one of the first to look to the specialty coffee industry for inspiration and describe the way we imported and sold tea as Direct Trade in 2013. Within a year I was seeing new tea businesses launching with the same marketing. By 2017 I was seeing the term used everywhere. At one tea festival, I noticed one wall of vendor booths all having Direct Trade printed in big letters across their booth backdrops. These were all large commodity tea retailers that have their products on grocery shelves across the country.

Direct Trade has become a major marketing term, yet it is still not defined. Obviously, there is value if even the largest commodity tea companies are using it to connect with consumers. For some tea business owners, direct trade means that they must purchase 100% of their tea from the farmer, traveling to visit the farms, arranging the payments, and coordinating the legal compliance of importing the product. Even this definition is unclear as there will always be some middleman in the supply chain to get the tea to their business. Small-scale tea imports require the high price help of FedEx or other carrier shipping and international money wires require the help of banks and services like Paypal. What is direct trade?
Direct trade is also difficult and inefficient. As described in a recent article on World Tea News the new trend for independent tea businesses to use the internet to connect with and buy tea directly from producers at the origin is challenging. There is a high cost to travel to do business with tea producers, logistics costs are high, and there is little accountability of quality control. As with what has happened in coffee, I believe in 2018 tea business owners will realize this struggle and dilution of the value of the term direct trade and focus on building their customer bases on providing quality tea and information versus chasing the Direct Trade Dream.

The post Tea Trend of 2018: The Death of Direct Trade appeared first on T Ching.

Dark Obsession Chocolate Rose from MarieBelle. . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:00
When I was younger, I preferred milk chocolate and found dark chocolate too bitter. The older I get, the more I love dark chocolate. This tea was a gift from a family member, and it was so good that I put it on my wish list for the following year. Opening the tin and inhaling deeply, I could have sworn I was sniffing a box of rich, fine chocolates. This brews up to a very adult cup of dark chocolate tea. I have had a few chocolate teas that (sadly) smell like mildew instead of chocolate, although they tasted all Read More

Blood Orange Punch from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 00:00
I’ll be honest, friends– green tea and I have a storied history. And the story mostly goes like this: Mary brews green tea, with visions of health and wellness floating in her head. Timer beeps, tea strains, Mary takes a sip and then makes an ‘ick’ face, forgets about tea, lets it get cold, dumps out. THE END. Needless to say, traditional grassy, herbaceous green teas haven’t been my jam in years past. Now, as the years have gone, I’ve grown my palette for teas a bit wider, and I’ll eagerly at least try greens with something interesting or fun Read More

Ruby 18 from American Gongfu. . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 15:14
Today is one of those days where a good cup of tea is needed for the soul.  It has been a crazy few months and I haven’t been able to spend as much time on my gorgeous tea stash.  Today I was determined to give some love and enjoy a few tea blends while checking off a few odds and ends around the house. Ruby 18 from American Gongfu stood out to me as being the first one I needed to dive in. I have been a fan of American Gongfu’s gorgeous tea ware and was excited to check out Read More

50 True Facts about Green Tea and Health (Catechin, ECGC, Polyphenols and Tannin)

T Ching - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 13:00
  1. The use of green tea as a medicine began thousands of years ago at first in China and then spreading throughout Asia.
  2. Like water, green tea has no calories.  Regular green tea has a water content of 99.9% and it can rehydrate the body.
  3. Green Tea is sugar-free, even though it has somewhat of a sweet taste.
  4. Green tea contains many nutrients including manganese, zinc, chromium, selenium and a multitude of vitamins.
  5. The tea contains substantial amounts of vitamin C and other vitamins and nutrients.
Catechin


  1. Japanese teas contain a bioflavonoid, known as Catechin which has antioxidant and antiviral properties.  The most traces of Catechin are found in tea leaves grown in full sunlight.
  2. Adding boiling water to green tea is bad for the healthy catechins in the tea. The water of the green tea should be 160 to 170 degrees.
  3. Tea leaves grown in full sunlight like sencha contain the most traces of Catechin.
  4. The Vitamin C in a lemon makes it easier for a person to absorb the catechins in green tea. Therefore, you should add lemon or lemon juice to the green tea.
  5. Dairy or milk makes it more difficult for a person to absorb the catechins of green tea.  Dairy products contain casein. Casein inhibits the absorption of catechin from tea, and blocks the healthy effects that catechin provides.  Non-dairy milks such as soy, almond, or coconut are naturally casein-free. These are the perfect additives and will not affect the body’s ability to absorb the healthy antioxidant, catechin.
  6. The antibacterial and antiviral catechins in green tea can be effective in treating influenza and cancer.  Antioxidants found in the tea help the body recover from a cold quickly.
  7. According to the study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the catechins commonly found in its leaves can penetrate into the eye tissue, protecting it from glaucoma and other eye diseases
  8. The catechin in matcha are proven to inhibit angiotensin. This means there is less contraction from blood vessels which leads to lower blood pressure. Lower blood pressure means a lower chance of stroke, heart disease, kidney failure, and a whole host of other health problems. Higher levels of catechin equals lower blood pressure with matcha than either common green or black teas.

    Read more about catechin.
EGCG

  1. The antioxidant catechin in matcha helps to slow down the aging process. Catechin prevents free radicals from destroying body cells. One specific catechin, EGCg, is known for its cancer-fighting properties. matcha contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea on the market. (www.naturallivingideas.com/10-amazing-benefits-of-matcha-green-tea/)
  2. A person’s metabolism is increased by drinking green tea.  Green tea boosts the metabolism and thus promotes weight loss.  Many weight loss supplements therefore contain green tea as an ingredient.  Some studies have found that EGCG in green tea may help a person to drop a few pounds.
  3. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking EGCG in green tea has been linked to a lower incidence of depressive symptoms.

    Read more about ECGC
Polyphenols

  1. The fact that green tea is processed differently than black tea is why the green tea has more health benefits.  Green tea is not fermented like black tea, and therefore it retains a greater amount of polyphenols and antioxidants which provide its health benefits.
  2. Green tea contains polyphenols that prevent the growth of tumors.  
  3. Scientists believe that the polyphenols in green tea are responsible for its health benefits. Polyphenols are strong antioxidants. They also make green tea taste a bit bitter. Black tea contains less polyphenols than green tea. (University of Maryland Medical Center, http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/green-tea)
  4. Brewed hot tea has more polyphenols than either iced tea or instant tea.
  5. The antioxidants in green tea also prevent the growth of abnormal cells.
  6. It was found in one study that the risk of developing prostate cancer was 48% lower in men who drank green tea.
  7. Researchers have found that people who drink green tea regularly reduce their risk of breast cancer by 22 percent, colorectal cancer by 57 percent, and prostate cancer by 48 percent.

    Read more about polyphenols
Tannins

  1. Green teas contain tannins that reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients like folic acid and iron. It is therefore best to drink green tea between meals rather than with them.  
  2. It is believed by some that green tea reduces the risk of esophageal cancer.
  3. Dr. Kristi Pado Funk of Pink Lotus Breast Center has claimed that drinking three cups of a green tea with the potency of a Matcha a day decreases breast cancer risk by half.
  4. Drinking a strong brew is recommended to treat stomach ailments.  Is extremely high in fiber, aiding in digestion.
  5. Matcha has 30 times more fiber than regular green tea. This makes sense because drinking matcha means you are consuming the entire leaf. Fiber is important because it helps you control your weight, reduces the risk for diabetes and diverticular diseases, and helps keep you regular.
  6. The fiber in matcha can help lower your cholesterol. matcha contains 314 mg of fiber because it is crushed tea leaves. Regular green tea has only 10 mg of fiber.
  7. Green tea can relax the muscles that support the bronchial tube benefiting those with asthma.
  8. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated that consuming this tea boosts energy expenditure, allowing you to burn up to twenty-five percent more calories during your workout.
  9. Green tea intensifies fat oxidation levels as well as the rate a person’s body converts food into calories.
  10. Matcha increases thermogenesis (the body’s rate of burning calories) by up to 3 times faster. Drinking a cup of Matcha will increase your thermogenesis from 8-10% up to 34-35% of your daily energy expenditures.
  11. Green tea intensifies fat oxidation levels as well as the rate a person’s body converts food into calories.
  12. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found it can increase the body’s rate of burning calories from 8%-10% of daily energy expenditure to between 35% and 43%.
  13. According to Ochner, by substituting 1 to 2 cups of green tea for a can of non-diet soda every day for a year, you will save over 50,000 calories. Healthy cells have been found to be helped by green tea in all growth stages.
  14. Researchers have found that people who drink green tea at least ten times a week have healthier and stronger bones than people who do not.
  15. Green tea lowers the level of LDL or “bad” cholesterol in the body.
  16. Between green, black, and oolong, green tea contains the most antioxidants. Many scientists believe that antioxidants reduce signs of aging, reduce the risk of cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease because antioxidants block free-radicals.  Some researchers have found that both green tea and black tea can help reduce the risk of heart disease by controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Green tea has been found to improve blood flow and lower cholesterol.  The 2013 studies also discovered green tea helped to prevent congestive heart failure.
  17. Green tea also prevents clot formations which are the main cause of heart attacks.
  18. Scientists believe that green tea helps the lining of blood vessels to stay relaxed and to be better able to withstand blood pressure changes.
  19. Men who drink green tea usually have lower cholesterol than men who don’t drink green tea according to a population-based study. Another animal-based study found that green tea may block cholesterol from being absorbed by the intestines.  
  20. Not only does green tea reduce bad cholesterol in a person’s blood, it also makes the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol better.
  21. Green tea helps with the regulating of glucose levels and prevents the rising of a person’s sugar after eating.  Both fat storage and insulin spikes are prevented by green tea.
  22. In animal-based studies, green tea helped prevent type 1 diabetes. It also helped to regulate glucose levels in animals with type 1 diabetes. Scientists believe that drinking green tea could help manage type 2 diabetes as well.  Drinking green tea is believed to help a person with diabetes keep his or her blood sugar stable.
  23. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), which is part of the NIH, has been studying green tea. The NCCIH is currently studying green tea’s effects on the liver and the safety of giving green tea who are HIV-positive.
  24. Matcha is packed with more antioxidants than regular green tea. Just 1 gram of matcha contains 1,384 ORAC units (oxygen radical absorption capability). The higher the ORAC units, the more antioxidant effect it will have on your body. It takes 10 cups of common green tea to get the same antioxidants as one cup of matcha. (www.matchsource.com/health-benefits-of-matcha-tea)
  25. The USDA recommends 3,000- 5,000 ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), units per day.  ORAC experts at Tufts University discovered it possesses an amazing twenty times more ORAC than pomegranates or blueberries, both antioxidant-rich sources.

    Read more about Tannin

This article is a chapter of my published book Green Tea Mania: 250+ Green Tea Facts, Cooking and Brewing Tips & Trivia You (Probably) Didn’t Know. You can get the book from Amazon from here.   You can find more great articles related to green tea and health on my blog, Japanese Green Tea, and Health.

The post 50 True Facts about Green Tea and Health (Catechin, ECGC, Polyphenols and Tannin) appeared first on T Ching.

Friday Roundup: January 7th - January 13th

Tea For Me Please - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 17:00
5 Reasons Why It's Better to Drink Tea in Small Cups

Ricardo at My Japanese Green Tea wrote a post this week that is close to my own heart. He lays out some excellent reasons for downsizing your drinking vessel. I've long been a proponent of small teacups. How about you?

Can We Grow Tea in America?

Bruce Richardson, The Tea Maestro, shared an interesting excerpt from his book A Social History of Tea. Tea growing has a surprisingly long but not quite successful history in the U.S. I'm actually about halfway through reading this book and I'll be sure to review it here on the blog once I'm done.

Afternoon Tea - Japanese Style (Manhattan - NYC)

Tiffany at #sheblogstea visited Cha-An, an NYC restaurant that I have been meaning to return to. Their tea and food are always delicious but in truth one of my favorite things is the fancy Japanese toilet in the women's room!

Whisky Barrel Wood Smoked Black Tea – Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden

Kayleigh Jade over at Kitty Loves Tea reviewed one of the most memorable Japanese teas that I have ever tried. The leaves are smoked with whisky barrel wood. Be still my Irish heart! Her vivid descriptions make me want to make a pot right now. If you haven't tried this offering from Yunomi yet, you definitely need to.

Matcha Jasmine Rice

Nazanin at Tea Thoughts concocted yet another delicious recipe. This one has all of my favorite things. Garlic, jasmine, and matcha are not flavors I ever thought of combining but I will definitely be giving this one a try. My fiance definitely won't eat this but that just means that there will be more for me.

Blast From the Past: Chi and Tea?

T Ching - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 13:00

If you find yourself lagging and dragging right now – start sipping and start breathing; pour a cup of tea and then do some deep inhalations and exhalations.

Change is all around us.  Change comes from within us.  Change is us.

For most of us, the weather is changing during these winter months – and this does affect us.  As the days are shorter, darker, colder, and damper, our energy changes with them.  Some individuals are impacted by the changes more greatly than others.

Our energy level is tied into the energy force, the life force, the chi, or the prana of our universe.  We are not separate from it – we are part of it.  The breath of life exists in everything that is alive: plant, animal, person.  Although this life force is beyond us, it is also within us, and therefore can be controlled by us.  In yoga, we are taught to control the breath within us – that with this breath we can relieve stress and tension, breathe out old, stale, stagnating energy, and breathe in new revitalizing and uplifting energy.

Tea has long been associated with calm, tranquility, serenity, and spirituality.  Just the mere sound of these words evokes inner peace; reading these words, we remember; seeing these words, we relax.  Drinking the beverage known the world over – tea – and taking some quiet time with a cup of tea delivers a multitude of benefits to the body, mind, and spirit.  A body mired in physical and mental stress is a body with a blocked energy flow.  Chi that does not move, prana that does not flow, an energy force that is stuck serves no one and exhausts you.

Tea has both physical health benefits as well as healing emotional benefits – these are delivered in the time spent sipping in serenity and breathing in new vigor and vitality.  Just as we can do deep breathing exercises anywhere, we can choose to take tea with us anywhere, too.  In no time, you will be experiencing new energy levels and the doldrums will be vanquished.

VITALI-TEA

There is a vital force inside me
that is connected to something far greater.
It is an essential element that provides me
with unlimited strength.
This principle of life is God
and is truly all there is.
I am one with this Power,
this Force known as God.
I accept that this essential,
life-supporting phenomenon comes from
within me and works through me.
I am able to revitalize myself
as often as necessary.
I need only sip of this ancient elixir
to remember my own good.
I give thanks for the potency
of the divine potential
that exists in me and in all others.
Nothing real prevents this potent presence.
I release all that is perceived and allow for all that is possible.
For all is possible in God.
God is all that is possible in me.
So I let it be.
Amen

This article was originally posted in January 2010.

Image Source

The post Blast From the Past: Chi and Tea? appeared first on T Ching.

Peri Flower Blooming Tea – California Tea House

SororiTEA Sisters - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 14:32
Hello readers! I am happy to bring you a tea that I have been dying to try, a blooming tea. I have not been able to for I also found them too expensive to buy. I mean I know that this is a tea that is not your normal loose leaf or bag but I always saw the “best selling” flowering teas to be about $10 a bulb. So I am glad that I finally got a chance to try this beautiful tea! Now, first off this tea was beautiful! And don’t worry I posted a video of it blooming Read More

Why Buying a Silver Needle White Tea is Always a Risky Task

T Ching - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:00

Guest post by: William Bailey

If you ever tried Silver Needle white tea and didn’t understand why there is so much fuss about it, there might be a logical explanation. Maybe you have bought the wrong tea. Silver Needle is probably the most popular of all white teas, with only Bai Mu Dan or White Peony being able to compete with its popularity and availability. As this tea is found in almost all tea shops around the world, buying it might not always be the easiest task. 

Authentic or Non-Authentic?

To understand why, we must first look into the name and origin of Silver Needle white tea. Silver Needle is originally grown in Fujian, but nowadays there are dozens of other places producing Silver Needle – from Chinese Yunnan to Vietnam and Darjeeling, only to count a few. Tea grown in other regions has a very different price and flavor profile. It also undergoes a different processing method and can be made from a different tea variety.

Name Speculations

The low percentage of westerners speaking Chinese allowed many name speculations. Some state that Bai Hao is the special type of Chinese Silver Needle white tea, the one that is the most expensive of all, and includes only buds, while the regular Silver Needle can contain leaves as well. This gives the opportunity to set a higher price of all Silver Needle teas and offer tea with a very poor flavor.

Low Production

Another very often misinterpreted fact is the one on a very low production of Silver Needle. If Silver Needle is often described as rare and precious tea, why can it be found in so many tea shops? Especially if the production takes up only less than 1% of all Chinese teas? The answer lies in its popularity among tea drinkers – they found other types of tea much more desirable, so the need for a white tea production is much lower.

Individually Sourced or Bought From a Wholesaler?

Most of the tea found in western shops comes from specialized tea wholesalers. That tea is specifically aimed at western market, having all certificates needed for a carefree import. The best is, of course, sold out much sooner to prominent tea connoisseurs or vendors with the right knowledge and connections. If the tea has not been individually sourced, there is a higher chance it is not the best in its category and might not have the premium flavor.

With many factors to be taken into consideration, vendors have a huge space for juggling the price of tea and adjusting details to make it more desirable. Very high-quality Silver Needle tea will always come from Fujian, will have a very delicate color and superb flavor even after a few steeps, with lots of fluffy hairs floating on the surface.

Image provided by author.

About the author:
Will Bailey is the co-owner of the boutique tea company known as California Tea House located in Southern California, where you can find an amazing collection of fine, organic loose leaf tea and small batch tea blends.

The post Why Buying a Silver Needle White Tea is Always a Risky Task appeared first on T Ching.

Downton Abbey Lady Cora’s Evening Herb Tea from The Republic of Tea. . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 00:00
I smell Valerian Root…was the very first thing I thought when opening this single serve tea bag. Isn’t that funny that you can identify one lonely ingredient when it’s mixed in with others? Perhaps it’s because Valerian Root smells like feet – I don’t know! (Insert Sitcom Style Canned Laugh here) Ingredients for Downton Abbey Lady Cora’s Evening Herb Tea from The Republic of Tea include: Lemon balm, linden flower, orange blossoms, chamomile, lavender flower, skullcap, passion flower and Valerian Root. None of which are on my personal faves list when chatting about or sipping on teas and tisanes but Read More

Songyi Tea Roast Lishan Oolong

Tea For Me Please - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 19:44

Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: somewhat dark, tightly rolled
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep gold

In Taiwan, oolong teas are commonly named after where they are grown rather than for the cultivar or other characteristics. Teas grown at over 1000 meters are considered high mountain oolong, otherwise known as gaoshan. High elevation teas are generally considered to be better quality but they will also carry a heftier price tag than their low grown counterparts. Ideally, a tea vendor should be able to supply this information and more about their offerings.

Songyi Tea is a new find for me that does exactly that. I've got a bevy of samples to review, starting off with this medium roast Lishan oolong. A quick glance at their website reveals that it was made from the Qingxing cultivar, otherwise known as "green heart", at an elevation of 2,300 meters. This is the good stuff! I love that they show specifically where the tea is from, right down to the village. The oxidation level is around 40% which is right where I like it, not too green but not so high that you won't taste the character of the tea.

The roast was at the forefront for the first few infusions. It had an almost dry toastiness to it that reminded me of unsalted sunflower seeds along with a slightly mineral quality. Hints of nectarine crept in as my session progressed. Some floral notes, orchid in particular, are to be expected of an oolong but this tea was definitely not a flower bomb. They stayed in the background, only complimenting the other flavors and never overpowering them. This tea would be a great choice for those who aren't into super flowery teas.

The only issue I had was with the recommended steeping directions. Too little leaf and too much water make for a weak cup of tea. Even for a western style brew, 1g per 50ml is not nearly enough for a tightly rolled oolong. I bumped up the leaf volume to my usual 6g in a 150ml gaiwan and the results were much better. This is partly personal preference since I'm a gongfu head but I'd hate to see people miss out on an awesome tea because they followed the recommendations.

Roast Lishan Oolong sample provided for review by Songyi Tea.


5 Most Effective Detox Drinks for Weight Loss

T Ching - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 13:00

Guest post by: Amanda Wilks

Are the limits of your current diet not doing enough for your weight? That’s totally understandable considering how complex and difficult a proper diet and exercise regimen can be.

Combining the proper amounts of healthy eating, calorie counting, smart nutrient choices and physical activity requires a level of dedication that some aren’t ready to reach. For some people, simple drinks such as green tea help with weight loss, but for others, problems arise because they just aren’t getting the right nutrients during their diet, leading to issues that can spiral back into weight gain. That’s where detox drinks enter the picture.

Made out of specially formulated combinations of ingredients that work in tandem to boost the body’s natural functions and ensure healthy living, a detox drink can come in a variety of forms. Whether it’s fruits and water or a vegetable medley mixed with herbs blended up and served as they are. No matter the delivery method, the end goal is the same: Find what your body lacks, supplement what it needs and flush out undesirable toxins to promote a healthier you.

So while good health and a proper diet require a solid understanding of your body’s needs, these five detox drinks can kick-start any diet and have you feeling better in no time.

1. Apple, Cinnamon, and Honey Water


Starting off strong is a combination of proven detox winners. Fruits in general provide essential antioxidants and enzymes your body produces but often not in a viable enough quantity to boost the body’s processes to fat-burning levels.

Combined with the power of cinnamon, which can help keep your body’s insulin levels steady and keep you feeling full for longer periods of time after you eat, you’ll be on the right path to a healthy drink option suitable for any time of day. Add some honey for sweetness and you might just keep this one around even after your diet has served its purpose!

2. Cucumber Lemonade


Praising the benefits of cucumber and lemon water is easy enough, given how strong of an alkalizer lemon can be. Pairing it with the mineral-packed power of the cucumber just makes this a winner in nearly every sense of the word.

By balancing the pH level of your body, you might just find your diet has been the victim of poor pH levels for longer than you realized. Taking it on in proper lemonade form just makes it that much tastier.

3. Slim Down Detox Water


Touted as the starting point for every detox drinker, this blend of several key fruits (such as grapefruits, cucumber, lemons, limes) and mint combines the strengths of many a star in the detox world into one convenient drink.

It boasts a quick prep time and doesn’t require an overnight soak to get the full benefits of the detox, though you may get slightly better infusion if you start this one the night before. At only seven calories, it won’t add a burden to your calorie counting, either.

4. Bedtime Drink for Detoxification and Fat Burn


Taking a smoothie approach to the detox process is this blended beverage option for your pre-bedtime routine. Certain ingredients show their colors when fully emulsified with supporting players that highlight their individual strengths, which is why the leafy herbage of parsley is paired up with lemon and ginger – two regular co-conspirators that round out the nutrient-rich benefits of herbage with some fruity notes to keep your pH balance in check and your body aligned as best it can be.

For best results, make this a part of your regular bedtime routine and drink one glass per evening. Skip your bedtime snack, since this will doubtlessly keep you feeling full.

5. Cranberry Detox Drink


What’s better than just losing weight? Losing weight and looking younger in the process, of course!

Cranberries are held in high regard for their phytonutrients and are often referred to as one of the best foods you can eat to keep your skin looking healthier. They might even help you fight off excess fat you’ve been working at, which is just what you’re looking for in this kind of detox drink.

As a middle ground between a smoothie and a detox water, this one requires extra straining to make it work but the end result is worth the effort.

Conclusion

As long as you stick to your diet and keep your nutrient input on track, detox drinks can only help you in the long run.

By acting as a low-calorie beverage with health benefits that help your body perform properly you can fight off the woes of aging and weight gain by sipping your way to a healthier you.

Image source

The post 5 Most Effective Detox Drinks for Weight Loss appeared first on T Ching.

Strawberry Rush from The Love Tea Company. . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 12:00
Welcome to summer this tea screams as it tumbles down your throat.  . . The hot weather sensations begin with the liquid. Clear rose in color with hints of a sunset orange. This tea has hibiscus in it so one must be mindful of the steeping time. In order to full appreciate the summery strawberry flavors steep 2 – 2.5 minutes. Sensations of fresh strawberries intertwine nicely with the crisp grassy green tea notes. Once you hit the three minute mark the hibiscus takes over like Japanese beetles on a bean plant. . . . .so this tea is for Read More

Wild Hunan Gold from Harney & Sons. . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 00:00
ATTENTION TEA-PLE! I CAN FINALLY DRINK TEA AGAIN! I had mouth surgery last week, and hot drinks totally irritated the Spot In Question. It was GRUELING. I was living off protein shakes. I had to cut up my few solids into into tiny, tiny pieces, including stuff like pizza and grapes. I felt like I had a picky toddler, except it was me. A WEEPY, FUSSY, 5’7″ TODDLER who could only eat things at room temperature or colder. So today I picked a nice new straight tea that allegedly has “strong cocoa flavors.” I was like “FREE OF CALORIE CHOCOLATES? Read More

Tuesday Tea and Tomes: A Jane Austen Christmas

Barb's Tea Shop - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 22:22
Enjoy "A Jane Austen Christmas" with Regency flair: a yule log, mead and green tea punch

Christmas in the Regency period, before the Victorian era upped the ante on holiday falderal, still had much to offer with the search for the perfect yule log, creating and imbibing specialty  mead or champagne and green tea punch, and attending the numerous balls and parties of the season.

In "A Jane Austen Christmas" by Carlo Devito,  the author describes not only Regency holiday traditions that would have been enjoyed by the Austen family and their society, but also six influential Christmases in Jane Austen's life. Devito begins with Jane, in early adolescence, at her family home in Steventon, concluding with her final years, filled with prolific writing, at Chawton Cottage.

I enjoyed "A Jane Austen Christmas" not only for the interesting tidbits about my favorite author and the Regency era holiday customs, but also for allowing me to reminisce about other Austen-inspired writers we've had the pleasure to meet and the travels we've taken to residences where Jane would have spent many a Twelfth Night.

With Margaret Sullivan, author of the Jane Austen Handbook
A fun, fact-filled book, with a forward by Margaret Sullivan who wrote the Jane Austen Handbook, Devito crams his slightly less than 200 pages with accounts of Jane's family, travels and a regrettable 24-hour engagement of marriage. While citing many sources for these tales, including Margaret Sullivan and John Mullan (both of whom we met at the Jane Austen Festival), the only caution in reading this tiny tome is that it's filled with quotes rather than the voice of the author. So, if one approaches this book as compendium of assorted clippings tied together by subject and timeline, it's a very enjoyable read.


Rachel and John Mullan, author of "What Matters in Jane Austen"
Starting with the Christmas of 1786, when Jane was just eleven, the Austens host their cosmopolitan neice, Eliza de Feuillide, at their Steventon home. Eliza captivated not only the budding author, but two of her six brothers as well, and became the inspiration for the independent women of Jane's novels.


In Bath, across from the Pump Room and near the Jane Austen Center. Jane, by most accounts, was not a fan of Bath.
By  1802 (Christmas, Part Four), Jane is in Bath, living with her sister, Cassandra, and her parents. Although a somewhat dismal time for Jane -  staying in a city she did not like, compounded by the aftershock of an early December proposal of marriage, readily accepted and then as quickly rescinded -  she nonetheless mined much rich material for upcoming novels.


Chawton Cottage. Happier times for Jane
In 1815, Jane moves to Chawton with her mother and Cassandra and lives in a charming cottage, courtesy of her brother Edward. It's here that Jane finds the solace of the country once again and returns to penning more novels. That Christmas, "Emma" is published.  We're told Jane "busied herself with dispatching presentation sets of Emma to select friends and relations". (How I'd love to have been on her friends gift list!)

Rachel plays melodies on the piano forte at ChawtonAt Jane's desk,  Chawton Cottage


"A Jane Austen Christmas" is really a book for any season and for all audiences, be they longtime Jane-ites or Jane-neophytes. I confess, the day after Christmas, I consumed this book as quickly as the two accompanying pots of tea I brewed, and found them equally delicious and satisfying. You may be inspired to fire up the yule log, grab your favorite Austen novel for an afternoon diversion and toast the new year with champagne and green tea punch!

Recommended tea pairing:  Christmas at Chawton (while supplies last!), Mr. Knightley's Reserve or Compassion for Mrs. Bennet's Nerves, part of the Jane Austen collection from Bingley's Teas.

Organic Peppermint Cinnamon from Trader Joe’s. . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 14:18
I’ve been feeling the need to cull my tea collection lately, friends. Now, before you gasp and exile me from Sororitea-Sisterhood, let me clarify. I have SO MUCH TEA. And frankly, lots of my “backlog” teas are ones that have sat there for a very, very, very long time. Rather than letting them languish, I’ve been packing them up (or tossing them out, if they’re really *that* old) and passing onto friends, and keeping my core collection full of teas that I really, really love. (this way, when new samples come in, I can happily sip a cup or two Read More

Hangover Tisane Recipe

T Ching - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 13:00

I began studying herbalism in my late teens, and have continued practicing to varying degrees ever since. While in my early college days, the top two requests I got were tea for when people were sick with some kind of cold or flu; and a cure for “wine flu” also known as a hangover.

I always started with the advice that drinking less alcohol or at least more water was really their best bet, as preventative medicine is the most effective. This elicited the expected eyerolls and request for actual help. As a result, I came up with this very simple recipe that I could whip up and hand out anytime.

A quick trip to a local herb shop will yield these two relatively common herbal ingredients. If none are available, there are plenty of websites that carry organic food-grade herbs. My personal favorite is Mountain Rose Herbs. This recipe uses dried herbs.

For one mug of tisane:

1.5 teaspoons meadowsweet
0.5 teaspoons lavender
1 spoonful honey, to taste

Steep the herb ingredients in water heated to a full boil for ten minutes. Add honey before serving.

A few notes about this recipe:

  • Meadowsweet is a wonderful herb that can be used to treat everything from stomach acidity and upset to headaches and nausea. Unfortunately, it is a natural source of salicylates so is NOT safe for use by anyone who is taking blood-thinners.
  • Lavender is one of the gentlest and most widely used herbs. However, its use should be avoided if allergic.
  • Honey is actually a necessary ingredient in this recipe, as it contains fructose.

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Anji Bai from Teasenz. . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 00:00
Another rainy night with the feeling of winter in the air. I want tea, a tea that makes me go “mmmmmm” and cuddle the cup. Enter Anji Bai. Flat leaves of brilliant green that steep a golden cup of tea. The dry leaves smell like milk chocolate to me for some reason, which is also true of some Da Hong Pao. But the steeped tea does not. The steeped tea smells like oh so fresh lightly buttered vegetables with a hint of asparagus and a hint of peas, but also freshly shelled walnuts with the little papery membrane still on. Read More
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