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A friend of mine called recently about the green tea she was steeping. It was a loose leaf tea that I had recommended but it didn’t meet the expectations I had set, she said. So I set off to see for myself why it hadn’t been delivered. How did you make it? I asked. The water came out of an espresso machine, piping hot. It was also hard water that tasted mineral-y. The heat scalded the delicate green tea. And after being steeped for 3 minutes, it had become bitter. No matter how much or how little you know about tea and tea varietals, there are two factors that always help derive the optimum flavor from tea: water quality and temperature. A fellow tea friend, Peter Keen, says that if you look after the water, the tea will look after itself. It’s also why connoisseurs will go in search of spring water to make that perfect cup of tea. But what can we do within what’s available to us? Let’s assume our water choices are limited to the filtered water we use in our homes. If it’s good enough to drink, it’s good enough to make tea. Most teas come with recommended temperatures and steeping times, which offer a useful guide. Some thumb rules: Do not use boiling water because it scalds the tea. Black teas may be able to withstand the temperatures but there are so many kinds that it’s not a one-size-fits-all. A spring-flush Darjeeling, for instance, doesn’t do well with boiling water. Green teas need such short steeps that very hot water ruins them, as was my friend’s experience. We tried the same tea but with filtered water heated in a vessel this time. As it neared boiling, we turned off the gas and let it cool for about 4 minutes. We didn’t check the temperature but it was hot enough to drink without scalding. Thirty seconds produced a delicately flavoured, lightly coloured liquor. A longer second steep of 1 minute revealed more vegetal flavours and colour and the joy of seeing the leaves unfurl. We also found that at 2 minutes, this tea entered the realm of bitterness. The Chinese way of drinking green tea is naturally designed to mitigate this experience. The gaiwan is a small cup with a saucer and a lid. You add your green tea to the cup and keep refilling it with hot […]
It’s likely that we all enjoy a hot cup of tea — or herbal infusion — at least from time to time, if not on a daily basis. But what are the most important health benefits that some of these soothing teas can bring us? Read on to learn more about the top teas for our health. “Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage,” writes 19th-century Japanese scholar Okakura Kakuzo in his infamous publication The Book of Tea. In it, he speaks at length about the history of tea and the philosophy of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Kakuzo was correct: modern research about the history of tea-drinking in the world confirms that this beverage was originally consumed less for pleasure or as a mindfulness aid, calling for the drinker to take slow sips and be in the moment. Instead, as shown by Prof. Victor Henry Mair — from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia — in The True History of Tea, early in its history, the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) became popular for its medicinal properties. The tea plant’s main varieties — Camellia sinensis sinensis and Camellia sinensis assamica — are responsible for most of the tea brews that we are accustomed to: black tea, green tea, white tea, and oolong tea. There are many other types of teas and infusions using various other plants, such as Aspalathus linearis, which is better known as “rooibos” or “redbush.” In this Spotlight, we’ll give you an overview of the top five teas that can benefit your health. 1. Green tea A favorite with tea drinkers everywhere, green tea has been praised for its medicinal properties for years. Some recent studies have now confirmed some of these benefits, suggesting that green tea may protect various aspects of our health. To begin with, this beverage has been found to enhance cognitive functioning, with one studyTrusted Source connecting it to better working memory, the type of we use on a day-to-day basis. Researchers from the University Hospital of Basel in Switzerland found that healthy people who agreed to consume a soft drink containing 27.5 grams of green tea extract exhibited more intense activity in brain areas linked to working memory. Therefore, participants who had ingested the green tea extract had better connectivity between the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain, which are two regions involved in aspects of learning, memory processes, and decision-making. The health benefits brought about by green tea have […]
YOU DESERVE A BETTER CUP OF TEA. IN FACT, YOU DESERVE THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA. CHOOSING YOUR FAVOURITE TWININGS BLEND IS AN EXCELLENT START. SIMPLY FOLLOW THESE HELPFUL STEPS TO MAKE EVERY CUP THE PERFECT CUP.  TIME AND TEMPERATURE Whether you prefer your tea bagged or loose, always start with freshly drawn cold water. If using a teapot, warm the inside first with hot water, then pour it out. And, of course, make sure your mugs, teapot and kettle are clean as a whistle.  TEA BAGS Bring water to a boil*, and pour over the tea as soon as it reaches boiling. Over-boiling will cause oxygen to be reduced, making the tea taste ‘flat’. Use 1 teabag per cup or 1 teaspoon of loose tea per cup (6 oz.). Steep the tea for the required time as indicated on the chart to the right. Never judge a tea by its colour. Colour comes more quickly, but flavour takes a bit longer to develop. Allow the correct steeping time to fully extract the best flavour. Adjust the amount of tea you use and the steeping time to your taste. “The best cup of tea is the one you like the most.” *For optimum tea flavour, we recommend you refrain from using a microwave to boil your water. LOOSE TEA Prepare loose tea by placing 1-2 teaspoons of loose tea into a tea strainer, put the strainer into your cup, then pour properly heated water directly over the leaves. If using a teapot, measure 1-2 teaspoons per 8oz of water. RECOMMENDED BREW TIMES  Tea Type Brew Time Black 4 mins Chai 5 mins Green 2 mins Herbal 4 mins Red 4 mins Oolong 3 mins White 1 min Cold Brewed Iced Tea 5 mins For milder tea flavour, shorten brew time.For stronger tea flavour, increase brewing time. While milk and sugar is a matter of personal taste, we find that some of our blends are enhanced with a little added sweetness or creaminess. When adding milk, pour it into the cup before adding your tea. This allows the milk to cool the tea, rather than letting the tea heat the milk.
There are two factors that always help derive the optimum flavour from tea: water quality and temperature In that sense, if you look after the water, the tea will look after itself A friend of mine called recently about the green tea she was steeping. It was a loose leaf tea that I had recommended but it didn’t meet the expectations I had set, she said. So I set off to see for myself why it hadn’t been delivered. How did you make it? I asked. The water came out of an espresso machine, piping hot. It was also hard water that tasted mineral-y. The heat scalded the delicate green tea. And after being steeped for 3 minutes, it had become bitter. No matter how much or how little you know about tea and tea varietals, there are two factors that always help derive the optimum flavor from tea: water quality and temperature. A fellow tea friend, Peter Keen, says that if you look after the water, the tea will look after itself. It’s also why connoisseurs will go in search of spring water to make that perfect cup of tea. But what can we do within what’s available to us? Let’s assume our water choices are limited to the filtered water we use in our homes. If it’s good enough to drink, it’s good enough to make tea. Most teas come with recommended temperatures and steeping times, which offer a useful guide. Some thumb rules: Do not use boiling water because it scalds the tea. Black teas may be able to withstand the temperatures but there are so many kinds that it’s not a one-size-fits-all. A spring-flush Darjeeling, for instance, doesn’t do well with boiling water. Green teas need such short steeps that very hot water ruins them, as was my friend’s experience. We tried the same tea but with filtered water heated in a vessel this time. As it neared boiling, we turned off the gas and let it cool for about 4 minutes. We didn’t check the temperature but it was hot enough to drink without scalding. Thirty seconds produced a delicately flavoured, lightly coloured liquor. A longer second steep of 1 minute revealed more vegetal flavours and colour and the joy of seeing the leaves unfurl. We also found that at 2 minutes, this tea entered the realm of bitterness. The Chinese way of drinking green […]
The last time I visited my favorite tea house, I asked my tea dealer a question. “Why is it that every time I buy tea here and make it at home, it doesn’t taste as good as when you do it?” “Simple,” she answered. “It’s the water.” “But couldn’t it also be your technique or the equipment you use? Maybe you’re doing something right that I’m doing wrong.” That’s when she told me about another customer with a similar question. “I made some tea at his home with the same equipment that I have here. I did everything the same. But he didn’t have my water, so the tea was different.” These differences are subtle, the kind you might not notice if you’re brewing flavored tea, making a pitcher of iced tea, or planning to add lots of milk and sugar. But in fine tea, the kind that’s meant to be drunk straight, subtlety is everything. Brew a tea one way and it might taste nice. Brew it with some extra care and it can floor you with its complexity, aroma, and finish that lingers for minutes after each sip. Ask tea experts about brewing and they’ll tell you how your source of water is critical, how better water turns a good tea great and bad water can make even pricey tea taste sour and acrid. Anecdotally I’ve seen this claim in action, but I’ve never put numbers to it—until now. Can we quantify the impact of water source on tea? The Claim While advice varies from tea person to tea person, the general argument all comes down to what’s in your water besides water. That includes minerals endemic to a water supply, additives like fluorine, and even dissolved solids from old pipes. Too many minerals and your water is “hard,” which can add funky metallic flavors to tea. Absolutely pure water like distilled is no good either, tea people claim—it’s so bland it can make tea taste dull. Water for tea should have a neutral pH so it doesn’t turn the tea sour or bitter. And it should be freshly boiled, as water that’s been boiled again and again can absorb off flavors from the air around it. That’s a lot to think about before you even pick out a tea to brew. And it’s a lot of variables to test. But a good starting point is the three sources […]
Tea has been used as a refreshing drink for centuries. Tea is said to have health benefits – does the latest scientific evidence support this? Is tea a healthy source of hydration?   History and types of tea Tea is a beverage, which has been consumed for centuries. It is the most-widely consumed drink in the world, after water.1 Figure 1 shows tea consumption per capita in some European countries. Figure 1: Tea consumption per capita in Europe2 Tea is produced by adding hot water to the leaves from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. This process is called infusion. Herbal or fruit teas, despite their name, are not strictly teas as they come from other plant species (for example, lime tree or chamomile). Different processing methods are used to produce the hundreds of varieties of tea: Black teas, which are most common in Europe3, are produced when tea leaves are fermented (broken down by the enzymes in the tea leaves, in a temperature controlled room) and then dried. These processes release the specific polyphenols, which produce the distinctive colour and flavour.4 Green (unfermented) tea is produced by steaming, before drying, to minimise oxidation by enzymes – keeping the colour of the leaf, and giving its flavour characteristics. Oolong tea is somewhere between green and black tea in terms of fermentation and taste – its leaves are only partially oxidised. Black and green (and oolong) teas contain different types of polyphenols, but the total polyphenol content is similar.5 Tea can be drunk as a simple infusion, or may have added milk or lemon, or sugar. However, more research is needed to understand to what degree and through which mechanisms this affects the bioavailability of the different polyphenols. Is tea good for health? There is much more research published on green tea than black (and other) teas. A recent exhaustive review looking into associations between food and beverage groups and diet-related chronic diseases, reported that tea was the most protective of all of the commonly consumed beverages; people reporting the highest intake of tea was associated with significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (by 16%), cardiovascular disease (by 28%) and cancers (by 34%), although other studies have not shown clear relationships between tea and cancers.6 Another large study reported each additional daily cup of tea resulted in an associated 9% lower all-cause mortality.7 Many of the proposed benefits have been attributed to the presence of specific polyphenols called flavonoids having a beneficial effect on blood vessels, due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but caffeine and fluoride […]
Other than water, tea is the most frequently consumed beverage worldwide. Dating back almost 50 centuries, tea has held a special place in humans’ diets for a long time, so it’s no surprise why the drink is still so popular and so prevalent now. But its longstanding place in human history isn’t the only reason why people drink tea. It’s also because the brewed beverage has some incredible health benefits. Dozens of studies (and thousands of years of anecdotal evidence) have found that antioxidant-rich tea has numerous beneficial effects on health, including the prevention of many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke, and obesity.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.478.1_en.html#goog_1631628267Oreo Dirt Cups With nearly 21 percent of the adult American population considering themselves tea drinkers, we thought it would be useful to share the most common mistakes people make when brewing a batch. Making these mistakes may not completely cancel out tea’s benefits, but they’re certainly not doing anything to help this miracle drink out. These mistakes range from ruining flavor to preventing the extraction of the most beneficial compounds. Keep these in mind the next time you put the kettle on the stove, and if you needed any more convincing to order some tea leaves, it might be worth taking a look at What Happens to Your Body If You Drink Tea Every Day.1 Your water is too hot You shouldn’t be relying on that whistle of your tea kettle. If you are, that means your water has come to a boil—and it’s too hot. The heat can make those delicate tea leaves taste bitter and less sweet. Studies show that hot water can also destroy delicate, health-promoting compounds like catechins. For the perfect cup of tea, you want your water to be just under a rolling boil, you can eyeball to be around when small bubbles start to form alongside the kettle. Now, there isn’t one temperature that works for every tea—each is different. For example, green tea should be brewed between 180 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit while the water for black tea should come to 206 degrees, according to the Art of Tea. To be this precise, it might be worth investing in a tea kettle with a thermometer. STAY INFORMED: Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest food news delivered straight to your inbox.2 You’re steeping it for too long Stop setting it and forgetting it! Like temperature, the length of time you steep your tea for will […]
Teas offer us so many health benefits—inside and out. Some teas can reduce bad cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease, while others have antibacterial properties and can combat sleep issues. But did you know that teas are also great for our skin? To see benefits, you can drink, apply directly to your skin, or use extracts. There are so many to choose from, and each of them works in its own unique way to keep your skin looking beautiful.  The Best Teas for Your Skin It all starts from within. When your insides are working correctly, it shows on the outside. And most importantly, tea starts with water—the most essential part of keeping skin healthy. People have been drinking tea for thousands of years, and it’s clear why. 1. Chamomile tea Sleep is imperative for maintaining a glowing complexion, which may make chamomile the most popular tea for skin. When you aren’t sleeping well, your mirror will show you the effects. Next time you see dark circles creeping up, put some chamomile tea bags on your eyes to reduce the puffiness and get rid of that tired look. It’s relaxing properties also make this a great tea for red, irritated skin. And not only does chamomile promote relaxation and sleep, but it’s full of quercetin, which protects your skin from sun damage with its potent antioxidant properties. 2. Jasmine tea Not only does it smell beautiful, jasmine tea actually has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that keep your immune system healthy [source]. It relaxes and dilates the blood vessels to bring a rich blood supply with all of its nutrients to the skin [source]. It can prevent the signs of aging, helps with healing wounds [source], and even treats skin conditions like acne [source]. 3. Green tea  Green tea is also packed full of sun damage-fighting agents. Too much sun exposure can increase your risk for skin cancer and age your skin prematurely. The catechins in green tea, like EGCG [source], are potent polyphenols that can fight free radicals and thus reduce skin damage, give protection from ultraviolet rays, and prevent wrinkle formation [source]. These powerful catechins have also been shown to revive dying skin cells and promote healthy new cells. Try this Green Tea Energy Drink for a great skin boost. 4. Rooibos Also known as Red Bush Tea, rooibos has been used for thousands of years in South Africa and can treat a variety of skin conditions. It’s thought that […]
People all over the world have been drinking tea for thousands of centuries, and for good reason. Numerous studies have shown that a variety of teas may boost your immune system, fight off inflammation, and even ward off cancer and heart disease. While some brews provide more health advantages than others, there’s plenty of evidence that regularly drinking tea can have a lasting impact on your wellness. Put the kettle on, because we’re sharing some of the biggest benefits hidden in the world’s most popular teas. White Tea Known to have a delicate flavor, white tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant that’s native to China and India. It is also the least processed tea variety. Research shows it may be the most effective tea in fighting various forms of cancer thanks to its high level of antioxidants. White tea may also be good for your teeth since it contains a high source of fluoride, catechins and tannins that can strengthen teeth, fight plaque, and make it more resistant to acid and sugar. This variety also offers the least amount of caffeine, making it a smart choice for tea drinkers who want to avoid or limit their caffeine consumption. Herbal Tea Herbal teas, sometimes called tisanes, are very similar to white teas, but they contain a blend of herbs, spices, fruits or other plants in addition to tea leaves. Herbal teas don’t contain caffeine, which is why they’re known for their calming properties. There are numerous types of herbal teas, all with their unique benefits. Some of the most popular herbal teas include: Chamomile tea – Helps to reduce menstrual pain and muscle spasms, improves sleep and relaxation, and reduces stress Rooibos – Improves blood pressure and circulation, boosts good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol, keeps hair strong and skin healthy, and provides relief from allergies Peppermint – Contains menthol, which can soothe an upset stomach and serve as a cure for constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and motion sickness. This tea variety also offers pain relief from tension headaches and migraines. Ginger – Helps to fight against morning sickness, can be used to treat chronic indigestion and helps to relieve joint pain caused by osteoarthritis Hibiscus – Lowers blood pressure and fat levels, improves overall liver health, can starve off cravings for unhealthy sweets, and may prevent the formation of kidney stones Green Tea Green tea originates from China, where the leaves are processed with heat using […]
A number of scientific researchers have been investigating the possible health benefits contained within tea. And now it appears there’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that drinking tea could actually ward off some very serious conditions, including cancer, obesity and dehydration. Studies have suggested that drinking three or more cups of tea a day could actually be better for you than drinking the same amount of water, with the antioxidants contained within tea boosting the body’s health, at the same time as rehydrating it. The main health benefits of tea drinking Here are some of the key health benefits that scientists reckon tea drinking can bring: Tea reduces the risk of heart disease – Tea can potentially improve the blood flow around the body, by widening key arteries and reducing the risk of clots. Tea also contains antioxidants called ‘flavonoids’, which may slow down the onset and risk of heart disease. Tea hydrates the body – Although water is the prime fluid for rehydrating the body after exercise or a long day in the office, some scientists believe that drinking tea could be equally useful. Although high in caffeine, tea is still great for hydration as it provides a rich and flavorsome source of water. Tea prevents tooth decay – Believe it or not, a regular supply of tea can really strengthen your teeth and lower the risk of tooth decay. Tea is a great source of fluoride, which can bolster tooth enamel. The antioxidants contained within a cuppa have also been known to fight against bacteria and gum disease. Slimming through tea drinking? – Some scientific studies have suggested that regular tea drinking can help to keep body fat down by speeding up the burning of calories. If nothing else, it’s less fattening than sipping on a soft drink. Boosting memory power with tea – Many scientists believe that certain types of tea, such as green tea, can strengthen memory cells in the brain, and offer protection from the development of dementia and even Alzheimer’s Disease. No wonder old people drink so much tea. Beating cancer through the power of tea – Some high-profile studies have recently suggested that tea drinking could seriously help your chances of avoiding cancer. Although research is still developing in this area, reports indicate that prostate, mouth and breast cancer cases are much lower amongst those who regularly drink five or more cups of tea a day. Types of healthy tea With so many […]