Friday, June 28, 2013

Brewing the Perfect Cup of Tea

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Brewing the Perfect Cup of Tea

Everybody loves a cuppa right?! Well, if you’re going to make one, you may as well make it good. A tea break is a well-earned rest, and you need to take your time over it and make sure it relaxes you like it should. You might think that a quick cup of tea is just a bag in some hot water with milk poured over the top – well stop right there! Tea is a ritual, and you need to do it properly! Here is our guide to making the perfect cup of tea, so read up, sit down and enjoy a cup of tea like never before.

 

How To Begin

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You will need a loose-leaf tea of the highest quality – it will be easy to find in tea shops across the country, or if you struggle then order it online. Low grade tea is often just the crushed last little bits from the teabag making process – but you’re going to need the full-leaf variety otherwise you’ll just be dealing with powder.

 

Your Equipment

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For one cup of tea use a brewing basket – it should fit nicely inside your cup to give the leaves a chance to expand and release all of their flavour. It should be metal, not plastic (as plastic can release chemicals into your tea – not good!) You’ll just need a couple of teaspoons of loose tea in the basket, and then pour the hot water over the top. Experiment with water temperatures – if you like your tea black, then the water doesn’t have to be as hot. Different types of tea do better with different temperatures so have a look online for a tea temperature guide. Some kettles tell you the temperature of the water that you are boiling, but other people just use a simply thermometer.

 

Equipment Care is Key

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Many people use a separate pot for black and green tea as some of the flavour can be retained in the pot. Don’t wash pots with detergent – a quick rinse out immediately after use is enough to keep it clean for the next use.

 

The Steeping

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Steeping the tea is the key element in making the perfect cup of tea. For white tea the optimum time is about 4 or 5 minutes, any longer and it will start to taste bitter. Other teas need less steeping time, but they should tell you on the back of the packet. Once you are happy that it is brewed to perfection, pull the basket out and hey presto – you have the perfect cup of tea!

 

Enjoy It

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The next step is to customize it to your taste – for example add milk and/or sugar. Then, grab a biscuit to go with it, take it to your favourite tea-supping spot in your house or garden, take a deep breath… and enjoy! Drinking tea has to be one of the simplest pleasures known to man – so make sure every cup of tea gets your full attention. Sit back, relax and enjoy the perfect cup of tea you’ve  just created!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Bio: Jenny Wadlow is a freelance writer and is usually found blogging about Pinchajii Tea. She has got an exceptional taste for tea and suggests that a good tea leaf will always give a pleasant floral or fruity smell out of its leaves. You can follow her on twitter @JennyWadlow to know more.

 

 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Where Does Tea Come From?

teaDid you know tea is the second most popular beverage in the entire world?  It is second only to water!  Its popularity can probably be attributed to the cooling – slightly bitter – astringent flavors.  Also, the abundance of health benefits associated with tea definitely don’t hurt the beverage’s reputation!  Tea has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, the ability to regulate food intake, and the capacity to suppress pain and nausea while providing calming effects.

While the popularity of the beverage is world-wide, very few countries actually have the ability to produce tea.  So, where do all these helpful, yummy leaves come from?  Approximately ninety percent of the world’s tea comes from Asian countries.  More interestingly, the majority of the world’s tea production happens in just ten countries.

The World’s Ten Leading Tea Producing Countries

Iran is number ten in the world’s tea production. Its annual production of tea is approximately sixty thousand tons, landing it in the top ten list. Iran is actually known for its red Iranian tea, which is drank locally and exported all around the world.

Argentina is the only country in South, Central, or North America that is on the list. It sits so high (at number nine) because of its 76,000 tons of tea per year.

Japan comes in at number eight, producing over 110,000 tons of tea, including green tea. Tea is an important part of Japanese custom.

Indonesia is number seven on the list. While many people know Indonesia for its delicious coffee, it is also a leader in tea production for over 150,000 tons of tea per year.

Vietnam lands the sixth spot because of the 174,900 tons of tea it produces each year. The province of Lam Dong is the largest tea producer in all of Vietnam and grows 27% of the country’s tea.

Did you know that Turkey produces almost 200,000 tons of tea per year? That makes it the fifth largest tea producer in the world.

Sri Lanka’s tea production totals 318,470 tons per year. This constitutes nine percent of the world’s tea and makes them the fourth largest tea producer in the world.

Kenyais the third largest tea producer in the world with over 345,800 tons annually.

Indiais second on the list because it produces over 800,000 tons of tea per year. This is almost one-quarter of the world’s tea production.

Finally, Chinais number one with well over one million tons of tea per year.  With such a flourishing tea trade, it isn’t surprising to learn that 15% of the total land area in China is used for crop production.

Guest blogger Doug Adams works in web design (learn more here).  He was recently hired to design a site for a local tea room.  In the beginning, he was woefully ignorant of the popularity of tea.  After doing some research for his client, he finds himself more intrigued by the beverage with each passing day!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Health Benefits of Drinking Tea

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Life-Extending Benefits of Drinking Tea Daily

 

Originating in Asia, tea has been a part of human existence for thousands of years. The earliest records indicate that tea has been in use since 10th Century B.C. In terms of worldwide consumption, tea is second only to water. With so many different varieties of tea available, you probably have a favorite that you enjoy. Served hot or cold, there's no denying that tea can be a tasty and satisfying drink before, during, or after a delicious meal. But while you're enjoying a mug of your favorite tea, you may not be aware that tea is helping you live longer. Let's take a look at 7 ways that drinking tea daily can add to your overall health and vitality.

 

Drinking tea reduces chances of getting heart disease

Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the U.S., claiming over 600,000 lives in 2007 alone. So it stands to reason that you want to do whatever is in your power to avoid becoming a victim of this deadly killer. Drinking tea on a daily basis reduces this risk considerably. A recent study indicates that drinking a cup of black or green tea each day reduces the amount of fatty deposits in your arteries, thanks in large part to the naturally occurring phenolic compounds and flavonoids.

 

Drinking tea reduces your risk of tumors and cancer

Tea has a high concentration of antioxidants, naturally-occurring chemicals which help prevent damage to your cells. Studies have indicated that the antioxidants found in tea lead to a significant reduction in various forms of cancer. You will find the highest amounts of these antioxidants in green tea, black tea, and oolong tea.

 

Drinking tea daily strengthens your body's immune system

This is in large part due to a naturally occurring amino acid in tea (especially green and black tea) called L-theanine. L-theanine boosts your immune system by increasing the ability of your T-cells to fight disease-causing germs and infections.


Drinking tea daily helps prevent diabetes 

Recent studies have shown that those who drink anywhere from 3 to 4 cups of tea per day significantly decrease their chances of developing Type-2 diabetes, another deadly killer that contributes to over 200,000 deaths each year in the U.S. alone. The ability of tea to reduce your chances of developing diabetes is also due in large part to the significant amount of antioxidants and magnesium found in teas.


Drinking tea helps fight off obesity

You are likely well aware that the amount of people who can be classified as obese is rising at a rapid pace. And like a large percentage of the population, you may be struggling with your own efforts to lose weight. Green tea in particular has been shown to prevent or reduce obesity, a result of the large amounts of a compound called EGCG that is present in green tea. The EGCG in green tea has been proven to increase the rate your body burns fat and actually reverse instances of obesity.

 

loose weight with Pu-erh tea

 

 

Drinking tea daily reduces your stress levels

There's a reason why you may often find that drinking a mug of your favorite tea is a relaxing experience after a long and stressful day. This is because tea has been shown to quickly reduce levels of the stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is sometimes called "the death hormone" because it has a toxic effect on our bodies by destroying brain cells, shrinking vital organs, and increasing aging and disease.


Drinking tea reduces your chances of developing Parkinson's Disease

A degenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system and causes a loss of basic motor function, Parkinson's Disease affects 1-in-500 Americans. A recent study shows that drinking a cup of black tea each day will reduce your chances of getting Parkinson's Disease by as much as 71 percent.

 

As you can see, besides the taste and comfort that comes with enjoying a mug of your favorite herbal tea, you may also be adding years to your life and reducing your chances of getting a debilitating disease. Whether you choose a white, green, black, or oolong variety, you are sure to receive many life-extending benefits from drinking tea daily.