Archive for July, 2008

Introducing the types of tea

Introducing The Types Of Tea

The great appeal of tea reveals itself thru the massive array of options open to you in your local grocery or any online distributor. Although many hot beverages refer to themselves as tea, there are in reality a couple of adaptations and not each one of them are primarily based on the true tea plant.

True tea is made from the leaves of a plant called Camellia sinensis. These teas include white, green, oolong, and black tea. The list may appear longer because there are several types of these teas and occasionally they’re flavored by adding other plants, spices or oils to them.

Flavored teas include Earl Gray , which is made from black tea and bergamot, and Jasmine, which is generally green tea and jasmine flowers. Other sorts of teas include Assam and Ceylon, which are black teas and Matcha and Sencha, which are green teas. These, naturally, are merely a few of the a couple of types available on the market.

Herbal tea and tisane, from another viewpoint, happen to be one in the same but completely different than true teas from the tea plant. They come from dried leaves, flowers or roots that aren’t from the Camellia sinensis plant. It appears virtually any leaf or flower that’s drenched in hot water is named tea;although in some states the word tea is legally proscribed to drinks that are made using the true tea plant.

Whether it’s a true tea or an herbal tea most “teas” have health benefits. Real teas, like oolong and green, have been included in more research analysis and seem to offer the most important health gain, though herbal teas have shown benefits too.

The herbal tea that looks to be showing the most studied benefit appears to be rooibos. It has got a high level of antioxidants, somewhat like green tea, but as it isn’t made with tea leaves it does not contain the caffeine. In fresh studies rooibos, AKA red tea, has shown liver defending capabilities too.

In my very own private experience I can always count on peppermint tea to ease an upset tummy. I’m in possession of a chum who always makes a mixture of hibiscus, ginger and cinnamon to help her when she isn’t feeling well.

However I adore the flavour of true teas, and all of the reported health benefits provide motivating reasons to enjoy more of them. With all of the kinds and different qualities available it’s plenty of fun to explore and discover your tops.

Apart from the problem of tea or tisane you can also ask tea bag or loose leaf? Tea bags are good for simplicity and the triangular tea bags are good for simplicity with better flavour ; but to actually enjoy the flavour a top notch loose leaf tea is the absolute best. The loose tea permits water to circulate round the leaves better to help draw out the flavour.

Whatever your special preference, the selection of teas makes it obvious how tea has gotten so favored across such a large amount of different cultures.

Chill out in june – it's national iced tea month

Chill Out in June – It's National Iced Tea Month!

For the grateful person, there are millions of things to be thankful for every day.  Fortunately the authorities that be (though we aren’t sure exactly who they are) have sorted out all the many things that have blessed our lives so that we may take note of them one at a time.  They are organized by date, and there are many that have passed recently that you may not have been aware of.

For example, did you celebrate National Star Wars Day at the beginning of this month?  Or, how about National Poetry Day on April 28th?  Then, who could’ve possibly forgotten National Pancake Day on February 23rd?  One of our favorites, and yours too, I hope, is coming up soon—and this holiday is so grand that it warrants a whole month of celebration.  That’s right, June is National Iced Tea Month!  Get your tall glasses and frosty cubes ready, because we will be pouring over this all month long!

Why celebrate iced tea, you ask?  For the same reasons we celebrate Star Wars and Pancakes – they are just plain good.  So it is with iced tea, and particularly during the month of June, when the chilled glass sweats almost as much as we do.  Nothing better accompanies the summer heat; the cool, crisp liquid brings our body temperatures down and the slap of caffeine helps us the muster the energy to master our summer chores.

There are varied ways to make and enjoy the drink, and most people stand bitterly behind their methods as they would their religious or political views.  If you’re from the South, you probably wouldn’t think about making tea without an equal part sugar.  If the stirring spoon doesn’t stand up for at least two seconds, keep adding to the batch!  If you’ve lived in Arizona for some time, you’re likely partial to vats of iced tea brewed in the sun all morning long.  You probably also use about ten large teabags per jar of water.  I forgive you for the teabags.  That said, we can move on.

For the month of June, let’s celebrate by stepping outside of the box and dissolving the walls that divide us tea-lovers.  It’s easier to be creative with iced tea than you might expect, and more importantly, it’s fun.  And with a whole month to experiment, you can find innumerable ways to enjoy one of America’s favorite drinks.  Let me get you started with a few ideas:

  1. Think green grass and white balls.  That’s right, I’m talking about the classic Arnold Palmer.  For those of you who don’t know, this is simply equal parts black tea and lemonade poured over ice.  Why not have the best of both worlds?
  2. The English had it right—don’t be afraid to add milk to your tea!  But, try it this way:  Brew your black tea really strong, add sugar, and pour it into a tall glass full of ice, about 2/3 full.  Top it off with a layer of evaporated whole milk.  This is called a “Thai Iced Tea.”  Between the strength of the tea and the sweetness of the sugar and cream, you won’t need more than one!
  3. Add stuff to the mix!  Whoever said iced tea had to be just tea leaves, water, sugar, and lemon?  Add anything you want—try fresh basil or mint from the garden.  Shave ginger root into the pitcher for a hint of spice.  Muddle some fresh berries and add them to the mix!  You don’t even have to use tea—many herbs can be prepared in the same manner (think hibiscus).  Try using yerba mate, lemongrass, or mint in its place.
  4. Spike it.  Don’t be afraid.  In fact, the first glasses of iced tea enjoyed in America were accompanied by liquor, and were called “punch.”  This dates back to the early 1800’s, and the drinks were popularized about a century later during the prohibition. Talk about making tea more fun!  Try any variety of flavored vodkas, the tea of your choice, and a squeeze of lemon, all over ice of course.  You’ll forget that it’s summer.
  5. One final tip for June:  Take any of the above ideas, mix a large pitcher of the beverage, and pour it into ice cube or popsicle trays for the freezer.  You can even layer flavors for varied effects.  For you heavy-handed folk, go a little light on the vodka if you intend it to freeze.  Use these cubes to ice other drinks, or enjoy them alone.  Who ever said popsicles were just for kids?

The whole point is enjoyment, which is why we drink iced tea in the first place, and why it is worth celebrating.  So, have a bit of fun.  Get your lawn chair out, grab your iPad or your favorite magazine, push a pair of sunglasses onto your nose and pour yourself a cold one; it doesn’t really matter how it’s prepared.  Chill out, with Maya Tea!

About coffee and cream in recent years

About Coffee and Cream in Recent Years

During the recent years, we have been taken over by an experience a lot different from others. An experience of pure and unadulterated goodness…one that makes a rollercoaster ride like a slow turtle in mud. An experience that makes chocolate fantasies like a dream of rotting corpses.

An experience so magical, so unique and so electrifying that many people are standing in line to be served the ultimate coffee experience.

We have seen them sprout and mushroom almost everywhere. Caf?s and coffee shops have been steadily increasing in number not only in urban areas but in suburban and rural areas as well.

This is brought about by the large demand of the current generation for a place to do their business, meet people, hang-out with friends and spend moments with special people.

And because of the abundance of choices and the seemingly endless choices of products, people are becoming more and more discerning of their choice of venue and product. As they say only the best will survive, and the truth is only those who can provide the best coffee experience last long enough to say how they manage to do it.

Out on a coffee experience

The seemingly endless competition of big and small coffee shops and caf?s all boil down to one thing, how you make the coffee. Being the primary product of a coffee shop it is imperative that the coffee served meets the high standards of the consumers.

Not only is the taste being judged, the presentation, the excitement and the experience that it gives and creates in the customer serves as the basis for how much the product will impact the society.

Classic combinations like coffee and sugar and coffee and cream of course will never be out of the picture but since people are looking for an adventure with every cup, it wouldn’t be bad to experiment with different brews that would create a sense of anticipation on the part of the consumer.

Trying out different flavors like hazelnut, nutmeg, cinnamon, chocolate, milk, honey, and other flavors that could boost the smell of the already aromatic smell of pure coffee can make a person’s day.

Blending coffee with different bases also creates a different texture. Blending coffee with different ingredients like ice, jelly and colas also gives your boring old coffee a different kick.

Since you became so brave and creative as far as experimenting with your coffee, why not try outrageous and totally out of this world blends that would surely be the talk of the town.

Coffee that cures diseases

Coffee That Cures Diseases

Coffees also experience being sick. The Arabica variety in particular is more susceptible to diseases. At one point in coffee’s history, most of the coffee in the world was affected by a disease which killed production.

Fortunately, the same level of infection hasn’t been seen in the past centuries. And scientists are working hard so that the world will never experience it anytime in the near future.

On of the more notable coffee diseases is the coffee leaf rust. The disease had a very devastating effect on the coffee crops in Brazil in the 1970s. The disease can be traced back to Sri Lanka and Ethiopia coffee plantations. The disease first appeared in the annals of science sometime in 1860s.

The disease can be easily spread by the rain and wind. The pores underneath the plant are the main sources where the disease is being transferred from one plant to another. Coffee rust is preventable.

One way is by spraying copper-based fungicides. The ideal proportions that one can use are 3-5 kg per hectare. Frequency of applying the fungicides should be at 4-6 week intervals during the rainy season.

Another notable disease is the coffee berry disease. This was discovered in Kenya in the 1920s. It is a fungus infection that attacks the coffee berries. A strain of Colletotrichum coffeanum will grow in the bark of a coffee plant.

As it develops, the pores it creates are the one’s susceptible to attacks. Just like coffee rust, the best way to prevent coffee berry disease is to spray the plants with copper-based fungicides.

Although insecticides, fungicides or pesticides appear to be the most efficient means to drive out or prevent the coffee plant from getting sick.

Too much reliance on inorganic forms of insecticides can lead to disasters as well. I’m certain there are other ways, to limit the disastrous effects of these diseases on coffee plantations.

Other more common coffee diseases include bacterial blight and nematodes. Bacterial blight, otherwise known scientifically as Pseudomanas syringae pv. Garcae is a disease that is more prevalent during the wet and cold seasons.

On the other hand, nematodes like Meloidogyne exigua, M. incognita, M. coffeicola, Pratylenchus brachyurus, and P. coffeae causes the more common coffee root-knots. Some farmers chose to shift into robusta varieties since the latter variety is more resistant to these kinds of diseases.

Leaf Miner or Perileucoptera cofeella is another coffee disease. However, this one is more exclusive and more common in Brazil.

July 2008
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