Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Organic black tea – the best loved tea sets the bar higher

Organic Black Tea – The Best Loved Tea Sets the Bar Higher

Although green tea is steadily gaining up on black tea in popularity, majority of tea aficionados, particularly in the west, still prefer black over green. One of the reasons is because black tea has a stronger taste and aroma than its green counterpart. Black tea is also known to have more caffeine and generally has a longer shelf life.

There are two extremely popular kinds of black tea: Darjeeling and Assam. Both types got their names from the regions from which they were and are primarily grown. Darjeeling is mainly found in the Darjeeling region of India while Assam is found in the Assam region, also in India. They can easily be identified at first sight since the plants that produce Darjeeling teas have small leaves, while those of Assam have large leaves.

This type of naming convention has been patterned after another popular European beverage: wine. The really prized wines are those that are named after the regions from which they are grown. Burgundy, Bordeaux, and of course, Champagne are examples of such beverages.

The same concept holds true with teas. Darjeeling and Assam are thus the best types of teas. Hence, as the demand for tea increases due to their alleged health benefits, Darjeeling and Assam are at the forefront of this shoot up in popularity.

Today, people are concerned not only for their own welfare but for nature as well. As such, moves to go ‘green’ are extremely popular. This has resulted in the drive to grow edible plants, including teas, organically. Hence, organic herbal teas are in demand nowadays.

Thus, you can see more tea producers promoting their organic green tea and organic black tea products. Labels announcing that the products inside their packaging are ‘organically grown’ are no longer surprising to see. Organic Darjeeling and organic Assam teas are steadily becoming in demand.

The argument for preferring organic herbal teas is understandable especially from an environment-friendly perspective. If the vast tracks of land that grow tea plants use harmful chemicals that destroy the environment and take large carbon footprints to produce, then the negative effects can far outweigh the positive effects, i.e., being bearers of anti-oxidants.

Herbal tea – tea for healing

Herbal Tea – Tea For Healing

Herbal teas are different from the traditional teas of the Orient.  When we enjoy tea, we generally enjoy the treated leaves of the Camilla Sinsensis plant, a drink discovered in Southeast Asia and cultivated for thousands of years.  Herbal teas also have a ancient and interesting history.

Any student of medicine will point out that throughout the world, healers have gone into the wilderness to find plants that can ease the illnesses of mankind, or to create wonderful drinks for the sheer pleasure of their favors.  What these healers found was a treasure trove of botanical materials that give us wonderful drinks and restorative medicinal brews.

To understand the role of herbal teas in medical history, you should know that modern science is still carefully evaluating its relationship with the ancient knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine, abbreviated as TCM.  The thinking of healers in China is very well-documented and very different from Western scientific thought, but there have been numerous instances of Chinese medical practices being able to serve patients as well as and occasionally better than Western medicine.

While science has produce the best surgical practices in the world, Chinese practices of herbal tea healing often provide the better relief from lesser ailments!

As a simple beverage, herbal tea offers a sweetness that is hard to find in nature.  The leaves of the Camilla plants have a certain delicate flavor unique in the world, though it often is improved with the addition of sugar.

The classic green tea is definitely astringent and occasionally bitter, although hints of floral and grassy sweetness remain vivid on the palate, not to mention the lift from the slight dose of caffeine that it contains!  In contrast, herbal teas present a varied range of tastes, from mouth-puckering lemony to zesty raspberry!

Herbal teas are found all over the world, spanning the length and breadth of the continents.  They are always used both medicinally and as simple beverages.  The medical usage of herbs is called phytology or just herbology.

The use of herbs in cookery is well known, of course!  Herbal teas often combine the two purposes, as in the case of chamomile tea, a tea made from a flowering daisy that has very grassy flavors over a nice sweet undertone, and recognized worldwide for a lightly sedative effect.  Fruits generally are used for flavors only, and a hot drink of raspberry tea on a cold morning is a great way to start the day.

Many practitioners of herbal medicine consider herbal teas as a therapy applied in a general way, and not as a prescribed ingredient.  For the herbal healer, the benefits of chamomile tea are evoked as much by the ceremonial sipping of the drink just before bedtime as much as by the simple ingestion of its ingredients.

There is a counterbalancing need to understand all the exact effects of various plants, of course, as anyone who has heard of hemlock understands!  In the making of herbal teas, medicine, flavor and ceremony all come together, and the practice of herbology ensures that these wonderful brews always enhance our lives through their healthy and flavorful characteristics.

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Tea flowers

Tea Flowers

Flowering tea or healing teas is a special form of tea made by putting together dried tea leaves, herbs and flowers into a small bundle like a ball. The flowering tea contains tea leaves, tea flowers and other flowers. The dried tea flowers give a very earthy fragrance. The flowering tea provides the same brew as the normal tea with a hint of floral aroma. However, the floral aroma is not as strong as the scent of the teas which contain other flowers, such as, jasmine.

The interesting fact about flowering tea is that the flowers of the tea plant blossom only once a year in the fall. The tea flowers are harvested in the Yunnan province in China from old growth tea trees. The tea leaves and the flowers have medicinal properties and hence, flowering tea is also called healing teas. The flowering tea has very delicate and mild aroma like that of hibiscus and honeydew melon.

To enjoy the beauty of flowering tea, one must place one tea bundle in the glass teapot (preferably) and pour boiling water into it. The leaves start unfurling slowly when they come into contact with hot water. You could steep the leaves for 2-3 minutes minimum or as desired. You could re-steep the flowering tea for a few times at least. When steeped in transparent teapot or teacups, you can see these bundles bloom into flowers.

The process of making flowering tea includes picking of black, white and green tea in the early mornings. This ensures that the tea leaves are damp and easy to flatten and tied in a bundle. The process of bundling could take anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes depending upon the shape and design (for example: balls, mushrooms, cones, etc.) After this, the teas go through the drying, oxidation and firing process. The flowering tea could be steeped few times depending upon the quality and variety being used. The flowering tea is fragrant and aromatic in nature. These tea leaves do not get bitter with too much steeping.

Of tea cups and tea stores

Of Tea Cups and Tea Stores

Have you ever wished for a place where you can find all types of teas and simply take a whiff of each one before buying? You can experience this in a tea store. If you do not have one in your place, then you might want to try going to a place where you can find a tea store to your liking.

Since people nowadays have become health conscious, and that they have known about the health benefits that they get from tea, a tea store would always be around to attend to these needs. Most often, these great stores would be designed in wood to reflect the nature of teas, being natural and delicate altogether.

When you enter a tea store, you will immediately smell the aroma of a combination of the delightful scents of different teas. You will instantly notice lots of jars placed on shelves with different labels of each kind of tea. Some stores would let you open each bottle with all the tea leaves inside it, and would let you take a whiff of the appealing aroma of each one. This is actually a very delightful experience, right?

You will find all types of teas in tea stores. These include teas harvested or produced from other parts of the world such as India, China, and Japan. So you no longer need to buy a plane ticket and go to these places in order for you to savor the exquisite teas that they produce. Being there in that store would simply be enough.

If you prefer tea bags or loose leaf teas, you can just choose from the myriads of choices of teas available in a great tea store. Whatever kind that you want, whether the rare white ones or the popular black ones, you can always find them in any form.

A visit to a tea store would really prove to be a wonderful experience. A special tea that you have been dreaming to taste would be available to you as a loose leaf tea or in a tea bag. The best thing is, you would always go home knowing that you have bought something that would bring you good health.

November 2020
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