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June 27, 2016

Cocoa Rooibos Syrup

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:00 am

Sundae

 

A great topping for a delicious Sundae…..

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups organic cacao or cacao powder

1 1/2 cups prepared coconut almond rooibos

1 1/2 cups local honey

1/4 tsp organic vanilla extract

1 pinch sea salt

 

Stir all ingredients together and bring to a boil. Gently simmer, stirring constantly, until the honey is completely dissolved and the mixture thickens to coat a spoon. Pour into a glass jar and refrigerate.

…and don’t forget the cherry on top!

Enjoy

 

 

 

June 20, 2016

Accidental Tea Inventions

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:09 am

It may come as a surprise but both the tea bag and iced tea were not the result of diligent research, but rather the product of serendipitous circumstances – both having their roots here in the U.S.

Tea Bag

It was the American tea merchant, Thomas Sullivan, who is credited with the invention of the tea bag. Thomas lived in New York at the turn of the 20th century. In order to increase sales, he sent his customers generous samples of his teas. Since it was costing him quite a bit of money to do this, he came up with the idea to filling small silk bags with single servings of tea. His customers not only liked this new way of sampling tea, but started to place orders for the silk sachets. He may not have intended it, but Thomas Sullivan created a whole new way to prepare tea – a way that would be adopted not only in the United States but in Europe as well.

Iced Tea

Iced tea is the most popular way of drinking tea here in the United States. About 80% of all tea consumed her is iced, but we would have missed out this refreshing beverage, had it not been for a hot summer day in 1904. It was the year of the St. Louis World Fair, where tea merchant Richard Bleychynden was promoting the latest teas – black teas from India. Since temperatures were soaring, he did not have much luck enticing passersby to try his samples. Realizing that a cool refreshing drink, might be more popular, he poured his freshly made tea over ice and served it in glasses….and the rest, as they see, is history!

June 16, 2016

Sunburn Relief- Naturally!

Filed under: Green Tea,herbals and fruit blends,Tea and Health — wbwingert @ 10:10 am

sunburn

We are well into the triple digits and as well all know they will stay with us for the next months. Summer is the time when we have to be extra careful and protect our skin from the damaging UVA and UVB rays of the sun. Unfortunately, getting sunburned is much more common that it ought to be. In a recent survey conducted in partnership with iVillage, The Skin Cancer Foundation learned that 42 percent of people polled get sunburn at least once a year.

So what to do when, after that day tubing on the river, you come home with a nasty burn?

There are several herbs that are well known for their ability to bring sunburn relief.

 

Aloe Vera

This is probably the best known herbal remedy for sunburn. Aloe Vera gel may be used directly on sunburns for immediate relief of sunburned skin and to accelerate the healing process. Because of its high water content (99.5%), it is especially soothing to the skin. Aloe Vera is very mild and can be applied generously to the burned area as often as needed. Add a few drops lavender and chamomile essential oil to maximize healing effects.

 

Chamomile

Chamomile is wonderful for the skin – gentle, relaxing and its anti-inflammatory properties help the skin heal. Use cold chamomile infusions as a compress, or spray it on the affected areas.

 

Green Tea

Green tea is a powerful anti-oxidant, and may be used topically or internally as tea before or after sun exposure. Studies have shown that green tea may reduce skin inflammation and redness, protect the skin cells, and to assist with the adverse affects of UV radiation exposure. It contains tannic acid, theobromine and polyphenols, all of which are soothing and healing to sunburned skin.

 

Lavender

Not only good for relaxation, to soothe headaches and calm nerves, lavender can be used to treat minor cuts, scrapes and insect bites (antiseptic) and helps calm inflamed, sunburned skin. It is beneficial for all skin types even the most sensitive skin, offers immediate relief and may accelerate the healing process.

 

Soothing Oatmeal Bath

2 cups oatmeal

¼ cup Baking Soda

½ cup Chamomile Flowers

½ cup Lavender Flower

2-4 tbsp. Green Tea Leaves

Blend oatmeal in a food processor until it has the consistency of powder. Place all ingredients in a muslin bag or cheesecloth, tie under the faucet and draw a lukewarm bath. Soak for 10-15 minutes.

June 13, 2016

Tea Flavores – Natural vs. Artificial

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am

This is a question, that I get frequently from customers. So I think it might be a good idea to re-publish this blog and shed some light into the flavoring mystery!

There is much confusion and mismarketing out there in regard to tea flavoring and we often get questions by curious or concerned customers in regard to how and with what our teas are flavored. The terms most often used in the tea industry to classify flavored teas are “natural” and “artificial”.  In its simplest form, the term natural flavor is used to describe a product, which is derived from the actual fruit or spice, such as natural vanilla extract or natural bergamot oil as is used to flavor Earl Grey teas.  Not every plant, fruit or spice lends itself for this kind of flavoring and therefore many other levels of flavoring are available:

NATURAL FLAVOR

A product that is derived from the essential oils or extracts of the actual product whose function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.

WONF-WITH OTHER NATURAL FLAVORS

If the tea contains both the natural flavoring from the product it simulates and other natural flavors which reinforce the characterizing flavor, the food may be labeled as “with other natural flavors”.

NATURE – IDENTICAL

These flavors have raw materials that are found in nature. The molecular structure of nature-identical are the same as natural flavors but have been synthetically produced. They are metabolized in the body just like the natural product would be.

ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR

Any flavor synthetically reproduced which has raw materials that cannot be found in nature or are nature-identical, but their use is permitted by law. Artificial flavor agents may not be metabolized as natural or nature- identical products.

As for the labeling, all products labeled “natural” in Europe would also be natural in the U.S. as well. Under the laws of the Food & Drug Administration, European products labeled “nature-identical” are considered artificial and must be labeled as such in the U.S..

Even though, many teas contain dried fruit and spices, additonal flavoring is necessary to enhance and extend the shelf life of the flavor.

Aside from flavored teas, there are those that are scented, like lychee or jasmine. These teas are scented by adding fresh or dried flowers and the essential oils of these flowers are absorbed by the tea leaf, creating a strong and long- lasting flavor without any other additives.

If you have questions about what flavors are used in your tea, always ask your tea purveyor!

Reference: G.S. Haly Company

June 3, 2016

June is National Iced Tea Month!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:00 am

 

Souvia in Mexico

 

As the thermometer  reaches triple digits, a nice glass of iced tea can certainly bring some refreshing relief!

Did you know that 80 per cent of all tea consumed in the United States is indeed Iced Tea?

 

We would have missed out on this refreshing beverage, had it not been for a hot summer day in 1904. It was the year of the St. Louis’ World Fair, where tea merchant Richard Blechynden offered free samples of Indian black teas which had up until then been relatively unknown in the U.S.. With temperatures soaring, he did not have much luck since the last thing people wanted was a cup of hot tea! Realizing that a cool, refreshing beverage would probably find more interest, he filled glasses with ice, poured the tea over them – and iced tea was born.

Today, iced teas are no longer made with teas from the Indian Assam valley or the Darjeeling district which Mr. Blechynden tried to market at the World Fair. Instead, the iced tea and bottled tea industry procures a lower quality tea from Argentina and often sweetens the teas, adding unwanted calories.

To get the best quality, make your own iced tea, using loose leaf tea. The teas have so much flavor that you won’t need to add any sugar and the quality will convince you too!