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Posts Tagged ‘Tea Culture’

Eye Pillows that Pamper with Tea

February 8th, 2012 by admin

We love tea for many reasons. It tastes great and can energize or calm. Tea is one of nature’s most versatile products – not only can you drink it but you can use it to help heal, refresh and pamper the body. One unique way to take advantage of tea’s natural soothing qualities is to use tea bags as eye pillows – this can help reduce tired and puffy eyes. You can either use a tea bag or make your own eye pillow from loose tea and a paper tea filter. This may sound a bit alternative, but once you try it you might be hooked. It’s like a mini spa in a bag.

How to Make Eye Pillow out of Tea Bags

Steep a tea bag in warm water for 3-4 minutes to release the tea’s natural oils and aromas. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible and cool down in the refrigerator for a half hour or so. Find a comfortable position and place the chilled bags on your eyes (eyelids closed) for 20 minutes. Of course, if your eyes are feeling great, relax with tea bags even longer.

How to Make Eye Pillows with Loose Tea

Fill two paper tea filters or muslin tea bags with 2 tablespoons of tea. Soak the bags in warm water for 3-4 minutes again to activate the tea. Wring any excess water out of the bags and chill in the refrigerator for a half hour or so. Relax with bags on your closed eyelids as instructed above.

 

 

Why Tea is the Most Popular Beverage in the World After Water

June 20th, 2011 by admin

After water tea is the most popular beverage consumed in the world. That may be a surprise for many living in the U.S. who only drink tea when they are sick or looking to chill out or relax. Of course, iced tea is consumed by the gallons here in the South and in refrigerated icy bottles drunk up like soda pop. But, good old fashioned hot tea reigns supreme in many parts of the world when it comes to what people drink on a daily basis.

Why is tea so popular? Tea is an ancient drink with a rich history. Many reasons exist that stem from the intrinsic benefits of the tea plant itself and others from cultural and historical develpoments. Here are some explanations not listed in any particular order of importance.

1. Taste and Variety: It’s plain and simple – tea tastes good and there is a lot of variety to taste. Whether hot or iced, tea refreshes and uplifts with its unique tastes and flavors. Like wine, the terroir or where its grown imparts a distinctive taste profile that can yield memorable and savory moments with a cup. Whether it’s a sencha green tea from Japan, yunan black tea from China or a Darjeeling from India, drinking tea becomes a vehicle for discovery and exploration.

2. Accessibility, Cost and Convenience of Making: Accessibility, cost and the convenience of making has made tea an important part of daily life around the globe. You can find tea in any store or market. Of course, the quality may vary but with tea’s growing popularity premium whole leaf tea is more readily available than in the past.

Although tea may appear to be expensive at first glance, when you factor in the actual cost per serving, it’s one of the world’s most affordable luxuries. The quantity of tea used to make a cup will vary depending upon the tea type, but the industry standard is that on average a pound of tea can yield around 200 cups. This is much higher than a pound of coffee which yields around 40-50 cups. Keep in mind that with some oolong and green teas you can also steep multiple times further impacting the overall cost per serving analysis.

3. The Importance of Ritual and Participatory Culture: The importance of the ritual of tea drinking plays a central role in many cultures around the world. Developed in China, the original tea ceremony focuses on the actual tea itself including the taste, smell and look versus the more predefined Japanese tea ceremony with strict, memorialized rules. In China, the host and those enjoying the tea will drink tea for a number of reasons including honoring guests, showing appreciation, celebrating a life event and much more.

The Japanese tea ceremony (The Way of Tea or Chado) is highly revered for its connection with Zen Buddism and a refined attention to detail. The preparation and serving of matcha tea is elevated to performance art with an emphasis on aesthetics and harmony. Drinking strong black tea from a Samovar is a key component of Russia’s tea culture tradition. In Morroco, drinking mint tea (a mixture of gunpowder green, fresh mint leaves and sugar) is a national pastime. You can find chai wallahs everywhere in India serving up fresh cups of chai tea. Afternoon and high tea in England highlight the importance to the British of tea in society and their culture.

4. Caffeine: Let’s be honest – lots of people like tea because it’s a good alternative to coffee and provides them with a caffeine boost. Waking up or making it through a long afternoon at work can be difficult. A hot cup of tea provides a nice pick-me-up and makes it easier to get through the day.

5. Health Benefits: Many studies have been published that have concluded that tea may have positive health benefits. You can learn more here about the health benefits of tea.

James Norwood Pratt on Tea

May 12th, 2011 by admin

James Norwood Pratt has played a large role in disseminating information on tea in the United States and in 2010 wrote a comprehensive work on tea, James Norwood Pratt’s Tea Dictionary. Enjoy this video where he chats with the viewer about his take on tea.

Valentine’s Day Tea Tips: 5 Ways to Express Your Affection

February 7th, 2011 by admin

Valentine’s Day conjures up images of chocolate and flowers, but what about tea? Herbal potions, balms and other assorted plants and flowers have been used for centuries in connection with the pursuit of romance. So why not go old school and spice up your Valentine’s Day with some tea. Of course, you can always complement the gift with flowers and chocolate if necessary. We have 5 Valentine’s Day tips to share.

#1 Throw a Tea Party

Create your own tea party for two by pairing tea with fun and playful teaware. Our Matryoshka Tea Set for Two with stackable Russian doll tea cups is the perfect place to start. The teapot will put a smile on their face everytime they see it in the kitchen. If you make some sweets or sandwhiches to accompany the tea party, it will be an event to remember.

#2 Morning Tea in Bed

Start the special day off by preparing your loved one with morning tea in bed. Wake them up with our Organic Earl Grey, Vanilla Bean or Orange Dulce. Add some pastries, some sweets, fruit and, of course, lighting some candles can never hurt. Throw in the morning paper and the surprise is complete.

#3 Spa Treatment

Be good to someone you love and pamper them with a spa tea gift designed to soothe, restore and delight mind and body. Choose from our unique selection including our Matcha Clay Mask , a Spa Tea Book or our Oasia TeaFusion Spa Bath Pouches. For a unique twist, instead of using cucumbers on the eyes to reduce stress and tension, try using our tea pouches.

#4 Chocolate Truffle Tea

Satisfy their urge for chocolate with a healthy and flavorful chocolate truffle tea alternative. Made from the finest tea, chocolate, fruits and spices, our truffle teas make an indulgent and memorable gift.

#5 Tea Cocktails

Shake it up on Valentine’s Day with a new tea twist on cocktails. Serve up their favorite champagne, gin, vodka, sake or other spirits blended with our versatile tea infused Aperi-Tea mixers. Awaken and refresh with Chamomile Citrus Berry, Green Tea Tropical and Orange Jasmine Mango.

Of course, you can also make cocktails using our tea pouches or loose tea infusions as mixers for your favorite celebratory beverage. Check out this video on how to brew tea cocktails along with some tasty new recipes.

Happy Valentines Day All!

Episode #1: Where in the World is Your Mighty Leaf?

Bliss DakeMay 17th, 2010 by Bliss Dake

You just never know where in the world Mighty Leaf Tea can turn up? It’s certainly fun to drink, but the tea pouch is no ordinary tea bag. We invite you to check out our new web video series “Where in the World is Your Mighty Leaf” to discover how “mighty” versatile this little tea pouch can be. And of course, we want to hear about where and how you enjoy your Mighty Leaf, too. Submit your photos on our blog or Facebook Fan page to share the love.

Lapsang What?

Bliss DakeMarch 18th, 2010 by Bliss Dake

Lapsang Souchong is either a love or hate thing for tea fans. A familiar refrain is that it’s like drinking a campfire. If Smokey the Bear had a favorite tea, perhaps this would be the one. With its famous smokey taste and aroma, Lapsang Souchong is produced in the Wuyi Mountains of Fujian, China by smoking black tea in bamboo baskets over pine fires. (more…)

Tea Pouring Reaches New Heights

Bliss DakeFebruary 18th, 2010 by Bliss Dake

Pouring tea is one of my favorite parts of the tea ritual. The weight of the teapot in hand, the steady stream of clear water and the soft sound of water hitting cup ground me in the moment. The art of tea pouring reaches new heights as shown in this video of a tea master pouring in a tea house in Chengdu, China. So watch closely, then get your own long spouted teapot and practice your pour. Your friends and tea drinking peers will certainly be dazzled.

Tea Making Tips from 1941

Bliss DakeFebruary 4th, 2010 by Bliss Dake

“Tea Making Tips” is a short film released in 1941 and sponsored by the Empire Tea Bureau of England. A classic video that demonstrates in detail methods of storing and preparing tea, it imparts that one should not waste a drop of tea because of carelessness. Watch and get your fill of crisp white tea cups, tea pots, classic tea chests and more. The Empire Tea Bureau also published a booklet during the war titled “Tea Will Help”(more…)

Flowering Tea: A Valentine’s Day Twist

Bliss DakeJanuary 19th, 2010 by Bliss Dake

Flowering tea, also commonly known as display tea, exhibits some of the best artisanship that China has to offer with hand-crafted tea leaves that unfurl and blossom into unique flower shapes. When steeped in a glass teapot, flowering teas look like something you would see in the movie Avatar on the planet of Pandora. (more…)

Some Tea with Your Chocolate

Annelies ZijderveldDecember 21st, 2009 by Annelies Zijderveld
Chocolate_Mint_Truffle-Main-Photo

The snap of chocolate squares breaking – the silkiness of a chocolate bar melting on your tongue – people flock to chocolate for good reason. If you’re reading this, the chances of you being a tea fan are pretty high. Over the past few years, the frequency of pairing chocolate with tea has increased, bringing together the luscious decadence of cacao with the robust tannins and flavor of tea leaves. (more…)