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Archive for the ‘flavored tea’ Category

Back in November of last year (2009) I began a new Sunday morning routine.  Hot Vinyasa Yoga followed by a Starbuck’s Orange Mango Vivanno Smoothie with matcha.  If you have never taken a hot yoga class, picture this… an enclosed yoga studio filled with 25 plus yogis and the heat cranked up anywhere between 95 to 100 degrees for an hour and fifteen minutes.  Only one word appropriately describes the experience – INTENSE! Upon completion, I have had the workout of my life, not to mention I am incredibly hot, dripping with sweat, and invigorated.  A few hours later, I love to sit and enjoy a hot cup of tea. Today’s choice Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement.

Composition: Green tea, white tea (Bai Mu Dan), eleuthero root, alfalfa leaf, stevia leaf, natural lemon and orange flavors with other natural flavors (contains soy lecithin), rosehips, and roasted chicory.

Dry Visual: It is difficult to tell as the tea is contained in tea bags.  From what I can tell, the leaves appear to be fannings. Thanks to Celestial Seasonings for the photo.

Dry Aroma: The tea bag inhibited my ability to develop an impression of the dry aroma.  However, after steeping the leaves had a strong citrus aroma with orange and lemon dominating.

Flavor: Consistent with the wet aroma Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement has a definite citrus flavor followed by the distinct floral tastes of roses.  As the cup begins to cool, the chicory presents itself in the middle – significantly, yet not overpowering. With the various flavors of citrus, chicory, and floral I was unable to easily discern the green and white tea flavors.  Green tea is the predominant tea ingredient; however, Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement is not vegetal.

Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement has a mild astringency that becomes more pronounced throughout the cup. I drank the first cup without sugar – the stevia leaf provided a delicate sweetness.  In the second cup I added Sugar-In-The-Raw to see the impact of the sweetener on the slightly tart citrus flavors.  Interestingly, I found the chicory came alive with the addition of sweetener. I prefer drinking Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement without a sweetener.  As a side note, many say ground roasted chicory can be used as a coffee substitute. I say it tastes like black licorice. You tell me…

Liquor: A pale greenish-yellow liquid with a reddish hue.

Brewing Time: Celestial Seasonings recommends steeping Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement in boiling water for 2 minutes.  I steeped both cups for the requisite 2 minutes.

Manufacturer: Celestial Seasonings

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement tea, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

What is Eleuthero?

Eleutherococcus senticosus (formerly Acanthopanax senticosus) is a species of small, woody shrub in the family Araliaceae native to Northeastern Asia. It is commonly called eleuthero, and was previously marketed in the United States as Siberian Ginseng as it has similar herbal properties to those of Panax ginseng. However, it belongs to a different genus in the family Araliaceae.

Reference: Eleutherococcus senticosus. (2010, April 8). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:19, April 18, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eleutherococcus_senticosus&oldid=354779930

**Tea was provided by Celestial Seasonings as a sample.

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“Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we’ve no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

It doesn’t show signs of pausing,
And I’ve bought some corn for popping,
The lights are turned way down low,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

When we finally kiss goodnight,
How I’ll hate going out in the storm!
But if you’ll really hold me tight,
All the way home I’ll be warm.

The fire is slowly dying,
And, my dear, we’re still good-bying,
But as long as you love me so,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

~ Sammy Cahn

It may not be Christmas time, but this song is apropos for the amount of snow we’ve seen in the Midwest during the last two weeks!  The first snowstorm brought with it about eight inches of snow. The second snowstorm showered us with eight inches of snow and this last one dumped yet another eight or nine inches of snow.  While many of you along the east coast had 30 inches, 15 inches, and who knows how many inches during this last storm may think us Midwesterners are rookies, I’ve had enough!  Call us what you will – I’m officially tired of the snow!  The only highlight of the snowstorms… the enormous amount of tea that continue to fill my cup each day.  In particular, Moroccan Mint, with whom I’ve communed with daily – multiple times per day. Even more surprising,  my non-tea loving husband has sipped  a cup with me every night.  Although I must admit, several of his cups included two shots of Jack Daniels.  Hot Toddy’s just in time for Mardi Gras!

Composition: Organic gunpowder green tea and organic peppermint

Dry Visual: Characteristic of gunpowder, the green tea resembles very dark green almost black tightly rolled musket pellets.  The mint consists of broken lighter green leaves with brown stems present.

Dry Aroma: Delightfully minty.

Flavor: Moroccan Mint is a great blend of green tea and mint.  One flavor does not overpower the other in this cup of tea. It would be interesting to know the type of green tea used as the tea does not contain any vegetal, sappy, or grassy qualities. After conducting a little research, I discovered that many varieties of tea have been used to make Moroccan Mint. It is smooth and flavorful. If you are a lover of mint tea, you will definitely enjoy this brew.

There is no astringency, therefore Moroccan Mint tea can be enjoyed without sweetener.  However, I chose to drink Moroccan Mint with plenty of sweetener as is customary in Morocco with one caveat… I did not follow the Atai method of preparation. Having steeped multiple cups this week, I have alternated between Sugar-In-The-Raw and honey as my sweeteners of choice.

Liquor: A dark yellow hue.

Brewing Time: I steeped Moroccan Mint tea in water that ranged from 175 degrees to 185 degrees for four minutes during the first infusion and five minutes during the second infusion.

Manufacturer: Sage Moon Herb Shop

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Moroccan Mint tea, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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Most people have a favorite program or two they watch every week.  Two of my favorites include Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Dressed in comfy clothes and armed with a cup of Green Tea Soothing Mint tea, it was with eager anticipation that I flicked on the television. Imagine my disappointment tonight at the realization that both shows were repeats.  After watching repeats from mid-December to mid-January, it was great to finally, finally watch new episodes.  Instead of laughing and/or crying with my favorite characters, I’m surfing the net and working on a new pet project.

Composition: Green tea and spearmint

Dry Visual: The leaves are broken and resemble fannings. Other details are not easily discernable – the tea is contained in tea bags.

Dry Aroma: Very minty.

Flavor: Green Tea Soothing Mint is flavorful, but mild.  The green tea is not easily discernible – I was unable to detect any of the characteristic green tea flavors. For example, Green Tea Soothing mint does not contain any vegetal, sappy, or grassy qualities.  However, the spearmint contained in the ingredients dominates this cup of tea.  If you are a lover of mint tea, you will enjoy this brew.

There is no astringency, therefore Green Tea Soothing Mint can be enjoyed without sweetener.  After allowing the cup to cool, I am convinced that tea lovers can drink Green Tea Soothing Mint hot or cold.

Liquor: A rich golden yellow hue. The cup is clear.

Brewing Time: According to the directions, the recommended steeping time is 2 – 3 minutes.  No water temperature was designated so I opted for 185 degrees for 3 minutes.

Manufacturer: Salada Tea

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Green Tea Soothing Mint, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

**Tea was provided by Salada Tea as a sample.

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I’ve been missing in action for almost two weeks now – I know it’s a shame and travesty. My excuse?  The hubby and I took a wonderful vacation to Cancun.  It was quite invigorating to spend one-on-one time with my better half without the distraction of school, work, friends and family.  Sorry friends and family!  For the first time in ages, we vacationed without computers and most of the time kept our cell phones and Blackberry’s locked in the hotel safe. In today’s society, it isn’t often that we “unplug” ourselves from the hustle and bustle and simply relax.  After the trip, I found myself not only rested and peaceful, but happier with myself and life than I have been in some time.  Now that the holidays have passed and it is time to celebrate the New Year, I have decided upon my New Year’s Resolutions…

1. Relinquish those things that attempt to steal my peace of mind.

2. Sharing God’s agape (unconditional) love with those around me.

3. Practice the art of picking my battles wisely in every relationship.

4. Seek every opportunity for self-preservation and restoration – strengthening my relationship with God through prayer and increasing my yoga practice.

5. Finding joy in life’s simple pleasures – drinking an abundance of tea, laughing uncontrollably, dancing in the wind, writing to my heart’s content, and the joy of finding a great sale at Macy’s! :-)

To start the New Year with a bang, first share your New Year’s resolutions. Then we can toast over one of the following tea cocktails…

2010, here i come!1. The Crimson Sparkler (The Voice of Tea)

  • 2 cups sugar, plus a pinch for garnish
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon crimson punch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet vermouth
  • 6 oz sparkling wine, chilled
  • 1 blood orange, sliced into wheels

Bring water to a boil, then add sugar, stirring until completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add tea, steeping for 10 minutes. Strain and allow to cool to room temperature.

While cooling, cut the blood orange and sprinkle orange wheels with a pinch of sugar.  Add 1 tablespoon tea syrup and the sweet vermouth to the sparkling wine, garnish with sugared blood orange wheel.

2. Amaretto Tea Recipe (Drinks Mixer)

  • 6 oz hot tea
  • 2 oz amaretto almond liqueur
  • 1 1/2 oz chilled whipped cream

Pour hot tea into a pousse cafe glass, using a spoon in glass to prevent cracking. Add amaretto, but do not stir. Top with chilled whipped cream and serve.

3. Ginger Tea (About.com)

  • 1 oz Hennessy VSOP Cognac
  • 2 oz fresh brewed green tea (chilled)
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup (or splenda)
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 3 pieces ginger
  • extra mint leaf for garnish

In a mixing glass, add ginger, mint and simple syrup and muddle. Pour the Cognac and fresh tea over top and muddle a little more.  Strain into an ice filled glass and garnish with a mint leaf. For those of you like me, who had no idea what “muddle” means… to muddle is to combine ingredients in the bottom of a glass by pressing them with a muddler before adding the liquid ingredients. Y-e-a-a-h right, so what is a muddler?  Again, for those of you who don’t know, it is a long pestle often shaped like a baseball bat and commonly made of wood.

With that settled… select a cocktail – shake or stir – share your resolutions – and toast!  Happy New Year!

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Today in Ohio it is a cloudy cold day with the threat of rain. While sitting snug as a bug at home in my cozy sweats, I can’t help thinking about comfort food. Which for me usually equates to something hot and sweet in the winter and cold and sweet in the summer. If you are not familiar with the term “comfort food”, I define it as food that a person is instantly drawn to when feeling strong emotions – positive or negative. Wikipedia defines “comfort food” as familiar, simple foods that are usually home-cooked or eaten at informal restaurants. They are foods that are often emotionally significant to a person or group of people and are sometimes related to pleasant associations of childhood. Either way, I think you get the picture.

Never a stranger to multi-tasking, I find myself engrossed in blogging, tweeting, watching the Bengals’ game while simultaneously thinking about and searching allrecipes.com for comfort food.  I was excited to discover the following recipe for Indian Chai Hot Chocolate, as it appeals to my winter comfort food craving – hot and sweet to taste while easy to prepare.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • chai tea**
  • 1 (.55 ounce) package instant hot chocolate mix

Directions

  1. Mix water and milk together
  2. Bring to a boil (either microwave or stove top)
  3. Pour liquid over chai tea and steep according to tea directions and strain
  4. Stir in the hot chocolate mix

** There are many chai options. Some of my favorite chai teas that I would use in this recipe are: Black Vanilla Chai from Dragonwater Tea, Original Masala Chai from Yogic Chai, or Indian Spice from Harney and Sons Fine Teas.  If you are not a loose tea drinker or prefer the convenience of a tea bag, feel free to substitute for this recipe.

I hope you enjoy creating and drinking this winter treat. Please return to share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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1000-cranes-white-tea-500When I attended the 2009 World Tea Expo in May, I had the opportunity to meet Beth and Newman Johnston from Teas Etc. During my chat with Beth I learned about the amazing history of 1000 Cranes White Tea Blend.  I thought I would share the story right from the  website of Teas Etc.

The Story…

Nathan, who has worked with us for the past 4 years, decided to ask Nicole to marry him. It’s not that he asked but HOW he asked that makes this a “story.”  The happy couple was spending the afternoon at one of their favorite places, the Morikami Museum in Delray Beach. There is a Japanese saying that if you give a 1000 cranes and/or receive a 1000 cranes you are granted one wish. It was that day that Nathan presented Nicole a rather large box to open. Inside the box there were 999 white origami cranes that Nathan had laboriously folded 1 by 1. At the bottom was a larger, gold crane number 1000. In that gold crane was the ring which was followed by the proposal. How romantic!42040412 Shortly thereafter, Nathan and Nicole put together a list of ingredients with special meaning and the 1000 Crane Blend was born.”

I don’t think I could have told a better story – instead I’ll share the review of 1000 Cranes White Tea Blend.

Composition: Organic bai mu dan (white tea), strawberry white tea, organic strawberry pieces, rose petals, coconut shreds

Dry Visual: A rich variety of color – deep green tea leaves with brown stems present, rusty-red fruit pieces, creamy coconut pieces, mauve and pink leaves. Thanks Teas Etc., for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Absolutely yummy! Floral and fruity sweet I loved to simply sit and inhale the loose tea.

Flavor: 1000 Cranes White Tea Blend is a mild tea blend, characteristic of bai mu dan. A lover of white tea, particularly bai mu dan, I thought this tea was blended very well. The other ingredients – strawberry, rose petal and coconut actually complimented the white tea instead of overpowering it. The strawberry flavor was present from start to finish. I found the rose petal to be less prominent in the start, but definitely present at the finish. I cannot say I was able to easily discern the coconut. I’m brewing another cup for a second opinion.

A full-bodied tea, 1000 Cranes White Tea Blend can easily be enjoyed without sweetener – the method I used to enjoy my first cup. However, in my second cup, I added a little Sugar-In-The-Raw. That is when the coconut really “popped”.  It’s subtle taste was definitely present, yet not overwhelming.  I found the brew to have no astringency; yet, I think I prefer drinking 1000 Cranes White Tea Blend with just a touch of sweetener. I found the tea to be delicious.

Liquor: A rich yellow actually golden hue.

Brewing Time: According to the directions, the recommended steeping time is one (1) teaspoon for 3 – 6 minutes in water that ranges from 180 to 190 degrees F. Initially, I steeped for 3 minutes – tasted, then steeped for an additional 3 minutes using about 1.5 teaspoons fresh leaves each time versus multiple infusions.

Manufacturer: Teas Etc.

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of 1000 Cranes White Tea Blend, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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Tea_PeachAfter enjoying a cup of jasmine green tea before dinner, I needed a treat after dinner. To satisfy the relentless cravings of my insatiable sweet tooth I grabbed a snack consisting of Table Water Crackers, homemade quince paste, and manchego. A girlfriend of mine, and fellow tea lover I might add, makes an awesome quince paste. For those of you that don’t know, Quince paste also known as dulce de membrillo, is a firm, sticky, sweet reddish hard paste made of fruit from the quince tree. It has a sweet taste and a slightly floral flavor. For the trivia lover, quince paste is extremely popular in Southern Europe and the Middle East. Now back to my snack… quince paste tastes great spread on a cracker with manchego – sheep’s milk cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain. Once my cheese and jam were assembled, I dug in with great fervor and washed it all down with Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea.

Composition: White Peony Tea, fructose, POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice from concentrate, POM Wonderful Pomegranate Antioxidant Extract, peach juice from concentrate, passionfruit juice from concentrate, natural flavors, citric acid

Dry Visual: N/A – pre-maid tea juice drink. Many thanks the POM Wonderful website for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Sweet and fruity with peach being the predominate aroma.

Flavor: Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea is a tasty treat for juice lovers.  I found the tea juice blend to be dominated by the fruit juices – peach, passionfruit, then pomegranate respectively. As one would anticipate from the list of ingredients, this drink is pre-sweetened. I believe the fructose eliminates the tartness often found in pure pomegranate juice. White tea, regardless of whether Bai Mu Dan, Silver Needle, or in this blend White Peony is a very mild tea. Therefore, it is not easily discernible in this tea drink. This in no way detracts from the flavor, as I found Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea to be delicious as well as a low calorie dessert. However, to set proper expectations, I would characterize this as more of a juice drink versus a tea drink.

Liquor: A pale salmon colored hue.

Brewing Time: N/A as this is a pre-maid juice/tea drink

Manufacturer: POM Wonderful

Caffeine: Yes.

Peach.JPGTo the left, I have included the nutrition facts for Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea. This is for the regular version, not the Light. If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a bottle of Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea, please stop by and share your experience.  Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

References:

1. Dulce de membrillo. (2009, September 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:35, October 21, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dulce_de_membrillo&oldid=316087488

2. Manchego cheese. (2009, September 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:44, October 21, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Manchego_cheese&oldid=314156250

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