Drink up

Tea and health benefits for the heart

A new study from China’s Wuyishan Municipal Hospital reconfirms the benefits of regular tea drinking on preventing hardening of the arteries. Arterial stiffening can reduce lifespan and increase risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart failure and stroke.

 

The study, “A Cross-sectional Study of the Relationship between Habitual Tea Consumption and Arterial Stiffness,” was led by cardiologist Qing-fei Lin and published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

More than 6,500 men and women ages 40-75 in the Fujian Province were studied. They were divided into four groups – those who consumed tea regularly for 10 or more years, 6-10 years, and 1-5 years and those who did not drink tea regularly. “Regular consumption” was defined as those drinking one or more cups a day for at least 12 months.

Tea drinking was measured by self-reported survey. Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (ba-PWV) was measured which determines arterial stiffness in the aorta and in the peripheral artery of the heart. Those that drank tea regularly for 6+ years had less thickening of artery walls and greater elasticity in the arteries. Stiffening was lowest among those consuming habitually for 10+ years. Those that drank 10 or more grams of tea daily had the best benefit.

The effect of the tea may be related to a chemical reaction in the endothelial cells of the artery that is triggered by catechins. Catechins may release nitrous oxide, making the arteries more flexible.

While the study had its limitations, such as only including people from a small geographic region and relying on self-reporting for consumption, the results are in line with previous studies on tea and heart health.

– See more at: http://worldteanews.com/news/tea-and-heart-health-benefits-of-long-term-consumption

According to the American Heart Association Green tea and coffee may help lower your risk of having a stroke, especially when both are a regular part of your diet.

The American Heart Association reports that in a Japanese study, people who drank either green tea or coffee daily had 20 to 30 percent lower risk for stroke than people who seldom drank them. Coffee slightly edged out tea – with a cup of coffee having the same effect as 2 cups of green tea. Also, drinking 4 or more cups of green tea was a bit more beneficial than drinking 2 -3 cups.


Tea Technology – New-Technology worth keeping an eye on

Tea technology worth watching

As commercial and at-home users are looking at new ways to enhance their tea preparation, World Tea News takes a look at some of the recent tea technology to hit the market.

Teforia (Early Customer Price: $799 – Shipping to begin in Spring 2016)
www.teforia.com
Teforia_Infuser_Kitchen_AngleTeforia combines sophisticated design with highly-responsive technology. The machine uses the “Selective Infusion Profile System” (SIPS) to ensure that optimal brewing conditions, including water temperature and volume and how long the tea is infused.

This is equipment created for the truly passionate tea enthusiast. Like those consumers, Teforia knows that black tea must be handled differently from green tea. Not only that, it knows that a Japanese sencha shouldn’t be treated like a Dragonwell.

The truly special part of this device is that personal preferences can be matched. A user can alter the steeping using the “flavor and aroma palate.” They can request lower caffeine and brewing conditions that maximize antioxidants.

For more on Teforia, check out previous World Tea News coverage.

 

BKON Craft Brewer (Commercial use. Price: Approximately $7,500)
www.bkonbrew.com/tea/

THE DOOR - COUNTER CULTURE / NEW YORK, NYThe BKON Craft Brewer emphasizes the ability to fully extract the flavor of teas and botanicals quickly.

They have created RAIN technology to pull all the soluble elements in 60 to 90 seconds. The makers claim that many of these flavors are usually not discovered until second and third infusions.

RAIN stands for Reverse Atmospheric Infusion and it makes use of vacuums to maximize infusion. The technology allows 40 cups of tea to be made each hour, a great benefit for commercial use. It can dispense water at a temperature range from 160 to 210 degrees.

The equipment also makes use of a cloud-based application that allows recipes to be changed and shared across devices quickly. The BKON can store up to 750 recipes.

Originally designed for coffee, BKON Craft Brewer has gained substantial notice for its potential in tea. The device is used in the new American Tea Room retail store and Teasters Tea Co., a drive-thru tea shop in Lubbock, Tex. The machine launched in the spring of 2014.

 

Craftea (Retail: $199)
www.craftea.com
Craftea1Craftea has been on display at World Tea Expo and continues to draw attention. In 2015 it was the winner in Best New Product in Teaware at the Expo. This device uses an induction strategy called vortex technology. Craftea has been specifically promoted as useful for chai preparation, preventing boil-overs. The capacity can be up to four cups and the vessel is dishwasher safe.

 

Tea-Ceré from Sharp (Retail: $299.99)
http://www.sharpusa.com/forhome/homeappliances/teamakers.aspx
20_TeaCere_Green_3QL.ashxJust as Craftea staked its claim on the chai market, Tea-Ceré by Sharp focuses on the rising attention on matcha. With a ceramic mill, the machine can grind tea leaves into a fine powder and then steeps the tea perfectly. This machine can transform black tea, green tea or oolong into tea powder which adds additional options not only for consumption, but also for culinary use. The machine is available in green and red.

 

Zojirushi Water Boilers (Range – $120 – $200)
www.zojirushi.com
Zojirushi Boiler2Zojirushi is a name well-known among commercial tea sellers. Their water boilers are respected for their versatility and consistent performance. The water boilers come in a wide range of sizes, have multiple “keep warm” temperature settings and one-touch dispensing. The commercial version is a countertop boiler with no plumbing required. It can hold 169 ounces (5 liters) and can keep water at 175 degrees, 195 degrees or 208 degrees. It also has a delay timer allowing the user to schedule heating 7 hours in advance. Other devices offer keep warm at 140 degrees and 160 degrees as well. A full range of Zojirushi water boilers can be viewed here.

The newest water boilers being released in their line are the VE Hybrid Water Boiler and Warmer and the Panorama Window Micom Water Boiler & Warmer.

Water boilers are not the only product tea vendors turn to. The Zojirushi Gravity Pots are popular dispensers. These serving vessels can keep tea hot for hours and can hold 84 ounces (2.5 liters).

 

Two products from Lipton and Nespresso have yet to hit the U.S. market, but are worth keeping an eye on for future release.

Lipton T.O. (Retail: Approx. $200)
t-o-by-lipton-5-5-designstudio-rethinks-tea-machine-for-lipton-4This device, produced for Unilever by Krups, hit the French market in the fall of 2015. Bodum assisted Lipton with the design side. The device comes in silver, anise, titanium and red. With a glass infusion chamber the machine intends to highlight the beauty of tea as it steeps into the cup. Single-serve tea capsules are purchased specifically for the device. The temperature and steep time can be adjusted to match the tea type. Tea is steeped in 30 seconds.

Nespresso Special T
The Nespresso Special.T is only available in Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Japan and Switzerland. This machine utilizes single-serving tea capsules and has been available since 2010. It began in France and expanded its reach in 2012. In 2013 it launched in Japan.

 

Duo Coffee Steeper, with tea add-on (Retail: $99)
www.fellowproducts.com/shop/duo

Duo_closeup_lifestyleThe Duo Coffee Steeper was developed by Founder Jake Miller with Engineering Project Manager Molly McNeil and Brand Manager Hanna McPhee, under the company name Fellow Products. Fellow emerged from a Kickstarter campaign to build a better coffee brewer.

This beautiful glass vessel functions is a fresh-look at a traditional French press. It has a wide silicone band to allow for comfortable handling of the device. While it was clearly designed with coffee in mind, there is a tea filter that can be purchased as an add-on.

The Duo can be purchased with a grey, blue or maroon band.

This is the second iteration of this product. The team solicited input from users for improvements. As a result, they improved the filter, gaskets and the stay-cool silicone band.

More information about Duo can be seen here. Brewing tea with the Duo can be seen here.

– See more at: http://worldteanews.com/news/tea-tech-tea-technology-worth-watching


Silver Needle Tea – Bai Hao Yin Zhen

About Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle)

silver-needle-teaWhite tea is made in four counties in Fujian province, Fuding, Zhen He, Jian Yang, and Song Xi, though Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle) white tea is only made in Fuding and Zhen He. These counties grow unique cultivars of the tea bush, Fuding Da Bai and Zhen He Da Bai, which are capable of producing the large and stylish tea buds that Silver Needle is known for. Seven Cups’ Silver Needle is made entirely from Fuding’s original Da Bai bush type, known for having buds that are bigger, richer, fatter and more numerous than the Zhen He cultivar. Additionally, Fuding’s Silver Needle white tea touts the claim of being the original, invented in 1796, much earlier than Zhen He’s.

Even at its beginning, white tea was a popular export to Europe. Its conspicuously large buds were some times blended with simple black tea to enhance its visual appeal. The First World War halted the export of white tea in 1918. Exports resumed briefly in 1926 but only to be stopped again by the escalation to the Second World War. White tea finally returned to the Western market in the late 20th century where it has been viewed with renewed curiosity.


Parisian Cafe – Flavored Black tea

gaiwan-darkA lively blend of flavored black tea, lite citrus, notes. Very aromatic.

You will want to prepare this tea with 190 degree water, and steep it for 4:30.
Purchase Now

There is a $5.00 Shipping and handling charge for every order.


Gaiwan Preparation

gaiwan-darkThe Chinese gaiwan or covered cup is considered the preferred method for brewing teas with delicate flavors, such as green and white teas, but is suitable for any type of tea. This method has been used in China since about 1350. The gaiwan consists of a saucer, bowl and lid. It is extraordinarily versatile and can be used in place of a teapot, as a combination teapot/teacup (in the traditional Chinese style) or simply as a drinking cup.

All that is needed to prepare tea in this style is a gaiwan, since the tea can be brewed and drunk from the same vessel. Alternatively, the gaiwan can be used primarily as a teapot and the tea decanted into either a small pitcher or individual tasting cups.

Prepare the tealeaves and have them ready to be placed into the gaiwan as soon as it has been warmed.

Rinse the gaiwan

This step signifies the purification of the gaiwan so that it is free of any dust or residue. It also warms the cup. Rinse the gaiwan with hot water. If using a serving pitcher and tasting cups, pour the hot water from the gaiwan into these vessels and then discard the water.

Rinse the tealeaves

This step opens up the leaves to release the tea’s aroma. The aroma should be savored prior to infusion in order to prepare the palate to appreciate the tea’s full flavor. Add about one to two teaspoons of dry leaves to the gaiwan. With a little experimentation, this quantity can be adjusted to your taste. Pour hot water over the tealeaves and immediately pour this water off. Remove the lid and savor the aroma of the leaves.

Infuse and serve 

Fill the gaGaiwaniwan with water of the appropriate temperature. Experiment with both the quantity of tea and brewing time to find what works best f
or each tea. As a general guideline we suggest using 2-3 tablespoons of tea, and steeping the tea for just 20-30 seconds on the first infusion, extending the steeping time for each subsequent infusion. This method of brewing allows you to infuse the same tea leaves many times over, each infusion yielding a new and different experience.

To drink from the gaiwan, hold the saucer in the palm of the right hand and use the thumb to steady the cup. Using your left hand, lift the lid by the knob, tilt the lid away so that it holds back the leaves and sip the tea. Alternatively, the tea can be poured into the serving pitcher and then into the tasting cups.

Resteep

One of the benefits of using high quality, loose-leaf teas is that they can be resteeped several times. Keep adding water as many times as yields a flavorful cup. To resteep, increase the steeping time slightly with each infusion. Experiment with steeping times to accommodate your taste. However, excessively long steeping can result in a bitter infusion. It is not recommended that tealeaves be left for a long period of time between infusions.

Here is a video that demonstrates Gaiwan method of preparing tea, the maker of the video is preparing gyokuro.


Singbulli Summer Oolong

I just received my monthly tea subscription, inside was a wonderful oolong tea. Singbulli Summer Oolong is a very smooth oolong from India. I prepared it Gaiwan. First infusion I set my water to 190 degrees F. I let it steep too long at 1:00, it was strong but still smooth, a touch of bitterness due to the over steeping. Second cup I let set for :30, third cup :40, and the fourth :45. I am really enjoying the difference in the cups, still really smooth and a velvet feel in the mouth. The fourth cup was a little astringent.

singbulliReading up on the origin of this tea I found the plantation is  Located in the Mirik area in Darjeeling, the Singbulli estate is spread across 9 rolling hills over an area of 13.6 miles (22 km) with altitude varying between 1,180 to 4,100 feet (360m to 1250m) above sea level.

“Originally established in 1924 by British planters the garden has four divisions, namely Singbulli Division, Manja Division, Tingling Division and Murmah Division. The plantation is very active in ecological upgradation and maintaining bio-diversity at the garden and has initiated various programmes for soil conservation and environmental protection.” (Excerpt from teacenter.se)

The Singbulli Estate was established in 1924, in 2003 it was acquired by Jayshree Tea & Industries LTD. To create this oolong, they make smaller batches ensure a high quality and taste. The partial oxidization gives a unique nutty taste along with a muscatel aroma to this oolong. This estate is known for it’s world famous Muscatel teas.

If you would like to receive a credit to the site to try this tea please visit this site I purchased it from by following this link.

http://teabox.ref-r.com/c/i/7054/2558410


Zojirushi product update

I just saw this new product from Zojirushi, it’s their thermal gravity pot. Priced at $80-$100 USD.

The Thermal Gravity Pot® Beverage Dispenser keeps beverages tasting fresh for hours by utilizing the force of gravity to dispense beverages, minimizing oxidation. It features a high quality vacuum glass liner with excellent heat retention.

The high impact strong polycarbonate plastic exterior and internal glass liner provides virtually an indestructible thermal system. The sight gauge on front of the dispenser provides a visual indicator of the coffee in server. The brew through lid provides maximum heat retention during brewing and serving. Vacuum insulation keeps coffee fresh and hot for hours. The reinforced pivot handle swings either up or back.

Thermal Gravity Pot®
Beverage Dispenser
AY-AE25/25N


Pomegranate – White Tea

Pomegranate Pai Mu Tan

Pomegranate Pai Mu Tan

This refreshing delicious tea tastes amazing hot or cold. It is a blend of premium white teas with a splash of pomegranate flavor.

This tea is best brewed in filtered water at a temperature just less than boiling about 190 degrees F. (87 degrees C.) . I recommend using one and a half teaspoons per cup, that is if you are brewing a single cuppa tea (12 ounces or so).

If you are making a pot of tea then I would recommend the old adage use one teaspoon per cup (cup = roughly 8 fluid ounces) and an extra teaspoon for the pot.


The quest for the perfect blend

There is a part of me that knows it takes work to find the perfect blend. It is seen all through normal life. The blend of work and life. The blend of sleep and reading.

Why is it a surprise that finding the perfect blend of tea would be any different?

I am working to formulate a new blend of tea. I have an idea in my head of what I would like for it to taste like. So why can’t it just magically happen?

Formulation is a process, and one that takes time and experimentation to perfect. Right out of high school I worked in the production factory for a family owned snack, chocolate and trail mix company. The owners would release new products from time to time, but when it came to trail mixes they would begin the process of experimentation. It could take months even years to get the trail mix to where it was good enough to sell to the public.

So why would I or anyone expect anything to be different in our own life? Life is a journey. The pursuit of a perfect blend of tea is also a journey.

After producing a small batch of my tea blend the journey begins. My first step is getting it to people who would be willing to critique my blend. Thus leading me to this point…

The journey to find people to help you on your journey. A lot of people will critique your work few are the people who have an opinion that you should trust. Back to the candy company. They would find distributers who would critique their products for them, they would use the employees to critique and they were family run so all the family members would help in that area too.

You can’t always trust all of the critiques. What I learned from them is that you need to look at the whole picture. You can trust the majority when they are say close to the same thing. You can’t let the “yes” men determine your path. You also need to filter out those who are negative for no specific reason too.

When you are looking to try something new don’t be afraid to go for it. As Thomas Edison is credited for saying, I found a thousand ways to not invent the light bulb.

 


Where does breakfast tea come from?

A good friend of mine loves “Scottish Morning” tea. Which is a strong tea, Darjeeling/Assam blend of teas, that when brewed properly can give you a pretty amazing jolt of caffeine. I was wondering what truly determines a “morning” blend, “breakfast” blend, etc. I found that there are a lot of different things that can make up these determinations.

Norwood Platt wrote an interesting article on the topic:

“Breakfast teas are not the only ones designed for a certain hour of the day. Indar, a French brand, describes itself intriguingly as Boudoir Tea-for whenever the opportunity arises, no doubt. British firms like Jacksons sell Afternoon and Evening teas but the apogee of this practice was attained by the now-defunct London firm which only sold six teas: Morning, Lunchtime, Afternoon, After-Dinner, Evening and Drawing Room.

Another “veddy Brit” practice hallowed by usage is to give teas names connecting them, however remotely, to the institution of the monarchy, Melrose, the leading Scottish tea brand, created its Queen’s Tea for Victoria’s use at her beloved Balmoral Castle. It is predominantly Darjeeling, with the addition of black teas from China, Assam and Ceylon. In London it was Thomas Ridgway who catered to the Queen’s tea needs with Her Majesty’s Blend or H.M.B. tea, which is also still sold. Ridgways’ H.M.B. is a delightful blend of rather delicate India, Ceylon, Taiwan and China black teas. This practice spread to the colonies as well. In Vancouver, British Columbia, Murchies’ Empress Blend has been sold for over a century, just as First Colony in Norfolk, Virginia, has sold its Queen’s Blend since the 1870s, both created in Victoria’s honor by Scots who immigrated to the New World. Mr. John Murchie apprenticed at Melroses, in fact. Some fragments of tea history are preserved in certain proprietary names like Boston Harbor Tea, exported by a London firm which was already 127 years old when it changed its name to Davison, Newman & Co. in 1777, only a few years after previous exports were tipped into Boston Harbor, purportedly by Indians. Mark T. Wendell’s Hu-Kwa Tea carries the name of a Cantonese who became a world- famous merchant prince and a household name for half a century. He had actually sold tea to the clipper ship captain whose nephew Mark T. Wendell founded the present firm in Boston. Before the Opium War, the chop, or stamp, of HuKwa (actually spelled Houqua) was a guarantee of excellence. A man who concluded deals on a handshake, he was so highly esteemed that America’s first clipper ship was named for him. Houqua tea made the fortunes of Astor, Perkins, and Peabody, America’s first millionaires, and sustains Mark T. Wendell still.”

History has a way of coloring how we still do some things today. The whole “well we have always done it that way” mantra that drive so many people.

I’m not a big consumer of “breakfast” types of tea but the one quality that I really enjoy from them is the way they can give a dose of, at times much needed, caffeine when starting the day off. A few beverage companies have tried to hone in on the drinking their beverages during certain times to even out the blood sugar during the day. I tend to think that there is something there that can be marketed.

Wishing you an amazing cuppa tea,

Craig


I am proud to offer hand-mixed to order white tea blends.