Taking Tea To The Grill

Iced Tea & GrillingWhen you think of summer grilling, do you envision yourself manning a hot grill with a cold glass of iced tea? Refreshing, not doubt, but why limit your tea experience to just a beverage? There are flavorful ways to incorporate some of your favorite teas with your favorite grilling methods and recipes.

Shop First

Before you even contemplate how to use tea with your grill, take a few moments to conduct some gas grill reviews, especially if you’re ready to upgrade your current model for one with more features.

Pre-Grill Use

As a tea devotee, you know the beverage has been around for thousands and thousands of years. But tea also has a long history of being used in cooking. Throughout many Asian countries, it’s frequently added to food to imbibe certain flavors or spice.

In recent years, tea combined with food, be it ice cream, duck or tofu, has become very popular with chefs in the West. But you don’t have to work in the food industry to know how to develop delicious results, especially on the grill.

Probably the most popular use of tea on the grill is as part of a dry rub on meats, such as duck, chicken, beef, even seafood like shrimp. If you decide to go this route, taste your tea/spice mixture before applying it to the meat. That way, if the flavor isn’t where you want it, you can adjust. Once it’s on the meat, or worse yet, on the grill, you can’t make changes.

You can also use tea in wet marinades. Steep the tea as usual, let it cool, then add it to the other ingredients. Again, taste test your marinade and make adjustments before adding the meat. Whenever you marinade meat or vegetables, pat them dry before setting on a hot grill. This way they will sear and brown, which is the whole point of grilling, instead of just steaming.

A Smoky Vibe

Teas are great for smoking food on the grill. While most smoking methods involve soaking wood chips in water before adding them to a grill, tea leaves are an awesome substitution. Follow the same steps as you would with wood chips: Soak the leaves in water in an aluminum foil pan, drain the water, then put the pan under the grill grates—be sure to check the manufacturer’s smoking instructions.

Or create a flavor packet to set on top of a gas burner shield. Robert Danhi, author of Southeast Asian Flavors, suggests combining tea with rice, brown sugar, various spices and a little citrus zest into a foil packet. Then close the lid and let the heat toast the packet to release its flavors.

Smoking adds a lot of character to a blank protein canvas, but it can quickly overpower the meat’s natural flavor if you’re not careful. For a hint of the tea smoke, use an indirect heat grilling method. Basically, this keeps the food away from the heat source, and uses the grill’s ambient heat to cook. Remember, the smoking packet or soaked tea leaves are right by the heat source, so that’s where the flavor is most potent. The indirect method will taper the smoke off a bit. This might take a little longer cooking time, but the result will be a nice balance between smoke and natural flavor.

Another thing is to make sure to dry the food completely before adding it to the grill. Not only will it help with browning, but dry meat absorbs smoke better.

And, hey, no one says you can’t enjoy a great-tasting glass of iced tea while you’re manning the tea-induced grilling action.

Why Choose Tea Over Coffee?

Tea was originally produced in China as a medicinal drink and, save water, is the most widely consumed drink in the world. It travelled from China with Portuguese priests and merchants and became popular in Britain in the 17th century. The British spread it on their travels from India to the US.

The ritual of making tea and drinking it has also spread around the world. Tea ceremonies spread from China and Japan and have many variations across the world, with many of them using the family’s best tea kettle as the traditional means of either infusing the water or adding the leaves directly.

Tea with best tea kettleBenefits of Tea

Tea is an excellent hydration aid to replace fluid lost on a warm day or after exercise. It has more flavour than plain water but has the same benefits
Tea can still give you the boost that coffee can as it contains the same amount of caffeine; however, coffee has been shown to have a depressive effect and can reduce energy levels. Tea is a better option to give you a boost and keep going for longer.
Antioxidants are higher in tea than most other drinks and can have benefits as a dietary supplement to help combat diseases such as cancer, heart disease and even conditions such as altitude sickness.

Specialist teas

Green tea is made from steamed tea leaves and has special antioxidants which have been shown to interfere with the growth of cancers of the bladder, breast, lung, stomach and pancreas. It also helps to prevent clogging of the arteries and stop the oxidative stresses in the brain which can lead to conditions such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons. It can even help reduce the risk of stroke.
Black tea comes from fermented tea leaves and has the higher amount of caffeine of the teas. It is also the basis for flavoured teas such as chai. It has properties which can reduce the chance of stroke and also help lungs recuperate from the effects of smoking.
White tea is made from leaves that are young so has a milder flavour and less caffeine. It has the same benefits as other types of tea and is also said to be beneficial to people with diabetes.

Flavored teas

Flavoured teas come in a wide variety and can include extras such as cinnamon, orange or lavender. These teas have the same antioxidant properties as normal teas and depending on what the additive is, can be higher. For example, if blueberries are added, this will increase the antioxidant properties.
Herbal teas are usually made with dried fruits, herb and flowers and contain no caffeine. Some types have been shown to work against conditions such as high blood pressure in some cases while chamomile teas help people to sleep and peppermint tea calms the stomach.

Conclusion

So studies have shown there are definite benefits to getting out your best tea kettle and creating a cup of your favourite tea, aside from the simple enjoyment of this most ancient drink.

Waking Up with a Cup of Tea: My morning Makeup and Tea Routine

Green TeaMore often than not, I will wake up with a scratchy or irritated throat. I’m not exactly sure why, but I find myself needing something hot and soothing in the morning to start the day of right. As I’m sleepily making my way into the kitchen, it would be just as convenient to make a pot of coffee, but as my very weak stomach likes to remind me often, coffee goes right through me. Every time I drink coffee, my stomach is grumbling and aching for hours after.

So for my hot and soothing desire for my throat and my need to wake up and start my day calls for one essential ingredient: tea and lots of it! I’m a huge tea person, and it wasn’t until recently that I was introduced into the large world of teas. There are so many different teas that are complementary for different issues. For example, you’d drink a different strain a tea before going to bed and in the morning.

It can be overwhelming a bit at first, so I decided to do my research and see what benefits I wanted from my tea.  There are many benefits from drinking tea such as teas that are rich in antioxidants can reduce your chance of cancer. The tea’s poluphenols may reduce gastric, esophageal, and skin cancer risks if one consumers 4 to 6 cups daily. Another study showed that with drinking only two cups a ay may even lower the risk of ovarian cancer by 46 percent in women! Some even lower cholesterol level, and prevents heart disease. Really, the list of health benefits of tea goes on and on.

After looking online for a tea that suites all my needs, and trying out a couple, I decided that my go-to tea was green tea. To be honest, green tea personally can be a bit bland just on its own, so I often find myself buying green tea bags that are infused with pomegranate or passion fruit to give a sweeter taste.

Green tea contains caffeine and usually a cup of tea contains about 30 to 60 mg of caffeine.  This amount is low compared to about 120 mg of caffeine present in a cup of home-brewed coffee. This is perfect for the morning without having too much caffeine or a crash later.

As my green tea sits brewing, not having the full flavor I like just yet, I start my makeup. My love of tea has transitioned me to move towards a more natural, healthier lifestyle, and this includes my makeup. My morning routine consists of only eco-friendly and “green” makeup choices that won’t harm my skin.

Plus, the makeup never feels heavy or caked on, letting my skin breathe and not create breakouts. I opt for a more natural look with light gloss for the lips, and subtle eyeliner and volumizing mascara. For eye shadow, I use colors like tan, beige, and chocolate to achieve this effect as well.

After my makeup is done, I reward myself with a nice, hot brewed cup of green tea and start my day off right knowing I’m healthy!

Tea in a way you have never imagined

As you read the Sweet Leaf Tea Blog, you’ll come to realize that tea is a passion of mine. It’s pretty obvious, what with the name of the blog and the fact that pretty much everything I write is tea related.

Why am I telling you this, when it’s something you already know?

Well, you can probably imagine I’ve done as many tests and experiments with tea as I could think of, and have tried it all sorts of ways. That is why I was so surprised to come across an article entitled: Deep Fried Sweet Tea.

I mean seriously, what?!

What could that even mean? How do you deep fry a liquid? That would be totally impossible, right? (I even checked around and figured out how to fry stuff to make sure my initial doubts were valid).

How on earth do you deep fry sweet tea?

First thing you’ll see is this video:

So basically, it’s not at all deep fried tea, because that would be ridiculous and impossible and all the rest of it.

What they’re basically saying is that you put some tea in a dough and deep fry the dough.

Doh! (see what I did there?)

That doesn’t even make sense to call it deep fried tea. He turns it into a vignette.

Anyway, might as well go through what this guy says to do…

First, you make a sort of tea concentrate by steeping quite a lot of tea in some water. You might want to ‘overdo’ this, because at the end, he says you can’t really taste the tea. Sigh.

Make the dough, ensure it’s really sticky, and then fold in the tea. A mixer is probably the best way to do this, but obviously if you’ve just got your hands, use your hands and get it in there good.

Take the dough out when it’s good to go, put it in a covered bowl, and chill it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. This will allow it to set and be ready to roll out.

Next, roll out the dough. Don’t make it too thick or thin, but about a quarter of an inch should be good. You will want to cut squares out of the dough and prepare them to be dropped into the oil.

Make sure your oil is up to temperature (he says 360 degrees, but deep frying can take place between that and 400 degrees. According to http://www.fryerhq.com, most deep fryers will be up at around 375 anyway, so it’s no problem.)

Carefully drop each little square of the dough into the oil. Give them just 30 seconds on each side (or until golden brown, which should be a pretty obvious color…not white nor burnt!).

Take them out, make sure most of the oil drains off them, and then set them down to cool for a few seconds.

Finally, take each one and dip one side of it in a glaze that you will have put together earlier. In the video above, the guy uses a lemon and sugar glaze, though he suggests adding the tea to this, as well. The dough is likely not a good conductor for the taste. The lemon icing was really cool, though, because it matches the lemon you’ll probably be having in your sweet tea. At the very least, this was a good idea.

As you can see, it didn’t really work out exactly as planned, and it’s kind of cheating to call it ‘deep fried tea’. However, I’m all about the tea, and you’re reading this, so I figured you might get a kick out of it!

Use Green Tea To Make Your Hair Healthier

Green tea is the most miraculous drink. It has so many benefits for so many parts of the body, that it should be a compulsory element of our daily diet! Green tea contains a big amount of antioxidants, which, besides other functions, also contribute to the health of the hair and the scalp. Next, you will find some tips on how to use green tea in order to help your hair stay straight and beautiful.

First of all, you can drink the tea. If you want to benefit more of its qualities, it is better to use original dry leaves of green tea (and brew it), than the tea bags. In this way, you will get a bigger amount of antioxidants in your cup. Regular drinking of green tea can help your hair in many ways: it inhibits the development of a substance (DHT) known to be responsible for hair falling (so, you should experience a diminution of this process); it reduces the amount of dandruff; and it stimulates the hair growth.

Additionally, if you use green tea to rinse your hair, you can also benefit from its properties. Due to its soothing and antiseptic features, green tea reduces the scalp’s irritations and inflammations, and it is used for patients who suffer from psoriasis.

Now, let’s see how you can use green tea externally for your hair. After you have washed your hair with your usual shampoo (and possibly use the conditioner too), you are ready for a green tea treatment. Here is what you have to do – use a liter of water to boil about 4 or 5 tea bags (or 3 spoons of green tea leaves). Let it cool, until it reaches the temperature you are comfortable with for your skin. Then pour it in a bowl and rinse your hair with it. You don’t have to hurry; try to let your hair into the solution as much as you can. It is not necessary to rinse your hair with water after this; just blow it dry as usual, and you are done! If you don’t have the time to repeat this process every time you wash your hair, try to do it at least once a week.

For more hair straightening treatments (including natural tea treatments without using a flat iron) click here.

For a more intense treatment, here is a hair mask recipe that you should apply for about 2 times a week. You are more than welcome to apply it every time you plan to wash your hair, and if you have the time and the patience to do so, that will be just great.

You will need one egg yolk, one spoon of plant oil (any one you like better) and some strong green tea. Mix the first two ingredients, and then add small quantities of green tea until you get a creamy texture. Apply it on your hair and then cover your head with a shower cap. Leave it in for about half an hour; after that, wash your hair thoroughly with shampoo.

This mask is perfect if you suffer from hair loss, and if you hair is thin. In time, the mask will make your hair thicker, will prevent its breakage, and will allow you to keep it long and healthy.

Remember: include green tea in your daily diet (regular or decaffeinated) to improve your health, and also use it as a beauty product – for a simple rinse or in a mask. For better results, use the green tea regularly – at least once a week for the rinse and twice a week for the mask.

Do not keep this a secret, share it with your friends!

How Tea Helps Your Skin

I have recently gone on a quest to live a more natural and healthy lifestyle. I have been pouring over research on ways to improve the skin’s health using natural means and have become fascinated by the amazing benefits that different herbal teas offer. Herbal tea provides an all-natural and noninvasive way to improve skin’s health and appearance. Below I will review different types of teas, what effects they can have on the health of skin and the different ways that they may be used.

Green tea contains a high amount of antioxidants, namely polyphenols, which is a wonderful thing for skin. Antioxidants help to absorb the free radicals that our bodies collect through food and exposure to unhealthy environmental agents. The high concentration of antioxidants in green tea packs a very powerful punch when ingested in either tea form or when steeped green tea leaves are placed on the skin. Green tea helps to reduce skin redness, roughness and helps to increase moisture content of the skin. Researchers are also finding that drinking green tea helps reduce stress which in turn will reduce acne due to the release of cortisol. Another amazing benefit to green tea is its anti-inflammatory properties, drinking it has been known to help relieve the symptoms of eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.

Chamomile is another leading tea that aids in healing and rejuvenating skin as it is not only loaded with antioxidants, but it also assists in healing your skin from the inside out. It does this by aiding in digestive health which is actually very important to skin’s health. Chamomile tea helps release and expels impurities that live in your gut – healthy insides lead to a healthy outside. One other very important property of chamomile tea is its antiseptic capabilities. It is great to apply to infected areas of the skin to aid in faster healing without having to apply unnatural chemicals topically.

Dandelion tea is an excellent tea for acne sufferers as it is an herbal tea that is incredibly rich in potassium and serves as a great, natural and safe diuretic. Dandelion tea is often blended with echinacea, goldenseal and valerian to increase its natural antibiotic abilities. This is a great tea for detox and purification purposes.

Floral herbal teas, mainly from rosehips and hibiscus petals are wonderful for healing and rejuvenating the skin and provide some of the best sources of vitamin C possible. They are also loaded with antioxidants that are vital for healthy skin and aid in immune system health as well. Rosehip tea is amazing for its antibacterial, anti-aging and anti-viral properties. Hibiscus tea is one of the best teas you can consume to rid your body cell damaging and cancer causing free radicals. Many people see a huge difference in skin’s texture, appearance and color when drinking rosehip and hibiscus leaf tea.

Ginger tea serves a similar purpose to dandelion tea as it is excellent for improving digestive health and releasing toxins that the body tends to store due to poor diet or other health issues. It is often blended with other herbs and used for digestive distress as well which again will help with the appearance of skin.

All of these teas may be used in loose leaf form in hot or cold teas as well as topically. As with anything herbal please be aware of possible allergic reactions that may occur when they are ingested or applied to the skin. It is also important to verify the purity of the teas you use as many commercial teas have filler teas added to lower costs. Commercial brand teas will still work, but you will not receive the maximum effects that you would with all natural, organic herbal teas.

The World’s Finest and Most Expensive Tea

Depending on who you ask, you’ll probably get a lot of different answers in regards to the world’s best tasting tea.

The World’s Most Expensive Teas

The world’s most expensive? The Ritz in Hong Kong offers tea for two for a mere $8888.88. This is Da Hong Pao which is the most expensive tea in the world. Da Hong Pao is an oolong tea with it’s origins in China. Normally Da Hong Pao is saved for revered guests of China (and of the Ritz apparently). Da Hong Pao traces it’s origins back to the Song Dynasty. So in other words, a really long time ago.

Tieguanyin is another tea which is rather expensive. It can cost in the neighbourhood of $1400-$1600/kg. The tea is from China and is a rare form of oolong tea as well.

Source: Hotelchatter.com

Source: Hotelchatter.com

The World’s Finest Tea

This is a difficult question to answer. You might get a consensus on which type of Oolong tea is the best in the world. And what type of peppermint tea is the best in the world. But to put all of the teas in the world in the same category and say this tea is the best. Impossible.

I’ve sipped on Tieguanyin tea and despite being a marvellous cup of tea I’m not sure it was my all time favorite. Perhaps the expectations that came with the weight of being a very expensive pot of tea weighed on my decision. But I think it probably had more to do with the fact that Oolong tea just isn’t my favorite type of tea. If you were an oolong tea lover, you might disagree with me and say, indeed Tieguanyin tea is the world’s finest.

Fox News recently put together a list of the world’s top ten teas. An impressive list indeed. And it’s hard to disagree with them (I’ve had 8 of the 10 tea’s listed.) I would personally rate Golden Monkey Organic Tea higher than they did.

The moral of the story here is depending on your tastes, different teas are going to appeal to different people. I for one can remember several cups of teas that bring me back to a place or a time that I absolutely loved. No doubt, I’m fonder of some of those cups of tea for that reason, nostalgia. If you were put on the spot what would you say your top cup of tea all time is?

 

 

Buying a Tea Pot

The best tea pots are made from cast iron, clay and porcelain. In that order in my opinion.

Cast Iron Tea Pots

Tea is somewhat like wine – as you drink more of it and further acquire the taste of a good pot of tea it becomes more and more obvious.

In my younger years I could drink a bottle of skunky wine without blinking an eye. Tea was the same way, I care little for what type it was, how it was brewed or what type of pot was used to brew it.

My criteria went like this.

Is it past 5pm?

Yes – Pour me a decaf tea please.

No – Bring me a tea with caffeine, the stronger the better.

Somewhere along the line I started to even have preference of what type of tea I was drinking. Depending on my mood I might prefer a nice pot of Green Tea or a Herbal Tea. I’m very particular, if I feel like black tea and there is none available sometimes I’ll pass altogether.

Eventually, I started to care what type of pot was used to brew the tea. Cast Iron tea pots in my opinion are the best tea pots to brew any type of tea in. The older the pot the better.

CastIronTeaPot

I have four pots for tea, one for Green Tea, one for Black Tea, one for White Tea and one for Herbal Tea.  Some tea lovers have even more, they separate their pots based on what type of variety of tea. For example you could have two different pots for two different types of leaves – both which are Green Tea.

The idea being that as you use a tea pot it’ll become seasoned with the type of tea it brews. With cast iron pots there is a noticeable difference between a cup of tea from a seasoned pot and a cup of tea from a brand new pot. The seasoned pot will provide a richer, fuller flavor.

Brewing different types of tea in the same pot will throw your whole seasoning process out of whack. If you want your pot to brew delicious Green Tea you can’t have hints of lemon or peppermint lurking around.

Cast Iron Pots Benefits

Aside from being the seasoning process (it works best with cast iron), there are other benefits to using cast iron over say clay.

For starters the heat distribution in cast iron is amazing. It heats the pot evenly, providing a uniform tasting pot of tea. Furthermore, a cast iron pot keeps tea the warmest the longest.

Japanese Cast Iron Tea pots can be beautiful as well. Durability shouldn’t be an issue either. If you treat a quality cast iron pot correctly it could last you a life time. Of course you’re probably going to get four or five more for different variations of tea.

Herbal Tea Health Benefits

We’ve all heard that tea is healthy – however what we don’t often hear is why it’s healthy. What exactly is it about tea that makes it good for us? I’m not one to blindly follow a suggestion on health and wellness without some sort of explanation.

Peppermint Tea Leavs

Six Herbal Tea’s and Why They’re Good For You

1. Ginger Tea. Ginger in general is pretty pretty excellent. I put it in smoothies and frequently use it to cook.

Remember as a kid drinking ginger ale? Or perhaps you still drink it when you have an upset stomach. The key ingredient in “Ginger Ale” is Ginger. It helps soothe upset stomachs It also has anti inflammatory properties.

2. Lemon Tea. Lemon is another ingredient that I frequently use to cook. I drink a glass of lemon water every morning in my morning routine. It’s also a staple in sauces and dips. Lemon is a great way to stabilize your pH – most foods are highly acidic such as beer and bread. Your body is constantly trying to balance it’s pH and it plays an important role in maintaining good health. Sometimes you need to give your body a break and help it out a little bit.

3. Nettle Tea. Nettle is a herb that has a number of critical minerals. Many people are Iron deficient, which causes them to feel run down. Nettle has Iron, Calcium and Silica.

4. Green Tea. Green tea is packed with anti-oxidants. It also provides a caffeine boost which in small doses can actually be beneficial. One study linked caffeine to improvements in recovery times after working out. Obviously, there are a lot of downsides that are associated with caffeine, but the upside of green tea is worth it.

5. Peppermint Tea. Peppermint tea is great for reliving upset and bloated stomachs. Peppermint can actually be grown in most climates – homemade peppermint tea is delicious.

6. Rosemary Tea - Rosemary tea is terrific for relaxing sore muscles. It also can help to settle an upset stomach. I use rosemary in a number of my rubs and spice mixtures.

One common theme is if you’re feeling a little run down or your stomach is sore drink some herbal tea. I also drink tea when I have a cold, all the additional liquid helps to flush the system out. Which in my experience has allowed for quicker recovery times.

How to Use a Tea Press and Loose Leaf Tea

If you live in a big city you’ve probably seen a speciality tea store pop up in your neighbourhood. I have a David’s Tea down the street from me. An ever growing franchise that seems to spring up in a new location every year.

It really is an awesome store for tea lovers. The way it works is they have over fifty varieties of tea (maybe even more?) at each location. They let you smell the different mixes and you pick which ones you want.

Some are delicious, some are less than stellar but next time you don’t make the same mistake twice.

All of the tea sold at David’s Tea is loose leaf tea, which means it requires a tea press.

What Is a Tea Press

Tea Press

A tea press is very similar to a coffee press. You simply place loose leaf tea either at the bottom (like in the model shown to the right) or in central container. Allow the tea to steep for a period of time depending on the producers suggestion. Once the tea has steep push down the plunger and poor a cup of tea. The remaining tea in the press won’t continue to steep because all of the loose leaf tea has been pushed down to the bottom.

One of my favorite products that I own is a tea press travel mug. Essentially all this is, is a travel mug with a built in plunger. Every morning before I leave for work, I choose a tea place it in my travel mug. Wait five or ten minutes for it to steep and then plunge it.

Voila! Loose leaf tea on the go! I’m not sure what I did before I had one of these fancy mugs, I just know that life was more difficult. I actually usually make two batches from one set of loose leaf tea. All you have to do is release the plunger and add more water. For the second time around you might have to wait a little bit longer for the tea to steep because the leafs have already given off some of the flavor.

Loose Leaf Tea Suggestions

Choosing which loose leaf tea to drink can be an overwhelming decision when you step inside of a store like David’s Tea. Here are a few suggestions

If you like Rooibos tea I suggest cinnamon rooibos chia tea. I’ve always been a lover of both cinnamon and chia so I might be a little bit biased but this is my favorite tea on the shelf.

If you like Herbal Tea try “Bear Trap”, it’s a fruity herbal tea that is very nice.

Finally, if you’re in the market for a Green Tea – I personally love Kiwi’s Big Adventure. I think I bought it because I thought the name was amusing. It turned out to be a great purchase, as it’s delicious.

 

Green Tea with Honey and Lemon

Drinking Tea (with Honey & Lemon) to Remedy a Cold

When you get sick, all you have to do is scan the aisles at any drug store to be offered cold relief in many shapes and sizes of pills, syrups, powders, drops but the best (and most natural) remedy can be found in your kitchen: tea with honey and lemon!

I’ve always been more of a coffee person. After stumbling out of bed, I pick out my favorite mug, and get caffeine in me as soon as possible. But lately, in an effort to detox my body, I’ve been supplementing with tea. And guess what? I’m loving it!

Other Benefits of Tea

If you do quick research on tea, you’ll find countless studies show that it can increase metabolism and weight loss, inhibit the growth of some cancers, and prevent colds. And with honey and lemon, itís both nutritious and delicious! Now, that is my kind of drink!

Recipe: Honey Lemon Brightness Green Tea

Here is a simple recipe that is not too complicated when you just want to crawl back into bed. Although green tea is my favorite when I feel a cold coming on, black or white teas can be substituted as they also have many benefits. Try it and let me know what you think!

1 green tea bag (Get the decaf kind if you’re trying to sleep.)

2-3 mint leaves (Both spearmint and peppermint help soothe headaches.)

1 mug hot water (Breathe in the hot steam to help with decongestion.)

2 tablespoons honey (This will soothe the throat.)

2 slices lemon (Full of vitamin C and great for detoxing your body.)

Instructions

Add honey and mint leaves to your mug. Roll a lemon on the counter with your palm to trigger the natural oils in the zest. Take a very sharp chef’s knife and stroke it on a sharpening steel before slicing the lemon in wedges. Pour the hot water (almost, but not boiling) over the ingredients and let them steep for 3-5 minutes.

For stronger tea, leave the tea bag in longer (but not too long, especially with green tea as this can bring out a bitter taste).

Enjoy – your body will thank you!

Green Tea or Green Tea Supplements?

Tea Fields

In today’s society, vitamins and nutritional supplements have become one of the quickest and most effective way to balance your nutrition. With the rage of Green Tea health benefits invading the health food scene the last few years, we knew it wasn’t going to be long before it was translated into supplement form. There are now thousands of different variations of green tea supplements and green tree vitamins that you can purchase on the market today. The one question that hangs in the balance as a result is:

Are these supplements as effective as actually drinking green tea?

Let me answer this question for those of you that don’t feel like spending time reading the rest of the logical points to follow. Nothing can ever supplement real food. There you go – no type of green tea supplement you can take should ever be substituted for actually ingesting the real thing! Do supplements have their place? Absolutely. Bodybuilders and fitness experts around rely on supplements to lean up, gain weight, add muscle and prepare for fitness competitions. There wouldn’t be a supplement market out there if they didn’t work to some extent. But these supplements should be used to fill in the gaps in your nutritional plan because nobody eats 100% perfectly. If you have the time to cook a real meal or brew a fresh pot of green tea, do it. There isn’t anything out there that you can buy that’s a “quick fix” that will provide you the same health benefits that the real thing can.

What are the health benefits of Green Tea?

Outside of being extremely rich in antioxidants, Green Tea has a host of other health benefits. Obviously as we’ve covered, the preferred method of intake is directly from the tea itself. But even green tea supplements have their place and should be taken if you can’t find a way to fit in a cup during the course of your day. Here are a few of the main health benefits of Green Tea that you will experience when indulging with this magnificent little plant:

• Oral Health – Green Tea kills bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.
• Bone Health – Green Tea has shown to suppress bone density deconstruction.
• Fat Loss – Green Tea is a favorite of bodybuilders and fitness experts alike during their “cutting” or “fat loss” phases right before their competitions.
• Mental Health – Studies have shown that tea drinkers tend to be more focused and alert than non-tea drinkers.
• Heart Health – Green Tea has shown signs of reducing the risk of Heart Disease.
• Cancer – You have to drink a lot of tea for this, but it has been shown that Green Tea can reduce the risk of cancer.
There you have it. 6 awesome reasons why Green Tea is effective and why it should be part of your everyday routine. Many coffee drinkers have dropped coffee altogether in favor of Green Tea and claim to feel less jittery, healthier and alert. Not to mention, the green tea supplements can be a lot more beneficial than any other caffeine supplements that you’d be taking in lieu of drinking a cup of coffee.

Matcha Green Tea Powder Health Benefits

The Matcha tea is a finely milled or fine powdered green tea, but is not the same as the as tea powder or green tea powder. The Japanese tea ceremony centers on the ritual of drinking Matcha tea. The Japanese also uses it to flavor, dye foods like mochi and soba noodles as well as other Japanese confectionery.

Ice Cream Matcha Tea Sandy's: Credit: Teanobi Tea Company

Ice Cream Matcha Tea Sandy’s: Credit: Teanobi Tea Company

Matcha is a special type of green tea, known to contain a number of benefits. It is well known for its powerful antioxidant effects, energy-boosting capabilities and a number of other essential health boosting properties. One advantage of Matcha tea is that you drink the whole leaf rather than just brewed water, thereby increasing the amount of nutrients you absorbed. If you compare Matcha tea to other types of green tea, it is equivalent to 10 glasses of normal green tea in terms of nutritional benefits.

Matcha tea tastes awesome! It was defined as complex, alluring, bitter, misunderstood and addicting by some of Matcha tea enthusiasts from Florida. The chlorophyll and amino acid from Matcha gives it a vegan taste followed by a lingering sweetness.

The Benefits of Matcha Tea

Matcha tea is high in antioxidants called catechins, which removes the dangerous free radicals in the body. It also has EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to be a powerful anti-carcinogen. These antioxidants are responsible for keeping the body free from toxins that causes different chronic diseases. One amazing fact about Matcha tea is that it contains about 5 times as many antioxidant as other types of food.

Another benefit of Matcha tea is that it is a great calm enhancer, which can be traced from its Japanese and Chinese monk’s usage from the early times. They used the tea to relax and meditate while maintaining alertness. This is due to the amino acid present in the leaves used to make Matcha called L-Theanine. This amino acid promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain to produce relaxation without drowsiness; it is also responsible for the production of dopamine and serotonin, which improves memory and concentration.

Matcha tea’s energy boosting ability can be traced from the ritual of a Japanese Samurai to drink a cup of Matcha tea before going to battle. It is true that all green tea contains caffeine; however, the one from Matcha comes from a combination of nutrients that it possesses. The energy boost and endurance from a bowl of Matcha tea can last for up to six hours due to the presence of the amino acid L-Theanine that we discussed earlier. This, however, doesn’t have the side effects such as nervousness and hypertension.

It is also known to effectively burn calories. Numerous studies revealed that drinking Matcha tea could help the body burn fats and calories about four times faster than average.

Matcha tea contains high levels of antibiotic properties known to improve the immune system. In addition, a bowl of tea contains high levels of Vitamins A and C. It also has potassium, iron, protein and calcium.

It also contains a nice amount of dietary fiber, which improves the ability to ease constipation and stabilize blood sugar level.

You also notice that people in Japan has a long lifespan. Well, we discusses earlier about the Japanese tea ceremony, which uses only Matcha tea. It is attributed that the tea has anti-aging abilities and that the regular consumption of the Japanese people of Matcha tea makes them live longer. It was once a very popular tea known in Japan, but it is already growing in popularity throughout the rest of the world.

If you wanted to drink the best tea out there, then try Matcha tea for a healthier and longer life.

Coffee Versus Tea

It seems that everyone has a preference, they’re either coffee drinkers or tea drinkers. Sure, a coffee drinker may occasionally dabble in some tea and vice versa but generally speaking it is one or the other.

My mother is a coffee person, I’m a tea person. We both use it for a similar purpose; to get a little kick start.

Which Has More Caffeine

Everyone knows what Caffeine is. But do we really know what Caffeine does? This article on Caffeine highlights how little we actually know about Caffeine. We know it gives us a boost, and if we abuse it, like any other drug it can dangerous.

This table pokes fun at the stages we got through on the Caffeine Curve.

Caffeine Curve

Credit: flickr: emdot

I like how it states “cup” and not cup of coffee or cup of tea. It gets my point across perfectly!

So which has more caffeine? Prior to brewing tea leaves have more caffeine. However, once we fire it all in a pot and steep the leaves or press the coffee, odds are your coffee has more caffeine. But does this even really matter? As the chart above jokingly points out, there is a pretty good chance you drink a helluva lot more than one cup of tea (or coffee) a day.

Which is Healthier: Coffee or Tea?

The great debate continues to rage, which is healthier: coffee or tea?

Here is the good news. They both offer antioxidants that the other doesn’t. It’s not so much the coffee or the tea that is unhealthy it’s the sugar, cream and artificial sweeteners and flavors that’re the issue. A cup of plain green tea is far healthier than say a double double. And a cup of black coffee is much healthier than a cup of tea with loads of artificial sweeteners added to it.

So long as you’re careful with the amounts (again, read the article above regarding caffeine and how little we know about it) and the things we add to our favorite beverage both are great. Coffee or Tea, it’s up to you. This article sums it up very nicely.

Of course I’m a tea guy myself, but I do dabble in the occasional cup of joe. Black coffee with no additives is the way I take mine. Do you prefer coffee or tea? Do you add additional ingredients whether that be sugar, honey, artificial sweetener or creamer?

 

 

Iced Tea – Are there Health Benefits?

We all love Iced tea, especially on warm days and in summer time. There are so many varieties of iced tea available all over the world and it is one of the most popular beverage, which you can almost order on any restaurants anywhere in the world. Iced tea not only refreshes you, it also contains a number of benefits to keep you kicking hard and maintain a healthy body.

How iced tea came into existence? There is one story that goes like this… It was 1904 in St. Louis Exhibition; a tea exhibitor can’t allure anyone to his steaming beverage, probably because of the heat. People drove past his wares and they seem to be uninterested with a warm drink on a sunny day. Then, a flashy light bulb appeared on top of his head and he borrowed an ice from a nearby ice cream stand, now that beverage he created was one of the most famous drinks all over the world, which is commonly called as iced tea.

Iced Tea

Tea – One of the Healthiest Drink in the World

We all know that teas are rich in antioxidants and it helps us clear out the body from disgusting toxins and other harmful substances. However, warm tea does have more benefits than cold tea, but that doesn’t mean you’d drink a hot and steamy tea under intense heat. You can have the benefits of “normal tea” from iced tea, only a bit less efficient. The main point with this is that it’s a better alternative than drinking a cold can of soda or similar beverages, which contain high amount of sugar and artificial ingredients that could lead to several chronic diseases like diabetes.

Benefits of Iced Tea – Lovely Drink for a Lovely Health

If you will be opting for an iced tea, it’s better to take the unsweetened one, but it still depends if you are willing to take an unsweetened. What’s the difference? Unsweetened has less calories. If you’d like, you might want to add raw sugar or honey to sweeten it. There is not so much difference at all, if you are concerned.

Here are some of the benefits of iced tea:

  • Iced tea is better than sodas and other carbonated drink. It could have the same thirst quenching power, but healthier alternative
  • Iced tea helps combat cavities and bad breath.
  • It contains several minerals and antioxidants which can help fight several chronic diseases
  • It can help people with body stress level
  • It can help people addicted to caffeine by lowering their intake (though tea do still have caffeine contents, only lesser)
  • Chill you out on a warm day

Iced tea is a healthy and better alternative than those of soda and other unhealthy beverages.