How to Properly Make Tea

The world’s oldest and most consumed beverage is growing in popularity, but many consumers don’t know how to properly make tea to experience the best flavor and benefits. 

Directions:

  1. Make sure your teapot and mug are clean
  2. Warm water inside your teapot then pour it out
  3. Bring cold water to a boil in your teapot
  4. As soon as water begins to boil pour it over your tea bag (note: over boiling your water will alter the flavor profile of the tea)

* if you are using loose tea, use 1 teaspoon of loose tea per cup

  1. Brew tea according to time recommended on bag or box 
  2. Remove tea bag or tea strainer
  3. Add milk or sugar to taste
  4. Enjoy!

Average Brewing Times

  • Black Tea : 3-5 minutes 
  • Green Tea: 1-2 minutes
  • White Tea: 2-3 minutes 
  • Oolong Tea: 2-3 minutes
  • Herbal Tea: 5 minutes 

TIP: If you want the best flavor experience, refrain from microwaving your water to heat it, this will affect the flavor of the tea leaves.

Tea Trends 2023

 

The Rise of Cheese Tea

In the last few years the popularity of cheese tea has soared to the point where it nearly dominates the tea market. Cheese tea is a sweet and savory drink similar to boba tea that originated from Taiwan. The drink has spread to many Asian cities and all the way to the West. This tea is often made with green or black tea and topped with foamy whipped cream cheese and milk. Originally, this beverage was made with real cream cheese, used to make the whipped topping light and frothy. After many changes to the original recipe, now, the topping is generally made with milk and cream cheese to create a cloudlike froth. 

 

Emphasis on the Frugal Luxuries

It is no question that most are feeling the effects of inflation and rise of cost of living as the dollar has inflated to 20% of its original value since 2019. As items at the grocery store continue to rise in price, many are turning back to the affordable basics and bringing back the simple luxury of a cup of tea. However, with this vacuum of luxury in our everyday lives, people are seeking to elevate their experiences in the simple pleasures. One way they are doing this is by indulging in the art of making good tea without breaking the bank. Consumers are not just searching for the cheapest option, but that which provides them the best experience from the origin of the leaf, to the environmental impact. 

 

Holistic Healing and Herbal Tea

The COVID-19 pandemic paired with the global power of social media trends has all but redefined the way we look at health. Younger generations are straying from traditional medicine and seeking out more holistic and natural remedies. Estimates say that four billion people 80% of the global population use herbal medicinal products as a primary source of medical care. This comes from the recent distrust of traditional treatments and remedies. More of the population is deciding to own their own health by taking steps to improve their immune health. One of the front runners in this trend is the use of herbal tea for its immunity and anti-inflammatory properties.

 

 

 

Origins of Tea Culture in Britain and China

Around 4000 years ago in 270 BCE, tea was discovered and used as medicine in the western Zhou dynasty. According to the myth, the Holy Farmer– the god of farming and medicine– was poisoned 72 times while tasting herbs. After stumbling upon the tea plant and drinking its brewed liquid, he was cured and purged of those toxins. The industry of cultivating tea began to emerge, and in the Han and Qin dynasties, tea was integrated into Zen culture. Taoists drank tea for self-cultivation and to maintain alignment of the soul and body, Buddhists drank tea for a deeper understanding of Zen, and Confucianists suggested one’s evaluation of tea through drinking it could judge their morality and character. By the Tang dynasty, tea was enjoyed by people of all classes, and thus tea art, ceremonies, and customs facilitated the development of tea sets.

Different teas have specific methods of preparation with distinct types of water, materials, and processing methods. The tea scholar Liu Bodang distinguished twenty different types of water for making tea. Well water was considered inferior, river water mediocre, and spring water, dew drops, and river streams through mountains were the best due to meeting the five qualifications of being light, clear, cold, sweet, and live. Tea drinking methods can be divided into pure drinking and blending. Pure drinking refers to brewing with water only, while blending refers to the addition of flavorings such as sugar and milk. Pure drinking in the natural environment was indicative of noble and scholarly taste, as well as harmony between heaven, earth, and man. Indeed, the tea ceremony is considered art in the elaborate process of picking, making and tasting, while the ceremony aspect refers to the spirit with which it is done and the virtue cultivated in the process.

Meanwhile, around 350 years ago, the East India Company began importing tea in 1644 under the charter of Queen Elizabeth I of England. However, it wasn’t until merchant Thomas Garaway began selling tea in dried and liquid form at his coffee house in 1660 with medical benefits such as “preserving perfect health until extreme old age, good for clearing the sight” and a cure for “gripping of the guts, cold, dropsies, scurveys” that it began to gain popularity. By 1700, tea surpassed gin and ale to become Britain’s most popular drink. Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, supposedly began the tradition of drinking tea in the afternoon to tide her hunger in the early 1840s. Afternoon tea rituals, which only the aristocracy could afford, consisted of a period between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. where tea was served in fine china alongside dainty sandwiches, scones, cakes, and pastries. Tea-drinking customs retain this air of elegance and aristocracy today. While fermented and clean green tea is a favorite in China, black tea became preferred in Britain due to its ability to withstand humidity and fog for long periods without losing flavor as well as its pleasantly mild taste— perfect for mixing with delicious condiments like milk, honey, and lemon.

Piña Colada Ice Cream

You love to sip on a refreshing Piña Coladas at the beach, a delicious Pina Colada tea when you’re at home, but how about a tasty Piña Colada ice cream on a hot summer day? We’ve got the recipe for you.

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons loose tea of Mrs. Pina Colada mix

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 14-oz can of unsweetened condensed milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ fine teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

  • Start by mixing the loose tea into the heavy cream, cover the mixture, and let sit in the fridge for 8-12 hours. The goal is to infuse your heavy cream with the tea aroma. To make the flavor stronger, added 1 more tablespoon of your loose tea then cover for another 3-4 hours.
  • In another bowl, whisk the condensed milk, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Set aside.
  • Strain your loose tea-infused mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a cold bowl, ensuring to press down on the tea leaves to get every last drop. Use a whisk or an electric mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks are present. 
  • Scoop about of the whipped cream mixture made into the sweetened condensed milk we placed in the cold bowl. Slowly fold the mixtures together, adding the rest of the whipped cream in smaller quantities until it is well incorporated. Be gentle with this step.
  • Lastly, pour the mixture in a chilled 8 or 9-inch loaf pan and freeze for 5-7 hours, or until desired texture. 

TIP: Serve with small chunks of pineapple and a Maraschino cherry on top. 

Types of Teas

There are so many different types of teas out there, it can be difficult to understand which kinds offer the different kinds of benefits. 

Black: Black tea has a stronger profile with a stronger aroma. It is usually dark red to black in color and has a rich flavor. Black tea typically contains a little less than a cup of coffee worth of caffeine. Studies have shown black tea may help regulate cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of stroke. 

Black teas include subcategories such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast Tea, Irish Breakfast, Masala Chai, along with others. 

Green: Green tea is made from leaves that are not as oxidized as black tea, giving it a more earthy flavor profile. Green tea can be between yellow to green. It has about half a cup of coffee worth of caffeine and can be shown to lower cholesterol, increase metabolism, and decrease the risk of heart failure.

Green teas include Matcha, Sencha, Shincha, Konacha, Bancha, and a few more.

Oolong: Oolong is considered to be in between green and black tea – a semi-oxidized tea. Oolong teas are between green or brown in color and have typically a little less caffeine than black tea with plenty of antioxidants. Studies have shown that oolong tea may reduce the risk of diabetes. 

Oolong teas include Phoenix Tea, Iron Goddess of Mercy, Jin Xuan, with many more types.

White Tea: White tea is closest to green tea in it being not oxidized however it does not have earthy tones like green tea. It tends to be more yellow and light in color. White tea can greatly vary in caffeine, ranging from almost as much as a cup of coffee to lower than any of the other teas, however it has many antioxidants. White tea has been found to help in cardiovascular health and can help in better skin and cell production.

White teas include many herbal teas, Chamomile, Hibiscus, and Rooibos teas.

5 Benefits of Teas

Teas are greatly favored by many due to the plenty of benefits present in the different types of teas. Whether you choose to wake up to a tea, fall asleep with one, drink exclusively teas, or you drink them between coffee cups. Here are some of our favorite benefits.

  1. Increased Metabolism

Teas such as black, oolong, and green tea contain polyphenols that have shown to increase calorie expenditure and reduce body fat. In a study, it was found that individuals who drank 2-6 cups of green tea over a 12-week span had a lower body fat percentage and lower weight than those who did not drink teas. 

2. Reduces Risks of Certain Chronic Diseases

Teas contain plenty of antioxidants and other great components that have been found to decrease the risk of heart diseases, strokes, and certain cancers. Green teas were also found to have a positive effect on hypertension and obesity. 

3. Great for Hydration

Surprising to many, teas are great for hydration, unlike coffee. However, despite the caffeine present in many of the teas, teas can actually hydrate you just like water. 

4. Improved Gut Health

Many health-fanatics try to improve gut health. Teas contain polyphenols that can beneficially modify gut bacteria, further improving blood sugar levels, weight loss, and reduce carbohydrate absorption.

5. Boost Fertility

According to a 2018 review, fertility may be affected by oxidative stress in reproductive tissues. Teas contain polyphenols that have been proven to act as an anti-inflammatory component with plenty of antioxidants. Teas may be able to be the link for men and women.