"Tea comforts the spirit, banishes passivity, lightens the body and adds sparkle to the eyes."
Shen Nong, Medicinal Herbs
4000 years ago the Chinese discovered the stimulating and detoxifying properties of tea. We in North America more recently have become aware of the health benefits associated with drinking tea.
Although the stimulating, diuretic and antibacterial properties of tea were recognized by Chinese medicine a very long time ago, it is only recently that modern science has confirmed these benefits. Because of its antioxidant effects, the health benefits of tea are arousing a lot of interest in the medical community, particularly in the areas of cancer prevention and the treatment of degenerative and cardiovascular diseases. Today, we no longer believe that tea is an elixir of immortality or has the mystical powers attributed to it by the Taoists of yore. However, it has virtues that contribute to longevity by stimulating heart function, strengthening the immune system and preventing cellular mutations.
The major beneficial properties attributed to tea include:
• It supports the heart system
• It activates circulation
• It helps detoxification and the elimination of toxins
• It fights hypertension
• It reduces fatigue
• It slows the aging process
• It helps prevent certain types of cancer
• It helps digestion
• It reduces cholesterol
• It balances body temperature
• It strengthens the immune system
• It enhances concentration
We are only just beginning to improve our understanding of the beneficial effects of tea. However, it is best to choose a tea according to taste and personal preference, giving first priority to sensory pleasure. Add in their powerful antioxidant and cancer fighting abilities, and you've got a fantastic, great tasting supplement. Truly, it appears all teas (particularly green and oolong teas) are the real deal when it comes to real, health-boosting benefits. Therefore, each tea represents a thousand remedies and a thousand pleasures. Enjoy!
New Teas for the fall:
We have had a tea blended just for us called Ontario Blend. It is the epitome of Ontario flavours and a comforting afternoon pick-me-up. A quality black tea blended with the local flavours of peaches and maple Ssyrup along with vanilla, caramel and calendula. Creamy and rich, the perfect afternoon treat.
Also new on the menu is Lady Londonderry. Throughout history, there has always been an association between royalty, lifestyle and tea. The princesses of court served tea to their friends, especially Afternoon tea with dainty sandwiches, scones and sweet treats. This tea with hints of strawberry and lemon would be a lovely accompaniment to Afternoon tea or Cream tea. Try it soon with friends!
Enjoy either with a scone for your CREAM TEA experience. We might even add them to our scone dough for the perfect match!
We now have a decaffeinated green tea - Sencha Mint Green. Superb mildly pungent mint character comes to the fore. A smooth and sweet finish. Caffeine-free.
Back on the menu: Cranberry Apple spice a fall and winter favourite, full flavoured and pungent with a rich fruity character and exotic mulled spices. Candied Almond - Delicious and smooth fruit blend with candied almonds, apple pieces, cinnamon and red beets...dessert in a cup. Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Chai - Warming and comforting in the chai tradition with pumpkin notes. Excellent with milk for ghostly visuals.
There are many choices when brewing your own iced tea. When choosing a tea to serve iced try thinking outside the box and consider green and white teas as well. Both make wonderful, healthy, cold drinks. In addition to the traditional brewing method (boil your water and brew the leaves), you can also try sun tea and cold brewing.
To prepare sun tea you will need;
1. A glass jar or container, preferably with a top so nothing can land or crawl into your tea
2. 4-6 tablespoons of premium loose-leaf tea (Moroccan Mint Green, Delicious White Lychee, Peach Apricot Black are excellent choices)
3. 8 cups of cold water Place tealeaves in the container, pour the water on top and place the container in bright sun light for approximately 2 hours.
When the tea is ready remove the leaves and serve over ice.
The other method of preparation is cold brewing. With this method, the cold water draws out or pulls the flavour from the leaf as opposed to hot water, used in traditional brewing, which pushes the flavour from the leaf. Subsequently, cold infusion is a much slower, gentle method that results in a smooth, more subtle, naturally sweet tasting tea.
To prepare a cold infusion you will need;
1. A glass jar or container with a top
2. 4-6 tablespoons of premium loose-leaf tea
3. 8 cups of cold water Poured water over the tea leaves and place the container in the refrigerator for 8-10 hours.
When the tea is ready, remove the leaves and enjoy.
One word of caution, brewed tea has a shelf life! Not only can bacteria begin to form but time and exposure diminish the health benefits. Tea stored at room temperature should be kept no longer than 2 days and in the refrigerator no longer than 3 days. And remember, sugar won’t generally dissolve in cold tea so try honey, agave syrup or artificial sweeteners if you like your tea sweet.
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