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WHAT TO DO WITH THIS INFORMATION?

Tea is not just a refreshing drink. For thousands of years it has been used as a remedy for all sorts of ailments. To get the very best out of your tea you should know the basics of various tea varieties. However it doesn’t end there as you can enrich and add new qualities to your tea by the use of herbs, flowers or other edible organic products.

One aspect of holistic health is the basic body nature, which is different from person to person. We react differently when for example the same food is given to a group of people. This tea series presents astrology as a reference to your choice of enriching your tea experience with natural additives. The base for several suggestions here comes from the long astrology tradition and should be considered as suggestions not medical information but I believe many of you will find suggested herbs very suitable to your palate when mixed with your favorite tea.

HERBS

Aquarius is strangely positioned in the world of herbs as they are well matched with plants that have sharp and unusual flavours. It is very difficult to point out anything that could pass as a drink. Peppers might be used to bring in the element of fire into very strong teas – the ones with smoky or earth taste.

TREES AND FLOWERS

Trees bring some more options for Aquariuses because their trees include all trees that bear fruits. We all know that many fruits are used to give some extra flavour for teas, especially at the lower price range of the market. Also all-fruit infusions are very popular nowadays and Aquarius can well benefit from those. One of the most interesting options is Elderberry, which is poisonous unless seeds are not removed from the berries.

OTHER STAR SIGNS

Remember to check our other astrology related tea and infusion articles:

Libra

Virgo

Gemini

WHAT TO DO WITH THIS INFORMATION?

Tea is not just a refreshing drink. For thousands of years it has been used as a remedy for all sorts of ailments. To get the very best out of your tea you should know the basics of various tea varieties. However it doesn’t end there as you can enrich and add new qualities to your tea by the use of herbs, flowers or other edible organic products.

One aspect of holistic health is the basic body nature, which is different from person to person. We react differently when for example the same food is given to a group of people. This tea series presents astrology as a reference to your choice of enriching your tea experience with natural additives. The base for several suggestions here comes from the long astrology tradition and should be considered as suggestions not medical information but I believe many of you will find suggested herbs very suitable to your palate when mixed with your favorite tea.

HERBS

Cancer with its imaginary claws.

Cow parsley and Bishop’s weed are two common herbs, which are associated with Cancer sign. Both happen to have white flowers and white is also the color of Cancer. While Cow parsley and Bishop’s weed are edible and quite healthy they don’t produce a nice cup of tea. However white rose is something that does make good tea.

TREES AND FLOWERS

White rose’s petals do not have as strong taste as red rose’s petals so it blends the best with light teas and in a big portion. Naturally all white rose infusion can be made too.

Sapped trees belong under Cancer and gives great options for sweetening drinks. Maple syrup can be used to sweeten iced tea drinks and birch tree, which also is a tree with sap has leaves, which have a delicate fragrant taste and can be made into an infusion on their own or mixed with some Oolong tea.

OTHER STAR SIGNS

Remember to check our other astrology related tea and infusion articles:

Libra

Virgo

Gemini

WHAT TO DO WITH THIS INFORMATION?

Tea is not just a refreshing drink. For thousands of years it has been used as a remedy for all sorts of ailments. To get the very best out of your tea you should know the basics of various tea varieties. However it doesn’t end there as you can enrich and add new qualities to your tea by the use of herbs, flowers or other edible organic products.

Virgo sign spans over so many stars that it is difficult to show in a standard image without it becoming a tiny.

One aspect of holistic health is the basic body nature, which is different from person to person. We react differently when for example the same food is given to a group of people. This tea series presents astrology as a reference to your choice of enriching your tea experience with natural additives. The base for several suggestions here comes from the long astrology tradition and should be considered as suggestions not medical information but I believe many of you will find suggested herbs very suitable to your palate when mixed with your favorite tea.

HERBS

Virgos are children of the nature and enjoy time spent in the great outdoors. Mercury is Virgos ruling planet and shows strongly on intellectual level. Another strong trait coming from Mercury is healing and it shows in healing properties of  Virgoan herbs like southernwood, valerian and fennel.

Fennel is even now commonly used in cooking while southernwood is an old herbal remedy, which was used as an antiseptic externally and as a digestive internally. Valerian is probably furthest as an ingredient one could use in a refreshing infusion as the smell resembles sweaty feet. Healthy as it may be I wouldn’t use it as a fragrance in my tea.

TREES AND FLOWERS

Trees bring some more options because Virgoan trees include all trees that bear nuts. I’d say that nuts can be used to give some flavor for some selected teas, for example smoky Lapsang Souchong could benefit from a hint of walnut.

Forget-me-not, Alkanet and other flowers in which blue and yellow are combined also many yellow flowers can be considered to be Virgoan. Lavender is the most famous of the lot and it is being used in all sorts of edible and inedible products and can be combined with various tea blends.

ANISEED AND LAVENDER – JUST WHAT DOCTOR ORDERED

Aniseed and Lavender rise above other Virgoan herbs, which also include marjoram, caraway, balm and bittersweet. Aniseed can be used to ease digestion and Lavender eases all sorts of aches all fitting to the healing traits of Virgo.

OTHER STAR SIGNS

Remember to check our other astrology related tea and infusion articles:

Libra

Gemini

 

WHAT TO DO WITH THIS INFORMATION?

It looks like a scale.

Tea is not just a refreshing drink. For thousands of years it has been used as a remedy for all sorts of ailments. To get the very best out of your tea you should know the basics of various tea varieties. However it doesn’t end there as you can enrich and add new qualities to your tea by the use of herbs, flowers or other edible organic products.

One aspect of holistic health is the basic body nature, which is different from person to person. We react differently when for example the same food is given to a group of people. This tea series presents astrology as a reference to your choice of enriching your tea experience with natural additives. The base for several suggestions here comes from the long astrology tradition and should be considered as suggestions not medical information but I believe many of you will find suggested herbs very suitable to your palate when mixed with your favorite tea.

HERBS

Mint is the herb which is most often associated with Librans. Mint is well known for its digestive and antiseptic qualities and this really suits well for Librans as hungry sweet tooth tends to be one of their less-wanted qualities.

Dried Nordic berry fruits can be also be counted into herb-like foodstuffs, which have some health improving qualities. Especially forest berries are good for Libran diet as they provide ample amount of vitamins and balance blood sugar to keep that sweet tooth calm.

TREES AND FLOWERS

It is only apple tree that has something edible on offer for Libra. No matter, dried apple is often in the mix with infusions and teas. Do you know something better than freshly baked apple pie with some vanilla ice cream accompanied with a cup of tea or coffee?

Taurus and Libra share rulership with Venus and therefore have similar associations towards plants and especially flowers. Rose is the strongest and the most widely used herbal flower on the list and it can often be found mixed in to teas and infusions. Powdered rose is especially tempting in baking as it gives natural fragrance to any sweets especially on dry cakes… but maybe I should stop tempting that good ol’ sweet tooth.

OTHER STAR SIGNS

Remember to check our other astrology related tea and infusion articles:

Gemini

Virgo

 

DID FOOD POISONING RUIN YOUR HOLIDAY?

When we travel our immune system comes under stress. Changing climate conditions and time zone changes are challenging but the major stress comes from different bacteria we come in contact in our new surroundings. Food especially can turn our stomachs upside down. There are only few things nastier than having to run in and out of toilet on your dream vacation. How can you protect yourself?

Aching stomach makes me bad bad company on a vacation. It feels like a bleached black and white photograph.

TWO SIMPLE THINGS TO PROTECT YOURSELF

We can easily pay attention to our own behavior but we can’t change the behavior of others. Everybody knows that good hygiene is the starting point against bacteria inflicted stomach problems. This is what our moms have been telling us since we were toddlers, don’t put that into your mouth, you can’t eat that, let’s wash those hands… So what are those two things you didn’t know yet? Believe it or not – tea and bilberries – and you can combine the two by drinking bilberry infusion.

BOILED WATER IS THE KEY

While on holiday we often pay attention to the place where food is made. We don’t go and buy whatsoever from every street vendor, but we do buy refreshing drinks from left and right. These sweet drinks are perfect home for bacteria as there is lots of sugar available and surrounding conditions tend to be quite warm (yes many of us like to have our holidays on skiing slopes).

If you limit yourself to only boiled drinks like coffee and tea your chances to catch a stomach problem on a holiday will greatly diminish. Boiling the water will kill bacteria and as tea leaves and coffee beans are dried they are safe from harm too. Tea especially is a drink that enjoys wonderful rejuvenating qualities and you will get a long-lasting boost from your cup so try to sit down and relax in a local tea room instead of a juice stand.

WHAT ABOUT THAT BILBERRY?

Bilberries calm the stomach and can ward off mild stomach problems like heartburn after a heavy meal. Combining boiled water and bilberry will result into a bilberry infusion free of nasty bacteria and a traveler’s self-help stomach medication via increased fluid intake and acidity soothing tendencies. No wonder your grand mom asked you to eat some bilberry soup when you had a stomach ache. While travelling I keep a little pouch of bilberry powder close at hand. It makes a nice drink and keeps me going.

Airplane image by Kitty Terwolbeck

WHAT TO DO WITH THIS INFORMATION?

Tea is not just a refreshing drink. For thousands of years it has been used as a remedy for all sorts of ailments. To get the very best out of your tea you should know the basics of various tea varieties. However it doesn’t end there as you can enrich and add new qualities to your tea by the use of herbs, flowers or other edible organic products.

One aspect of holistic health is the basic body nature, which is different from person to person. We react differently when for example the same food is given to a group of people. This tea series presents astrology as a reference to your choice of enriching your tea experience with natural additives. The base for several suggestions here comes from the long astrology tradition and should be considered as suggestions not medical information but I believe many of you will find suggested herbs very suitable to your palate when mixed with your favorite tea.

HERBS

Bittersweet is one of the herbs associated with Geminians. The plant is beautiful to watch and dangerous to eat. Although it has been used as a herbal medicine it is better to steer away from it as a herbal tea ingredient.

Luckily this is not the only Geminian herb in town as they also include aniseed, marjoram AKA oregano, caraway and balm. These are all herbs with strong taste and commonly found in kitchen use. Aniseed has probably the widest range of uses and if used sparingly makes a nice addition for a black tea blend.

TREES AND FLOWERS

Trees bring some more options because Geminian trees include all trees that bear nuts. I’d say that nuts can be used to give some flavor for some selected teas, for example smoky Lapsang Souchong could benefit from a hint of walnut.

Lily-of-the-valley, Lavender and Myrtle are flowers, which are usually connected with Geminians. Lavender is the most famous of the lot and it is being used in all sorts of edible and inedible products and can be combined with various tea blends.

ANISEED AND LAVENDER – JUST WHAT DOCTOR ORDERED

Aniseed and Lavender rise above other Geminian herbs. Aniseed can be used to ease digestion and Lavender eases all sorts of aches. Looks like Gemini is rather troubled astrological sign. To all who are somewhat familiar with astrology the duality of these plant does look pretty Geminian. I think that astrological tradition has this one mapped correctly.

OTHER STAR SIGNS

Remember to check our other astrology related tea and infusion articles:

Libra

Virgo

Original images: feature image and content image.

This is my way of steeping a nice pot of bilberry powder based drink. To maximize the taste I use powder which is made of berries without any stems or leaves. After trying this drink for the first time one can naturally tune proportions according ones taste.

THIS IS HOW I DO IT

One tablespoonful of berry powder for one liter of water is a good starting point for a person who hasn’t done this before to give a basis for future infusions. We all have our taste preferences and I will not mind if you find it necessary to add some brown sugar into the mix.

Pour the boiled water on the powder and let it steep for a while. It is simple as that and you’ll learn more with every single infusion. For health enthusiast the temperature of the water is of importance as boiling hot water will destroy some nutrients in the bilberry powder. The best result can be achieved with cold brewing and using the infusion as a refreshing summer drink. But how about that  basic infusion?

You can make bilberry infusion by placing some bilberry powder into a cup and pouring hot water on or you can steep a whole pot.

THE RESULT

From the photo you can see the depth of the color. I tried to take a shot of a cup filled to the brim but it just didn’t work. Tone is so deep and dark that in a photo infusion looks like a pudding. So here you have a photo with nearly finished cup and another on side with just bilberry powder on the bottom.

NOTE

NO YIXING POTS WERE HARMED (USED) WHILE STEEPING THIS INFUSION AS MATERIAL FOR A BLOG POST.

Not so long ago I wrote about the price bubble of Chinese Pu’er tea. It seemed that Pu’er market had all but withered but this following video does paint much more optimistic image of the situation.

STATUS QUO

I am sure that base demand for Pu’er hasn’t disappeared so it was only a matter of time that overly large stockpiles of Pu’er have been consumed by this static demand. Also it helps that the most flimsy tea growing and trading operations of Pu’er have folded and quality is once again going up. Enjoy this CNN video.

Imagine pristine dewy hills with rolling tea plantations and smiling women picking leaves at their leisure – beautiful, is it not? Trouble is that just about everything in this image is wrong if you just bought your tea from any supermarket. Supermarket teas are the most viciously competed market segment within tea industry and pushing down the price is the most important competitive advantage. So why the low price of supermarket tea is such a bad thing?

Walmart is a market just as the rest of them

PRICE PRESSURE

Growing tea has been labor intensive from the start. For this reason it has remained dominant farming industry in countries what have very low salaries. However, consumers demand ever cheaper teas and markets are consuming more and more tea, supermarket chains have massive bargaining power over tea farmers and farmers have no way but to cut the costs. Even in low-cost countries this had resulted in the use of machinery and chemicals in tea growing and tea processing as well as the use of pesticides and fertilizers.

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