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Jun 25

LINGONBERRY

Lingonberries – or cowberries as they are sometimes called – are red and as you know blueberries are blue. Why is it that these are not redberries then? That is a question, which I can’t answer. What I CAN tell you is where to get some pure lingonberry powder, just go to our online shop.

Red berries so let’s call them lingonberries.

WHERE LINGONBERRIES GROW?

Lingonberries grow on Arctic tundra area and in the boreal forests of Northern hemisphere. We all know that these are not warm places to grow and for this reason lingonberry sticks to its leaves and stays evergreen under the snow and ice. When the spring comes lingonberry is ready to hit the ground running. Thanks to this energy saving strategy lingonberry produces huge amount of somewhat sour fruit.

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Bilberry - our all-time-favorites from the wild forest

Jun 16

BILBERRY

The latin name reveals the nature of the berry. European blueberry is a low growing shrub that produces blue berries high in antioxidants. Bilberry is often mixed with the bush blueberry that comes from North America. Bilberry’s North American cousin stands much higher from ground and produces berries, which are much sweeter and much lower in antioxidants than the European cousin.

Freshly picked bilberries in a box after a quick wash.

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I recently read an article from Common Health magazine (Taiwan) about interviews of eight famous traditional Chinese medicine doctors. All of them have lived really long and many of them are still healthy and active in their 80s. The reporter summarised some of their advice on how to live healthier and longer. Although there is probably never a common truth on this topic, some of the points do worth mentioning and sharing:

1 Sleep for 7-8 hours per day, regularly Especially between 11:00-03:00, you’d better be in deep sleep. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, during this period of time your blood circulation flows through the liver and gallbladder meridians respectively, therefore it is important to sleep well to have liver rested, from which the whole body system will benefit significantly. 2. Drink teas, with some cautions Tea is no doubt a drink that promotes your health (otherwise this blog won’t exist!) However, you need to remember some important points to really benefit from drinking tea:

– water temperature. It depends on what kind of tea you drink, but for green teas, 80℃ is the most suitable temperature. if the water is too hot, some effective nutrients will be destroyed or lose its functions. – brew only for limited time: you brew your time according to you own taste, of course, but never brew it for too long, and after brewing you should always take leaves out. If the leaves are in the tea for over 8 hours, it will release tannic acid which is harmful for your stomach. (Actually, for this point Teaemperor had learnt his own lesson: one night he brewed tea and left the leaves there until next morning, then he continued drinking the same pot of tea. The result? he lied in the bed for stomach ache for the whole day!) – don’t drink strong tea after meal: how strong is strong, this depends from person to person, but the idea is so that when the tea is strong enough, tannic acid inside the tea will combine with protein in the food and interfere with your digestion. – caution of caffein? Despite of being very healthy drink, tea does contain some caffein which some people might need to avoid it, or at least limit the amount of consumption if you are health-conscious, for example, mother-to-be and those who have stomach infection or sleep disorder. 3 eat more vegetable, less meat. Especially less red meat. I don’t have personal experience on this, but in general we don’t eat too much meat at home. Part of the reasons is that Teaemperor has decided to stop eating meat (except for fish), because his body feels “healthier” in this way. Actually, I have heard that some people who practice Chi-Kong stop eating meat naturally at some point of time, because “their body just don’t want to take it any more”. Personally, I always think that listening to you body can give you the most depth truth about how to be healthier, so, maybe one should just try it out, then you will see, whether having less meat really bring some changes to your health and life. 4. exercise and massage Everybody knows that exercising regularly is important for health. One Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor also mentioned in the interview conducted by Commonhealth magazine that when he wakes up, the first thing he does is to rub his hands, make it warm, then massage his own face and ears, especially on some acupuncture points. Well, not all of us know where those acupuncture points are, right? Never mind, you don’t need to know them either. You can just use your index finger and thumb to massage through your ears. If some areas feel especially painful, massage them even more! In this way you can clear some “blocked” meridians in your body system which will improve your circulation. 5. slower down Find any activity which can slow you down, be it writing, gardening, baking…or anything. Slowing down can lessen pressures from daily life and a calm heart is essential for living a healthy life. 6. keep learning something new A curious heart never feels bored about the world. Just like a young kid, everyday is a new day, everything is interesting. This attitude will help you go a long way in pursuing a mind-body balanced healthy, happy life. If you are interested, you could check the original article from below link. Reference source: Common Health magazine: (only in Chinese)

This tipping teacup has been designed in Finland and it has gotten the prestigious Red Dot Design prize – but what a horrible trinket! I can’t see how any of the promised benefits would materialize. It’s definately not easier to clean when you compare to traditional ball. The ball you can pick up from the cup, open and rinse. With this tilted cup you end up with an awkward corner that is difficult to keep clean. Ok, now that this is out of my system I can say that it probably makes a nice gift.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

After reading what I wrote, my dear Empress asked me why on earth I slammed the tilting teacup. I must admit that it is an opinion of mine purely based on these few images and video. I have not held the cup in my hands, so I take it all back. But when I’ll get one then I’m surely going to write an user’s review on it. Until then, consider the cup as a gift item at very least.

Agricultural products from Japan have started to get a new ring within international  food industry. This term is radioactive food. Fukushima disaster has lead into situation where people are increasingly observative on where their food for example tea has come from. 2011 and many years after that mark a catastrophic crop for tea farms close to Fukushima nuclear plant. I don’t know the exact size of the affected area, but anyhow even the once famously clean brand of Japanese food is now being tainted. There seems to be no way for a single agricultural producer inside the affected area to continue their business. Agricultural producers outside the affected area will not have it easy either.

Terrible accident at Fukushima nuclear power plant will have long-lasting effects on tea production of Japan. The thing is that tea plantations can still grow tea, but there will be the dubious stigmata of post-Fukushima flush.

TERRIBLE BUT TRUE

Year 2011 will start slow downward trend in Japanese tea industry and there is very little that Japanese can do about this thing. I expect to see marketing campaigns, which focus on remote pristine areas and traditionally high quality tea produce. But human mind is a funny little thing as when it starts to think something possible it immediately grows into something, which is quite probable. This will cause the slowdown in Japanese tea sales. → Click here to read more

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice has launched massive expansion outside Taiwan borders. Their tapioca filled milk teas used to be the best kept secret of tea industry – only available in Taiwan. This is not the first time that we write about Taiwanese bubble tea companies, which try to expand outside Taiwan borders. It starts to look like the secret is out and more and more local Taiwanese companies are looking abroad for growth.

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice company's tapioca milk tea drinks and fresh juices will be widely available in few years.

REAL TASTE YES CANE SUGAR The taste of tapioca pearl milk tea will charm you off your feet. Chewy tapioca teamed with soft milk tea is a fascinating blend. One could think it as a mix of Coca-Cola and BigMac, but that would be just plain awful. Howcome this combination of tapioca and milk tea works so well? My guess is that it works so well, because it is a drinkable food or eatable drink – simply magical product and therefore you just have to try it out by yourself. If you can’t get your hands into bubble tea where you live I’m writing an article on how to cook it up all by yourself. It all starts with tasty afternoon black tea so buy some for yourself while waiting for the article.

IS IT HEALTHY? Juices are often healthy so you can drink them from CoCo’s menu with a clear conscious. However the bubble tea is not so clear cut issue. Bubble teas are often mixed with milk powder and artificial food additives to produce different flavours. Sweeteners as well as real sugars make the drink tasty, but bad for your stomach girth. Anyhow, as with any tiny vice, bubble tea is harmless if consumed in moderation. If you don’t believe it, see it for yourself – even Jodie Foster likes her tea with bubbles.

After being absent from this blog for over a year, now I am back again, with a little addition — the Tea Prince!

Yes, now we have a little tea baby, who will definitely like to drink tea in the future, like his daddy and mummy.

I have to confess first, that I haven’t been drinking much tea during the past 1.5 years as I have been trying to avoid caffeine intake during the pregnancy and breastfeeding. I know that there are also caffeine-free tea available, but in any case I just kind of leave it all for a while. However, not drinking any common tea doesn’t mean that I have not drank anything that is called or named “tea”. In fact, during this period of time I have been taking especially different kinds of Chinese health “herb tea” which boost my health condition, including the Red Date & Longan tea.

In the coming posts, I will share more on those healthy tea or soup that are easy to make and good for your health.

Stay tuned!

Recently Ozzy Osbourne has made some headlines in relation to tea. First he was featured in the Brisk Tea animated commercials and now everybody wants to know what he thinks about tea. Coming from England Ozzy loves his cup of tea and always enjoys a cup before going on to the stage. It is refreshing to see that tea starts to win some ground outside being an afternoon tea for grannies and elite.

Ozzy misses tea while writing autographs.

Photo by Kevin Burkett

All dressed up for the tea party.

All these beautiful ladies took part into BAFTA’s Award Season Tea Party 2011. This tea party is the real thing not one of those politically inclined groups that ruin the good reputation of tea.

This tea party has a long tradition of recognizing the filmmaking talent on both sides of the big water. BAFTA being originally a British association – I think this is a wonderful way to throw a party.

I have been mulling the plan of importing some blooming teas – or flowering teas if you prefer – because they have been in short supply here in Finland. Similarly various tools and pots that can be used to steep tea have been non-existent. It seemed like a good niche to position oneself – make a little webshop and sell to the small but growing market of tea educated Finns.

Forsman Tea finally introduced more variety to their product slate. They now offer blooming teas or flowering teas as well as all kinds of tea steeping related items.

DARK CLOUDS GATHER OVER THE TEA TREE FIELDS (Please excuse me that long and winding subtitle – I have no idea why I wrote it) Now there is an obstacle on our way to becoming tea entrepreneurs and that obstacle is called Forsman Tea Company.

It is a small tea company in international terms but a HUGE LEVIATHAN OF A COMPANY IN FINLAND. It is bit like Microsoft used to be. They can sniper any budding competition in Finland by introducing specific products with cheap price to match new market entries and developments.

What should we do? Any ideas?

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