Posts Tagged ‘tea’

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

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.

→ Click here to read more

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.

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