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Top Five Full Bodied Morning Teas

full bodied morning teas

Full bodied black teas are good morning teas. A black tea will give you a little dose of caffeine to get you moving in the morning. The strong flavors go well with breakfast foods, pastries, or breads served with jam or honey.

Irish Breakfast Blend

  • a full-bodied blend of black teas, most often Assam teas from India
  • strong smooth tea with a malty flavor and an energizing finish
  • good with milk and sugar or a bit of lemon

English Breakfast Blend

  • English Breakfast Blends typically include Assam, Ceylon, Kenyan, and Keemun black teas
  • a rich and aromatic brew – brisk, malty, full-bodied and robust
  • tastes good with milk and sugar – particularly suited for a hearty breakfast

Kenya Blend

  • Kenya produces one of the best quality black teas in the world
  • provides a strong, balanced flavor
  • especially good with rich foods or chocolate

Assam

  • Assam is full-flavored
  • rich, smooth and malty; bold and full-flavored
  • good with milk – a great breakfast tea

Puerh

  • Yunnan province in China has been producing teas for over 1,700 years
  • earthy, robust and assertive with a molasses-like sweetness
  • a good choice for breakfast – pairs well with sweets

TIP: If you find that your black teas are brewing up slightly bitter, steep the leaf for less time or add a little milk and/or sweetener.
For something different, I suggest adding Matcha to your favorite morning tea list. Matcha lowers stress while maintaining alertness.

Matcha

  • made from steamed Tencha tea leaves that have been ground into a fine powder
  • a thin, frothy, concentrated green drink that has a pronounced grassy flavor
  • pairs well with sweet foods
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Six Popular Flavored Teas

Flavored tea can be either a blend of several teas in order to achieve a consistent flavor, or tea that is enhanced with natural flavorings, dried fruits, herbs, spices, or scented with various flowers like jasmine, rose or lotus. There is no limit to the different combinations of tea and flavorings that can be used.

English Breakfast is a blend of teas from Assam, Sri Lanka, and Kenya. English Breakfast is a full-bodied robust tea usually served with cream and sugar.

Irish Breakfast is a very strong dark blend similar to English Breakfast, but usually with a greater amount of Kenya tea. Irish Breakfast is usually served with cream and sugar or a slice of lemon.

Earl Grey is the most well-known flavored tea in the world. It is usually a blend of China black tea and essential oil of the bergamot orange, which gives the tea a sweet citrus aroma and a light note of honey.

Moroccan Mint is a green tea combined with peppermint leaves that is served throughout the day by the people of Morocco. It has a cool mint flavor and can be enjoyed hot or iced any time of day.

Ginger Peach is a hearty black tea flavored with ginger and dried peaches. Ginger Peach has a sweet peach flavor with a light kick of ginger that is delicious hot or cold.

Jasmine Pearls tea is one of the best known scented teas, made from slender Chinese green tea leaves that have been infused with the scent of fresh jasmine blossoms. Jasmine Pearls tea has a smooth sweet flavor, and is beautiful to watch as it brews. The rolled tea leaves slowly unfurl releasing the intoxicating aroma of jasmine.

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Five Health Benefits of Rooibos

Rooibos has been receiving a lot of attention in the tea world recently, and rightly so. Rooibos is a naturally sweet, caffeine free herbal tea safe for anyone to consume, from infants to the elderly. The people of South Africa have been drinking Rooibos tea for centuries.

Red Rooibos

Rooibos, or “Red Bush”, derives its name from the color of the leaves after the oxidation process, which turns the leaves red. Rooibos brews up a deep copper-red tea that is also known simply as “Red Tea”.

Green Rooibos

Green Rooibos, the unprocessed leaves, has the same health properties as “Red Tea”, with some of the benefits increased by as much as 30 to 40 times.

5 Things You Should Know About Rooibos:

  1. Rooibos contains over 40 polyphenol compounds that exhibit antioxidant effects.
  2. Rooibos is rich in vitamin C, and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, and zinc.
  3. Rooibos contains a compound called Superoxide Dismutase, which has been known to boost the immune system.
  4. Rooibos contains a natural substance called Quercetin, an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties that may help those suffering from seasonal allergies.
  5. Rooibos tea maintains the balance of sodium and potassium mineral salts in the body after exercise.

Rooibos is a very versatile herbal tea. You can:

  • serve Rooibos tea hot or cold
  • refrigerate and reheat it without a change in flavor or appearance
  • steep it for long periods of time without bitterness due to the low tannin content
  • flavor it with lemon or milk, or add cooled Rooibos tea to fruit juices and smoothies.

I use Green Rooibos tea in Splendiferous Rooibos popsicles, a healthy sugar-free popsicle that I enjoy making for my nieces and nephews.

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Top 5 Tips – Brewing Delicious, Healthy Iced Tea

5 Tips Brewing Delicious Iced Tea

Drinking several cups of tea a day is a delicious way to improve your health. Drinking tea can help with the health of your teeth, gums, and bones. Tea will also help reduce your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Tea, whether green, black, white, or oolong is loaded with flavonoids, the antioxidants that help the body ward off unwanted disease.

As the summer heats up, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids. Homemade iced tea is a great way to keep your body hydrated as the summer heats up.

You will derive the most benefit from drinking freshly brewed tea, and now is the time to begin enjoying refreshing iced tea that you brew at home. Brewing your own tea ensures that you will get the most benefit from the tea. By not using powdered mixes or buying bottled iced tea, you will save money and eliminate the sweeteners and preservatives in prepared teas.

Top 5 Tips for Brewing Great Iced Tea

  1. Use fresh tea leaves. The oils in the leaves that give tea its flavor break down over time, diminishing the flavor of the tea. Opt for loose leaf teas rather than tea bags. Loose teas release more flavor as they expand and are fresher.
  2. Use fresh spring or filtered tap water. The quality of water will affect the flavor of your tea. Mineral water will give your tea an off-flavor and distilled water will make the tea taste ‘flat’.
  3. Use the correct water temperature. Black teas and herbals can be steeped in near boiling water, but boiling water will scorch white and green teas leaves, making the tea bitter. Oolongs can withstand hot to near-boiling water.
  4. Use the correct amount of tea. When brewing tea for iced tea, use twice the recommended amount of tea leaf as for hot brewing. Adding ice to hot tea will dilute the flavor of the tea.
  5. Use the correct steeping time. Tannins and other bitter tasting compounds may be released if tea is steeped for longer than the recommended time. Black teas, darker oolongs and herbals should be steeped for 3 to 5 minutes while white, green and lighter oolongs should steep for just 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Bonus Tip: For white tea, you may want to try the cold-brew method for a simple, fail proof way to make iced white tea.
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Visiting Lan Su Chinese Garden

Lan Su Chinese Garden

Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon was built by Chinese artisans and is the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China. The mission of the Garden is “to cultivate an oasis of tranquil beauty and harmony to inspire, engage, and educate our global community in the appreciation of a richly authentic Chinese culture”.

On our journey to discover all about loose leaf tea, I recently visited the Lan Su Chinese Garden. We were both completely captivated by the beauty and tranquility of the Garden, feeling as though we had been transported back in time to the 16th century in the spiritual land of China.

Entering the Garden we were greeted by two large Dragonfish on the roof, poised to swallow all evil influences and protect the building from fire.

Lan Su Chinese Garden Dragon

Anyone who knows me knows I always have my camera at the ready to get beautiful and unique photos. The Garden is a carefully arranged progression of scenes that unfold one after another, so there was ample opportunity for some pics.

Penjng are arrangements of miniature trees and rocks that replicate natural landscapes, with some containing trees that are over one hundred years old.
Wandering through Lan Su Yuan at a relaxed pace allowed us to take in all the soothing sounds, scents and sights:

Lan Su Chinese Garden Bridge

Still ponds with colorful koi swimming in the quiet water contrasted with the sound of rushing water spilling over tall rocks.

Plum, bamboo and pine trees add to the texture, color and story of the Garden, being the ‘Three Friends of Winter’.
The abstract natural sculpture of Taihu stones provide unusual architecture.

Hibiscus, orchids and plum blossoms are among the hundreds of plants that emit exotic fragrance throughout the Garden.
An intricately detailed panel carved from gingko wood has this inscription in calligraphy on the back:

“Most cherished in this mundane world is a place without traffic: Truly in the midst of a city there can be mountain and forest.” ~Wen Zhengming (1470-1559)
I spotted this duck huddling in a quiet spot close enough that we could have touched her, and she didn’t seem to mind our presence at all.

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New Loose Leaf Tea: Carnival

Carnival Loose Leaf Tea

Named after festive summer carnivals and county fairs, Carnival is one of the newest Tea Phactory teas. You will be overwhelmed by the fresh, fruity aroma when you open your container of Carnival tea. This cheerful tea has colorful sweet papaya pieces, beautiful golden sunflower petals and rich red rosehips.

You can’t go wrong with this tea. Carnival provides the health benefits of both black and green teas. This blend holds up well and provides Carnival with a full bodied flavor and refreshing aroma. Carnival is a delectable, forgiving tea that will still taste great even if over-steeped. It also makes a flavorful iced tea, with a sweet fruit flavor.

Carnival pairs well with salads, chicken dishes and fruity desserts. I particularly like Carnival paired with a cranberry spinach salad.

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The Legend of Ti Kan Yin Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong Tea

Ti Kuan Yin Iron Goddess of Mercy

Ti Kuan Yin is one of the few teas said to have been created through divine inspiration. There are a few different versions of the story of Ti Kuan Yin.
My favorite version tells us that a poor farmer named Mr. Wei passed a temple on his way to work in the tea fields every day. The temple held an iron statue of the Buddhist deity Guanyin, a female bodhisattva of compassion, or Goddess of Mercy.

Mr. Wei observed that the temple was falling into disrepair and he wanted to do something about it. Being a poor farmer, Mr. Wei did not have the means to repair the temple. Instead, twice a month he brought a broom from his home to clean the temple and burned incense as an offering to the goddess.

Mr. Wei continued this for several months when one night the goddess came to him in a dream. To thank the farmer for cleaning her temple, she told him to look for treasure in a cave behind the temple. Mr. Wei looked in the cave the next day to find a single tea shoot which he nurtured and cultivated and soon it grew into a large bush. He shared cuttings of the bush with his neighbors. The community soon became very prosperous selling this fine tea under the name of Ti Kuan Yin, in honor of the goddess.

Today, Ti Kuan Yin Iron Goddess of Mercy is a premium variety of Chinese oolong tea, and is one of the most highly praised oolongs in the world.