Posted on

Live Longer: Drink Tea

live longer drink tea

The number of people living into the triple digits (Centenarians) has increased 51% from 1990 to 2000, due in part to advances in health, education, and disease prevention and treatment. The average life expectancy has increased by a whopping 30 years during the 20th century — the greatest gain in 5000 years of human history.

Research suggests that drinking freshly brewed loose leaf tea, whether green, black, or oolong, provides many health benefits from phytonutrient antioxidants. Scientists have identified high levels of catechin flavonoids in both green and black tea. These catechin flavonoids have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic effects. Green tea, in particular, contains the catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which may be the basis of green tea health benefits.

Tips to help increase your health and longevity:

  • consume at least 3 cups of tea daily (green, black or oolong) to help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • 10 cups of tea per day has a significant link in primary cancer protection, including lung, mouth, skin, stomach, colon, prostate, bladder, and pancreas
  • 10 cups of green tea daily lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises “good” HDL cholesterol
  • increase your metabolism by four to five percent and fat oxidation by 10 to 16 percent by drinking green tea
  • drink fresh brewed hot or iced tea only; bottled iced teas and iced tea mixes are low in antioxidants and loaded with sugar

Your daily habits may seem unimportant now, but they can influence how long and how well you will live. You only need one or two cups of freshly brewed tea daily to start on the road to becoming a member of the Centenarian club.

Posted on

Top 3 Reasons to Drink Tea for Your Health

heres to health drink tea

The Tea Advisory Panel, a group of scientists, doctors and nutritionists who study the health benefits of tea advise that consuming four cups of tea a day, whether green or black tea, can go a long way toward improving your health.

Tea is Loaded with Healthy Compounds

  1. Polyphenols found in tea are antimicrobial, meaning they reduce the effect of colds, flu and infections. As far back as the 1800’s tea was recommended to treat styes, and tea was prescribed to soldiers during the 1900’s to treat typhoid.
  2. Catechins (a form of antioxidant) found in tea are antibacterial, and have been found to remain in the mouth up to one hour after rinsing, helping to inhibit bacterial growth in the mouth for improved oral health. The catechins in green tea especially, may help to stop the absorption of fats and sugars in the body, and can help boost your metabolism. Drinking tea without milk and sugar provides a delicious zero-calorie beverage when watching your weight.
  3. L-theanine, an amino acid, works in conjunction with the caffeine in tea to calm you, and improve your mood and mental function at the same time. Tea improves your concentration, mental alertness and brain function.

With such an endless choice in the variety and flavor of tea available today, everyone can enjoy the healthy benefits of drinking tea.

Posted on

Fresh Tea Counts – All Our Teas Packaged in Food Grade Tins

At Tea Phactory we care about keeping your hand-selected, premium, loose leaf teas absolutely fresh. That’s why we pack every tea order in a food grade tin made of high-quality tinplated steel. This packaging keeps air and light away from your teas, ensuring the flavors are as bright and delicious the day you drink them as they were the day we packed them. Sure, we could use something less expensive like lined paper or plastic, but we care too much about our tea and your tea-drinking experience.

There’s something else we care about, the environment. We understand that any type of packaging has some environmental impact. However, there’s one thing you can do with our tins that you can’t do with a paper or plastic bag – reuse them.

Since our tins are food grade they are great for use in the kitchen. Refill them with herbs, spices, or baking mixes. Additionally, they are simply perfect for general kitchen organization.

Get creative and use them to store craft supplies like buttons, safety pins, and beads. Or make a travel sewing kit with small scissors, thread, sewing needles, and a thimble.

Have a green thumb? These tins are perfect for growing succulents, fresh herbs, or catnip. Place them on a windowsill for a mini container garden.

Whatever you use your empty Tea Phactory tin for it’s a perfect way to get imaginative and reduce waste. It’s our little added value to you and the environment.

Posted on

Iced Teas Kids Love

I don’t know a single family not trying to reduce the amount of sugar in their diets. I talk to my friends and family members and they’re concerned for themselves, but they are especially concerned about their kids. We hear all kinds of conflicting information these days on how sugar is impacting kids; everything from hyperactivity and childhood obesity to Type 2 diabetes. One thing we all can agree on is that it can’t hurt to reduce sugar consumption.

One simple way parents can help cut sugar from kid’s diets is by eliminating or reducing sugary drinks. The question becomes, what replaces them? Many kids love soda, soft drinks and sports drinks. Yet as any parent knows, kids can be finicky and resistant to change. It’s not easy to replace sugary beverages if you can’t get them to drink something else. Why not try iced tea?

Tea Phactory has several kid friendly teas that we have tried on kids of all ages. These teas are honestly delicious, full of flavor and some are even naturally sweet. Any of our teas can be made sweeter without the addition of sugar or artificial sweeteners by brewing them with the naturally sweet and calorie-free stevia leaf.
We typically recommend decaf or herbal teas for the little ones. These teas are completely caffeine free and some have other health benefits as well.

Kid Friendly Decaf Iced Teas

Ragtime Root Beer

It’s unmistakable…that unique combination of flavors…a hint a licorice, a touch of cherry, a dash of cinnamon, a bit of orange peel. It’s root beer, remarkably rendered with all of the pleasure and none of the guilt. Kids love this naturally sweet, calorie and caffeine free, herbal infusion treat. If you have a SodaStream, you can use it to add bubbles.

Splendiferous Rooibos

If your kids enjoy powdered drink mix this is the tea for them. Splendiferous Rooibos makes a flavorful impression with its extraordinary fruit flavor and light note of mint. Organic green rooibos is blended with hibiscus petals, peppermint and elderberries for a burst of fruit flavor followed by cool mint.

Raspberry Rush

If you’re a kid, or a kid at heart, try Raspberry Rush. This Tea Phactory Signature Blend has a burst of “fresh from the garden” fruit flavor and a light citrus twist that is sure to please everyone.
For older kids who can have some caffeine we have two teas that are great for tweens and teens. Even with the naturally occurring caffeine, these teas have less caffeine than many caffeinated sodas.

Kid Friendly Caffeinated Iced Teas

Carnival

This aromatic tea embodies the color and playfulness of a summer carnival. Sweet with a hint of tanginess, Carnival is a unique blend of black and green teas, dried papaya pieces, rosehips and sunflower petals.

Why not have a little fun and try one of these iced teas as an alternative to your kid’s favorite soda or sports drink? We suggest brewing the tea together following our brewing guide. It’s a fun family activity and helps your child buy into the idea of trying something new. It’s also more exciting than just mixing up your usual powdered beverage.

Let’s be sensible; always supervise children when using hot water brewing methods. However, kids can use our cold brew method to make iced tea on their own.

Oh, and hey, these teas aren’t just for kids. Adults love them too and find them a great substitute to regular or diet soda. As grownups, many of us not only want to cut down on sugar but are also looking to reduce the chemical craziness of artificial sweeteners.

Posted on

Tropical Breeze Slim Sangria CockTeas™ Recipe

Tropical BreezeSlim Sangria CockTeas

Temperatures are hitting their zenith, calling for the ultimate summer refresher, and sangria is simply perfectly suited. But wait, it’s still swimsuit season, all that wine and juice and soda really rack up the calories. What if there was some way to enjoy the perfect hot weather libation without all the added sugar and calories? Here comes the other ultimate summer beverage to the rescue. Iced tea saves the day.

Tea Phactory’s Tropical Breeze Slim Sangria combines the benefits of healthy, zero-calorie, green tea with the magic of sangria. This recipe delivers about half the sugar and calories of a traditional sangria without the artificial sweeteners and chemical craziness of diet soda.

Our Tropical Breeze tea is a Chinese Sencha, a green tea with slender leaves that gives a natural, lightly-sweet flavor. The green tea leaves are combined with pineapple pieces and blue malva flowers for a delightful brew. Paired with pineapple wine, pineapple juice, and fresh fruit, it’s an enchanting alternative to heavier sangrias. Choose a coconut rum if you prefer a more pinacolada type flavor or go with spiced rum if coconut isn’t your thing.
Tropical Breeze Slim Sangria CockTeas tm

Tropical Breeze Slim Sangria CockTeas™ Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. Tea Phactory Tropical Breeze loose leaf tea
  • 1 bottle (750 mL) pineapple wine
  • 1 can (6 Fl Oz) pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut or spiced rum
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced

Directions:

  1. Brew 3 Tbs. of Tea Phactory Tropical Breeze loose leaf tea in 1 liter of water, chill.
  2. Combine chilled tea, pineapple wine, pineapple juice, rum, and sliced lime, lemon, and orange in a large pitcher, reserve some fruit for garnish.
  3. Refrigerate Tropical Breeze Slim Sangria for 2-4 hours.
  4. Stir before serving, pour over ice, garnish with fruit.

If you’re anything like me, when the temperature spikes cloyingly sweet drinks become intolerable. In addition to being lower calorie, Tropical Breeze Sangria is also less sweet. It strikes the ultimate balance.

Enjoy this refresher poolside or with a seasonal brunch or picnic. It’s the perfect summertime sipper.

Posted on

7 Secrets of Superior Iced Tea

7 secrets great iced tea

We’ve all had the super sweet iced teas offered in restaurants or minute markets and they make our stomachs sour or our blood sugar spike from too much sugar. In many cases, there is just as much sugar or artificial sweetener in bottled tea as there is in soda. In the end, let’s be honest, these iced teas don’t really taste very good.

So how do you make a great iced tea that’s not only healthier for you and your family, but also one that everybody will love?

  1. Quality loose leaf tea. Start with a high quality loose leaf tea. Quality is essential but when a glass of iced tea made from loose leaf can be as little as $0.20, it seems too good to be true. You can make 2 gallons of iced tea for as little as $2 vs. $3 or more for a 12 ounce bottle. Essentially, a 12 ounce glass of fresh iced tea can cost you as little as $0.20.
  2. Value. Superior loose teas can be steeped more than once, giving you more bang for your buck in comparison to bagged teas. With bagged teas you can easily go through an entire box just to make enough tea for yourself or a small group.
  3. Purity. Loose teas typically are whole leaf and infuse more flavor and health benefits into your iced teas. Most bottled iced teas are made from instant powders with little to no health benefit. Add on that bottled teas are loaded with sugar and artificial flavoring. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative, loose leaf teas are a great option with many naturally sweet teas to chose from.
  4. Variety. There are thousands of flavors of pure loose leaf tea and tea blends so you’re bound to discover a favorite. Loose teas offer everything from minty to fruity flavors; pure teas like black, green and white teas; blends with different herbs and spices; and so much more. If you’re not sure where to start, I have a few recommendations below.
  5. Flavor control. With loose leaf teas you can determine the strength of flavor by simply measuring out more or less tea to be steeped. Begin with the amount of tea recommended on the brewing guide and make adjustments from there. For iced teas you want to brew them strong so the ice doesn’t dilute the flavor too much. I start with doubling the measured amount recommended for brewing the hot tea.
  6. Water. Water quality can have an impact on how your iced teas turn out. Especially in large cities where water is put through purification processes and can impart a chemical taste to your iced teas. To improve your water quality and the flavor of your iced teas, use a filtration or purification system to remove the chemical taste.
  7. Time. Steeping times are an important aspect of brewing tea. It is a common misconception that steeping tea leaf for longer periods of time will make the tea stronger in flavor. In reality, this actually makes the tea bitter in taste. Follow the brewing guide recommended by your tea supplier regarding steeping times.

Loose Teas that Make Great Iced Teas:

  • Pure Leaf Teas: Traditional iced teas are made with pure leaf teas like black, green, or oolong.
  • Black Tea – The traditional iced tea, tea. For making iced tea you want a strong flavored black tea blend. China Black Tea, English breakfast, or Irish breakfast.
  • Fruit Teas: If you’re looking for something that is naturally sweet, a loose leaf tea blended with real fruit pieces make delicious iced teas.
  • LGBTea, with a black tea base and endless fruit pieces, including apple, passion fruit, mango, and more. (We made this special Signature Blend to celebrate Pride and is only available for a limited time. You’ll want to get your hands on this before it’s sold out.)

    Best Loose Leaf Teas for Caffeine Free Iced Tea:

    There are a number of herbal blends that make great iced teas and all are caffeine free.

    Rag Time Root Beer – If you’re looking for something a little different, brew this tea extra strong, pour over ice and you will have a guilt-free pleasure.

Posted on

How to Keep Iced Tea Fresh

Once you’ve brewed iced tea, in order to maintain ideal taste, quality, and freshness, it’s important that it’s stored properly. If you’ve made iced tea for a crowd and find you have leftovers it can be saved to enjoy later.

While it’s nice to have a cold, refreshing glass of iced tea readily available, especially on a hot summer day, it’s best not to make more tea than you can consume in a reasonable amount of time. Stored properly, iced tea should remain good in the refrigerator for at least two days and up to a week, at most. Discard any tea that has turned cloudy or has an off taste or smell as it has likely begun to ferment.

Fresh Iced Tea Is Best

Let’s face it, fresh brewed iced tea is an all natural product. That’s why we love it. It’s free of the artificial preservatives that make processed, commercial, and chemical products keep for a long time. Part of enjoying iced tea is respecting that it has a short shelf life. Fresh is best.

Iced Tea Preparation Counts

If cold brewing was the preparation method, the iced tea will already be in the refrigerator. If traditional hot water steeping methods were used, allow the finished hot tea to cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator to chill. This prevents the brewed tea from clouding and serves up a clean glass of iced tea. It is not recommended to leave brewed tea at room temperature longer than eight hours.

Iced Tea Lasts Longer with the Right Container

No matter by which method the tea is brewed, make sure that a clean dispenser or pitcher is used. When storing iced tea, a glass vessel is preferable to preserve optimal taste. Many types of plastic can absorb and transfer flavors. Ideally, use a container with a tight fitting lid to reduce the amount of oxygen the tea is exposed to. Exposed teas can oxidize resulting in flavor changes and reduced freshness.

Before Iced Tea Turns, Re-purpose

If you’ve honestly made more tea than you can truly drink, don’t let it go to waste. Simply pour it into ice cube trays and place in the freezer. Once the cubes are frozen solid, they can be removed from the ice cube trays and placed in freezer bags. These frozen tea cubes are perfect for adding to a smoothie in place of plain ice.

Posted on

How to Make Iced Tea for Large Groups

It’s easy enough to make a single pitcher of iced tea for yourself and a couple friends. But what do you do if you need enough iced tea for a large gathering like a 4th of July BBQ?

Making enough iced tea for a large gathering is basically a “rinse and repeat” type of process. The benefit however, is that a high quality, loose leaf tea can be steeped more than one time to double or triple the amount of iced tea made.

The key is efficiency. The last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen making iced tea. Wouldn’t you rather enjoy that time with friends and family?

Simply use an electric kettle to heat the water in a quick fashion, a large pitcher with a strainer or large infuser basket to brew up large quantities of tea, large glass or plastic jugs to store the iced tea, and a timer so you get the steeping time just right. I use the timer app on my phone and it works great.

Ideally, if you have the opportunity, I suggest making the tea the night before, allowing it to cool to room temperature to prevent clouding, and put it in the fridge to chill overnight. If you’re in a hurry though, it’s not a problem. You can serve freshly brewed iced tea when it’s still hot over a full cup of ice and still get great results.

What You Need:

  • Your favorite loose leaf tea: Be sure you have enough. For a large group of 10 or more you’ll need about 5 tablespoons
  • Fresh water
  • Electric tea kettle for quickest results, or a traditional tea kettle on the stove – just takes more time for the water to boil
  • 2 or more large glass or plastic jugs for storing and/or transporting the iced tea
  • Cups, glasses
  • Ice

How to Make Iced Tea for 10 or more People

  1. Heat the water just to a boil and pour the hot water into your steeping pitcher.
  2. Measure out your loose leaf tea into the infusing basket and insert the basket into the hot water. You want to double the amount of tea you would use for hot tea when making iced tea.
  3. Alternatively, you can add the loose leaf tea directly to the hot water in the pitcher. You’ll need a strainer to remove the tea leaf after steeping.
  4. Set and start your timer for 3 minutes.
  5. Remove the infuser or strain your tea and pour the hot tea into one of your large jugs.
  6. Repeat this process until you have enough tea for your event. Refresh your tea leaf after 2-3 steepings.

Tips for Making Iced Tea for Large Groups:

  • Re-steeping tea: You can re-steep, up to 3 times, a high quality loose leaf tea and achieve great results. It’s far more effective than bagged tea and makes a better tasting iced tea.
  • Control Flavor: Adjust the amount of measured loose leaf tea to your desired strength of flavor. If you want a strong tea, use more tea, a weaker tea, measure out less tea. This method is more effective for controlling flavor than steeping the tea for longer periods of time and expecting a stronger brew. In fact, over steeped black tea will become bitter.
  • Prevent Cloudiness: If you have the time, allow the finished hot tea to cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge to chill. This prevents the brewed tea from clouding and serves up a clean glass of iced tea.
Posted on

Raspberry Rosé Mother’s Day CockTeas™ Recipe

When I think of mom, I think of herbal tea. I can’t help myself. It must be all the childhood memories of peppermint tea for tummy aches or chamomile for restless nights. Although I myself am a bit of a purist preferring a nice loose leaf oolong or green tea, if I’m brewing up a cup for mom it’s still likely to be herbal.

There is one thing mom and I do have in common though, and that’s enjoying a well-crafted cocktail. In the spirit of celebrating mom, me, and tea I’ve whipped up a Mother’s Day CockTeas™ recipe sure to please generations young (but not too young) and old.

I had to start with Tea Phactory’s signature herbal blend, Raspberry Rush. We created this one with moms in mind and it’s only available from us. This herbal infusion, with a burst of “fresh from the garden” fruit flavor and a light citrus twist is sure to delight everyone. Raspberry Rush starts with the tang of hibiscus petals and cranberries and finishes with a sweet raspberry flavor. Combine with the bright floral notes of elderflower liqueur and you’re well on your way to a perfect Mother’s Day.

Raspberry Rosé Mother’s Day CockTeas™ Recipe

15mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz Raspberry Rush syrup
  • 2 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • Brut Rose Champagne

Add Raspberry Rush herbal tea syrup and St. Germain liqueur to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into four champagne saucers. Top with Brut Rosé Champagne. Garnish with orange peel and fresh raspberries.

Raspberry Rush Syrup

Ingredients

  • 2tbs Tea Phactory Raspberry Rush loose leaf herbal tea
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup sugar

Bring water to a boil. Steep tea for 2-3 minutes. Mix hot, brewed tea with sugar. Combine well. Chill.

Now, a suggestion if I may. This is mom we’re celebrating and we are using Tea Phactory’s signature herbal tea blend, so let’s keep the trend and choose a proper Brut Rosé Champagne. Might I recommend the Louis Roederer Brut Rosé, the Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperial, or the lovely Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Rosé. Now, if you have a relationship or budget that far exceeds mine, by all means consider the Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades Rosé.

Whichever Rosé Champagne you choose, this herbal tea infused cocktail is pretty in pink just like the blanket mom wrapped me in the day she brought me home from the hospital. So raise your glass to the lady who gave you life. Cheers!

Oh wait, wait. I can’t disappoint mom, so before I let you go, one little lesson. Just like mom would have taught. Herbal “tea” isn’t actually tea you see. Only the beverage brewed from the leaf of the Camellia sinensis bush is actually tea. Remember from earlier? I’m a bit of a purist that way, loving the black teas, green teas, oolongs, and the like. Herbals, like our Raspberry Rush, are more technically referred to as herbal blends, herbal infusions or tisanes. But let’s not get too technical.

Enjoy the Mother’s Day CockTeas™, and don’t worry if you overindulge just a little. After all, you can always cure what ails you with some of our loose leaf Ginger Peach black tea. Just perfect to soothe the tummy and the soul. Unless mom talks you into some of the Peppy Mint.

Posted on

Champagne Love Song CockTeas™

What better time than Valentine’s Day to launch our CockTeas™ line of tea based and tea inspired cocktail recipes? Also, what other spirit than Champagne would do for such an occasion? The only question remaining was which of the amazing blends of Tea Phactory tea would be ideal to craft the perfect love inspired libation?

The answer was clear; Sweet Symphony. Its herbal bouquet, scented with wildflowers and roses, finishes with a sweet minty note. Roses are a traditional means of evoking affection and with the addition of mint you can seal each sip with a kiss.

Build this romantic cocktail right and its gorgeous red and pink ombre effect makes it a visual treat and a feast for all the senses.

Champagne Love Song CockTeas™

15 mins Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Tea Phactory Sweet Symphony syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 oz Pama pomegranate flavored liqueur
  • 4 oz Champagne
  • red rimming sugar
  • pomegranate seeds for garnish

Directions:
Dampen rim of champagne flute with Sweet Symphony syrup and rim with red sugar. Add Sweet Symphony syrup and Pama to cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into rimmed flute. Top gently with champagne for a layered or ombre effect. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Sweet Symphony Syrup

  • 4 tbs Tea Phactory Sweet Symphony herbal tea
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup sugar

Bring water to a boil. Steep tea for 3-4 minutes. Mix 1 cup hot, brewed tea with sugar. Combine well. Chill.