Types of Tea and Their Health Benefits

tea-time-final

It is believed that tea leaves have been steeped in water and enjoyed as a hot beverage since as early as 1000 BC in China. Ever since, tea has stuck around as a fan favorite, largely due to the soothing experience of sipping a hot cup of tea, but also because of the unexpected health benefits that different types of tea offer. Read our tea guide to find out the individual benefits of green tea, oolong tea, and more! You may find that your tea of choice offers an unexpected benefit.

If you’re looking to prevent risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, green tea may help to protect you while oolong tea may be able to help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. If your goal is to achieve weight loss, try drinking yerba mate tea, as it can quell hunger cravings and also may increase calories burned throughout the day.   READ MORE

London Olympics 2012: Olympians Served High Tea

By JULIE LEVIN Cronkite News-LONDON – At the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel, you can be an Olympic queen for one afternoon. Or an Olympic king, for that matter.

Tea, anyone? And here’s your chocolate gold medal to go with it.

Afternoon royal tea, a British staple, and dishes inspired by Queen Elizabeth II are served in the Wellington Lounge at the swanky hotel. Pastry chef Luis Meza even caters to the Olympians staying at the hotel, creating chocolate gold medals to deliver to their hotel rooms.

The hotel is on the site of the queen’s childhood residence at 145 Piccadilly. The queen’s current residence at Buckingham Palace is nearby.

READ MORE

Baltimore: Tea by Julia Faye

Going to tearooms is hard work, but somebody’s has to do it, and by George I take my job seriously. So, when I looked online and found a little tea spot located in a historic property called Stone Mansion, I was very intrigued. There happened to be a Christmas tea coming up—all the more intriguing. So I come upon the property of this quaint little spot and I’m greeted by Julia Faye Briggs, owner of the Tea by Julia Faye. She is friendly like your Auntie Julia who’s always trying to make sure your comfortable at her home. As she bustles around getting things ready for the Christmas tea,  I’m making myself comfortable amongst the various Victorian pieces, checking out the beautiful tea pots and other paraphenalia. Yes, this is going to be a good visit. READ MORE

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Healthy Drinks

We all know that the healthiest drink for our bodies is water. Water makes 70% of our bodies; it cushions our joints, and transports oxygen and nutrients to cells in our bodies. Water encourages bowel movement and helps to defend against blood clots. Everyone should have eight 8 ounce glasses of water every day, especially if you’re an active person. Even though water is the healthiest thing you can put in your body, there are many beneficial drinks that you might want to try. READ MORE

The Spicy Chick Hits London Eatery

MCCN’s The Spicy Chick Nicole L. Brown invites you to a trip with her as she dines in London.  Self described as multi-ethnic, Nicole has English roots on her dad’s side.   First order of business is  tea with milk.  She also couldn’t resist classic fish-n-chips.

See Nicole L. Brown Spice up the red carpet at the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs red carpet premiere: https://multiculturalcookingnetwork.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words-cloudy-with-a-chance-of-meatballs/

Dinner and a Movie: Sherlock Holmes

The Dinner: If you follow the lead of Sherlock Holmes which usually proves clever to do then fine dining with white table cloths and napkins might be fit for the evening. A spot of tea, may be an inspired choice as tea served from fine pots is also consumed repeatedly throughout the film. Another option maybe to dine at the Sherlock Holmes Pub & Restaurant in London located at 10-11 Northumberland St, London WC2N 5DB

The Movie: The caper of Sherlock Holmes is fabulous from beginning to end. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law have an incredible witty chemistry as Holmes and Watson. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film is completely marked with Ritchie style.  However, if one is not familiar with Ritchie’s work the movie will come as a completely fresh take to the Sherlock Holmes figure.  Purists of the famed Sherlock Holmes will either love or hate this movie. Much the new interpretation of Bond, Sherlock Holmes follows the lead of becoming more gritty and violent. Ritchie presents Holmes not only as a brilliant eccentric but a man of brawn as well. Sherlock Holmes kicks butt as a tough guy.   Downey is perfectly cast and delightful. Sherlock Holmes is one of the best films of the year!

Review by Crystal A. Johnson, film critic for the Valley Scene Magazine and Multi Cultural Cooking Network

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India’s Tea Time

indian chai, indian tea, masala chai, indian drinks

Masala chai is an integral part of India's tea time.

Did you think tea time was only popular in England? Well think again! Tea is a popular social event in India. And why wouldn’t it be? India is the world’s largest producer, exporter and consumer of tea. The Indian Tea Time menu is a high tea (a fairly substantial meal) but in today’s world it can be made into a dinner and an excellent menu for entertaining. What’s on the menu? See for yourself!

 

 

 

 

Indian Tea Time Menu

Chutney/Cucumber Sandwiches-Thin slices of tomato and cucumber with a spread of cilantro-mint-ginger chutney on sliced bread.

Bhel-Phuri (Mix 2 boiled and mashed Potatoes , 1 finely chopped cucumber, 2 finely cut tomatoes and 1 minced onion with a pack of Bhel Mix (crispy rice, sev or chickpea noodles). Pour 3 to 4 table spoons of raisin chutney and 1 to 2 tablespoons of mint chutney to the above mixture. Mix well. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve. – a meal in itself.)

Masala Chai –  (tea infused with spices, fresh ginger and served with milk and sugar).

Gujarati Farsan or Namkeen – Crispy spicy snack made of rice, chickpea dough and nuts.

Kheer – Indian rice pudding

Have your own Indian tea time by making your own Masala Chai! Here’s a basic recipe for your drinking pleasure:

Basic Recipe

Ingredients

Water by 2/3 cup per person

Milk (whole or skim) by 2/3 cup per person

1½ cups Dried tea leaves (or tea powder) 1.5 tsp. for first person and then 1 tsp. per person. More than 5 persons reduce per person tea to 3/4 tsp. Brooke Bond Red label, Mamri, or Taj Mahal Black tea [do not use green tea) For gourmet chai use Assam Tea Leaves. These variety of Teas may be ordered from http://www.indianfoodsco.com. Sugar to taste.

Methods

1. Boil the water in a saucepan.

2. Add the tea spices by a pinch per person or whole spices as explained above. More if you want it more robust in spices. Experiment for personal taste.

3. Add the tea leaves.

4. When the concoction starts boiling, Add milk.

5. Boil for about a minute.

6. Strain the tea into the cups.

7. Remove strainer add sweetener as per taste and stir the tea well.

Spices for the tea above per cup or per person

Add a 1/4 inch piece of ginger, crushed with a mallet

1 cardamom pod, crushed in a mortar

1/4 inch cinnamon stick

2 whole black peppers – crushed in a mortar

1 small pinch of fennel

1 strand of saffron

1 pinch of ginger powder

1 Clove

1 pinch of dried mint

Photo and information resources: SBS Feast and Indian Food Co.

The History of Tea

tea(Wikepedia)

Origin myths

In one popular Chinese legend, Shennong, the legendary Emperor of China and inventor of agriculture and Chinese medicine was drinking a bowl of boiling water some time around 2737 BC when a few leaves were blown from a nearby tree into his water, changing the color. The emperor took a sip of the brew and was pleasantly surprised by its flavor and restorative properties. A variant of the legend tells that the emperor tested the medical properties of various herbs on himself, some of them poisonous, and found tea to work as an antidote.[25] Shennong is also mentioned in Lu Yu‘s famous early work on the subject, Cha Jing.[26] A similar Chinese legend goes that the god of agriculture would chew the leaves, stems, and roots of various plants to discover medicinal herbs. If he consumed a poisonous plant, he would chew tea leaves to counteract the poison.[27]

A rather gruesome legend dates back to the Tang Dynasty. In the legend, Bodhidharma, the founder of Chan Buddhism, accidentally fell asleep after meditating in front of a wall for nine years. He woke up in such disgust at his weakness that he cut off his own eyelids. They fell to the ground and took root, growing into tea bushes.[28] Sometimes, another version of the story is told with Gautama Buddha in place of Bodhidharma.[29]

Whether or not these legends have any basis in fact, tea has played a significant role in Asian culture for centuries as a staple beverage, a curative, and a status symbol. It is not surprising, therefore, that theories of its origin are often religious or royal in nature.

About Tea

Tea refers to the agricultural products of the leaves, leaf buds, and internodes of the Camellia sinensis plant, prepared and cured by various methods. “Tea” also refers to the aromatic beverage prepared from the cured leaves by combination with hot or boiling water,[1] and is the common name for the Camellia sinensis plant itself.

After water, tea is the most widely-consumed beverage in the world.[2] It has a cooling, slightly bitter, astringent flavour which many enjoy.[3]

The four types of tea most commonly found on the market are black tea, oolong tea, green tea and white tea,[4] all of which can be made from the same bushes, processed differently, and in the case of fine white tea grown differently. Pu-erh tea, a double-fermented black tea, is also often classified as amongst the most popular types of tea.[5]

The term “herbal tea” usually refers to an infusion or tisane of leaves, flowers, fruit, herbs or other plant material that contains no Camellia sinensis.[6] The term “red tea” either refers to an infusion made from the South African rooibos plant, also containing no Camellia sinensis, or, in Chinese, Korean, Japanese and other East Asian languages, refers to black tea.

*For More About the History of Tea Visit Wikepedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea

A Spot of Tea: The T Room in Montrose, CA

outdoor TroomThe T Room in Montrose is a nice little option.  The quaint tea room with a décor which rings of spring is located on the main street of Honolulu Ave.  The family run business opened in the spring of 2006 but the tradition of the tea room is a multi-decade business for the mother and daughter team of owners, Esmerelda Khachatrian and Marianna Kotcharian.  Moreover, the family affair does end with mom and daughter.  Taught by Khachatrian, her cousin Margo works as the chef preparing sumptuous finger sandwiches and desserts.

The T Room is open 7 days a week and is prone to busy any day of the week.  Margo is likely to greet you with a warm welcome between keeping her eye on the bevy of treats baking.  There are a wide variety of teas from various regions of the world including Russia, the Middle East, Africa, Japan, Sri-Lanka, India and England. The tea is served in lovely tea cups made of china.  Have a go at the tea with cream as the English do or without.  Of course, trying the tea pure without sugar or artificial sweeteners allows for a pure taste of the tea.

The afternoon high tea is a pleasurable experience.   It includes pastries,

Photo by Multi Cultural Cooking Network

scones, finger sandwiches, fruit and a pot of the tea of your choice.  The fruit may include berries, strawberries, green and red grapes.  All the choices of finger sandwiches are delectable.  The varieties offered are traditional English cucumber with chives, Norwegian salmon, smoked egg salad and chicken lingonberry.  First time customer Charlotte Smith was overwhelmed by the amount of “carbs” but she loved every minute of eating it.  Her favorite sandwiches were the chicken lingonberry and smoked egg salad.  All the petite sized desserts and plentiful sized scones are freshly prepared.  Don’t miss out on divine Devonshire cream which come alongside the scones and preserves on second tier of the three tiered tower of goodies.

Photo by Multi Cultural Cooking Network

Simply dropping in for a cup of tea at the T Room would be a welcome change from the routine beverage consumption at the ever expanding green lettered coffee chain sweeping country.  Yes, coffee is offered as well but one will not hear the consistent sound of grinding or view an ocean of laptops.  The T Room is an inconspicuous retreat from a main street and hurried world.  Gatherings can be held inside or the outside patio which seats about 30 to 40.  The inside is Victorian with chandeliers, large French windows and high ceilings.  The walls are a lovely shade soothing shade of green.  The interior design was done by Khatratrian.  Reservations should be made.  There is ample parking across the street. These wonderful tastes of the T Room are not limited to dining in the facility. Catering services are also offered. The T Room is located at 2405 Honolulu Ave., Montrose.

*Originally written by Crystal A. Johnson for the The Foothills Paper