Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What Type of Tea is Best for Dessert?

Tea doesn't have to be just for breakfast, dinner, or bedtime; you can enjoy tea with your dessert as well. Dessert can include any number of sweets, such as pastries, fruit, cakes, pie, pudding, cookies, and more; therefore, there are several different types and flavors of tea that you might enjoy with various desserts. Or, for those that are skipping dessert because they are trying to shed a few pounds, there are several dessert teas that are likely to satisfy that sweet tooth rather than a pastry, cake or cookie. You don't have to deprive yourself of the guilty pleasures. 

Dessert teas might contain, but are not limited to the following ingredients: 
  • Chocolate or cocoa
  • Cinnamon or other spices, such as ginger, cardamom, cloves, and more
  • Vanilla or vanilla beans
  • Fruit including apples, mango, apricot, raspberry, pineapple, papaya, lemon, orange, cherry, and many more.
  • Nuts including almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts.
  • Caramel
  • Flowers, yes flowers! They not only add a lovely aroma, but a sweet taste as well. Some of the flowers included in dessert teas include safflower, rose, saffron and hibiscus.
  • Cream, milk, honey, and/or sugar can be added to sweeten the pot. 

You might be asking yourself how you would choose what type or flavor of tea to have with dessert. Let's see if we can help you with a few options: 
  • If having white cake or a dessert that isn't as sweet as some, you might want to accentuate with a fruit flavored or chocolate flavored dessert tea.
  • If you are having a fruit filled pastry or pie, you might want to match the tea to the flavor of the fruit you are eating; for instance, apple, mango, raspberry, cherry, and lemon are among the many fruit flavored teas you can choose from.
  • If you are eating a dessert that is overly sweet, you might offset it with something a little tangy, such as citrus.
  • If you are a chocolate lover and looking for something to accent that piece of chocolate candy, cake or cookie, you will find a few different suitable options with a chocolate or cocoa flavor.
  • Flowered teas can be good with any dessert for the finishing touch, with a welcoming sweet aroma and pleasant taste--it's like the icing on the cake! 

As you can see, the options are endless and we suggest that you experiment with several teas to find the one that is right for your dessert selection.

No matter what type of tea; whether it is loose black tea, loose green tea, chai tea, loose white tea, loose oolong tea, or loose rooibos tea; you are bound to find a great loose leaf dessert tea to buy online at LoveTea.com. Don't forget tell us what your favorite dessert and accompanying tea is! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What is the Big Deal about Steeping?

Steeping is the process that draws the flavor out of tea leaves and into the hot water. Various types of tea, such as black loose tea, green loose tea, white loose tea, and others have different steeping times. 

Steeping is a big deal when it comes to how you like your tea. You can control the flavor of your drink by the amount of time that you steep the loose leaf tea. If you prefer a stronger tea, you will steep your tea longer; and do just the opposite if you like your tea with a lighter flavor.

Although tea will come with a suggested steeping time, you will learn to make it according to your preferred taste.  As well as a difference in steeping times, there are also two different methods; the Western-style and Asian-style. The styles are described as follows:
  • Western-style steeping involves using a large teapot containing more water than tea; usually about 24-32 ounces of water. Depending on which type of tea is being brewed, steeping times will usually range from 2-5 minutes.
  • Asian-style steeping uses a small teapot, holding about 10 ounces of water or less, and a larger amount of tea as compared to the amount of water. Steeping is usually done for about 30 seconds to 1 minute and the tea will often be reused.

No matter what style of steeping you choose, the following are some tips to follow to make the most out of your loose leaf tea:
  • You should always use fresh, cold water when boiling for tea and it is best not to re-boil the left over water.
  • Be sure you are pouring your boiling water over the tea, rather than adding tea to a cup of boiling water.
  • Put a cover over the cup of tea as it steeps. Perhaps you can use your tea saucer.
  • Drink the tea while it is still warm to enjoy its full flavor and aroma.
  • Remove the loose leaves from the tea after steeping.

The following are estimated steeping times for various types of tea:
  • Black loose tea - Using 1 teaspoon of tea to 8 ounces of boiling water (212°F),
    steep for approximately 3-5 minutes.
  • Green loose tea - Using 1 teaspoon of tea to 8 ounces of boiling water (212°F), steep for approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • White loose tea - Using 1 teaspoon of tea to 8 ounces of boiling water (175°-180°F), steep for approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Oolong loose tea - Using 1 teaspoon of tea to 8 ounces of boiling water (190°F), steep for approximately 3 minutes.

Now go make some tea! Have fun with it, experiment with what tastes best for you, and share your results with us. Don't forget to shop for the best loose leaf tea online at LoveTea.com.   

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Tea for Every Hour of the Day

We all have our favorite types of drinks that we enjoy at certain times of the day. Loose leaf tea is a drink that can suit any of these occasions. With the many types of tea, many flavors, and many benefits; you're sure to find a gourmet loose leaf tea to fit any time of the day. Take a look at some of these ideas and don't be afraid to share your favorites as well:

Morning - We all know that some mornings can be a little rough and we need a jump start to get us going. Try some of these teas to see if they will do the job:
  • English Breakfast Loose Leaf Tea - This combination of teas from Ceylon, Kenya, and Assam is a perfect flavorful blend and an aroma that will awaken the senses. This tea can be enjoyed plain, but is also great spruced up with a little milk and sugar. It's breakfast in a cup!
  • Organic Goodness Green Earl Grey Loose Leaf Tea - This tea will wake up your taste buds and pop those eyes open. The green organic loose tea is enough on its own, but for an added bonus, you will get the zing of Asian citrus fruit and the tang of oil of bergamot that Earl Grey is famous for.

Noon - Don't get stuck with those afternoon doldrums; make sure you're prepared with one of these energy packed afternoon delights:
  • English Afternoon Loose Leaf Tea - This afternoon pick-me-up is loaded with a combination of Ceylon and Assam black teas. The robust flavor and strong aroma is sure to be enough to get you through the day.
  • Tropical Spice Loose Leaf Rooibos Chai Tea - Looking to add a little spice to the afternoon? The aroma alone will be enough to give you a jolt and liven up the afternoon. This tasty rooibos tea

Night - After a long day of work, running to kid's activities, making dinner, and paying bills, it can be hard to wind down and get a good night's sleep. Why not give one of these teas a try? You might just get a good night's rest and wake up feeling like you're ready to tackle another day.
  • Good Night Loose Leaf Tea - This soothing combination of herbs, rosebuds, and lemon grass will provide a peaceful tasting tea. That along with the rose scented aroma is enough to relieve the tension so you can catch some good zzzz's.
  • Nighttime Treat Loose Leaf Tea - If you're looking to calm your mind and body before going to bed, look no further. The combination of valerian root, lemon balm leaves and passion flower herbs will get you to the right state of mind.

These and other premium loose leaf teas are available to buy online on LoveTea.com. Please feel free to share your thoughts after trying these or other teas. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fun Facts About Tea (Part 3 of 3)

If you haven't already tried loose leaf tea, are you now convinced that you need to? LoveTea.com can help with that as they carry some of the best loose leaf tea online. With all the varieties and flavors available, you are sure to find something that will spark your senses. Try loose tea cold, hot, in a cooking recipe, or in a cocktail.  Here are some more fun facts and information about tea that might give you more ideas.

  • Have you ever really thought about how someone discovered putting leaves into boiling
    water to make tea? Well, the story has it that in 2737 B.C., an emperor by the name of Shen Nong had a leaf from a Camellia sinensis plant blow into his boiling water that his servants were preparing. He left it there and discovered that it was quite tasty; however, after that time, tea was mostly used for medicinal purposes.
  • Although it is said that tea derived in China, it can be found being grown and produced in many other countries today. China is still the top tea producer in the world, with 29% of the world's production. India is hot on China's trail, coming in at second. Other countries in the top ten, of which some are surprising, are Argentina, Iran, Vietnam and Turkey.
  • Gourmet loose leaf teas are being concocted at a high rate. These fine teas are
    both delectable and aromatic. Some of the ingredients you might find in tea
    combinations are tropical fruits; domestic fruits; spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, pepper and more; dried flowers, nuts, and even chocolate. So when I say that there is a
    tea out there to satisfy everyone, I literally mean there is!
  • Did you know that the temperature of the water and the length of steeping time can alter the flavor of your tea? Everyone has their own preference as to how strong, weak, bitter, or sweet they like their tea. Don't be afraid to experiment and find the precise way you desire your loose leaf tea. Tea tasting can be compared to wine tasting--there is a top and middle note to tea, as well as a fine finish--and remember slurping is allowed! Slurping can not only cool the tea before it hits your mouth, but it allows it to slowly engulf the palette, allowing the drinker (or slurper) to enjoy the flavors.

With all that said, why not host a tea tasting party? Gather all of your friends (even those that aren't tea drinkers), experiment with several types and flavors of tea, and exchange notes. We would love to hear what you come up with. Leave us a note! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fun Facts About Tea (Part 2 of 3)

Fun Facts About Tea (Part 2 of 3)

As we explore loose leaf tea a little more, we are discovering that it is very versatile. It can be served hot, cold, used for cooking, used to create great party libations, and was once used as currency. It also comes in a variety of appealing flavors and is sipped by users to both, liven up and to relax. There are so many interesting and fun facts about tea that we thought we should extend this series to share some more with you. Enjoy!
  • Flowers aren't just blooming from the ground these days. They are also blooming in
    tea cups. Yes! You heard that right. Loose leaf teas can blossom right in your cup. This is called blooming tea and comes in the form of dried flowers wrapped in tea leaves. As these gourmet loose leaf teas brew, the flowers bloom. Still don't believe it? Pick up some blooming tea and witness the magic yourself.
  • Have you ever wondered how the "tea" got put in the word "teaspoon"? It came about in the mid-1600s when tea was very costly, the small spoons were used to measure loose tea as to not waste any or use too much. Over time, the price of tea dropped and it is said the actual size of the teaspoon has increased since that time.
  • What would you pay for a cup of tea? It is said that the most expensive cup of tea
    rings in at about $200. Not only does it cost an excessive amount of money, but the tea bushes from which the leaves come from are fertilized by the waste of panda bears. These tea bushes are grown in the Ya'An mountains of Sichuan, China.
  • Move over wine, we have something else that wants to join the aging process. Although most types of premium loose leaf tea should be consumed shortly after it's drying, or fermenting process, there are some types of tea that like to hang around for a while. Pu-erh tea is one of them. This tea is sometimes aged more than 15 years and is exposed to bacteria, microflora, and oxygen--all of which are known to be a beneficial part of the aging process and add to the taste of the tea.

Everyone will find their favorite type of tea, but it's never too late to experiment with other things you learn about. Whether it's a flavored tea, an herbal tea blend, or an English tea, LoveTea.com offers a variety to choose from.

Do you have your own fun fact about tea? We welcome you to share!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fun Facts about Tea  (Part 1 of 3)

As the tea trend continues to sweep the Western World, more and more stories, history, and fun facts about tea also continue to present themselves. I remember a time when putting tea and fun in the same sentence would've been an oxymoron, but nowadays we all understand more about this versatile beverage and that it's more than just an elegant drink for the British.

Let's delve into some fun and interesting facts about tea:
  • When we hear the word "flush" we most often think of a toilet; however, when referring
    loose leaf tea, the word takes on a whole new meaning. "Flush" refers to the harvesting of tea leaves. The first flush is the initial harvest time when tea leaves are hand-picked and quite delicate, making this round of tea some of the finest. The second flush usually occurs a few weeks after the first, and brings about a darker colored tea with a more robust flavor.
  • Who is Earl Grey and why is tea named after him? The British Earl, Charles Grey, is said to have shipped tea along with a crate of Bergamont oranges and the tea absorbed the flavoring of the oranges. After the recipient brewed the tea, the flavor was so good that Bergamont became a permanent ingredient and the tea was named Earl Grey.
  • Loose black tea, loose green tea, loose oolong tea all derive from the same tea leaves which are hand-picked from the Camellia sinensis plant. The difference in flavor comes during the fermenting, or drying process. Green tea is completely unfermented, oolong tea is semi-fermented, and black tea is fully fermented. The longer the fermentation process, the stronger the flavor of the tea will be.
  • In ancient China (and still sometimes today), tea was formed into bricks. The bricks
    were used for several purposes, such as being eaten as food, the typical brewing; or the most interesting use of a tea brick was as currency. Yes! Tea was the preferred currency over coins at one point in China. 

Next time you are sipping tea with a friend (or eating it or paying for groceries with it), share these fun facts. Regardless of your preference of flavor or type of tea, LoveTea.com is sure to have something to please everyone. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Start Your Summer Weekends with a Kick

Summer is here--the days are longer, the weather is great, the vacations are on the calendar, and we look forward to relaxing weekends. What better way to kick off the weekend, than with a refreshing summer libation? But, this summer, try something different. What, you say? Tea! Yes, tea!

Impress your dinner guests, family, and friends with serving something very refreshing and off the beaten path; yet, will wow them. With the fad of loose leaf tea growing, there are more and more ways people are experimenting with tea and finding out it doesn't just need to be served hot in the traditional tea cup.

Let's get started with some ideas. You can use any of your favorite gourmet loose leaf teas from LoveTea.com and mix it with your choice of alcohol. Vodka or rum seem to be the lightest alcohols, with the least amount of flavor, so it won't change the flavor of your tea drastically. Are you thinking that seems a little boring? The buck doesn't stop there--spruce up your drinks with fresh fruit that matches the flavor of your tea, or mix and match flavors for a variety.

If you really want to get fancy, you can add a little dollop of whip cream on the top of sweet drinks or add an umbrella to make it look really summery. Whole cranberries or pomegranate arils (some call them seeds) add a nice eye-catching appeal to any drink.

Once you find a great concoction, or several of them, you can begin experimenting with adding juices for flavor or a flavored sparkling water to give it a little pop. You can even just make the mix of the loose leaf tea and alcohol and put out fixings for everyone to experiment and embellish their drinks. The tray can include fruit, mint, spices, whip cream, and whatever else you see fit. Who knows, between all your guests, you might just come up with a few winning combinations that will be everyone's summer time favorite.

Let LoveTea.com know what you come up with and share your winning combination for all to try. Enjoy!