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!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Floral Teas will Leave Your Taste Buds Blooming

Who doesn't like a floral aroma wafting through the air? At LoveTea.com, our unique loose leaf teas include many of nature's edible flowers in the form of dried petals and whole flower buds. When the floral teas are brewed, the pleasant fragrance is released, adding unique tastes and smells to your tea drinking experience.

LoveTea wants you to get to know floral teas a little better so we've put together a list of our most popular ones and why they are so loved:

Rose Petals- Rose petals taste as beautiful as they sound. They add a sweetness to our mixes such as our Apricot Mango Loose Leaf Green Tea.

Sunflower Petals- These mild tasting flower petals add more color than taste to our herbal tea blends, but hints of their aroma are very present.

Safflower Petals- Safflower can be used as a substitute for saffron. It is loved for its punch of taste.

Cornflower Petals- These petals have a strong taste that give loose leaf blends a tart taste, but not one that's too strong.

Hibiscus- Many cultures have enjoyed teas with hibiscus including the Egyptians. They taste sour yet sweet with tangy undertones. Their aroma gives off a fruity smell. These petals are rich, piquant, and loved by those with a palate for strong teas.

Marigolds- This delightful flower has a mild citrus flavor. Some people love them so much that they add them to salads and other raw dishes.

Blue Mallow- Blue Mallow has a soothing and cooling flavor. It is also believed to promote peace and spiritual healing.
Rose Hips- This little rose plant fruit is not quite a flower itself, but its aroma will have you thinking otherwise. It's one of the most aromatic of all of the floral aromas.

Flower petals are plucked by hand and dried. The slow and natural process of drying petals helps preserve their natural aroma and taste. We add more than one floral to our blends to add an array of tastes.

Floral tea elements add to your tea drinking experience by releasing their natural fragrances and giving you a sense of peace and calm.

Each of our LoveTea loose leaf mixes has its own great pop of color and flavor courtesy of our florals, but we each have our favorites, so which one is yours?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

6 Delicious Ways to Enjoy White Tea

Are you bored with your same old cup of hot brewed loose leaf white tea? Well today we're going to share with you all six ways you can enjoy your LoveTea mixes.  Even if you're not a fan of white tea you can enjoy at least one of these refreshing recipes. Try #6 and see what you think! It mixes tropical fruit with one of LoveTea's favorite white tea loose leaf blends.
  1. Sweetin' the pot: Honey is a light sweetener that complements loose leaf white tea.
    Add a teaspoon or two of honey to your morning cup.
  2. Get your fiber: Adding grain to tea? Who ever heard of such a thing? In fact, barley is a tasty addition to loose leaf tea. Before adding it to your cup boil the barley in a small pot until it softens and expands slightly. Then strain and add about 1/4 of a cup to 8-12 oz. of white tea.
  3. Do a little dairy: You can’t go wrong with a little warm milk. Use almond milk for added flavor or regular whole milk. To fancy up your white tea, you can take the milk up a notch by frothing it. This can either be done with a frothing machine or by using a mixer. Don't have either one? You can get a little froth going by shaking milk in a container with a secure top.
  4. Straight to the business: No big shocker here, but LoveTea's loose leaf white tea mixes are darn near perfect, as is. Brew by boiling water over a hot stove then pouring onto the mix.
  5. Just chillin': Make your loose leaf white tea a refreshing drink by chilling it and adding
    ice. Mixing up tea temperatures lets them serve different refreshing purposes. For example, you can have a warm cup in the morning to wake you up, an iced tea in the afternoon to cool you down and a warm cup again in the evening while you relax after a long day.
  6. Mixin' it up: You won't believe how delicious a loose herbal tea smoothie can be. Take our Peach Fruit Mix Loose Leaf White Tea for example.  Add 1 1/2 cups of frozen peaches, 3/4 cups of milk or yogurt, 1/2 cup of brewed tea and a 1/2 cup of your favorite tropical fruit, blend and enjoy. This yummy treat is out of this world!

Who's thirsty? We'd love to hear which of these recipes you try out. Leave us some tea love in the comments!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Tea for Every Taste Bud

We’re about to prove that there is a tea for everyone; whether you're a sweets lover or crave the salty and savory. There is an organic loose tea suitable for each one of your 10,000 taste buds. Sound too good to be true? Let's take a look at these tongue pleasers.
Salty - For those who like their tea on the salty side there's salty butter tea. Who knew tea and butter belonged in the same sentence? Combine 4 cups of boiling water with 2 cups of whole milk, add salt to taste and your choice of premium loose leaf tea. Lastly, blend in 4 teaspoons of butter and serve. For a healthier alternative you can use organic milk and natural butter.

Tangy - Are you in the mood for a tropical flavored tea? Imagine the taste of a fruit and flower petal blend. The black currant raspberry loose leaf rooibos tea includes pieces of pineapple, mango and papaya bits, sunflower petals, strawberry bits and black currants. This is one of the favorite blends when it comes to rooibos loose leaf teas. To steep the blend to perfection, boil water to 212°F and add 1 teaspoon of loose tea per 8 oz. Steep for about five minutes and enjoy.

Sweet - Back away from the southern style sweet tea and try an all-natural alternative. For those of you with a sweet tooth, experiment with a detoxifying loose green tea with a drizzle of honey. In addition, when you have cold and flu symptoms, this is the tea you want to drink. The loose leaf tea helps ease your cold symptoms while the honey soothes your throat. 

Rich - Some tea drinker's take on the mission of mastering the perfect brew. Once you've mastered that plan, you're ready for the ever-so-popular loose black tea. This strong tea is not only a favorite, it also has amazing bonuses. Black tea is packed full of powerful antioxidants and known to help with reducing the risk of a number of ailments.

The list of premium tea blends is endless, as are the many benefits and guaranteed quality and freshness. You can shop and buy loose leaf tea online at LoveTea.com.

Friday, June 20, 2014

10 Reasons to Drink Up

10 Reasons to Drink Up

In addition to its amazing flavors and our need to hold a warm mug in our hands, drinking loose leaf tea has amazing health benefits. Here are just 10 of the many things tea can do for our bodies.
  1. Lower Stress Levels:  A cup of black tea could be the perfect remedy for your stress packed day. A study done by UCL shows that black tea helps in reducing stress hormone levels, which in turn can lower blood pressure. A cup of loose black tea a day can keep the doctor away.
  2. Maintain A Healthy Weight:  Studies have suggested that tea, specifically green tea, extracts interfere with the formation of fat in the body, thus helping maintain a steady weight.
  3. Improve Vision: Just like any other part of our bodies our eyes can suffer stress. Loose green tea can help your eyes keep their luster because of its many beneficial components.
  4. Look Younger: Have you heard that loose White tea can help you keep your youthful appearance? You bet it can! Its high polyphenol count has anti-aging benefits. White tea's extracts strengthen collagen production and help your skin keeps its elasticity.
  5. Keep Joints Strong: Not only does white tea benefit your outward appearance, it also helps your bones stay healthy too. Studies have shown that tea helps keep your joints young- keeping the onset of arthritis at bay.
  6. Fights Diabetes: The caffeine in tea is believed to help lower the risk of diabetes, so drink up!
  7. Keep A Healthy Heart: We've already talked about how tea lowers stress and blood pressure, which are big pluses for your heart, but tea also improves endothelial function which leads to better cardiovascular health.
  8. Adds Energy: Let's face it; we can never have too much energy to get us through our busy days. Adding tea to your daily routine will help boost your energy and keep you feeling great throughout the day.
  9. Hydration: Keeping your body hydrated contributes to your overall health. Not only does it keep you feeling great; staying hydrated can help keep you alert.
  10. Helps Restore The Body: After undergoing radiation treatments, patients who drink tea on a regular basis tend to recover quicker.
If those aren't convincing tea facts, I don't know what is. Now, excuse us while we go brew a disease fighting cup of deliciousness.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Coffee vs. Tea: What are the Differences?

For many years, researchers have written and talked about the many benefits of coffee; however, we haven't heard too much about tea, in particularly loose leaf tea, until recently. Loose leaf herbal teas have as many, if not more, benefits as coffee.

Let's take a look at how they each measure up: 
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidants are important to the body because they prevent oxidants (or free radicals) from damaging the healthy cells in the body. Both tea and coffee are said
    to be loaded with antioxidants. It is truly hard to say which has the highest concentration of antioxidants because there is conflicting research; however, the important thing is that each drink contains them.
  • Origin: The majority of loose leaf teas come from the plant Camellia Sinensis. The leaves are hand-picked at their prime and are processed in an organic way preserving all of its natural ingredients and nutrients. Coffee is ground from a bean, which comes from the Coffea Arabica or the Coffea canephora shrubs. Both store-bought tea bags and ground coffee can be processed in ways that use harsh chemicals, so knowing how and where your tea leaves or coffee beans are processed can be a great benefit to the body. Your safest bet is going with an organic loose tea.
  • Caffeine Content: Tea and coffee both naturally contain caffeine. A brewed eight ounce cup of coffee contains approximately 150 milligrams of caffeine and a cup of tea,
    depending on the type, contains anywhere from 25 to 70 milligrams or more of caffeine. We all know that caffeine is used to get us going in the morning or to keep us alert in the afternoon. Both tea and coffee can provide this stimulant; however, there is a difference in the way caffeine in tea affects the body versus the way it does from coffee. Coffee drinkers might feel that caffeine crash when the effects wear off; but with tea, the natural polyphenols and antioxidants make the body absorb the caffeine over a longer period of time.
  • Varieties: With loose leaf tea, the varieties are endless. There is literally something for everyone; from sweet to bitter, from fruity to spicy, from nutty to flowery. There are also several types of loose leaf tea, such as black, white, green, rooibos, and oolong. Coffee also provides a variety of added flavor, but there are really only two main types of coffee that are cultivated, which are Arabica and Robusta.

As you can see, there are benefits to both drinks and there is not one certain study that says tea is better for you over coffee or vice versa; however, there are many more options, and an added bonus of freshness and natural ingredients, with herbal blends of loose leaf tea. If you are having a hard time imagining giving up your coffee, start by replacing one cup a day with a loose leaf tea from LoveTea.com. Who knows? You might never go back!