Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Choose the Best Teapot





One question asked by people who enjoy tea is which type of teapot is best. Teapots should steep tea quickly and rinse easily afterward. If you don't have a teapot with a removable infuser, you will need a strainer to remove the tea leaves. Here are two things to consider when buying a teapot.

Teapot Size

Teapots are available in a variety of sizes. Three typical sizes are:

      Just a cuppa (up to 14 ounces)

A small teapot is perfect for one. It's the ideal choice for a morning tea ritual with a matching cup. Consider asking for a one-cup teapot for your birthday--they make great gifts.

      Be my guest (about 20 ounces)

Everyone should have a medium sized teapot for when you have friends over for tea. You can even get away with a medium sized teapot for everyday use.


      The All Day Pot (over 20 ounces)

A large teapot is best for company because you can serve everyone at the same time. It is also a terrific option for tea drinkers who want to sip throughout the day without resteeping. Just keep it at the right temperature with a teapot warmer.


Teapot style

Teapots can be made of many different materials, including:

Glass:  The beauty of a glass teapot is being able to watch your tea steep--it is a spectacular site. However, these teapots are fragile and can break easily. You may also need a teapot warmer to get your pot to the correct temperature.

Cast iron: The main benefit of a cast iron teapot is that it distributes heat evenly. They also keep your tea warm for a long time. Cast iron teapots tend to cost a bit more than other options because many are handmade.

Ceramic: These teapots come in a wide range of styles and colors, making them both pretty and functional. You can find ceramic teapots for just about any budget as well. They are a good option for beginning tea drinkers.

Porcelain: Blue and white China teapots have been around since the 13th century. Today you can find underglazed and glazed porcelain teapots from under $20 to several hundreds of dollars.


To keep your teapot in good condition regardless of the material, keep it out of the dishwasher even if the manufacturer says it is safe. In addition, unglazed teapots require special care. Don't use soap because it can affect the taste of the tea the next time you brew. Simply rinse out the tea leaves with hot water and dry with a soft cloth.






Monday, January 19, 2015

8 Little Known Facts about Tea

Most people are aware of the numerous health benefits associated with drinking tea. But here are eight fun facts about tea that you may not have been aware of until now.

 
1. Tea drinkers experience less of a "caffeine crash" than coffee drinkers.

There are several reasons why this is true. First, tea has less caffeine than coffee. Second, the antioxidants in tea slow the absorption of caffeine. Third, tea contains the amino acid L-theanine, which has a relaxing effect.

2. The nickname for Oolong tea is Dragon's Tea.

The name comes from the fact that Oolong tea leaves resemble a dragon when placed in a teapot. Oolong tea is grown primarily in Taiwan and China. In Taiwan the tea has a lighter, floral taste while in China it is darker with a woody flavor.

3. Tea is second only to water for the amount consumed on the planet.

More than three billion cups of tea are drunk around the world each year.  In addition to being hydrating, tea is rich in antioxidants, which may lower the risk of cancer and heart problems. Some teas stimulate weight loss, lower cholesterol and increase mental alertness.

4. More tea is grown in China than anywhere else, but the Chinese are not the biggest consumers.

Approximately 29 percent of tea in the world is grown in China. However, citizens of the United Arab Emirates drink more tea per capita than the Chinese--just about 14 pounds per year.

5. Nearly 96 percent of the cups of tea served on Earth come from tea bags.

Tea bags were originally used to hold tea samples from India. However, in the early 19th century, American Thomas Sullivan noticed customers mistakenly placed entire silk pouches into their teapots. He quickly developed tea bags made of gauze to be used by all of his customers.

6. Iced tea was "invented" at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

Tea merchant Richard Blechynden had to think fast as an exhibitor at the World's Fair. Although his plan was to serve his tea to fair-goers to build business, visitors were too warm from the day's high temperatures to stop for a sample. Blechynden dumped ice into the tea to cool everyone off, making it a hit in record time.


7. Afternoon tea at the Ritz Carlton of Hong Kong can set you back thousands.

Tea for two costs just under $9,000 in the world class tea room and includes a light luncheon and spectacular views.

Thirsty yet? Head on over to LoveTea.com to check out our vast variety of loose leaf teas!  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Welcome to 2015: How to Reap the Benefits of Tea All Year Long

As the New Year begins, resolutions abound. If you have been considering ways to change your life for the better in 2015, why not pledge to make tea a part of your routine? Researchers have discovered numerous health benefits associated with drinking tea on a regular basis, including a lowered risk of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In addition, certain kinds of tea have been linked to assisting with weight loss and lowering cholesterol. So how do you get started?

 Start Your Day with a Cup of Tea


The easiest way to incorporate tea into your day is to begin the morning with a cup. With so many types to try, pick up a variety pack. Each morning choose a new tea from your sampler to brew. You will quickly discover your favorite flavor.


Develop an English Tea Ritual


The English have had a reputation for afternoon tea ever since Catherine of Braganza of Portugal, the queen of Charles II, brought the custom to the English royal court in the 17th century. Although there has been a decline in a formal Afternoon Tea routine in recent years, many people still stop what they are doing at 5 o'clock for a steaming cup. One traditional English tea is loose Earl Grey.

Drink Tea before Bed


A cup of green tea at bedtime is a terrific way to reap its many benefits. Research has found green tea to lower blood pressure, activate the working memory of the brain, and block plaque related to Alzheimer's disease from forming. Make it decaffeinated so as not to interfere with a restful night's sleep. By slowly adding tea to your daily routine, you will begin to develop a craving for its soothing properties. Before you know it, you will wonder how you ever went a day without it.


Green Loose Tea


LoveTea.com offers loose leaf green tea in a wide range of handpicked flavors from around the world. Our Asian teas provide rich Japanese and Chinese flavors for the most discerning palate. Steep a pot of our apricot, peach, pineapple or lemon teas for the delicious sweet taste, and benefit from the heart-healthy antioxidants inside every cup.

Flavored Loose Tea


At LoveTea.com, we offer an incredible selection of flavored loose leaf tea. Our teas contain the most delectable quality fruits and herbs, resulting in a full-bodied cup of tea every time. Be sure to brew our savory Chocolate Cappuccino for the perfect warm start to your winter morning. It is a delicious combination of sweet chocolate and bold loose tea

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Perfect Time for a Tea Party

What better time of year to have a tea party than the present? You work hard all year long and spend your evenings running to kid's activities, making dinner, or doing housework--now is the perfect time to host a holiday tea party and sit back and enjoy the company of your friends and family.

There are several different ways you can host your tea party. The following are some ideas you might want to give a try:

You can do all of the work yourself by doing some decorating, putting out the holiday tea set, and baking your favorite cookies and cakes.
You can ease up on yourself a bit and share the dessert making. Have each guest bring their favorite baked goods or you can even do an exchange.
You don't just have to exchange desserts; you can also do a tea swap. Have each guest bring their favorite flavor of loose leaf tea to exchange. The easiest way to do this would be to put one teaspoon in a baggy for each person. You can have fun with this and dress the bags up for the season and add a decorative tag with the tea flavor on it.
Another idea is to host a gourmet loose leaf tea tasting party. You can make several pots of various flavored loose teas for your guests to try. If you really want to have some fun, you can eliminate the names of the teas and see if your guests can guess the ingredients of the tea.

Regardless of how you decide to host your party, loose leaf tea is always a good way to warm up during the holiday season. With so many different flavored loose teas you can find combinations that suit the holidays, such as cinnamon and spice combinations, teas that contain mint, or a mulberry flavor.


All of these loose leaf teas as well as a wide array of other flavors can be found online at LoveTea.com. So, take some time to relax this holiday season and host a party that is a little different than all the rest. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Do You Have the Wintertime Sniffles?

We are all well aware that when old man winter strikes, so do the illnesses. If we don't have the sniffles, coughs, sneezes, or wheezes ourselves, it seems as though someone around us always does throughout the entire winter, and we are continuously trying to ward off the germs. When the germs happen to get the best of us, it's not pretty!

This winter, try a little something different--some loose leaf wellness tea. Yes, that's right…tea! The following are some ingredients used in various blends of loose leaf tea that are known to soothe the symptoms of a cold and all the doldrums that come with it:
  • Echinacea: Echinacea is known to be an anti-bacterial. Immune constituents of Echinacea activate cell eaters in our body which trap viral or bacterial infected cells and clear them from the body.
  • Ginger: Ginger is known to be an anti-viral. Ginger root contains anti-inflammatory gingerols and shaogals which help relieve an irritated throat, and ginger also kills rhinoviruses which are the culprit of the common cold.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is just about an anti-everything; it acts as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and an anti-fungal. It is also known to eliminate nausea or vomiting.
  • Clove: Cloves can help with pain, as well as fighting infections. It is known to be an anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and an anti-oxidant.
  • Sage: Sage is known to be an anti-bacterial and antiseptic. It can assist in soothing a sore throat.
  • Lemon: Lemon is a great source of vitamin C and is known to help with coughs, colds, headaches, flu, and the chills.
  • Lemongrass: Lemongrass is another natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It helps relieve coughs and colds, but will also help with relaxation so that you can get a good night's sleep, which is also needed when you are trying to get healthy.
These are just a few of the ingredients that can help keep you healthier this winter. A variety of wellness loose leaf teas that include these beneficial ingredients are available online from LoveTea.com.    

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Are You Serving for Thanksgiving?  


We wait all year long to enjoy all of the Thanksgiving trimmings--the juicy turkey, buttery mashed potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie, and all the other traditional family servings. It's funny, when you hear all the talk about the Thanksgiving holiday, it usually revolves around the food and desserts that will be served; but most fail to mention what they will be serving to drink.

Why not shake things up a little bit this year and serve something completely unexpected, like some savory, gourmet loose leaf tea. There are many varieties that pair well with the Thanksgiving meal and pumpkin pie. Some of the fall favorites include a blend of spices, such as ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, or cloves. Fruit flavored teas are another light, after-dinner favorite. These might include one or a combination of apple, peach, raspberry, apricot, orange, lemon, and more. Many flavored and gourmet loose leaf teas have an elegant and delectable blend of both, fruit and spice.

Imagine how impressed your guests will be when you bring out a beautiful tray of tea cups and a tea pot; or better yet, make several different flavors for your guests to try. There are several other ways to impress your guests as well; one being by making a refreshing after-dinner loose leaf tea infused cocktail. The following is one recipe you can experiment with:

Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktail

Ingredients:  6 cups of water, 5 teaspoons of loose black tea, 1/4 cup of agave or honey, depending on the potency you are looking for, use 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of bourbon, about 6 slices of orange rounds, 6 sprigs of mint, and ice.

Directions:
  • Boil water.
  • Remove water from heat source, add black tea, and steep for 3-minutes
  • Strain the tea and pour into a pitcher.
  • Refrigerate tea until cool.
  • Mix the agave or honey, bourbon, oranges, and mint in a separate bowl.
  • Muddle the ingredients with the back of the spoon.
  • Mix the ingredients from the bowl with the cooled tea.
  • Serve over ice.

This recipe will provide a tantalizing fragrance that will wake you from your turkey coma. Research and experiment with one of the many varieties of loose leaf tea available online at LoveTea.com. Share your special recipe here so others can try it as well.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Is there a Tea that Can Help with Sleeplessness?

After a long, stressful day there is nothing better than getting a good night's sleep. Although this sounds fantastic, this isn't always the way it goes. When you have too much on your mind, it's hard to shut down at night and we often lay awake with everything stirring in our heads. Not only is this frustrating, but it also makes the next day awfully long.

Several studies have shown that the lack of sleep can cause our bodies to go into a state of stress. When this happens, stress hormones are released, blood pressure can increase, and the increase in stress hormones can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night. As you can see, stress and the lack of sleep can have a cyclical effect on the body; therefore, making it that much more important to break the cycle and get a good night's rest.

There are natural ways of remedying sleeplessness, such as taking some time to wind down before bed and drinking a soothing cup of loose leaf tea. Of course, you will want to be sure that you are drinking a loose leaf tea that is non-caffeinated and full of just the right ingredients to relax your mind and allow your body a good night sleep. The following are some the soothing ingredients to look for: 

  • Chamomile - This is an herb that resembles a daisy and has been used for years in traditional and folk medicine. Chamomile has mild sedative effects and can assist with a better night's sleep.
  • Passion flower - The passion flower plant is said to be effective for many symptoms, such as restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia. It has a calming effect, as well as being able to induce sleep and relieve muscle spasms.
  • Valerian root - The root of the valerian plant is said to help with and be used to treat anxiety, stress, headaches, migraines, and insomnia, among other symptoms. Valerian root is an ingredient that can be found in loose leaf teas for a calming effect and hopefully help with getting better sleep at night.
  • Lavender - The lavender plant has been used for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes, such as headaches, depression and insomnia; as well as cleaning the mind, spirit, and body. The scent of lavender alone is enough to give calming effects.

There are, of course, other ingredients that can assist with calming effects. The bottom line is, there is no need to suffer from sleepless nights; your comfort is just a cup of tea away. LoveTea.com has some options to get you started on the road to a better night's sleep; try one of the following teas and explore all of the other options to buy some of the best loose leaf tea online:
  • Nighttime Treat Loose Leaf Tea - Sit back and relax a little more with each sip of this valerian root, lemon balm leaf, and passion flower herb combination.
  • Good Night Loose Leaf Tea - This blend of cardamom, fennel seeds, ginger root, saffron, licorice root, rosebuds, and lemon grass is sure to give you some inner peace as well as a few more z's at night.
  • Very Berry Chamomile Loose Leaf Tea - This sweet combination of orange peel, hibiscus, raspberry leaves, berry flavor, and safflower infused with chamomile tea is just the right balance to soothe and advocate a well-rested night.