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Black Tea Goodness

Black Tea Goodness

It is no question that tea lovers tout green tea as THE miracle tea of choice. But what about its counterpart, the black tea? Don’t brush it off just yet. Scientists have discovered a whole host of health benefits linked to it. 

black tea goodness health benefits

What is Black Tea?

It is produced from the same kind of plant the green tea is – Camellia Sinensis. The only difference is how tea farmers process it. Leaves are withered, rolled, heated and then fermented and heated in order to produce delicious tea leaves.

Read more: Black Tea 101

Here are some of its health benefits.

Read more: Antioxidants – Why Do You Need Them?

black tea with muffin and journal
black tea in transparent tea pot

Health Benefits of Black Tea

1. Stress Relief

Black tea is ample in L-theanine, which helps you relax and concentrate. Regular consumption has also been found to lower cortisol levels.

2. Immune System Boost

It has alkylamine antigens and tannins which support the immune system, helping to ward off common everyday illnesses such as the flu and the tummy bug.

3. Lowers High Cholesterol

Research conducted by the American Heart Association concluded that black tea was associated with slower age-related decreases in HDL-C concentrations which is beneficial in reducing bad cholesterol, thus lowering the risk of heart strokes. People who drink 3-4 cups a day seems to be at a lower risk than people who consumed none at all. [1]

4. Oral Health

The Tea Trade Health Research Association discovered that it helps eliminate plaque formation. It seems to inhibit the growth of bacteria that promotes cavity formation and tooth decay. This is due to the polyphenol content that kill bacteria and the enzymes they create which bind plaque to the tooth enamel.

5. Energy Boost

It contains caffeine, albeit not in the skyrocket amounts that coffee does. It is sufficient however to provide a long lasting and steady boost of energy and mental clarity throughout the day.

What are you waiting for? Brew yourself some black tea goodness and drink up!

p.s. Shop for our Black Tea Collection.

References

[1] From Journal of the American Heart Association, (2018, June). Tea Consumption and Longitudinal Change in High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Concentration in Chinese Adultshttps://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.118.008814

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Black Tea Goodness

It is no question that tea lovers tout green tea as THE miracle tea of choice. But what about its counterpart, the black tea? Don’t brush it off just yet. Scientists have discovered a whole host of health benefits linked to it. 

read more

Black Tea 101

By the end of the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644), the culture of tea drinking was growing in the West. But black tea did not find appreciative drinkers until the Dutch embraced Chinese tea after 1640, when Dutch traders introduced tea to society patrons in Hague and it became a fashionable lifestyle. Eventually, it became the most sought-after trade commodity of the English East India Company.

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Green Tea 101

Green Tea 101

Civilisations in China and Japan have been using green tea for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Green tea is tea in its purest form because tea makers have minimal room to alter its production techniques.

It is absolutely crucial in its manufacturing process to prevent oxidation of the fresh leaf and preserve the natural green color. In most cases, tea farmers will lightly steam fresh leaves from the plant to produce it.

Green tea offers many different leaf styles and flavor characteristics. Without doubt, tea connoisseurs will delight in its transitory tastes and sweet-smelling aromas that are fresh, delicious and uncomplicated.

Tea plantations produce it year-round in subtropical locations, but only at specific times in the warm months in temperate zones. This corresponds to the specific varieties of camellia sinensis grown in these dissimilar places. The quality of the leaf generally relates to the time of year and number of plucks (harvests) per year.

In regions of the world in which the tropical sub varieties of camellia sinensis, such as assam bush or java bush grow, leaf for green tea may be plucked all year-round.  

green tea 101 tea bag in cup with flower jar and teabags

Health Benefits

Drinkers are currently using green tea as a beverage or dietary supplement to relieve digestive symptoms and headaches. It is also used to improve mental alertness and promote weight loss.

Although many studies have been done, researchers still have yet to obtain definite conclusions on its health benefits. However, limited evidence available suggests that it might have beneficial effects on some heart disease risk factors, including blood pressure and cholesterol.

There’s evidence that green tea enhances mental alertness, as would be expected because of its caffeine content. [1]

Read more: 3 Green Tea Tips for Weight Loss

Read more: Antioxidants – Why Do You Need Them?

Grades of Green Tea

The terminology used to designate grades of green tea can differ widely, because no universal standard exists for grading it. Hence, this complexity and lack of standardization can be confusing. For example, some may use the term imperial to designate the top grade of a particular tea. Others may label the same as premium. In brief, tea buyers should seek high quality tea at reasonable prices.

Buyers can find it difficult to know whether a certain tea is more expensive than another because it is overpriced or of a higher grade. There will be no resolution to this because the tea industry cannot possibly codify the thousands of green teas available, so it is necessary to cultivate a relationship with a trustworthy tea brand. As you become familiar with our teas, you will in essence become familiar with our criteria for selection. This will prove to be more valuable to your enjoyment of tea than any complex, universal system of standards could ever be.

However, premium green teas tend to follow a specific plucking standard. Generally, it is plucked early in the spring and have certain country-specific particulars.

Chinese wisdom in the tea garden dictates, “tea that is picked early is a treasured; picked late, it’s trash.

Because it is processed so minimally, the size of the leaf before manufacture has a critical impact on the flavor of the finished tea.

p.s. Shop for our Green Tea Collection.

 

Classic leaf styles

  • Bud-only; sword or sparrow’s tongue
  • Budset; sword or twisted needle
  • Open or leafy
  • Flat of flaky
  • Twist
  • Spiral or crimped
  • Needle or wiry
  • Ball or rolled
  • Compressed
loose leaf green tea

Taste components

  • Aromatic
  • Astringent
  • Body – varies from light to full
  • Bright
  • Character
  • Clean
  • Crisp
  • Fresh
  • Grassy
  • Green
  • Herbaceous
  • Kelpy
  • Lingering finish
  • Mineral
  • Soft
  • Spicy
  • Strength
  • Sweet
  • Vegetal
tea plantation
chinese green tea in clay cups in bamboos

Steeping Green Tea

The first harvest of teas in the spring season will fill the mouth with fresh, delicious flavors that are sweet and refreshing. Being more delicate than most other classes of tea, green tea requires steeping water that has cooled from the boil. Water that is too hot will force the leaf to become bitter, rather than encourage it to yield the sweetness inherent in the leaf.

Teas from China

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of leafy tea (per 175ml of water)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons for bud tea
  • Spring teas: 70 – 75°C
  • Other teas: 75 – 80°C
  • Steeping time: 90 seconds to 2 minutes

Teas from Japan

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons (per 175ml of water)

  • Steeping temperature: 70 – 75°C

  • Steeping time: 90 seconds to 2 minutes

Read more: Tea Brewing Instructions

Read more: 3 Green Tea Pairing Tips for Beginner

The Role of Green Tea

green tea being dried in baskets

CHINA

Green tea has been the most popular form of tea in China since the Southern Song dynasty. In fact, approximately 70 percent of China’s yearly output of tea is green tea. Generally, there are almost ten thousand distinctions of it produced in China’s eastern provinces of Anhui, Henan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi and Zhejiang and the western provinces of Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan.

China’s most delicious green teas are delicate, fresh, and clean. Some possess vegetal flavors in the cup whilst others are earthy and grassy in style, reflecting the cool climate and austere soil found high in the tea mountains.

JAPAN

Buddhist monks brought tea seeds to Japan in the early 9th century. Most green tea consumed in Japan is produced on this small but intensively farmed country of islands. Japanese tea enthusiasts are deeply connected to the flavor of Japanese tea. They are also rarely attracted to the tea offerings of other countries.

The flavor of Japanese tea is vivid, striking and vegetal, which makes it unique and deliciously refreshing any time of the day. In the cup, the best Japanese teas feature both astringency and controllable attribute of tea that has been finely honed by Japanese tea artisans.

In contrast to China, Japan historically produces only one major class of tea – green tea. Japan’s green teas are usually dark, forest green, thin and needle-shaped. Underscoring this selective focus is the additional fact that Japanese tea makers produce only a scant handful of green tea varieties, a distinction that highly contrasts with that of neighboring China.

Emphasis is not on specific tea gardens or famous mountains, but on distinctions that differentiate the teas from larger geographical areas such as Shizuoka, Kyushu and central Honshu.

We source our high quality Japanese teas from Yame, Japan – highly renowned for their premium quality.

In Japan, tea should exhibit three necessary traits: good aroma, taste and appearance.

Read more: Matcha 101

[1] From National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, (2016, November). Green Teahttps://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/green-tea

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Black Tea 101

By the end of the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644), the culture of tea drinking was growing in the West. But black tea did not find appreciative drinkers until the Dutch embraced Chinese tea after 1640, when Dutch traders introduced tea to society patrons in Hague and it became a fashionable lifestyle. Eventually, it became the most sought-after trade commodity of the English East India Company.

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6 Habits that Help You to Sleep Better

6 Habits that Help You to Sleep Better

Are you struggling with falling asleep at night? Do you toss and turn until the wee hours of the morning only to fall into a restless sleep? Wake up feeling more tired than refreshed?

You’re not alone.

Millions of people struggle with sleep disorders ranging from mild to severe.

If you don’t want to default to prescription sleeping pills, try going the natural route with chamomile tea. It is perfectly safe and it really works!

Studies have shown that chamomile tea is rich in apidenin, a flavonoid compound which helps relax the body and induce sleep. Get your chamomile tea now, its delicate flavour and warm aroma helps you to unwind after a long day. 

1. Chamomile tea

If you don’t want to default to prescription sleeping pills, try going the natural route with chamomile tea. It is perfectly safe and it really works!

Studies have shown that chamomile tea is rich in apidenin, a flavonoid compound which helps relax the body and induce sleep. Get your chamomile tea now, its delicate flavour and warm aroma helps you to unwind after a long day. 

2. Stay away from screens

Try to stay away from your phone or computer one to two hours before bedtime. I know it is tempting to keep checking your phone when you can’t fall asleep, but the blue light that the screens emit will mess up your melatonin production and prevent you from falling asleep.

Charge your phone across the room instead of right beside your bed. Drastic times call for drastic measures!

3. Establish a proper night time routine

This helps to signal to your brain that it is time for bed. This looks different for everybody. Do what helps you de-stress. Take it as your “me” time.

Light a scented candle. Take a warm bubble bath. Read a book. Drink a warm cuppa tea. Pray. Find what works for you and stick with it.

My nightly routine:

Drinking a warm cup of Roleaf tea while reading a good book helps me to unwind after a long stressful day. They have a such a great range of non-caffeinated brews to choose from! Calming Chamomile, Rooibos, French Rose Tea… These calming teas soothe my body. I love diffusing lavender and cedarwood essential oils too.

4. Exercise

Exercising tires out the body and helps you to sleep deeply. This is especially true for me after an intense session of weight training! I crash into bed and fall into a deep sleep almost immediately. If you don’t like weights, go and take a walk, go for a swim… just move. This will regulate your hormone production, making it easier to sleep at night.

*Make sure you do it during the day or early evening. Working out too close to bedtime is counterproductive because the rush of endorphins will make it difficult to fall asleep.

5. Sleep schedule

Try to go to bed and wake up the same time every day – even on weekends. It is tempting to sleep in all the way until noon on a Sunday, but that will only confuse your internal clock and make it hard to adjust again on weekdays.

6. Eating before slumber

Eating before bed is not always a bad thing. Some food are actually great to help you fall asleep.

  1. Warm Milk – contains tryptophan, a sleep inducing hormone
  2. Tart Cherry Juice – rich in melatonin for sleep regulation
  3. A small serving of carb-rich foods e.g. bananas, wholegrain cereal, wholemeal toast. Carbs induce sleepiness. Make sure to choose healthy sources of carbs with low sugar for all the benefits without the increased waistline.
  4. Sweet potato – It contains potassium, a muscle relaxant, and is rich in complex carbs.

*Avoid alcohol before bedtime. It might make you feel drowsy, but it actually impairs the quality of your sleep. Alcohol also metabolizes quickly in the system causing you to wake up multiple times per night.                                                                                                     

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5 Steps to Kickstart a Healthy Lifestyle

5 Steps to Kickstart a Healthy Lifestyle

Want to start working out but feel overwhelmed at the idea of it all? Scrolling through fitness accounts on Instagram and thinking to yourself, “How will I ever look like that?!” Here are a few steps to kickstart your healthy lifestyle this year.

1. Start Slow

Health goals are good, but be realistic.

If you’ve never exercised, your body will not be able to tolerate a HIIT workout or a crazy pounding weight session. You will probably puke and hate it too. In fitness jargon, this is called unconditioned. As such, conditioning the body and getting it used to higher heart rates takes time.

Sedentary individuals can start by just as little of 15-20 minutes of brisk walking 2-3 times a week. From there, progress to 30 minutes 4-5 times a week. Subsequently, you will quickly notice improvements in overall wellbeing and health during this period.

Bodyweight exercises are also an excellent way to begin activating your muscles. Squats, lunges, wall sits, push-ups, planks… the possibilities are endless! They can be performed at home or at the park without any expensive equipment.

Walk before you run. Bodyweight before barbells.

Increase intensity and duration progressively, not all at once.

2. Find Something You Love

Being healthy should be fun, not just something you have to endure.

When “exercise” is mentioned, what comes to mind for most is running. Running is excellent, but it isn’t the only workout you can do. I personally love it but it is boring to many others.

There are plenty of fun ways to get your body moving. Zumba, Muay Thai, Les Mills Body Combat and outdoor bootcamps are great ways to burn calories and get some blood flowing.

When you enjoy it, you will stick with it. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find something you love! 

Read: 3 Green Tea Tips for Weight Loss

3. Healthy Accountability

Having someone to be accountable to makes a whole world of difference.

 “I’m so tired today.”

 “Maybe tomorrow.”

 “Who needs exercise when I can have extra fries.”

Sound familiar?

Left on my own, I would never have dragged my lazy bum off the couch. Chances are it might be the same for you.

Find an exercise partner. Get your mom to nag at you. Find a workout partner. Immerse yourself in fitness communities. Sign up for group classes. Pay for a gym membership. Being healthy is a journey and you’re better off when you have like-minded people to do it with.

4. Hire a Trainer

Sometimes, the wealth of information on the Internet can be more confusing than helpful. Here is where personal trainers come in to help.

Don’t be too proud to ask for help.

This is important especially if you’re new to the gym. Get a trainer to teach you proper form and technique, or even to design a workout program tailored to your specific fitness goals because the last thing you want is to injure yourself. 

Most commercial gyms offer personal training sessions upon sign up. Other ways to look for good trainers are via word-of-mouth or online research. Find an experienced trainer you trust and whose approach you are comfortable with.

Don’t forget to ask for their credentials. Reputable trainers will be registered with a professional board such as ACE (American Council of Exercise) or NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). Bonus points if they have a current CPR certification.

 

5. Just Start

Truth be told, you could read a million motivational quotes, drool over pictures of toned bodies and abs, pay for the most expensive gym or hire the most qualified trainer – but at the end of the day, no one else can do the work but you. 

You are responsible for your own body and health.

Yes, you might probably hate it at first, but your future self will thank you for the hard work you put in now. The benefits of having a lean, strong and healthy body are incredible. And more than just looking good, fitness will unlock a self confidence and passion for life you never even knew was there. 

Start small, start somewhere, just start to be healthy.

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read more

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By the end of the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644), the culture of tea drinking was growing in the West. But black tea did not find appreciative drinkers until the Dutch embraced Chinese tea after 1640, when Dutch traders introduced tea to society patrons in Hague and it became a fashionable lifestyle. Eventually, it became the most sought-after trade commodity of the English East India Company.

read more

5 Cups Of Tea A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

5 Cups Of Tea A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Tea comes in as the second most consumed beverage in the world, next to water. It is no surprise why!

Besides being super tasty, tea offers up a whole host of healthy benefits for the drinker – one of which is a potent immune system boost.

It is a well-known fact that polyphenols, i.e. the antioxidants found in plants are what gives tea its immune-boosting superpowers. One particular type of polyphenols in particular – catechins – are wonderful for killing influenza viruses. 

It may also protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

Read: 3 Green Tea Tips for Weight Loss

p.s. For that extra virus blasting kick, add lemon and honey!

Lay off the milk though, because the protein in it will bind to the polyphenols, making them ineffective.

 

Alkylamine in Tea

 Another recent study conducted by Jack F. Bukowski, published in the online journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, discovered that the compound “alkylamine” is abundantly available in tea. It can also help prime the body’s immune system to fight off infections.

It is present in bacteria, cancerous cells, parasites, fungi and other diseases causing microbes. In the same way an immunity shot preps the body to ward off stronger disease causing agents, tea teaches immune cells to recognize alyklamines. Even though alyklamines in tea are relatively weak, and don’t fully activate the immune system, they do prep it to be in a state of readiness when a full-blown infection does occur.

The experiment, conducted on human volunteers, proved that the immune system of tea drinkers responded five time faster and more aggressively to germs than the blood cells of non drinkers.

What are you waiting for? Drink up and strengthen your immune system. Invest in your own health and wellness!

 

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read more

Black Tea 101

By the end of the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644), the culture of tea drinking was growing in the West. But black tea did not find appreciative drinkers until the Dutch embraced Chinese tea after 1640, when Dutch traders introduced tea to society patrons in Hague and it became a fashionable lifestyle. Eventually, it became the most sought-after trade commodity of the English East India Company.

read more