Tea Today

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tea-Infused Chocolate

From Bonbons to Ganache to Truffles, chocolate can't get by without tea enthusiasts figuring out a way to combine the two. Recently there was a competition for the best tea-infused chocolate held in New York City. The judges selected nine chocolates as finalists at the competition in NYC on May 18, 2006.

The Best of Show award went to Kristy Choo of California for her combination of dark chocolate with Sri Lankan black tea, scented with citrus fruits, roses, vanilla, cinnamon, and almond. There were two winners of the Best Flavor Award, for the best balance of chocolate and tea flavors: Burdick Chocolate for their Rose Hip Tea Bonbon (a dark chocolate ganache garnished with white chocolate strips and a candied rose petal) and Christopher Elbow Chocolates for their Earl Grey Ganache (a well balanced treat with a bold citrus note).

Looks like the trend is heading towards making chocolate good for you? Perhaps, as we see an insurgence of choclate enthusiats and an increase in interest around the health benefits of dark chocolate. Or perhaps the trend is more towards combining tea and tea flavors with other everyday treats. Tea leaves and cocoa are both grown naturally and taken in thier raw forms are beneficial to your health, so why not combine the two?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Tea Naturals

I came across a company that makes use of tea in their beauty products.
Here is their moto:

"We believe everything your skin needs to be nourished and healthy is found in nature. We use only safe, effective natural ingredients such as organic tea , organic botanicals, and essential oils. We never use synthetic ingredients such as parabens, PEGs, propylene glycol, or colors and fragrances."

They use lemongrass, lavender and Bergamot in their facial products as well as grape seed, carrots and cherry to gain the essential vitamins needed to enrich and protect their tea creams and facial products. I think it is a great idea. They say that tea is as good on you as in you, a clever biline. Check it out at: www.teanaturals.com

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Book Review: The New Tea Book

The New Tea Book by Sara Perry is an excellent guide into the world of choosing and serving different teas. Perry provides a wonderful overview of the history and cultivation of tea and then goes on to discuss how to choose the right tea, how to prepare your tea and then how to serve your tea. She gives the reader an objective description of the difference between black tea, green tea, oolong tea, blended teas, and scented/flavored tea. In her overview of serving tea she discusses tea customs and tea accessories used to serve tea the proper way. After you have completed an overview of the different types of tea and how to serve them, you are rewarded with 40 pages of tea recipes such as: Catalina citrus sun tea, shrimp curry tea sandwiches, and gingerspice tea cake. This book is a must read for the tea enthusiast as well as for those interested in learning about the nuances of this magical beverage.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Dunbar Tea Shop

Looking for a place to have a cup of tea and a delicious lunch? Located in the heart of historic Sandwich Village in Massachusetts is the Dunbar Tea Shop, open daily for lunch and afternoon tea.

From owner Paula Hegarty:"The Dunbar Tea Room has become a unique institution and an integral part of a trip to Sandwich. We have developed a great reputation over the years for our homemade goods, our selection of quality teas and our innovative menu. We also have a fine selection of British ales and European wines, ports and sherries. The cozy and intimate atmosphere has been known for providing the perfect setting to catch up with an old friend or to meet a new one. It has the reputation of a place where memories are made."

They have recently been in the headline of local newspapers and magazines, as well as an appearance on NECN's TV Diner. Check out their menu, photos, and more information on hosting an event at the Dunbar Tea Shop at: www.dunbarteashop.com

Friday, August 18, 2006

Tea Forte

There are many ways to enjoy tea. Often tea drinkers like to feel as though the time in which they drink tea is special and having the right equipment makes all the difference. Tea Forte is a company that has come out with a unique looking teabag: " Our unique Silken-Tea-Infusers are individually hand crafted, and provide the world's finest method to brew a cup of tea. The open weave of the fabric allows the water to flow freely around the teas, allowing the tea leaves to unfurl and the flavors to mingle in the large open form of the infuser. We use only exquisite whole-leaf teas and rough cut herbs and our unique design allows the subtle flavors of these fine teas to infuse into the water. It's like brewing a pot of tea in your cup!" " Unwrap the protective cover and stand the infuser in your cup. Pour boiling water in and exquisite tea starts to brew, the infuser maintains its elegant form, and the upward lifted leaf and cotton stem creates a handle. A feast for all the senses, Tea Forte is quite possibly the finest, most elegant cup of tea of all time."

They also sell a teacup with lid that accomodates the pyramid shaped tea bag:Our elegant porcelain tea cup ensemble is a great way to brew Tea Forte silken infusers. The custom cover keeps tea hot while brewing and reveals our signature leaf. Remove lid and enjoy a piping hot, aromatic cup of tea. Each cup beautifully packaged in handcrafted wooden box.

For more information about this product see: http://www.teaforte.com

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tea riding wave of coffee craze

An ancient beverage is making a comeback.
Tea, thought to have been first consumed in China in 2737 B.C., is brewing in teahouses, retail shops, grocery stores and restaurants throughout the country.
Teahouses "were primarily in major metropolitan areas five years ago," said Joe Simrany, president of the Tea Association of the USA, a New York trade group. "They're in towns big and small now."
The group estimates 1,500 to 1,700 tea shops are in the country today, compared with 200 five years ago.
Teahouses are part of the $6.16 billion tea industry, which 15 years ago was a quarter of its current size. Bottled teas, frozen teas and tea bags of traditional black and specialty flavors also are riding a wave of popularity, bolstered by the coffee craze of the 1990s and the increased awareness of tea's health benefits.
Green tea in particular is high in antioxidants, which preliminary studies have found lowers the chances of developing some forms of cancer and arthritis while helping weight loss and strengthening the immune system.
Tea drinkers swear by tea's health benefits.
Julian Jung, 35, of Falls Church, drinks a cup nearly every other day.
"Our bodies need something from the plant kingdom, and tea is a way to get those intangible substances," he said after buying a cup of lemon-grass tea from Teavana tea shop in Tysons Corner Center on Monday.
Drinking tea can be a chance to socialize with friends or an opportunity to unwind.
"I don't know anyone who rushes a cup of tea," said Pearl Dexter, editor and publisher of Tea A Magazine, a trade publication based in Scotland, Conn. "The health benefits come from not only the beverage itself, but the ability to slow down a bit when you're drinking it."
Shawna H. Weekly

Thursday, July 27, 2006


It might be something that we take for granted, but today the Royal Society of Medicine saw the launch of a campaign urging Britons to drink four cups of tea per day to gain maximum health benefits.

Backing the launch of the £1.5M tea4health campaign, The Tea Council unveiled a comprehensive study demonstrating the health benefits associated with drinking tea, including robust evidence that, like fruit and vegetables, black tea contains powerful antioxidants, which can help to prevent against heart disease and some cancers. Major retailer ASDA is also backing the campaign.

A panel of experts, including internationally renowned nutritionists and biochemists, also identified tea drinking as being hydrating rather than dehydrating and something that, due to its relatively low caffeine content, was mood enhancing yet has no negative effect on sleep quality or duration. Tea was even seen as advantageous for dental health, through both its naturally occurring fluoride and its antibacterial properties.

The tea4health campaign is targeting young people who currently drink less than half as much as the over 50s.

Bill Gorman of The Tea Council said, “Our research shows that although young women are increasingly drinking tea rather than coffee, many are shunning tea in favour of water, which they find a chore, rather than something they enjoy. The tea4health campaign aims to dispel the myths associated with tea drinking and make the definitive recommendation that drinking at least four cups of tea a day provides vital health benefits.

“Health properties apart, the great thing about tea is that as Brits, it’s part of our culture. Tea taken at the office or home tastes great and at about 3p per cup it is unrivalled by trendy coffee shop concoctions at around £2 each.”

Even some of the major retailers are backing the campaign with plans to relocate the tea fixture to the fruit and veg aisle. ASDA (part of the Wal-Mart family) has taken steps to sell tea at the fruit and veg aisle in one of its London stores. Customers visiting ASDA at Park Royal will buy their tea while picking out their fruit and vegetables.

As a nation, we are already drinking 165 million cups per day, which equates to just under 3 cups each. The tea4health campaign is intending to increase that to at least 4 cups per day, to ensure that the maximum health benefits are gained.

As part of the campaign The Tea Council has launched a new leaflet to be made available through GP surgeries as well as a new website www.tea4health.com which aims to keep the public up to date with the health benefits of tea as well as providing access to research, facts and figures, current and past news and interactive elements to remind visitors to the site of the health benefits gained from drinking 4 cups a day.