The Caraway Tea Company would like to introduce you to their new and exciting blog! Each month we will investigate into the histories and myths surrounding tea. Our goal is to broaden your knowledge past simple black and green leaf teas and introduce you to the wonders of the world's oldest and most refreshing beverage.
|Posted on March 30, 2013 at 8:30 PM||comments (0)|
Yellow tea is a rare type of tea, produced out of China, that is gaining recognition throughout Western countries. This is the perfect tea for those who like to indulge in the health benefits of green tea, but not the vegetal or grassy taste green tea is infamous for. Yellow tea is often described as flowery, fresh and mild with a taste somewhere between white and green tea. Yellow tea leaves are yellow in color and are picked early in the year when the buds are still young, resulting in the yellow color of the brew.
The process of making yellow tea differs from green tea in that yellow tea is allowed to oxidize, or ferment, longer. The process of drying yellow buds is also extended, resulting in the yellow appearance. The oxidized and dried leaves are wrapped in a special paper and stored in a wooden box. The leaves are then slowly roasted. This whole process takes approximately three days and is testament to the rarity and cost of the tea. But many believe that the art, tradition, and benefits of this process are well worth it.
The warm and golden fluid can be more appealing in appearance than white or green teas. Many who indulge in this tea focus on the art of it, focusing on the tea's subtle yet complex flavors. Focusing on the tea as an event can also help to relieve stress and calm down a stressful day.
The early harvesting of the yellow buds causes the leaves to contain high numbers of antioxidants, some believe even more than green tea. Yellow tea is very high in antioxidants that promote, among other things, dental health and fight against the weakening of bones. Like other types of tea, yellow tea contains the antioxidants known as Flavanoids. These can aid in the fight against cancer by stopping the growth of cancerous cells. Yellow tea is a true blend of culture, health, and taste and is something that every tea connoisseur should try at least once!
|Posted on March 23, 2013 at 8:40 PM||comments (0)|
The world is in love with green tea. People enjoy the brew because of it's flavor, it's color, it's scent regardless of where it comes from or what else it is paired with for flavor. Green tea in general is one of the most consumed teas in the world, and is definitely the most consumed type of tea in China. And since tea is the second most consumed drink the WORLD after water, you can bet that is a whole lot of green tea being consumed every day. However, flavor isn't the only thing people seek for their green tea experience. It's no secret that tea is healthy for you, but there are reasons green tea is considered perhaps one of the healthiest beverages that one can consume today. One of the things that makes green tea such an incredibly beneficial drink is the powerful antioxidant EGCG.
EGCG is short for Epigallocatechin gallate which is a type of catechin, which are naturally occurring phenols and antioxidants belonging to the family of flavanoids. All that really means is that it is a true and natural antioxidant that is used for a variety of health benefits. EGCG is found naturally in green teas, but not in any other types because black tea changes the compound as it darkens, and yellow and red teas are not made from the chamellia sinensis plant.
One of the more common known health benefits of EGCG is the ability to lose weight while consuming it and green tea in general. Green tea has a variety of factors that help one lose weight, but EGCG is especially adept at helping the body to burn fat. EGCG acts as a stimulator of “thermogenesis”. Thermogenesis is the process of your body burning fat off in order to give you energy. Therefore, green tea can provide energy in weight loss through both the process of supplying you with EGCG as well as a slight amount of caffeine. There have been a multitude of products released within the last few years which boast a large amount of EGCG, caffeine, and other supplements as a quick method to lose weight. It should be noted though, that in order to lose weight and keep it off in a healthy weight, diet and exercise are also a necessity. EGCG can help the process by a magnitude of degrees though.
Other studies are also in the works to use EGCG in order to battle common diseases that have thus far been difficult to treat. There have been links between EGCG and symptons of HIV, certain types of cancer, chronic fatigue disorder, Sjogrens Syndrome, Endometriosis,Spinal MuscularAstrophy, as well as Neurodegeneration. It effects that body in so many ways that some of these studies are progressing in a quick manner while some are merely in their first trials. However, the health benefits are looking to be promising on all ends.
|Posted on October 15, 2012 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
Recently discovering highly-beneficial health teas I came across the usual Green and Rooibis blends but kept seeing the word mate. I had never heard of, never mind tried, this intense type of tea which originated in South America. It is brewed from the leaves of the yerba mate plant. Traditionally the leaves are dried, ground and loosely placed in a hollowed out gourd. The drink is then severed with a metal straw, called a bombilla, that has small slots or holes that act as a sieve, so only the liquid is allowed through. In countries likes Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil this is still the popular process of drinking mate, but loose leaf and tea bag versions are becoming popular in the United States.
Mate is set apart from most other teas because of its unique flavor. It has a slightly eucalyptus aroma and a bitter taste. Many say that the earthy flavor of the yerba mate is even stronger if prepared in the traditional method.
Mate is recognized for it's caffeine high without the crash of coffee – it contains 80 milligrams of caffeine per cup. It is also renowned for its list of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, specifically Manganese, Potassium, and Vitamins A and B. These properties promote focus and clarity, boost physical energy, and aid in weight loss. These health benefits place mate in the running with the very beneficial Green tea. It is often also compared to Green tea in terms of taste. However, yerba mate is a much more potent and bitter flavor in comparison.
Brazil is currently the largest cultivator and of yerba mate, producing 53% of the mate market. The invigorating qualities of mate were first discovered by the Guarani Indians of South America. The traditional way to brew mate is still used in South American countries and contains five steps.
Quick tip – make sure to resist stirring the mixture around with the bombilla as this will clog it. It is also very important that the water is not boiling because water that is boiled has a different molecular structure that will drain the nutrients from the mate and make it more bitter tasting.
Luckily, if one enjoys the smoky, woody flavor of mate but doesn't have the means or time to traditionally brew the drink, many tea distributors have tea-bag versions of the healthy South American brew. If the taste is too bitter, you can add honey, herbs, lemon, etc.
|Posted on February 15, 2012 at 10:20 AM||comments (0)|
Rooibos tea, also called red bush or red tea, is an herbal tisane that has enjoyed a surge in popularity amongst tea and coffee lovers alike. The rooibos bush, from which the tea is harvested, is found in the northern region of Cape Town, South Africa, specifically in the Cedarburg Mountain region. Because of strict apartheid-imparted trade sanctions on South Africa, the rooibos bush leaves were not able to be imported into the United States before 2000. Since then, however, the distinct and flavorful tea has enjoyed a growing popularity in the states. In fact, the popularity of rooibos tea has risen by fifteen percent annually in the past decade.
Rooibos tea is popular in no small part due to its health benefits. Rooibos boasts a high level of antioxidants. Though many of its touted medicinal purposes have not been scientifically proven, many purveyors and drinkers of the tea pride rooibos for its benefits on skin conditions, stomach cramps, headaches, insomnia, irritability and even prevention of certain cancers. In addition to antioxidants, rooibos also contains high levels of minerals like manganese, calcium and fluoride which help to strengthen teeth and bones.
Aside from the original red tea, rooibos also comes in a few other forms. Green rooibos tea, for example, is made from unfermented leaves. Though the unfermented green leaves make for a lighter and herbal flavor, it also allows for a higher level of antioxidants. Some rooibos tea purveyors now also offer the tea in flavors like mint, chamomile, caramel and vanilla.
Rooibos tea also boasts a distinct and desirable flavor, often times being described as sweet and nutty, even reminiscent of tobacco for some. This helps to explain why the caffeine-free tea has become popular amongst both tea and coffee aficionados. Rooibos tea, similar to black tea, is traditionally served with a bit of milk and sugar in its native South Africa. However, it is now often enjoyed on its own or with a hint of honey.
Rooibos tea is steeped in nearly the same fashion as black or oolong tea. Pour hot water over the tea leaves or tea bag and allow the tea to steep for 5 to 8 minutes. Add any milk, sugar or honey if desired and enjoy the hearty flavor and health benefits of your cup of rooibos.
One other often overlooked feature of Rooibos is its distinctive ability to blend well with flavors. You'll find all kinds of flavored Rooibos teas today and they are spectacular. Rooibos Chai is probably my favorite, but you can find everything from Orange Creamsicle to Carribean Punch flavors. So pull up a chair pour a cup of this wonder and healthy tea and enjoy.
|Posted on January 4, 2012 at 12:30 AM||comments (0)|
Recently there has been increased interest in the origins of teas. With greater awareness of their health benefits and flavor nuances, there is a thirst for information on exotic teas. One of the most fashionable beverages is the Chinese puerh black tea.
The best puerh black tea originates from the Yunnan province of China, where it has been cultivated for 2000 years. The preparation of the tea makes it unique. Centuries of experience in production have resulted in a tea that is complex, satisfying and sophisticated.
The leaves are oxidized, but for a shorter period than conventional black tea. They can be sold loose, but are often compressed into cakes or bricks of dried tea. Puerh black tea undergoes a process of fermentation in a warm and humid environment to impart an earthy flavor. Some producers even mature their teas in caves.
The tea cakes may look off-putting to those who are used to loose teas, but they are part of the ritual of puerh tea preparation. To make tea, you flake pieces off from the cake, or steam the whole cake until it is soft and malleable.
For ideal results, puerh black tea should be steeped in water which is a couple of degrees below boiling point. It's important not to steep for too long. About 30 seconds is usually sufficient. The tea should have a rich, deep red color. Longer steeping will impair the flavor, and you may find your tea too dark and bitter to drink.
Loose leaf puerh black tea is aromatic and light, a refreshing alternative to conventional teas. Serious tea aficionados will favor the tea made from the compressed tea bricks. The flavor is mellow and rich, with the deep and complex flavors and aftertaste that some associate with fine coffee. As it is low in caffeine, but high in satisfying flavors, puerh black tea might be a suitable alternative for those who are trying to curb their java addiction.
Puerh black tea has often been promoted as an aid to weight loss, and it has been connected to some celebrity diets. There are claims that it stimulates the metabolism. The Chinese refer to puerh black teas as "medicinal". Although there is no substantiated medical evidence to back up the claims, there are suggestions that puerh black tea can help digestive processes and reduce cholesterol levels.
|Posted on September 21, 2011 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
Our new blog will be starting up very soon. Check back often to begin your journey exploring new and exciting teas with us.