Tea Recipes from Around the Web

I’m not the only one who can come up with some delicious tea blends! Here are a few samplings from some internet neighbors.

Green Chai Spa Tea blend from Epicurious is a delightfully spicy, yet simple beverage that will perk up your afternoon snack. The ingredients are easily obtained from your local health food or herb supply store. I recommend merely sweetening with raw sugar.

Fruits from Washington offers up a wonderful Red Summer Tea recipe. Again, these herbs are pretty easy to obtain and result in a tangy, sweet taste that is perfectly complimented by a squeeze of honey. Serve with your favorite muffin for a lovely breakfast.

Relaxation Herbal Tea is the perfect way to end your hectic day. Chamomile relaxes the nerves, while oat straw, hibiscus, and rose petals nourish the body. I think you’ll find this blend to be a regular evening drink.

I very much love the ingredients used in the Less Stress Tea by Ladies Blend. The flower aromas of lavender, chamomile, and rose will lift your spirits as the peppermint, lemon balm, and catnip strengthen your nervous system. Serve this one up whenever you feel overwhelmed, sad, or discouraged.

For a beverage to jazz up your afternoon snack or your dessert platter, Moroccan Mint Tea makes a delicious choice. Definitely follow the directions to the letter and steep exactly as recommended to prevent a tea that is too bitter. I think you’ll find this one to be an unusual treat.

The world of teas and tisanes is never-ending. I hope you leap at the chances to explore new tastes.

Top 5 Tea Books

There are so many books on tea that it can be hard to know where to start. But, several seem to shine above the rest. Filled with recipes, tricks of the trade, and blending advice, the books I’ve listed will enable you to create that perfect cup of tea in no time. I thought a variety of ideas, both in the tea world (from the tea bush: black, green, etc) and in the infusion/decoction realm (purely herbal) would be beneficial for you to explore.

  1. 20,000 Secrets of Tea by Victoria Zak – filled with detailed descriptions of herbs (including a history of their uses), this book is jam packed with information from tea to herbs. It is quite easy to follow and helpful in the sense that the symptoms or herbs you are looking for are easily cross-referenced. This one will most definitely be a keeper in your collection, especially with the huge array of recipes. Be mindful, though, that many of the ingredients require online shopping to obtain.
  2. Tea for You by Tracy Stern – this is a FANTASTIC book that focuses on the camellia sinensis plant, but combines the leaves with such delicious, whimsical, and fun ingredients. For example, did you ever think of blending white tea with chamomile, cacao, and coconut flakes? This is for sure a must have.
  3. Healing Herbal Teas by Brigitte Mars – for a great jumping off point, Mars makes a lovely read. Her writing is passionate, informative, and seems to contain the verbage of ancient Vedic texts on our relationship with the Plant Kingdom. The tasty recipes will encourage your experimentation without having to hunt for exotic ingredients.
  4. Herbal Teas: 101 Nourishing Blends for Daily Health & Vitalityby Kathleen Brown – this book contains a wealth of herbal recipes, including helpful side notes, detailed information, and a sweet written humor.
  5. The Yoga of Herbsby David Frawley – this is just simply my go-to book when researching particular herbs for medicinal purposes. Frawly goes into great depth by listing the areas of the body affected by the herb (tissues and systems), specific actions (such as antiseptic or diaphoretic), indications, precautions, and methods of preparation. If you are expanding your herbal tea knowledge for healing, then by all means, get this book.

What are your favorite Tea Books? Please share in the comments below.

High Tea at the Sydney Opera House

If you are planning on traveling to Sydney, Australia in the near future then consider adding a visit to the Sydney Opera House paired with High Tea.  This tea tour experience will have you viewing some spectacular Sydney skylines as well as the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Enjoy a three course high tea prepared by a trained Michelin & three-star rated chef, Guillaume Brahimi. The tea takes place in a very elegant dining room and includes a glass of sparkling Australian wine, sandwiches, tea (of course), pastries and petit fours. As no visit to the Sydney Opera house is complete without music, this lovely high tea is topped off by a performance by an opera singer.

You can view more information such as menu, location and tour availability by visiting the Sydney Opera House High Tea page.  This two hour experience is certainly not one to be missed.  What a great way to experience High Tea!

Green Tea & Weight Loss

For the last several years, the buzz on the weight loss scene has been that drinking Green Tea can help you lose weight.  Is there any truth to this or is it just another hyped up weight loss claim?  I decided to do some investigating and share what I found.

The component in green tea that is believed to help with fat loss is called a catechin.  A study that was published in the Journal of Nutrition compared two groups of people.  One was given a daily beverage containing catechins and the other group got one without.  Both drinks had the same amount of caffeine.  They were also given an exercise regimen to follow.  They were studied for 12 weeks and at the end of the study it was found that the group that consumed the green tea catechins lost more abdominal fat than the other group.

While there are a large number of supplements that claim to contain green tea extracts, I am much more interested in drinking green tea itself.  There are so many good options out there from American Tea Room's Immortal Green to Teavana's Dragonwell.  Please let me know if you need any recommendations or help finding something specific.  Order some Green Tea today, your body will thank you.

What is a Tisane?

Tea, infusion, decoction, tisane? With all the various titles, it can be a little confusing, if not daunting when it comes to herbal preparation. Simply put – a tisane is an infusion of herbs without any leaves from the tea bush (although, camellia sinensis, tea is considered an herb). Thus, tisane and infusion mean exactly the same thing.

A tisane is an easy way to prepare herbs, made in much the same way as tea, and especially calls for flowers and leafy parts. The standard quantities for medicinal use are often 30 g of dried herb to 500 ml of water. For just a simple beverage, 2-3 teaspoons per cup of water should suffice. Be sure to only “just” boil the water as vigorous boiling dispserses the volatile oils in the steam. Merely place your herbs in a tea pot with a close fitting lid, pour hot water over, cover, and let steep 10 minutes.

Try mixing together herbs like:

-          Lavender, rose hips, and cinnamon

-          Chamomile, lemon balm, and cloves

-          Raspberry leaf, lavender, and orange peel

-          Red clover and Nettle leaf

I think you will enjoy the process of discovering great tasting drinks with helpful benefits. Definitely check out Healing Herbal Teas by Brigitte Mars for a delightful compilation of recipes, instructions, and inspiration.