Tag Archives: Chamomile

Kati Loose Tea System

Kati Loose Tea SystemRecently I received a package from Tea Forte and I am really excited to share it with you. It contained the new Kati Loose Tea System and samples of their new individually packaged loose leaf tea. They have created a simple way to brew loose tea.

It is a double walled ceramic mug that contains a stainless steel steeping basket and is topped with a lid to retain heat. The mug holds 12 ounces and is dishwasher safe (always a plus for me). You can get it in white, green, or with a grass print.

Tea Forte KatiThe perfect pairing is Tea Forte's Loose Tea Single Steeps. They have packaged five of their popular loose teas in easy to open, single serving packets. All you need to do is tear off the top, pour into the steeping basket, and add hot water. Green Tango, Chamomile Citron, Earl Grey, Forte Breakfast, and Ginger Lemongrass are available.

I created a little video review to show you more:

I really enjoyed the Green Tango. It is an organic green tea that is described as a Chinese Jade Wing green tea that is blended with South African green honeybush and tropical mangoes. A luscious blend that is smooth, fruity, and naturally sweet. I liked blend of peppermint and ginger that lingered on my tongue after drinking.

I highly recommend this mug. It is both beautiful and practical. I usually use mugs with handles, but I really like the smoothness of this mug and the double walled style means my hand is not overly hot when holding it.

Tea Forte, Inc. Gourmet Teas

Growing Your Own Tea

Grow Your Own TeaI have a bit of a green thumb and I love to be surrounded by plants. I came across this site the other day and got very excited. They sell tea seeds to grow your own tea bush with!

They say that you need a patience and preferebly a hillside with good drainage, but that you can also grow them in zones 6 to 8. If you are not in those zones, it says you may be able to grow them either in a greenhouse or by bringing it inside when the weather grows colder. I'm in zone 5, so I would need to do that.

I'm thinking this would be a fun project to try, so I will be ordering some seeds soon and documenting how they do here.

Herbal Tea Garden Starter KitIf herbal tea is more your style, I also found this great Herbal Tea Garden Starter Kit on Amazon.com that contains everything you need to grow herbs such as chamomile, lavender, and lemongrass.

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.

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.

What is Wrong With Tea Bags?

tea bagIf you are new to tea drinking or are a long time tea drinker, than chances are you are used to making tea with a tea bag.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but you are missing out on having a really great cup of tea.  Loose leaf tea makes a superior cup of tea for a number of reasons.

The tea leaves inside of a tea bag are usually the leftover little pieces of tea that are too small to be used in a loose leaf tea.  These bits of leaves, or fannings, do not have the same quantity of essential oils that a whole tea leaf does.  These oils are what gives a cup of tea their flavor.

A typical tea bag does not allow the tea leaves the chance to unfurl and expand in the water either.  Tea leaves need to be able to do that to impart flavor to the water.  A tea bag just compresses the leaves together and doesn't allow for that.

It is however possible to get a great cup of tea while using a tea bag.  Look for a tea bag that contains whole tea leaves.  There are several companies that offer tea bags that unfold into a pyramid shape.  This allows the tea leaves to unfurl and expand so that the water can swirl around them.  One of my favorites is Mighty Leaf Tea. Right now Mighty Leaf is on Sale Today! Check it out.  I especially love their Green Tea Tropical and Chamomile Citrus.

If you have a favorite whole tea leaf tea bag tea, please share in the comments below.  We would love to check them out and add them to our tea cabinet.