30 September 2010 - 17:51Tea Video: Tea, Reshaping your Body

I’ve seen a lot of bizarre tea commercials coming out of Thailand lately, and this quirky little gem is the perfect example.

By the way, the tag line translates to “it doesn’t happen to everybody” - I would guess not!

No Comments | Tags: Video - Other

28 September 2010 - 17:50Tea Makes Happy Gums

There has long been an urban myth that tea is somehow bad for your teeth and mouth, but not much evidence to back it up (except in extreme cases, such as when folks drink super-heated tea).

In fact, as I’ve reported many times before, the complete opposite is true: tea is not only a good preventative measure for your oral health, but can have some great side effects, too, like freshened breath.

happy and bright!And in yet another demonstrably compelling study recently announced in the Archives of Oral Biology, we see yet more evidence that this is the case.  The study focuses on periodontal inflammation, or swelling of the gums, and how introducing tea could help of hinder the health of the mouth.  While some swelling gums does not seem like a very significant proble, it is important to note that if not halted, this inflammation can ultimately lead to the destruction of the attachment tissues, resulting in bone loss and eventual tooth loss.

The study found that when tea was added to toothpaste, the effect that the tea-toothpaste was not only greater than the regular toothpaste at reducing the inflammation, but it also brought about an even lower chance of the problem spreading due to an immune system response.  In other words, it not only keeps your gums healthier, but your whole mouth!

So smile bright, drink tea!

3 Comments | Tags: Health Benefits

24 September 2010 - 17:54Tea Recipe: Autumn Dream

Yesterday marked the autumnal equinox, just one of 2 days every year where there is just as many hours of light as there are darkness.

What this means to the real world is that summer has officially come to an end.

And what better way to mark the end of a season and the beginning of another than with a new tea cocktail recipe?!

fall in love!Today’s concoction may seem simple (it has just a few ingredients), but one sip will reveal its complexity: it has a brightness that speaks of summer’s rays still in recent memory, underscored by wistfully floral undertones reminiscent of the sense of autumn soon to come.

Enjoy!

Autumn Dream
2 oz. Vodka (recommended: TRU)
1 oz Jasmine Dream, chilled
1/2 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz simple syrup

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.

4 Comments | Tags: Recipes

21 September 2010 - 17:25Get Steeped in Culinary Tea

I am very pleased to announce that, at long last, my good friend Cindy Gold’s new book Culinary Tea has finally hit the bookshelves!

I found this news out today, as a glistening new copy showed up on my doorstep, waiting to be devoured.culinary excellence!

And looking through the myriad tea recipes infused within this soon-to-be-classic, I know I will personally devour many of them very soon.

As you probably know, I have been creating tea recipes and cocktails for quite some time now, but after flipping through the pages of Culinary Tea, it is very clear that I have to step up my game.  The recipes in here are not only unique, but sound exquisitely delicious as well!

While most of the recipes are creations of Cindy and her co-writer Lise Stern, there were a few concoctions that were contributed by outside sources.  And, lucky for me, one of those sources was none other than your friendly neighborhood Tea Sommelier!

In fact, there are a few of my tea recipes highlighted in this wonderful collection!

Run out and get your copy today!

5 Comments | Tags: Enjoyment, Recipes, Tea Musings

20 September 2010 - 17:37Tea Video: The Agony of the Leaves

It’s a Monday, you’re having a crazy, stressful day.

Sometimes you need the Zen-like pleasure of just focusing on a simple, calming experience.

Like, for example, just watching your tea leaves unfurl in your favorite teacup - called, poetically enough, the agony of the leaves.

So sit, relax and enjoy - the weekend will be here in no time!

2 Comments | Tags: Video - Other

17 September 2010 - 17:53Nagging Question: More Caffeine - Tea or Coffee?

not that I ever mind talking about tea, but I can’t even count how many times I’ve had to answer this exact same question - glad to the comedians over at the BBC finally debunked the myth once, and hopefully, for all:

Which has more caffeine, tea or coffee?

Here is what they had to say:

1 Comment | Tags: Tea Musings, Video - Other

16 September 2010 - 17:15El Grito de Manzanilla

While most folks think that Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican version of the 4th of July, it is actually today - September 16.

In fact, this day, also known as “El Grito de la Independencia” - the Cry of Independence, marks the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s shout for freedom.

manzanillaSo today, I’d thought we’d celebrate a rich, colorful culture and their particular tea traditions.

While real tea (that which comes from the Camellia sinensis, tea plant) is not native to this part of the globe, Mexico has a rich tea drinking tradition in its own right.  Used primarily for herbal remedies, Mexicans concoct many herbal infusions (a.k.a. herbal teas) for any number of ailments ranging from insomnia to quitting smoking.

Perhaps the most common herb in Mexican herbal medicine is one which they call manzanilla, or “little apple.”  Most American folks know this lightly apple-scented herb by the name chamomile (which, interestingly enough, translates in Greek as “apple of the ground”).

Mexicans have found myriad reasons for sipping chamomile. A lightly steeped version of this herbal tea is said to soothe the nerves and aid digestion, while a stronger brew is used to reduce fevers. When brewed without common additives, such as lemon or honey, chamomile also serves as an eyewash.

Chewing fresh sprigs of Mexican manzanilla is also thought to help reduce nicotine cravings!

With all these great uses, why not celebrate the Mexican tea culture and try some today?!

2 Comments | Tags: Enjoyment, History, Tea Musings

15 September 2010 - 17:43Tea Recipe: Jasmine Apple Martini

Maybe it is the cool autumn winds rustling in, or the smell of burning leaves in the air, but around this time every year my tastes almost instinctively change from summer to fall ingredients.

And thus was I struck with my newest tea cocktail creation: combining the honey-sweet, slightly tart taste of my favorite apple, Jonagold - which just so happens to be coming into season this month- with the smooth, flowery notes of a good jasmine green tea.

The result is not only perfect for the season, but absolutely delicious.

Here’s the recipe:

Jasmine Apple Martini
jasmine apple martini2 oz Jasmine Dream, chilled
1 oz Jonagold apple-infused vodka (recipe follows)
½ oz Galliano
½ oz simple syrup
splash freshly squeezed lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in martini shaker, shake vigorously (for about 15 seconds) to thoroughly incorporate.  Strain into chilled martini glass, and garnish with fresh apple slice (optional).

Apple-infused Vodka
4-5 ripe Jonagold apples
750 mL Vodka (recommended: TRU vodka)
4 oz simple syrup

Slice apples in half; scoop out the core and seeds. Cut into wedges, place into Mason jar. Fill jar with vodka  and simple syrup, cover and shake to incorporate.

Allow to infuse for 1-2 weeks, shaking occasionally, until vodka is fully infused with flavor of apples.  Apples may brown slightly during this time, but do not open the jar as this will let more oxygen in, making it worse.

(Time will vary depending on ripeness of apples - this part is tough, but you’ll have to keep trying it to see)

When fully infused, strain vodka back into empty bottle.

3 Comments | Tags: Recipes

14 September 2010 - 18:22Zen Tea Poem

korean tea poemTo listen to the songs of birds, I skipped the evening meditation,
enjoyed a patch of grass by the edge of an ancient mountain stream.

Pleasure recollected depends on a beautiful phrase;
the appreciative mind meets with a close friend.

Spring water cries out in a rocky valley;
pine trees echo when wind is coming.

I drank a cup of tea and watched the flowing and stillness.
Quietly and naturally I seemed to forget the return of time.

-Cho Eui Seon, 18th century Korean poet, calligrapher, painter, tea-maker, and Taoist philosopher

No Comments | Tags: Tea Musings

13 September 2010 - 17:53Tea Video: I’m Drinkin’ Tea

1 Comment | Tags: Video - Other