January 31, 2014

Reviews › Tea History ›

Darjeeling MIM served in a special Cobalt Net tea set

Cobalt Net Tea set at Culinary Teas

For special occasions I use a special tea set I brought from Russia. This tea set has a direct connection with my cultural heritage. It is called Cobalt Blue Net and was first made for the Russian Tsarina Elisabeth in the 18th Century. She was daughter of Peter The Great and she ruled the country for 20 years. During this time scientists all over Europe were experimenting with ways to create porcelain. Russia was the third country after Meissen (Germany) and Sevres (France) to do this at Manufacture of Russian imperial porcelain began in St. Petersburg.  

The Imperial Porclain factory survived revolutions, wars, and the Communist period and still manufactures these beautiful tea sets to this day.  They are hand-painted and tea brewed in them is particularly flavorful.  I brewed Darjeeling MIM 2nd Flush in my Cobalt Net tea set.  The tea has full, velvety grounded flavor and beautiful color.  This tea drinking experience was a pleasure for all senses.   


January 30, 2014

Matcha › Tea History ›

Matcha: calm alertness tea

Matcha tea in a bowlMatcha, the “jade drink,” appeared in China in the 10th Century and by the 12th Century it was imported to Japan. In China, by that time, it was almost forgotten, but in Japan it became a very popular part of the tea drinking culture. For one thing, it is a powerhouse of antioxidants and contains L-theanine, which helps relax the mind, enhance mood, focus, and alertness.

Cultivation and preparation require special methods. Several weeks before the harvest the leaves are covered to hide them from direct sunlight. This makes them more tender and juicier, less bitter, and richer in amino acids. The young leaves are harvested while still tender and then dried, stems removed, and made into a powder. Production is very limited.

October 18, 2013

Health › Tea History ›

Pu-erh: tea for health and energy

Pu-erh 5 Year Old at Culinary Teas

Tea lovers claim Pu-erh tea gives you energy, stay focused, and relaxed. Like any Chinese tonic it gives your body what it needs and has some of the stimulating properties of coffee without the side effects. You can drink Pu-erh before a workout to get an energy boost, at the office, and to stay alert on long drives. Drink it to help you digest a heavy meal and for the many health benefits: detoxification of the body, reduced blood pressure, and lower blood sugar.

Pu-erh has other beneficial side-effects: it helps the body lose retained water in the tissues and burn fat, which makes it a wonderful tea for those who are trying to lose weight. I have discovered that it reduces appetite; I feel quite full and satisfied after drinking Pu-erh. It can help reduce cravings for alcohol and alcohol dependency.

Pu-erh tea originated in the 7th Century in China. Smooth, warming, and with an earthy flavor, the Pu-erh aging and fermentation process makes it unique and it becomes more precious with age. The people of Yunnan Province offered it to their guests and as it gained popularity, Pu-erh tea spread around China and all over the world. 

Try this delicious healing beverage. In China it is said that, “Pu-erh helps the body to be as it should be.”


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