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The Tea Plant Blog

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spicy Sips



Many tea-drinkers enjoy their daily brew all by itself, but for you more adventurous tea tasters, did you know tea can be made with alcohol too? 

As winter slowly melts away, beat the blues with an old-fashioned hot toddy. You can use plain hot water or your favorite black or green tea, which work best with the honey and lemon. 

Here's a great recipe from Bon Appetit

Ingredients

2 tablespoons honey
1 cup hot water
6 tablespoons bourbon or Apple Bourbon (see below for recipe)
2 3x1/2" strips lemon peel  
2 cinnamon sticks

Stir honey and water in a 2-cup measuring cup until honey dissolves. Add bourbon (or better yet, Apple Bourbon, in which case you'll use 1 Tbsp. honey). Divide between two Toddy glasses (or two mugs). Twist a strip of lemon peel over each drink, then add to glass/mug. Stir each with a cinnamon stick and serve.

To make Apple Bourbon, combine a 750-ml bottle of bourbon, 4 cored, sliced Fuji apples, and 4 cinnamon sticks in a pitcher. Cover; chill for 3 days. Strain and sip of use in recipe above.

If you like a bit more spice to your drink, try this hot tea grog from About.com

Ingredients

1 oz cognac
1 oz dark rum
1 cup brewed tea
Several cloves
1/2 tsp honey
Pinch of nutmeg

Heat tea and other ingredients together in a saucepan. Serve hot with a cinnamon stick.

For a cold drink, try this alcoholic tea recipe from SheKnows.com

Ingredients

1 cup apple juice
1 cup cold tea
1/2 cup pineapple juice

Pour all of the ingredients over ice, stir well and serve immediately.

Although we don't make these drinks at Sip, we have lots of delicious tea to add to your cocktails. Come in and we'll suggest a few. 

Gyokuro Japanese Green tea-perfect hot or cold!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Heart Day



On the holiday all about showing our devotion to others, it’s important to remember to love ourselves too. To show your own heart a good time, why not try a cup of tea? Many scientists are saying that that warm cup does more than just warm your spirit, it can do your heart good too.

According to NPR, flavanols found in tea have an influence on blood vessel health, by regulating blood pressure.  The Mayo Clinic has also said that your favorite morning cup has health benefits such as the prevention of cancer, thanks to antioxidant polyphenols, called catechins, found in tea.

Tea has actually been found to keep your blood vessels “unclogged and flexible”, after a double-blind, randomized study, in which two kinds of blood pressure were found to be reduced. According to Washington Post, the study showed that “the blood-pressure-lowering effect was maintained even after a large intake of fatty, sugary food, which usually constricts blood vessels…” Better blood vessels means better blood flow, which allows all your organs to get more blood, oxygen, and nutrients, thus allowing your body to fight heart disease.

One hot topic is whether milk actually diminishes tea’s effects when added. Though preliminary studies seem to say so, not all scientists are convinced that the effect of milk is strong enough to diminish tea’s health benefits."There's no convincing evidence that milk is a problem," says Alan Crozier of the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Tea is full of flavanols (beneficial plant compounds), he says that can’t be overpowered by the little amount of milk that the average person adds to their cup. "The amount of milk is not going to greatly interfere with the way they're [the catechins] absorbed.”

Though research is still needed to prove whether tea can actually cure you of any disease, tea does have the potential to improve your health. "There are pearls of real promise here, but they have yet to be strung,” said Dr. David Katz, a HuffPost blogger and director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center. 

So keep sipping, whether you’re drinking it for your heart or your soul.

-India K. 


 

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