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Tea Health Benefits

Heal Your Skin With Tea

June 8, 2017

Skin problems aren’t just physical. They’re highly emotional. There’s nothing like a big zit or patch of eczema to steal your confidence right when you have a big speech to give or a date to impress. A trip to the dermatologist can be expensive, and perusing the skin care aisle at your local pharmacy can feel overwhelming. But what if the answer to your skinpocalypse was in your teabag? Lucky for us, what’s inside tea—notably, antioxidants—gives your favorite drink a ton of dermatological benefits. Same goes for tea-infused topicals like facemasks and pastes. The skincare boost you’ve been looking for may already be in your cabinet!

Tea Health Wellness

 

Here’s why, briefly:

Tea contains antioxidants. That’s one of those words everybody uses, but what does it really mean? Your body contains something called “free radicals.” These are toxic atoms or molecules that damage cells by oxidizing them, which impedes their ability to function properly and ultimately causes annoying problems like acne and other fun skin problems. But antioxidants work against free radicals by making them to non-toxic. Basically, they cancel out the bad stuff free radicals do, getting rid of your zits and reducing your risk for skin cancer along the way.

Since tea contains antioxidants, it’s an ideal beverage to boost your skin’s health and appearance. Here’s how a few of our favorite teas can improve your skin:

1) Green Tea

Green tea decreases age-related skin inflammation and protects against sunburns. Plus, it reduces dark under-eye patches. When used as a topical in mask form, green tea exfoliates skin and reduces excess oil. Buh-bye shine, hello beautiful, radiant skin. For another trick, try splashing cold green tea directly on your face and watching your large pores shrink right before your eyes. Green tea’s also known to fight acne. Look for products containing at least 1% ECGG (an antioxidant in green tea) and your zits won’t know what hit ‘em. And did we mention consuming green tea fights cancer? What a showoff.

2) Chamomile

People have been using chamomile tea to treat skin problems since the days of the ancient Egyptian and Roman empires. Chamomile tea’s great for fighting dry, patchy skin and inflammatory conditions like rashes and acne. It can also be used to diminish the appearance of pesky acne scars. You can even use a cold chamomile tea bag as a compress to soothe and minimize bug bites. Who knew?

3) Oolong Tea

Feeling younger than you look? An oolong-infused paste can reduce wrinkles, dark spots, and age spots.

4) Kombucha

As we age, our skin naturally gets less elastic. But kombucha improves your skin’s elasticity, giving you a more youthful appearance by reducing lines and wrinkles.

5) Ginger Tea

Patchy, uneven skin got you down? Try drinking ginger tea, known to reduce uneven skin tone. And you thought you needed makeup for that!

7) Oregon Grape Tea

Your gut and your skin are pretty well connected. Oftentimes, a problem in your intestines shows up on your face. Oregon Grape tea contains herbs that detoxify the liver and kidneys, helping clear up the root causes of problems like eczema, acne, psoriasis, and other inflammatory issues.

8) Burdock Root Tea

Burdock removes waste from cells inside the liver, kidney, gall bladder, and lymph system, eradicating the toxins that would otherwise build up and cause perspiration, which in turn causes a bevy of skin problems like acne and eczema. Burdock tea starts acts at the cellular level and works from the inside out to keep your body from becoming overridden with bad stuff that eventually shows itself as a rash, pimple, boil, or carbuncle.

 

 

Tea Health Benefits

Why You Should Start Drinking Tea Now

May 22, 2017

The ceremony of tea evokes a grey-haired British grandmother with Victorian fine silver teapots; porcelain cups hand-painted with violets; Emily Post place settings on rustic William and Mary style antique chestnut dining tables; doilies on every available surface; dusty heirlooms and curio cabinets – you get the picture. And, certainly, the British have owned the domain of tea—originally discovered by China—since the 1600s and the advent of the East India Company.

And yet tea is not just for elderly grandmothers or the British. The beverage appeals to all generations and cultures. What’s more, the beverage provides certain health benefits as we age. These can only be fully taken advantage of by creating your tea drinking habit sooner rather than later. Here’s our guide to getting the most from your tea. The fountain of youth may very well be flowing with tea.

Detoxification

In the article, “Anti-Aging Research Brief” published by the Academy of Anti-Aging, tea is brimming with antioxidant polyphenols called catechins, flavonols, theaflavins and thearubigins. Antioxidants ultimately help prevent cancerous cells from forming, repair damage to cells and to protect blood vessel walls from free radicals. The article cites a study from King’s College in London that compared a group of black tea drinkers with a group of coffee drinkers. Scientists studied the health of both groups after one year, and found “that the tea drinkers’ risk of a heart attack approached half of the non-tea drinkers.” The scientists speculated “that tea’s beneficial cardio effects are due to the beverage’s large amounts of flavonoids.”

So what teas contain the highest levels of antioxidants? Many brands you can purchase at large chain grocery stores contain high levels of antioxidants, including Celestial Seasonings Green Tea, with 217 milligrams (mg) of antioxidants, Lipton Green Tea (201 mg), Bigelow Darjeeling Blend (164 mg). Surprisingly, a few brands of popular teas have absolutely no antioxidant content, including Lipton Lemon Iced Tea and Snapple Peach Iced Tea.

Prevent Cancer

Studies have shown that caffeine and consuming two cups of coffee can “harden a person’s arteries for several hours afterwards. This puts extra pressure on the heart, thus increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.” Further, “it is evident today that many of our cancers are related to a dominance of estrogen. In a world flooded with estrogen and estrogen-like compounds, it is important for our bodies to have as low of an estrogen load as possible.” So drinking more than two cups of coffee can increase estrogen and lead to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Reducing caffeine is integral to cancer prevention, and replacing coffee with tea can easily half caffeine consumption and decrease the risk of cancer.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Teas, especially the variety of green tea known as matcha, can help regulate blood sugar. Matcha is actually powdered green tea leaves prepared with boiled water and a bamboo whisk, and is known to stabilize metabolism for those with hypo- or hyperglycemic maladies. Taking an active role in regulating blood sugar at a younger age can help prevent complications down the road.

Weight Loss

An ingredient in matcha tea, EGCG, boosts metabolism. While matcha has a high level of caffeine and may contribute to higher estrogen levels, which will help you burn fat and lose weight.

Tea Accessories

Green Tea Sunscreens for Spring and Summer

April 8, 2017

The sun’s coming out, so it’s time to lather on the sunscreen. Green tea is a natural sunscreen, so tea lovers can work with their favorite tea leaves to stay safe in the sun. According to a report in the Scholars Academic Journal of Pharmacy titled Natural Sunscreen Agents: A Review, topical green tea extract “significantly increased the minimal erythema dosage of UV on healthy human skin and reduced signs of UV damage on that skin.” Translation: green tea is a natural foe to sunburn.

If you have a kid in your life, you know how hard it is to get them to sit still while you rub sunscreen all over their skin. Suggestion: make your own green tea sunscreen with your kids. That way, when it’s time to prepare for the sun’s harsh rays, your little one will be excited to put on sunscreen he made, taking pride in his work. If all you have to worry about is protecting your own skin and aren’t up for making some yourself, pick up one of many green tea sunscreens available on the market.

Whether you’d prefer to roll up your sleeves in the kitchen or swipe your debit card at the supermarket, here are several green tea sunscreens for your consideration:

1) DIY Green Tea-Infused Sunscreen

DIY Green Tea-Infused Sunscreen

This sunscreen recipe from Hello Glow brings together green tea, zinc oxide, and natural oils and butters for a homemade cream that will keep your skin healthy and happy. This homemade sunscreen builds on the natural sun-shielding properties of green tea by combining green tea extract with beeswax, red raspberry seed oil, shea butter, non nano and uncoated zinc oxide, Vitamin E oil, and carrot seed oil. Per Natural Sunscreen Agents: A Review, shea butter “enhances skin cell regeneration and promote[s] blood circulation” while also providing “vital protection against harmful UV rays.” The report also says that carrot seed oil provides “natural sun protection,” citing a 2009 study that concluded “products containing carrot seed oil have a natural SPF of 38 and 40.” Bottom line: this recipe’s full of natural elements that protect you from the sun.

2) Pure Green Tea Oil Free Hydration SPF 30Pure Green Tea Oil Free Hydration SPF 30

This SPF 30 sunscreen from 100% Pure targets people with oily skin to both moisturize and protect skin from the sun. It’s lightweight and protects against both UVA (ultra violet aging) and UVB (ultra violet burning) rays.

3) Hawaiian Natural SPF 45 Revitalizing Green Tea Sunblock

Hawaiian Natural SPF 45 Revitalizing Green Tea Sunblock

This sunblock from Alba Botanica contains only vegetarian ingredients such as green tea, aloe vera, and sunflower seed oil. Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, it’s water-resistant, non-greasy, and made in the USA.

4) Banana Boat Green Tea Deep Tanning Sunscreen

Banana Boat Green Tea Deep Tanning Sunscreen

If you’re hoping for a great tan but still want some sun protection, this lotion from Banana Boat is a very low SPF 8 and contains green tea extract. It smells like banana coconut rum (yum!), and has been fortified with antioxidants.

BONUS:

5) After-Sun Green Tea Spray

After-Sun Green Tea Spray

If you got caught in the sun without sunscreen or just want a refreshing post-sun spritz, this DIY recipe from The Tea Cup of Life is here to soothe your skin. The recipe calls for green tea, hot water, witch hazel, and aloe vera. Simply combine in a spray bottle, refrigerate, and then spray.

Tea Recipes

7 Green Tea Ice Cream Recipes You Need to Make Right Now

February 23, 2017

Green tea is on-trend and here to stay in all forms, including ice cream.  If you’re feeling domestic, roll up your sleeves and make your own.  We’ve scoured the web for 7 scrumptious green tea ice cream recipes that range from classic to innovative–some that don’t even require an ice cream maker!  So break out your ice cream scooper and enough spoons for sharing.

1) Super Fast No-Churn Green Tea Ice Cream

Super Fast No-Churn Green Tea Ice Cream

This recipe from Thirsty For Tea blogger Bonnie Eng requires only four ingredients and no ice cream maker. Ready in just 10 minutes, it’s a fast way to satisfy your cravings for tea and dessert in one bite. Eng also tells you how to add green swirls or sauce for extra pizazz, and encourages you to add in chocolate or another ingredient if you’re in the mood for extra flavor or texture.

2) Green Tea Coconut Ice Cream

Green Tea Coconut Ice Cream

This recipe from Minimalist Baker takes much longer than 10 minutes, but it offers many motivations to block off the 2 hours needed to make it: this ice cream has no dairy, no refined sugar, and only 154 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving. Coconut milk and unsweetened almond milk provide the base of this ice cream, which gets its sugar from honey and dates and its flavor and color from green tea. All you need is a blender or food processer, and you’re off to the races. The author recommends pairing with pomegranate, fruit compote, or chocolate for extra flavor.

3) Ginger Green Tea Ice Cream

Ginger Green Tea Ice Cream

This recipe from Serious Eats pairs bitter green tea with hot ginger and requires an ice cream maker. Start by whisking matcha powder with half and half in a saucepan. Then stir in ginger and steep for one hour. Once steeped, add sugar, eggs, and salt to create custard. Strain and chill overnight, then churn in your ice cream maker. For ice cream that packs on heat, this is your go-to.

4) Three- Ingredient Banana Matcha Tea Ice Cream

Three- Ingredient Banana Matcha Tea Ice Cream

This recipe from BLDG 25 is easy peasy and oh so delicious.  It uses coconut milk as the base, adding only bananas and matcha powder to make ice cream, no ice cream maker necessary. If you want something sweeter, consider adding maple syrup or honey, and for extra flavor and texture, mix in nuts, fruit, or chocolate chips.

5) No Churn Matcha Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

No Churn Matcha Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

This recipe from Kirbie’s Cravings brings America’s Favorite Cookie out to play. Heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, and matcha combine to create ice cream, but when mixed with Oreos, it becomes so much more. No ice cream maker required, but you must freeze overnight.

6) Matcha Avocado Green Tea Ice Cream 

Matcha Avocado Green Tea Ice Cream

This recipe from A Calculated Whisk brings together matcha and avocado for a double dose of green goodness. Gluten-free with a dairy-free option, it’s easy, creamy, and delicious. While the finished product won’t taste like avocado, the avocado adds creaminess and healthy fat to the ice cream. Honey and raw or coconut sugar provide sweetness, while a hint of ginger provides a slight spice.

7) Green Tea Ice Cream with Apricot Maca Sauce

Green Tea Ice Cream with Apricot Maca Sauce

This recipe from Blue Eyed Kitchen Cat pairs green tea and bananas to make a deliciously bittersweet ice cream, but it’s the sauce that’s the real star of this treat. Drizzled on top for extra credit is an apricot maca sauce, accented with coconut flakes and a drop of lemon or lime. Colorful and cool, this dessert’s a great dinner party dazzler or an indulgent way to end your day solo.

Tea Health Benefits

Will Green Tea Make Trump Smarter?

January 25, 2017

Green tea has many health benefits. Is a better brain one of them? One Indian company certainly thinks so. This summer, Te-A-Me Tea delivered 6,000 green tea bags to Trump Tower for then-Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump to “cleanse” him.

In an accompanying video, titled “Trumping Donald: A Te-A-Me Intervention,” the company further outlined their reasons for the gift:

“Dear Mr. Trump, namaste from India. We are sending you lots and lots of natural green tea. It fights against harmful free radicals. It helps purify mind and body and regain a healthy balance. It has also proven to make people smarter. Please, Mr. Trump, drink the tea. For your sake, for America’s sake, for the world’s sake. Drink the tea, because it’s never too late to cleanse yourself.”

Since the delivery, Trump went on the win the Presidential Election and will be sworn in as the 45th President on Friday, January 20th. Trump’s team didn’t comment on the green tea delivery, so we’re not sure if all those tea bags helped him clinch 304 electoral votes, but as we look ahead to the next four years, would drinking green tea make Trump “smarter,” as Te-A-Me claims?

Science says yes:

Green tea contains both caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine, which when working together, have been proven to improve brain function particularly well.

A 2014 study published in Psychopharmacology also concluded that green tea helps different parts of the brain work together:

“Green tea extract increased the working memory induced modulation of connectivity from the right superior parietal lobule to the middle frontal gyrus. Notably, the magnitude of green tea induced increase in parieto-frontal connectivity positively correlated with improvement in task performance.”

As President, Trump’s agenda will include a lot of “task performance,” so green tea can only help.

Moreover, at 70, Trump will be the oldest person to occupy the Oval Office, so it would be prudent for him to do whatever he can to ward off neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. Lucky for him, green tea may help prevent Alzheimer’s by protecting neurons.

One 2004 study said:

“Green tea polyphenols are now being considered as therapeutic agents in well controlled epidemiological studies, aimed to alter brain aging processes and to serve as possible neuroprotective agents in progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.”

Another study from 2008 agreed:

“Human epidemiological and new animal data suggest that tea drinking may decrease the incidence of dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease. In particular, its main catechin polyphenol constituent (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has been shown to exert neuroprotective/neurorescue activities in a wide array of cellular and animal models of neurological disorders.”

In a time when 1 in 9 people over 65 have Alzheimer’s disease, green tea is an easy way to combat neurological degeneration.

Bottom line: If you think Trump is a genius, green tea will make him even smarter, and if you think he could use some cognitive assistance, green tea would be a great choice.

So we agree with Te-A-Me: Donald, drink the tea!

And if you want to try Te-A-Me’s green tea yourself, check it out here.

Tea Guides

How To Be A Trendy Tea Drinker This Year

January 5, 2017

We told you what tea trends will be taking center stage in 2017: green tea, matcha, and easy packaging options like on-tap tea and bottled teas. Now we’re here to show you just how you can be a part of these trends. If your New Year’s resolution was to be cool, you’re in luck.  Get ready to be ahead of the curve:

1) Green Tea

green-tea-trendy

Green tea’s expected to perform very well in 2017 and beyond, especially as a bottled option for busy commuters in search of a healthy alternative to sugary sodas. Snapple, Lipton, Honest Tea, Arizona, and Tazo Tea all offer iced green bottled teas. Swipe one when you want to be trendy but you’re pressed for time. Or order an on-trend coffee-inspired green tea beverage, like a green tea latte from Starbucks or a green tea latte paired with vanilla or peppermint from Peet’s Coffee. Look for green tea to be offered at more and more locations, from highway rest stops and movie theaters to convenience stores and vending machines as it settles decidedly into the mainstream.  Go big green!

2) Matcha

matcha-tea-trendy

Matcha is on the rise. Look for it on tea menus as a beverage and as a flavor in dishes from breakfast and lunch to dinner and dessert. Scan your menu and you’ll probably find matcha waffles and French fries or matcha chicken and pork belly this year. This green powder is infiltrating all parts of the menu, and not just at fancy restaurants. Matcha’s made it to the Big Leagues: Haagen Dazs sells its matcha green tea ice cream by the pint in American grocery stores and Trader Joes sells a Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix. Don’t be surprised if Japanese products like Matcha Oreos and Matcha Kit Kats come to the United States sooner rather than later.  Get ready to be singing “Break me off a piece of that matcha stick!”  OK, the jingle may need work, but the point is: matcha will be rolling off more and more tongues.

3) Tea On Tap

tea-on-tap-trendy

Get ready to see bartenders carrying kegs of tea or pulling a kombucha tap at the local watering hole this year. You can be part of this trend by ordering a tea keg for your next birthday party or installing a tea tap at your eatery. Full Service Restaurants said last year that, “Beverages on tap remain fresher for longer and offer a unique experience—bold flavors with an eye-catching presentation.”  Several companies work to bring tea kegs and taps to restaurants and organizations, such as Joyride, who argues that a tap “is the perfect solution to serve non-alcoholic beverages, offering product consistency, streamlined workflow, reduction of waste, and a unique customer experience.” That’s a lot of benefits on both sides of the bar! Joyride offers Ceylon Iced Tea and Green Tea in kegs and kombucha on tap. Look for signs outside bars advertising the allocation of taps to kombucha and tea, perfect for tea lovers not in the mood for an alcoholic beverage or non-drinkers looking for a way to feel included by the bar hopping experience.

Topics

Tea Trends for 2017

January 3, 2017

This year, tea’s not just here to stay—it’s poised to rise. According to MarketWatch, the global tea market will grow by 6.88 billion from 14.45 billion at the end of 2016 to 21.33 billion in 2024. Louise Pollock, the President of food, health, and wellness PR firm Pollock Communications, told Beverage Daily, “The beverage category has grown exponentially and tea is set to experience a lot of growth moving into 2017 and 2018.” But what exactly can we expect from the tea industry this year? We noticed a few prominent trends you can look forward to this year:

1) Green Tea

green-tea

After surveying 1700 registered dieticians, Pollock Communications named green tea one of the Top Ten Superfoods of 2017. As busy Americans look for beverages on the go that are both convenient and healthy, look out for more bottled green teas. In addition to green teas, Pollock Communications expects teas made with whole leaves and natural ingredients to rise, thanks to our increasingly health-conscious population.

2) Matcha 

matcha-tea-cake

According to Datassential, matcha grew by 50% in the US from 2010 to 2015, and multiple sources say it will continue to rise in availability and popularity in the coming years. In 2015, just 1% of non-alcoholic beverage menus included matcha, so it’s still in its early stage of consumer awareness and demand, but get ready to watch that number climb. Matcha most commonly appears on menus as a tea or in blended beverages, but it’s also a great ingredient in baking, as we illustrated with White Chocolate Matcha Brownies. So look out for this green powder on dessert menus or in the grocery aisle to make your own tea-infused baked goods.

3) Tea on Tap

tap

Restaurants want to make it easy to deliver you a new, exciting product. FoodBytes says, “Suddenly everything is on tap—wine, cocktails, nitro and cold brew coffee, kombucha, on-tred spirits like amaro.” That’s right: this year we predict you’ll see kombucha and other teas on tap with greater frequency. It’s part of a larger trend you’ll see in 2017: packaging and formatting that makes tea even easier to grab in a restaurant or on the go. From eateries that have self-serving taps at your table to coffee shops, movie theaters, and supermarkets offering exotic bottled teas, 2017 will see more grab ‘n sip options than ever before.

4) More, More, More

tea ingredient collection

Tea trends from the last several years will drive the growth of tea consumption at home, at restaurants, and on the go in 2017. We’ll continue to see teas blending herbs and spices to deliver exotic and flavorful beverages, lesser-known leaves like oolong and rooibos sharing shelf space with black and green teas, tea dishes incorporating on-trend flavors like cateja, tea-infused cocktails, coffee-inspired teas (i.e. a green tea latte or mocha), ingredients like berries and fruit replacing milk and sugar as co-stars in every cup, and the strong performance of iced tea—85% of tea consumption in the USA is iced, per the Tea Association of the United States. These trends are far from over, and we’ll continue to see them grow this year. 

Whatever way you pour it, the teacup is looking half full for 2017!

 

 

Tea Recipes

5 Classic Holiday Desserts With a Tea Twist

December 1, 2016

As the winter holidays approach, parties abound at work, home, and friends’ apartments, which means there are plenty of opportunities to bake. Partygoers are surely looking forward to classic desserts like apple pie and Sufganiyot, but why not delight their taste buds with a tea surprise? Here are 5 recipes that add tea to the classic holiday desserts you and your fellow party animals will relish:

1) Green Tea Gingerbread Cookies

green tea gingerbread cookies

Green tea gives these gingerbread cookies from Eat Green Tea a little something extra. Start by mixing green tea leaves and butter over heat for about ten minutes, then stir in add molasses and chocolate. Add flour, brown sugar, baking soda and powder, milk, salt, and ginger to create dough. Chill the dough, and then cut into gingerbread men (or women!) before popping in the oven. Decorate as you wish with icing, and enjoy!

2) Chai Sufganiyot with Orange-Pumpkin Buttercream

chai sufganiyot with orange-pumpkin buttercream

Hannukah Donuts enjoy notes of chai in this recipe from Chowhound.  One chai tea bag joins cinnamon, cardamom, salt, vegetable oil, milk, vanilla, eggs, butter, and flour to make the donuts themselves. A tasty orange-pumpkin buttercream  filling seals these donuts’ spot in innovative territory.

3) Green Tea Shortbread Cookies

green tea shortbread cookies

Green tea gives these shortbread cookies from Smitten Kitten a holiday makeover, and white chocolate filling offers a snowy accent. Mix unsweetened green tea powder with flour, salt, sugar, butter, and almond extract to create a yummy dough ready for your favorite holiday cookie cutters. The green dough is a perfect candidate for cookie trees, leaves, and wreaths, but who wouldn’t love a green snowman cookie?

4) Black Tea Apple Pie

black tea apple pie

This recipe from Sift and Whisk adds black tea to classic apple pie. Pour black tea over apple slices and then let them dry before baking them into the pie. According to the author, “The tea flavor in this pie is very light and only peeks out every few bites or so.” That means it’s a great candidate for an audience expecting a classic but is open to a little adventure.

5) Chocolate Matcha Babka chocolate matcha babka

Babka typically enjoys extras like walnuts or raisins, but for maximum holiday cheer, follow this recipe from Aloha Belly and add chocolate and matcha to the sweet yeast treat. This recipe requires you to plan ahead, as the dough must rise overnight. Plus, working with yeast is not especially easy. But if you’re feeling more ambitious than buying a store-bought mix, roll up your sleeves and attempt this tea-infused babka.

Tea Guides

How to Host a Japanese Tea Ceremony

November 17, 2016

If you want to infuse a little history and a lot of tradition into your tea party, put a Japanese spin on it. Japan is famous for its long, choreographed tea ceremonies, the most serious of which can last four hours. Paradoxically, Japanese tea ceremonies are meant to encourage an unmaterialistic focus on the present, but were often practiced by members of the elite to show off impressive possessions and social status or reinforce social and political hierarchy. Mastering the ins and outs of a Japanese tea ceremony would take you years, but here are some basics that will give your next tea party a Japanese makeover:

Invite Your Guests:

Traditionally, tea ceremonies were a male affair. In the 1500s, as warlords fought for control over a divided Japan, tea ceremonies doubled as military negotiations for generals such as Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. As Japan modernized, the tea ceremony became less important militaristically and more important as a platform for businessmen to interact. The art form became more female-driven as time went on, so now, no matter your gender, you can be a tea master or attend a tea ceremony. So break out your rolodex and invite whoever you please, political agenda optional.

Choose Your Hardware:

Traditionally, a host used his tea utensils to show off his wealth. Don’t have expensive artifacts from ancient Asia? Don’t worry. Bowls, cups, and teapots that aren’t perfectly crafted, symmetrical, or conventionally beautiful embody the Japanese concept of wabi, or, artless beauty and spontaneity. You should, however, be mindful about the hardware you choose. What kind of mood do they set? What kind of conversation and values do they encourage? Your hardware sets the tone, so be purposeful. Learn more about the various types of Japanese teapots here, and check out some old school hardware courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art here.

Tea Pot Hardware

[Photo Credit: Public Domain]

Sit on the floor:

A traditional Japanese tea ceremony will take place kneeling on a tatami mat. If you don’t have a tatami mat but you’re really committed to the theme, buy your own set of tatami mats here. Don’t want to spend the dough? Spread a nice blanket on the floor and encourage your guests to kick off their shoes. You can take things up a notch by arranging a series of blankets in the “auspicious” pattern in which tatami mats are typically arranged to bring good luck:

Tea Ceremony Mat

[Photo Credit: Public Domain]

Prepare The Tea:

Surrounded by your guests, prepare green tea or matcha by whisking matcha and hot water in a bowl. Prepare a communal bowl of tea with a thick consistency. Pass the bowl around and have everyone take a sip, marking your bond as a unit.

Green Tea Preparation

[Photo Credit: Steenbergs from Flickr via Creative Commons]

Serve Something Sweet:

Balance the bitter matcha by serving dessert. Traditional Japanese sweets are called wagashi, and commonly use sweet aziuki bean paste as a base. Other main ingredients include rice, sesame, and chestnuts. Try making these mochi pancakes or follow Martha Stewart’s lead and make your own namagashi candy.

Prepare More Tea:

Treat your guests to individual cups of tea, this time with a thinner consistency. If you want to be authentic, keep conversation (and extraneous body movements) to a minimum. If not, sip and gab away.

Be Showered in Compliments:

Traditionally, the conversation at a Japanese tea ceremony was limited to lots of praise for the host and the hardware that he/she’s chose to show off. Feel free to tell your guests this is very important, and enjoy the ego boost.

Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony

[Photo Credit: mrhayata from Flickr via Creative Commons]

Achieve Inner Peace (And Maybe World Peace, Too):

A Japanese Tea Party was meant to spread the values of wa, kei, sei, and jaku (harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility.) Kristin Surak, a professor of Japanese politics at the University of London and the author of Making Tea, Making Japan told NPR, “The claim is that everyone in the world can understand those things, and if everybody sat around and had a bowl of tea, we could create world peace.” Hopefully, by the end of your tea party, you’ve achieved wa, kei, sei, or jaku. And if we’re all lucky, you’ve eradicated war.

Tea Recipes

5 Recipes That Infuse Tea With Marinade

November 3, 2016

When you’ve got a little extra time on your hands, or you’re just really good at planning in advance, marinating meat is a wonderful way to make sure your dinner’s bursting with flavor. Using tea in a marinade is a simple way to achieve maximum flavor and a unique profile. Here are five recipes that incorporate tea in their marinades to yield tasty results:

1) Black Tea & Soy Marinated Tofu

Tea Marinade Tofu

Tofu is a model base to cook with because it takes on any flavor you work with. Why not infuse this protein-rich base with your favorite kind of tea? This recipe calls for black tea, flavoring the classic with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic cloves to create a marinade for your tofu to sit in for at least an hour, and ideally overnight. Once the tofu’s soaked up this tea marinade, pop it in the oven. 25 to 30 minutes later, you have a healthy, flavorful treat.

2) Jasmine Tea-Marinated Salmon

Tea Marinade Salmon

Start by boiling jasmine tea to follow this delicious salmon recipe. Add chipotle pepper, vinegar, salt, and ice cubes to the tea in a blender, then pour over salmon and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes. Before grilling, season your fish with chili powder and jasmine tea leaves. Once it’s off the grill, add some chives and honey for a final garnish, and you’ve got one impressive meal to serve.

3) Green Tea Mustard Marinade

green-tea-mustard

This recipe uses mustard, traditionally a condiment, and tea, usually a beverage, as atypical bases in this marinade that’s great on steak. Begin with green tea and whisk in both stone ground mustard and Dijon, as well as oregano, marjoram, and olive oil. Add your meat, and marinate for up to 24 hours for a unique dish that’s sure to dazzle carnivores.

4) Lemon Pepper Iced Tea Chicken

iced-tea-marinade

Iced tea becomes an ingredient in this chicken dish that’s perfect for your summertime barbecue. Kick your marinade off with unsweetened iced tea and add lemon juice, garlic cloves, honey, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and rosemary. Add your chicken and marinate for eight hours until throwing it on the grill and making your guests very happy.

5) Sweet Tea-Marinated Pork Chop Sandwich

sweet-tea-pork-mardinade

This recipe marinates pork chops in sweet tea for at least six hours before using it as the base of a delectable sandwich. After spending some quality time in the refrigerator, the tea-soaked meat is dipped in milk and then fried in flour, pepper, salt, and garlic. Once cooked, it’s topped with veggies and lovingly sandwiched between two buns.