All Posts By

Christina Levandowski

Tea Health Benefits

Best Postpartum Teas For New Moms

June 29, 2022

Having a baby is one of the most exciting times of your life — but no one prepares you for the mental and physical strain that can come with it. Teas and natural supplements are an excellent way to support your healing and wellness journey as you navigate through the first postpartum months and can help you to create healthy habits that extend well beyond the newborn years. Below, we’re covering our top tea suggestions for new moms. We’ll also be discussing the different ways you can benefit from them, helping you thrive during this transition period. 

What are the best teas for new moms? 

If you’re a new mom, you are likely looking for naturally healthy ways to support your body through the postpartum transition phase. You’re likely looking for teas that are safe to enjoy while breastfeeding and that can boost your overall energy and wellness during the long days (and even longer nights!) You may even want to treat yourself to an early Mother’s Day tea gift to kick off the self-care and healing process. We’re here to support you on your journey. Below, we’ve listed the best teas that new moms can enjoy to support their mental and physical health. 

1. Chamomile tea 

Chamomile tea can be incredibly soothing to enjoy throughout the postpartum process and can support regular, healthy, and rejuvenating sleep and anxiety reduction and mental health support. You can easily find chamomile at the store, and it is often affordably priced. Chamomile can be enjoyed either hot or iced and tastes delicious with a squeeze of lemon or honey. It is also considered safe for use in those who choose to breastfeed, with no known adverse effects for the mom or the infant through milk transmission. 

2. Peppermint Tea 

If you’re dealing with hormonal swings, you may be dealing with excessive nausea and gastrointestinal dysregulation. Peppermint tea can help you to keep nausea at bay, offering you a soothing drink to enjoy for postpartum support. Peppermint can also assist you in feeling more alert and awake, which is always helpful to combat those sleepless nights in the first few months. It also offers a variety of other health benefits to enjoy in every cup, including headache relief and respiratory support for postpartum rhinitis. Its soothing, minty flavor also makes for a delicious drink to enjoy at any time of day or night. 

3. Dandelion tea 

Dandelion tea is often overlooked during pregnancy — but new moms can enjoy great postpartum benefits with a few cups a day. Dandelion tea is considered safe for breastfeeding moms to enjoy and can even work to actively boost breastmilk production. You can also enjoy the additional boost of vitamins that you can get with every cup, as the tea is rich in restorative and supportive Vitamin C and Vitamin A. These vitamins can also help the skin to repair tears and stretches, which can aid in your healing process from either type of birth process. 

4. Rooibos tea 

Rooibos tea is an excellent herbal alternative for moms looking for a caffeine-free way to start their day. Black and green teas, while delicious, have higher amounts of caffeine, which can disrupt the baby’s sleep schedule through breastmilk. This allows moms to enjoy a healthier alternative that will not remain present through the milk. Rooibos works actively to lower your stress levels and rejuvenate your body, allowing you to experience more clarity and energy throughout your day without the buzz of caffeine. 

5. Nettle Leaf tea 

Nettle tea works actively in balancing your histamine load, making it an effective tea against postpartum allergy attacks and inflammation in the body. This can potentially aid in the recovery process from childbirth. It is also incredibly effective at boosting your natural breastmilk supply, which is an excellent benefit for those who struggle with underproduction. The flavor of nettle leaf is far different from what you might think, as nettle offers a very “green,” grassy taste that is mild and lightly flavorful. It can be made even gentler with a dash of your favorite sweetener and a sprig of mint. 

Tea Recipes

Tea Sweeteners You Can Use To Make Your Next Tea That Much MoreDelicious

June 27, 2022

Every cup of tea is unique — just like the person enjoying it. We all have specific ways to enjoy our favorite brew, but sometimes it’s good to mix it up a little. The next time you reach for your favorite leaves, consider trying a new type of sweetener than your favorite go-to. After all,  no two sweeteners are alike, with different additions often offering a rich and delicious, more nuanced taste to your favorite tea blends. Below, we’re discussing five of the most popular ways to sweeten tea below and covering the health benefits and taste profiles of each. 

What is the healthiest way to use tea sweeteners?

This question is entirely subjective and depends on the user’s health goals. The best way to sweeten your tea is to consider if you’re looking for a sugar substitute. Those who have diabetes may be interested in such an option or those trying to lose weight. If so, you may consider safe plant-based alternatives that aren’t as glycemic all demanding. 

If not, you might consider a more organic or whole food alternative to traditionally bleached table sugar. You also may benefit from reviewing the six main types of teas and flavor profiles that you’re looking for and experimenting with different sweeteners across your favorite blends.  Dietary goal setting is your first step to help you determine what the healthiest way to sweeten tea is for your unique physical needs. 

Below, we’ve outlined some of the top tea sweeteners that you can enjoy for your next cup of tea: 

1. Raw sugar 

What is the difference between raw sugar and table sugar? Fundamentally, they come from the same source. The only difference between raw and regular sugar is the refinement process. There is no proven health benefit to either one besides acting as an additional form of energy. Raw sugar is slightly less refined and maintains certain levels of molasses in its final form. With traditional table sugar, you will not see any of the molasses content, and it will often go through an additional bleaching or refinement process. Raw and traditional sugar make delicious additions to your favorite teas, often pairing well with high-quality loose leaf green tea with it’s lighter, grassier flavors. 

2. Agave 

Agave does not come from sugarcane, instead sourced from the agave plant. It is as refined as sugar but is made of fructose instead of sucrose. This allows it to have a lower glycemic index while still offering double or triple the sweetness of traditional table sugar. This powerful sweetness also means that you can use less over time, which is a cost-effective benefit that you can enjoy. You can also use your agave outside of tea time as a naturally-sourced sweetener for your next amazing tea infused brownie recipe (or dessert of choice!) 

3. Honey 

Honey has long been associated with tea time, with its rich, golden stream and botanical flavors to enjoy. Honey is unique because it will take on different flavors based on whatever plants the bees have recently pollinated. This is why regional honey often has different tastes depending on where you travel. Honey is a fantastic inclusion to any tea blend of choice, tasting particularly delicious against the bold palettes of black caffeinated blends. However, while honey offers a deliciously scented, warm addition to your favorite cup of tea, it is incredibly high in glucose and is not considered vegan. These are essential considerations to take for more conscientious tea drinkers. 

4. Stevia 

Stevia has risen in popularity over the years, becoming a popular “sugar-free” option to enjoy in your favorite teas, drinks, and desserts. Stevia is harvested from plants in the chrysanthemum family, giving it a more deep, floral taste than traditional sugars. Before its rise in popularity in America, it was a favorite in South America and the Asian islands. While it comes in many forms, the FDA currently has only approved the crystallized form available at grocery stores for safe ingestion. Additional studies will continue to be done on the effect of pure leaves used for edible purposes. Stevia is safe for diabetic patients as it promotes lower blood sugar levels than traditional sugar. 

5. Maple Syrup 

While this is untraditional, maple syrup can give any of your favorite fall teas a delicious, earthy flavor. Depending on how you source your maple syrup, you may enjoy additional health benefits along with its unique and deep flavor profile. This sweetener can be used seamlessly in virtually any tea blend of choice and adds an infusion of “fall” into every cup. You can also use it interchangeably with sugar in your favorite tea time recipe or dessert. 

Tea History & Culture

Authentic European Tea Tradition: Make an Unforgettable Tea Party in 2022 

June 23, 2022

Are you looking to take your tea party up a notch? Step into the world of the past and enjoy historically accurate tea party traditions to add the perfect details to your next gathering. Many of our modern-day tea rituals come from Europe, which is why we’re exploring some of the top ways that you can make your tea party one to remember. Read on to learn about some of the top European tea traditions that you can include in your next gathering today. 

Are Western tea traditions rooted in European rituals? 

While European tea traditions are extremely popular and present in many of the United States tea traditions in 2022, there is also a heavy Eastern influence from the Asian and Middle Eastern regions, islands, and nations. 

What are European-inspired Western tea traditions? 

Below, we’ve listed some of the more prevalent European influences that you can find or add to your next tea party gathering. 

1. Tea sandwiches and snacks served 

There hasn’t always been a history of delicious snacks served at tea time. While there may have been other instances of food being served alongside hot or iced teas, the tradition was largely attributed to having been started by the Duchess of Bedford, Anna Maria Stanhope, in 1840. The entire design of this shift was to clearly differentiate a time between lunch and dinner meals that would allow tea-takers to rest and recharge with food and drink. There was also a heavy influence from the European concept of hospitality, as it gave hostesses and royalty a chance to show off their lavish wealth and gilded sets. 

In present-day America, there’s a good chance that you’re already incorporating snacks into your tea-time routine — especially if you’re hosting a large gathering or tea party. However, it’s likely that you’re looking to go a little “bigger” and “better” for your next event. It may be time to toss the cucumber sandwiches and dive into these tea-inspired eats, like these delicious matcha-infused tea desserts. 

Looking for the ultimate guide for the perfect tea time pairing? Check out our guide to tea-food matching. 

2. Timing of tea: Have you tried “elevenses”? 

Looking for a morning with more of a kick? Host a caffeinated tea and coffee-based “elevenses” — a cultural British refreshment hour between breakfast and lunch, featuring a hot or iced beverage and the company of your closest friends. While there isn’t a specific person attributed to this trend, it is historically shown to have become popular in the mid-1800s. This also aligns with the timeline that teas began to become more diverse and distributed throughout the European region, which began in the mid-1600s and spread more rapidly as transportation channels grew in the 1700s and 1800s. 

The concept of elevenses really focuses on the time of day that you choose to indulge and may be a great way for early risers and exhausted folks to enjoy some time to recharge in the midday with their families and friends. You can enjoy a tea party every day with this habitual inclusion! You can make your elevenses more delicious with the addition of a quality, caffeinated black tea blend, or a soothing and energizing green tea to kick off the second half of your workday. 

Making tea midday for your elevenses can also be a form of meditation in itself. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety and stress, use elevenses to enjoy a more mindful and present experience through tea making and celebration. Your family and friends will enjoy it too! 

3. Set table seating, arrangements, and decor 

The art of decor and seat arrangement at a tea party was emphasized throughout the European tea craze, especially as royalty began to adopt the concept of the then-newfangled tea gatherings. Today, it still is very important and is highlighted as a way to be a more gracious and considerate host. In 19th century Europe, the goal of these parties was to gossip and speak freely. Hosts would set the scene with lavish decorations, arrangements, and crisp white linens to highlight the gemlike tones of the fruits and the natural color of the tea. They would also insist on specific seating arrangements in accordance with the publication from Lady Gertrude Elizabeth Campbell in 1893 — which highlighted the importance of arranged seating to avoid a large circle of chairs in the garden — which would hinder the spread of gossip and good conversation. 

Your goal at your tea party likely isn’t gossip. However, in the casual age, you can add a unique touch of tradition by using your best linens, china, and tea sets as you would have in that historical period. You can also feel free to indulge in a little “tea” yourself…we won’t tell! 

Looking for inspiration for your table setting and theme? Be sure to check out Hadley Court’s guide to a traditionally decorated tea party! 

Tea Health Benefits

5 Top Health Benefits of Oolong Tea 

June 21, 2022

Oolong tea has been enjoyed for centuries — rising to popularity in the Eastern world during the Tang dynasty. It’s been commonly used as a delicious daily drink and enjoyed for its lighter, floral taste. Tea enthusiasts can also enjoy various health benefits with regular consumption, making this tea one of the top blends to reach for in your tea cabinet. Below, we’re covering what oolong tea is, the tastes of oolong tea, and the benefits that you can enjoy in every cup. 

What is oolong tea made of? 

Oolong tea is brewed from the leaves and buds of the Camellia Sinensis plant, placing it in the same family as black and green tea blends. While they are related, oolong has a unique taste and mouthfeel compared to its more bold, herbaceous siblings. You can expect a lighter, fruity taste and a more rich sipping experience with oolong. This is due to the duration of fermentation time compared to black and green teas. It’s allowed to gain some oxidation in the fermentation process, but not so much that it would place it in the same taste category as a black tea blend

Is oolong tea healthy for you? 

Oolong tea is healthy for you and is safe to consume daily as part of your routine. There are many health benefits that tea drinkers can enjoy with every cup of oolong tea. We’ve listed them below: 

1. Lower blood sugar levels 

Oolong tea works actively to lower blood sugar levels, making it an ideal drink of choice for those who struggle with diabetes or hypoglycemia. A Japanese study has found that drinking oolong tea resulted in 30% lower blood sugar levels for drinkers across the board. Caffeine, also found in oolong, has been positively correlated with lower sugar levels. Regularly drinking oolong tea can promote pancreatic health, proper function, and regulation, making this a strong choice of tea for those to use preventatively to promote total body wellness. 

2. Boost antioxidant levels 

Antioxidants help your body minimize the risk of cancer and other diseases. Oolong tea offers your body a powerful boost, giving higher doses of antioxidants than its related black or green tea blends. They also work more effectively in fighting mutations and free radicals that could potentially affect your body’s proper function. Oolong teas are great if you’re looking to boost your immune system and there are many flu-fighting teas used preventatively by many during the peak of flu season.

3. Support digestion and gut health

Oolong tea has been frequently associated with gut health and support. Frequently drinking oolong after heavy or rich meals can help your body metabolize the food more effectively and lower the risk of bloating or digestive upset. It also is a potent alkalizer in your gut, which can assist those who struggle with acid reflux or GERD. Oolong is a popular tea to enjoy with your meal, as the tastes are very mild and fruity. It goes with far more palettes and flavor profiles than its other black or green tea relatives, featuring a less bitter taste and a more palatable flavor and feel.

4. Weight loss support 

Drinking oolong tea regularly can help support your weight loss journey. This is due to the combination of polyphenols and caffeine, which promote a faster-operating speed for your metabolism and food breakdown in the gut. You can enjoy a higher caloric burn rate when you regularly drink oolong tea. The effects of oolong on your metabolism also continue after you fall asleep, making this a very effective means of weight loss. Caffeine, for example, stops affecting your burn rate once you fall asleep. Green tea can also assist with weight loss, and can be a delicious addition to your favorite oolong blend. 

5. Enjoy better sleep and more resiliency 

Oolong has been used to support sleep and emotional resiliency. It is often affiliated with relaxation due to its high levels of L-theanine. This acts as a soothing element in the brain and is known for its ability to boost dopamine and serotonin levels. This influences your mood and overall cortisol levels, providing added resiliency to assist you in managing stress and tension. 

Tea Health Benefits

Top 5 Benefits of Valerian Root Tea 

May 25, 2022

Looking for a new tea to try? Valerian root tea comes with a variety of health-savvy benefits and a unique taste, which is why it’s become an underrated favorite for many tea enthusiasts. You’ll be sure to enjoy the woody, earthen notes that this tea has to offer, giving you a foundation for delicious and full-bodied blends when mixed with other teas.

You can also try a variety of other loose leaf herbal tea blends that contain valerian root in the tea blend. A specific option could be a sweet dreams herbal tea we offer.

Below, we cover the taste of valerian root tea, common favorite pairings and blends with valerian root, and the top five health benefits of valerian root tea. 

What does valerian root tea taste like? 

Valerian root tea tastes very intensely herbaceous and oaky, infused with the deep flavors of wood and earth. The smell is powerful when you brew, especially if you are not used to it. However, the taste is milder than the smell. If you choose to shorten your overall brew time, you can savor the lighter, grassy flavors in the tea’s composition—the longer you brew, the deeper and more full-bodied flavor that you can expect. 

What teas pair well with valerian root tea? 

Valerian root tea is delicious to enjoy on its own. Some tea drinkers like to add a splash of lemon juice and a few teaspoons of honey for a gentler taste. However, valerian root is an excellent addition to your favorite infusion teas. Below are a few ideas for some five-star pairings you can enjoy with valerian root tea: 

Valerian root and chamomile 

Blending these two flavors will leave you with a soft, springtime flavor that goes down smoothly. This mix is delicious hot or iced and is the perfect tea to sip on during a busy day. The addition of chamomile supports resiliency and peace under tension, which is the perfect blend to help keep you level and calm through your busy to-do list. 

Valerian root and lemon balm 

Valerian root has soothing properties on its own. When paired with the energizing properties of lemon balm, these two teas work synergistically to help you be more present, focused, and calm under times of mental strain.  

What are the health benefits of valerian root tea? 

Valerian root tea offers a variety of supportive health benefits and can be paired with other teas to amplify the effect. We’ve listed a few of the top valerian root tea benefits below: 

1. Migraine support 

Since ancient times, Valerian root has been used to support those who struggle with headaches and chronic migraines. The plant’s buds and leaves have been used historically as a sedative, supporting migraine sufferers with preventative treatment strategies that work to minimize migraine-inducing stress and tension. It’s been clinically proven to lessen the frequency, duration, and severity of migraines for a number of sufferers, making this an excellent natural way to avoid migraines. 

2. Anxiety relief 

Drinking valerian root tea can help support those who struggle with anxiety disorders. It’s been shown that valerian root can both increase the amount of GABA, the “calming chemical,”  in the brain (causing an effect similar to how Xanax works for those who struggle with panic) and works to bind to GABA receptors: promoting an even higher level of “free” GABA in the brain. If you’re looking for other tea options to help you de-stress, be sure to try our selection of quality green teas.

3. Higher sleep quality 

Insomnia and sleep disturbances can severely affect your overall quality of life. Taking valerian root tea regularly before bed can help you to reach a higher overall quality level of sleep, as well as improve the duration and lessen the time it takes to fall asleep. Enjoying a cup of tea a few hours before bed can help your body enter a state of rest and relaxation in preparation for a rejuvenating rest. 

(Check out our list of favorites here.

4. Reduced menopause symptoms 

If you’re struggling with hormonal shifts caused by menopause, valerian root tea is a great tool to use for hormonal support. It can specifically reduce the occurrence and severity of hot flashes, and provide overall hormonal balancing and regulative properties. It also has little to no side effects, making it an ideal option for those who are not interested in trying HRT for hormonal symptom management. 

5. Mental health support 

Enjoying valerian root tea regularly can help support those who are struggling with depressive thoughts. Valerian has been used and praised for its sedative properties, allowing those who take it to reach higher levels of peace and balance. Getting to this place of calm is often what those who struggle emotionally need to continue to seek healing. 

There are many other teas that can support, reduce, or shorten the duration of mental health symptoms in tandem with a treatment plan from your provider. Click here to view the full list of emotionally supportive teas.

Tea Health Benefits

Effects of Caffeine on The Human Body 

May 24, 2022

Caffeine is what so many of us use to get through our day…but do you really know what it’s doing to your body? Studies have shown that caffeine is neutral, or even beneficial in small doses. However, drinking it in excess can lead to serious health complications. Below, we’re covering the effects of caffeine on the human body by each system, and calling awareness to foods that have hidden caffeine — and that should be consumed in moderation. 

What is caffeine? 

Caffeine can be found either naturally, such as in tea, or artificially — such as in energy drinks or other beverages like soft drinks. In the body, it directly affects the brain’s uptake of a compound called adenosine. Adenosine works actively to make us feel drowsy, and will be secreted naturally at the end of the day, and rises in concentrations until we eventually fall asleep. By blocking the receptors that accept adenosine, caffeine is very effective at keeping you awake. 

What are the effects of caffeine on the human body? 

Beyond what we have discussed, there are many other effects that caffeine has on the human body. We’ve explained them systematically below: 

The cardiovascular system

Caffeine’s effects on heart rates are well known. In excess, you can experience palpitations, hypertension, and other complications from caffeine, either natural or artificial. The reason why caffeine has a direct effect on your heart is due to its ability to stimulate the “fight or flight” compounds in the body: noradrenaline and norepinephrine. This can be dangerous if you build up a tolerance over time, and begin boosting your intake to feel the same effects that you once did. 

The digestive system 

Caffeine is known to stimulate your digestive system and can aid in motility-related problems. The result of this is that food and beverages will move much quicker through the digestive tract, and can result in loose stool passing quickly through your colon. This only happens in some people, as others may not be as sensitive to its effects, or may have built up a tolerance over time. 

The neurological system 

What many may not know about caffeine is its direct effects on the neurological system. Overall, caffeine intake can reduce blood flow to the brain, but boost the amount of energy that it expends. It also triggers the release of dopamine in the brain. This stimulates the reward centers and pleasure centers, making you feel satisfied. It’s no wonder that so many people are dependent on their first cup of morning coffee! 

The skeletal system 

Caffeine consumption can block the absorption of calcium in your bones, which can put you at risk for conditions such as osteoporosis, or recurring fracture. It also actively lowers your bone mineral density, which makes your bones more porous over time. There are also ongoing studies that point to the potential correlation of caffeine consumption and obesity rates, as it may inhibit the body’s natural weight regulation processes. 

Is caffeine bad for you? 

Caffeine isn’t inherently bad for you, especially when consumed in moderation. The risk of caffeine comes with overconsumption, as with anything else. In fact, caffeine actually has some benefits that you can enjoy with your daily cup, including: 

  • Memory: You can get a hearty memory boost when you enjoy caffeine, and also get a powerful jolt of energy. That’s why so many people enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea, as it can help you to feel energized, alert, and ready to take on your day. 
  • Preventative wellness: Enjoying caffeine regularly through tea or coffee is linked to lower rates of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Research continues to be ongoing to discover additional effects. 

If you’re looking to cut down your consumption of caffeine, you’re likely wondering how much caffeine your daily cup of tea has. Caffeination levels in tea aren’t generally calculated with exacting formulas and science. They are estimated and rounded to get you the most accurate level possible. It also depends entirely on your blend of tea. If you’re drinking a cup of loose leaf black tea, you’re likely averaging 47mg of caffeine per cup.

What foods have naturally occurring caffeine in them? 

There are a variety of food and beverages that have naturally occurring caffeine in them, including: 

  • Chocolate 
  • Black tea
  • White tea
  • Green tea
  • Guarana 
  • Coffee

If you’re looking to avoid caffeine, you can opt for caffeine-free versions of these foods, or avoid them entirely. There are plenty of loose leaf herbal tea options online and or decaf teas you can find too. Ultimately, it’s finding what works for you in your journey of a full caffeine or free of caffeine lifestyle, but likely you’re somewhere in the middle!

Tea Recipes

Tea Party Favorites: Ten Top Snacks for Your Next Gathering 

May 18, 2022

There’s nothing quite as social and fun as a tea party. With lessened pandemic restrictions, we’re seeing more and more people gather for parties with their friends and loved ones. Or, maybe you feel like having a tea-centered date night with you and a partner. No matter what type of event you’re planning, there’s one inspiration that you can draw from for all of them: the delicious food you can pair with any number of loose leaf tea options.  If you’re looking for the perfect snacks for your next gathering, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive into the ten top snacks and favorites that you can make for your next tea party. 

What type of food is served at a tea party? 

Tea parties are known for their light eats and snacks that are generally enjoyed after lunch but before dinner. Because of this, we want to avoid anything excessively rich or fried. If you do have something that’s rich (i.e. lemon curd,) it’s served with something that is light to give the visitor the best of both experiences without overpowering the tea. Food made should be complementary to the tea, so we also want to avoid any overly strong flavors or smells that would dull the taste and sensory experience of the tea. 

1. Mixed Berry Tartlets 

Tarts are delicious at a tea party, no matter what filling is used. Tartlets are even better and give you the full taste and experience of a tart without being excessively heavy or large. This mixed berry tartlet is an excellent pick to kick off your tea party, as its rich custard filling is tempered by the light, floral-tasting fruit and berry mixture. The crust is buttery soft and flakes to the touch, making this the perfect snack to enjoy next to a cup of your favorite tea.

2. Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze 

What better snack for your tea party than a snack that intermingles delicious flavors with raw, pure-tasting Earl Grey tea? These shortbread cookies are decadent without being too heavy and offer a delicious, crumbled texture. The lemon glaze offers that familiar “zing” that you can enjoy with lemon in tea and makes the flavor profile brighter and more suitable for similar teas. We know you won’t be able to get enough of this delicious cookie! 

 3. Charcuterie Boards with Extra Cheese 

We know that this suggestion comes as a surprise to many of you, but rich and harder cheeses can actually pair excellently with tea. This is especially true in the case of a charcuterie board, where you can enjoy a variety of other bread, biscuits, jams, and treats alongside your cup! Our favorite unconventional pairings include a Creme Brulee Oolong tea with a rich, salty-savory sheep’s milk cheese, or another loose leaf black tea alongside some imported French Camembert. You can always mix and match pairings for yourself as well, and see if anything else unconventional and new suits your taste preference! 

Looking for more new tea recipes to try? Check out our top list of tea-infused desserts you won’t be able to put down!

 4. Basil & Shrimp Tea Sandwiches

This sandwich is more nutrient-dense than most tea sandwich types you’ll see and is perfect for a late afternoon tea that will precede your lighter dinner choices. The shrimp provides a nutty, sweet flavor to the spread that cuts nicely with the herby notes of the basil, making this the perfect sandwich to enjoy next to a cup of herbal tea. This recipe is also rare to find used, so we believe that this will be the “one” to impress your next tea party guests! 

5. Mini Quiches 

Mini quiches are delicious and exceptionally easy to make, despite their complex and rich flavor profile. Quiches are very versatile as well, allowing you to adapt the taste and additions to your overall taste and preference. This recipe can be made in minutes, using items you find around the house, in your fridge, and with your mini muffin tin. Greet your guests with the delicious smell of their tea party favorites and your favorite tea blends…we’re sure you won’t be able to get enough! 

6. Mini Lemon Meringue Pies 

This recipe is a bit more involved, but nothing quite beats the flavor and freshness that mini lemon meringues can bring to your next gathering or celebration. These pies feature a rich, creamy meringue topping and the famous lemon-pie filling that blends perfectly with really any flavored tea blend you choose. They are delicious, light, and the overall perfect tea snack for any season or occasion — but we especially love these in the summer months. 

7. Smoked Salmon Canapes 

While this one may seem unconventional, it’s another blend that can’t be missed at your next gathering. Smoked salmon is delicious in any vessel or recipe, and offers that unique, savory-smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with a variety of tea blends. Smoked salmon has become fairly easy to find at your local grocery store, making this recipe both easy to make and next-level tasty for your next tea party! 

Tea Guides

Teas to Boost Your Focus Naturally 

May 16, 2022

Are you looking for an extra boost of focus and adrenaline ahead of your busy day? Using tea to help you reach new heights in productivity and focus is a strategy used for years. The teas in this list offer unique, plant-powered, and natural ways to give you heightened awareness and focus without coffee’s buzz and crash. Below, we’ve listed the top focus boosting teas to help you get through your next “busy period” — finals, a work project, or your next Monday morning. 

What teas are best for productivity? 

Don’t reach for the coffee if you’re looking for a drink with a bit of kick to get you through your day. Read on to learn which teas you should drink to hack your mindset and boost your productivity: 

Jasmine tea 

Jasmine tea is known for its fruity-floral taste and light, crisp mouthfeel. Experts believe that you may be able to enjoy higher levels of brain function and health with every cup, leaving you feeling refreshed, focused, and ready to take on your day. Besides promoting emotional resilience, jasmine blends can also have 15-60 milligrams of caffeine per cup, depending on the brew cycle. You don’t have to worry about a crash, though, as jasmine also has high levels of L-Theanine. This is a chemical that soothes the brain and can put you in a more calm and focused state. 

This tea isn’t just a great tea to enjoy hot or iced. Instead, try spicing up your next meat rub by adding dried jasmine leaves and petals for a more herbaceous, sweet, and clean finish. You can view other uncommon tea-based rubs here for some dinner inspiration. 

Black tea 

Black tea has been well-known for its ability to wake you up, competing actively with coffee when it comes to the caffeine content and potential for productivity with each cup. Black tea can also give your body a powerful antioxidant boost, perfect for keeping you healthy throughout the cold and flu season. An additional perk of using black loose leaf tea is its consistent, clean, and earthy taste, offering you a reliable “blank palate” for you to personalize with your favorite infusions or sweeteners. You can also personalize the overall caffeine content in your brew using these strategies for a more tailored-to-you tea experience. 

Considering going back to coffee on those extra-busy days? We recommend against it.  Enjoying black tea instead of coffee also offers the added benefit of lowered cortisol levels and higher resiliency over time, helping to manage your physiological system well under stress. You can enjoy black tea brewed or infused into this amazing black tea oatmeal recipe if you’re in a rush. We know that you’ll love it as much as we do! 

Peppermint tea 

Peppermint tea is a great choice for you if you struggle with remaining alert and awake throughout your day. This type of tea has a minty-fresh taste that can also offer an added therapeutic benefit through its aroma and help frame your mind in a more work-ready way. The elements in peppermint tea stimulate and process in the areas of your brain that control productivity and alertness, making this the perfect tea to reach for on early mornings or late nights at work. 

This herbal tea doesn’t contain caffeine, which is ideal for tea drinkers who are sensitive to caffeine or simply want to avoid the buzz and crash. If you’re looking for a more mild tea experience, you may want to stir in a few spoons of honey or sweetener of choice. The delicious and fresh notes of peppermint tea mixed with the sweetness can give you an experience similar to dessert. 

Make tea a part of your productivity ritual 

Making tea a part of your productivity process and habit can help you to prepare your brain for periods of intensive, deep work and focus. It doesn’t just have to be a black tea to give you a productivity boost, it can other types of teas, giving you all the benefits you need to get a little extra energy and a little extra focus so you can get through any task.

We pride ourselves on sourcing the highest quality tea leaves and blends from all corners of the world — and creating unique and delicious blends to suit every unique palate. Browse loose leaf tea you can buy on our shop.

Tea Recipes

How to Make Kombucha At Home

May 12, 2022

Kombucha is renowned for its outstanding health benefits, including its probiotic-rich digestive support and its ability to give your immune system a boost. The drink can be mixed and flavored with any of your favorite blends without compromising the health benefits that you can gain and can be safely consumed between 1 and 3 times per day according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Given all of its benefits and support, it’s not a surprise to know that many tea drinkers want to know how to safely make kombucha at home. Below, we outline some key points that you should consider before making kombucha at home, and offer a safe process to follow to enjoy delicious, nutritious, home-brewed kombucha. 

Is kombucha dangerous to make at home? 

So long as you follow a safe process and work with clean materials, kombucha is not considered to be risky to make at home. The concern comes from using dirty or “old” materials, improper storage, and other manufacturing mistakes that can leave you open to overgrowth and other issues. Kombucha is a living probiotic drink, which is why a process must be followed to both preserve the health benefits and the safety of the drink. 

What are the health benefits of kombucha? 

Beyond its digestive and motility support, kombucha offers a healthy boost of B vitamins which can support your neurological function and mental health. This, coupled with its naturally occurring probiotics, can be a great support for those who struggle with anxiety and other related mental health issues. It also offers support against the following

  • Heart Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes 
  • Cancer 

This is largely due to the high dose of antioxidants and vitamins that you can enjoy with every sip — working overtime to enhance your health naturally. 

How to make kombucha at home 

You can make kombucha at home safely. Kombucha is a fermented drink, requiring very little care past the original investment of time and cost at the start of the process. Below, we outline how you can enjoy a moderately-sized batch of kombucha at home, and everything that you’ll need to get started. 

Ingredients and Materials: 

  • Pitcher
  • Tea towels
  • SCOBY* 
  • 2 cups of plain, unpasteurized kombucha 
  • 13 cups of water 
  • 2 cups of cane or coconut sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons of loose-leaf black tea 

Before you continue, you’re likely wondering where to find SCOBY. SCOBY is actually an acronym that stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast, which will be the key to creating your kombucha. We recommend sourcing this from a reputable source to ensure that it is properly and safely balanced. There are specialty stores online, or you can sometimes find them through local vendors and farms. Be vigilant when sourcing this part of your recipe, as picking a poor quality SCOBY could make you sick. 

Homemade kombucha recipe 

Mix your black tea, water, and sugar into a medium-large pot over high heat. You’ll want to stir continuously until the tea is fully steeped, and the sugar is fully dissolved. After this, remove from heat and cool completely, so you don’t compromise the bacterial colonies in your SCOBY. 

Once cooled, add into your pitcher, and mix in your unpasteurized kombucha until dispersed. Add your SCOBY, and cover with a tea towel. You can also choose to add a rubber band around the tea towel so it won’t slide off in transit. 

Move to a dark corner of your kitchen, and let sit for 1-2 weeks. Expect to see carbonization, and opaque, sudsy-looking film form. That’s indicative of proper fermentation. Your SCOBY will likely grow as well. After 2 weeks, and if you see the bubbles and signs listed above, you will have the proper base for your kombucha. 

Although the recipe above is technically “kombucha,” it’s really designed to help grow your SCOBY puck for future use. For now, you’ll use this kombucha to make your first large batch of kombucha, which will result in a more carbonated and pure first fermentation. 

To create your next batch, simply follow these steps and use your homemade SCOBY-growth kombucha drink in place of the unpasteurized kombucha that’s store-bought. Your next batch will be deliciously carbonated and can be sweetened with your favorite sweetener, or boosted with just a squeeze of lemon. You can even use it as a fun champagne mixer for special occasions! 

Tea Health Benefits

Best Energizing Teas for Summer 2022 

April 15, 2022

Looking for a natural way to get a plant-powered boost? Our list of energizing teas will be just the thing you need to keep yourself ready for adventure all summer long. Teas have been hailed as one of the best ways to boost your health naturally, as well as reap the additional benefits of caffeination and a fantastic tasting summer drink…but with so many options available, you might not know where to start. Below, we’re going through the top list of energizing teas for the summer, and how you can best enjoy each one. 

What makes tea energizing? 

Teas feature naturally energizing properties and may have naturally occurring caffeine in their blends. Additionally, there are other compounds and amino acids that can contribute to a naturally awake and alert feeling, such as L-Theanine. These can occur in tandem with caffeinated teas, or in teas that are not caffeinated, and can enhance your drink experience. Sometimes, simply drinking a cool and refreshing beverage in the hot summer months can give you the boost of resiliency that you need to get through the rest of your day more easily. 

Below, we’ve listed some of the top energizing teas of the summer, giving you a great starting point to make your own delicious blends and drinks. 

1. Black tea 

We had to put this classic drink as the first entry on the list. Black tea is packed with caffeine and a deep, clean, naturally full-bodied taste that can’t be beaten, this tea is energizing and can be enjoyed in just about every way possible. You can sip on black tea hot, iced, or cold-brewed, as well as in an infused blend with other types of tea. Black tea also has the added benefit of L-Theanine, which is a naturally occurring amino acid. It has been proven to increase brain activity, which can give you the feeling of being more alert than you otherwise would be. 

2. Ginseng tea 

Ginseng tea is actually not a traditional tea that is made of leaves, as you normally would find. This tea is made from the roots of the ginseng plant and was used originally as a medicinal tea in Eastern medicine. Beyond its energizing boost and anti-aging properties, you can also enjoy an increased resilience toward physical and emotional stress, giving you a more balanced experience overall. 

Ginseng features an initially sharp, herby taste, which fades to a slight bitterness on the tongue. You’ll likely enjoy this tea best brewed over ice, and sweetened with honey or your favorite add-in. 

3. Yerba Mate 

Yerba Mate is very popular in South America and is an herbal tea that walks the line between tea and coffee. Its caffeination level is more than that of tea and less than traditionally brewed coffee, giving you a pleasant burst of energy without the buzz and jitters you’ll find in more heavily caffeinated drinks. It’s also rich with antioxidants and nutrients, and has even been shown to give drinkers a pleasant mood boost thanks to compounds such as theobromine and theophylline. 

Yerba Mate features a strong, earthen taste that is a deeper and more intense experience than green tea. It’s best enjoyed with a splash of your favorite creamer or milk, and a touch of sweetener of your choice. You can also make your own infusion by loose brewing the tea and adding dried fruit or additions, such as an orange peel for extra flavor. 

4. Peppermint 

Peppermint tea offers a deliciously crisp experience with every drink and is the perfect way to refresh yourself after a day in the summer heat. This type of tea is not considered to be a stimulant, as it is completely free of caffeine. But, you can still get a significant boost of energy thanks to the naturally occurring compounds and oils in the leaves. You’ll love sipping on this beverage to beat the heat, especially served over ice with a squeeze of lemon and sugar to taste. This delicious treat tastes like a peppermint pattie in a glass and can be enjoyed any time you need a boost. 

5. Green tea 

Green tea has grown increasingly popular over the past few years, becoming available in a variety of forms. It’s no wonder, as this tea is incredibly naturally energizing and offers a variety of other health benefits, including weight loss benefits, antioxidant boosts, and heart health support. This type of tea offers a uniquely herbaceous taste with grassy-sweet notes and can be enjoyed hot or iced. You may also choose to add your favorite creamer, sweetener, or splash of lemon to neutralize some of the deeper-flavored notes.