All Posts By

Heather Haynes

Tea Health Benefits

The Best Teas to Help Alleviate a Sore Throat

February 22, 2022

Drinking fluids when you’re feeling under the wether is essential to help flush out toxins from the body. Warm liquids can be especially comforting when your throat is irritated. But sipping certain herbal teas like licorice root or green tea may have even greater benefits — like reducing throat swelling and helping to clear mucus. Why is this? Tea is packed with amino acids and antioxidants that can help speed up the process in addition to traditional medicines to help you recover quicker. Even if you take all the necessary precautions like booster, flu shot, diligently washing your hands, you may still end up under the weather. Let’s jump in to the best teas to help you through those times!

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is known to have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, helping to reduce swelling and repair tissue. It’s also an antispasmodic, meaning it can help to reduce any coughing as well. And inhaling chamomile steam is a popular home remedy for treating respiratory issues associated with the common cold.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is an amazing drink to have when your throat is irritated. Because peppermint contains menthol, it acts as an effective decongestant and soothing agent. It’s a great choice before bedtime, as it helps aid in digestion, too. The antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory components of green tea all help in dealing with cold symptoms.

Black Tea

When you’re feeling under the weather, skip your morning cup of joe for a caffeinated cup of black tea. Not only will it wake you up, but it also has compounds called tannins that will help reduce inflammation and relieve sore throat pain. You can also gargle black tea at a comfortable temperature to help reduce inflammation.

Ginger Tea

Ginger helps in soothing a sore throat in two ways – one by relieving the pain and second by fighting the infections. Ginger is huge in the wellness space for a reason. Ginger root is loaded with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which can help fight off sickness at its root. Ginger may also help with lowering body temperature and reducing fever. Adding a dash of cinnamon can help increase the antibacterial effects.

Green Tea

Green tea contains powerful antioxidant compounds called polyphenols that may help your immune system fight off cold and flu viruses. Green tea is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties which may help to alleviate discomfort of a sore throat. These properties come from a compound called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which reduces inflammatory proteins in your body. This is important because sore throat is most often caused by inflammation of the pharynx, or back of your throat due to a cold or flu.

Tea Tips:

  • Try adding fresh lemon to your cup of tea. Lemon is packed with Vitamin C! Vitamin C is a tried and true remedy for fighting infection and bolstering immunity.
  • Add a dash of cinnamon to increase the antibacterial effects in all of these cups of tea! Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants which lend it a mild analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Our Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea is a great tea to help your sore throat. Not only is it naturally caffeine free, its packed with cold busting ingredients like ginger, lemongrass, lemon peel, licorice and spearmint.
  • Add honey to your tea for extra throat soothing benefits. Honey is one of the best remedies for a sore throat due to its natural antibacterial properties that allows it to act as a wound healer, immediately offering relief for pain while working to reduce inflammation.

Aside from tea soothing a sore throat and alleviating symptoms, it is always best to check with a medical professional if you’re truly under the weather. Tea offers many benefits for helping you through these times. Even the simplicity of preparing and enjoying a cup of tea can help you to relax and soothe both the body and mind. Whether you or a loved one is suffering from a sore throat, we hope you feel better soon!

Tea Recipes

Tea Pairing 101: What Tea Should I Pair with my Meal

February 17, 2022

You may have heard of the traditional tea time foods like sandwiches, scones and cakes to pair with tea but what about every other meal? Just like certain wines pair perfectly with certain foods, tea is exactly the same. With their different flavor profiles, this makes for some delicious pairings that will enhance your culinary experience. Pairing tea with food is the perfect way to enhance the taste of a dish as well as the drink itself. For centuries, sommeliers and chefs have paired certain wines with certain foods. Most of us are familiar with the basic rules: Red wines to accompany rich, red meat dishes. White wines to accompany white meats, fish and vegetarian dishes. Dessert wines for… well, dessert!

There are a number of different types of tea including white, green, oolong pu’erh and black. Generally white tea has the most delicate and subtle flavors, black and dark teas having the deepest flavors and black tea the highest tannin content/astringency. When you have a dish in mind that you want to match a tea with, consider the weight of the dish and what type of tea has a similar intensity.

White Teas

Because of the extremely subtle flavor of white teas, we recommend pairing them with only the mildest of flavors so you do not miss the sweetness that is so loved in white tea. Pure white tea has a very delicate flavor, sometimes with notes of apricot and has a buttery mouthfeel. It is often seen in blends with fruits like peaches or flowers like roses or orange blossoms. Think of white tea as you would a delicate white fish. Its taste easily melds with whatever flavors it’s paired with. 

Pairing suggestions: oatmeal, yogurt, or other light dishes with fresh berries for breakfast and basmati rice, white fish and basic salads with lunch and dinner.

Our favorite white teas: White Peony, Dragonfruit and Citrus Blossom.

Green Teas

Green tea is known for its subtle taste and light and refreshing flavor profile in comparison to other types of tea like many varieties of black tea.  In general, the subtle, vegetative flavor and aroma of most green tea is well suited to mild or subtly flavored foods, such as seafood, rice, salads, melon or chicken. Green tea is also great to drink after meals as it has been shown to help aid in digestion!

Pairing suggestions: Fish, lemon, mint, basil, vinegar, smoked or barbecued meat.

Our favorite green teas: Gunpowder Green, Sencha, Moroccan Mint

Oolong

Many argue that the subtle complexity of flavor and aroma attributed to oolong tea demand drinking it on its own. However, because oolongs can range in character between green and black teas, many can be paired with food along the same lines as their green or black counterparts. For instance, greener oolongs tend to go well with scallops, lobster and other sweet rich foods, while darker oolongs compliment somewhat stronger-flavored foods such as duck and grilled meats.

Pairing suggestions: Bread and butter, fruit, roasted vegetables, milk chocolate, lightly salted foods.

Our favorite oolongs: Morning Oolong and Formosa.

Black Teas

The more robust flavors and aromas of most black teas, as well as the most pronounced tannins, are well suited to pairing with full-flavored foods such as meat and spicy dishes. Unlike green teas, black tea leaves have been cured and are therefore fully oxidized, resulting in a somewhat more astringent taste, together with malty and woody, roasted flavors similar to bread.

Pairing suggestions: Spicy food, beef, lamb, ham and chicken, lightly salted food, pasta dishes (like lasagna), and fruits.

Our favorite black teas: Darjeeling, Ceylon and Lapsang Souchong.

Pu’erh Tea

Worthy of special note, pu-erh teas are known for their digestive benefits. Pu-erh teas have a strong, earthy and distinctive flavor, and they make great choices alongside a chicken or stir-fry recipe, as they can neutralize the oily and greasy tastes. Thanks to their digestive benefits, these beverages are often preferred after large meals.

Pairing suggestions: After meal, eggs, red meat, wild mushrooms, chocolate, poultry.

Desserts and Tea

For desserts, we suggest seeking out English Breakfast black tea. Our Chinese teas are hearty, rich, and taste perfect when complementing baked custards, chocolate cakes, or a rich, dense strawberry shortcake. Assam is another rich black tea that complements chocolate desserts, yet is a surprising foil against lemony or custard dishes. Some may be sensitive to caffeine. To that we suggest our Decaf Earl Grey or Decaf English Breakfast. Due to the naturally sweet, floral nature of a Jasmine, it is also ideal to serve with a dessert such as fruit, macaroons and any coconut desserts! Chai tea also pairs wonderfully with light pastries and scones.

Tea Health Benefits

Reset with Night Time Teas

February 15, 2022

After a long day, it can be hard to unwind and turn off your brain at bedtime. Between deadlines at work, your kid’s soccer practice and the laundry piling up, you may have trouble de-stressing while trying to fall asleep. While there are many different ways to help you relax and unwind after a long day, or week, have you ever thought about adding tea to your nighttime routine? Better quality sleep in only one sip away.

Sleep plays a crucial role in your overall health. Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise. Good sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and health. Not getting enough quality sleep regularly raises the risk of many diseases and disorders. 

Chamomile

Chamomile’s warmth, subtle sweetness, and delicate floral notes aren’t the only reasons this herbal tea promotes a sense of relaxation and calmness in those who drink it. Chamomile is a friend with big benefits. According to a 2019 research review, this sweet and earthy tea can help improve sleep quality and is an effective treatment for GAD. One of the main chemical compounds in chamomile is a flavonoid called apigenin. Apigenin creates a mild sedative effect by binding to receptors in the brain responsible for inducing sleepiness and decreasing anxiety.

Tip: If you want to take advantage of chamomile’s sleep-inducing benefits, it’s recommended that you drink your chamomile tea for about 45 minutes before going to bed. This allows your body plenty of time to metabolize the chemical compounds that make chamomile an effective sleep aid.

Peppermint

Peppermint tea is an ideal choice before bed, as it’s naturally caffeine-free. What’s more, peppermint’s capacity as a muscle relaxant may help you relax before bedtime. Peppermint tea has proven to be beneficial for sleep, and can even help insomniacs sleep for longer hours and have a better quality sleep. Peppermint tea is caffeine-free and has relaxing properties which can help reduce tension from your muscles.

Lavender

Everything else in your chill-time arsenal (lotion, pillow mist, bath bombs…) is lavender-scented for a good reason: It’s extremely calming. We can thank the ancient Greeks and Romans for the idea — they threw lavender into their baths and were obsessed with inhaling its soothing scent. Not only is it often enjoyed as a soothing bedtime tea, but some research also supports that lavender could promote relaxation and enhance sleep quality. For instance, one small study found that women who had recently given birth and who drank 1 cup of lavender tea per day for 2 weeks experienced less fatigue than a control group. Another study in older adults showed that lavender tea effectively decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety, both of which could contribute to insomnia.

Lemongrass

Lemongrass tea is an exceptional sleep aid that stimulates rest by inducing the release of chemicals and hormones that regulate sleep. Specifically, lemongrass tea triggers the release of serotonin, a hormone that has been connected to improving mood and happiness. This tea is particularly useful for individuals who suffer from restlessness before bed as the sedative effects reduce stress while serotonin increases feelings of contentment. Our lemon ginger herbal tea contains lemongrass, ginger and lemon peel which is a lovely tea to sip on just before bed!

Passionflower Tea

A study published in Phytotherapy Research examined the effects of passionflower on sleep quality in 41 individuals aged 18 to 35. The participants consumed one cup of passionflower tea or a placebo for a 1-week period and kept a sleep journal. At the end of the study, participants who consumed passionflower tea showed significantly increased sleep quality. Passionflower tea offers a sweet, floral way to alleviate sleep disorders and get better quality sleep. Consume a cup each evening before bed to reap the benefits of passionflower tea.

One of the only downsides to tea before bed is the caffeine. If you’re really sensitive to caffeine, you probably want to avoid tea that contains even a little caffeine before you go to sleep. If you have too much caffeine, it can affect how quickly you fall asleep and how well you sleep throughout the night.

Sip a delicious cup of one of these top bedtime teas and you’ll be slipping into sweet dreams in no time. 

Tea History & Culture

Tea Holidays to Celebrate All Year Long

February 11, 2022

Tea, for many of us, is a beverage that we celebrate in our everyday life. As tea lovers, most of us don’t need a holiday to drink our favorite cup. It’s just part of our routine! But, when there is a holiday, it makes drinking tea that much more special. It’s amazing to feel connected to people around the world celebrating the drink we love most together. Wether you are a hot tea, iced tea, matcha or chai lover, there is a day for you! Let’s jump right into it.

Save this image on your phone for whenever you need a reminder of when the next holiday is!

Now, you may be asking yourself, how do I celebrate?

Here is a list of ways you can celebrate:

  1. Try a new tea and learn the history of it. There are over 3,000 tea out there to try! Every tea has a unique story to be told.
  2. Shop small. When you support small businesses, you are supporting someones dream. It can be as simple as leaving a review if you had a good experience or shouting them out on media platforms!
  3. Prepare. There are many specific holidays that may include preparation. For example, if you are wanting to celebrate National Iced Tea day, prepare the tea the day before so on June 10th, you will be ready to go! Or, if you are excited to celebrate National Matcha Day, make sure you have all that is required to make an authentic matcha including the powder, scoop and whisk.
  4. Invite a friend over. There is nothing more special than sharing something you care about with a person you care about! Invite a friend over to enjoy that magic of tea, together.

Celebrating Tea in History

Over 5,000 years ago, the Chinese discovered that boiling leaves from the Camellia sinensis could make a delicious and refreshing beverage. This discovery led to all of the beautiful varieties of tea we have today. Over the intervening centuries, tea has been a focal point in many different kinds of celebrations. One of the most recognizable events is the Chinese tea ceremony. Chinese New Year (also called Lunar New Year) is one of the most common times of the year for families to participate in the Chinese tea ceremony. Gestures of respect and gratitude are the hallmarks of the tea ceremony. 

The ceremony begins with the teapots. Traditional Chinese tea ceremony teapots are made from special clay that is never washed or touched by metal spoons. Years of use coats the teapot in the tea oils and enhances the flavor of every subsequent cup. Since teas produce a variety of oils and flavors, different kinds of teas have different pots. Before pouring in the water, loose-leaf tea is put into the clay pot, filling it about a 1/4th full. A larger teapot is used to heat water on the stove, and the water is then poured into the clay teapot. After only a few seconds, small teacups are filled with water from the clay teapot. This water is then poured back over the clay teapot, coating it in warm water and oils from the tea leaves. This process is repeated a few more times with more wait time between filling the clay teapot with warm water and pouring that mixture into the small cups. After this process has been repeated a few times, the server will kneel in front of the one being honored. The honoree is typically an elder or someone of high standing. Serving and receiving the tea is done with both hands, as the teacup is placed on a smallholder made of wood, bamboo, or lacquer. Once the receiver has taken a sip of the tea, favorable phrases are spoken by the server. The receiver then traditionally hands the server a red envelope that contains a gift, usually money. 

Before the 1830s, holiday celebrations in England were known for having wine and ale in excess. A countermovement started to try and sober up some of the holiday celebrations by introducing spiced black tea. This unique mixture was called “wassail,” after the spiced German ale. The base for this warm, spicy drink was usually black tea. All kinds of spices and dried fruits could be mixed in to give it incredible flavors, but the most common were ginger, cinnamon, and orange peels. Great Tea Parties were orchestrated with cheap tickets available for everyone to attend, and these events grew to be more popular than the alcohol-related celebrations. Singing groups with fresh, hot wassail would go from neighborhood to neighborhood to share the beverage and spread holiday sheer through songs. Creating a celebration around the drinking and sharing of tea eventually grew into the practice of afternoon tea.

In Russia, the Orthodox Church incorporated tea in their Christmas feast, which occurred in early January. They used Kissel (a wine-like beverage) for toasting and drank hot tea to stay warm. The upper class brewed black tea from China, while the lower classes steeped an array of herbal blends. Jewish families living in Russia or Eastern Europe created a Hanukkah ritual to embrace the holiday spirit and Jewish history. During the “Festival of Lights” celebration, a ceremony took place that involved soaking a sugar cube in brandy on a teaspoon and then lighting it on fire. While the brandy-soaked sugar cube burned, everyone would sing a holiday song. When the song concluded, everyone dropped their sugar cube into a tea glass and consumed the brew.  

Let us know if you plan on celebrating any of these tea holidays. For daily tea recipes, facts and more, follow us on Instagram @theteakitchen!

Tea Recipes

Quick and Easy Vegan Matcha Green Tea Pancakes

February 7, 2022

After a long week at work, what are you looking forward to? Sleeping in? Getting outdoors? A delicious brunch? Look no further because we are showing you an easy and delicious matcha pancake recipe that is going to make all your brunch dreams come true! And, its vegan! Not only are these pancakes delicious, they are ready to eat in just 15 minutes! Let’s jump right in.

About Matcha

Matcha is loaded with antioxidants. Matcha is also chock full of polyphenols, which may also prevent cancer and heart disease and help to regulate blood sugar. Since you’re consuming actual leaves, matcha powder also contains a bit of fiber, which can aid digestion. It is made from a green tea called tencha. Tencha is a shade-grown tea like Gyokuro, covered over during the last three weeks before the early May harvest. The best tencha comes from the Uji tea fields in Kyoto prefecture of Japan, where it originated, as well as from Mie prefecture to the southeast.

Beyond the flavor, what makes this tea different is how it is processed. Tencha is not rolled and dried according to the sencha rolling method, nor is it fired in a hot oven. Merely chopped up and air-dried, tencha offers one of the purest expressions of mature tea leaves. Tencha has no roasted flavors, only pure vegetal notes. While you can certainly drink a cup of tencha, it is rarely drunk in its pure form. Tencha leaves are almost always ground into a powder: matcha. The word “matcha” comes from the Japanese “ma” which means “rubbed” or “ground,”and “cha” which means “tea.” Matcha is simply the powdered form of tencha.

Choosing your Matcha

Quality matcha should be a bright green. Dull olive or brown hues indicate low chlorophyll content or oxidation. Then smell the powder. You should detect rich vegetal and pine aromas, with hints of nuts, and cream. If a matcha’s aroma is muted, its taste likely will be as well. The consistency should be fine, like cornstarch. Clumps are totally normal! They can be a result of electrostatic charges that build up as the canister is agitated during shipping. If there are clumps, you can easily put them through a strainer or give them an extra whisk while making and they should go away!

Now let’s get to the main event. Let’s make the pancakes!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder⁣
  • 1 tbsp sugar⁣
  • 1 tbsp matcha powder
  • 1 cup dairy free milk⁣
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil⁣
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Add flour, baking soda, sugar and matcha powder to a bowl and mix well.
  2. Next, add in the milk, coconut oil and vanilla. Mix well again.
  3. Heat up your pan to medium heat and grease. If using a nonstick pan, there is no need to grease.
  4. Cook each pancake for a few minutes each side (typically 3-4 min) and flip and do the same on the other side.
  5. Stack those pancakes and enjoy!

Matcha Benefits

Matcha has been buzzing around making headlines for years now because of its superfood qualities. It is an antioxidant powerhouse! According to the latest innovation in antioxidant research, matcha is packed with exponentially more antioxidants than any other ‘superfood’. Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemical compounds that prevent aging and chronic diseases. Nowadays, a variety of fruits and vegetables are lauded for their antioxidant properties, leading to a host of products with all kinds of claims. But matcha is unparalleled in comparison. Matcha tea contains a unique, potent class of antioxidant known as catechins, which aren’t found in other foods. In particular, the catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) provides potent cancer-fighting properties. Most importantly, EGCg and other catechins counteract the effects of free radicals from the likes of pollution, UV rays, radiation, and chemicals, which can lead to cell and DNA damage. Since over 60% of the catechins in matcha are actually EGCg, a daily matcha regimen can help restore and preserve the body’s integral well-being and balance. Matcha has also been shown in studies to detoxify the body effectively and naturally, calm the mind and relaxes the body, is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins, enhance mood and aids in concentration, provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium and lowers cholesterol and blood sugar!

We hope you enjoy these amazing matcha pancakes. If you try them, be sure to tag us! Looking for more matcha deliciousness? Check out our matcha dessert recipes here! For daily tea inspo and content, follow us @theteakitchen in Instagram!

Tea Guides

The Tea Kitchen’s Loose Leaf Tea Brewing Guide

February 2, 2022

Making the switch from tea bags to loose leaf tea can feel intimidating at first but we promise it is easy and worth it! When you steep loose leaf tea, it has more room to expand and infuse the water with its many vitamins, minerals and aromas, resulting in a much stronger and flavorful drink. Whether you are a fan of earl grey or a herbal chamomile, we got you covered. We created an entire guide from what tools you need to how to steep the perfect tea every time. To brew the perfect cup of tea, you will need a few basics that you probably have laying around your kitchen right now!

About Tea

True teas are made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The Camellia Sinensis plant can be found in Asian and African countries, but is primarily native to the Eastern regions of Asia. It grows in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Today, tea is grown and produced in every continent except Antarctica.

In order to achieve the flavor of a certain type of tea, there are different processes the leaves must undergo. The different cultivation types allow teas to develop different scents, aromas, flavors, and colors. Oxidation plays a huge role in this process.

The type of tea that requires the least amount of cultivation is White Tea and is typically a great tea to start with as it is the easiest to brew. The delicate aroma and flavor of white tea is achieved through picking young tea buds that are tightly enclosed in new tea leaves. Because of the lightness of white tea, it is often combined with floral notes to create a tasty infusion. Our White Peony Tea is a perfect example of this delicious combination.

Green tea has a quick turn around due to the lack of oxidation. Green tea leaves can be picked in the morning and served as tea the same evening. Because it does not undergo the oxidation process, green tea retains the chlorophyll and minerals from the plant and remains dark green as it produces a more astringent flavor. Green tea can be associated with various different health benefits including promoting brain function and cardiovascular health. To read more about the different benefits that come alongside green tea, read our post on the health benefits of green tea. Some of our favorite green teas to brew, including Chinese Sencha and Jasmine Special Grade Green, can be found in our online collection.

In contrast to green tea, Black Tea is oxidized which is how it earns the dark brown coloring. Following the oxidation of the tea leaves, they are fired in an oven to stop the process and allow the leaves to turn color. Black tea is generally stronger and more potent than the other types of tea. It is a common tea that can be used to make Southern Sweet Tea, and afternoon tea as the British tea tradition stands. One specific Black Tea that is commonly served at afternoon tea is Earl Grey tea.

Oolong tea undergoes partial oxidation allowing it to find its place in between black and green teas. It combines the astringent flavoring of green tea and the complexity of black tea. Oolong tea is rich in flavor and like any other tea, you can control the strength of your tea by the timing of each steep.

What you’ll need:

  • Loose leaf tea of choice. Picking out a quality leaf is crucial for the perfect cup of tea. Some easy tips to follow are: the larger the leaf, the higher the quality and the better the flavor; Smell the tea to make sure it hasn’t gone stale. Generally speaking, if it smells good it will taste good; For herbal teas, you want to focus on color and scent; if the herbs are faded or don’t have a fragrance, they are probably too old.
  • Electric kettle, stovetop kettle or pot. No worries if you don’t have a kettle lying around. You can easily use a pot that you have in your cupboard. Your trusty old French press is also perfect for brewing tea! Nothing special here; use the press like you always do and use tea leaves instead of coffee (just make sure to clean the press very well first so you don’t get any coffee flavors mixed with your tea). If you are interested in stepping up your tea game and are needing a new teapot, check out this blogpost for the best teapots.

    Tip: If you don’t have a thermometer laying around, use this rule of thumb: 180° F = bubbles form on the bottom of the pot, 195° F = the first bubbles begin to rise, 212° F = full rolling boil.
  • Tea infuser. If you do not have a tea infuser, you can use a kitchen strainer. If you do not have a kitchen strainer, you can place the tea leaves directly into the hot water for infusion. However, the tea prepared by this method will be harder to drink for someone not used to drinking this way because tiny bits of leave will float on the surface. You can avoid the tea leaves hitting your lips by blowing a bit in your cup.
  • Fresh water. Tea is made up of nearly 99% water. This primary ingredient definitely deserves some consideration! Using clean water will help with the best taste for your tea. Using water that has been in your kettle overnight may result in a stale tasting tea, and we definitely do not want that!

How to:

1. Pour fresh water into your tea kettle or pot and bring to appropriate temperature.

2. While waiting for water to boil, add the appropriate amount of loose leaf tea to your tea infuser. Place the tea infuser inside your teapot or mug. 

3. When the water reaches the desired temperature, pour it over the tea infuser into your mug or teapot. This will allow the water to circulate through the leaves.

4. Time your tea. Once the time is up, dunk the infuser a couple of times to circulate the water. Remove the infuser.

5. Serve in your favorite mug and enjoy your delicious cup of tea.

Brewing Guidelines:

Black Tea
If you like your black tea to be full bodied and rich, we recommend steeping it with boiling hot water. If you are looking for more of a caffeine kick, black tea with broken leaves will release caffeine more easily.
Teaspoons: 1 to 2
Brew time: 3 to 5 minutes
Temperature: 190 to 210 F

White Tea
White tea is usually quite forgiving when it comes to brewing. It is hard to over-brew and it shouldn’t get too bitter if you steep it at high temperatures. However, lower temperatures might give you a more nuanced brew, so this is a great opportunity to experiment and find out for yourself what you prefer!
Teaspoons: 2
Brew time: 3 to 4 minutes
Temperature: 170 to 180 F

Green Tea
Green tea is slightly more sensitive to temperature, especially with Japanese green tea. Make sure to keep your water temp lower so your tea does not come out bitter.
Teaspoons: 1 to 2
Brew time: 1 to 3 minutes
Temperature: 170 to 180 F

Oolong Tea
Oolongs vary significantly in the level of oxidation. Some lighter oolongs are much closer to green teas (you’ll recognize the low oxidation level by the green color of the dry leaves). Therefore, brewing these teas at a lower temperature might bring out some interesting notes and flavours. However, in general oolongs are quite forgiving and can be brewed with boiling water.
Teaspoons: 1 to 2
Brew time: 3 to 5 minutes
Temperature: 170 to 180 F

Herbal Tea
Unlike real types of tea such as green and white teas, herbal teas are much easier to brew. They also steep for longer, too!
Teaspoons: 1 to 2
Brew time: 3 to 5 minutes
Temperature: 190 to 210 F

Chai Tea
Chai tea’s base is black tea so, like above, if you like your cup full bodied, make with boiling hot water. If you are making this as a chai tea latte, using whole milk will bring ut all the richness in the spices (but all milks will do!)
Teaspoons: 1 to 2
Brew time: 4 to 5 minutes
Temperature: 205 to 212 F

Must Try Loose Leafs:

If you are a newbie to brewing loose leaf, your safest bets are black and herbal teas. These tea types are more forgiving with the brewing temperature and timing. Our recommendations for black teas are China KeemunAutumn Cranberry Black and Vanilla Black tea. For herbal teas, Hibiscus Flower and Lemon Ginger are fan favorites.

FAQ’s:

How do I store my tea? Will it go bad?
Tea should be stored away from light, moisture, and strongly flavored or fragranced foods. Storing in an airtight container is recommended. Green and white teas will keep fresh for up to a year. Black and oolong teas for no longer than a year and six months.

Can loose leaf tea be reused?
Yes, if the tea is green or oolong. Do not reuse black tea. When reusing tea increase the brewing time with each successive infusion to ensure sufficient taste.

What are the health benefits of drinking tea?
We have some great blog posts written on the benefits of tea here!

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @theteakitchen for daily tea tips and more!

Tea Gifts Tea Guides

The Best Valentine’s Day Gifts for Every Tea Lover

January 26, 2022

Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Look no further. We created a list of the best gifts (especially for the tea lover in your life) to give this Valentine’s Day! There’s nothing quite like cozying up with a warm mug in hand, whether it’s filled with a calming chamomile, caffeinated English breakfast or flavorful matcha; especially when it’s a meaningful gift. Weather you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a partner, yourself or with your galentines, here are out top choices for this year!

Digital Electric Glass Kettle

The Chefman Electric Kettle has a digital touch display with programmable steep times and boils water faster than traditional methods. This kettle has eight presets included to make it easy to get the perfect hot water for your all teas including black, herbal, oolong, white, green, and delicate teas! Just pick your preset and the hot water boiler can make up to 6 cups.

Tea Storage Container

Nothing says I love you quite like making sure that person always has the freshest cup of tea possible. This beautiful, vacuum sealed container is the perfect gift for all tea lovers!

A Tea Subscription Box

Our tea subscription box is the perfect gift. What’s better than being able to try out new teas from around the world? Monthly tea subscription boxes are a great way to find new teas that you love. We have over 100 teas to try and a tea for everyone.

Hand painted tea kettle

This vibrant tea kettle has more than just one use so it makes the perfect gift! This Indian kettle has been handpainted by trained Pattachitra artists of Odisha. This kettle is a tribute to Odisha’s rich art and culture interpreted for the modern home décor through their artistic manifestations. This kettle is not to be used as a pot on the stove. It can be used for Home Décor, as a planter, as kitchenware, a jewelry holder and is ideal for serving!

Matcha Chocolate 

I don’t think many people would be upset with chocolate as a gift. Especially not on one of the biggest sweets days of the year! This matcha chocolate melts in your mouth and is loaded with antioxidants! As a bonus, you will be supporting a small business. It’s a win-win all around!

Gold Heart Tea Infuser

Everyone needs a tea infuser handy! This beautiful gold tea infuser filter is the perfect way to say ‘I Love You’ to the tea lover in your life. It is made with high quality food grade stainless steeled is rust free. Because of this, you will have this piece around for years and years to come.

Heart Shaped Tea Mug

These heart shaped double lined mugs are the perfect way to show your partner, friend or yourself love each morning! The double-layer glass with handle allows you to safely hold hot drinks without worrying about getting burned or slipping. This design eliminates condensation on the external glass. The insulation effect it creates keeps beverages hot or cold.

Green Tea Bath Bomb

Everyone can benefit from some extra self-care time. This green tea bath bomb infused with lavender is the perfect gift to do so! It also has all-natural epsom salt for true self-care, sore muscles and pure relaxation. It cleanses and detoxes your skin in a natural and gentle way.

A Tea Infused Sweet

Looking to make something yourself? We have a whole blog dedicated to tea-infused desserts and treats that is sure to make every tea lover smile. To add a v-day flare, add a few drops of food red food coloring to these recipes!

Which one of these would you give your Valentine? What ever you choose, being present is the best thing you can be. Even spending the morning sipping your favorite tea together can be a meaningful gift to your Valentine. If you get any of these gifts, be sure to let us know!

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at The Tea Kitchen!

Be sure to follow us on Instagram @theteakitchen for daily tea posts, recipes and inspo!

Tea Industry

The Tea Kitchen featured on Redfin!

January 25, 2022

Recently, Redfin asked us about our favorite tips about creative home decor tips for the New Year and we were happy to oblige. Obviously, loose leaf tea consumes our lives daily, but our passion for tea also ties in with our passion for home decor with natural scents and candles like eucalyptus, or even tea accessories that could help add to a space.

No matter if you’ve recently moved into a new home or have been in the same place for a number of years, the new year is a great time to consider re-doing your space. We are always reworking our space from florals, to candles, to pottery, there are countless creative home décor and art pieces you can bring into your home, no matter where you live.

That’s why Redfin asked us, along with other expects to share our best advice to find the right creative home décor. Check out what we had to say so you can make redesigning your home meaningful as you begin another new year…of course, you know tea was part of that and our natural outlook on things.

Switch Up Your Home’s Style! 17 Creative Home Décor and Art Tips for the New Year

Types of Tea

The Best Teas to Boost Your Immune System

January 14, 2022

Tea has been used in herbal medicine to treat minor illnesses for thousands of years. Tea is great for your immune system. It is high in antioxidants and is a great source of hydration! Many teas have antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help to prevent you from getting sick. If you’re afraid you’ve already caught a bug, tea can also help to soothe your body and ease symptoms while you recover. From ginger teas to herbal infusions that you can make at home, we’re breaking it down so that you can be ahead of the cold seasons!

Ginger Tea

Ginger is a flowering plant that originated in Southeast Asia. It’s among the healthiest spices on the planet. Ginger teas contain antimicrobial properties that can help to boost your immune system and keep you safe and healthy. It’s also been shown that ginger can help reduce stress and we all know how stress can wreak havoc on our immune system! Ginger imparts a slightly sweet, slightly spicy flavor to tea blends, and is a popular ingredient in both caffeinated and herbal teas. Some of our favorites are lemon ginger herbal tea and our ginger black.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint is an aromatic herb in the mint family that is a cross between watermint and spearmint. It is another popular herbal tea that can be consumed on its own or as an ingredient in both caffeinated and herbal blends. Peppermint is cool, minty, and soothing – the perfect thing when you’re feeling under the weather. Studies have shown that peppermint has antimicrobial and antiviral properties that can help ward off illness. It’s also high in antioxidants along with a variety of other health benefits such as improving energy and relieving headaches.

Cinnamon Tea

Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants fight off oxidation caused by free radicals, which are molecules that damage your cells and contribute to diseases. Compounds found in cinnamon tea can fight off bacteria and fungi. It controls blood sugar levels and blood pressure, promotes heart health and also reduces pain caused by menstrual cramps. Adding honey to your cinnamon tea infusion can not only add flavor, but also has antioxidants and enzymes that help one heal from within. It also has antibacterial properties that ward off infections and damaging cells from the body.

Lemongrass Tea

 Lemon grass has anti-bacterial & anti-fungal properties that help you cope with cold, cough and flu and is loaded with vitamin c that strengthens immunity. Lemongrass also has antioxidant properties that kill free radicals that cause diseases in the body. Its antimicrobial functions treat oral infections and cavities. A cup of lemongrass tea can do wonders for an upset stomach, cramping, or other digestive issues. Our dragonfruit white is infused with lemongrass to create a one of a kind cup to sip on.

Green Tea

Green tea has been consumed for centuries for its beneficial properties. Green teas are rich in anti-oxidants called Polyphenols. Polyphenols are efficient infection fighters. They protect the body against potential viruses, infections and sickness. Green tea blended with Tulsi, Mulethi and Ginger help keep diseases like asthma, lung infection, cough etc at bay, while flavours like Ashwagandha and Nettle Leaves impede the growth of cancer cells in the body and stimulate the lymphatic system. The anti-oxidants of green tea help rid the body of free radicals, and make the liver healthy.

White Tea

The benefits of white tea are no secret. From chefs to medical researchers, everybody praises the sweet flavour and health benefits of this tea. Studies say that white teas are helpful in reducing risks of cancer and cardio vascular diseases. It is rich in polyphenols, tannin and flavonoids. The antioxidants work on protecting the various organs of the body, while also eliminate free radicals that can potentially damage blood cells, DNA and collagen. White tea may also provide some relief from diabetic symptoms by decreasing your plasma glucose levels and increase insulin secretion. Antibacterial properties of this tea can help fight against infections while it’s soothing effects aid in relief from insomnia, stress and fatigue. Incorporating white tea into our habitual morning rituals is a great way to reinforce your immune system and begin your day.

While tea is full of health benefits, it isn’t a replacement for professional medical treatment. You should always seek the help of a medical professional if you think you’re suffering from a serious illness. That said, tea has many benefits to help prevent you from getting sick and help you through the process when you are under the weather.

Tea Guides

The Tea Infused Skincare You Never Knew You Needed

January 10, 2022

We drink it. We use it in recipes. And now we’re adding it to our skincare routine. Tea is not only great to sip on, but has so many incredible benefits for our skin, too! It’s no wonder that all the benefits from drinking tea can also apply to putting in onto your skin. From earl grey tea to green tea to matcha and everything in between, tea is the it ingredient skin care right now.

Innisfree Green Tea Hydrating Sleeping Mask

Innisfree is a company that puts in the work to make sure that all of their products are clean and organic. That includes their Green Tea Sleep Mask. This mask is a hydration-boosting overnight mask infused with green tea that quenches skin and provides antioxidant protection while you snooze. Just remember that when using sleep masks to apply after your moisturizer.

Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask

We’re hitting you with another sleep mask (because frankly, they are powerhouses in your skincare routine). Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask is an intensely moisturizing treatment that lifts your nighttime ritual to new heights. This sleeping mask acts like a corset for your complexion, giving you a lifted, firmer look by morning. This mask is made with a mix of kombucha (black tea ferment), black tea extract, blackberry leaf extract, and lychee seed extract which is proven to inhibit damaging free radicals and helps improve the appearance of skin elasticity. 

Herbivore Jasmine Green Tea Oil Control Toner

Possibly the most well known of clean beauty brands is Herbivore Botanicals. It can be found everywhere from big retailers like Urban Outfitters to small curated shops like Follain– and for good reason. All of their products are made from food-grade ingredients because after all, you shouldn’t put something on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your body, right? Their Jasmine Green Tea Toner has the powers of antioxidant-rich green tea infused into luxurious jasmine flower water. It’s formulated to reduce oiliness, fight blemishes, and treat combination, oily, and blemish-prone complexions.

Winky Lux Matcha Sugared Lip Scrub

When it comes to skincare, we often forget about giving love to our lips! Lip care is especially important in the dry, cold winter months of the year. This Matcha Sugared Lip Scrub by Winky Lux will smooth and soften to help even the most chapped of lips. Blended with sugar, green tea extract and natural vanilla to gently exfoliate, moisturize, and recharge lips. Your lips will love you so matcha!

CREMORLAB Herb Tea Pure Calming Mask

Everyone knows that Korean beauty products are top notch and this herb tea calming sheet mask does not disappoint. Infused with aloe vera, rosewater and thermal water, this mask contains black tea and chamomile extracts. The tannins and polyphenols inside the black tea extract purify and soothe your skin whilst hydrating the dermis. There is a reason this brand has a cult following!

COOLA Classic Sport Face Sunscreen with White Tea

If there is one thing that you take away from this blogpost, please let it be that you NEED to be wearing sunscreen everyday (yes, even when you are indoors!) They state that this is a “Farm to Face” organic sunscreen with white tea that features fortified sun protection that’s unbelievably light, non-greasy, and sheer on any skin tone. This sunscreen is designed for those long, active days in the sun but light enough for everyday use. Board certified Dr. Bindu Sthalekar says, “White tea contains high amounts of anti-bacterial and anti-aging properties that help prevent wrinkles and sagging skin”. Sounds like a win win all around!

Whamisa by Glow Studio Chai Tea Eye Cream

Who knew that your daily glass of chai latte can give some extra skincare benefits? Known to increase blood circulation, chai combats puffiness and dark circles. Blended with flavanoid-rich rooibos, this chai tea eye cream by Whamisa will fill in wrinkles and curb fine lines. Formulated without any parabens, mineral oils and fragrances, you will get the best pick-me-up that you never knew you needed.

Tea has been around for thousands and thousands of years and it is no surprise that we are now adding it to our skincare routine. From hydration to clearing blemishes, tea does it all. Weather consuming orally or topically, it is sure to keep your skin glowing.

If you try out any of these products, let us know! Be sure to follow us on Instagram @theteakitchen for daily posts on all things related to tea!