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Tea Guides

A Beginners Guide: The Six Types of Teas

March 23, 2022

All teas come from the same plant called Camillea Sinensis. What makes these teas different from one another is the processing of the tea leaves. There are six mains types of teas: Black Tea, White Tea, Green Tea, Oolong, Dark and Yellow Tea. You may be reading this thinking, “Well what about Rooibos and Chamomile? These are actually considered Tisanes. Lets jump into all six of these teas and their qualities!

White Tea

White tea is known to be one of the most delicate tea varieties because it is so minimally processed. White tea is harvested before the tea plant’s leaves open fully, when the young buds are still covered by fine white hairs, hence the name “white” tea. White tea is typically only harvested in spring.

White tea has a very light, refreshing taste to it. You can expect sweet honey notes and lightly vegetal flavors, from a delicate Silver Needle to a more full-bodied White Peony.

White tea has many benefits to it as well! Thanks to minimal processing, white tea has the most antioxidants of all. These help protect the body from free radicals, fight disease and keep you and your immune system healthy. White teas have also been shown to help reverse skin damage caused by stress, diet and sun, and can even help the skin to rebuild resistance to stress.

Black Tea

Black tea is one of the most popular tea selections out there. It has a bold flavor and long shelf life. There are many types of black tea ranging from Earl Grey to English breakfast. Black tea leaves are allowed to fully oxidize before being processed and dried, which makes the leaves dark brown and gives the tea its signature flavor profile. Black teas tend to be bold and brisk, and they are often described as astringent.

After the leaves are picked, they are gently bruised and allowed to fully oxidise. During this process the leaves will turn from the green you see on the bush to the brown we recognize as tea, before finally being dried.

Black tea is loaded with health benefits. Thanks to their high caffeine content, black teas will give you that kick to get you out of bed in the morning. Unlike coffee, the caffeine in black tea is slow-release and therefore leaves you feeling energised for longer. Black tea is also naturally high in flavonoids, powerful antioxidants known to help lower cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Green Tea

Green tea is another extremely popular tea among tea drinkers. The taste of green tea varies. Green teas can range from the sweet, floral character of a Chinese green, such as Jade Tips, to an intense vegetal Japanese Sencha, the flavor depending on where the leaves are grown and how the leaves are heated. Green tea is widely believed to be bitter in taste. However, this is usually due to burning the leaves with boiling water. When brewed at lower temperatures the resulting flavor should be smooth, clean and even sweet. The leaves are plucked, slightly withered, then immediately cooked to preserve the green quality and prevent oxidization. As a result of these methods, green teas have a much higher concentration of chlorophyll, polyphenols, and antioxidants than other tea types. 

Green tea has been shown to have positive effects on parts of the brain used for memory, increasing cognitive functions. Green tea is also a favorite for many nutritionists thanks to its effect on the metabolism. Matcha, in particular, is often included in smoothies, energy balls and pre-workout snacks.

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is often overlooked despite having some of the most varied and exciting flavor profiles. From lighter ‘green’ oolongs to the darker, more heavily oxidised oolongs, it is this varying level of oxidation that makes this tea type so exciting, offering a huge spectrum of flavour. Expect everything from a light and floral to a dark and aromatic.

After the leaves are picked (usually whole shoots), they are gently withered to remove some of the moisture from the leaf, before being tumbled in a bamboo drum. This process bruises the leaves and provokes oxidation. Oolongs are semi-oxidised which means that unlike black teas which are allowed to oxidise fully, for oolongs the process is halted after a certain time. The period of oxidation varies depending on the type of oolong being produced and can vary from 10% oxidation for a ‘green’ oolong, to over 60% for a darker Oolong. The leaves are then pan fired at high temperatures before being rolled and dried.

Oolong has been shown to help so many areas of your skin! From anti-aging to eczema to a healthy radiant glow, oolong is the way to go!

Dark Tea

Many people assume dark teas and black teas are the same. They are not! Dark teas are actually closer to green teas in they way that they are processed in the beginning. They then go through a fermentation process. The most common dark tea is Pu’er tea. It is one of the oldest types of tea, with a history dating back more than 2,000 years. Pu-erh teas are often described as having a subtle mushroom-like taste. This ancient tea originates in Yunnan province on China’s southwestern frontier, where a temperate climate and lush landscapes, teeming with biodiversity, provide ideal growing conditions for tea. 

In China, pu-erh tea has long been sipped to achieve a variety of health benefits, such as improvements in heart health and reductions in cholesterol levels. It’s also said that pu-erh tea can help promote weight loss, enhance eyesight, stimulate circulation, and soothe hangovers.

Yellow Tea

Yellow tea is produced similarly to white tea and green tea though an additional step is added. This extra step produces a tea that brews into a golden hue and features a mellow flavor without grassy notes. Yellow tea is a Chinese tea that is difficult to find outside of China. That’s because the process to produce this tea is time intensity, requires additional labor, and proves to be difficult when it comes to large-scale quality control. As a result, there are only three main types of yellow tea available on the market today!

Yellow tea undergoes a production process that is similar to green tea but includes one extra, time-consuming step. The leaves are harvested in early spring and immediately dried using direct sunlight or gentle pan-firing. Once dry, the leaves are wrapped in wet paper or cloth to induce a mild oxidation process through steaming. The yellow tea leaves are oxidized for up to three days and may undergo additional firing or drying rounds. This tea processing method produces a yellowing effect on the tea leaves.

Yellow tea is packed with antioxidants including polyphenols and catechins that are beneficial to overall health. These antioxidants work to prevent damage known as oxidative stress, which is caused by the presence of free radicals. This type of stress is known to breakdown healthy cellular processes and can contribute to premature aging as well as mental decline. The tea is naturally calorie-free, making it a good choice for people on weight loss plans that are looking to replace sugary sodas with healthier alternatives.

Tea Health Benefits

Flu-Fighting Teas to Keep You Healthy This Spring 

March 2, 2022

Spring is a time of lush growth and the change of the season. With the beauty that comes in that change, there also comes a plethora of flu and colds that you don’t want to deal with. Tea is a great treat to indulge in that also offers immune-boosting properties that can help your preventative wellness regimen, and keep you healthier through even the most vicious flu seasons. Let’s dive into some of the most delicious flu-fighting teas that you can enjoy, minimizing your risk of sickness. 

What does the body need to stay healthy? 

When evaluating if your favorite tea will do the trick and keep you well and boost your immune system, it’s important to understand what our body needs to stay healthy during cold and flu season. Most notably, you’ll want to look for options that help your body naturally maintain your levels of vitamin C and D, which can defend against flu viruses. You can also get Vitamin D naturally by getting out in the sunshine, and soaking in those deliciously warm spring days. 

Additionally, you can look for teas that offer benefits that promote your total-body health. For example, choosing blends that have a rich antioxidant profile or supportive measures for your other bodily systems can help reduce your body’s strain in that area and redirect its resources to keeping you well. This type of wellness framework is known as a more holistic approach to wellness. Teas can fit very well into this type of routine. 

5 flu-fighting teas to enjoy 

No one enjoys being sick — and teas are a great way to preserve and protect your natural health and immunity. Below, we’ve listed five top flu-fighting teas that you can enjoy all year long! 

1. Peppermint tea 

Peppermint tea is delicious, classic, and a great tea to enjoy if you’re wanting to nip an oncoming flu in the bud. Often, viruses come with a variety of unpleasant symptoms that range from your average cold including GI upset and body aches and pains. Peppermint is a great tea that addresses both of these concerns, acting as a muscle relaxant that is gentle on your body and soothing to inflammation anywhere in your muscular system: either the smooth muscles in your GI tract or the body-wide skeletal muscles throughout your aching body. Peppermint can also soothe a sore throat quickly, offering a clean-tasting, comforting wash over your palate and throat. 

2. Green tea 

If you’re beginning to feel under the weather or want to mitigate the risk of getting sick, reach for your nearest box of green tea. This type of tea has been found to have high concentrations of vitamin C, and is known to be a powerful antiviral against the common cold and flu. More recent studies have also shown promise toward green tea is a natural combatant against certain strains of coronaviruses as well, but more research needs to be done before anything conclusive is found. The tea is also known to be anti-inflammatory and is packed with antioxidants for a powerful immune boost. 

3. Black tea 

That’s right — something as common as black tea can be a powerful tool against the common bacterial and viral infections during flu season. Flavonoids in black tea have been found to have flu-fighting properties. These types of antioxidants are known to be powerful antimicrobials that are highly effective and bioavailable in the body when ingested in tea form. Black tea is easy to enjoy as well and can be purchased at your local grocery store. For an added antiviral punch, consider blending it with citrus and cinnamon to get the most benefit from every cup. 

4. Cinnamon tea 

This type of tea is great for helping you to deal with the symptoms that can run rampant with brutal cases of the flu, including sore throats and congestion. When you drink cinnamon tea, you’re also ingesting its antioxidant polyphenols and proanthocyanidins that can reduce inflammation in irritated areas (such as the throat,) and offer temporary pain relief with each sip. It also gives your immune system a temporary boost and can be taken in tandem with other flu-fighting teas such as black tea. 

5. Lemonbalm tea 

Lemonbalm tea is ideal if you’re struggling with GI upset but still need a symptom-relieving, comforting tea to sip on. The flavor of lemonbalm is very mild, and it still delivers a potent blend of necessary antioxidants and antiviral properties that can help to shorten the length of your sickness. It’s also great to alleviate symptoms of respiratory infection, congestion, sinus pain and inflammation, and chronic coughs. Simply inhaling the steam before each sip can help to bring some instant relief. 

We hope that these teas help you to prepare to weather cold and flu season. If you find yourself feeling under the weather, reach for these teas to get some relief. Stay healthy and well! 

Tea Health Benefits

Tea Wellness: Sipping for Healthy, Glowing Skin

February 28, 2022

Beautiful skin starts from within. From the inside, out. While we can spend hundreds of dollars on all types of different skincare, we first need to make sure that what’s going on inside is clean, too. When your insides are working properly, it really shows on the outside. The skin is the largest organ in the body and we need to make sure we are treating it with love and care! In case you didn’t know, tea is PACKED with antioxidants which are essential for a natural glow. Antioxidants help in restoring your natural, even and brighter skin tone by clearing the free radicals and inhibiting the enzymes responsible for the over-production of melanin. In this article, we will be breaking down what teas can help support that healthy glow.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is anti-septic and anti-bacterial. It encourages cell turnover, gets rid of dead skin cells and makes your skin stay consistently glowing. Peppermint tea is especially great if you suffer from hormonal acne like many of us do. The menthol in peppermint tea can help improve hormonal imbalances and slow the production of excess sebum on the skin.  It’s also rich in vitamin E which helps in visibly slowing down of the aging process due to excessive sun exposure.

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea is a huge contender for helping with anti-aging!  It has high levels of antioxidants, zinc, and alpha-hydroxy acids that give it the ability to prevent and reverse fat loss under the skin, and protects against harmful free radicals that we are faced with day to day. Rooibos is also high in zinc which has been proven to help correct hormonal imbalances that trigger acne.

Chamomile Tea

When you feel stressed, your sympathetic nervous system releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into your body. Cortisol causes increased oil production in your skin glands, which can lead to clogged pores, acne breakouts and can result in physical manifestations such as wrinkles. Chamomile tea has been used for its stress relieving qualities for a long, long time. It is ideal for inducing feelings of calm, rest, and encouraging better sleep which are critical for allowing the skin to naturally heal and imperative for glowing skin. Stress can disrupt your sleeping patterns. A good nights rest is crucial for your skin to repair and rejuvenate itself!

Green Tea

We can’t have a list of best teas for your sink without mentioning the GOAT of antioxidant filled teas. “Is green tea good for your skin?” is a question that’s often Googled, and the answer is yes!  For one, green tea is rich in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a highly potent antioxidant, which research has shown helps reduce oiliness of the skin and improve acne. It’s also extremely high antioxidant content also protects the skin against UV damage.

Ginger Tea

Ginger is helpful in the process of digestion and aids in gut health. Good digestion equals good skin. Studies show that people who have a healthier gut microbiota may have a healthier fatty acid profile in their skin, meaning their skin is more moisturized, hydrated and protected. Good digestion means toxins are discarded regularly from your body bringing freshness and a radiant glow to your skin.

All of these teas above have amazing health and skin benefits. Even if you only incorporate one or two of these teas for glowing skin into your daily diet, you should notice the wondrous effects they can bring to your skin! Along with sipping on tea for glowing skin, we also researched the best skincare products that use tea as their main ingredient. You can read all about tea infused skincare!

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 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!

Tea History & Culture

The History of Moroccan Tea

January 6, 2022

There are many different tales that people believe when it comes to the birth of tea in Morocco. Some historians believe that the British Queen Victoria personally sent over tea to the Queen of Morocco, while others believe it was introduced by the Arabs when they first arrived in Morocco. While the history of how tea arrived in Morocco has been a debated topic by historians for years, it is important to understand the culture and art of tea as it is known in Moroccan culture. The art of tea drinking has been a part of the Moroccan culture for centuries and there are many different traditions and tales about Moroccan tea culture. It holds a symbolic value in Morocco and the state has since become one of the largest tea importers in the world.

As trade increased throughout Morocco in the late 1800s, tea spread throughout the country. Tea has since become part of the Moroccan ritual and a social rite in the state. People first started drinking tea in Morocco because they were not allowed to drink alcohol. This is why Moroccan tea can sometimes be referred to as the berber of whiskey because it served as a placeholder for the alcohol they were not allowed to consume. Muslims were forbidden from consuming alcohol for religious purposes, so they looked to Moroccan tea as a logical alternative. Moroccans refer to tea is Attay. It is a sacred drink that offers a sense of welcoming and generosity to anyone passing through or visiting.

Although tea is not grown in Morocco, it is a huge part of their culture and everyday life. The most famous Moroccan tea is Moroccan Mint Tea. Moroccan Mint Tea or Maghrebi mint tea is a symbol of hospitality and generosity and is often consumed when meeting with family, friends, acquaintances, and more. It is green tea prepared with mint leaves, sugar, and sometimes other herbs. It is a tea that is meant to be prepared in front of guests and can be consumed at any time of the day. It is usually prepared on a large tray with a teapot full of hot water, green tea leaves, herbs, mint leaves, and sugar. The teapot where you will often find Moroccan mint tea is called a Sinia tea tray. Typically, they are silver and have matching silver sets to accompany them. The portions are usually served in a large pot which means you never consume just one glass. This is another example of hospitality in the Moroccan tea culture.

Moroccan tea is mixed by pouring the infusion from teapot to teapot and allowing it to cool down in the process. The secret to making the best Moroccan Mint Tea lies in the amount of ingredients you put in and the time in which the ingredients infuse together. The sweeter the tea, the more value you are as a guest to the host serving your tea. Another fact that can be associated with the importance of a guest is the height at which the host pours the tea from the teapot. The higher the teapot is, the important you are as a guest. This ritual is also scientific, as it helps in oxygenating the tea and facilitate digestion. The large portions are meant to serve as an inviting, welcoming factor. It is often prepared by a male, typically the head of the family, whereas the food is prepared by the women in the family. Sipping loudly is a symbol of Western etiquette as it shows a sign of appreciation to the host or preparer of the tea. If you find yourself in a Moroccan marketplace, vendors may offer you tea to invite you in and try to sell their product to you. Moroccan tea traditions are not only popular in Morocco, but in the surrounding North African states as well.

Some foods that are typically paired with Moroccan tea include traditional dishes such as couscous or B’sara (bean soup). The sky is the limit here but don’t be surprised to find a table laden with loads of carbohydrates. Pastries and breads make up a bulk of the typical sweets at the table when enjoying Moroccan Tea. Msemmen is a favorite snack for kids and adults alike. They’re usually offered at breakfast or in the late afternoon for snacks. They can be served sweet with honey and butter or made savory and stuffed with onions and spices. Another dish you are likely to see is a plate of Moroccan cookies better known as Ghoriba Bahla. These delicate cookies are shortbread with almonds and sesame seeds.

Brew your own serving of Moroccan Mint Tea using our Gunpowder Green Tea. Moroccan Mint Tea is easy to make and relies heavily on timing. Start by gathering the ingredients: gunpowder green tea, fresh mint leaves, sugar, and water. Gunpowder Green Tea is a Chinese-style tea that is rolled into small balls to resemble gunpowder. In Morocco, it is directly imported from China. Start by boiling your water in a kettle and adding the gunpowder green tea leaves. Cover the leaves and allow the water to steep. After straining and disregarding the leaves, add fresh mint and sugar to the pot. Allow the combination to steep for just over 5 minutes. To achieve the perfect infusion, pour the pot back and forth between two containers and then serve on a Sinia Tea set.

Moroccan tea is a sign of appreciation that should be accepted upon offering. It is a sign of hospitality that is meant to welcome guests and serve as an act of generosity and kindness. It is a long and leisurely experience that is meant to be enjoyed by all. Its cultural importance cannot be overstated. Whether you want to enjoy its role in local society or to experience Moroccan Mint Tea benefits, you’re in for a treat.

Tea History & Culture

Tea Parties You Never Expected In Pop Culture

November 9, 2021

Teatime has been around since the 1800’s and has become a social event that can be seen in various Hollywood films and television shows. Whether you want to go down the rabbit hole on your way to the Mad Hatter’s tea party or sip on Afternoon Tea with the Crawley family in Downtown Abbey, we are walking you through some of our favorite tea references in pop culture. Let’s take a look at a few marvelous on screen tea moments where tea is either being brewed, boiled, served, passed around, or used as a prop to convey something funny, serious or casual that have kept us wanting more tea!

Mary Poppins Iconic Tea Party Scene

Mary Poppins is a famous musical film that was produced by Walt Disney in 1964. The famous Tea Party at Uncle Albert’s is a tea scene to remember. When Mary takes the children to visit her Uncle Albert, they drink a cup of tea that makes them float to the ceiling. Mary does the only sensible thing and brings tea up to join them. They then enjoy a practically perfect tea around a floating table dressed in a yellow tablecloth. This magical tea party scene is filled with joy and fantasy.

Alice in Wonderland the Mad Hatter’s tea party

Whether you are watching the 1951 animated film, or the 2010 live-action fantasy, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland is an event that is not to be missed. It is always tea time in Wonderland! This scene is the main event of the film and the reason why Alice goes on the adventures she does as she encounters the White Rabbit on his way to the tea party. The Mad Hatter’s tea party remains one of literature’s most psychedelic gatherings, leaving readers wondering if March Hare has filled the cups with something more than just tea.

Adele’s Hello music video

Tea made an appearance in pop culture in English singer and songwriter Adele’s music video for her grammy winning song, Hello. Adele, a United Kingdom native, pours herself a cup of tea in the Hello music video to soother her broken heart and this totally stirred the pot, no pun-intended. Fans were outraged at the way Adele prepared her tea which caused quite the uproar among her British fans. She is shown boiling the water and proceeds to pour the hot water and then add in a teabag, which is where the controversy began. In the U.K., it is traditional to steep your tea bag in the hot water prior to pouring your glass. She has since come out and said that she is not the one that made that cup of tea. She said, “I like to brew the tea bag, add a bit of sugar, bit of milk, stir it, stir it, stir it, ring it out, put it wherever you want.”

Sweet Tea in Steel Magnolias

It’s no secret that Sweet Tea is a popular drink in the South. Sweet tea is consumed throughout the 1989 Comedy-Drama film, Steel Magnolias, which takes place in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Dolly Parton’s character, Truvy Jones, famously refers to sweet tea as “the house wine of the South.” Refer to our post on Iced Teas for a Southern Sweet Tea recipe. 

Downtown Abbey

If you are into period dramas, then there is no doubt you have watched PBS’s Downtown Abbey. The show takes place in the early 1900s as it follows an English aristocratic family in a fictional town called Downtown Abbey. During this time in England, teatime was a popular ritual that was served in various different settings. Throughout the show, we see the characters gather for deluxe Afternoon Teas and High Teas. It’s no secret that the British loved to indulge in teatime, which is why it became such a huge social event and is expressed that way throughout the show.

Gossip Girl – The Russian Tea Room

Gossip girl is full of tea, and not just the spilling kind. In Season 2, Episode 23, the characters visit the Russian Tea Room that is full of tea. From gossip spilling, to tea sipping, this episode is the perfect example of the social expectations that come with tea ceremonies. Aside from this episode, there are numerous other scenes where characters like Blair Waldorf share an intimate cup of tea together in deep thought and discussion.

Tea Health Benefits

5 Best Teas to Reduce Stress

September 13, 2021

Feeling stressed or experiencing elevated anxiety? Unwind with a soothing cup of tea. Tea is the best natural way to relieve stress and reduce anxiety. It offers relaxing properties and a list of other added benefits for your health. Please note that a doctor should be consulted in order to establish a proper routine for care and treatment of anxiety or stress.

1. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea is a popular herbal tea that is made from the flowers of the Chamomile plant. Aside from it’s long list of health benefits including providing digestive relief, controlling blood sugar levels, and boosting your immune system, Chamomile Tea is also known to reduce anxiety and stress. According to an article on Medical News Today, many researchers believe that Chamomile tea can function as a benxodiazepine, a prescription drug that can induce sleep and reduce anxiety. Since Chamomile is an herb, it will not provide as large of an effect as a pharmaceutical drug but can still show benefits. It has been used for years by many different cultures, and can also be served in supplement form. Chamomile tea is safe to consume and has a recommended dose of 1 to 4 cups of tea daily.

2. Green Tea

Green tea contains an amino acid called Theanine that is a known constituent that effects the central nervous system. It’s mood-altering effects provide relaxing benefits that can be beneficial to someone suffering from anxiety or stress. It can affect certain chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin and dopamine which are neurotransmitters that are known to regulate bodily functions such as emotion. It is important to note that green tea contains caffeine and caffeine can alter the effects of theanine. As proven in a study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health, reduced stress and improved sleep quality can be caused by reduced caffeine content in green tea.

3. Peppermint Tea

Peppermint Tea is another popular herbal tea that has proven health benefits including relieving tension, improving energy, and inducing sleep. Peppermint teas are packed with relaxing effects to help relieve stress and ease your mind. The menthol within the peppermint allows your muscles to relax amidst any ongoing stress or anxiety. When your muscles are relaxed, it is also easier to fall asleep. Peppermint tea can also reduce your body temperature and blood pressure, which in result will help you to better relax. Naturally, peppermint tea does not contain any caffeine and it can relieve tension in your sinus is and head which is beneficial if you are sick. Peppermint tea can also be consumed to relieve cramping or body aches.

4. Lavender Tea

Lavender tea is another soothing herbal tea that can help calm your nerves which results in reduced stress and anxiety relief. Lavender is also a popular aromatherapy scent that can be produced in essential oil form. It is known for its soothing scent and clarifying properties. When consumed in tea form, lavender can help improve the quality of your sleep. Lavender extract can also be found in supplement form and should be consumed with caution. When taking anything that may have an effect on your central nervous system it is important to consult a doctor or other health care professional who can better guide you on how to use and consume the product safely. Aside from its soothing properties, lavender tea can also improve the quality of your skin. The anti-inflammatory properties found in lavender extract can help diminish the appearance of inflammation on your skin.

5. Lemon Balm Tea

According to WebMD, lemon balm is a perennial herb from the mint family. It produces a calming effect that can be used to treat insomnia, stress, and anxiety. Similar to lavender, it is another popular essential oil that is used for aromatherapy purposes to achieve soothing effects. Lemon balm tea contains powerful antioxidants that can combat sickness and create an alert effect on your central nervous system. Lemon balm tea contains rosmarinic acid, which is known to boost brain activity.

Self-care is the best way to show compassion for your body in a physical and mental capacity. Whether you are feeling slightly anxious or have a lingering feeling of stress, decompress with a nice cup of tea and experience the anti-stress factors associated with the teas listed above. Not only will you experience soothing and relaxing benefits from consuming these teas but other health benefits as well which can play a role on your mood and brain function. It is important to remember that anxiety is a mood disorder that should be diagnosed by a doctor or other health care professional. If you suffer from anxiety, please consult a doctor before looking to tea as a solution.

Tea Guides Types of Tea

The Health Benefits of Green Tea

August 20, 2021

Among health aficionados, green tea is becoming more and more popular as it boasts health benefits and other soothing properties and effects. Green tea is far more than just a drink. It is actually considered a superfood because of the amounts of antioxidants and healthy properties it contains. These antioxidants and other healthy properties can have a positive effect on your body and overall health.

Green tea can be associated with many benefits, but today we are going to focus on these 7 benefits that should convince you to start drinking green tea.

1- Promotes Brain Function

Green tea can be linked to promoting healthy cognitive function which can provide clarity and improve your focus. It combines both caffeine and l-theanine which makes for a potent combo to boost your energy levels and brain power. By boosting your brainpower, green tea can boost the function of your memory which has been linked to aiding in diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. A strong trend of improvement in memory has been linked with green tea consumption in these memory-affected diseases. The antioxidants in green tea can also help alleviate stress which can leave you with more clarity and the opportunity to use your brain in better ways. Green tea pairs with our working memory to boost the connectivity between our frontal and parietal cortex which can lead to improved brain performance.

2- Aid in Weight Loss

We all know there is no magic pill to help you lose weight. However, green tea can aid in weight loss as it increases fat burning, boosts your metabolism, and suppresses your appetite. The flavonoids and caffeine found in green tea can help elevate your metabolic rate which results in more calories being burned even if you are not working out. When you burn more calories, you are burning more fat which can lead to weight loss. We aren’t saying that green tea is the end all be all to weight loss, but we are saying it can help! Green tea can also help suppress your appetite which means you are less likely to add extra calories to your day. Caffeine is a well-known appetite suppressant that is found in green tea. According to a study discussed by WebMD, the International Journal of Obesity found that extract from green tea may increase calorie and fat burning that can lead to lose weight.

3- Promote Cardiovascular Health

Green tea can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. According to an article posted on WebMD, “one large study in Japan followed 40,000 adult participants over 11 years, and found that daily green tea consumption was linked to lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.” (Read more of the article here.) The anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants found in green tea have been linked to lowering your cholesterol. Lowering your cholesterol means lowering your risk of heart disease and/or stroke. If consumed consciously and consistently, green tea can improve your cardiovascular health and leave you with fewer red flags such as high cholesterol.

4- Benefits Oral Health

Another benefit of green tea is that it can boost your dental health. Regularly consuming green tea can protect against bad breath, gum disease, and even cavities as it reduces oral bacteria. The bacteria-killing properties found in green tea can assist in lowering the acidity of your saliva which can protect your teeth from decaying.

5- Helps to Fight Certain Cancers

The consumption of green tea and cancer prevention have been linked as the predominant polyphenols found in green tea have been proven to activate enzymes that can detoxify your cells and prevent tumor development. Preventing tumor development can reduce the risk of cancer. Green tea can also benefit those battling cancer as it provides healthy nutrients to support their immune system and body. As found by the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenols found in tea can help protect in things such as tumor development and damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

6- May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Green Tea consumption can reduce insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. This allows your cells to better metabolize sugar. Sugar is a known enemy when it comes to Type 2 Diabetes. High sugar consumption leads to high levels of blood glucose. With Type 2 Diabetes, high blood glucose affects your body because your body does not react correctly to insulin therefore the blood glucose is not stored for energy in your cells. Green Tea can help your metabolic system serve your body properly and avoid some of these issues associated with Type 2 Diabetes. In a medically reviewed article by Everyday Health, it was suggested that green tea is a great beverage to add to a diabetic’s diet.

7- Protects Vision

Green tea can protect our eyes from UV damage, eye disease, and more with its powerful antioxidant properties. The tissues in our eyes are very vulnerable which means even the slightest bit of damage can impact our vision. The antioxidants and flavonoids found in green tea can promote healthy eyes and protect our eyes from being damaged. Gallocatechin, zeaxanthin, and lutein are 3 flavonoids found in green tea that promote healthy eyes. Gallocatechin is absorbed in the retina and can protect our retina from harmful blue light.

The bottom line is that Green Tea has a variety of different health benefits you may not know of. Learn about the health benefits that can impact your life, and start drinking green tea today. Browse our vast collection of loose-leaf teas on our website to kickstart your tea obsession today.