Saturday, March 1, 2014

Making Mixed Iced Tea...Chamomile with Lavender and Mint

1070 1st St NE, Massillon, OH 44646
(330) 832-8006
I love Boston Mint Tea.  I am not sure if is because it reminds me of being a kid, because my mom
used to make it or if it because I really do enjoy the taste- hahaha. Either way I really do like to drink it and it reminds me
of being a kid.  The only place I can find it is Massillon Discount Outlet. 
Since I like to mix my teas, I decided to mix in some of my new Chamomile Lavender Tea.  Ohhh,
now that is a great combo!!!  I got the tea in town, but I must admit it was pricey, so next time I think I will
just order on line.  As much as I try to support local, $6.50 is too much for me to pay for some tea bags.


Personality
 Relaxing, easy to be around, reassuring.
Herbal Power
Settles your nervous system and relaxes your digestive system, especially good when stressed or tense.*
Reason to Love
A friend when the going gets tough, this herbal blend of beautiful and fragrant flowers with soothing lemon balm will stand by you when you’re troubled by nervous tension or upset stomach,* or simply when you need to step out of the stream of life for a moment and take a well-deserved break. We love this dynamic trio of gentle herbs for their ability to help you slow down and savor the moment.
Taste
Fragrantly floral and bittersweet

I like both the Lavender and the Boston Mint warm by themselves or cold in tea. 
 When I make the tea I DO NOT add sugar.  I use 3 mint tea bags and 1 lavender bag with water.  I let them steep for about 6-7 hours, and then I fish the tea bags out.  Now, you can leave the herbal tea bag in the entire time, but you should not leave the mint in the entire time, because I believe that will make it bitter since it is a black tea with caffeine in it. (I have not researched this to see if it is true, but that is my understanding) I always leave the herb tea bags in the entire time I have the iced tea container in the fridge and I am drinking the tea- since there is no caffeine in there it seems to not make it too strong or too bitter.

The tea is cool and refreshing with a hint of lavender.  I really like it.  Do not be afraid to play with your tea!!!

Teacup Kittens!!!!!


TEACUP KITTENS!!!!!!

Okay- so this is not something to eat or drink, but they are called "teacup" kittens....and I love kittens/cats.  After reading about them, I do no think I could ever own one.  They sound too fragile, and with the shorter life I would hate to loose one after only a few years.  But, boy are they adorable!


Teacup Cats
In addition to chondrodysplastic dwarf cats, there are a number of normally proportioned dwarfed breeds. These are usually termed "mini" or "teacup" to differentiate them from the short-legged dwarf cats. Some may be due to a condition similar to primordial dwarfism found in humans. There are several lines of Teacup and Toy Persians currently being bred, with some due to a spontaneous mutation and others due to consistently selecting and breeding the smallest individuals from each generation to progressively downsize the breed.
Teacup cats are simply small "miniature" cats (meaning a size smaller than the category of cat called "miniature cats"). Smaller than usual cats occur for several reasons - some genetic, some hormonal and some environmental. Miniature cats are usually about one third to one half the size of normal size cats of the same breed. A genuine Teacup Cat however, is born with a genetic dwarfism that, instead of making just the legs short, causes the cat to be proportionally small all over. The discovery of this genetic mutation has caused popularity of the teacup cat to spread like wildfire.
Many breeders will agree that most "teacup" cats are, in fact, scams. Usually these cats were runts, born too early, or severely emaciated when they were a kitten. When buying "teacups" of any animal, take caution, as most primordial dwarf cats are born with severe health problems. Some common health problems of "teacup" cats include:
  • Severe growth retardation causing bones to become misshapen and soft
  • Slowing rate of muscle mass growth. Causing weakness of the cat and a possibility of decreased use of limbs
  • Heart murmurs and enlarged heart
  • Seizures and other neurological problems, possibly causing blindness
  • Soft spot in top of skull, leaving cat susceptible to major head trauma
  • Misshapen jaw and bowed legs
  • Shortened lifespans
  • Reproductive organs never growing or growing in a malformed way
Due to their very, very small size it is impractical to take them home before they are at least five months old. Cat experts encourage you to take care when acquiring these very small cats, as miniature kittens are much more vulnerable than normal sized kittens.









 Persian teacup kittens/cats have 3 layers of long, thick hair that has to be maintained and it's important that families seeking these graceful creatures understand what they're getting into with grooming. If your lifestyle is such that you can't devote at least 2 'grooming sessions' a week to your feline family member, then you must incorporate a professional groomer into your schedule.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rituals Tea


Here is my mom and I.  She is again my date for the work annual Christmas party.  We went the other weekend at Woosters' City Square and Steakhouse.

I will not comment on the meal there, because it was not one of my favorites.  BUT, the tea was good. I had two different cups.  I did the Orange Spice Back tea with milk and it was very good.  Then I did the Raspberry Herbal Tea which was good. 





Tuesday, February 25, 2014

MINT BROOK MEADOWS Chamomile and Spearmint Tea



Mint Brook Cozy Goodnight Herbal Tea A blend of chamomile flowers and our spearmint leaves. 


While visiting with some friends last night for dinner we had had my favorite Elderberry Pie, made by my mom,  and some Hartzler Coconut Almond Fudge Ice Cream for dessert.  YUM!!!  My friend then served some tea with that yummy goodness.  Chamomile and Spearmint was VERY good.  I had never trid this tea before, but it was very good, I realy enjoyed it.  And I loved that it is made in Dalton, Ohio- not more than 15 minutes from where I live.  Also Hartzler Dairy is locally made as well, not more than 20 minutes away.   




Coconut Almond Fudge

Fudge & Almonds in coconut flavored ice cream.

Get Organized with your tea...

 
 
 
 
 
I love being organized!  I used to have my tea in bins that were scattered across my kitchen counters.  But, now I have this shelf that my dad made and these great Thirty-One organizing bins (https://www.mythirtyone.com/carrieguenther) and I am set!!!  Well, I am getting there anyway. 
As I looked in the bins at my fun teas, I realized there were some of my favorites at the bottom of the bins. I need to not save my favorite teas for a special occasion, but drink them now, knowing I can always get more.  I need to put those favorites at the top.  And if I do not care for a tea then it needs to go.  Why save a tea that I do not love, why have it take up space in my kitchen!!!


Also it is so important how you store your tea...and not just for clutter sake!
You want your tea to last as long as possible and you want it to taste it's best.
The proper storage of tea is of the utmost importance, as tea which is improperly stored will go stale or rancid much faster, or can accumulate impurities that both alter the flavor and aroma and can also harm the body.  Therefore it is very important to learn how to properly store your teas so that they remain as fresh, clean and flavorful as possible.

I am a fan of Teavana and ESP Emporium tins for keeping my tea fresh!







Storage Conditions to AvoidAvoiding just five storage conditions will make a huge difference in the shelf life of your tea. These factors are light, heat, moisture, odor and air.

Light and UV rays degrade your tea very quickly. Avoid buying tea from vendors who store their clear tea in glass or plastic containers and avoid storing your tea in anything clear unless you plan on keeping it in a dark cabinet.

Heat also degrades your tea. Avoid placing it in the sun (see also: Light) or near heat sources, like a stoves and ovens.

Moisture causes problems, too. Tea is shelf stable because it is dry. Unfortunately, it absorbs water from the air very easily. Until it's ready to brew, keep it away from boiling water (see also: Heat). You'll also benefit by avoiding other humid areas, like above a dishwasher vent or in a refrigerator. Obviously, you won't want to expose your tea to liquid moisture either unless, of course, you're brewing it.

(Note: Storing tea in the fridge is an incredibly common mistake. The only teas that should be stored in a fridge are tightly sealed canisters of Japanese green teas, and those should be consumed very shortly after they are opened.)

Odor is something that tea absorbs very easily. This tea trait allows for the creation of amazing scented teas, such as Jasmine Pearls. It also means that storing your tea near a spice cabinet, trashcan or other source of odor is a no-no.

Air exposure increases the chances that your tea will absorb moisture and odors. Avoid leaving tea out, sealing it with excess air in the packaging or storing it in porous packaging materials, like paper bags.

How to Store Tea Properly

Avoiding the five 'tea killers' above means you'll have to consider the location, packaging material and packaging mechanism you're using to store your tea. Here are the best practices for each:

Location
  • Store far away from anything with a strong odor.
  • Store in a dark cabinet or completely opaque container.
  • Keep delicate teas separate from strongly scented teas.
  • Avoid storing tea in humid areas of your kitchen and house.

Tea Storage Materials
  • Use opaque packaging if possible.
  • Be sure your packaging is food safe. (For example, don't use a pencil case to hold tea.)
  • Glazed ceramics, non-reactive metals and opaque, non-leaching plastics all make great packaging materials.
  • Wood packaging may be a workable option, but be aware that many wood containers have odors that can influence the tea's taste.
  • The bags that suppliers sell tea in vary widely in terms of quality. For long-term storage, make sure your bags are multi-ply with an inner layer of foil or glassine (a substance similar to wax paper). This avoids contamination by water, air or grease.
Note: Plastic 'sandwich bags' are not a good storage option, as they expose your tea to light, odor and air.

Tea Storage Mechanisms

A tight seal is key. If the mechanism can hold water, it can protect tea. Good options include:
  • Double lids (these are common with metal tea canisters)
  • Odor-free silicone seals (also common with metal canisters)
  • Multi-ply bags with resealable plastic 'zippers'
Other Storage Tips
  • If your vendor doesn't use adequate packaging for your tea, resist the urge to continue storing it poorly. Invest in quality packaging and your tea will thank you.
  • Buy fresh tea in small quantities. If you live in an area where good tea is hard to find, ask your favorite vendors if they offer shipping.
  • Only open what you can drink in the next few months. Unless they are well-stored aged pu-erhs or aged oolongs, don't hold onto teas for years. Instead, drink them when they are at their freshest and best.


tea colors

Left to Right
Oolong, Green, Black, herbal, Rooibos, Sencha, and White (the light and flash changed the colors a bit)

isn't is amazing how different teas look and I am even more amazed how the drying chnages the taste!!!  To think that all true tea starts with the same tea plant!  I want to visit a plantation sometime and see the process.

Tea is an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis.
 After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. It has a cooling, slightly bitter, and astringent flavor that many people enjoy.
Tea likely originated in China as a medicinal drink. It was first introduced to Portuguese priests and merchants in China during the 16th century. Drinking tea became popular in Britain during the 17th century. The British introduced it to India, in order to compete with the Chinese monopoly on the product.
Tea has been historically promoted for having a variety of positive health benefits. Recent studies suggest that green tea may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer, promote oral health, reduce blood pressure, help with weight control, improve antibacterial and antivirasic activity, provide protection from solar ultraviolet light, increase bone mineral density, and have "anti-fibrotic properties, and neuroprotective power." Additional research is needed to "fully understand its contributions to human health, and advise its regular consumption in Western diets."
Tea catechins have known anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activities, help to regulate food intake, and have an affinity for cannabinoid receptors, which may suppress pain and nausea, and provide calming effects.

Tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid whose consumption is strongly associated with a calm but alert and focused, relatively productive (alpha wave dominant), mental state in humans. This mental state is also common to meditative practice.

The phrase "herbal tea" usually refers to infusions of fruit or herbs made without the tea plant, such as rosehip tea, chamomile tea, or rooibos tea. Alternative phrases for this are tisane or herbal infusion, both bearing an implied contrast with "tea" as it is construed here.

HOW MANY TEAS ARE THERE????

Teas can generally be divided into categories based on how they are processed. There are at least six different types of tea: white, yellow, green, oolong (or wulong), black (called red tea in China), and post-fermented tea (or black tea for the Chinese) of which the most commonly found on the market are white, green, oolong, and black. Some varieties, such as traditional oolong tea and Pu-erh tea, a post-fermented tea, can be used medicinally.
After picking, the leaves of Camellia sinensis soon begin to wilt and oxidise, unless they are immediately dried. The leaves turn progressively darker as their chlorophyll breaks down and tannins are released. This enzymatic oxidation process, known as fermentation in the tea industry, is caused by the plant's intracellular enzymes and causes the tea to darken. In tea processing, the darkening is stopped at a predetermined stage by heating, which deactivates the enzymes responsible. In the production of black teas, the halting of oxidisation by heating is carried out simultaneously with drying.
All true teas fomr from the Camellia Sinensis- to determine if they will be white, yellow, black, green, oolong, or pur-erh it depends completely on the drying process!



Tea Harvest

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea