Tea Recipe: Jasmine Tea Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is boring, but not when you give it a twist with Jasmine tea. Here’s what’s required:

  • 2 red onions
  • 3 medium carrots ( sliced into 1 cm pieces )
  • 50g fresh ginger
  • 1 fennel bulb ( finely chopped)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 2 tbsp jasmine tea
  • coriander seeds
  • spaghetti or noodles
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh chives
  • 2 chicken breasts ( with bone )

Jasmine tea recipe preparation

Preheat oven to 190 ° C. Use a large heatproof frying pan or wok and pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat the pan and add onions, carrots, ginger and fennel. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. Keep stirring in the pan until the vegetables are slightly softened, this is after about 6-8 minutes.

Afterwards, you scoop out the vegetables in a separate bowl. Pour water into a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Turn the stove off when the water boils, add the jasmine tea leaves. Put the lid on the pan and let the tea infuse for 5 minutes.

Make chicken stock in a pan and put it on low heat. After 5 minutes, add the tea to the chicken stock. Dry the chicken breasts with kitchen paper and coat the chicken breasts then with half a tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer the chicken to taste by adding salt, pepper and coriander. Heat the pan that was used for the vegetables again and add the remaining olive oil. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and fry it at high temperature. Then place the pan in the preheated oven and bake the chicken breasts for 15 minutes.

Cook the spaghetti or noodles, and then let it drain well. Cut all the meat of the chicken breasts once it’s done. Put the spaghetti or noodles in a bowl and add the chicken and vegetables as well. Then pour the delicious tea broth over and garnish with coriander and chives. There you go!

Enjoy and make sure you leave a comment if you have tried this recipe at home 😉

Smoked Chicken Salad with Black Tea Dressing Recipe

Black tea is not only a popular beverage, but it can at the same time be used to make excellent salad dressings! For this smoked chicken salad you need the following ingredients:

  • 225 gram smoked chicken
  • 115 grams of raisins
  • 2 small pears
  • 100 gram of chestnuts
  • 1 crop of lettuce

Ingredients for dressing:

  • 1 or 2 tablespoon of loose black Chinese tea leaves
  • 80 ml yoghurt
  • 60 ml of apple juice
  • 1/4 tablespoon of black pepper (buy fresh and grind yourself)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Preparation Chicken salad with tea dressing

For the dressing, bring the apple juice to boil in a pan. Turn of the heat and sprinkle the tea leaves in the pan and let it steep for 5 minutes. Afterwards, separate the leaves from the steeped apple juice tea and let it cool down.

Separate the leaves from the steeped apple juice tea and let it cool down.

Once the tea has cooled, add mustard, yoghurt, pepper and salt. Then mix the ingredients well.

Soak the raisins in boiling water for at least 10 minutes . They must eventually be soft. Rinse them with water and let them drain.
Wash the lettuce and let it dry. Divide the salad among 4 plates dry.

Cut the smoked chicken into chunks or stripes. Peel the pears and remove the core. Cut the pears into thin slices. Peel the water chestnuts and cut them into slices as well.

Put the smoked chicken, grapes, pears and water chestnuts in a bowl. Pour about half the dressing with it. (There will be 1 tablespoon of dressing per person left). Mix everything well together.

Divide the chicken salad on 4 plates and pour another the remaining dressing over each plate. Serve and enjoy! Dare to try and share your thoughts 😉

Dragon Well Tea Legends Reveiled

Dragon Well tea is the most famous of Chinese green tea that is known for its wonderful taste and amazingly fine quality. It is also a tea with a long history with its production dating back 1,500 years ago. According Cha-Jing (the world’s first tea book written by Lu Yu), it was recorded as early as Song Dynasty. Two fascinating legends have been passed down through generations and they are definitely worth to read to make your experience of this drinking Dragon Well tea even better.

Legend of Dragon Well


Long ago, a tea elf had 8 teacups and always used them to brew teas for his guests in fairyland. One day many gods came and visited his home, the elf was panicking and dropped one cup to the human world. The god Dongbing helped him to go to the human world and told him he had only one chance to get the cup back. The elf went down to the mountain in Shifeng (one of the Legendary Dragon Well Green Tea Villages). He believed his cup was there but he couldn’t find it. Searching for a whole day, he was tired and thirty. Fortunately, he found an old lady who was brewing teas and she was very nice to give him a cup of tea. Then he found the tea water tasted like his. Thus he asked the old lady where the water and the tea came from. She pointed to a well not far away and said the well appeared long ago after something dropped from the sky. The water was from the well and the teas were irrigated by the water. At that moment, the elf knew that his cup became this well long time ago since one day in the fairyland is equal to many years in the human world. To thank the old lady for treating him cordially, he decided to leave the cup there and turned back to fairyland. He told this story to some of his dragon friends and they sometimes visit the well and drink water from there. Then this well has become very important for the local green teas and therefore is named after the Well visited by Dragons

Legend of 18 tea trees beside the Dragon Well


Then many years passed, the old lady’s house became a famous temple called “Hugong”. And 18 tea trees, irrigated by the water from Dragon Well, were planted outside of it. In Qing Dynasty, an emperor called Qianlong came to Hangzhou and visited Hugong temple. When he was picking teas from the tea trees outside the temple, he received a message that his mother was ill and wished his immediate return to Beijing. He shoved the leaves he had picked into his sleeve and immediately left for Beijing. Upon his return he immediately went to visit his mother. She noticed the smell of the leaves coming from his sleeves. Qianlong decided to immediately brew a cup of tea made from the Dragon Well tea leaves for her. The holy tea cured her disease. The Emperor was very grateful and gave the 18 tea trees  Imperial status. Since then, Dragon Well tea became the tribute tea to emperors.

Until today, the 18 tea trees remain at the Shifeng Mountain and attract thousands of tourists all over the world.

The History Of The Word ‘Tea’

The way we call tea in different regions of the world is influenced by the different pronunciations of the word ‘tea’ in Chinese as well as the power balance of different regions throughout history.

3 Ways Of Pronouncing Tea

China has many ethnic groups and thus they have their own pronunciations of the word tea.

  • North China: ‘Cha’
  • South China: ‘Tey’ or ‘Ti’
  • Southwest China: ‘La’

6th Century: The Beginning Of Tea Exchange

Starting from the 6th Century, China started exporting tea during the Sui Dynasty. The North was the most influential region with many export activities focused on shipping tea to Japan, Turkey, Russia, Iran, Portugal and other Arabic countries. Therefore, these countries way of pronouncing tea is very similar to ‘cha’. Try to translate the word tea from English to any language from the mentioned countries, and you will find that they use ‘cha’ or variations such as ‘chai’ or ‘char’. For example:

  • Russia: char
  • Japanese: cha
  • Turkish: çay

mapping the word tea

16th & 17th Century: Tea Export To Europe

During this period, economic activity shifted from the North to the Southern part of China where tea was at that time pronounced as ‘Tey’. Main export destinations in Europe with the most demand coming from Britain, France, Holland, Germany, Italy, and Spain. These countries therefore use pronunciations close to ‘tey’ or ‘ti’.

  • France: thé
  • Holland: thee
  • Germany: tee
  • Italy: tè
  • Spain: té
  • Britain: tea

tea word map

tea word 2

What’s particularly interesting is that even though Portugal and Spain are neighboring countries with a very closely related language, they pronounce tea differently (Portugal: chá, Spain:té). This proofs the importance of dominance of tea producing regions in China over different periods of time through history.


Some European countries such as Poland are an exception. In Polish the word for tea isn’t related to either of the pronunciations mentioned above, but comes from the word ‘herb’: herbata.

Export to Countries Neighboring China

At the same time the Dai, Miao, and Yi minorities Southwestern part of China also started exporting tea to neighboring countries, such as Laos, Burma, Cambodia. As these ethnic minorities pronounce tea as ‘la’ the importing countries are using the same term in their languages.

Tea for Bad Breath

Have you ever heard from your spouse that you’ve a bad breath? Or do you know someone that has this problem? It’s always gonna be hard for anyone to tell another that he/she has a bad breath.

The fact is, that bad breath can seriously affect the intimacy between couples, and telling someone can sometimes hurt their pride. The good news is that tea can help! So what’s the best tea against bad breath? Before we discuss this, you need to first understand the root cause of bad breath.

What Causes Bad Breath?

There are several reasons:

The first simple reason is that one doesn’t properly or frequently enough brush and/or floss their teeth. As a result food might stay in the mouth, rot, and allow bacteria to grow, causing bad breath. This however, can easily be solved. Simply properly brush and floss everyday, and bad breath should be gone in about 2 weeks. But…

..often, however, bad breath can have some other non-dental causes that results in a more chronic problem. In the field of homeopathy (or alternative medicine) we call this ‘heat’ or ‘inflammation’. This is often the result of overworking, stress or some other specific causes, that results in certain parts of the body to be irritated. And this often causes symptoms such as bad breath and acne. Read further to discover what teas can fight it.

Green Tea for Bad Breath

2016 longjing leaves appearance.jpg


Green tea is often cited as a cure against bad breath. This is partly true. One benefit of drinking green tea is that it’s anti-bacterial. Because of this, it can instantly improve your breath after drinking.

Besides that, it can to some extend calm the body and reduce inflammation, though the effect is not very strong. Some herbal teas are known to be more effective against chronic bad breath issues, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

Herbal Tea for Bad Breath

Chrysanthemum teas


Among all the herbal teas, Chrysanthemum teas are the lightest beverage against inflammation with a similar intensity as green tea. The benefit however is that you can also drink it at night, as it’s caffeine free.

Honeysuckle tea

Another type of flower tea that has proven to be effective is honeysuckle tea. This flower tea is very effective against inflammation. But because of that one should be careful with consuming this in high amount. Start with a cup per day. It’s a known fact however that one should avoid honeysuckle when you’re pregnant, breast-feeding as well as before and after surgery.

Kuding tea

kuding tea needle tea

At last, there’s Kuding tea. Perhaps the strongest in fighting bad breath, but the downside is that it’s very bitter. Probably more bitter than anything you’ve tried before. Kuding leaves are often rolled and processed into needle shapes. Make sure to get the greener ones, as they tend to have a more pleasant and refreshing after taste.

As with Honeysuckle, Kuding should also be avoided by pregnant or breast feeding moms, and also before and after surgery.

8 Inspiring Ideas for Your Tea Business or Startup

Starting any business is hard, and you can’t get away from this challenging even if you’re in the booming tea business. Are you in the process of starting your own tea business now, or are you facing difficulties with your current business? Don’t give up yet. Read these inspirational quotes, even if you’ve failed many times, you’ll have the motivation to bounce right back:

  1. Start with a good product. It really doesn’t matter how good your marketing is, if you’re not offering unique teas and teaware that people will love, it’s not gonna work out in the long term.
  2. Think user experience. Is your online tea store easy to use? Do your customers know how to steep your tea, and do you offer the right teaware for that? How do customers experience your service and the interior design of your shop or tea room? Most expert believe that startups don’t invest enough in user experience. Does this apply to you as well?
  3. The last 10%: You’re 90% ready, then don’t be lazy on the last 10%. In fact, the last 10% often takes 90% of your time. Is it worth it? Hell yeah, it’s crucial, it makes professional and sustainable tea business different from the rest.
  4. A great tea business evolves: Making mistakes sucks, but not evaluating your mistakes and using the feedback from your customer to improve your business is a crime. Great tea stores learn from mistakes, and evolve by improving their product assortment and services, so they can avoid such failures in the future. In fact, if you’re not failing, probably you’re playing safe and probably you’re not trying hard enough. That’s risky. Even if you don’t have the best idea to begin with, you can likely adapt if you try your best.
  5. Motivation: Bad shit is always coming, it’s just something that comes with starting a tea business. Don’t get demoralized by that.
  6. Make everyone feel respected: If you’re working with team mates, make them feel respected, empowered, and genuinely excited about your mission. You can make a product that people want, but it’s as important to build a tea business that people want to work for. Hiring is also important here. Hire those who’re committed to the world of tea.
  7. Customer focus: always try your best to learn what customers ‘really’ want. They might ask for a mediocre tea bag, tell them about some better stuff you have and convince them to try! Really finding out what the customer wants isn’t always the same as what they think they want, or what you think they want.
  8. Be hungry: if you’re currently running a successful tea business, then you might feel safe. This can be a big pitfall. You’ve to be hungry, because being hungry is just half the work of sustaining a tea business.

Tea & Arthritis

Arthritis is a common terms that describes joint pain. While it’s often understood as a disease it can be rather seen as a symptom resulting from different causes.

For some people, arthritis could be caused by inflammation. In such a case, tea can be a easy and effective natural remedy.

What is Inflammation?

When visiting the Wikipedia page you’ll read that inflammation is described as:

A part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants, and is a protective response involving immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators.

Scientific research on mice until now concludes with pretty strong evidence that feeding mice with polyphenol rich tea reduces inflammation and thus joint pain. Does this work on humans? Well let’s believe it for now, until more conclusive research follows.

Before we head on to what tea is the most suitable, let’s have a look at the definition of tea as well.

What is Tea?

When we talk about tea, we’re referring to leaf tea made from the Camellia Sinensis tea plant. Given this, herbal teas made from other plants, such as Rooibos, doesn’t fall in this category. They’re officially referred to as tisanes. This of course doesn’t mean they don’t help against inflammation. In fact, some tisanes are very effective!

What’s the Best Leaf Tea against Inflammation and Arthritis?

Now you understand that inflammation is a cause of arthritis, we can now discuss some teas that can be effective against that.

When it comes to leaf tea, there’s green, white, black, oolong, and pu erh tea. They’re all from the same tea plant as I said before. What makes them different is the processing method applied. White and green tea are the least processed of all, while oolong, black and pu erh are more processed teas.

Types & potential side effects

Generally research shows that white and green tea contain the most polyphenols, so it would make sense to suggest those teas to prevent arthritis. However, white and green teas can have their side effects, and some people are very sensitive to that. Because they’re less processed teas, they tend to be ‘raw’. And this rawness can sometimes hurt the stomach. When you suffer from Arthritis, go for a cup of white and green tea first, but check if your stomach can handle the regular consumption of 4-5 cups a day. The best is to drink it after meals and snacks when you’re stomach isn’t empty.

If you do suffer from side effects on the stomach, then switch to oolong, black or pu erh tea. For the latter, there are two types: Sheng (raw) and Shou (ripe) pu erh. We won’t go into the details of explaining the difference here, but go for ripe pu erh.

Some oolong teas can still be harsh on the stomach, such as a lightly oxidized Tie Guan Yin, while a darker Dahongpao oolong is fine. Black teas are usually ok as well, and with ripe pu erh it can hardly go wrong. Ripe pu erhs are post-fermented and actually very soft on the stomach. It even supports digestion.

At the end of the day, there’s not that much difference between the polyphenol levels among the types. Don’t worry to much about the type of tea that you should consume as long as it’s tasty, so you’ll be able to make it part of your daily diet.

Herbal Teas against inflammation

Besides leaf teas there are also great herbal teas against inflammation. You’ve to be careful with those as they can be very powerful. So try them in small amounts first. In China, Kuding tea and Honeysuckle tea are the most famous examples and often prescribed by Chinese Medicine doctors.

Read this article in which we’ve published a honeysuckle tea with rose buds recipe: https://helloteacup.com/2016/05/13/rose-tea-recipes/

Other Notes on Arthritis

  • Avoid drinking tea in the evening as it contains caffeine.
  • Try to listen to your body, tea often helps, but not for everyone. Consult a doctor when in doubt.
  • Try to adjust your tea choice across seasons. Often times, people tend to go for a more refreshing green tea during summers and a more soothing black tea during Winters. There’s nothing wrong with that intuition.
  • Don’t just drink tea for health, try to enjoy it. Isn’t that also a health benefit in itself?!


Recipes: Enjoy Tea with Osmanthus Taste

Sweet osmanthus, also known as Osmanthus Fragrans, is a Chinese flower that’s often used in the Chinese kitchen to prepare desserts. The flowers are super fragrant and release a buttery sweet apricot scent. In this post we’re going to introduce you some classic blends with osmanthus that you should try out at home!

Before we move on to the recipes we would like to mention that there are also pre-blended osmanthus teas available, but they typically aren’t as great as when you buy leaf tea and osmanthus separately.

Osmanthus oolong tea


Watch the video below to see how it’s prepared in a gaiwan and visit this page for more details.


Osmanthus green tea

Watch the video below to observe how it’s made in a glass teapot. See this page for more details.








3 Ways To Brew Loose Leaf Green Tea in a Glass

Steeping a cup of green tea can be done in many different ways. Sometimes you want to take out your full tea ceremony set and perform a ritual, while there are also moments that you just want to steep casually using a straight glass.

Traditionally, loose leaf green tea is often prepared in a glass as they benefit from lower water temperatures. The delicate leaves are also hard to over-steep and can be kept in the glass while you sip. Isolation of heat is also a less important factor compared to preparing oolong or pu erh tea. Those types of tea would be better of in an Yixing teapot.

Don’t underestimate the potential of simple straight glass though. With some simple tips and tricks you can achieve almost the same quality as traditional teaware. In the video below we show you 3 ways of brewing green tea in a glass, followed by more detailed notes to tweak the brewing process based on characteristics of the green tea leaves and environmental temperature.

Rinsing the glass

Rinsing the glass with hot water before brewing can be beneficial to steep better tea. This will warm the glass, and thus keep the water temperature more consistent when performing your first brew. If you want to keep it casual, for example because you’re in office, then you could decide to skip this step.

Also read: Why tea breaks are good for you

Glass Brewing Method 1

The first way of brewing loose green tea in a glass is by first adding hot water before the leaves. This method is the most suitable for smaller tea leaves because they easily absorb water and release flavor, even when they’re added after the water.

Due to the smaller size of the leaves, they’re often more delicate, and thus benefit from the water temperature to cool slightly. When you add hot water at 85 C / 185 F it will decrease a few degrees by the time you add the leaves in.

green tea brewing 2

Glass Brewing Method 2

In the second method for brewing loose leaf green tea, you first fill up the glass until it’s 1/3 full, followed by adding the leaves. This is great for mid-sized leaves.

green tea brewing 3.jpgGlass Brewing Method 3

In this last method, we first add the leaves followed by filling the glass with hot water. This method suits larger leaves the best, because they tend to absorb water slower then fine leaves. The brewing time would take too long when you apply the first method to brew larger leaves.

green tea brewing 4.jpg

Temperature, Duration & Amount of Leaves

For each method, you should apply a steeping duration of 3 minutes with hot water at  85 C / 185 F.

For green tea, applying a leaf-to-water ratio of 1:50 is a good starting point. This means that 4 grams of leaf is good for a 200 ml (6-7 oz) glass of tea that can be steeped for 3 times.

Subsequent Steeps

Once you’ve consumed 2/3 of the glass or whenever you feel that the taste is becoming to strong, simply refill it with hot water. A good quality green tea should get you at least 3 brews.

Seasonal Tweaks

While above we refer each way of steeping as a ‘method’ you could rather see them as variations in the way of brewing with a glass. Choosing a method to prepare loose leaf green tea based on the delicacy of the leaves is a great starting point. However, sometimes you need to consider the surrounding environment as well.

Let’s say you’re brewing a cup of tea outside during a hot summer day. Then the first method of adding hot water could already be great for tea leaves that you would normally steep with method 2. That’s because hot water tend to cool down more slowly in such condition. In contrast, you want to use method 3 (adding leaves before pouring hot water) more often when you’re in a low temperature environment. Questions? Please ask.