Chrysanthemum Tea, Preservatives and Pregnancy

As a tea lover, pregnancy can sometimes be frustrating. Most leaf teas contain caffeine which isn’t suitable for during pregnancy. Some tea lovers find the solution in enjoying flower teas as they are caffeine free. However, we receive an interesting question from our customer Lynne about whether Chrysanthemum flower tea contains preservatives:

“Does Chrysanthemum tea contain preservatives? I ask this, because I am pregnant and I want to know how much I can drink especially if there are preservatives additives that can harm the baby?” Lynne

To answer the first part of the question regarding preservatives. We can simply say: NO. The teas we sourced are 100% natural flowers. Generally, pure chrysanthemum tea doesn’t contain preservatives. Preservatives are sometimes added when it comes to blended teas, as some ingredients used to blend teas need the preservatives to extend the consumption period. Pure flower teas can be stored for a long period without preservatives. However, to keep them fresh and conserve the taste, it could be good to store them in a fridge in a sealed bag or container.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should drink chrysanthemum tea without limits. Based on Chinese medicine logic, flower teas such as Chrysanthemum tea, is a ‘cooling’ drink. During pregnancy, however, your body temperature is usually higher to protect the baby. Consuming tea much Chrysanthemum tea could still have negative side effects (cooling). A better alternative is to drink herbal teas that keep the body temperature warm, such as ginger based teas.

To be on the safe side, Teasenz suggest to limit the consumption to maximum a cup per day. If you decide to drink it, the best timing could be when you feel tense. Always, steep the flowers at cooking temperature and let it cool down to a pleasant temperature to sip.

This article is about the following teas:

Snow Chrysanthemum (Xue Ju)

White Chrysanthemum (Gong Ju)

Calming Chrysanthemum (Tai Ju)

Disclaimer: we are tea lovers and we share our tea knowledge based on our experience and general knowledge. We are not doctors, and therefore the above answer is not a medical advice. When in doubt, please visit a medical practitioner.

An Artistic Video About A Daily Question: Tea or Coffee?

At Teasenz, of course we always go for tea. Still this doesn’t me we don’t respect coffee drinkers and at the same time this doesn’t hold us back to share a video that is really cool to watch. See below, enjoy :)

Tea or Coffee ? from arnaud peron on Vimeo.

What do you think of this video? Coffee or tea? What is your favorite? Leave a comment below!

What is the Best Cheese to go with a Cup of Longjing Tea?

Longjing tea and cheese? Always difficult and I don’t think there are many tea lovers in China who dare to try to pair them. When you go to a tea house in China they might serve some side dishes such as nuts or dried fruits, but you won’t get anything more adventurous. Even though, most of the Teasenz team likes to drink their tea without anything, we regularly receive questions from our customers about pairings. And when it comes to cheese, we simply don’t have an answer. We asked Formaggiokitchen what they think the best options are and we got an surprisingly detailed answer that deserved to be shared.

Good question! I always find tea and cheese pairings a bit difficult, especially with Chinese teas like Longjing since there isn’t really any cheese in Chinese food and therefore not much precedent for pairing. That said, there’s no reason a nice cup of tea and a nice slice of cheese can’t go well together. We were so taken with your question here at the shop that monger Mary and I had our own little cheese-and-tea tasting on Sunday! I took inspiration from the salty, smoked cheese I had in the Tibetan regions of Yunnan Province, looking for something on the more dry and firm side of things. Personally, I also think green teas in general pair best with cheeses that aren’t too lactic. In the end, we found three cheeses that pair great with Longjing’s sweet, smooth, nuttiness–

Ekiola Ardi Gasna Fermier — this farmstead-style sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrénées is a little on the milder side and helps bring out Longjing’s natural nuttiness

Coolea — an Irish import made by a Dutch-Irish couple in the style of a Gouda, this cow’s milk cheese is salty and a bit sweet, the perfect complement to Longjing’s mellow, vegetal sweetness

Pantaleo — an aged goat cheese, Pantaleo is mellow enough not to overpower a cup of Longjing while still packing a bit of a citrusy tang that really brightens up the drink! Especially nice now that we’re getting ready for spring.

Let me know if you find any other great pairings!

We hope this helps you to enjoy your Longjing tea journey more. Do you know any good tea pairings? If so, feel free to share by leaving a comment.

At last the new green tea season is coming soon and find out more about when they arrive here.

Tea in News (Week 13)

1. Tempest in a Tea Egg: Chinese Mock Video Portraying Them as Poor

When it comes to tea and politics it’s not only the ‘tea party’ in action. Now tea has caught itself in a battle between China and Taiwan. Wanna know more about tea eggs and how to make it? Read more in this article: Chinese tea eggs recipe

2. The true cost of your cup of tea

Though we all love tea, we have to be aware that tea pickers in tea producing countries such as Sri Lanka are suffering from poor working conditions. Marco Picardi did a great job by publishing this article to make us all aware. Here’s a quote:

Finally, once the minimum tealeaf quotas are met, the women carry the day’s pickings, collected in large sacks, back down the hillside to be weighed before they are transported to a nearby processing factory up at the top of the valley. An average 18-kilo haul brings in around 380 rupees ($3)

tea picker in sri lanka

A tea picker in Sri Lanka. © Luca Picardi

$3 is by far less than what a picker in China currently receives, about 15$ including food and a place to stay. It’s still not much, but it has improved significantly in recent years.

3. Japanese tea” city hopes heritage to help restore production

The historical city of Uji in western Japan is putting pressure on the local assembly to approve a draft ordinance that encourages residents to serve guests to the city with local tea, known as Uji Tea, instead of alcoholic drinks.

It’s strange isn’t it? Why would Japan, a country that is so famous for its tea, need regulation to promote it’s tea culture? Tea serving should never be regulated, instead the local community should be proud of it’s heritage and realize how interesting the tea culture really is to international guests.

4. Tea prices at auction drop
What we normally expect from products that we consume on a daily basis is that the prices should be quiet stable. Not for tea. Based on our experience, tea is probably the most volatile commodity product in the world. Unpredictable weather conditions is one factor that can hurt harvest and increase seasonal prices. On the other hand, as more countries ares starting to produce tea, we see an increase in supply and therefore this helps to keep prices low. The latter only holds for lower end mass production teas though.

2014 Spring First Flush Green Tea Coming Soon

Chinese green tea

 

What is first flush tea?

When it comes to green tea, the quality of the spring batch is usually the best. Especially when picked early spring. A few reasons why:

  • Fertile soil: without harvesting for months, the soil is the most fertile
  • Low weather temperature: green tea buds are allowed to grow slowly resulting concentrated flavors
  • Cool temperatures means less insects and therefore no need for pesticides use

First Flush Tea Arrival Schedule

Compared to 2013 the tea season has started later due to weather conditions in China. Good news though, our spring teas are slowly arriving!

1. First Flush Long Jing
Probably the most famous green tea in China and internationally. Enjoy this imperial quality green tea consisting of one bud and one/two leaves.
Arrived!

2. Ming Qian Huang Shan Mao Feng
Straight from our farmer in Huang Shan. One of China’s most popular high-end teas.
Expected: Mid April 2014

3. Anji Bai
Known by many as a white tea due to its name. However, Anji white is made using the Chinese green tea processing method and therefore should be classified as a green tea.
Expected: End April 2014

4. Xin Yang Mao Jian

Quality green tea straight from one of our favorite tea suppliers in Xin Yang town. There is nothing better than this Xin Yang from a family that has been producing this Mao Jian for generations.
Expected: End of April 2014

Besides the above teas there will be more teas coming in. They are left out of this list because we aren’t able to give an exact date yet. Thanks for reading ;)

Cereal Tea

Cereal Tea

There is a new “tea” craze happening and believe it or not, it has to do with cereal milk. As many elementary schoolers have found and continued into adulthood, one of the best things about eating a sugary cereal is not the sugary cereal itself, but the milk after you finish it. It is often a different color and tastes like sugar, artificial flavoring and happiness. So restaurants like Momofuku Milk Bar are pulverizing cereal, putting it in tea bags, and steeping the cereal in hot milk. Thus creating all the artificial flavoring joy of cereal milk sans the actual cereal. Fans on the internet are even making manifestations of cereal milk themselves, bagging and crushing up cereal to make their own tasty treat for those not in New York City or Ontario.

While it cannot be condoned to cannibalize tea bags as some people are doing, it is definitely an interesting concept. Whose to say real tea couldn’t be mixed in with this cereal tea? A black tea could pair very well with Frosted Flakes and a fruity blend could bring Trix to the very next level. Especially using hot milk, these could be very rich teas indeed and definitely an interesting sugary thing to raise a cuppa to.

 

 

Tea Recipe: Make Black Tea Bread

I am a fan of bread and I became even more fan when my friend shared a recipe with me called ‘Black tea bread’. What’s even more amazing is that it’s so easy to make. Here’s what’s needed:

  • 6 gr loose Earl Grey tea or a tea bag Mr. Grey
  • 125 gram butter
  • 300 ml water
  • 125g granulated sugar
  • 150 g sultanas or similar biscuits
  • 275g flour
  • 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder

How to make tea bread?

Preheat the oven until it reaches 180 ⁰ C. Make sure you have a large pan and grease it with butter.

Steep 300 ml of loose black tea or Earl Grey tea bags. Let it steep for 5 minutes.

Grate the orange peel and put it aside. Then press the orange. Add 300 ml of steeped tea, 125 grams of butter, 125 grams of sugar, 150 grams sultanas/biscuits , the juice and zest of the orange in a pan. Bring it to boil and let it cook for 4 minutes on low heat. Afterwards, turn off the heat and leave it to cool.

Add the baking powder, 275 grams of self-rising flour, salt and mixed spice in a bowl and mix it well. Then add the cold tea mixture to it. Mix it thoroughly again and pour the resulting greased baking pan.

Put the pan in the middle of the oven and bake for about 60 minutes until the bread. After the 60 minutes has passed, take it out and let the bread cool for 10 minutes, while it is still in the pan. Then take out the bread and allow it to cool for at least another 10 minutes. Cut the bread into the desired thickness and serve!

Have a Superbowl Par-tea

Have a Superbowl Par-Tea

Last year, through Visa’s “#MyFootballFantasy” campaign,

“Green Bay Packer fan Kelly wanted Clay Matthews to drop by for a tea party with her daughter Atti, and Visa made it happen. Clay joined Atti and her whole family for a pink balloon-, treats-, and boa-filled tea party, then they all hit the gym”.

That is a great fantasy not only for Atti, but for Superbowl Parties this year. As Ali Rosen writes in her Huffington Post Article, there’s no reason you can’t bring some tea party class to your Superbowl party. You can cheer on your favorite teams AND much on a delicious tea sandwich. One great recipe comes via thirstyfortea.com in the form of football shaped tea sandwiches:

Buffalo Chicken Tea Sandwiches

Makes about 12 tea sandwiches.

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, roasted

1/4 cup light mayo

3 Tbsp buffalo dipping sauce (I used Frank’s)

1 large celery stick, diced into small cubes

2 Tbsp grated carrot

3 green onions, green parts only, sliced

fresh ground black pepper

light squeeze of lemon juice

2 Tbsp crumbled bleu cheese or grated parmesan cheese

1 loaf rye or whole wheat bread

extra mayo for piping

wheat grass (optional, on platter for serving)

Equipment:

food processor

football cookie cutter (mine was 2″ across and 3.5″ long)

spoon

#3 piping tip and piping bag (or just a small plastic sandwich bag)

Directions:

1.)  Remove skin and bones from chicken breasts.  Tear chicken into large chunks, and place in food processor.  Process chicken until it is processed into small bits, then place into large bowl.

2.)  Add mayo, buffalo sauce, celery, carrot, green onions, lemon juice, and black pepper to the ground chicken and mix in.  Add bleu or parmesan cheese and lightly mix in.

3.)  Cut out 24 footballs from rye bread using football cookie cutter.  For each slice of bread you should get 2 football bread pieces.

4.)  Using the same cookie cutter, place one piece of football-shaped bread into the cutter.  Spoon about 2 Tbsp of chicken filling atop the bread inside the cutter, then press down with back of a spoon, making sure to evenly pack the filling down.  Place another bread piece on top of the filling, then use your thumbs to press down lightly on the sandwich while pulling the cutter up and away from the sandwich with the rest of your fingers.  Repeat this process for all 12 sandwiches.

5.)  Place about a 1/4 cup of mayo into a bag fitted with a #3 pastry tip.  Pipe one vertical line and three lines across in the center of each sandwich to resemble football stripes.  Place finished sandwiches atop cut wheat grass for a festive presentation and enjoy watching the game!

Your tea party level class doesn’t have to stop there- you can serve all kinds of tea alongside screaming fans in your living room. This isn’t to suggest you should have high tea in front of your flat screen, but to have fun with it. You can have a refreshing iced green tea, or your classic  Southern Sweet Tea. With the Superbowl widely known as a time where people throw back a couple of beers, you can make some really nice hard iced tea. Here, via Food Republic, is a Hard Sweet Tea Recipe:

Servings:1

Ingredients

2 ounces sweet tea vodka
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
4 ounces fresh-brewed iced black tea
lemon wheel
Directions:

1. Shake all ingredients together with ice in a cocktail mixer.

2. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes.

3. Garnish with a lemon wheel or mint sprig.

Whether you go for these recipes or not, implementing a little bit of tea into your Superbowl party could make it even more super. Or if you’re one of the non-partiers this superbowl, these are great recipes to make and eat while you watch the Puppy Bowl.

You Can Have Your Tea and Grow it Too

You Can Have Your Tea, and Grow it Too

With more and more tea blends and infusions appearing on the market, some people are making their own tea gardens. According to this article, you don’t have to have acres of land to do it. As Sarah Wolfe reports,

“Tea gardens come in many forms, and don’t even need to be in the ground. Tang grows her herbs in a vertical garden hanging on a wall behind her restaurants, while other city dwellers cramped for space use pots and other containers. All you need is dirt, water and some seeds[...]Liversidge recommends easy-to-grow plants like mint, lavender or chamomile for beginners.If you’ve already got those growing, take a stab at other popular tea ingredients like coriander, lemon balm, rose hips, hibiscus and jasmine.Keep the plants in an area that gets at least six hours of sunlight each day, rotate them often and monitor moisture per directions on the seed packet.”

You can grow a lot of the ingredients to make your own herbal tea this way – in whether you put it in a pot or sprawling up a wall. After growing these herbs, make sure to harvest it in the correct way, as they are all unique. For example, chamomile needs to be cut at the base of their stems, not the top. Many of the herbs you would grow can be put in tea fresh, but drying them will certainly make them last longer and give you a better stock during wintertime.  No matter what, always make sure to store your ingredients in an airtight container.

While you can certainly grow the more herbal side of tea, or rather tisanes, in your personal tea garden, tea is much harder to grow. So for your Green Tea and Black Tea, you should probably leave it to professionals. Tea leaves aside, this is definitely an excellent way to personalize your tea, and who knows maybe you can make some of your own blends. Creativity in tea is always something to raise a cuppa to, so grow on tea aficionados or just buy your tea like rest of us.