Peppermint was first described by Carolus Linnaeus from specimens that had been collected in England; he treated it as a species, but it is now universally agreed to be a hybrid.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Peppermint was first described by Carolus Linnaeus from specimens that had been collected in England; he treated it as a species, but it is now universally agreed to be a hybrid.
Friday, December 4, 2009
A sweet blend of fresh jasmine blossoms with organic green tea
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Tea, especially green and oolong tea, contains large amounts of polyphenol, a naturally occurring antioxidant compound. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, which are implicated in a host of chronic illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. Studies indicate that the polyphenol found in green and oolong teas have an antioxidant effect more powerful than vitamin E. Polyphenols are also known to keep the influenza virus in check.
Tea naturally contains the minerals fluoride and manganese, as well as vitamins C, B2, D and K and a number of amino acids. Clearly, tea is one of those earthly wonders, delicious and good for one’s health.
Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but purists consider only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea the real thing. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries. All these teas also have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness.
The more processed the tea leaves, usually the less polyphenol content. Polyphenols include flavonoids. Oolong and black teas are oxidized or fermented, so they have lower concentrations of polyphenols than green tea; but their antioxidizing power is still high.
Here's what some studies have found about the potential health benefits of tea:
Green tea: Made with steamed tea leaves, it has a high concentration of EGCG and has been widely studied. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.
Black tea: Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with some instant teas. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.
White tea: Uncured and unfermented. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.
Oolong tea: In an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower bad cholesterol levels. One variety of oolong, Wuyi, is heavily marketed as a weight loss supplement, but science hasn’t backed the claims.
Pu-erh tea: Made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. One animal study showed that animals given pu-erh had less weight gain and reduced LDL cholesterol.
Most teas are benign, but the FDA has issued warnings about so-called dieter’s teas that contain senna, aloe, buckthorn, and other plant-derived laxatives.
The agency also warns consumers to be wary of herb-containing supplements that claim to kill pain and fight cancer. None of the claims is backed by science and some of the herbs have led to bowel problems, liver and kidney damage, and even death.
The FDA cautions against taking supplements that include:
These cautions aside, nutritionists say to drink up and enjoy the health benefits of tea.
“You want to incorporate healthy beverages in your diet on a more regular basis to benefit from these health-promoting properties," says Diane L. McKay, PhD, a Tufts University scientist who studies antioxidants. "It’s not just about the foods; it’s about what you drink, as well, that can contribute to your health."
Most teas can be categorized as one of three types: green, oolong, or black.
Green tea is completely un-oxidized and baked while fresh to lock in a sweet grassy flavor.
“First cup moistens mouth and throat;
Only the proper temperature will draw out the best flavors of the leaf. Tea should never be boiled. While boiling water can be poured directly onto black tea, water for green tea should be cooled slightly before added to the tea as to not bring out too much bitterness. On the other hand very hot temperatures bring out the subtleties of oolong teas. Traditionally, a small unglazed clay teapot, called a gungfu pot is used. The pot is first pre-heated by letting boiled water sit in the pot for a few minutes then removing this water and beginning to brew tea.
In the whole process of producing fine teas the tea has never been washed so the first step in brewing a delicious pot is washing the leaves. This is done be first pouring boiled water onto the dry leaves and quickly dumping out this first infusion letting the clean leaves remain in the pot for the next drinkable brew. The Chinese call this first infusion ’foot water’ and consider this tea only suitable for washing feet. After the initial washing, most teas can be infused three to five times. With oolong teas the second or third infusion is considered the choicest.
Tea leaves need to be fresh in order to deliver the true character of a tea. If stored properly, teas will keep their full flavor for many months. Teas should be kept in airtight containers in a cool dry space away from direct light and odors.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Most veteran tea tasters agree that First Flush Darjeeling tops their list of favorite black tea. The first crop harvest of the year, known as first flush, commands the highest price of all Darjeeling tea. Each year the best of the first flush is often pre sold to buyers in Germany and Japan and is rarely if ever tasted by American tea drinkers. The distinctive flavor and aroma of Darjeeling tea cannot be reproduced anywhere else in the world, as its unique character is fully dependent on several factors; microclimate, harvest season, soil, elevation, tea bush variety and the particular processing style and partial fermentation method developed in Darjeeling. It is truly the Champagne of Teas
1st Flush is harvested in mid-March following spring rains, and has a gentle, very light color, aroma, and mild astringency.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
In the Chinese classical work, Shanglin Fu, it is related that the alternate name, meaning leaving its branches, is so-called because once the fruit is picked it deteriorates quickly.
The lychee was first described in the West by Pierre Sonnerat (1748–1814) on a return from his travel to China and Southeast Asia.
It was then introduced to the Réunion Island in 1764 by Joseph-Francois Charpentier de Cossigny de Palma. It was later introduced to Madagascar which has become a major producer.
It is a medium-sized evergreen tree, reaching 15–20 m tall, with alternate pinnate leaves, each leaf 15–25 cm long, with 2-8 lateral leaflets 5–10 cm long; the terminal leaflet is absent. The newly emerging young leaves are a bright coppery red at first, before turning green as they expand to full size. The flowers are small, greenish-white or yellowish-white, produced in panicles up to 30 cm long.
Litchi chinensis subsp. chinensis. China, Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia). Leaves with 4 to 8 (rarely 2) leaflets.
Litchi chinensis subsp. philippinensis (Radlk.) Leenh. Philippines, Indonesia. Leaves with 2-4 (rarely 6) leaflets.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The Earl Grey blend is named after the 2nd Earl Grey, British Prime Minister in the 1830s and author of the Reform Bill of 1832, who reputedly received a gift, probably a diplomatic prerequsite, of tea flavoured with bergamot oil, taken from bergamot, a citrus fruit typical of Southeast Asia and grown commercially in Italy.
According to one legend, a grateful Chinese Manderine whose son was rescued from drowning by one of Lord Grey's men first presented the blend to the Earl in 1803. The tale has no basis in fact, as Lord Grey never set foot in China and the use of bergamot oil to scent tea was then unknown in China.
Jacksons of Piccadilly claim they originated Earl Grey's Tea, Lord Grey having given the recipe to Robert Jackson & Co. partner George Charlton in 1830. According to Jacksons the original recipe has been in constant production and has never left their hands. Theirs has been based on China tea since the beginning.
Bergamont is a citrus tree that is cultivated on the south coast of Italy. Also known as the Princes Pear, the fruit is inedible but the oil extracted from it is used to fragrance perfume as well as tea. The oil was an ingredient of one of the first Eau de Cologne ever made. (It is quite different from the herb called bergamot) The fruit is a cross between lemon, orange and grapefruit, sometimes compared to orange blossom.In the winter months, before it ripens, the fruit harvest is picked by hand. Specially made cold presses are used to extract the bergamot essence, which is then stored for at least a year. Bergamot is used in aromatherapy to treat depression, and also has anti-microbial effects that can strengthen the resistance of the body to colds and illnesses. Perhaps Earl Grey tea is a good remedy for winter sniffles
Even Jean Luc Picard of the Enterprise enjoys Omni "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot"
The Earl Grey Tea favored by Jean Luc, is available for every one from http://www.omnitea.com/
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Yunnan broad leaf species have thick buds and leaves. Its buds bloom early with lots of fine hair. Its mineral contain is very rich and it became the main material used in processing the tea that is famous in history "Puerh tea"
The six tea mountains are:
The broad leaf specie grown within the 800-mile radius is named to be the best. Although its fame declined in the end of the Qing Dynasty, its name revived today.Long time ago, the harvesting of tealeaves are separated by season and named accordingly. The spring harvest is named "Spring Bud". The buds are only half blooms when it is picked. The summer harvest is named "second harvest". The third harvest is during the 6th and 7th month of the lunar year when the valleys are bloomed with grain flowers. This harvest is named "valley blossom". When processing this harvest, the leaves that are yellow but not dried are selected out. This selected harvest is named "golden moon". Its taste is especially strong
China Breakfast, Organic Fair Trade Black TeaOur breakfast tea of choice has a robust and flavorful taste profile that is rich and malty with subtle notes of chocolate. China Breakfast is a pure Dian Hong style black tea harvested from Yunnan’s antique tea trees.
The main difference between Dian hong and other Chinese black teas is the amount of fine leaf buds, or "golden tips," present in the dried tea.
Dian hong teas produces a brew that is brassy golden orange in colour with a sweet, gentle aroma and no astringency. Cheaper varieties of Dian hong produce a darker brownish brew that can be very bitter.
Dian hong is a relatively new product from Yunnan that began production in the early 20th century. The word "Diān" (滇) is the short name for the Yunnan region while "hóng" (紅) means "red (tea)"; as such, these teas are sometimes simply referred to as Yunnan red or Yunnan black. However, such references are often confusing due to the other varieties of teas produced in Yunnan as well as the ambiguous nature of the color classifications.Yunnan is located on the southwestern border of China. Due to the fact that climate there constantly changes, there is a saying "4 seasons in a mountain, different skies in 10 miles", which is very suitable for "Multi-dimensional Farming". Yunnan is the place where tea trees originated. Within the province, there were discoveries of ancient tea trees such as the 1700 years old "Bada" wild tea tree, and the 800 years old tea tree that was planted on the "Nan-Nuo" mountain. After hundreds and thousands of years, these trees Still have green leaves and new branches growing. Even the Chinese government regards it as a treasure and must be protected
Quality organic China Breakfast Tea available at omnitea.com
Monday, November 9, 2009
Bacteria and viruses are invisible to the naked eye, but they’re virtually everywhere. And although many of these small one-celled organisms are harmless, others can cause raging infections that can kill a person in a matter of days. Both bacteria and viruses can be transmitted in many ways – through unwashed hands, spoiled food, the exchange of bodily fluids, the touching of a contaminated surface, or a cough or a sneeze.
The immune system is supposed to destroy these pathogens or at least keep them under control. But sometimes it’s simply too overworked to do so, or is unable to get the job done even when operating at full steam.
Fortunately, green tea comes equipped with its very own antibacterial and antiviral capabilities, most likely to defend itself against invading insects, bacteria, fungi and viruses. And it can be powerful! Studies have shown that tea catechins can fight or even destroy the bacteria that cause cholera, pneumonia, abscesses, botulism, dysentery and food poisoning, as well as those that cause cavities and bad breath. As for viruses, the catechins can inhibit the action of the flu virus, herpes simplex, polio and HIV, among others.
Just by drinking green tea you may be able to “borrow” some of the incredible disease-fighting prowess of the tea leaf. And it doesn’t take a gallon of tea to do this. One study found that the amount of catechins in just one cup of tea was 2-3 times greater than that needed to kill the bacteria that cause cholera.1 But you don't need to worry that green tea will disturb the "friendly" bacteria in your digestive tract. On the contrary, it promotes them!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
1.) China rules the tea world.
The Chinese are associated with tea for good reason. They are the world’s largest producers of the product, making more than 950,000 tons each year. That’s about 27 percent of the world’s tea production. Furthermore, China is the only country to produce all varieties of tea in industrial quantities. So chances are the tea you buy in a grocery store is from China.
2.) Early tea didn’t taste good.
We don’t know this for sure, but evidence suggests that the first teas of the world weren’t very tasty. Early Chinese green teas were roasted, pounded, and made into tightly wound balls. The tea was infused with water and flavorings like ginger, orange, mint, and even onion were added to disguise the taste. If onion-flavored tea was preferable to the original version, the pounded tea balls must have been hard to stomach.
3.) The United States likes it cold.
Around the world, hot tea is far more popular than the iced variety. However, in the United States, almost 80 percent of the tea that is consumed is iced!
4.) Tea trade.
Blocks of tea were once used as currency in some parts of Siberia. The practiced died out in the early 19th century.
5.) Tea buzz?
You hear about coffee being filled with caffeine, but did you know that tea leaves actually contain more of the compound than coffee beans? It’s true. However, much less tea is needed than coffee to create a good drink. In the end, the higher quantity of coffee beans gives brewed coffee a bigger burst of caffeine.
The American poet Wallace Stevens is credited with developing this metaphor, which is now commonly used. Stevens compared tea drinking, which is taking in a beverage from leaves, to the absorption of knowledge from the leaves of a book.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
It is hard to imagine Russian tea drinking tradition without samovars used.
So, how and when Samovars was designed?
Historical predecessors of samovars are usual brass-made teapots. They was very popular at ancient china and probably, it was mongols or other eastern tribes who have bring them to Russia.
But, main disadvantage of that teapots was - hot water quickly cooled.
At 18th century first known devices which looks like samovars appeared. It was usual teapot with metal tube inside. Tube was heated by burned charcoal - so water inside teapot remained hot.
Next, special device called "Kuhnya" (Kitchen) appeared - simple device to prepare food on open air. It was the same teapot - but for making "Shi" and "Kasha" inside of it.
Tea was not popular at that times - because of price of tea, which was exported from China.
But, due to conquer of Siberia tea became less expencive and Russian tea drinking tradition have began.
At that times (18th century also) Russian "Kuhnya" device was changed to prepare not only "Shi" and "Kasha" but also to keep hot water for tea inside. "Kuhnya" was divided on 3 sections - one for "Shi" one for "Kasha" and one for Hot water
Next step was to divide devices - so Samovar appeared - just for making tea.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
This is an article about the possible health benefits of drinking green and other types of tea from Web MD
Antioxidants in Green and Black Tea
Tea is brimming with antioxidants, the disease-fighting compounds that help your body stave off illness.
By Jeanie Lercher DavisWebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature
Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD
Read the tea leaves, caffeine lovers. Tea is gaining ground over coffee. Even Starbucks is bucking up its tea menu. The health benefits of tea are one compelling reason: Green and black teas have 10 times the amount of antioxidants found in fruits and veggies, by one estimate.
Studies of humans and animals show that the antioxidants in black and green teas are highly beneficial to our health, says 82-year-old John Weisburger, PhD, senior researcher at the Institute for Cancer Prevention in Valhalla, N.Y.
"I've published more than 500 papers, including a hell of a lot on tea," says Weisburger, who drinks 10 cups daily. "I was the first American researcher to show that tea modifies the metabolism to detoxify harmful chemicals."
Green tea, black tea, oolong tea -- they all come from the same tea plant, Camellia sinensis. The leaves are simply processed differently, explains Weisburger. Green tea leaves are not fermented; they are withered and steamed. Black tea and oolong tea leaves undergo a crushing and fermenting process.
All teas from the camellia tea plant are rich in polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant. These wonder nutrients scavenge for cell-damaging free radicals in the body and detoxify them, says Weisburger. "Astounding" aptly describes tea's antioxidant power, he tells WebMD.
"Whether it's green or black, tea has about eight to 10 times the polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables."
Black and green both have different types of antioxidants than fruits and vegetables. Thearubigins, epicatechins, and catechins are among those listed in a USDA chart. All are considered flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Brewed green and black teas have loads of those, the chart shows. (Herbal teas may also contain antioxidants but less is known about them, Weisburger says.)
"In my lab, we found that green and black tea had identical amounts of polyphenols," he tells WebMD. "We found that both types of tea blocked DNA damage associated with tobacco and other toxic chemicals. In animal studies, tea-drinking rats have less cancer."
Look at the world's big tea drinkers, like Japan and China. "They have much less heart disease and don't have certain cancers that we in the Western world suffer," says Weisburger.
Green Tea, Black Tea: Packed With Antioxidants
"The scientific evidence about tea is evolving and I think it's compelling," Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, tells WebMD.
Tea is a great example of the past decade's research of antioxidants, he says. "There is a pretty consistent body of evidence suggesting there is a benefit to tea. Tea is a very rich source of a specific kind of antioxidant called flavonoids. "
The detoxifying effect of these antioxidants protects cells from free radicals, the damage that can lead to blood clot formation, atherosclerosis, and cancer, says Weisburger.
The bulk of research shows that regular tea drinkers, people who drink two cups or more a day, have less heart disease and stroke, lower total and LDL (often called "bad") cholesterol, and that they recover from heart attacks faster .
Some laboratory tests also show that black and green tea may help boost metabolism to aid weight loss, block allergic response, slow the growth of tumors, protect bones, fight bad breath, improve skin, protect against Parkinson's disease, and even delay the onset of diabetes.
In a study involving bladder cancer cells, green tea extract seemed to make the cancer cells behave oddly. They matured sooner, bound together tightly, and had a hard time multiplying. Another study found that men who drank oolong tea plus green tea extract lost more weight and total body fat, compared with men who drank plain oolong tea. Also, the green tea drinkers had lower LDL cholesterol.
Other small studies have found that the antioxidants from drinking tea can help prevent skin cancer. There's also evidence that tea extracts applied to the skin (in a lotion) can block sun damage that leads to skin cancer.
All this research seems to suggest that if you want to do something good for yourself, drink tea. "It has no calories and lots of polyphenols. If you're drinking tea, you're not drinking soda -- that's a real benefit. Water doesn't give you those polyphenols," says Blumberg.
Weisburger recommends drinking six to 10 cups of black or green tea throughout the day, starting with breakfast. Switch to decaf tea midday, if you need to. "Flavonoids are unchanged by removal of caffeine," he says.
All healthy organic tea available at http://www.omnitea.com/
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Five Asian nations produce the finest tea
The tea plant — Camellia sinensis — is a tropical evergreen, with glossy dark-green leaves. It grows best in tropical and sub-tropical regions that have hot, steamy weather, slightly acidic soils, and good soil drainage. Tea is grown and processed in Asia, Africa, and Australia, but the finest teas currently come from five Asian countries: India, China, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Japan, and Formosa.
China, the birthplace of tea drinking, has produced tea more than a millennium longer than the other tea growing countries. Although China makes only about ten percent of the tea sold throughout the world (down from almost half before World War II), it produces the greatest number of unusual teas, including an enormous assortment of green tea (roughly 60 percent of Chinese teas are green teas).
India, which produces about a third of the world's tea, is currently the market leader. Only about half of the total is exported each year; India's enormous tea-drinking population consumes the rest. Most Indian teas are black. Interestingly, some tea historians hold that the Indians didn't drink tea until Britain colonized India and introduced wide-scale tea cultivation.
Sri Lanka (often still called Ceylon in tea catalogs) was noted for coffee production until the wholesale destruction of its coffee crop by "coffee rust" disease forced plantation owners to switch to tea cultivation. By 1875 all the coffee was gone. Since then, the country has become the third leading tea producer in the world. One of the people responsible for the shift to tea was Thomas Lipton, who invested in Ceylon to establish a direct source of tea he could sell in his English shops. Like India, most Ceylon teas are black.
Japan, a nation of avid tea drinkers, produces a large crop of green tea that mostly stays at home. A variety of high quality packaged Japanese teas are available, including sencha (ordinary packaged green tea), sen-cha (a steamed green tea), matcha or matsu-cha (a powered green tea used in tea ceremonies), and gyokuro (a sen-cha style tea made from leaves grown under shade).
Taiwan also consumes most of its tea locally, but the island nation does export a variety of high quality green teas and partially oxidized teas, including Oolong, Jade Oolong, and Pouchong, a nearly green tea. Many are noted for the fruity/floral/nutty flavors, and a few are among the most expensive teas available.
Japan was introduced to tea by Yensei, a returning Buddhist priest residing in China at the time of the discovery. Tea was immediately embraced by Japanese society and resulted in the creation of the intricate Japanese Tea Ceremony, elevating tea to an art form.
In 1650, Peter Stuyvesant brought tea to the American colonists in New Amsterdam, later called New York. Soon the colonists were drinking more tea than all England.
In England, tea gardens, ornate outdoor events with fancy food and tea, fireworks and gambling, seemed to sprout up overnight as entertainment centers of the day and many British enjoyed the festivities offered there.
Russia discovered tea when ornate chests of the dried leaves were sent to Czar Alexis by the Chinese Embassy in Moscow in 1618. It became Russian custom to sip heavily sweetened tea from a glass in a silver holder. Russians also enjoyed honey or strawberry jam stirred into tea as their ethnic contribution. Even today, vodka and tea are the national beverages of Russia.
To recover extensive expenses from the French and Indian War, England levied a huge tax on tea imported to the colonies, mistakenly believing the colonists were so hooked on it they'd pay anything to keep their supply coming in. One night the men of Boston dressed as Indians, reminiscent of the French and Indian War, stole aboard the ships docked in the Boston harbor and threw the expensive tea cargo overboard and into the harbor. England reacted by having a raging fit, closing Boston's port and sending Royal troops into occupation of Boston. Because of this, colonists met to discuss these events and declared a revolution.
At one point, England even gave The John Company the power to not only import tea but to coin its own money, make peace, declare war and other priveleges previously only held by countries.
In the 1880's, America came to the forefront as the biggest importer of tea due to faster clipper ships and the ability to pay its debts in gold.
A tea plantation owner introduced iced tea to the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. It was an extremely warm day and his hot tea booth was being passed up by the crowds in favor of cold drinks. As desperate measure, since he was out time and money for even coming to the Fair, he added ice to the vats of liquid hot tea and in the process made it one of the highlights of the 1904 World's Fair.
Today tea is grown on tea estates and 70% of the tea we drink is grown in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Argentina and China. The best climates for growing tea are those that are tropical or semi-tropical and tea can be grown on soil that is not fit for growing much of anything else. Today there are three basic types of tea: black, oolong and green and from these three types spring over 3,000 cultivated varieties. The leaves are picked at just the right moment designated by the tea estate manager, then crushed to start the oxidation process.
Amazingly, we drink virtually the same tea today that Emperor Shen Nung drank the day he discovered it. Americans drink 140 million cups of tea each day and 80% of that is in the form of iced tea.
Monday, November 2, 2009
My name is Jerome, and I'm the director of Omni tea international. I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to our new tea blog. My hope is that this will be a place for tea lovers and drinkers of loose leaf organic tea to come for up-to-date information, questions, and any news regarding tea and tea industry. Please check back periodically as new information will be updated on going. Also, please feel free to leave your own comments, news, and feedback. Once again welcome to our blog my hope is over time it will be a blog for tea lovers everywhere.Thank you,