Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Interesting and amazing history progression of tea from China to different world countries

Modern Tea Lounge
Green Leaf

The Brew

When it comes to exploring the interesting history and culture of different countries, you will find an excellent amalgamation tea drinking habits. You will realize the modern necessity of a single cup of tea. Yes,this is all about the fascinating story of tea marketing, distribution and recipe variation.This has really brought tea at the extreme corner of popularity in everyone’s life.

Right from the beginning in China, it traveled to almost every country in this world. Going through Britain, America, Japan and India the flavorful leaf  tells a tale of victory over all other conventional beverages.


There are several stories and legends about the discovery and first sip of  this wonder brew taken by human race. The origin is indicated to Chinese Emperor, right back to 2737 BC when it was consumed by locals because of immense medicinal and herbal freshness. The plantation and distribution passed through different dynasties in China such as Zhou, Han and Tang. This is the era whence drinking this hot beverage assumed a more common form percolating down to the lowest sections of society. Of course, the beverage was exposed much to Chinese, Indian and Japanese residents as it gained early popularity. This was acceptance  as beverage and not a medicinal concoction any more.

In China and Japan the green leaf gained thrust with the creation of wide ranging varieties.Culture and trends also played a major role. In India the black leaf from Assam and Darjeeling Estates became highly popular.   

Tea Journey to England

Since tea was then very common and limited to the Chinese regions, it was possibly in the seventeenth century when it reached England. This was in the kingship session of Charles II. Of course, tea was assumed to be a royal drink at that time. It was the power and virtue of East India Company which marketed tea to  nations under its belt. However, the leaf was very expensive then and the British Government imposed hefty taxes on the consumption. This augured smuggling and black marketing which the government found difficult to control.
American Tea History

With the start of eighteenth century, special tanks, ships and containers were made to export huge quantity of leaf from China to European nations like UK. The famous Boston tea party made this leaf a symbol of protest. The destruction of leaf was done by those favoring independence from British rule in America .  

Why people love tea?

It was not the traditional trend of  tea culture which attracted people at large but also the health benefits. The brew contained  minerals and vitamins and antioxidants.  These supplied the body with vital elements initiating a cheerful countenance and warm feel.  The packaging created a transportation flexibility that lead to development of a wide range of leaves like green, white or black.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tea Types: The Healing Touch

Cool Tea Pic: Wagh Bakri
The antioxidants in green tea help us inside-out. We tend to glow more and get rid of dark circles around the eye. We even feel more relaxed on the outside while the cholesterol levels, cardiac systems and the organs are all getting a touch of healing on the inside! Green tea can be combined with other healthy beverages or food to add a twist in the flavor and also treat common illnesses naturally.

Know Tea Types

Genmaicha is Japan’s famous combination of green tea and toasted or roasted brown rice. ‘Genmai’ means roasted brown rice. It is commonly referred to as ‘popcorn tea’ because of the quantity of puffed rice it contains. There is no corn in it at all.

Processing and serving
The flavor of the Genmaicha tea depends on the ratio of the green tea and brown rice. For better aroma the brown rice content is higher. About a tablespoon of brown rice is roasted dry making sure each grain gets roasted. It is then kept aside to cool. The tea is carefully infused with hot almost-boiling water for just 30 seconds. About 5g of tea leaves is put in about 1/10th of a liter of hot water. Then it is poured into a cup through a tea strainer that already has freshly roasted brown rice in it. The strainer is kept in the cup for about 2 minutes to make a strong Genmaicha.


Genmaicha has calming properties due to which it is recommended to have a cup when you return home after a hectic day or an hour before going to bed to help with sleeping disorders. It is also recommended after a heavy meal because it helps in quick digestion. It is also rich in vitamin B1 and has a very low caffeine content.

Jasmine Tea

The flowers of jasmine that is usually planted to add to the beauty of the garden can be put in green tea to get a sweet aroma. It is also said to double the anti-carcinogenic properties of regular green tea.

Processing and serving

The buds are plucked early in the morning and stored in a cool place. They start blooming in the evening. The flowers are the green tea are made to ‘mate’ for four hours. Longer the ‘mating’ time better the grade of the tea. By the time the tea is served the flowers are dry and devoid of the moisture and aroma but they are allowed to sit in the cup anyway to add to the aesthetic appeal.

Kukicha Tea

This is also called twig tea because it’s made from twigs and stalks. It is made by adding the stalks and stems of Camellia and has a creamy, nutty flavor.

Processing and serving

The stalks and stems of Camellia are steeped in water at 75 degree C for two minutes and the green tea powder is added to it and steeped for another 45 seconds or so. One or two stalks are left in the cup to add to the beauty.

Tea Basics: What’s in a Blend?

Most tea retailers create their own blend to make their tea taste and smell unique so that a particular group of target customers are hooked to only that variety of tea. However, there are no maxims regarding the right blend or anything. There are some regular blends and you can make your own blend by mixing two or three of these regular blends to suit your taste.

Here are some blends that you can take a look at to get an idea about the usual blends. You can try some of them and then make your own by mixing them or adding a few herbs or spices of your choice to experiment.

Earl Gray

This is only black tea with Bergamot citrus oil added for the aroma. The light citrus flavor is refreshing and strong and you can make it to smooth the aroma if you want with a few jasmine or holy basil leaves.

English Breakfast

Yes, this is the name of a blend of tea or to be precise, a Chinese Keemun famous in India, Africa and Ceylon. This is one of the commonest types of tea.

Irish Breakfast

Similar to the English breakfast, the Irish breakfast is a blend grown in Assam and Ceylon in large quantities. It is dark in color and malty in texture.

Afternoon Blend

This is a light tea unlike the English and Irish breakfast. The blend is made from the best Darjeeling tea, Oolong tea and light Ceylon tea. Since it promotes digestion it is recommended after heavy meals which we usually tend to eat during lunch and hence the name.

Russian Style

This is black tea or oolong tea teamed with Lapsang Souchong for the smoky effect. The blend is generally made by mixing Keemun tea, Assam tea and green tea from China. Some other blends include different types of black tea only.

Spiced Tea

Spices like cloves, cardamom, anise and cinnamon are added to superior quality Ceylon tea and your spiced tea blend is ready. The base is black tea because black tea has a strong aroma base to be able to stand out even in the flavor of these spices. To add to the refreshing property dried orange or lemon peel can be grated into the tea and left for some time before straining and consuming.

Herbal Tea

Herbal tea, just like spiced tea is not a blend of tea in itself but tea with added herbs for the aroma and health factors. Green tea is preferred over black tea in the case of herbal tea but you can use either or even a blend of green and black tea. You can add peppermint, holy basil, spearmint and other light herbs to make the blend of your choice.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wagh Bakri Signature Lounge Inauguration Photos

The signature Tea lounge by Wagh Bakri Group has been inaugurated as of today. Find images:

Paridhi Sharma At Inauguration


The Tea Lounge Inauguration at Ahmedabad

Tea has plethora of uses

It is excellent for preventing dizziness whence standing up. It use with ginger is well known for clearing bad throats and preventing cold subsequently.  

Bizarre but true the leaf acts as a meat tenderizer and to produce cheese and boiled eggs and with its flavor. Using tea leaves after the brewing process as fertilizers and to enrich the compost is hugely beneficial. Even if you are not using the leaves for these purposes you should rather throw used leaves into the potted plants of your garden. Being biodegradable the leaves act as fertilizers and enrich the soil as well. These are most popularly used in rose gardens.    

Cleaning rugs carpets and cloths is possible with tea leaves after they have been used. The leaves wipe out the greasy imprints from car glasses, window panes and what not. 

The leaves prove effective for de-stinking refrigerators, toilets, body parts etc. They are used for treating acne, blisters, scars, and so on. The brew is also a mouth freshener and  removes bad odors whence drunk in the morning or after meals.Warm tea bags whence used as patches relieve eye sore and refresh sight, 

The leaves have also been used to create strong paints used by artists as well as dyes for delicate fabrics. It is a fragrant leaf with healthy chemicals that sets your morning roaring o why not be curious and discover more uses besdies flavors.

Worlds Best Green Teas

About Green Tea Taste

The dull grassy and herbal taste needs to be acquired. The brew is first introduced as health beneficial or weight loss tea but later a taste is acquired making it habitual. Among the hundreds of varieties of this leaf few are on the list of top sellers.  

Brewing: While brewing the tea mild temperatures have to be maintained such that the aroma and taste is not lost. Over brewing may also result in bitter taste that can mar the delicate flavor of the green leaves.    

Some of the major green leaf blenders in India are Tata Tetley, Wagh Bakri, Organic India, Brooke Bond and Eco Valley. Some the finest blends popular across the globe are:  

Dragon Well Green Leaf from Zhejiang Region of Chinese Mainland

Green Tea from Mount Fuji Japan

Gunpowder from Numi Organic

Tropical Orange Leaf by Shangri La

Blackberry Mojito by Teevana

These are some of the finest leaves available online from the source. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ahmedabad Tea Lounge: Grand Opening

Wagh Barki Tea Lounge
A Place to Connect in Ahmedabad

The Wagh Bakri Tea Lounge is set to open on this day 11/12/2014 at posh locality in Ahmadabad in Gujarat.  The company is a pioneer in India for promoting the tea lounge concept thanks to it dynamic young directors like Shri Parag Desai.

Earlier the company had set up lounges in New Delhi, Aurangbad and Mumbai for creating and entertaining hub that is unique. The places serve wide variety of  hot beverages brewed using the finest blends that WB Tea House is famous for all over the World. Keeping the grand success in mind, the company is set to establish more such lounges in other cities.   

Saturday, November 29, 2014

More of World's Best Teas

From one single plant the varieties that have evolved is amazing. The plant Camellia Sinensis has many sub species spread all along the World. But the major change is obtained as to how the leaf is cultivated and processed. There are many factors responsible for diversity of tea leaf some of these are geographical and climatic.   

There are many companies big and small that sell popular brands containing leaves or fine blend of leaves. They are selling green, black, white and Oolong leaves besides many others. Some of the brands have become very famous.    
Courtesy Wagh Bakri

Golden Yunnan Chinese Leaf by Adagio is one of those smoky flavored black teas that somewhat resemble coffee. The warm aroma and taste is obtained whence steeped at right temperature and time.

Golden Monkey Organic Tea hails from China it is light twisted delicate leaf with rich aroma and taste. Fresh green grassy notes characterize this brew. This organic leaf is sold by Teas Etc from Yunnan Province in the mainland.     

Golden Moon Rasa Sinhraja from dense forests of Sri Lanka is a strong black leaf with full bodied hearty flavor that is obtained by steeping just a few leaves in the hot water. The rich floral notes accord anytime consumption for a cheerful feel.

World's Best Tea Leaves

Although Darjeeling Leaves are one of the finest teas in the World many sites do not mention the wonder.  Hence after collecting lot of information here is short list.   

Dryer Mouth grown in Kenya is considered as one of the World's finest. An antioxidant rich leaf it has robust and full bodied flavor and hence favored by many connoisseurs all over the globe.  Most surprising aspect about this wonderful black tea is its health beneficial contents. The brew is many times richer in beneficial contents and antioxidants.   

Dryer Mouth is there considered as one of the leaves that fight cancer, cardiovascular disease and many other ailments. The cost of the leaves is somewhat expensive whence considered with popular Indian leaves. It is sold by Elemental Tea Company   

Tulsi Ginger Green Tea by Organic India is one of my favorites to fight off cold.  The Tulsi in it delivers many health benefits and for flavor I add Wagh Bakri Assam Black Tea to the brew.  I sometimes add extra fresh ginger to get some zing. 

Ceylon Souchang is a single estate leaf grown in Rilhena by Dilmah Company a leading house in Sri Lanka. Smoked over cinnamon wood the leaf accords unique woody flavor which is most liked by the connoisseurs.     

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Preparing Hot Tea Brew With Green Leaves

Though a product of same plant, green tea varies form other forms of leaves. The difference arises from the amount of processing that is done. Green leaf originates from China where it is very popular. The preparation method also differs from regular brews and much more so from chai popular in India.
Cool Green Tea
The health benefits arise from preservation of antioxidants and other beneficial chemicals in the leaf. Excess processing in the black leaf perhaps breaks these chemicals down during fermentation. Nevertheless the hot beverage is a wonderful drink even if consumed as cold.  

Read How Green Tea in Made

Friday, September 19, 2014

Chai Ho Jaye!

Flower Tea

Ice Tea
Mast mast garam garam chai means a lot more to us then we think. If you carefully analyze the events that take place socially chai is a powerful tool of communication. Read about some of the social benefits:

Accha Chai To Pello!

Another opportunity to continue with failed conversation or deal. This extension is due to chai.

Ayea Ghar Kabhi Chai Pe

Good opportunity granted for cementing relationship or showcase your paintings.    

Uthho Chai Ban Gayee Hai

Good excuse to wake your children and lazy husband in time.

Chai Serve Karo

Break a dull conference snooze and fill an empty stomach with chai and biscuits.

Rukko Chai Ho Jaye

Life saver especially during long distance drives. Keeps you awake. 

Chaye Chale Gee!

Makes it difficult for a person to escape from a much desired conversation.

Chai Ya Cold Drink!

Saves money by eliminating cold drink often.


Samazdar mothers during exam time in the night.

Sunteee Ho! Chai Bana Do!

Enlivens you after a hard days work.

Ek! Ek! Chai Ho Jaye!  

Friendship Bonds or Celebration

No wonder chai tea is a revitalizing agent and does much more.I will keep digging for mire as I am loving it.

To Flavor or Not To Green Leaf Subji & What Not

Most of the hard core tea drinkers like me want the regular hot stuff. But this does not mean that I do not go in ginger and cardamom flavored tea. Another leaf I like to indulge in sometimes is Darjeeling. You do not need to add any flavors or spices to this magical brew. The leaf is cultivated in may gardens in the District.   

But in recent times masala chai has become every popular. Earlier only few spices where added during the cooking process whence making chai. In the recent time tea connoisseurs are discovering various flavoring methodology by regulars. The buck stops at nothing, flowers, exotic herbs and essential are being added to the brew. This is more of a local phenomenon since the black tea  popularity has nowhere decreased.      

Iced Lemon Tea

Darjeeling Tea

Cool Green Tea
Well each to his own even if you add finest alcohols there is a sizzling cocktail waiting for you. With tea there is no limit to creativity which defines art of cooking. May be someday green leaf subji will be available in the Indian restaurants and  tea lounges which have recently entered the fray in India  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tea Consumpion in UK

Tea was introduced in UK after the seventeenth century by Catherine of Braganza who was spouse of Charles II. The popularity spread fast and tea houses sprung up in UK. It was mr. Twining who first opened a tea house solely for ladies. He then went on to create more tea house to form a chain. 

Earlier the coffee house used to sell ale and gin  but soon the hot brew took over. it began to sell more than the ale and gin.  The government chose to tax ale and gin but nit tea further boosting its sales. This was a good move because most of the common populace through out drinks from their lifestyle. 

The popular afternoon or high tea was popularized by Duchess of Bedford Anna Russel.  Not forgetting to mention East India Tea Company was ordained monopoly over whole of Britain in the year 1832. Earl Gray Tea by Twinnings is the most popular blend in England now.

Today the British are one of the largest consumer of this hot beverage in Europe. The brew overtook coffee sales in private coffee houses. The government tried to discourage consumption by taxing tea which however caused smuggling of the product.   

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tea Tree Oil and its Benefits

Tea Tree Oil is known as Melaleuca oil which is yellowish in color and is made from the leaves of Melaleuca plants that are found in Alternifolia that is native to Australia. These plants are not originated everywhere but the medical properties of these plants made it useful for the medical science in various ways and especially for the skin treatment. It is useful for various skin diseases and works as an antiseptic which is a best treatment for skin problems. There are various benefits of Tree Tea Oil and some of them are given below:-

•    It helps in healing and soothing the sunburn.
•    It heals up the skin infection in a natural way.
•    Relieves the itching of the person from rashes and it also reduces the rashes.
•    It can also be used as a cleaner for all purpose by filling it in a spray bottle with 1 to 2 spoons of tea tree oil and the remaining bottle with water.
•    It also treats acne.
•    It helps in prevention from lice in a natural way only by adding few drops of tea tree oil to the shampoo.
•    Sprinkling few drops of tea tree oil on beds and pets crates keeps the fleas away.
•    It removes the ticks from the body just by adding it to the skin.
•    It helps in removing skin tags.
•    It cures bad breath naturally.
•    It can also be used as homemade toothpaste.
•    It is one of an effective treatment for warts.
•    Tea tree oil soothes the skin from insect bites.
•    It also treats ringworm.
•    It helps in treating psoriasis and other skin conditions too.
•    Relieves the asthma patient or person having other breathing conditions only by adding few drops of tea tree oil to humidifier.
•    Works as an antiseptic for healing small cuts.
•    Can be used as bathroom freshener.
•    It relieves from earaches; mix 1 tsp olive oil with 1 drops of tea tree oil then mix it and after that drop the mixture into the ears then remove it by titling your head.
•    It freshens–up your laundry too by adding few drops of this oil into your washing machine then it scents your cloth in fact it could also be used to odor wool dryer balls.
•    It helps in freshen of carpets.
•    It can be used as a homemade kitchen cleaner in several ways.
•    It also cleans the mold; mix tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar then scrub the mold and place outside for sun-dry.
•    It can be used as a homemade deodorant also.
•    It is used as a treatment for the fungus infection in nails.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

More on Fizzy Tangy Cocktails

Enough said about Tea Cocktails with alcohol base now some recipes.

Eastern Spice

Asian Tea Cocktails are mix of various spices, herbs and exotic liquor in this case Gin. The two new gin’s used here are recently introduced lemongrass and black peppercorns. The flavors complements Ku De Ta’s Oolong tea other ingredients are chili umeshu shaken, strained and served in a martini glass.

All Japanese: The Midnight Sencha

This tea concoction is a  classic Whisky Sour with a touch of Japanese flavour. The addition of Sencha syrup made with addition of wooded spice and Grand Marnier create a wonderful flavor. The concoction  is mixed with bitters, egg white and Yuzu juice. Glenmorangie 10yrs is the base and  garnished used is Momji — a  maple leaf from Japan.

White Tea Martini at BarKode

The White Tea Martini  comprises of  Earl Grey the primary tea flavor comes from Martini Rosso and  TWG’s white tea. A subtle hint of  coriander and  Tanqueray 10 base and freshly squeezed lemon. You can consume glasses of this wonder brew.


Tea Cocktails - Sip to Glory

Tea Beverage is wonderful it is consumed as hot since its inception of mass scale. In recent time it is being consumed in cold form in the summers in many countries. The beverage has been evolving behind the scene and in the contemporary era tea cocktails have become very popular.

The ingredients used vary from herbs, aromatic oils, spices, liquor to powdered extracts. Many forms of green tea leaf are used along with other ingredients and processed. Gin and Rum as favorite additions with citrus fruit juices and peels.    

In case of a famous Earl Grey Infusion by a master Chef Called Raveen Misra the based used is Mark Bourbon and Bergamot Extract. The Earl Gray Leaf is boiled for half an hour to get the extract. This is one of the most popular whiskey sours in the cocktail circuit.  Instead of Angostura the chef uses lemon bitters and to the mix is added egg white and sugar syrup to create a tangy sweet citrus taste.    

The cocktails are always served at right temperature and garnished with tea leaves. These are very popular in parties and celebration. You must try. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

How Tea Processing Takes Place

The tea plant camellia sinensis is a shrub with fragrant white flowers. But the beverage is made from internode, lanceolate leaves and buds. The cultivation takes place at various locations, heights and climatic regions. This produces leaves with vast variety of flavors, shapes and size. The amount of fermentation is responsible for production of green, white or black leaf.     

During the processing after the leaves are plucked the leaves are dried to reduce water content. This process is known as withering. The dried leaves are then rolled using machines or hand. This process enable the leaf to break its cells and release aromatic compounds.  

After rolling the oxidation stage takes over. The amount of oxidation is responsible for type of leaf that will result - green, white and black. The leaves are than fired without causing a burn. This step stops the oxidation process. Hence a varying degree of the oxidation can carried out as desired.  

For processing the black variant the leaves after being plucked are left to dry for a day. The process described above takes place. After the leaves have been properly oxidized to attain the right flavor and color the leaves are sent to the hot air chambers to fix the flavor and stop the oxidation process. By this time the leaves have taken the desired shape and attained the right flavor. Moisture content has come down to two percent and the leaves are ready for packing.     

I case of green tea withering may take place but the rest of the process is skipped. The leaves are subject to pan firing immediately in order to prevent oxidation. The final stage is to roll the leaves and dry them. The amazing health beneficial green tea is ready to be packed. Due to minimum process the green tea retains most of the antioxidants and ploy phenols which are good for health.  

Wagh Bakri is one of the largest tea processing and packing company in India. Like wise there are many such concerns in India that are responsible for delivering the brew to our doorstep. 

History Of Tea

It is said and written everywhere that tea beverage was first discovered whence a leaf fell into a war cup of water. Obviously it was the Chinese Emperor  who happened to be holding the cup. This goes about five thousand years back whence Indus Civilization  was taking roots in the sub continent.

How tea came to India is little known except it was the British who initiated commercial plantation. It is quiet likely that tea plant was found in North East India from ancient times. The brew was perhaps consumed for medicinal purpose by the tribes inhabiting that region.    

The British also created a commercial demand for this hot beverage. They did this by initially distributing free packets of leaves to the Indians. Before the introduction of tea people used to drink milk for breakfast. This changed dramatically and we are now addicted to the brew or rather it has entered our daily habit. 

The dramatic spread of tea cultivation in Asia is well known. China and Japan grow exotic varieties of green leaf while India is known to be a mass producer of black leaf. Nevertheless India grows some exquisite variety of leaves like the Darjeeling, Assam and Nilgiri premium teas.

The country consumes most of the cultivation within itself.  But does export whence the crop is robust. India also exports some fine blends of its premium teas to many countries.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Non Traditional Herbal Drinks

Herbal Teas - Four Kinds Worth Brewing

In the war of the beverages, the traditional tea like the green tea has won the limelight in several areas for being the drink which is full of health benefits and that has to offer a considerable amount of antioxidants. While this happens to be true in most of the cases, let us have a look at the other brews which at times tend to go unnoticed and the benefits and the advantages that they might have for us.

What is Herbal tea?

This brew is not considered to be among the traditional tea. This is so because they are made out of the roots, barbs, leaves, seeds, flowers, stems and fruits of the plants species from where the traditional beverage is obtained. The white, oolong, green and the black leaves are all known to be originated from the species of plant known as the Camellia sinensis and is then oxidized and processed in the four main categories.

Different Types Of Herbal Tea Products

The herbals which are known as the tisanes is known to brew the different cup which in some of the cases happen to be free of caffeine and are loaded with numerous benefits related to health. Below we will have a look at the different kinds of the herbal types which you might wish to consider while brewing.

The Rooibos which is also known as the red bush in its native places happens to be one of the novel herbal and non traditional drink which has gone famous in the markets in the west. With the light nutty sweetly taste and aroma, which also contains abundant antioxidants and while offering no caffeine in the beverage, the bright red beverage may be on its way to be next favorite and is certainly a healthy competitor to the green tea.

Benefits Of Herbal Tea Products

Snapple is known to have started a whole new product line of the particular drink with the name of the red tea. The particular drink is served chilled and is also available in an assortment of flavors. For all those individuals who like it in the traditional form can brew it directly.

The subsequent beverage happens to be the olive leaves. Olive has been known for its beneficial qualities. It is also used for the purpose of frying and baking as it is known to be of great taste as well as superb qualities.

The leaves of the olive are known  to reduce and kill the free radicals that are known to cause cancer and that too at double the rate than that of the green tea. The added benefits of the olive leaves include antibacterial and antiviral properties, lowered blood pressure, digestive aid, and increased energy which is expected out of any drinks.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Oprah Goes Chai Spinning

Read the story of Media Moghul "Oprah Winfrey" how she created an amazing recipe of Chai Tea On Her Own uh!uh!

The article in times of India talks about Indian Hospitality and American Ingenuity. No wonder they have got so many patents. And we have so few......

Chai Tea Story 

Earl Grey Tea Some Facts

A tea blend flavored with fruity peels or rinds define Earl Grey blend.  The most popular is the one in which Bergamot Orange Peel Oil is used incidentally the orange is grown in Italy. Similarly some of the flavorings used are blue cornflower blossoms, pieces of citrus peel in Russian Earl Grey which often contains lemon grass and rooibos in Red Earl Grey. 

Other varieties of this blend are Lavender Lady Grey and Citrus Lday Grey which are a combination of Earl Grey with Lavender and Saville Oranges. Subsequently many variations of this famous blend were created.  

These blends are named after an English Aristocrat called Charles Grey. The creation of this blend is probably a hypothesis some attribute it to an accidental development. Traditionally the oil of Bergamot flavoring is applied to black tea.  

This blend is widely used as flavoring for cakes, pastries, sauces and many kinds of chocolates.  

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Tea Production News

The Indian State of Assam produces more than half the tea leaf in India. The rest of the tea production comes from other pockets like Nilgiri in South India and Darjeeling District of West Bengal. The universal changes in weather pattern have also affected Assam which is experiencing longer dry rains and lesser rain fall. 

The intensity of rainfall is now concentrated into short period unlike before whence the rains were more evenly spread. The intense rain is detrimental to the top soil conservation in the gardens.    

These factors are influencing the production cost which is increasing to a point were competitive edge is lost. The pest are also hampering the cultivation albeit the problem can be taken care of by using pesticides.  This problem arises from extended dry periods during the cultivation. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ancient Chinese Healing Science Using Green Tea

Unlike the Western Civilization Asian Countries specially the Chinese have been using the green tea brew to heal many diseases. They Chinese have been using this brew for preventing and curing many disease like cancer. 

The consumption of green tea drink and extract has been incorporated in the Chinese lifestyle. The health beneficial brew contains many chemical compounds that benefit humans who consume it. This goes with the regular black tea as well but it is said that during the fermentation some beneficial chemicals are destroyed.   

The usage of  green tea in Chinese System of medicine has been carefully researched in order to discover how this brew or extract fights deadly tumors and dementia. 

The key ingredient EGCG prevents cell damage which is the precursor to cancer. EGCG is five time more effective than Resveratrol that is present in red wine and lowers cholesterol level in humans.The chemical also prevents blood clotting in the circulatory system which is the primary cause of  strokes and heart attacks. The prevalence of EGCG in leaf of green variety is because of steaming which preserves the chemical. In other forms of leaf the chemical is converted into other less beneficial chemicals because of fermentation.      

Hence healthy eating habits, regular exercise along with fresh fruits and green tea are all ingredients for long life and happiness.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tea Lounge - Creating a Sense of Comunity

The coffee houses in Jabalpur and elsewhere had a unique character and some still do.  One could laze around for hours and chat along over a cup of coffee and puffs of cigarette (No more puffs now). They became a meeting ground for groups till they where turned into family restaurants.    

Any way this way or that way people still group around in many coffee houses like they used to do in the yesteryear. The coffee house drew and shaped the character of the people who became a community some with a purpose, some with a movement and some just whiling their time away.  

This idea was adopted by the tea lounges that emerged in the recent times. Jonathan Spiel's tea lounge in NY has so impressed the entrepreneur that he was invited by a Kuwaiti businessmen to open a franchise in his country.   

The tea lounges serve many varieties of teas steeped and brewed as per taste. Some also sell exotic loose form of teas to the visitors. Unlike the coffee houses with plain an simple decor the tea lunges are jazzed up to the tee. The fantastic ambiance emulates coffee shops in five star resorts that are the hanging grounds of jet set.    

Wagh Bakri House has been at the forefront of this in India. The tea company has opened lounges in New Delhi & Mumbai. These keep all the promises that they make and are an instant hit with the youngsters. These popular tea lounges in India also serve cookies and light snacks like sandwiches and samosa. There is one more lounge in Mumbai at Bandra and one in Aurangabad City. More such joints are in offing.        

The lounges sell fine tea blends including the masala chai spiced up with cardamom, lemon grass, ginger, cinnamon etc. The snacks list runs large and include traditional items like bhakerwadi, dhokla, khandvi besides paneer puff, chilli paneer roll, sandwiches, hot dog and burger etc.   

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Tea: From a Modest Beginning To a Global Phenomenon

So you’re a tea drinker with a good idea of the immense anti-oxidant properties. This ancient brew has cheers for you. It is woderful having this hot beverage to relax yourself at any point of day?

As science confirms many ancient beliefs about tea and the exact nature of anti-oxidants in the leaf. The leaf  began its sojourn along the track of human civilization as a modest infusion. Initially prepared from leaves of Camelia sinensis by Chinese and other Asian natives the brew has gained an enormous appeal. As a beverage of choice amid consumers worldwide they are increasing year by year.. It remains challenged in popularity only by coffee that still remains a favorite in US. But with entry into sections like canned options of iced-tea and combination with liquor continues to gain new flavors with time.

Tea: How It Is Sold

Tea is often sold in packages in different varieties- green, black, white, oolong, pu-erh, etc. You also find variations like organically grown blends, sweetened teas, ready-to-drink versions, canned beverage and  leaves sold in loose form.

The most popular tea in terms of high sales is black, followed closely by green leaf. England and India are the biggest consumers of black tea, followed closely by Europe, Japan, China and US, though China has its own variants that have lighter textures and unique flavors. North America has registered some of the highest growth in iced-tea drinking. This definitely indicates a sure consumer shift and heightened consumer interest in non-carbonated drinks.

Indian or Chinese?

Undoubtedly Indian and Chinese blends holds sway over a majority of global sales volumes. The Lapsang Souchong of China is the most famed amid the numerous other Chinese brands in use. Yunnan is another, grown and plucked from the Yunnan province.

The Indian tea considered best in quality and aroma is one grown in Darjeeling. It is liked for its light and delicate flavor. In contrast the Ceylon leaf is strong with a sharp aroma. Assam tea is strong and shows readiness to blending with other flavors. You find many Assam variants in market in India and elsewhere.

Darjeeling Orange Pekoe and Ceylon broken-orange Pekoe are highly in demand in England. China alone is reported to produce world’s 18 percent production. Parts of Asia like Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia also grow tea as does Kenya and other countries.

Popular Tea Blends

Earl Gray is a blend that combines a black tea with flavor of bergamot. It is smoky and aromatic with just the slightest touch of citrus. Usually Earl Gray is a blend of Indian with Ceylon leaves. Breakfast tea is stronger than Darjeeling and popular blends in this category are the English breakfast, Irish and Scottish Breakfast blends. If you like the aroma of jasmine try Jasmine tea which has a delicate flavor added of green leaf.

Different Tea Choices: Understanding Health Benefits & Flavor Variations

Tea has been one of the oldest beverages drunk up by man for relaxation and comfort. In cold weather a hot brew helps keep body warm and refreshes the mind from the day’s labors. Visit any grocery store and you’re sure to find a lot of tea brands as choices and some herbal infusions claiming to be herbal and healthy.
Do you want regular tea or one with little/no caffeine? Tea that’s classic in its flavor or one that’s infused with myriad other flavors like of fruits, spices or plant parts? You can get the finest blends in packages, loose form and in hygienic bags.
Such is the pull of this deeply flavored leaf that it has entered the cold beverages market with a storm and is fast finding its own niche in form of iced-teas and infused alcohol mixtures.
 Tea: What Is It Really?
You have to remember that only tea made from leaves of Camelia sinensis - a bush that originally grew in Asia and was used by Chinese  in earlier times as digestive tonic.  Other Asians also followed and used the leaves to prepare a hot beverage. .
There are variants of this plant depend on the climates where it is grown, the stage of growth when the leaf is plucked and the leaf size as also the processing it undergoes. So we have tea categorized as white, black, green and oolong.
These also have differing levels of antioxidants and other important ingredients. Green tea for instance has a higher catechin level than what you’d find in black leaf.  But it doesn’t have theaflavins as is found in black tea. Herbal infusions are essentially not considered ‘true’ teas.
 Green Tea: Benefits
The flavor of green leaf is attributed to presence of theanine and its texture is thanks to the catechins present. It is also the theanine that acts as mild relaxant while toning down effects of caffeine that lends a bitter taste to the flavor and helps improve alertness.
 White Tea: Why It Is Good?
White tea happens to have extremely low caffeine levels and is least processed of all the leaves. Great for people wanting to cut down on their caffeine! It is also the least oxidized and helps prevent heart problems, cancers and fight diabetes.
 Oolong Tea: A Digestive Aid
Oolong teas fluctuate in their oxidation levels from 20 to 80% and though higher in oxidation than green leaf have polyphenols which defend body against dementia, cancers and heart issues.
 Pu-erh: Uniquely Processed
Pu-erh tea leaves are the fermented, aged variation of regular leaves which is why it has a high flavonoid content and low caffeine level. Known to break down fats Pu-erh helps your stomach settle down after a heavy meal. You also get a metabolic boost by having this brew. So go on and get energized!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tea Grading

It means tea leaf grading. The highest is referred as orange pekoe while the dust or fanning is the lowest in the rung. The leaf buds and the number of associated leaves determine the quality of the lot. The grading system is recognized more in India, Sri Lanka and other tea producing nations other than China.     

The size and wholeness influences the taste and clarity of the brew hence they are the standards of judgement.  The leaves are processed and dried during the time of grading. Orange Pekoe hence consists of whole leaves of a specific size these are considered in the Western Trade as medium grade black leaves. the new flushing with a terminal bud and young set of leaves receive the highest grade. During the grading the mesh which usually ranges from size eight to thirty mesh plays a major role.     

High grade of Pekoe Tea  from fresh flush usually consists of a terminal bud and one or two young leaves.  The flavor consists of scent of natural surroundings and a sweet bitter taste. Hence the rejects obtained during the selection or grading process are leftovers termed as fanning. The further grading leads to leftover fine pieces of leaves known as dust.  The dust is the lowest grade of tea and hence most economical.  Albeit dust of high quality leaves can be more expensive than whole leaf poor quality produce.   The demand for dust and fanning is most among the poor in Asian countries and commercially the chai wallahs or tea stalls in India. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The process of tea tasting and blending

As I have said in my earlier blog entry, the process of tea tasting and blending is an art. This is how it takes place.

The tea to  be tasted is placed in boiling water...normally double the amount that we add to our home brew. The temperature of the water depends upon the sensitivities of the leaves. The temperatures could be anywhere from 170 to 212 degrees centigrade.  

The tea is steeped for about 3 to 4 minutes in a cup covered with a lid. The lid is taken off and the brew is ready for tasting. Here both taste and aroma matters hence the smell enhances the taste perception. 

The taster begins with a big slurp which lowers the temperature and the brew covers the sensitive taste buds. On the buds some oxygen is pumped in to capture more aroma. Then the brew is ejected in a waste cup and the taster then moves to the next.  

Before moving to the next all the attributes are noted down. This is a complex process and only expert tea tasters are able to judge the leaf accurately.

Tea Tasting an Art

Tea tasting is an important process in selecting and blending the finest leaves.  The sensory apparatus plays an important role in tasting and discovering the right leaves. On the contemporary times this has come to a level of art. The tasting is done by professional and talented people usually from old house involved in the trade of blending the leaves and selling them in the market.   

Albeit the tea leaves are derived from the same plant Camellia Sinensis the differing climatic conditions, soil, topography and way of cultivation results in the leaves acquiring properties that are vastly different whence compared with leaf grown in other regions.   

The taste buds play the most important role. The nose and the smelling power is as useful is selecting the aroma. Besides the flavoring characteristics and aroma the color of the leaves, size and the type is also taken into consideration. The process involves liquid teas which are tasted in a row one by one.     

After the tasting process over the leaves are carefully mixed to form a blend. The blend subscribes to taste, aroma and cost.  Hence the companies try to optimize on cost and flavor depending upon the targeted audience.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Which are the places recommended for tea plantation?

India is, as on day, one of the largest tea producing country of the world. Ironically, more than 70 percent of planted Indian leaf is consumed within the country. A large-scale production was started to grow with the efforts of (in the early 1820s) the British East India Company in Assam, India. Virtually, tea industry of India has drastically grown to develop to multiple brands at International level. It is ranked as one among the technologically sound and well-equipped industries among the best in the World.  
Darjeeling and Assam are the major areas involved in producing teas at very high level and supplied to different cities of India. The Tea Board of India is the controlling body to grade production, exportation, certification, and other related facets in the trade in India. To coup up the plantation, there are a few areas in India carrying best factors for cultivation.
Darjeeling: It’s one of India’s populated hill stations and is widely capped by plantations that produce elegant light colored, floral smelling tea. This hill station shares about 25% of Indian production in the form of output.  Initially graded as the finest tea growing Estate, at 2,750 meters above sea level by the Englishman it retains its popularity even now. Darjeeling is also known to have one of the highest gardens in the world.

Assam: It is a North-East state of India and is the largest tea producing belt in the country. The state is mostly covered the Valley of Brahmaputra. The malty Assamese leaf incorporates bright color. Jorhat positioned itself in the central portion of the valley is recognized as the "Tea Capital".

Munnar : There are wide lush plantation, in this hill station, by miles after miles. About 1600 meters above sea level, the place is flourishing with the plantations and which generate revenue to State and Central Governments through taxes.

Initially, Tata the largest tea manufacturing company in India owned it, but employees themselves now run it. The TATA Tea Museum amazingly portrays the growth of Munnar Estates, Visitors to the museum can see and enjoy on various stages of processing.

Wayanad : It is actually a lush and a mountainous agricultural area belonging to the city of Kerala. This city is involved in the production of some significant amounts in combination with spices and coffee. Majority of tea plantations are located south of Kalpetta. The Estate here is run by a co-operative of Tribals who work and live within on the estate

Nilgiti Mountains: The mountainous Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu, in south India, is also renowned for its intensely aromatic and distinctive dark leaf. Tea has been grown there for more than a century back and is the most vital industry in this belt . In fact, Conoor is the most suitable place to discover Nilgiri Leaf. Tea is produced throughout the year in Nilgiri. However, people produce good quality of teas starting from the duration of late November to mid of February.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

How is black and green tea better than coffee?

There is a world of hot beverages. An amazing world filled with refreshing hot drinks. But sadly, it has two kings, fighting for their dominance. It may sound hilarious; but such is the story between both. Both have historically been drinks of the nobility. But coffee was known for its intoxicating effects rather than soothing ones, till few years earlier. It was always the bad brother of them and still there are many factors, which make tea much more chosen than the other.

Firstly, tea is economic. While the price of  the other has always been soaring high, its price has come down due to its increased farming and globalization making trade much easier. The price is not the only factor in satisfaction, as many will argue. But it is not only about the price. The preparation process is also simpler with no problems of grinding beans, taking the powder, filtering it, refining it further to get to the stage where you can boil it. To tackle this problem coffee makers have always attempted various instant brands to hand over the ready to boil to customers but brewing tea making still stays the simplest process. The variety that coffee breeds offer is also mild. There is no such broad difference of taste in Mexican and Ethiopian produce that are well marketed as the best.

However, talk of tea, the variety does not seem to end at all: black, green, almond and white leaves. Now talking of the taste, original taste of coffee is raw and bitter. Even its lovers cannot have it without adding milk and sugar. Whereas tea is always, ready to go. You can have it with or without sugar or milk. Apart from that, while coffee came from the forest, historically, the other came from the families of kings and rich people. Thus, when the question of class arises, tea comes in as the first choice. 

From health point of view, coffee never stands close to its rival. It has more harmful caffeine, and other biochemical enzymes and oxidants, which do more harm to human body than good. On the other is all good things packed in small leaves. It aids in digestive system maintenance. Be it black or green leaf, it is good for heart, cholesterol, and many other human body systems. Overall, black or green leaf should always be the first choice over its rival. As it may intoxicate you for few moments. However, tea gives you pleasure along with the health factors, which are very essential in today’s world. So choose your health, go green, and have it. In conclusion, we should say that people willing to achieve their good health should immediately stop the consumption of coffee and step towards consuming of green and black tea as soon as possible.