Tea Love: Instilling a Love of Tea, One Sip At A Time

Archive for April, 2012

Organic Tea Versus Regular Tea

Organic certification

Organic certification (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, I wish to issue an apology to all my readers.   The past few days have been a hectic, cold blur.   In fact, I am still fighting off this darn cold that is trying to take over!   But, no matter.   With plenty of matcha tea and water by my side, I’ll muscle my way through.

And now, for the reason that you came to this blog in the first place – tea.

At work last week, my employer came into the office raving about these wonderful organic almonds that she bought and the delicious organic green tea she was sipping on.   Now, I am sure that, just like me, you hear the phrase “organic” being thrown around constantly.   I have personally seen organic toothpaste, organic band-aids and even organic dirt.

I am not knocking organic anything.   However, I am curious – what’s the difference between organic tea and regular tea?

Turns out, organic tea is better for health benefits.   It does not have the chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which means that less of that gunk and junk goes into your body.   For those that are earth-conscious, it also allows a friendlier farming strategy as well, allowing us to also be a bit kinder to the earth.   Rather than rely on ineffective solutions, organic farming allows for farmers to do green methods, such as using “green” manure to fertilize crops.

Either way, Tea Gschwendner, a tea store started in Trier, Germany, states that, “tea, whether grown organically or conventionally, is one of the cleanest foods on earth.”

With the miracles that tea provide, I don’t doubt this.   Though, to help Mother Nature every once in a while, it can’t hurt to imbibe a bit of organic tea.

Green Tea Bobas { Homemade }

I love Le Zoe Musings’ posts and photos but this one, I think I adore!

Boba tea (popularly known as bubble tea is delightfully tasty, gives you a bit of a pleasant surprise when you slurp up a tapioca ball (found at your local Asian food market) and is chock full of health benefits if you make it using matcha like Le Zoe Musings recommends.

Matcha green tea uses the entire tea leaf.   It is ground into a fine powder and is used for Japanese tea ceremonies.   It is also believed to have that many more health benefits since you do use the whole leaf.

Read more about Le Zoe Musings’ great blog here:

Green Tea Bobas { Homemade }

Re-Using Your Tea

Hello fellow tea sippers!   While reading my daily Google Alerts on tea, I came across an article detailing how the organic tea company, Honest Tea, is launching an initiative called “The Great Recycle” on Monday, April 30th, in Time Square, New York, to get people to recycle more.   People can recycle products and receive points towards Broadway plays, tee-shirts and, of course, tea.   All products will be turned into gardening supplies that will then be donated to an urban garden for PS 102, an elementary school in Harlem.   Good for them!

Such A Charming Array!

Such A Charming Array!

This got me thinking, though.   This initiative focuses on how to recycle bottles.   How does one go about recycling tea and tea bags?   That’s why I decided to list a variety of different ways to recycle and repurpose this amazing drink!   Some are silly, some are made up from the top of my head and others are taken from various sources.   Comment and let me know other ways that you can use your spent tea bags and tea!

- The website Apartment Therapy recommends using unused tea bags as air fresheners (shown above).   This is perfect for any stale tea that you might have lying around the house.

- Make a pair of earrings.   I will be trying to do this now by varnishing some tea bags, hanging them on thin chains and connecting them to an earring hook ^_^   If this does work, I will post pictures!

- Composting!   Tea leaves are great for that.   Make sure you check the pH balance of the tea in accordance with the plant, though.   Some teas are more acidic and thus would not be good for certain plants.

-  To treat bags under the eyes.   This is a pretty popular one.   According to eHow, chamomile might be the best tea to use for this method.

- Tie two tea bags together and make yourself a pair of organic nunchucks.

- Reader’s Digest published an article on 22 ways to use tea for the home, beauty and gardening!   Everything from cooling sunburns to reducing razor burn to even getting rid of gray hair.

- Reader’s Digest is not alone – Fox News published an article about 49 ways to re-use tea!   The uses are endless, including cleaning carpets and polishing furniture.

- I referred back in a previous blog about making bath tea.   Why not give this delightful mixture a shot?

- On Facebook, I posted an article that I found on how to make sugar cookies in the shape of tea bags.   So cute!   Maybe take some of those old tea bags and use them as a template to cut your cookies out?

- How does a green tea marinated steak sound?   Get cookin’! (If you have a recipe to share, feel free to do so!)

- Sprinkle the leaves around for a brand new decor in your home that also smells amazing.

- Use it as a perfume.   After all, tea smells great.   Why can’t you smell like tea?

- Some internet sources are saying that tea would be good for dying anything ranging from wood to fabrics.   After all, tea does stain.   Why not?

Do you have any good uses for tea?

Happy Easter!

Easter is upon us, a time of celebration and enjoyment with family :-)
Happy Easter!

Such Gorgeous Eggs!

Such Gorgeous Eggs!

To Do

As an avid writer and a woman who gushes over writing hand-written letters, I love this post <3   Especially since she added a tea recipe which I am now thoroughly excited to try!

To Do.

A Blessed Passover

I wish all my Jewish friends and readers a blessed Passover today.

A View of a Passover Plate

A View of a Passover Plate

חג פסח שמח! (Happy Passover!)

With Passover coming up this Friday, those who celebrate can be found running around, preparing for Seder, a time with family, food and maybe even a tea pot boiling in the kitchen.

However, is tea allowed?   For those that observe Passover, this is an important question.   The house needs to be cleansed of anything that is chametz, or leavened.   Some sects of Judaism are stricter and will restrict certain items that are not chametz.   Does this mean that tea is out the window?   (For all my Jewish friends, please don’t throw your tea out the window, if this is the case.   Mail it to me!)   Is tea even kosher?

Honestly, it depends on the tea.

Most varieties of scented teas, such as Earl Grey, jasmine or rose teas, are considered kosher.   Some classes of Earl Grey are not labeled as kosher but, according to star-k.org, you are still safe.

Some flavored teas can cause some problems, though.   It is not that oils and equipment used in the process are kosher.   In fact, those are fine.   Sometimes, though, companies may use non-kosher flavors and use non-certified teas on the same equipment.   Imagine that you have a severe peanut allergy and a friend, with all good intentions, cooks up a great Thai peanut recipe and, without cleaning the cooking utensils, then cook your meal.   Not good!   However, if the company cleans the equipment, then it is fine.

There are certain dairy teas that can also create an issue.   Dairy and meat are not allowed to mix so if you do drink a dairy tea and then eat a meat, then you are not abiding by kosher rules.

Herbal and medicinal teas are OK as long as they are not flavored.   Dried herbs do not pose a problem until flavors are added.   Celestial Seasonings provides a line of some great herbal teas that are also kosher.   Star-K has certified them as such since the mid-1980s.

The tea bags themselves are fine for unflavored tea.   For the issues regarding flavored tea, make sure you see above.

All in all, a very blessed Passover to my Jewish friends and readers!

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