One of my favourite warming drinks this time of year is a Masala Chai Tea Latte. Not just any chai latte but my own home brew. Since I am not a fan of tea bags – as staples and strings make things so complicated and messy, and I can’t tolerate black tea (the caffeine gets to me) –this leaves me to create my own original herbal blend.
I’d like to consider myself an alchemist at times like these, playing in my kitchen coming up with different concoctions that I can infuse in some hot water and know it will always taste great! This holds truth especially when it comes to my favourite Chai blend! For starters, I use Nourish Tea’s Rooibos instead of black ceylon tea which is commonly used in most chai tea’s. Red tea (rooibos) is from Africa – it is super high in antioxidants and caffeine free! I then put in delicious warming spices that make up the taste that is uniquely chai (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, anise peppercorns, fennel…).
Making this brew is actually really simple, especially if you have all of these spices on hand – which I typically do. Not only do I love making my own Indian spiced recipes with a selection of these spices– but they are also useful for everyday nourishment and balance. They are warming, sweet, and aid with digestion. To make the tea complete I finish it off by pouring in a non-dairy based milk, either rice or almond milk with a touch of sweetness from either honey, coconut nectar or maple syrup.
I’ve had an extensive relationship with tea since I can remember. Not just the substance of tea, but more specifically the actual event of a tea. Thanks to my chic and antique-obsessed mother, we had a collection of old handmade teacups, vintage silver and dainty tea platters. Almost every special occasion was some extensive tea party with scones, quiche, sandwiches, etc. I have the best memories of these teas, and how far back in my life I had enjoyed them.
Even for my birthday 2 years ago, I had a tea party with my sister and mother while Nina Simone blasted in the background and gluten-free scones were aplenty. The tradition has not yet died in my family. So, when I first found Alexis of Teaspoons and Petals I was enriched with her delicious tea combinations, knowledge and quaintness. She is like the saint of twitter, posting things like, “Crisp fall air is streaming in through the windows. warming up with a cup of delicate, sweet sencha.” She makes me dream of rustic cabins, tea cups and fabulous tea blends. She is a talented writer (and consultant), so it’s nothing to her to create a complete tea-centric atmosphere just from a mere 140 characters (or less). Not to mention her unbelievably adorable Haiku Teacups combined with lyrics of Jazz Era vocalists. I’m a huge huge huge fan of singers like Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Mamie Smith, Ida Cox, Dinah, etc. I almost died when I saw these adorable cups with lyrics from my favorite women. Her site includes her unique simple syrup blends, like Lavender Blossom. I can’t say enough about her, but needless to say, I have a huge crush.
I was so honored when she contacted me for an interview. Talking about tea with a tea goddess?! OF course. The interview and recipe were featured on her site last week, with the sweetest write-up. I did not deserve anything she said about me. I was so happy to collaborate with her, and I know we will continue to do so in the future.
Lindsay Lohan was spotted swilling it, and soon everyone and their damned Chihuahua was talking about that strange, stinky tea called kombucha. But before you could say ‘fermented mucous blob’, the potion was pulled from the shelves of every Whole Foods and health food stores across the nation. Which means those of us who depend on it can no longer find our fix! What’s a jonesing little monkey to do?! Well, we’re taking it back prohibition-style: we’re cooking up our own ‘bathtub brew’.
Kombucha can be traced to the far east, as far back as 2,000 years ago. The fizzy fermented drink is all raw and claims bragging rights on a whole slew of healthful properties, including improved digestion, increased metabolism, regulated hunger/blood sugar, body detoxification, and immune system strength. The cordial itself contains active enzymes, probiotics, amino acids, and energizing B-vitamins. A little goes a long way, and a daily dose will leave you feeling great.
Oh, Miss Lohan, what have you done? The feds got frazzled over alcohol content and now the stuff’s on lockdown. BUT, if you can get your hands on just one bottle then you’re in good shape, because you can turn it into an everlasting supply. Really, it’s very simple.
Tea aficionados know that the best cup of tea comes from the full steep of fine loose tea. However, loose tea doesn’t offer the convenience of a quick single serving cup like the tea bags. Now you have the freedom to choose any of your favorite loose-leaf teas without a complicated ritual and having to brew a whole pot. The Teastick is the modern infuser for tea junkies – with it’s sleek “scoop-slide-steep” functionality, and pure 304L stainless steel design. So no more drippy, messy tea bags with dioxin containing bleach, glue adhesives and staples – and no more bulky egg-shaped strainers that always seem to fall apart.
The long straight shape of the Teastick spreads the tea out to make sure it comes into contact with the largest surface area of water, and can be gently swirled and stirred for the optimum infusion. The Teastick, brought to you by Gamil Design, is a scooper, measuring spoon, and infuser all in one – insuring you get the perfect cuppa every time.
Green Tea has been hailed as the holy grail superfood –- getting credit for everything from making you slim, gorgeous, smart, relaxed and cancer free. So, what’s the bad news? Well, aside from concerns over the fluoride and caffeine in teas, what good are all the antioxidants if they’re never even absorbed?
Recent studies have shown that most of the free-radical fighting catechins in green tea — the ones credited for most of these wondrous effects — never even make it to your bloodstream. In fact, only 20% of the antioxidant catechins survive after digestion because they’re unstable in non-acidic environments.
My favorite beverage just keeps getting better for you. Which should also make it more palatable to my co-workers, whose computers keep force quitting due to my constant kettle boiling. (Electrical circuitry at start-ups leaves a lot to be desired.) Yeah, so sorry about losing all of those unsaved changes to your edits/designs/documents, but look at all the benefits. To, er, me.
Here are seven reasons to sip the green stuff…
Nix cancer. The polyphenols or antioxidants help keep cancer at bay. Studies show that people who regularly drink green tea reduce the risk of developing “breast, stomach, esophagus and/or prostate cancer.”