Special Extra Tea of Month – March 2011 Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month – Eve’s blend by Tea palace

Dear Tea Lovers,

Gynaecological cancers are the world’s 4th largest cancer killer of women – Every year a million women  are diagnosed worldwide,  and many of them die  because of a gynaecological cancer :(.. And yet, awareness of that problem is quite low :(.  “ The Eve Appeal tries to change this by funding vital research focused on developing effective methods of prediction, detection, treatment and care that will help save women’s lives not only in the UK but throughout the world.”

March is  The Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and so apart from our  March 2011 (“Big Smoke” by Postcard teas), this month  I would like to also promote one more special  tea : Eve’s blend by Tea palace.  All profits from its sale go to the Eve Appeal  (http://www.eveappeal.org.uk/). Eve’s blend  is a wonderful mix of Chinese green tea with real jasmine blossoms and pink rose petals. This exclusive tea is bursting with antioxidants which, as we all hopefully know by now (after our January and February 2011 posts :)) help in fighting free radicals that cause cancer.

I would also like to HOLD A TEA PARTY 🙂 to raise funds needed for ovarian cancer research.  Please let me know if you would like to join me for a special tea celebration – more details soon! Hopefully it will be possible (confirming venue details as i write… :)).

And if you would like to organise a Tea Fundraising Party yourself, check out all the details here:

http://www.eveappeal.org.uk/make-time-for-tea.aspx

Petal

Published in: on March 10, 2011 at 11:57 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Let’s celebrate London! “Big Smoke” by Postcard Teas – Tea of the month March 2011

My dearest Tea folk of the world!  🙂

March, March oh March! Here it is, here it came… March!  Already??! I thought the year has barely just began! 🙂 How time flies indeed….  March, oh March – my “waiting month” as I used to call it long time ago, in my teenage years 🙂 , because my birthday happen to be at the very end of it. (Well, with years, I started avoiding that day, rather than anxiously waiting for it… 😉 you get me, right? 😉 The joys of getting older 😉 ) March, oh joyful March! I think everyone could actually call it a “waiting month” because we all are impatiently waiting for Spring! Especially here in London, UK, where sadly there is not much sunshine around through the year :(, (or at least definitely not enough for me :)) and Spring is the time when we can finally, after months of gloom, slowly, day after day, start enjoying London the most 🙂 : in its parks, and cafes, and bridges!(and that sunshine bonanza will hopefully last until October.. ok, I may be a bit too optimistic here 😉 ).  To celebrate London, I chose “Big Smoke” from Postcard Teas as our March 2011 Tea of the month. After weeks of preparation, detox and herbal help, we have deserved a decent cup of strong black tea:

For those of you, my dearest readers, who do not live in London, UK, I would like to add that  apparently the nickname “Big Smoke” is actually also used when referring to  Belfast, Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester, Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver  and Mexico ( though my Aussie housemate was quite surprised to have learned that 🙂 Any of you who can confirm  that “Big Smoke” is indeed a much more internationally used term? ).

And  “Big smoke” tea is such a delicious unique blend of fine Darjeeling with a very special tea from small (100 acre only) Handunugoda estate in the south of Sri Lanka smoked over cinnamon wood that I sincerely hope it can be enjoyed in every city in the world! :).  It may well be the only cinnamon wood smoked tea  in the world 🙂 – a very particular way of processing tea for this fabulous blend  gives it a very strong smoky sweet taste and aroma. Truly superb infusion!  Gives me a great ‘kick’ at the start of a March day right before my walk along London busy streets 🙂 !

Enjoy! 🙂

Petal

http://www.postcardteas.com

Published in: on March 10, 2011 at 4:34 AM  Comments (2)  
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After stresses of winter let’s DETOX & get some ‘Tranquility’ :) – Tea of the month February 2011 – by Yumchaa

My dear Tea Drinkers All Around the World 🙂

After months of cold and wind and darkness and very miserable, sad, gloomy weather, finally , in mid February, we can smile to some tiny shy rays of  sunshine 🙂 outside & enjoy some warmer days! 🙂  – in the UK that is;  yet i hope those of you, my dear readers, who are outside the UK i.e. in Poland, France, Russia, China, USA etc  – well, hopefully all around the world 🙂   can also despite a perhaps colder climate zone, enjoy some warmer sunny days & some beginnings of Spring 🙂

(and those of you in the tropics – I hope you’ll enjoy our star Tea of the month served as ice tea : ))

Spring, spring, spring! And oh what many joys it can bring:) :  sunshine, laughter, lighter coats, more smiles, more days outside, more fun outside.  February is the month of transition: cold is still with us, but days are longer, sunshine visits us more often, flower buds start to appear: timidly, through remains of snow, despite cold wind, but still we can see around us tiny  signposts of new season and new life. However, to truly  and fully  enjoy Spring  we need to prepare our winter-tired organisms. One of the  best ways to do it is to DETOX them   &  get rid of remains of our Christmas / New Year binging :).

Any type of tea is good for detoxing because any tea (from the tea plant, camellia sinensis, that is) contains a lot of antioxidants that help us fight free radicals in our bodies (see our January post for more pictorial explanation 🙂 of that phenomenon ). White tea is the least processed form of tea: the buds ( mixed with leaves in lowest grades of white tea) are only dried in the sun, rather than steamed or fired to stop the oxidation process, and so white tea is believed by many to contain the least amount of caffeine  (even though, of course, it all depends and some white teas can have as much caffeine as some green teas…). As it is rich in antioxidants, and gentle in taste 🙂 white tea is a fantastic detox help :). That’s why, for February Tea I chose Yumchaa’s Tranquility:  White tea Pai Mu Tan (White Peony) mixed with camomile, lavender and lemon grass.

It will not only help you ‘clean up’  internally 🙂 after winter, but also thanks to its herbal ingredients. In some previous posts I listed the most fantastic properties of lemongrass. This time I would like to focus on LAVENDER: We know it from our grandma’s gardens, and from washing powder advertisements on TV. Yet, do we make the most of this humble shrub present in our households for centuries? Lavender is famous for its relaxation properties: it is often used in aromatherapy to treat insomnia, anxiety, and stress related ailments. However, many forget that it can also help in the cases of … flatulence 🙂  as it helps to fight upset stomach, colic, and bowel infections. Similarly to lemon grass (often called ‘ fevergrass’) lavender can alleviate colds, bronchitis, fever or other ailments of the respiratory system. Lavender vinegar (yes, vinegar! I know, I also thought I knew all about the ubiquitous lavender :), and yet…)  is great for a massage ( rheumatic pain ) and  also, thanks to its antiseptic qualities, can serve as a natural spot treatment for blemishes.  Lavender tea can also be  used as a hair rinse to stop hair loss & fight dandruff. But (sadly there nearly always has to be a ‘but’) beware if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: some sources suggest that lavender extract can cause harm to your unborn baby, so just in case, if you can, try to avoid it. It is also not recommended for people suffering from hypertension, or those who happen to be allergic to lavender oil (it may happen indeed…).  I personally think that probably only large quantities of lavender, or any other supposedly harmful plant can indeed be harmful, but it is always better to be careful, and safe, than sorry. (On that note, one useful link for all pregnant ladies among tea lovers is http://www.babycenter.com/0_herbal-teas-during-pregnancy_3537.bc – as you can see lavender is not mentioned here, but some other sources suggested it may indeed cause harm to your precious miracle waiting to be born).

If you would like to find out even more about the most sensational, known yet undiscovered Miss  Lavender  🙂 I recommend clicking on http://www.superbherbs.net/lavender.htm.

And for those in warmer hemispheres, do bear in mind that white tea has long been believed to have a cooling effect  🙂 both in  its hot and ice form :).  Therefore,  I truly hope that, our Tea of the Month, my dear Tea  readers, will be cherished and enjoyed irrespective of where you are :). (check out http://www.yumchaa.co.uk/ to buy some ‘Tranquility’) .

Petal

PS.

PS. Some good high-street detox ‘near-equivalent’ or “Tranquility” is Twinings “Morning Detox” ( around 2£ for 20 bags of lemon verbena (see last year’s teas of the week), lime flowers, milk thistle, peppermint and liquorice root. To be avoided in pregnancy.

And when no one can see you, in the secrecy of your hot bath, after hours of detoxation, do try Teapigs’ Chocolate flake tea –  we all need to ‘sin’ every now and then :).

 

Published in: on March 10, 2011 at 2:54 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Let’s strengthen our winter-hurt bodies by the power of Green Tea – Japanese Bancha by Tea Palace – Tea of the month – January 2011

January 14th 2011

Dear Tea Aficionados  🙂

Please accept my belated wishes for a blessed & joyful Happy New Year! 🙂 🙂 🙂

May it bring the fulfillment of your most secret dreams ! & a lot of smiles on your faces :)!

I beg you to accept my apologies for such a break  😦  in posting! which was caused by an extremely busy end of the year & a serious back injury (a very naughty disc which every now and then makes it nearly impossible to sit & type 😦 ). To prevent such delays in future, I have now left my job & become a FREE-lancer, and I solemnly promise you never ever fail your dearest blog-readership needs! 🙂

I’ve decided  I will now chose a special Tea every month, (not every week) & write about it in a bit more depth, yet add some extra tips, ideas, recipes etc every week or even every day  🙂 whenever possible 🙂 to give you some tea inspiration as often as possible!

We start a year with a tea that will help your weakened bodies, after months of cold & wind of winter, get back their ‘mojo’ s 🙂  & kick off the new year with new strength & energy! Remember Benjamin Franklin who told us to eat many many  apples because “ an apple a day (supposedly :)) keeps the doctor away” ? (Benjamin , but what if  I actually fancy doctors, like dr Mc Dreamy for example 🙂  and do not want them to be away at all? Ha? 🙂 )

Well, what if I told you that One, yes just one! O – N- E single cup of green tea contains 200 milligrams of catechins (a form of antioxidants), which equals to….. 8 apples!!!  ( Not bad, Benjamin, you have to admit:) ) & has greater antioxidant effect than.. serving a broccoli! (as tasty as it is :)).

But, why Maja – you’d ask – why  we need antioxidants at all?  A simple answer:  to fight the bad guys i.e. free radicals present nearly everywhere  & causing damage to cells and DNA and therefore believed to be responsible for cancers and other health problems, including aging. Antioxidants help us by neutralizing the free radicals. This is obviously a very simplified explanation :). If you want to understand it better in all the scientific details, I recommend clicking on http://www.healthchecksystems.com/antioxid.htm. If you, however want only grasp the bigger picture, well I have a bigger picture for you:

So now, knowing that you need antioxidants to battle the nasty and evil free radicals, what would you say for a cup of green tea if you knew that just 1 gram!! of it contains as much as 127 milligrams of catechins, while 100 grams of dark chocolate has only 54 milligrams of them?  (sorry chocolate, i like you too but…. 🙂 ) .  Thanks to  green tea’s high content of antioxidants, “it  reduces fat absorption, eliminates toxins from the liver, increases your metabolism and improves the appearance of your skin”. (emeyu.com). That is why, my tea darlings :), I would like to recommend to you, in these cruel cold windy months, a cup of JAPANESE BANCHA from Tea Palace.

Japanese Bancha is harvested from the ‘second flush’ which means picked at the end of the season  in late summer.  Bancha’s leaves are older and therefore coarse & much larger than leaves of other green teas (It is even sometimes called a ‘three year old tea” as leaves used for its production can be that old). Because of its age, Bancha is considered one of the lowest cheapest grades of tea (making it an everyday drink in the country of Cherry Blossoms :)), but that does not mean low quality, oh no! Bancha has a very unique flavour, a delicate grassy smooth taste, and is still rich with helpful antioxidants; and because leaves are older &  Bancha can also contain some stalks or stems, it has less caffeine then the finer grades of tea, and tastes milder – so mild that Japanese parents reportedly serve it to their children (any Japanese readers out there? Please confirm if that is true indeed 🙂 while I shall ask my Japanese friends about that & report my findings to you very soon :)). Japanese green teas look and taste different as, in contract to teas in China, they are not  pan-fired but steamed.

You can clearly notice the difference in shape and colour comparing Bancha leaves to e.g. gunpowder – Japanese green teas look more like grass, and indeed have a very pleasant delicate grassy taste. There is  no shade of bitterness ( I am saddened  every time I hear someone “does not like green tea because it s bitter” 😦 –  it should never ever be deeply bitter, unless it is brewed too long.. 😦 )  – Bancha is a great afternoon drink with a fine, light and clean flavour. Experts recommend brewing it in water not hotter than 80 degrees Celsius, and advise to add it to your menu if you are on a microbiotic diet.

I read somewhere that “A 2006 study showed that elderly Japanese people who drank more than 2 cups of green tea a day had a 50% lower chance of cognitive impairment than those who drank less green tea, or who consumed other tested beverages”. Sounds very over-educated, I know :). Well, for me it ‘s enough to know that it is super tasty  :)!

Enjoy 🙂

P.S and if you want to find some high street form of the super-good antioxidants, try QI organic fair trade (Chinese) green tea with Ginkgo Biloba famous for boosting our brain’s performance :). 

Published in: on February 14, 2011 at 1:54 AM  Leave a Comment  
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