Did you know that there's credible evidence that tea reduces the risk of heart disease, and possibly even helps prevent cancer and Alzheimer's disease? Indeed, tea is considered a super food; whether it's black, green, white, or oolong tea. All those tea types come from the same tea plant. The leaves are simply processed differently. Green tea leaves are not fermented; they are withered and steamed. Black tea and oolong tea leaves undergo crushing and fermenting processes. All teas from the Camellia plant are rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Tea has about eight to 10 times the polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables. Research suggests that regular tea drinkers, people who drink two cups or more a day, (that is me) have less heart disease, stroke, and lowers LDL cholesterol.
Many tea drinkers find the beverage soothing, a remedy for sore throats, and upset stomachs. Tea is the world’s second most popular beverage consumed, second only to water. It is easy to make, affordable, and offers a variety of flavors. In Italy, coffee or espresso is the drink of choice, only after a meal, but rarely tea is consumed.
|My Tea Set. All ready for a snack|
The traditional method of making a cup of tea is to place “loose tea leaves” in a tea infuser or a teacup and pour hot water over the leaves. After a couple of minutes of steeping time, remove the leaves and strain while serving a perfect cup of tea. The “tea bag” was invented by an American tea merchant Thomas Sullivan in 1907. He began distributing samples if his tea in small bags of Chinese silk with a drawstring. Many people noticed that they could simply leave the tea in the bag and reuse it with fresh tea leaves. Another form of a tea bag was introduced by Lipton in 1996, which has a unique design. It is called the “pyramid tea bag,” or “sachet bag,” because of its three-dimensional shape which allows more room for tea leaves to expand while steeping.
“Afternoon Tea” or “High Tea” is still practiced all over the world. Afternoon Tea involves manners, lace, and finger foods that include, crust-less cucumber sandwiches, baked scones served with jam, biscuits, and an assortment of loose teas. Afternoon Tea was considered to be a ladies’ social event. High Tea on the other hand was a working class meal served shortly after five P.M. It was a heavy meal of meat, fish, vegetables, baked goods, and other foods. Today, the tradition of the “afternoon tea” continues as many people love to celebrate a birthday, holiday time or other special events with a “Tea Party”.
|My "50th" Birthday|
I have two recipes this week for you; the first is called “Favorite Scones.”(Courtesy from Cook.com) and the second is a “Hot Apple Cider Tea” from Bigelow ®Tea Bags. These recipes are a perfect choice for “National Hot Tea Month.” The scones are rich and golden brown, while the Hot Apple Cider Tea is flavorful and warm. Exquisite for a brunch or an afternoon snack.
1/3 cup of unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup of raisins or currants
4 to 6 tablespoons half & half or milk
1 egg, beaten for brushing on scones
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut butter into flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in 1 egg, raisins and enough half & half so dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead 10 times. Roll 1/2 inch thick; cut with round or heart shaped cutters. Place on un-greased cookie sheet; brush with beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove immediately. Split scones and serve with butter, jams, and jellies. Serves: 15 Enjoy!
“Hot Apple Cider Tea”
1 1/3 cups of water
8 Bigelow® Apple Cider Herbal Tea Bags
1 1/3 cups cranberry juice
1 cup burgundy wine
Cinnamon sticks as a garnish
In a medium saucepan, bring water to boil, add tea, cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove teabags. Stir in cranberry juice and wine. Return to medium heat. Heat thoroughly. Serve in a large pottery mug. Garnish each cup with a cinnamon stick.
Till Next Time………
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