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Life's Too Short To Iron Tea Towels

We have tiled walls now though not grouted yet and the floor is mostly tiled with just a couple of part tiles yet to be laid. The house is still an unbelievable mess but I think the end is just about to pop up over the horizon. I can't wait until it's all finished and I can give the house a thorough clean from top to bottom. I am longing to be able to get everything back in it's rightful place and get rid of all the dust and debris. Today I couldn't stand the sound of the tilers saw or whatever it was he was using so I got DD to take me to Ikea where I picked up a couple of Bygel rails and some containers.


I'm looking forward to a bit of peace at the weekend to do some crafting and some pic taking of things I have already made. I just haven't had a spare inch to put anything on to photograph but more maybe just not any inclination to as life has been very messy for a few weeks now. Just don't seem to have had much time to do things I want to do. Well I am off for an early night I think. It's pretty chilly here so a snuggle with a hot water bottle, a cup of tea and my book is in order. Thanks for your visit.


Cranberry Tisane. The Hazelnut was mild and not overpowering. This month the kitchen staff made a tea concentrate instead of putting tea sacks in our teapots. It eliminated the removal of a messy tea sack from the teapot at the table. Our first course was the Soup Course which had two offerings: Irish Cream of Potato, and Chilled Gazpacho. Since I had never had Gazpacho, I chose that, and it was delicious. It's so perfect for summer, and so healthy! To keep the crumb topping from getting soggy she uses breadcrumbs instead of flour. Roasted Sweet Corn Bread Cheddar Cheese Muffin with Maple Butter; and Turkey Cranberry Sage Cheese Sandwich. I enjoyed the variety of savories, as opposed to all sandwiches.


The Main Entree was O'Mara's House Smoked Beef Brisket served with George Washington's BBQ sauce. The printed menu stated: "I can't tell a lie - it's delicious!" And it was! No one ever leaves an O'Mara's tea party hungry. The slices of Beef Brisket were followed by Brie in Puff Pastry with fresh Sage, Orange Zest and Pecans, served with Fresh Fruit and Crackers. The Dessert Course was a yummy Blueberry Smoothie; Michigan Cherry Scones with Devonshire Cream; and an Apple Pie Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream. My girlfriend, Lori, treated her niece, Diane, to Afternoon Tea in honor of her birthday, and Diane's daughter, Ashley, also attended. Ashley is very creative and made their fascinators.


Green tea is a beverage made from steeping the minimally-oxidized dried leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. This plant is the source of the so-called 'true teas', i.e. green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea. What makes green tea distinct from these other tea types is the level of oxidation undergone by its leaves. Upon harvest, the tea leaves are steamed almost immediately and then dried. Due to the minimal processing time, most of its healthy properties are "trapped" and thereby preserved within the leaves. This explains the general belief that green tea has a higher level of beneficial antioxidants than its counterparts.


It should come as no surprise that China was the first to discover the healthy properties of green tea. Legend has it that a scholar accidentally discovered brewing green tea when a tea plant fell into a pot of water he was boiling, the rest is history. In the 8th century, the Buddhists brought the tea back to Japan and this is probably the reason for the Chinese and Japanese being the largest consumers of classic green tea in the world to this day. To get the amazing taste and health qualities you get from green tea, you have to ensure that the process used to harvest the leaves produce the highest quality of leaf. Great green tea leaves are always processed no more than two hours after being harvested.


This is done in order to prevent the process of fermentation from taking place. The leaves are steamed at a hundred degrees Celsius for approximately two minutes, the fermentation enzyme is deactivated and this allows the leaf to keep all of the chlorophyll content, which gives classic green tea it’s unique green coloring. May and April are the best months to harvest the amazing green tea leaves. Green tea is best consumed between meals and not with meals. The reason for this is that green tea contains tannins, these tannins lower the ability of the body to absorb iron and folic acid.


To ensure you get the best out of your meal, you should not have this tea with it. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are the best times to drink green tea. The caffeine in the tea will help to keep you alert and awake at these times, but if you consume it to close to bedtime you might find yourself struggling to sleep. Green tea is soothing in its effects and is often enjoyed as a post-massage or pre-meditation drink. Although it contains caffeine it also contains L-theanine. This counteracts the effects of caffeine making it a very soothing drink. To get the full benefits of this tea, you need to drink a few cups of tea per day. You should also always steep your tea to ensure that you draw out the catechins contained in the tea.


This is what provides a majority of the health benefits of the tea. Drinking the decaffeinated type of green tea lessens the number of catechins in the tea, and thereby lessens the number of health benefits you can obtain from drinking it. Shrinksta Green Latte Coffee is a great alternative for those who love their green tea but love their coffee just as much. There are a number of different types of tea of the green variety, for instance, Twining’s and Lipton to name only two. You can get this green tea in the hot beverage form or as an iced tea.


There are also a number of different tastes in green tea. For instance, you can get those that are pure organic teas with no flavorings. Then you get those that have flavored options such as Jasmine green tea or fruit-flavored green teas. You can also get the decaffeinated tea if you wish to avoid caffeine in your diet. All of these herbal teas have one thing in common, they provide a great tasting drink with superb health benefits. Weight management is one of the benefits drinking high-quality tea can bring. The combination of antioxidants or catechins, as well as the caffeine, is what provides the ability to help with weight loss.


In order to reap the benefits properly, you should not add any sugar to your tea. Another great health benefit is cholesterol control. This tea helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels in your blood pressure and lower the LDL cholesterol build up. This LDL cholesterol is what can lead to damage to artery walls or narrowing of the arteries. Amongst some of the other health benefits such as a healthy immune system, better blood circulation, blood pressure, and lower blood sugar, classic green tea can also help to prevent cancer. There is some research where premium green tea helps to prevent cancer of the bladder and breasts as well as other organs. Drinking premium green tea in its pure form will help you keep your body healthy and able to fight off the cancer cells that cause cancer. Selecting the highest quality tea will ensure you reap all of the health benefits green tea can provide. We have reviewed some of the best green teas on the market for you.


Modern people are in touch with pesticides on a daily basis. These chemicals can be found in the food we purchase from the stores, in the air we breathe at home and even in the parks. So, if you want to avoid the negative impact of these chemicals, you should consider taking certain actions like eating organic and natural foods and preparing the food you buy from grocery stores in a better way. However, even when you take all the measures you can imagine, these dangerous pesticides will still affect you. Namely, a scientific research conducted a few weeks ago, has discovered high levels of pesticides in some of the most used tea brands today like Tetley, Twinings and Lipton.


The people involved in this process used the help of a certified laboratory to thoroughly analyze the content of these tea bags and determine the exact quantity of pesticides found in dry tea leaves. The technique used during this process was exactly the same like the one used by the FIA (Food Inspection Agency). What they found was shocking. More than 50% of the teas they’ve included in this research contained pesticide content way above the allowed level. In addition, 80% of the tested teas had different types of chemicals too and one of the teas has more than 20 types of pesticides. But that’s not all. The truth is that the majority of teas had only small amounts of pesticides, but some of them had unacceptable level of these chemicals which is actually illegal.


Therefore, it is always a good idea to be careful even when you are buying popular teas. No Name - this brand with a catchy name has teas that have more than a dozen of different pesticides. Uncle Lee’s Legends of China - the green tea variety of this brand contains almost 20 kinds of pesticides. Of course, the worst one if endosulfan, a pesticide that will soon be banned in many countries around the globe because it leads to negative effects including nervous system disorders, fatalities and tremors. King Cole - this is another brand of teas rich in pesticides including monocrotophos. This pesticide has been associated with spontaneous defecation and irregular heartbeats. Of course, the presented data and information was not shared without comments from these companies. James O’ Young, VP of Uncle Lee’s Legends of China for instance has denounced these claims is false. He said that in case you drink any of the teas produced by popular brands you will not consume pesticides with it.


One of the most baffling and annoying thing about tea is the labeling. When farmers produce their tea, they use very big, standard plastic bags. A low elevation farmer can purchase a big bag where it's written 'high mountain Oolong'. Farmers in China and Vietnam can purchase bags where it's written 'Taiwan Oolong'. Farmers in Alishan can purchase bags with the name 'Da Yu Ling'. Everything is permitted and (almost) nobody is controlling. And these bags don't come with any mention of production year, season or date. Some farmers write this information on the bag, while others just write a batch number.


When a tea farmer sells tea to a wholesaler, a tea shop or directly to a tea drinker, there is no way to tell from the packaging what tea you are buying. But the practice continues, because it's simply part of the modern history of tea. Let me develop this point. Until the mid 19th century, tea was mostly a beverage for the upper class around the world. These few customers insisted on top quality and were ready to pay for it. With the industrial revolution, however, a new middle class emerged. This new market had limited funds, but its potential demand was huge if the price was affordable. So, tea became one of the first product that became outsourced. Instead of only producing Oolong in the original Wuyi mountains, Chinese tea farmers planted tea in the surrounding regions.


The conditions were less ideal. There were fewer rocky hills, but they could harvest more in the plains, at a lower cost. Some Fujian emigrants to Taiwan planted tea on this island, because export taxes were lower than on the Mainland! Western trading companies like Jardine Matheson or Tait had offices in several coastal towns in China and Taiwan and would look for the best prices. Scottish botanist Robert Fortune also traveled to Wuyi shan in the mid 19th century in an operation of agricultural spying. He brought tea plants to British controlled India so that China would loose its monopoly on the production of tea. This competition led to lower prices and innovations (CTC process, tea bags) that again led to lower (but still acceptable) quality and prices. This trend continued after the second world war: fertilizer and pesticides helped produce even more tea cheaper.


And if the tea had a weak smell, cheap artificial scents replaced real flowers. 1. a tea was imitated in a new region and the original name was kept, because this name is very famous and popular. The best example for this is Da Hong Pao. The original 5 bushes are now protected and can't be harvested anymore. But the name is in the public domain and all tea vendors in Fujian sell some of their leaves under the name Da Hong Pao. For almost any famous tea, you can find hundreds (thousands) of copies of varying quality, price and origin. Sometimes the same tea is made 10 km away, or 100 km or 1000 km.


Or it's made in a cheaper season. 2. Some new teas and new origins become famous on their own merit. This became the case of 'Formosa Oolong Tea', a brand promoted by the Japanese during the first part of the twentieth century. Or Darjeeling in India, promoted by the British. In more recent times, in Taiwan, we have Dong Ding Oolong, Alishan and Lishan. These names are much more famous than Yong Lung, Shizhuo or Tsui Feng respectively. Yong Lung is part of the Dong Ding area. Shizhuo is a village at the center of the Alishan area. The pictures illustrating this article show a brew of my 2017 spring Tsui Feng qingxin Oolong. Like yesterday's Jinxuan from 2017, it is vacuum sealed and still tastes totally fresh.


I had these similar high mountain teas back to back. The brews look very similar. One could say that the Alishan Jinxuan is a cost down version of the qingxin Tsui Feng. Or you could say that the qingxin Oolong from Tsui Feng is a cost down version of a qingxin Oolong from Lishan! Of course, since it's made of qingxin Oolong and comes from an elevation of 1800 meters, and a location that is very close to Lishan, most of the vendors in Taiwan would simply sell it as Lishan Oolong. At the end of the day, the only thing that prevents a tea farmer (or seller) from exaggerating (lying) about the origin and quality of his tea is the knowledge of the buyer. That's why it's so important to educate your palate and test similar teas from different sources and learn to judge their quality. This Tsui Feng Oolong does a great job in terms of bright flowery fragrances, sweetness and freshness. And it's very nicely priced compared to a Lishan Oolong. And from now on, a 25 gram sample is my new gift for orders above 200 USD!


I actually used the canned red bean paste. But if you want to make your own, I think East Meets West Kitchen posted a recipe. You can omit the green tea powder if you don't have it. You should try it if you spotted it in the Asian market, it's delicious. Andaliman, this mochi recipe is really good, give it a try! Me ah, failed at my first attempt at ping pei mooncake last year and have yet to try it again. P LeeLee daifuku recipe is a keeper, very soft and yummy. Thanks Cooking Ninja. You can use pandan extract and make it into pandan flavored mochi instead. I'm sure it tastes just as yummy. We have the moci you mentioned too. I made that before with the same recipe and it was delicious. I have to buy my green tea powder from Malaysia baking store. So, make sure you look for this back home! Redman brand, I posted the picture some where in my blog, perhaps it's the green tea pound cake post, not sure anymore.


Hojicha is a green tea which is made from bancha, a low grade green tea, and cooked slightly; this very inexpensive green tea often comes out brown because it is discolored by oxidation. Other than this variety, and some very stale bancha, I can't think of a Japanese green tea that comes out brown. Some stale kukicha might come out brown, and low quality genmaicha made with poor quality kukicha could be brownish from the combination of excess oxidation and the toasted rice. However, if you use even a moderate quality sencha, and it isn't stale, it should come out green.


Most good quality kukicha and genmaicha will at least come out greenish-yellow. Since most Japanese restaurants use a fairly inexpensive second-harvest sencha, I imagine you're either buying hojicha or simply using a very stale, low-quality sencha. Chinese green teas are sometimes slightly yellow, but if they're actually yielding a brown brew, they, too are either stale or are simply mislabeled oolong. I used to sell a fair amount of green tea when I ran a small scale import business. In any event, my recommendation is to try a first-harvest high-mountain grown sencha that is sold in nitrogen-flushed aluminum packages. Depending on the style, the brewed color will be either very green or slightly yellowish if brewed in the typical way. You can either do a very brief, several second infusion at near-boiling, or a longer infusion at around 80 celsius. I like it both ways.


Last week, I went to Pinglin in the Wenshan area. The weather was rainy, which is making late tea harvests impossible. The moist weather even makes destemming and roasting difficult, because putting the leaves in open air would make them catch excessive moisture. Still, I came back with a couple of new Baozhongs that I liked. 1. A high quality Tsui Yu (Jade Oolong tea tree) Baozhong that has been harvested on September 25th, 2007. Rather lightly oxidized and little roasted, it is more of the fragrant type and holds well long brews. This one carries an interesting Youzi fragrance, which is a local grapefruit.


This one comes from the same luanze Oolong plantation as my previous top grade 'lily flower' Baozhongs. It had not been destemmed and lightly roasted yet. But the fragrance was very pleasant, fresh and clear. It actually tastes fresher now because it wasn't roasted. But this means that this not a tea that can be kept for over a year after opening the package. That's why I asked the farmer to package it in 100 grams packages (instead of 150 gr usually). Price per gram remains the same as for the same tea from Spring. 3. The last Baozhong I brought back is the Spring 2007 semi-wild Baozhong with an additional light roast (10%). I had purchased the whole batch of this special Baozhong this Spring. That's why I had enough left to make a roasted batch. I was interested in tasting it roasted. For Wuyi Yancha and for classic Dong Ding Oolong, I have noticed that the best tea leaves give the best roasted teas. So, for Baozhong, I also wanted to verify this fact/theory with this semi-wild Baozhong. The result has strengthened my opinion. This Baozhong has now a very long, sweet and peachy aftertaste. The roasting has been done on September 23rd, so it had sufficient time to rest already.


A bit of background first: lapsang souchong has been getting a remake for some time from unsmoked versions becoming popular. Around three to four years ago I first tried an unsmoked and supposedly higher grade version. I liked that tea, but had mixed feelings about the lack of smoke since it somehow did seem on the neutral character side. A great black tea doesn't need smoke flavor, but that is part of the point of the type, traditionally. More background, the type history: supposedly lapsang souchong is the first type of black tea produced (although who knows about that, since oxidizing tea isn't really that complicated a process, per my understanding).

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