Samurai means “to serve.”
Tamurai means “to serve through tea.”
AT TAMURAI TEA OUR GOAL IS TO HONOR THE SPIRIT OF HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.
The Health Benefits of Peppermint and Green Tea
I recently gave up my daily latte for peppermint tea. … OK, in all fairness it has only been two days. But I found myself craving peppermint tea yesterday. Why? I have no idea. My body simply told me, “Hey, you want peppermint tea today.” And that was that.
When it comes to my tea, I’m very particular and biased. I like Earl Grey with sugar and milk. None of that lemon stuff. And don’t try to give me any other fancy flavor of tea. No thanks. However, when I was in the first trimester of my pregnancy over four years ago I drank many a ‘cupper of peppermint tea to help with my severe pregnancy illness (I’m talking Kate Middleton sick). And I found that peppermint tea gave me a little reprieve. I didn’t love the taste, but I did love feeling better. Funny enough, I hadn’t thought about that until today.
Then yesterday I had a hankering for it – I wasn’t feeling the greatest and my body must have known because it sent signals to my brain, “peppermint tea!” As I sat here sipping on my peppermint today, I began to wonder what the health benefits of peppermint tea are – and why was I craving it? Why did I feel better after I drank it? And what might the health benefits of some other teas be? So here’s what I found:
According to the Food NDTV website there are eight specific health benefits of drinking peppermint tea (which I’ll paraphrase here), and they are:
1. Makes you stress-free, because the menthol in the peppermint acts as a muscle relaxant and overall relaxant for mental health.
2. Help you sleep because, just like the stress-free feature above, the menthol helps you to relax and fall asleep.
3. Helps you to lose weight, simply because the tea leaves you feeling full for a longer period and so it satisfies your cravings and you don’t ingest as many calories.
4. Helps with an upset stomach again thanks to the menthol that calms and soothes your stomach.
5. Improves digestion again thanks to menthol. The menthol “… is responsible for the antiseptic and antibacterial properties… for improving digestion.”
6. Boosts your immune system thanks to peppermint’s antibacterial properties, and those in turn help to fight off disease, which helps to improve your immune system.
7. Fights bad breath. There’s a reason all of the gum and breath mints use peppermint! The menthol in peppermint helps to promote fresh breath.
This all sounds pretty good to me! It sounds healthy, relaxing, and mouth-freshening.
In comparison, I wondered what health benefits green tea touted, and so I looked into that. Now, I’ll admit that I’m not a huge fan of green tea. However, after learning about the genetic cardiovascular risks in my family and speaking with my cardiologist, I learned that green tea could be helpful in my battle to stave off heart disease. My thinking was that I could put up with the bitter taste of green tea for some incredible heart-health! I have been slacking with my green tea consumption though – but that might change after reading about the ten health benefits that green tea gives us.
According to healthline website there are ten health benefits to drinking green tea, and just like above, I will paraphrase them here.
1. It contains healthy bioactive compounds. And what exactly does that mean? Well, in short, “the green tea plant contains a range of healthy compounds…” And those include helping to reduce inflammation and helping to fight cancer due to natural antioxidants.
2. May improve brain function. This has to do with green tea’s key ingredient: caffeine. “Research has consistently shown that caffeine can improve various aspects of brain function, including mood, vigilance, reaction time, and memory. However, caffeine isn’t the only brain-boosting compound in green tea. It also contains amino acid L-theanine, which can cross the blood-brain barrier.”
3. Increases fat burning. Well, isn’t that something that most of us want? Green tea does this because it boosts metabolism and therefore increases fat burning.
4. Antioxidants may lower the risk of some cancers. There’s a lot involved in this, but in (very) short, green tea’s antioxidant elements are what help to lower the risk of cancer.
5. May protect the brain from aging. “Not only can green tea improve brain function in the short term, it may also protect your brain as you age.”
6. May reduce bad breath.
7. May help prevent type 2 diabetes. Diabetes involves elevated blood sugar levels and green tea may “improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.”
8. May help prevent cardiovascular disease. This is the big one for me personally. “Studies show that green tea may improve some of the main risk factors for these diseases [heart disease and stroke], which includes improving total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.” And here’s a pretty impressive fact: “…people who drink green tea have up to a 31% lower risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease.” Well, if that doesn’t seal the deal, then I don’t know what does!
9. May help you lose weight. Green tea helps you lose weight due to it helping to boost your metabolic rate.
10. May help you live longer. I think this is a pretty important point, perhaps the biggest “seller” for why one should drink green tea. But the reason that drinking green tea can help you live longer has to do with how it helps to protect you against cancer and heart disease, and therefore you live longer.
After doing a little research and reading up on these two teas – or “sock water” as one of my coffee-drinking-co-workers refers to it – the bitter taste of my tea doesn’t taste so bitter anymore. Instead, I feel the warmth of the menthol in my mouth, then go down my throat and into my stomach, I feel calmer and healthier. Perhaps it’s a little bit of the placebo affect, but you know what? We’re not getting any younger and why not seize control of your health in all ways that you can? If that involves drinking a few cups of tea a week, why not do it? You’ll feel better! Plus you’re hydrating, you’ll sleep better, and internally your body and the tea are helping to make you stronger and healthier. Sounds like a win-win to me!
Link to peppermint tea article: https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/8-benefits-of-peppermint-tea-from-inducing-sleep-to-aiding-weight-loss-and-more-1748790
Now Available – at the White Oak Wine Cafe by the glass, the bottle, or carry out four packs!
Great as a White Wine Spritzer!
Check them out:
WHAT IS FIRST FLUSH?
It can be intimidating when you step into a teashop and notice the countless types, classifications, and descriptions of tea. Who knew there were so many? Once you learn some of the basic tea lingo, you’ll be able to break down and decipher what each classification really means. In the world of premium teas, understanding Flush is a good place to begin.
First, teas are often classified by type, such as white, green, or black. Next, many teas are defined by the region where they were grown, such as China, Ceylon, India, or Bangladesh. Some teas may also be classified by how they were treated during processing, such as scented or flavored teas like Earl Grey and Jasmine.
When you take it a step further, premium teas are also often classified by Flush, or the time of year when tea leaves are plucked. Each Flush is determined by the geography and climate of the region where the tea is grown. First Flush is defined as the very first plucking of a tea plant’s harvest season. The new growth leaves plucked during First Flush are the youngest and most tender part of the tea plant and are said to yield the purest and freshest cup of tea that plant is capable of producing. Each additional Flush yields different flavor and aroma characteristics as the growing season for that tea plant progresses.
About Darjeeling Flushes
The Darjeeling region bumps up against Tibetan Himalaya and stretches between high mountain ridges and deep mountain valleys. The challenging geography and rough, sometimes inaccessible, terrain are what make Darjeeling such an exclusive tea. In fact, Darjeeling is only capable of producing one percent of India’s total tea output.The most common to be harvested and classified by Flush are the famous Darjeeling teas of India. Of India’s three main tea-growing regions, Darjeeling is not the largest but it is the best known for yielding some of the most prized tea in the world. To understand why is to understand the region’s geography.
Another reason Darjeeling tea is so prized is that it is completely unique to this region of India. While some Darjeeling tea gardens cultivate the native India tea bush variety (Camellia sinensis assamica), much of the tea cultivated in this region is the China variety (Camellia sinensis sinensis) that has acclimated to the high elevation and rugged climate that is similar to but unique from China’s. What’s more, many Darjeeling tea bushes may be a China-India hybrid found nowhere else in the world.
Because the winter weather is severe across the Darjeeling region, its tea bushes are dormant for many months of the year. Depending on the tea garden location, harvest season runs from February to November and yields several seasonal Flushes along the way. Each Flush takes advantage of the newest growth on the tea bush and reflects the seasonal effects on the leaves as the tea bush matures.
- The First Flush is the picking of the brand new two leaves and a bud in the earliest spring growth of the plant, as early as February and often lasting through April. These early leaves are usually more delicate and tender and therefore more light, floral, fresh, brisk, and astringent in flavor. To preserve the spring leaf flavor, First Flush Darjeeling teas are generally less oxidized during processing and may appear more greenish in color than a typical black tea. Darjeeling First Flush tea is some of the most prized and expensive on the market. It is so special and exclusive that tea connoisseurs consider the first harvest from this region to be the “Champagne” of teas.
- The Second Flush is picked as early as April and runs through May or June. Second Flush yields larger, more mature leaves with a purplish hue and silver tips or leaf buds. The leaf growth during this period is much more rapid than the early spring growth. These larger, fast-growing leaves yield a stronger yet smoother flavor for the finished tea. Teas from this Flush are known for their full-bodied, muscatel, and fruity flavor.
- The Monsoon Flush runs from June or July through October and yields large leaves that brew into a stronger color and bolder flavor that is less complex or nuanced than the previous Flushes. Teas from this Flush are often used for iced tea and commercial tea bag tea production.
- The Autumnal Flush happens in October and November and yields a finished tea with a rich copper-colored liquor that can be described as rich, full, nutty, and smooth in flavor. Leaf growth slows down during this period and the tea plant is squeezing out the last of what it has to offer before it goes dormant for the winter.
No matter which Flush a Darjeeling tea comes from, each batch of fresh leaf will be different from one day, one garden, one season to the next. Darjeeling leaves are processed…withered, rolled, oxidized…in a technique that reflects the conditions of the season and of the plucked leaf. So no batch of Darjeeling will ever be the same.
About Teatulia®’s First Flush
After the winter months and spring rains hit Teatulia’s own gardens in Bangladesh, our tea plants awaken from their winter dormancy bursting with new, tender leaves. We pluck these robust leaves and turn them into the purest and most exquisite cup of black tea available from our gardens.
Our First Flush tea brews into a golden liquor with the gentle aroma of honey and caramel. It’s a mildly astringent tea with a complex flavor that blends sweet malt with notes of soaked raisin and barley. The brewed tea contains about half the amount of caffeine than a cup of coffee.
Buying and Storing First Flush
When you buy a First Flush tea, you’re buying some of the freshest and most exquisite tea available. First Flush teas are premium teas that are typically more expensive than other teas on the market, so you’re usually making an investment in that tea. Therefore, it’s important to buy it from a reputable company that can tell you when and how the tea was processed and packaged. Ask the tea producer for specific instructions on storing and brewing your First Flush tea as well.
First Flush teas are usually only lightly oxidized so that their fresh flavor can shine through. Therefore, consuming your First Flush sooner rather than later is a good idea. First Flush teas can last up to one year if stored properly in a cool, dark place and in an opaque, airtight container away from light, moisture and pantry items like coffee and spices that can leach flavor into the tea leaves.
For more information about how to best care for your tea, visit our How to Store Tea page.
Brewing First Flush
Each First Flush is going to be different depending on where and how the tea was cultivated, harvested, and processed. To brew the perfect cup, ask your tea vendor for brewing instructions specific to the tea you purchased. Here are a few general brewing tips to keep in mind:
- Use fresh, pure, cold filtered water. Spring water is the best.
- First Flush teas are typically more lightly oxidized compared to other black teas. Therefore, they should be brewed in slightly cooler temperatures for less time to avoid a tea that is too astringent and bitter. We suggest brewing our Teatulia First Flush with water that’s just off the boil (180 to 200 degrees) for 2 to 3 minutes.
- If you don’t have an electric kettle with temperature control, just remember that at sea level water simmers at 190 degrees and boils at 212 degrees. The boiling temperature drops about a degree for every 100 feet in altitude increase.
- If your First Flush tea came with specific recommendations for brewing, use those. But using about 2 grams of loose leaf tea per 8 oz. cup of water is a safe bet.
- Cover your tea while it steeps to keep all the heat in the steeping vessel.
- The longer your tea steeps, the more quickly it will release any bitterness and astringency. So it’s important not to over steep a First Flush tea that already has an astringent quality. Taste your tea after the recommended steeping time and then decide if you’d like it to steep a little longer.
- Most premium First Flush teas can be steeped multiple times.
- Some First Flush teas are strong enough to stand up to milk and sugar, but for the best flavor experience try sipping your First Flush without any additives. That way, you can enjoy the subtle flavor of the freshest spring tea leaves.
Darjeeling Tea via Wikipedia
The Story of Drinking Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide by Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss
Indian Tea via Tea Class by Adagio