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.
FASTING WITH YERBA MATE
IN YERBA MATE
Imagine a drink that makes you feel as alive as coffee does, as healthy as tea does, and as happy as chocolate does…It sounds magical, doesn’t it? Well because we live in a wonderful world, this miraculous drink does exist, and at Hebden Tea, we are excited to introduce it in our new Fasting Range! If you want to kick-start 2016 with some healthier lifestyle choices, then make sure to include super-drink Yerba Mate!
WHAT IS IT?
Grown in South America, most prominently in Argentina and Brazil, Yerba Mate (pronounced yur-buh mah-tay) comes from an evergreen tree, not dissimilar to a holly bush: the Ilex Paraguariensis. Although the native trees can grow to almost 50ft tall, cultivated yerba mate trees are kept at around 13-16ft in height. Harvested every two years, these trees need time to replace the leaves lost to pruning; therefore the tree is harvested in a rotating system, where only part of the plant is harvested at a time. The yerba mate tree also produces small white-green flowers and very small red stone-fruits. Traditionally used by native South American tribes for its energising ability, yerba mate has been proven to offer a range of health benefits. Containing compounds that improve moods, increase focus and mental energy, aid digestion, and act as an appetite suppressant (potentially resulting in weight loss), yerba mate has also been found to reduce the risk of diabetes in mice. In 1964, the Pasteur Institute (a private French non-profit foundation dedicated to the study of biology, micro-organisms, diseases, and vaccines) reported that yerba mate contains ‘practically all the vitamins necessary to sustain life’. There are very few plants in our world that come close to this plant in terms of nutritional value. Containing vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B-Complex, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese and zinc, yerba mate really is packed full of goodness! It also contains a number of antioxidants, such as theobromine, which is the compound in chocolate that makes you feel good!
WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
When infused, yerba mate has quite a savoury smell; it is leathery with grassy hints and very subtle notes of tobacco – almost like a smoky green tea. When tasted, these leaves open up a whole spectrum of flavour, which is hard to compare to other drinks; to put it simply, yerba mate is unlike anything else! This infusion gives an incredibly smooth and pleasant drink with a rich taste and no tangy aftertaste. Flavours range from light and woody, to soft and nutty, and even suggest a slight fruitiness. The absolute lack of astringency makes this highly-caffeinated drink a great alternative to coffee, as it doesn’t dry out your mouth, but still gives you that energising boost to get the day going.
Traditionally, in South America, yerba mate is infused in a hollowed out calabash gourd, and drunk with a metallic drinking straw, that also acts as a sieve, called a “bombilla”. (Drinking hot liquid through a straw may seem anti-intuitive, but boiling water is never used, minimising any risk of injury.)
- Fill your gourd about 3/4 full with the loose yerba mate leaves. Place your hand over the top and shake well (this mixes up the dust, leaves and small stems for a more even infusion)
- Add a small amount of cold water, then allow the leaves to soak this up before filling the calabash up with hot water. Boiling water burns the leaves, resulting in a bitter-tasting drink, so allow your water to cool to about 80°C.
- Drink the mate through your bombilla (taking care so not to burn your tongue).
- Keep topping up with more hot water to enjoy further infusions.
Alternative brewing method:
- Boil your water and pour it into your cup/teapot, then leave it for a couple of minutes to cool to about 80°C.
- Put two teaspoons of Yerba Mate into an infuser, then place this into the receptacle of water. Infuse for 3-5 minutes.
- When you have finished your drink, re-infuse the leaves for another delicious drink.
The Benefits of Turmeric and Ginger
Turmeric and Ginger – Two Complementary Ingredients
Turmeric and ginger have both been used for millennia as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine. With its bright yellow color, turmeric is a lively botanical that many cultures claim works to improve brain function and reduce inflammation. Similarly, ginger is traditionally know to aid in digestion and relieve nausea.
Turmeric and ginger are also used in traditional anti-inflammatory tonics. The flavors blend well together and both contain compounds known to be anti-inflammatory. However, the active constituents in both are slightly different, which enables the complementary effect of these two delicious herbs together.
Turmeric and ginger plants are both rhizomes, also called rootstocks. Rhizomes propagates through a type of a stem that sits either at the soil surface or underground and forms nodes. The nodes grow the roots and shoots in perpendicular directions—therefore, new growth can come up from the ground. One can separate the rhizome to grow new plants. Other common rhizomes include hops, bamboo, and the notorious poison oak.
Traditional Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is a rhizome that belongs to the family, Zingiberaceae, to which cardamom and ginger belong. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Southeast, and it is also commonly linked to the practice of Ayurveda. Turmeric is a prominent spice, used in religious ceremonies, and also sometimes referred to as “Indian Saffron.” In Sanskrit, the word for turmeric is “Haridra” (the Yellow One) and in Chinese is Jiang Huang.
Similar to ginger, turmeric is a bitter digestive, a carminative (flatulence relief) and also a cholagogue, which increases bile production in the liver. In Ayurveda, turmeric is used to expel phlegm—or alleviate a kapha imbalance. The compound that is recognized as the anti-inflammatory is curcumin, which is also commercially available as isolate compounds.
At Rishi, we source our turmeric from Guatemala. In the mountainous region of Cobán, Guatemala, there is a small community called Nimlahakok—Nimla for short. We work with a group of farmers to source our cardamom and now, turmeric, from this farm.
Turmeric has been used for centuries as a wonder-herb, and it certainly is gaining traction in scientific studies and applications of the herb. Herbs are best used to create balance when consumed on a daily basis and are typically not a miracle cure delivered by consuming once or twice sporadically.
Traditional Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is a rhizome that belongs to the family, Zingiberaceae, to which cardamom and turmeric belong. Ginger has been used for thousands of years in India and China, and it is commonly linked to the practice of Ayurveda.
Ginger is known for its anti-microbial, warming properties, which aids in digestion and relieving nausea. Overall, this rhizome is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and for increasing circulation. Ginger is also said to relieve motion sickness and morning sickness due to its properties as a carminative (relieving flatulence) and antispasmodic action.
Though there are numerous compounds in ginger that attribute to these numerous benefits, ketones known as gingerol and gingerol-related compounds really drive the thought behind the touts of anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects.
At Rishi, we source our ginger from Mizoram, India, a Southeastern part of India on the border of Myanmar.
Notable Tea with Turmeric or Ginger
rishi•i /’riSHē/ noun
Sanskrit: One who is a seer, sage or seeker of truth.
The Vanguard of Tea Since 1997
Independently owned, direct trade importer of organic teas and botanicals. Inspired by tradition and global culinary arts.
Rishi Tea was founded on the commitment to set the standard for quality and expand the awareness of tea and its rich, inspirational tradition. We offer superb tea and botanicals imported directly from gardens across the world. We draw inspiration from ancient artisanal practices that use organic cultivation techniques as well as modern culinary innovation. From our modest beginnings over twenty years ago to becoming an established leader in the specialty tea market, our mission has never wavered.
Our Promise to You
Our commitment to sustainability is a core part of our mission that stems from the organic tea gardens where our teas and botanicals are harvested. Our firsthand experience in many tea-growing regions led to our heightened awareness of the dire need for social responsibility. Rishi Tea was among the first to earn organic certification under the USDA’s Natural Organic Program in November of 2002.
Tea was originally a food and medicine long before it became a steeped beverage. It is only natural that our tea practice draws inspiration from numerous disciplines, including third wave coffee, cocktail mixology, sommeliers’ oenology, botanical apothecary, and the traditional culinary arts from global food cultures.
The Beginnings of Rishi
Rishi Tea began in 1997 when Joshua Kaiser, founder and tea buyer, recognized that the traditional handcrafted teas he grew so fond of during his travels in Asia were rarely available elsewhere. Joshua felt that North American consumers would embrace artisan tea as they did single origin coffee and fine varietal wine. We travel thousands of miles each year to the diverse points of origin where our teas are harvested, maintaining the personal relationships we have developed over the years with farmers and artisans whose families have been making traditional teas for generations.