Tea Bags Get a Bad Rap, What’s a Solo Sipper to do?

It is Monday morning and I have not had tea yet. I have limited time and limited resources. I sit at my desk wondering, to bag or not to bag?  This is a practical question. As quality tea consumption increases in popularity, the general opinion of the lowly carton of Lipton tea bags often found in workplaces decreases.

What’s a Solo Sipper to do?

On the one hand, anyone can plainly see the larger, higher quality leaves selected for loose-leaf teas and taste the difference that it makes in the cup. This is a compelling reason to brew tea with fresh water at the right temperature, the right steep time and the right teapot.

On the other hand, expediency is a factor that cannot be ignored. How often have you taken a nondescript tea bag and unceremoniously plopped it into a mug of microwaved water? It is still tea after all, even if it is less flavorful.

It is in the face of this quandary that I suggest finding your own creative middle ground. Sure, I want tea that tastes good but what other single cup tea brewing options are there for my desk.

My friend Shiami places two or three tea pearls in her cup and adds hot water to make Jasmine Pearl tea. This is also called “Grandpa Style” by @TeaFanatic. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Except, I do not like to sip while there are floaters in my tea. I admit, I am not a purist.

Shiami

There are tea bags that you fill with your choice of tea. This is a great compromise. Paper for tea filters is made of an abaca and cellulose fiber blend. Some may wonder if a paper tea bag imparts flavor? It is not as neutral as a glass teapot, but not pervasive enough to require a pre-rinse like a coffee filter, although you could do that (if you had the time). Less mess and easy disposal are big benefits of this method.

As posted previously, organic cotton muslin cloth can be sewn to make a tea bag. It is food-safe, durable, reusable, and can be found with no chemicals or dyes. This is a waste free option, especially convenient if you always use the same type of tea. It takes careful rinsing though in order for today’s Silver Needle tea to not taste like yesterday’s Pu-erh. This may not be the option for me…

If you have time to get crafty, you can make your own custom loose-leaf tea bags out of your coworkers’ coffee filters. However, if you have enough time to locate filters, scissors, staples and string you could have just made a nice pot of Earl Grey tea to share…

Another option for a quick cuppa involves using a French press. While French press coffee is known for a coating of sludge at the bottom of every cup, it does a nice job steeping a clean cup of tea. Consider the smaller single serve models to avoid over-steeping as the tealeaves sit in the bottom of the press.

Why not a tea ball or tea infuser? Sure, these are the traditional options, but a tea ball does not allow the tea to expand and the tea infuser with fine mesh doesn’t allow the water to circulate well enough according to TeaNerd.com. When you are pressed for time and space and need tea at your desk right now, does that matter? It’s up to you, we won’t judge!

After letting my thoughts steep on these various methods I opted for a pack of 100 Finum Tea Filters. Tea bags get a bad rap, but if you use your own “wrap” you can ensure quality tea.  If you have thoughts on these, or other ideas for quick and easy ways to brew a single cup of tea, please share in the comments. In the end, it all boils down to personal taste.

+Samantha Joyce is a writer for Seattle Coffee Gear and enjoys sharing her knowledge of all things coffee and tea. Her current favorite tea is any cup that someone else will make for her.

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The Beauty Benefits of Tea

Most of us are aware that drinking tea on a daily basis can have health benefits but fewer of us are aware of the beauty benefits of tea. And drinking tea isn’t the only way to soak up all of those health kicks: using the leaves effectively in your beauty regime as reusing the teabags for a quick beauty fix could be the answer you’ve been looking for.

healthy green tea cup with tea leavesBlack tea can get rid of dark circles around the eyes as well as reduce puffiness and redness. Dip teabags in hot water, cool and strain before resting on tired eyes. The weight mixed with the antioxidants in the tea will rejuvenate your eyes and any aesthetic giveaways that you’re burning the candle at both ends. Both black and green teabags can be used and have similar beautifying effects.

Green Tea has been used to assist weight loss and been the basis of many a fad diet over the years, but drinking it on a regular basis as part of a healthy lifestyle can provide you with that extra oomph to drop the inches from your waist.

EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) found in green tea reactivates dying skin cells and protects your skin from UV rays so drinking it on a regular basis can work wonders for your skin. Green tea can also be used as toner for oily skin. Just brew for 30 minutes then decant into a spray bottle or apply with cotton wool.

Rub green tea leaves over your face to exfoliate your skin and leave for a few minutes to let the leaves remove any unwanted toxins from your skin. After you rinse your face you will instantly notice its smoothness and shine.

Using green tea as a hair rinse conditions the hair. Green tea contains vitamins E, C and panthenol which are commonly used in conditioners, so pour cooled, brewed green tea over your hair after shampooing to add a soft silky shine to your locks. The softening qualities found in green tea also helps those who suffer from dandruff and the protection it provides from UV rays can help protect the scalp from further irritation.

Drinking oolong tea fights the signs of ageing. The powerful antioxidants of oolong tea help fight wrinkles and dark spots when drank regularly and like green tea, oolong can provide some protection from harmful UV rays which can make us look old before our time.

Camomile tea can be used as a natural hair highlighter. Although we all know it isn’t made from the same plant which produces black, green and oolong teas, using camomile tea as a hair rinse can help bring out natural red or blonde highlights in your hair. Pour cooled brewed camomile tea (with an optional squeeze of lemon juice) over your hair after shampooing and conditioning. But make sure you don’t rinse it out of your hair and the natural ingredients will help highlight your hair.

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5 Awesome Tea Cocktails

You might not know it but tea can be made into something sublimely classy.  Here is a selection of tea-based cocktails for any evening do or cocktail party.  Each of these recipes will yield one cocktail, so put on your glad rags and some jazzy tunes for an interesting cocktail hour.

tea cocktail

Royal-Tea

Created by Beefeater Gin in honour of the 2007 film The Queen, this cocktail is an easy chilled drink with an unbelievable clean taste.

You will need:

  • 2 parts Beefeater Gin
  • 2 parts brewed and chilled Earl Grey Tea
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • A spoonful of sugar
  • Lime wheels to garnish

Instructions:

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail glass with ice.

Stir well.

Garnish with lime wheels.

Pu-Erh Old Fashioned

Featured on seriouseats.com, this is a spicy treat for any occasion.

You will need:

For the Pu-erh infused Bourbon:

  • 225ml bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons loose leaf Pu-erh tea

For the Pu-erh Old Fashioned:

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • A few drops water
  • 55ml Pu-erh infused Bourbon
  • Lemon twist

Instructions:

For the Pu-erh infused bourbon, combine the tea and the bourbon in a jar.  Cover the jar and let the mixture steep at room temperature for two hours.  Strain and dispose of the tea leaves, and store the infused bourbon in a sealed jar.

For the cocktail, put the sugar in an old-fashioned glass and then add the bitters.  Add enough water to saturate the sugar and allow it to dissolve.  Add in the infused bourbon and top up with ice.  Stir for ten seconds to chill and combine, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Chamomile Syrup Margarita

Featured on seriouseats.com, this is a powerful yet sweet addition to a great night out.

You will need:

For the Chamomile Syrup:

  • 4 chamomile tea bags
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 225ml of water

For Each Cocktail:

  • 110 grams of salt
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 30ml fresh lime juice
  • 50ml tequila
  • 40ml chamomile simple syrup

Instructions:

For the chamomile syrup, combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over a high heat.  Bring to the boil, whilst stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add the chamomile tea bags. Allow to steep for thirty minutes then cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

For the cocktail, place the salt on a shallow plate in an even layer.  Moisten the rim of a coupe glass by running a lime wedge around the rim.  Dip the glass into the salt and set aside.

Combine lime juice, tequila, and chamomile syrup in a cocktail shaker.  Fill with ice. Shake until well-chilled.  Strain into the salt rimmed glass and serve.

Iced Cynar Green Tea Cocktail

Featured on seriouseats.com, this is a bitter surprise for the palette.

You will need:

For the Iced Green Tea:

  • 680ml water
  • 2 green tea bags

For Each Cocktail:

  • 40ml Cynar
  • 3 dashes Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters
  • 110ml chilled green tea
  • Lemon wedge

Instructions:

For the iced green tea, bring water to the boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and steep the tea for just 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

For Each Cocktail, combine the Cynar, bitters, and green tea in a small glass. Stir to combine and top with ice. Garnish with lemon wedge.

Mulled Marteani

This one from teahorse.co.uk is sure to get you in the festive spirit.

You will need (this recipe serves two):

  • 2 teaspoons of spiced tea
  • 50ml dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 75ml gin
  • Plenty of ice
  • An orange twist for garnish

Instructions:

Infuse two teaspoons of tea in 50ml of dry white wine. Add two teaspoons of sugar and mix until the sugar has dissolved.  Infuse for 15 minutes before straining off the tea leaves.  Stir in 75ml of your favourite gin, with plenty of ice, and strain again into two frozen martini glasses.  Garnish with an orange twist.

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3 Tea Smoothie Recipes

Though it’s been a long time coming, summer is here. Time for bbqs and outdoor birthday parties which means cold refreshments will be in demand. A staple for those in the know, tea smoothies have been providing dessert and getting people through the daily grind for a while now.  The beauty of tea smoothies is they can be healthy (or not) and combine delicious fruits and vegetables with another English staple: tea. Tea smoothies give you an energy boost and are great for breakfast when paired with caffeinated tea, for lunch or for when you’re ill and chewing is tiring.

Here are three recipes you might like to try:

Peach Rooibos

rooibos smoothieRooibos is naturally full of antioxidants and among other health benefits, it helps digestion. It is caffeine-free so this smoothie is good for any time of day.

You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon of powdered Rooibos (if you can’t find it, you can use a spice or coffee grinder)
  • 1 peach, cored and sliced
  • Half a cup of milk (any and all kinds will yield the same results: coconut, almond etc.)
  • 6 ice cubes
  • Optional: honey or agave
  • Also optional: a banana

Chuck all of that in a blender until smooth. It takes about 5 minutes and makes 2 servings. Enjoy!

Masala Chai with Cinnamon and Coconut

chai smoothieThis one involves a lot of prep and waiting for things to cool and then freeze then unfreeze, just a little… It works with any kind of black teas if you’re not into cinnamon – Earl Grey for something smokey or rose tea for a quirky, flowery flavour.

Preparing the masala chai:

  • Prepare the tea, add an extra teaspoon or two and a minute to the steeping time
  • Add honey or agave to temper the intensity of the tea
  • Pour into an ice cube tray, wait for it to cool and then freeze

Preparing the banana:

  • Slice into pieces then freeze
  • Let rest for a minute before adding to the blender

For the smoothie:

  • 1 cup of Greek or any other kind of yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut flakes
  • 5 masala ice cubes
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • Optional: garnish with more coconut flakes

Attack with a blender and drink your triumph as congratulations for your patience.

Matcha Green and Mango

green tea smoothieFirst into the blender:

  • 1 or half (depending on the size) sliced mango
  • Half a cup of milk of your choice
  • Half a cup of plain yoghurt
  • Quarter to half a teaspoon of Matcha powder

Blend!

Then add:

  • Half a cup of ice cubes (4 to 6)
  • Optional sweetener

Blend more!

After trying these, you’ll probably want to go and create your own. Experimenting sometimes goes wrong so here’s a guide to pairing your fruits and yoghurt with appropriate teas.

Berry smoothies go with black teas such as Darjeeling, Earl Grey and any Ceylon black. If you’re feeling in the mood for chocolate or caramel in your smoothie (an excellent choice for dessert or breakfast or when your mood just needs a little help), Assam, Keemun and the multi-purpose Darjeeling and Ceylon black. If your smoothie drinking is firmly rooted in health reasons, Japanese green is your best option.

Vanilla yoghurt goes best with Rooibos, Masala chai, Keemun or herbal teas. Fruit with fruit but also chilled black teas, rooibos but hot oolong with a touch of something sweet to offset the tanginess of the fruit. Plain yoghurt is complimented by citrusy black and mild green teas. And remember, yoghurt with grains, nuts or granola is your best friend and a great way to begin your day.

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A Guide to Oolong Tea

Oolong. It’s an odd word to say the least, but it does happen to be another very interesting type of tea. Chances are you probably haven’t heard of it and might have no wish to venture outside your favoured teas but bear with me; I might be able to convince you. If you are fortunate to have tried Oolong tea (or Wu Long as it also known) then you no doubt understand its delights.

oolong_tea

It is made from the Camellia sinensis plant which is grown in China and is the same plant that we get Black and Green Tea from (this plant is a real giver!). The difference is the way Oolong tea is processed. It is only partially fermented unlike Green tea which is unfermented and Black tea which is of course completely fermented. The Oolong tea leaves are taken and kept under specially controlled conditions and combined with the oxygen in the air. The leaves themselves are deliberately kept from being broken up in order to preserve their structure and more importantly the unique flavour.

To make it you must first warm up your mug with boiling water before adding Oolong leaves rinsed in water. It’s best to let the leaves rinse for at least thirty seconds because otherwise you lose some of that precious flavour. The tea should be brewed in a teapot for around a minute and a half before serving.  The tea generally retains its flavour for about five to eight brews.

The amount of Oolong tea that can be consumed on a regular basis depends on the person but generally you can (and probably will!) drink between one to ten cups of it a day without feeling like you’ve overdosed. Unlike Green tea Oolong is not as readily available in supermarkets and is more often than not found in more specialised shops such as Holland & Barrett and Whittard. But why a health shop like Holland & Barrett? It’s because Oolong is actually considered to be a very healthy type of tea.

Oolong is renowned as a life saver as it helps to combat many different afflictions. These include certain types of Cancer and heart disease to mention but a few. It also helps with your mental awareness and is proven to help reduce headaches. This is partly due to the high amount of caffeine in it (50-60mg per cup) so those of you not fans of caffeine should probably stay away, at least for your sanity’s sake!

scalesHowever the key point for all you weight watchers out there is the Oolong tea’s ability to help burn calories and prevent the taking in of too many fats. It would appear that weight loss is the tea’s main pulling point. Various studies conducted in China seem to further prove this point and some scientists have even suggested that Oolong actually tells your body to burn fat faster! Now there’s a motivator if ever I saw one.

In some places it is also used to treat skin allergies and diabetes although these have not necessarily been completely proven by scientists unfortunately. In fact the internet seems to advise that Oolong is a fighter against most types of disease without providing sufficient evidence. So perhaps its reputation as a saviour might be slightly wide of the mark but why not give it a try? It might give you that weight loss and body confidence you’ve been looking for and  if you like Black and Green tea the familiarity might just be enough…

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8 Reasons Why You Should Buy Fair Trade Tea

fair tradeThe Fair Trade movement has been around for almost fifty years.  Really, that doesn’t leave you with many excuses for not buying your tea Fair Trade!  We all know that the movement is a good idea in theory, but if you’re unsure about how it works in practice, here are the top eight reasons why you should buy Fair Trade tea:

1. Fair Pay

By choosing to purchase Fair Trade products, you’re helping to support fair pay and working conditions for marginalised farmers and producers.  You can ensure safe and healthy working conditions, where tea farmers receive economic opportunities to improve their lives.

2. Protect the Environment

Fair Trade producers are encouraged to use eco-friendly farming practices and sustainable recycling practices to minimise our environmental footprint.

3. Help Local Economies

Fair Trade will give all those involved in the production of your tea control over their own future.  They can build their own businesses, create their own working conditions and pay schemes, rather than work for a middleman who may exploit them.  This way, profits made from the sales of their tea will stay in the local community and go back into their businesses.

4. Challenge Big Companies

There are big companies all around the world, and we all use them.  We know that they don’t always keep to their promises of fair and equal pay and working conditions.  By buying Fair Trade products, the middleman is cut out and profits go directly to farmers and the workers.  This prevents profits from being spread out amongst people who do not help to get your tea to the shelf.

5. Protect Children

The law is that children over the age of 12 can work limited hours as long as it does not interfere with their welfare or education.  Big companies often break these laws to increase profits.  Fair Trade follows the law and makes sure that any child workers, if any, are in good health, with education opportunities, and are not abused or trafficked.

6. Help Develop Communities.

Buying Fair Trade tea helps to develop the community in which it is produced.  Your money goes into a community bank account.  This money is managed by a cooperative – also known as a ‘joint body’ – where it may go to create better schools, develop better working conditions, buy school supplies, buy office supplies or start pension funds.

7. Guaranteed Quality

Fair Trade products are guaranteed to be of the highest quality you can find.  Farmers and producers take more pride in their product, with closer attention to the smaller details, and the best quality of tea you can find.

8. It’s a Good Thing to Do

You like tea.  I presume that you like people.  Buying Fair Trade tea supports people in developing and impoverished communities.  By buying Fair Trade tea, you get to help people with every mugful.

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How to Make Your Own Tea Bags

tea heart

If tea really is your thing then you should really know how to make tea bags. Why? Because being able to make them yourself can actually save you money and of course can be a fun and rewarding experience. They can become very personal gifts for friends and family and really show the love and passion that went into making them. You can also make them reusable thus preventing you from having to buy more tea bags and making you more eco friendly in the process. Money not spent on tea bags is money saved!

A well made tea bag can last you for a while and adds a certain touch to your house. You can make sets of them to show off creative collections which in turn can make brewing that daily/hourly/minutely cuppa all the more interesting and involving. All that’s required is a bit of enthusiasm and enough imagination to power it. After all we all obviously want to drink tea in style!

But how does one go about making these tea bags, it’s complicated right? Wrong! It can be remarkably simple. This is just one of many ways to make them.

You will need the following things:

  • Lightweight fabric (Cotton, Muslin etc)
  • Cotton string
  • Loose tea
  • Glue
  • Computer and printer

Step 1: Cut out a 6” square of the lightweight fabric and put the loose tea in the middle at the top

Step 2: Fold the square on one side so that it covers the tea and then fold the other side on top. You should finish with the end of the last side in the middle.

Step 3: Now take the top part and use it to fold the roll in half. Wrap the cotton string around where the two sides meet and knot it a couple of times to ensure that it stays in place.

Step 4: If you want to add a tag to your tea bag design one on a computer with two sides on top of each other but facing opposite directions.

Step 5: Print this out and fold it in half where the sides separate. Apply glue to the inside and place the string in the middle and secure it using the glue.

And that’s it! You can also add any designs you want to your tea bag and make it more unique to you. Try gluing a picture or token onto the side or even sew a pattern into it. The possibilities are endless!

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A Beginner’s Guide To Chinese Tea

chinese teaMost of us, whether we drink tea by the pint mug, (yes, such things exist) or constantly astonish friends and family by refusing it in all its incarnations, know it originated in China. When and how are attributed to a legend concerning Emperor Shinnong in 2737 B.C.E. It is said that tea first happened by chance when a leaf from a camellia sinensis shrub floated into some water he was boiling. From that one tiny leaf sprouted a significant part of the cultural identity of many a nation. People familiar with Chinese and East Asian tea customs will tell you real tea is not sold in teabags; leaves, flowers or buds are what you really want.

Chinese tea comes in five main categories: black, post-fermented, green, oolong, and white. The most popular black tea is, obviously, Earl Grey. Others include the distinctly smoky flavoured Lapsang Souchong, and Yunnan, which is malty and great with milk as a breakfast tea. Black teas are the easiest to prepare, use freshly boiled water, a teaspoon per cup, 3 or 4 minutes to steep and pour through a strainer. If you’re adding milk or lemon, add another couple of minutes. Western ”black tea” is called ”red tea” in China and East Asia where ”black” refers to post-fermented teas like Pu’erh.

Green tea seems to be where artisans exposed their flare. Gunpowder is literally little pellets of tea that unfurl while they soak. Their size depends on the leaves used; big leaves create ‘peahead’ pellets and small ones, ‘pinhead’ which requires more skill to roll. Chun Mee translates to ”precious eyebrows” because of its thin, curvy shape. Oolong comes in green and dark brown. Brown is earthy with peach-apricot highlights, while the green has flowery flavours and aromas. Steep these for longer in lower temperature water. Not boiling, so wait a little first. Milk doesn’t go in green tea unless it’s Macha (powdered leaves) and even then, try not to.

A lot of a tea’s esteem is tied up in the legends surrounding it. Tie Kuan Yin (Tea of the Iron Goddess of Mercy) has two. One states that a farmer dreamt of the goddess telling him about treasure in a cave near her temple as a reward for maintaining it, the other is about a scholar who accidentally found the plant under the Guanyin rock.

The most expensive tea in the world is an oolong known as Da Hong Pao (Great Red Robe). It is said to have healed a Ming Dynasty Emperor’s mother, making the four bushes over 350 years old. Tea from them has been auctioned three times to the public, pulling in a little over £15,000 per 20g. The commercially available leaves (from a cut-off) would set you back £144 for a kilogramme (£16 for 100g).

White tea is made simply. Young leaf buds and baby leaves are picked then sun-dried. White Peony (Pai Mu Tan) is the most well-known and is great for afternoons as it is lively and tastes smooth. Silver Needles (Yin Zhen) has a very distinctive look; green leaves with little white hairs, and a sweet to fruity to flowery or even nutty aroma.

When brewing white tea, the more leaves the better, really go crazy and infuse for 5 to 8 minutes; again, not-boiling water. Some connoisseurs steep Yin Zhen for 15 minutes.

Flowering teas are the most elaborate and visually stunning way to enjoy a brew. Dried flowers are wrapped in leaves then served in clear cups or teapots to showcase their beauty.

So whether you’re de-stressing, celebrating a birthday or clearing your sinuses, happy tea-drinking!

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10 Things You Can Put in Your Tea

Tea is pretty much perfect as it is but sometimes we need a little extra from our favourite beverage that milk and sugar just cannot deliver. Fortunately there are several other ingredients that can enhance it so if you want a change, why not give one of these a try?

lemons1. Lemon

Adding lemon brightens the tea and its natural acidity takes the edge off the tannins and sharpens the flavour, making it a substitute for milk. Lemon is usually served with scented black teas such as Earl Grey, where using milk can affect the flavour of bergamot, whereas lemon can work in harmony with it

2. Honey

Honey is the classic sugar-free way of sweetening tea, and is healthier than using refined sugar. Honey can also impart its own natural flavour to the tea, and is often used when serving tea to those feeling poorly due to its antibacterial properties. Honey is also probably more effective than most cough medicines at alleviating sore throats.

3. Herbs

Spearmint is commonly used to flavour black teas (as well as being used as a tea in its own right). Other, more unusual herbs such as lemongrass, verbena and some varieties of sage are also used to flavour tea.

4. Spices

Indian spiced tea (aka “masala chai”) often uses one or a combination of spices such as ginger, cloves, cinnamon, black/white pepper, nutmeg and cardamom, and is brewed in a half-and-half mixture of milk and water with sugar. The result is a strong, somewhat relaxing beverage. However, a dash of cinnamon powder or a grating of fresh ginger can be used in most strong black teas at any stage of the brewing process.

5. Agave Nectar

Should honey not be runny enough for you, or if you don’t enjoy the flavour honey imparts, agave nectar can be used as a low-GI sugar substitute. In fact, agave nectar is sweeter than sugar, and is runny enough to dissolve easily even in iced teas.

Not pictured: the yak

Not pictured: the yak

6. Yak Butter

A life-saving drink should you be stuck in the cold mountain of Nepal. Made properly, butter tea will resemble stew, and will be just as filling. Probably best to leave the making of this tea to the experts, as the taste is unlikely to be appealing to those not accustomed to the taste.

7. Coffee

“Blasphemy!” you may say, but there is indeed a drink that fuses the two together, named Yuanyang in Hong Kong. Prepared properly with Hong Kong-style tea (which uses condensed milk), the Yuanyang is quite pleasant and has the smell of coffee with the taste of a good, creamy tea.

8. Vanilla Sugar

Pre-made vanilla-flavoured teas often use low quality vanilla essence, resulting in something rather underwhelming. Far better to get some good-quality sugar and mix it with a vanilla bean pod, and use the mixture as a sweetener for cakes as well as your tea.

9. Fruit Peel

Orange peel can be dried and used again if stored properly. Almost any fruit peel can be used as a flavouring. Apples are another favourite. Just make sure you choose organic fruit to do this, as you don’t want to drink too many chemicals.

10. Flower Blossoms

Lavender, jasmine and rose petals are popular ways of flavouring tea, and adding any can add aroma to the tea without affecting the taste too much. Teas with the scent of flowers can really make the senses whirl.

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Ten Reasons Why Tea is Better than Coffee

Hipster tea1. More people drink it.

Tea is the most consumed drink in the world after water: the majority of the population must be on to something good.

2. Health benefits.

From antioxidants to fighting cancer, tea has been associated with health rumours and facts for thousands of years. Coffee has been linked to a few benefits but can also lead to hyper-tension and heart disease.

3. It can be easier to get a coffee wrong than a tea

Whilst many tea lovers are particular, there are far fewer mistakes to be made with a cuppa, which means we have a head start on those coffee drinkers who get a cold cappuccino with no froth before they’ve even started work. Compared to making coffee – latte/cap/frap/crap – tea is relatively straightforward for even an insufficiently trained barista.

4. Teeth stains

Whilst there’s no scientific evidence as to which stains your teeth more – coffee or black tea – you can guarantee that a cup of green tea won’t get rid of your smile.

5. Tea is cheaper.

I’m just glad I don’t have to splash out on expensive beans; no wonder instant coffee is so common in the workplace.

6. You can carry your favourite flavour everywhere

Although sachets of instant coffee are handy, it won’t beat having your favourite blend ready to just add water to.

7. Tea has more culture.

Most places around the world have some sort of culture related to tea: meeting, greeting and socialising.

8.  There’s less crash and burn

Whilst there is some debate over how much caffeine is in tea and coffee when dry or brewed, it is relatively safe to say that tea doesn’t hit you hard and make you crash at around 10am. One brew can keep you focused until break time.

Tea tasting set9. Flavours.

I can never get bored of tea, whether brewing leaves or herbal, as there are so many variations to be tried. Coffee drinkers get to choose how much milk they want, whether the milk is hot or cold and how much of that milk they would like to be able to eat with a spoon. Granted there are different beans with different qualities but nothing like an oolong to brighten up your day.

10. Tea is cheaper. Again.

Your colleague asks you out for a coffee and you secretly know you can make it better in your own home for a fraction of the cost, but it doesn’t matter anyway: you’re drink is tea. And as a final bonus, even if it’s only saving you a few pennies, you can sit back and sip your brew secretly revelling in the fact that your work mate is being ripped off, slightly more than you.

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