Tea Giving: Day 22 (Rooibos Chai)

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“Spices are very hot, very hip. I love spices.” – Todd English

This blend was named after a spicy girl called Christy (my niece), who at around 4 years old declared that she liked chai. We needed a chai version in the family without caffeine so she could get her spicy tea quota and not drive my brother and sister-law crazy with extra energy.

This has been one of our most popular blends for years. People that love the taste of traditional Chai but are either sensitive to caffeine (or just want an herbal version to sip at night) reach for the Chai Chai Christy blend.

Instead of black tea, its base is South African Rooibos blended with ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Not only does it taste fantastic, it packs a healthy punch:

  • South African Rooibos – high in minerals (calcium, iron, potassium, copper, fluoride, manganese, magnesium, zinc), anti-inflammatory, relieves hypertension, aids the respiratory functions, good for bones and teeth, may help prevent type II diabetes, improves circulation.
  • Cardamomcombats nausea, acidity, bloating, gas, heartburn, loss of appetite, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, detoxifies, aids cardiovascular health, controls cholesterol.
  • Gingercombats nausea, powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, aids digestion, anti-blood clotting, improved immunity and respiratory function, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal.
  • Cloves – high in minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and zinc; contains vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K; aids digestion, antibacterial, chemo-preventive or anti-carcinogenic, anti-Mutagenic, boosts immunity, anti-inflammatory, aids in headache relief, gingivitis and periodontitis.

The rich color of the liquid along with its mighty powerful ingredients, yields a wonderful chai cuppa to enjoy day or night.

So on Day 22 of our 25 Days of Tea Giving, please enjoy 25% OFF our “Chai Chai” Christy by using Code TEAGIVING22 at checkout on the Pearl Fine Teas website.

Happy Caffeine Free Sipping!
~The Chief Leaf

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Tea Giving: Day 22 (Rooibos Chai)

Tea Giving: Day 21 (Yellow Tea)

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“There’s nothing wrong with being a little unusual.”
– Emma Ishta

Chances are you’ve never heard of Yellow Tea (Tea Buds) or as it’s known in Chinese:  huángchá (黄茶; 黃茶).

It’s hard to know exactly when Yellow Tea came on the scene. There is some speculation that it was during the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1912). It was mostly produced for local consumption and less for export to a broader market which is why you may be unfamiliar with it.

Huo Shan Huang Ya is an organic, rare, hand-crafted tea from the Huo Shan Mountains in Anhui Province. This area is known for its steep, jagged mountains, springs and waterfalls, bamboo and alpine forests. There are around 75 separate peaks spread across Anhui Province region. This high elevation has rich soil which contributes to the wonder of Yellow Tea. Grown at an elevation of around 1200 meters, this tea is typically harvested in Spring.  It’s noteworthy in that the leaves are an unusual sword shape with tiny fluffy buds and a slight golden cast to the leaves.

It yields a very floral, smooth flavor with a sweetness that lingers for quite some time. The liquid is pale yellow and contributes in part to how it got its name.

huo_han_huang_ya_yellow2016060303The processing for yellow tea is similar to green but with an additional step added on after the initial drying and right before firing. That step is called “man huan” – where the leaves are steamed lightly, covered with a cloth and left to absorb additional sweet fragrances and flavors.  In green tea processing there is something called “Killing the Green” – for yellow tea its known as “sealing the yellow” and is the key to defining and classifying a yellow tea.  This unusual, additional step removes the grassy smell that is traditional of green teas. It also slows down the oxidation process so that it creates a lovely mellow taste and, of course, color. The oxidation range is around 10-20%.

There is some research that points to the immense health benefits of Huo Shan Huang Ya Yellow Tea, which of course include high levels of polyphenols and the amino acid Theanine – an amino acid that helps reduce anxiety and high blood pressure. Not only is it high in the vitamins B1, B2, and C, it’s also high in Caffeine.

“Studies have shown that yellow tea can improve lipid metabolism and protect the liver against chemical injury. Yellow tea can also chelate heavy metals, inhibit colon cancer cells, and inhibit the growth of various intestinal microorganisms, like Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Bacillus cereus.”

That’s quite an endorsement.

If you are a green tea lover, there is every reason to believe that you will also love yellow tea. Maybe even more. Many green tea loyalists have been pleasantly surprised and have started to include yellow tea in their tea drinking habit. The mellowness and that lingering natural sweetness is hard to pass by.

Today is a great day to try something unusual because its Day 21 of our 25 Days of Tea Giving and because you can enjoy 25% Off Huo Shan Huang Ya by using Code TEAGIVING21 at checkout on the website!

Happing Trying Something New!
Happy Sipping!
~The Chief Leaf

Tea Giving: Day 21 (Yellow Tea)

Tea Giving: Day 20 (Recovery Blend)

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“You can’t always control what goes on outside,
but you can control what goes on inside.” – Wayne Dyer

We could all use a little help with that. Especially currently. We have a billion things thrown at us at warp speed almost every minute of every day. It can be rough. Granted it’s not “Medieval Times in 546 A.C.” rough, but it’s our Modern Day rough.

Dr. Dyer was right: all we can really do is control how we react to any stressor lobbed at us. And while it really is true that Tea can solve just about any challenge or problem, it’s also true that herbal remedies do the same thing in terms of assisting the body, mind and spirit to help heal itself. If nothing else, it provides a pause which is a powerful and necessary healing tool for all kinds of recovery.

The morning of the 2016 Election Year, we debuted Recovery. It was hours before we knew who would be elected as the new President of the United States so and there was now way we could have known the outcome. There was no partisan hidden agenda or subliminal message to its timing either. Its purpose: to be an “inclusive remedy to help boost wellness for The Left, The Right and the Middle.”  The blend was simply was a reaction to months of people coming to us stressed out and worried at a stratospheric level over what the outcome would be.

Needless to say, we sell a lot of  Recovery. One reason may be because Washington DC daily stress is a bit more unique and concentrated than perhaps other cities. We are barraged with Politics 24/7, we have some epic level traffic jams, have had roughly 30 weekends of rain this year, and no one can ever, ever, ever escape the news because many are part of creating it. Another more important reason for its popularity? It tastes great, is soothing and has a power combination of herbs that assist in helping the body to heal and recover from stress:

  • Ginger root: Boosts immunity, calms an upset stomach, helps with nausea, warming, stimulates circulation.
  • Lemongrass: Detoxes, helps insomnia, boosts immunity, excellent tonic for nerves.
  • Lemon balm: Reduces stress and anxiety, helps promote sleep, eases indigestion.
  • Orange peel: Vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, pectin.
  • Lemon essential oil: calming, detoxifying, antiseptic, sleep inducing, anti-fungal.
  • Hibiscus: Lowers blood pressure, and boosts immune system.
  • Coriander: High in manganese, iron, magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and protein.
  • Cinnamon: High in antioxidants, lowers blood sugar levels, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal.
  • Rose petals: Immune Boost, improves digestion eases stress and anxiety.
  • Rosehips: Rich in bio flavonoids, pectin, vitamin E + B complex, selenium, manganese.
  • Roasted chicory root: Eases digestive problems, prevents heartburn, reduce arthritis pains, detoxes, boosts immunity, may reduce heart disease.

You really can’t go wrong with a concoction like this. And, don’t let the chicory throw you off. It’s a curve ball for sure, but it adds a something unexpected to the blend that just works in harmony with all of the other ingredients.

Today is Day 20 of our 25 Days of Tea, and a Sunday – the day of the week meant for recovery.  Please enjoy 25% OFF our Recovery Blend by using Code TEAGIVING20 at checkout on the website.

Happy Sipping!
~The Chief Leaf

Tea Giving: Day 20 (Recovery Blend)

Tea Giving: Day 19 (WuYi Dark Oolong)

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If Daenerys Targaryen drank tea, it would be this one. 

Wuyi Dark Oolong, also known as “Northern Fujian Black Dragon Tea” doesn’t go as far back as Game of Thrones (298 AC/seventeen years after the end of Robert’s Rebellion) but is a more recent dating back to the Ming Dynasty (c. 1368 – 1644). This style of tea was originally referred to as Rock Tea (Yan Cha) – which described the terroir from where it grew (rocky soil).  The name Black Dragon referred to the long, dark, twisted leaves which were then pan-fired to stop oxidation and baked in the final stages of processing.

Wuyi Dark Oolongs are the polar opposite to spring/ greener oolongs such as Jade and BaoZhong style which is buttery and more floral in taste.

This tea is produced at a 100% organic tea garden near Fujian that has 36 rock peaks. Only teas grown within a 60 kilometer territory are considered authentic Wuyi Tea. Wuyi Dark Oolong, is a heavily oxidized style of oolong that yields a full bodied, rich mouth-feel tea that leaves a lasting impression. Notes of sweet baked apricot, caramel, and brown sugar shine through. It’s leaves a haunting end note that begs you for more. This is a powerful, dark, rich oolong you won’t soon forget.

For those of you that are familiar with this style of tea, you will rejoice knowing that today Day 19 of our 25 Days of Christmas can enjoy 25% OFF by using code TEAGIVING19 at checkout on the website.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, this is a great time to give this type of oolong a try. It pairs brilliantly with cheeses like blue, gorgonzola. Is divine with dim sum or even Chinese Take-out delivered to your door. Any salty, heavier meals are divine with a Dark Oolong.

So get ready for last and final Season 8 of Game of Thrones and have your Wuyi Black Dragon Tea by your side. (“The things I do for love.” – Jaimie Lanister)

Happy Sipping!
~The Chief Leaf

 

Tea Giving: Day 19 (WuYi Dark Oolong)

Tea Giving: Day 18 (Cinnamon Rooibos)

 

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Not all cinnamons are created equal.


There are two types: True Cinnamon (Ceylon) and Cassia Cinnamon. The later being more common and what you find on supermarket shelves. But it’s really True Ceylon Cinnamon that we love and use in our blends.

Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of cinnamon trees. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed. As its drying the strips of bark curls into rolls which are cinnamon sticks which can then be ground into cinnamon powder. That famous cinnamon aroma is caused by the oily part of the bark and is high in a compound called cinnamaldehyde, AND THAT is cinnamons secret weapon for wellness.

Here are a few things you can expect from cinnamon:

  • Loaded with Antioxidants and polyphenols to protect your body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It’s considered a superfood and outranked garlic and oregano in antioxidant levels.
  • May cut the risk of heart disease and has been been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Helps with type 2 diabetes: 1 gram or about half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day has been shown to have beneficial effects on blood markers.
  • Reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol, the LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while keeping the “good” HDL cholesterol stable. 120 mg per day of cinnamon increased “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Cinnamon can improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin, the key hormones that regulate metabolism, energy use and is essential for transporting blood sugar from your bloodstream to your cells. It can also dramatically reduce insulin resistance.
  • Has a powerful anti-diabetic effect and can lower blood sugar by decreasing the amount of glucose that enters your bloodstream after eating by interfering with numerous digestive enzymes, which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in your digestive tract. It can also mimick insulin which improves glucose uptake by your cells, though it acts much slower than insulin itself.
  • Beneficial effects on neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, both of which are a progressive loss of the structure and function of brain cells.
  • Helps right bacterial and fungal infections, treat respiratory tract infections and can also inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, including Listeria and Salmonella. Its antimicrobial effects of cinnamon may also help prevent tooth decay and reduce bad breath.

That’s quite a list of reasons to include cinnamon in your diet. And we haven’t even talked about how good it tastes. Especially when blended into a Tea or Rooibos.

The natural sweetness of a true cinnamon comes as a shock to people when they taste Cinnamon Rooibos. “Surely, you’ve sweetened it with sugar?” is what I’m always asked. The answer is always, “Nope.”

I’ve lost track of how many people love this blend. Especially due to the fact that it helps with sugar cravings – especially at night – that time of day when you just want to pop on Netflix or Hulu and dig into a sleeve of cookies. Is this the cure for late night sugar cravings? Indeed. A cuppa Rooibos Cinnamon and you immediately forget what you were digging for in the cupboard. That’s quite a mighty endorsement and tells you how powerful this blend is.

Today is Day 18 of our 25 Days of Tea Giving which means that today you get to enjoy 25% OFF our Cinnamon Rooibos. Just use code TEAGIVING25 at checkout on the website.

Happy (low sugar) Sipping!
~The Chief Leaf

Tea Giving: Day 18 (Cinnamon Rooibos)

Tea Giving Day 17: (Breakfast Blend)

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“In Britain, a cup of tea is the answer to every problem.

Fallen off your bicycle? Nice cup of tea.
Your house has been destroyed by a meteorite? Nice cup of tea…”

 

It seems to solve every problem or challenge in the known universe. I’ve written about how the simple act of making tea starts a chemical reaction in the body and brain which promotes relaxation. It’s a ritual of comfort. And as we know about rituals, it has tremendous benefits on personal well being. Making a cup of tea says, “I care.”  It’s an act of love towards the other person and yourself.

Add to that, drinking tea has been scientifically proven to have a number of health benefits due to the antioxidants and other chemical components like L-Theanine, which helps to relieve anxiety.

The next time you’re aggravated, annoyed, upset, challenged by someone or something follow the British and:  Put on the Kettle and enjoy a cuppa. As you already know, Tea can be consumed as a warm drink or a chilled (iced tea) – which is how many Americans like it.

Tea was introduced to Britain in the 7th Century by Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese wife of King Charles II. She made sure to bring a large chest of tea with her when she arrived in England in 1662. This put drinking tea in fashion within the royal court. Over time tea made its way through class structure and became the everyday people’s drink it is today.

The habit of having tea at breakfast is said to have originated with Queen Anne the successor to King Charles II when she chose tea as her drink of choice for breakfast. The royal court and subjects began to follow her lead.

What’s interesting about traditional English Breakfast Blends is that it didn’t actually originate in England. It was a Scotsman named Drysdale who come up with the first Breakfast Blend of black tea that was quite strong. He simply called it “Breakfast Tea”  – and because Queen Victoria loved “all things Scottish” it immediately became popular.

Close up of small porcelain English teapotTea merchants in London used the power of branding and marketing and changed the name to what is now known as ENGLISH Breakfast Tea which is how its most commonly known today.

A bit cheeky of them, don’t you think? 

For those of you who love a classic cuppa, Breakfast Blend is for you. It’s a smooth blend of Indian Black teas: Assam and Darjeeling that marry together perfectly. It has the strength and character to stand up to milk or cream and sugar, but it’s balance enough to enjoy on its own.

On Day 17 of our 25 Days of Tea Giving, please enjoy 25% OFF our Breakfast Blend. Use Code TEAGIVING17 at checkout!

Go fire up the kettle… and Happy Sipping!
~The Chief Leaf

 

Tea Giving Day 17: (Breakfast Blend)

Tea Giving: Day 16 (Vanilla Bean)

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“In this moment, I am euphoric.” ― A.A. Lewis

According to Scientific tests the scent of Vanilla has a euphoric effect on the brain, uplifts the spirit, has a calming effect on the central nervous system and is a known aphrodisiac. Tests done by neurologist Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago found that:

 

“In controlled tests designed to better understand the connection between smell and sexual arousal, Dr. Hirsch had volunteers wear masks scented with an array of odors. Several fragrance combinations were found to be very effective in increasing penile blood flow. These included lavender and pumpkin pie, doughnut and black licorice and pumpkin pie and doughnut. However, mature men were most aroused by just one simple smell…vanilla! Modern science has proven what native people figured out centuries ago, and many of us discovered on our own — whether you prefer to eat, drink, or smell it, vanilla is definitely a potent character in the arena of love!”

That’s some serious TeaLove.  Back in the day, aphrodisiacs like vanilla beans were expensive and only royalty and nobility were permitted or could afford use them. Today, Vanilla is an every day, every person flavor and scent. Below are 7 interesting facts you may not have known about Vanilla:

  1. Thomas Jefferson is the one who gets credit for bringing Vanilla to the United States in 1789. After his ambassadorship in France, and upon his return to the States, he wrote to his French attaché requesting 50 vanilla pods be sent to him.
  2. Vanilla is the only fruit-bearing member of the orchid family.
  3. The flower that produces the vanilla bean lasts only one day.
  4. The beans are hand-picked and then cured, wrapped, and dried in a process that takes 4 to 6 months.
  5. After saffron, vanilla is the most expensive spice in the world.
  6. Only the melipona bee, found in Central America, can pollinate vanilla. In other parts of the world, humans duplicate the process using a wooden needle.
  7. Heliotropin in Vanilla is responsible its ability to soothe emotional tension and reduce anxiety and stress.

When you take the sweetheart of aromas (Vanilla) and blend it with Camellia Sinensis, you end up with the most with strong aromatherapy and an unrivaled nector: our Black Vanilla Bean tea. There are many Vanilla teas on the market, ours is simply and unabashedly sublime. Smooth, easy, highly aromatic, and lacking in that “chemical vanilla” taste of some others.

If you are looking for a cuppa that’s caffeinated, uplifts, soothes, brings a feeling of euphoria and may get your love engine started, then use Code TEAGIVING16 at checkout on the website to enjoy 25% OFF our Black Vanilla Bean blend on Day 16 of our 25 Days of Tea Giving.

Happy Happiness! Happy Sipping!
~The Chief Leaf

Tea Giving: Day 16 (Vanilla Bean)