“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.
Cardamom – combats nausea, acidity, bloating, gas, heartburn, loss of appetite, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, detoxifies, aids cardiovascular health, controls cholesterol.
Ginger – combats 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.
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.
Preferably a tea break. There’s really nothing more to add to that. And if you need some data to feel less guilty about the benefits or resting and relaxation, this might help:
Who are you?
A recent survey confirms that Americans feel a sense of identity from their jobs. In D.C. the ever popular questions, “So, what do you do?” is like saying Hello. But who are you really? Scheduling time to rest the same way you schedule work or other appointments, is critical to rebooting the brain. Once you are back online you may come to realize that what you do and who you are two different things. You may even be more productive. Take the advice of Benjamin Franklin:
“He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.”
The happy problem solver
Tea drinkers know that tea makes you happy. But so does resting the brain. Literally. The brain gets better at solving new problems after a good rest or even a nap. Take the advice of Sara Mednick:
Sara Mednick, author of Take A Nap, Change Your Life, led the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine study. In her TedX talk, she said, “We need to rest. We need to take more breaks. Because, you see, taking breaks is actually part of life. It’s part of being active, it’s part of being productive and having endurance, it’s part of being creative, it’s part of being happy.”
3 final convincing reason
Improved Memory – Lack of sleep can make it difficult for you to concentrate and retain information. When you sleep, your brain goes through all the activities and impressions of the day which is important for memory formation.
Heart Health – A 2010 study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night.
Fat Loss – According to a University of Chicago study, dieters lost less fat when they got only five and a half hours of sleep.
Today is Sunday, Day 13 of our 25 Days of Tea Giving and the designated “day of rest.” What will you do? Will you rest? Will you relax? Do you know how?
Rest and Relaxation is one of our wellness blends consisting of chamomile, lemongrass and a hint of lavender. We sell a lot of this here in the DC Metro Area. I bet you can guess why…
Drinking this is like adding more troups to the front to win the bug war. In other words, it packs a (throat) punch. Someone once said that our blend isn’t whimpy. She was right.
All three ingredients make for a healthy powerhouse known to improve overall well-being and seems to also work wonders with sore throats. Let’s just get right to it and list benefits of drinking this Trifecta of healing:
Reduces Cold and Flu symptoms such as inflamed and swollen membranes throughout the respiratory tract which can help reduce coughing and irritation. It can also help eliminate congestion.
Reduces inflammation and helps lower blood pressure as well as remove inflammation in the blood vessels, thereby preventing the small capillary back-ups that so commonly lead to headaches, as well as the swollen tissue of arthritis sufferers.
Detoxifies the body with the help of P-coumaric acid (a diaphoretic) which means it induces sweating, which releases toxins from the body. It’s valuable for people suffering from fevers, because sweating can help lower a fever faster.
Antioxidant properties help scavenge free radicals in your body that may cause disease. Antioxidants of note are chlorogenic acid, isoorientin, and swertiajaponin. These antioxidants may help prevent dysfunction of cells inside your coronary arteries.
Antimicrobial properties help fight abilities against Streptococcus mutans bacteria, the bacteria most responsible for tooth decay, several types of bacteria and fungus in vitro.
Anti-inflammatory properties from two of the main compounds in lemongrass, citral and geranial, are responsible for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
We all know ginger is a Superfood with Superpowers. If ginger were a Superhero it might be Superman (or Wonder Woman). The list is mighty long related to its benefits and include: Brain benefits, Cancer prevention, Antiviral and Antibacterial.
In conclusion, this infusion contains healing ingredients that also (and maybe more importantly) taste good too. There are lots of herbal remedies and teas out there that work wonders but taste like scrapings from the bottom of the forest. Or the inside of a shoe. If ya won’t drink it, it can’t help ya. Ginger Lemon – Immune Booster is one of our top Superstars and the perfect one to feature today on Day 11 of our 25 Days of Tea Giving. Please enjoy 25% OFF today by using code TEAGIVING11 at checkout on the website.
Welcome to the little hamlet where Pearl Fine Teas was born almost 11 years ago. To honor this lovely part of Washington DC, I’m finally introducing the newest member to the Pearl Fine Teas family: Healing Heart Tonic.
“Brookland evolved in the early 1870s, when the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad ran its western branch line through this area. The rail line was situated alongside a fine 1840 Greek Revival farmhouse known as the Brooks Mansion, home of Colonel Jehiel Brooks. In the late 1880s, Catholic University was established just north of Colonel Brooks’ farm. Developers quickly responded, creating a new Washington neighborhood beyond the central city and taking its name from Colonel Brooks. The university provided a centerpiece for a large number of Catholic institutions.
In the early days, Brookland, with its single-family, wood-frame houses in styles ranging from Queen Anne to Craftsman – attracted government workers, Smithsonian Institution scientists, and people of many ethnic backgrounds who shared the Catholic faith. In the 1930s, Brookland attracted affluent African Americans looking for an area that was not restricted to whites only. Of particular note are 13 International style houses designed by Hilyard Robinson and Howard H. Mackey, two of Washington’s most prominent African American architects of the era. Robinson was responsible for the Ralph Bunche house, 1510 Jackson Street, NE, built for the Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Many other prominent black Washingtonians made their home here, including the entertainer Pearl Bailey, the poet Sterling Brown, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Robert Weaver, Senator Edward Brooke, and historian Rayford Logan. Brookland enjoys an interesting history of civic activism. Most recently it rescued the Brooks Mansion, which still stands near the Brookland Metro station, a symbol of this community and its heritage.”
I first discovered this little enclave back in 2003 – a hidden gem, devoid of trend and pretension. I loved the diversity of people, the loving warm-hearted neighbors, the chirping birds, the stunning green spaces with gardens galore – and the gorgeous refuge of the Franciscan Monastery where you often see a Monk or Nun strolling in deep contemplation and reflection. A quiet walk through the rose garden instantly infuses a sense of peace and puts all things in perfect perspective. As a member of the Franciscan Garden Guild, I’ve spent time in the greenhouse, helping with the famous yearly Plant Sale and even learned how to extract honey from the bees they keep.
My neighborhood has inspired me in so many ways – mostly notably with the profound friendships I’ve made living here that have touched and warmed my heart – specifically my good friend Bill. He is no longer with us, but I had the privilege of being his next door neighbor for 14 years. We had a lot of fun during those years and he taught me a thing or 10 about everything from how to install a light fixture to how to navigate some of life’s steeper slopes. It was a joyful friendship and one I deeply cherish. It’s also why I wanted to create a blend that reflected and honored that special friendship – which was born right here in Brookland.
Bill was a Deacon in his Church; He loved roses, and chewing on lemon grass and good ole’ fashioned ginger root. The Brookland Healing Heart Tonic is a blend of those 3 ingredients and is totally caffeine free, healing, and heart warming. Besides the emotional healing benefits of this tisane, there are also many actual health benefits to this wellness tonic:
• Naturally uplifting (especially for those prone to feeling down or depressed)
• Regulates hormone levels (how the neurotransmitters in our brain are regulated)
• Can help to improve liver function and increase urination (natural diuretic)
• Releases toxins from the body
• Good source of Vitamin C (improves immunity)
• May also help treat arthritis, menstrual cramps, cold/flu, digestive issues, and insomnia
• Traditionally used to help control and normalize heart rate and for high blood pressure.
• Used for the treatment of depression and anxiety
• Anti-bacterial and Anti-fungal
• Loaded with Vitamin C (improves immunity)
• Citral is the active constituent and lemon grass has the highest concentration of it compared to any other plant in the world. Citral has antioxidant and anti-tumor properties that both benefit the brain.
• Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Fungal
• Boots Immunity
• Aids digestion and relief from nausea
• Improves heart disease risk factors
• May lower Cholesterol
• May have powerful anti-diabetic properties
• Can lead to significant reductions in LDL cholesterol and blood triglyceride level (similar extent as the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin)
• Studies show its effective at reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis
• Can protect against age-related damage to the brain (Alzheimers) and can also improve brain function in elderly women
Healing Heart Tonic (District Blend #02: Brookland) will debut at markets on:
As I was thinking about what tea to discuss for today, it occurred to me that talking about rituals around tea seemed timely. So, I’m detouring during our 25 Days of Tea adventure to talk about a ritual of making Full Moon Water during this full moon phase which is today, December 13, 2016. It’s the last Super Moon of the year called the Full Cold Moon, and right before the Winter Solstice.Seems like perfect timing.
Websters definition of ritual is: 1 : of or relating to rites or a ritual :ceremonial <a ritual dance>
2 : according to religious law <ritual purity>
3 : done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol <ritual handshakes> <ritual background checks>
But I like this one: “a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence.”
Rituals often bring a sense of comfort, serenity and peace. (Who doesn’t want that). And as we know, rituals and tea go hand in hand. It dates back thousands of years in almost every tea culture. The Japanese tea ceremony, the Gong Fu Chinese tea ceremony, Korean tea ceremony, even the British “ceremony” of teatime affords us the gift of being present and connecting to those we are sharing tea with, our surroundings, nature and most importantly: ourselves. You can read a very interesting article by Richard Carrico in Cultural Anthropologythat outlines the concept of ritual. He writes that “Ritual is in fact an inevitable component of culture, extending from the largest-scale social and political processes to the most intimate aspects of our self-experience.”
One ritual that may not be widely known is that of charging water. And since water is as important as tea, this seemed very interesting to me. I’m not sure where it originated (it may be Shaman) and it may sound bit hocus pocus but what the heck. Things thrive under the warmth and light of the sun, so why not the moon? Let’s give it a shot tonight during this last Supermoon and see if we can infuse some good positive vibes into our cuppa and ourselves.
Here’s how it works:
The idea is to take fresh water (without any chemicals) and place it in a glass or crystal bowl and set it either on your window sill to catch the moon rays, or outside (covered with a light plastic wrap to keep out bugs and debris). You leave it there all night. The water is said to be charged in the morning with positive energy having collected the light from the full moon. Some say it even tastes different. Let’s find out by making Full Moon Water tonight and then making our tea in it tomorrow. Perhaps we’ll feel energized. Perhaps calm and serene. Or maybe we won’t feel anything, but we will have tried something different that involves tea, and that in itself could turn into a ritual: always trying something new.
Though I already wrote a post about our Recovery Blend in November and the components of the blend, I’m going to offer it up for today’s special since an herbal remedy seems to be right on target for our full moon water experiment.
This blend is a combination of strong ginger root, lemongrass, and a sprinkle of linden. Many people find tremendous relief from everything from sore throats to the common cold with this powerful trifecta of herbs. Here is a little breakdown of some of the properties of each ingredient:
1. Ginger root: Spicy, peppery flavor, anti-inflammatory, aids nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain. Boosts immunity and has been known to protect against certain types of cancers, especially ovarian (Dr. Liu/University of Michigan). 2. Lemongrass: lemony, tart, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, helps digestive tract spasms, high blood pressure, achy joints (rheumatism), fever, the common cold, and exhaustion. 3. Linden: earthy, detox, aids colds/flu, inflammation, indigestion, helps with anxiety, natural sedative, heart support.
• Overview: Powerful healing blend known to aid wellness and recovery from illnesses like sore throats and colds. • Dry Leaf: Mixture of herbs including dried ginger root, lemongrass stalks and linden. • Liquor (liquid): Very pale yellow • Aroma: Ginger is upfront and the lemongrass wafts in the background • Flavor notes: It’s got a nice peppery kick from the ginger root and yet is easy to sip. The tart lemongrass is a nice compliment to the ginger. Smooth. • Brewing recommendation: Rolling boil / 212° Fº / 5+ minutes. • Caffeine: No
Happy New Year, TeaPeeps™. Here we are in the middle of January, and this only my second blog post. Where has the time gone? You’ll be happy to know I’ve been sipping and sampling some very nice teas these last few weeks. I’m a lucky TeaGirl!
Ok, so the big news for the new year is that our “Drink for Change” Obama Blendtea has made it to TEA. A MAGAZINE. Yep you will see it, yet again, on the cover of the Winter 2009 Issue. Thanks to Pearl Dexter, Editor/Publisher for approaching us! She has also featured a little story about us and Jack Chengon Page 28. See what one little Twittercan do? If you haven’t already picked up your issue, scurry on out and scoop up a copy. This issue could sell out quickly! I believe it hits news stands… any second. History making cover? Yes. Amazing tea illustration? Absolutely. Tasty tea blend? You will love it.
Order Drink for Change! $15.50 (3 oz) Let me be absolutely clear, this organic African Red Bush Rooibos based tea has Honeybush, Pineapple, Papaya, Ginger, Rose petals and Cornflowers. It’s smooth, fresh and lacks bitterness. Environmentally friendly, unexpected, and a little left of center. Contributes to your overall well being and Health(care). Steep for 3-5 minutes and enjoy. Caffeine Free!
*10% of each sale will go to the Washington Humane Society
** Tea illustration by Jack Cheng
Here’s to our new President Barack Obama (let’s send him positive energy) and the beginning of living and sipping change!