Archive for October, 2012

Bewitching Blood Orange Brew

With Halloween a mere five days away and Halloweekend already upon us, it’s high time for a recipe that will tickle your tastebuds and spook your soul!

This autumn, we have created a concoction with our Blood Orange tea and organic pomegranate Italian soda, topped off with a hand-shaped ice block. Our favorite combination blends iced Blood Orange tea to pomegranate Italian soda at a 2:1 ratio. (Read our iced tea instructions online for best practices!)

The resulting beverage is fruity and tart without a hint of artificial flavoring – a welcome change from the usually corn-syrup-crammed holiday! To make enough punch for a crowd, pour a 750ml organic pomegranate Italian soda into a large punch bowl and brew 1500ml of Blood Orange iced tea. Add your tea to the bowl for a bloody delicious mixture! For the icy hand floating about in your cauldron, follow these instructions. This sweet and scary punch is sure to please at your big Halloween bash!

P.S. For the ghoulishly grown-up version, add vodka as you see fit.

Tea for the Tillerman

Tea for the Tillerman

Just arrived 6000 ft Ali shan. Some seriously windy roads, a great driver, and tired from a good long day. We visited another tea research station in yuchi for a tea cupping of some newly released cultivars. Delicious highly oxidized, not quite black teas that Thomas has dubbed Brandy oolong.

Then we visited dong-feng farm near Sun Moon Lake for some muscle building tea rolling. We were each given a basket of freshly withered leaves to roll. Rolling breaks the cells of the plant, releasing the juices and prepared the leaves for drying. It took about 45 minutes to get them to the proper condition. The aroma coming off the leaves from this process was amazing: very camphor and cinnamon like.

After our workout, we climbed up the mountain in our little van, as we told hair-raising stories of other mountain bus trips we had survived. This is a really fun group! Tomorrow is an 18 hour jade oolong manufacturing day. I absolutely love it here. Plus, I got some great video of an organic tea garden that butted up against a sheer half mile drop off the mountain. Can’t wait to share it with you when I get back to Austin!

-Dr. Oolong

Dr. Oolong’s Travel Blog: Hello from Taiwan!

After two lovely and surprisingly relaxing days in old Taipai, I am up at the crack of dawn for a day trip to Wenshan. I am amazed by how small this country is; the mountain is only an hour away! It has seemed so far, but now that I’ve arrived, I feel like I’m already in the tea fields.

I’m here to take part in the Taiwan Oolongs Study Tour (TOST). It is an intensive week-long tea sojourn, which includes visits to Taiwan’s tea gardens, factories, museums, tea-houses, and farms. We’ll visit with farmers, scientists, and tea enthusiasts along the way. Every possible minute is packed with educational tea information, and I can’t wait!Last night at the TOST welcoming event, I got to meet the heavy hitters in the Taiwan tea business.

There was over 200 years of combined experience in the room. And these guys are funny! I felt like I was hanging out with the Rolling Stones of tea. These guys are living proof that drinking tea keeps you young. One tea master, whom I will call “Mick,” is 74 and has more energy than most 30 year olds I know.On the agenda this week is a visit to TRES (the Taiwan research and extension station), the won Wong tea factory, and yilan San tai tea farm for hands-on tea processing. I get to pluck my first tea leaves!  And, of course, I’m looking forward to new friends, lots of tea, and tons of amazing food. This week is going to rock. Now for a pot of tea at 5 a.m. to “Start Me Up”. Couldn’t resist ;)

-Dr. Oolong

 

The Wonders and Benefits of Pu-erh Tea

Pu-erh is one of the oldest types of tea in China with a history of over 1700 years, tracing back to the Eastern Han Dynasty. During its height of popularity, the tea was freely traded even used as money for the bartering of goods. Pu-erh gets its name from the city of Pu-erh in south-western China where the trade for Pu-erh was conducted. Not far from Pu-erh are the areas of Xishuangbanna and Simou, where cultivation and processing of the tea is carried out today.

Unlike other teas, the processing of pu-erh is carefully guarded. In the past, trespassers mistaken as spies on pu-erh tea farms were known to be killed. To this day, the secrets of processing pu-erh remains ruthlessly guarded and it is only in China where genuine Pu-erh tea can be produced. The most basic processing methods include roasting the leaves right after they’re picked. After being roasted, theleaves are sun-dried before being steamed slightly and allowed to ferment. Some pu-erh manufacturers ferment the tea twice, making the flavor more intense.

Pu-Erh tea is known for being a great tea to drink for digestion, especially after a heavy meal. It also helps lower cholesterol which has been confirmed by several customers who drink a lot of it. Dr. Oz likes this tea for it’s fat shrinking ability.

Pu-erh’s post-fermentation process is similar to wine, cheese and saurkraut. The aging process allows the tea to develop added complexity in character. Some would say the tea has an earthy, moss like character. With active microbes living within the tea, pu-erh evolves with each passing year.

Pu-erh is traditionally compressed and packed into tea cakes or bricks to age. This originated from the natural aging process that happened in the storerooms of tea drinkers and merchants, as well as on horseback caravans on the Silk Road. This method made it easy to transport the tea by horseback and reduced the damage to the tea during travel.

Two antioxidant compounds, theabrownin and gallic acid, activate enzymes in our body responsible for fat metabolism. These antioxidants shrink fat tissue and help the body keep fat off weeks after ingestion. Plus, the caffeine in pu-erh helps speed metabolism, making the body more efficient at digesting a meal. Enjoy some today!

Science time! Green tea extract eradicates cancer tumors.

A study published in the journal Nanomedicine offers more proof to the medicinal benefits of green tea.

Scientists from The University of Strathclyde injected cancerous tumors with a concentrated green tea extract that had been studied before. This was the first time researchers have managed to get positive results from such an experiment.

By using targeted therapy, researchers were able to deliver the green tea compound direct to the tumor. One type of human skin cancer showed 40 percent of tumors disappeared after a month of treatment!

Not only is green tea completely delicious, but it’s clear that all the hype has some real science behind it: green tea really can be a life saver.

Read the entire amazing article here!