Tea Blendz Pu-erh Tea (pronounced POO-air) is the most oxidized form of tea and often aged. Some pu-erh teas are more than 50 years old, and rare ones sell for many thousands of dollars in Asian specialty stores. Unlike other teas, which get stale over time, pu-erh can mellow and improve with age like fine wine.
You brew Tea Blendz pu-erh tea the same as you would brew our black and oolong teas. Heat good quality water to a vigorous boil. Pour the water over the tea leaves (which can be loose or in a tea ball or strainer), wait 10 seconds, then discard the water. This "opens" the leaves. Add more water and steep long enough to develop color and flavor but not so long that the tea will taste bitter. For pu-erh, two to five minutes is best. Depending on the variety, the color of the brewed tea can be pale yellow, golden, red, or dark brown. Some brewed pu-erh varieties look like coffee and taste very earthy, but connoisseurs often dismiss these as low quality. You can reuse good quality tea leaves several times; tea lovers say that the subsequent infusions taste better and better.
Because it is fully oxidized, pu-erh has a lower antioxidant content than Tea Blendz's white or green tea, but Asian cultures credit it with many health benefits, especially promotion of weight loss, reduction of serum cholesterol, and cardiovascular protection. Some research suggests that pu-erh may help lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk, wherein a Chinese study published in 2009, showed a measurable lowering of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglyceride levels, along with an increase in HDL ("good" cholesterol). We know that tea, in general, is protective against heart disease and cancer.
"I am a great fan of quality pu-erh and have had the good fortune to sample some exquisite varieties during my travels in China. Fortunately, good pu-erh is becoming easier to find in this country. Exploring these complex, venerable teas is a healthy and rewarding pursuit that I highly recommend."
Andrew Weil, M.D.
Tea Blendz has to share a delicious recipe we stumbled across on our fellow tea lover's blog Oleander + Palm. London Fog Shortbread Cookies are the perfect treat to enjoy with your favorite afternoon cup of tea
London Fog Shortbread
1 cup butter
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 vanilla bean split and scraped (1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste)
2 tbsp. Tea Blendz Earl Grey
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla, vanilla bean, and the tea. Add the flour and mix until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 mins. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Roll out the dough to a little less then 1/4" on a well floured surface. Cut out desired shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Chill the cut cookies for at least 20 mins. before baking. Bake the cookies for about 12 mins. or until the edges are just barely brown. Cool on wire racks.
These cookies freeze well in an air tight container.
Package these cookies with Tea Blendz Earl Grey Loose Tea and this would make a lovely gift!
Photo Credit: Oleander + Palm Blog
With fall here and winter on its way, the smell of cinnamon is sure to be in the air. Not only is cinnamon a delicious spice, but it has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years.
Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants, mainly highly potent polyphenols, known for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
In recent studies, cinnamon has been linked with reducing the risk of heart disease by reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Some doctors even recommend that people with type 2 diabetes ingest 1g of cinnamon a day to improve blood markers.
Cinnamon can improve sensitivity to insulin. Another way that cinnamon combats type 2 diabetes (and other serious conditions like metabolic syndrome) is by dramatically reducing insulin resistance. By allowing insulin to do its job, cinnamon helps lower blood sugar levels. Numerous trials have confirmed the anti-diabetic effects of cinnamon, showing it can lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 29%.
More information on the link between cinnamon and type 2 diabetes can be found in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.
Another health benefit of cinnamon is its link to improving neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Two compounds in cinnamon appear to help stabilize "tau" proteins in the brain. When these proteins become defective and fail to adequately stabilize, pathologies of the nervous system can develop.
Finally, cinnamon oil has been shown to effectively treat respiratory tract infections caused by fungi. Cinnamaldehyede, the main active ingredient of cinnamon, inhibits the growth of certain bacteria including Listeria and Salmonella. It may also prevent tooth decay and improve bad breath.
With all these amazing benefits (plus more we haven't touched on), cinnamon is a must have for our health. Cinnamon is available with out Tea Blendz cinnamon sticks, or several of our teas including Tropic Heat, Fiery Cinnamon or Cinapple.
White tea has a very high poly-phenol count, which deliver fabulously gorgeous benefits! A recent study demonstrated that tea drinkers may have already found their fountain of youth -- in their mug! In the study, extracts in white tea inhibited wrinkle production by strengthening elastin and collagen -- two important factors in your chances of developing what both men and women fear the most -- fine lines and wrinkles. White tea can keep your joints younger too according to this 2011 study.
Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., L.D.
The tea-takeaway. You can use tea bags or go loose leaf, drink it hot or drink it cold. Either way, tea is fabulous -- and so are all of its benefits. For all the tea veterans, keep drinking your way to good health! For those that have not yet embraced a tea-drinking habit, it's never too late to start brewing a batch!
Explore Tea Blendz's various types and flavors to find your tea-mate.