Sunday, February 22, 2009

Results of Tea & Wine

Well, on Open That Bottle Night we had wine and tea! We opened a bottle of 2004 V. Sattui Family Red from one of our favorite Napa Valley vineyards and reminisced about drinking the very same wine outside of the winery with a picnic of hard cheese and french bread. It was our last bottle from a case we brought home with us in 2006and we enjoyed every last drop! It isn't a fancy wine but one that we love and brings back happy memories. By 9pm I was missing my evening tea so I decided to have a cup of oolong that a customer brought home with them from Taiwan. It was a delicious treat...who ever said wine and tea don't mix?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Open That Bottle Night- Tea & Wine?

Tonight is Open That Bottle Night started by the famous Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher. As someone who was interested in wine before tea, and whose husband is an avid wine collector, I am always surprised by the similarities between tea and wine(don't laugh!). Tea can offer complex fragrances that can be floral, fruity or savory based upon on the variety of tea leaves and the way they are processed. Tea even conveys terroir- flavors of the earth reflecting where the tea leaves were grown (don't believe it? Try Pu-erh!). Tea can also be light bodied or full bodied and some experts believe that tea tasting can sharpen the palettes for improved wine tasting. So... if you aren't a wine drinker (or even if you are)... consider a full bodied, savory Lapsang Souchong or a light and clean Sencha.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rooibos- The Cure All?

I have a nice following of customers who love Rooibos (otherwise known as Red Tea) with a few of them drinking it strictly for medicinal purposes. It has no caffeine and contains iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium as well as calcium and fluoride. Rooibos is an excellent anti-spasmodic that aides upset stomach, is safe for pregnant women and helps babies with colic. The significant antioxidant properties help fight free radicals and it is showing up some prestigious cosmetic lines- be on the look out for "red tea serum". I was recently in a large natural food grocery market and was reading the ingredients on the labels of a nationally known tea line that comes packaged in pretty silver canisters. They had: Detox Tea, Pregnancy Tea, Skin Repair Tea, Weight Loss Tea, Digestive Tea and Relaxation Tea. Every one of the teas had Rooibos listed as the #1 ingredient.

For your best results, try loose organic Rooibos and add your own "healthy" ingredients.

Digestive Infusion/Upset Stomach: For a 12 ounce cup: Steep 1 tsp of organic Rooibos and 1 tsp of fresh ginger for 6 minutes. Strain and enjoy. ** For a sweet treat substitute 1 piece of crystallized ginger for the fresh ginger.

Relaxation Infusion: For a 12 ounce cup: Steep 1 tsp of organic Roobios and add 1 tsp of dried chamomile for 6 minutes. Strain and enjoy.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Power of Ginger

I regularly sell black and green tea mixed with ginger to customers who have sore throats or upset stomachs. I have also read about the powerful anti-nausea benefits of ginger but never had a first hand experience until last weekend when my husband and I went out to dinner with friends and on the ride home the nauseous feeling I had was overwhelming. Thus began a 24 hour vomiting episode that ended in the emergency room where I was told that I had "The Virus" and not food poisoning as I had self-diagnosed. I was given an IV with medicine to stop the nausea and felt much better when I got home. Within a few hours the good feeling was gone and I was in full virus mode again. I took the anti-nausea medicine the ER doctor sent home with me and ultimately realized it was worthless. On the third afternoon I was laying in bed and remembered that ginger is supposed to quell motion sickness so I sent my husband to the market to purchase some ginger (that is another story all together). I peeled about a tablespoon amount of the ginger and cut it into small slices. I boiled the ginger with about 16 ounces of water for about 5 minutes and added a teaspoon of raw honey. The ginger infusion shockingly worked better than the medication and a cup every hour killed the virus for good!