Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Tea Punch (Adults only please)

Christmas Tea Punch

4TBSP Loose leaf black tea
(we recommend Java Kertasarie)
2 cups white rock sugar

3 cups of water, just below a boil
the juice of three lemons
3 sticks of Cinnamon

9 cloves

9 1/2 cups of dry red wine (we recommend a good Shiraz/Syrah)

Steep the black tea and cloves in the 3 cups of water for 3 1/2 minutes. Strain and discard tea leaves and cloves.
Mix with rock sugar, cloves, cinnamon and lemon juice and bring to the boil.

Add wine and reheat but do not boil. Perfect in a crockpot set on low.

Serve hot in fireproof glasses. Serves 24.

(The tea, rock sugar and cloves are all available at SensibiliTeas, Cinnamon sticks are currently out of stock, but one tablespoon of cinnamon chips from SensibiliTeas will work fine as well)

SensibiliTeas will be open Thursday 12/23 1pm-5pm and Friday 12/24 10am-5pm.
Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice

This morning there was a full moon and a lunar eclipse. The sun entered the astrological sign of Capricorn. This combination of events will not occur again in our lifetime! In fact, the last time I figure it happened was December 21, 1638, and it won't happen again until December 21, 2094! Haven't figured out yet when the last time these events occurred while Mercury was in retrograde. The holiday season is a little to busy for that kind of research!

Today is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. It's winter in the Northern Hemisphere (or summer if you're in the Southern Hemisphere!)

Poets over the ages have proffered plenty of advice for the coming months. Poet Pietro Aretino, born in the 15th century, said, "Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius." William Blake wrote, "In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy." There's a Japanese proverb that says, "One kind word can warm three winter months."

Emily Dickinson wrote, "There's a certain Slant of light, Winter Afternoons — That oppresses, like the Heft Of Cathedral Tunes." Existentialist Albert Camus wrote, "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." Victor Hugo once said, "Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart."

American writer Minna Antrim gave these instructions-in-verse:

"Brew me a cup for a winter's night.
For the wind howls loud and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care,

And I'll toast our bright eyes, my sweetheart fair."

Were any of you lucky enough to glimpse the lunar eclipse with a delicious cup of tea held in your hands? No such luck here. As for most astrological events (it seems) it was cloudy. But I had the cup of tea in my hands ... I almost always do! For those of you who missed it here's a video of last night's lunar eclipse!
Grab a cup of awesome tea and enjoy!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Beehouse teapots have arrived!

Isn't she lovely?! We have a whole new line of teapots in stock. From the Beehouse line from Zero in Japan. We have a wide variety of colors and finishes in stock in both a 15oz model and a 22oz model. Each pot comes with an infuser basket, so all you need do is add water and tea! If we don't have a color you love, ask to see the color chart and we can special order yours with our next order! 101 colors from which to choose!

Stop by the Shirt Factory Open House this weekend, Saturday and Sunday Dec 11 & 12 from 10am-5pm and see the new Beehouse teapot line! You'll love them!
(Other products may also be available via special order)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Let's play Trick or Treat!

Between now and Halloween, let's play trick or treat at the tea shop! With any purchase, receive your choice of any of our prepackaged one ounce packages of tea just for saying trick or treat!
And if you come in dressed like the mad hatter, I'll think of something very special for you!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Lower risk of brain tumor for coffee and tea drinkers

(Reuters Health) - Coffee and tea lovers may have a decreased likelihood of developing the most common form of malignant brain tumor in adults, a new study suggests. The findings, from a study of more than 500,000 European adults, add to evidence from a recent U.S. study linking higher coffee and tea intake to a lower risk of gliomas, a group of brain tumors that makes up about 80 percent of malignant brain cancers in adults.

It does not, however, prove that the beverages themselves confer the protection.

"This is all very preliminary," said lead researcher Dominique Michaud, of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and Imperial College London. "This study shouldn't be the reason that anyone changes their coffee or tea intake."

And even if coffee and tea have some direct effect on glioma risk, the impact would be small. Brain tumors in general are uncommon; in Europe, for instance, annual rates are estimated at between four and six cases per 100,000 women, and six to eight cases for every 100,000 men.

Overall, the odds that a person will develop a malignant (cancerous) brain tumor in his or her lifetime are less than 1 percent.

Still, Michaud said, if higher coffee and tea intake is somehow protective against glioma, that could give researchers insight into the causes of the tumors. "Right now, we don't know much about what causes brain cancer," she noted in an interview.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, come from an ongoing study in 10 European countries investigating potential risk factors for cancer. At the outset, 521,488 men and women between the ages of 25 and 70 completed detailed questionnaires on their medical history, diet, exercise habits, smoking and other lifestyle factors.

For their analysis, Michaud's team focused on more than 410,000 participants who were cancer-free at the outset and had complete dietary information. Over an average of 8.5 years of follow-up, 343 of these men and women were diagnosed with glioma; another 245 were diagnosed with another, usually benign type of brain tumor called meningioma.

When the researchers divided the study participants into four to five groups based on their coffee and tea intake at the outset, they found no evidence of a "dose-response" relationship -- that is, a decreasing glioma risk as coffee and tea consumption climbed.

The findings were different, however, when the researchers looked at two groups: those who averaged at least 3.5 ounces of coffee or tea per day, and those who drank less or none at all.

The heavier coffee/tea consumers were one-third less likely to be diagnosed with glioma, with factors such as age and smoking history taken into account. There was no connection seen with meningioma risk.

According to Michaud, it's not clear why there was no evidence of a dose-response association between coffee and tea intake and the risk of glioma -- which is generally considered a stronger sign of a possible cause-and-effect relationship. But it may be related to difficulties in precisely measuring study participants' coffee and tea intake, which was dependent on self-reports.

It is biologically plausible that coffee and/or tea could affect glioma risk, Michaud said. A recent lab study, for example, found that caffeine appeared to slow the growth of a type of glioma called glioblastoma. In addition, both coffee and tea contain antioxidants, which help protect body cells from damage that can lead to cancer and other diseases.

However, it's also possible that coffee and tea enthusiasts have other characteristics that might affect their likelihood of glioma development. Just what those characteristics might be is unknown, as the causes of most brain tumors are unknown.

Researchers know of some risk factors. People who undergo radiation therapy -- most commonly radiation of the head to treat other cancers -- have a heightened risk of a future brain tumor. And genetic predisposition appears to play a role in a small percentage of brain tumors.

But the evidence on dietary or environmental factors, like on-the-job chemical exposures, has been inconclusive.
Michaud said that more research is needed both to confirm that there is an association between coffee and tea intake and glioma risk, and to understand the underlying reasons. SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online September 15, 2010.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

EGCG in green tea

Scientists from the UK and Spain have discovered a compound found in green tea that inhibits the growth of cancer cells. The joint in vitro study confirmed that naturally occurring polyphenol, EGCG (epigallocathecin gallate), prevents cancer cells from growing by binding to a specific enzyme, thereby stopping this enzyme from making DNA. According to scientists, this helps explain decreased rates of certain cancers in regular tea drinkers. Concentrations used in the test are equivalent to those found in the blood of people who drink 2 or 3 cups of green tea a day. Researchers hope that this breakthrough will lead to new anti-cancer drugs based on the structure of the EGCG molecule.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bottled vs. brewed teas: Study reveals healthiest teas

Labels on bottled tea beverages are typically plastered with declarations of their rich antioxidant content. But a new study suggests, if you're looking for high doses of healthful antioxidants, you might be better off brewing your tea at home.

Many of the popular beverages included in the study contain fewer antioxidants than a single cup of home-brewed green or black tea, the researchers say. Some store-bought teas contain such small amounts that consumers would have to drink 20 bottles to get the antioxidants, also called polyphenols, present in one cup of tea.

"There is a huge gap between the perception that tea consumption is healthy and the actual amount of the healthful nutrients — polyphenols — found in bottled tea beverages. Our analysis of tea beverages found that the polyphenol content is extremely low," said study researcher Shiming Li, an analytical and natural product chemist at WellGen, Inc., a biotechnology company in North Brunswick, N.J., that develops medical foods for patients with diseases, including a proprietary black tea product that will be marketed for its anti-inflammatory benefits.

In addition, bottled beverages often contain large amounts of sugar that health-conscious consumers may be trying to avoid, Li said.

The study was presented Aug. 22 at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Boston.

Bottled vs. brewed
Antioxidants are substances that protect cells against damage from unstable molecules called free radicals. They may play a role in preventing a host of diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's.

Li and colleagues measured the level of polyphenols of six brands of tea purchased from supermarkets. Half of them contained what Li characterized as "virtually no" antioxidants. The rest had small amounts of polyphenols that Li said probably would carry little health benefit, especially when considering the high sugar intake from tea beverages.

The six teas Li analyzed contained 81, 43, 40, 13, 4, and 3 milligrams of polyphenols per 16-ounce bottle. One average cup of home-brewed green or black tea, which costs only a few cents, contains 50-150 milligrams of polyphenols.

Less tea, more water
After water, tea is the world's most widely consumed beverage. Tea sales in the United States have quadrupled since 1990 and now total about $7 billion annually.

Some manufacturers do list polyphenol content on the bottle label, Li said. But the amounts may be incorrect, because there are no industry or government standards or guidelines for measuring and listing the polyphenolic compounds in a given product. A regular tea bag, for example, weighs about 2.2 grams and could contain as much as 175 mg of polyphenols, Li said. But polyphenols degrade and disappear as the tea bag is steeped in hot water. The polyphenol content also may vary as manufacturers change their processes, including the quantity and quality of tea used to prepare a batch and the tea brewing time.

"Polyphenols are bitter and astringent, but to target as many consumers as they can, manufacturers want to keep the bitterness and astringency at a minimum," Li explained. "The simplest way is to add less tea, which makes the tea polyphenol content low but tastes smoother and sweeter."

Li used a standard laboratory technique, termed high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), to make what he described as the first measurements of polyphenols in bottled tea beverages. He hopes the research will encourage similar use of HPLC by manufacturers and others to provide consumers with better nutritional information.

(Article posted by MSNBC news 08/22/10)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tea, Fluoride and You ...

Recently researchers at the Medical College of Georgia determined that there is far more fluoride in tea than originally thought.
Excerpts from a recent article:
``Most published reports show 1 to 5 milligrams of fluoride per liter of black tea, but a new study shows that number could be as high as 9 milligrams.''

``Whitford discovered that the fluoride concentration in black tea had long been underestimated when he began analyzing data from four patients with advanced skeletal fluorosis, a disease caused by excessive fluoride consumption and characterized by joint and bone pain and damage. While it is extremely rare in the United States, the common link between these four patients was their tea consumption -- each person drank 1 to 2 gallons of tea daily for the past 10 to 30 years.''

Please note that the report of study does not indicate whether or not the tea was made the fluoridated water, not does it provide the source of the tea. It does, though, note that the study involved analyzing date from four patients -- who each drank 1 to 2 gallons of tea a day. Really? 1-2 gallons a day??? Even I don't do that ...

But let's understand how the fluoride gets into the tea in the first place.
The tea plant absorbs fluoride from the soil. It would stand to reason that it's the older leaves that have the higher levels of fluoride.
Loose leaf tea is typically two leaves and a bud -- the newest growth -- and is
most usually handpicked. The leaves can be used to make white tea, yellow tea, green tea, black tea or oolong or pu-erh. The difference is in the processing.
White tea is steamed and dried quickly. The steaming stops the oxidation.
Yellow tea is steamed and dried slowly. The steaming stops the oxidation.
Green tea is pan-fried, or rolled and pan-fried or baked to stop further
Oolongs are bruised and baked to stop further oxidation.
Black teas are allowed to fully oxidize before firing.
Pu-Erh is green or black tea that is aged after oxidation or firing. This is not
the same as brick tea.

The issue is not how old the leaf is, but rather how long the leave was on the
bush. Even if the tea is coming from trees 100 years old, the fluoride content will
not be as great in the newly grown leaves, which is what is typically harvested
for higher quality teas.

Lower quality teas, such as bagged tea from the grocer, are typically machine
harvested. The machine is unable to distinguish between new growth and older
leaves, so the bagged tea often contains some older leaves. Organic farming is
also not that important to the producers of bagged teas, so higher levels of
fluoride may exist in the soil.

Brick teas are typically made of lower grade leaves ... this means leaves
further down the stem -- 3rd leaf or lower -- or leaves that have been on the
plant longer. The leaves are then ground. They absorb more fluoride from the
soil (assuming there is high levels of fluoride in the soil.) because they are
on the plant longer.

Higher levels of fluoride exist in soil that has been fertilized or that have
been exposed to pesticides. Organically grown tea plants would not use
fertilizers and pesticides that would increase the level of fluoride in the
soil, and therefore the fluoride in the tea leaves.

Adults can safely intake 3.0-4.0 mg of fluoride per day without great risk of
fluorosis or acute toxicity. Fluorosis occurs when an individual has consumed
more 10mg. or fluoride per day over an extended period of time. As for toxicity,
the lowest dose that could trigger adverse symptoms is considered to be 5 mg/kg
of body weight, with the lowest potentially fatal dose considered 15 mg/kg of
body weight typically taken in over an extended period of time. Here are some
handy fluoride number I hope you'll find useful.

Fluoride Content of Teas
Type of Tea
Fluoride (mg/liter) Fluoride (mg/8 ounces)
Green 1.2-1.7 0.3-0.4
Oolong 0.6-1.0 0.1-0.2
Black 1.0-1.9 0.2-0.5
Brick tea 2.2-7.3 0.5-1.7

Food Serving Fluoride (mg)
Tea 100 ml (3.5 fluid ounces) 0.1-0.6
Grape juice 100 ml (3.5 fluid ounces) 0.02-0.28
Canned sardines (with bones) 100 g (3.5 ounces) 0.2-0.4
Fish (without bones) 100 g (3.5 ounces) 0.01-0.17
Chicken 100g (3.5 ounces) 0.06-0.10

So while it is always good to be especially cognizant of the foods and beverages
you consume, you should feel comfortable drinking tea in moderation.
You can always opt for preparing you tea with non-fluoridated water, or
alternating between real tea and herbal teas.

Tea is still far more beneficial than harmful.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blueberry-Lemon Iced Tea

Get refreshed with this antioxidant powerhouse!

Blueberry-Lemon Iced Tea

• 1 (16-oz.) package frozen blueberries
or 1 pint fresh blueberries
• 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
• 4 cups water
• 2 Tbsp loose black tea
• 3/4 cup sugar

Bring blueberries and lemon juice to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, using back of a spoon to squeeze out juice. Discard solids.
Boil 2 cups of water. In one cup of water, steep black tea in for 3-4 minutes. Remove tea leaves and discard. In the other cup of water, dissolve the sugar. Add blueberry/lemon juice mixture, the dissolved sugar and 2 cups of cold water to the tea. Pour into a pitcher; cover and chill 1 hour. Serve over ice. Garnish with lemons and blueberries. Enjoy with friends!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer's here!

On June 21 at 7:28am EDT (11:28am GMT) summer will finally be here!
What better way to celebrate than a bowl of delicious frosty ice cream!

Green Tea and White Chocolate Ice Cream

8 ounces white chocolate, chopped into pieces, about 1/2 inch
2 cups light cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp pure vanilla
5 large egg yolks (be sure they are at room temp)
3/4 cup light brown sugar (more if you like sweet ice cream)
2 Tbsp matcha

1. Mix the creams and extract in a saucepan and heat to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks.
3. In a small bowl mix the brown sugar with the green matcha making sure to completely incorporate the matcha.
4. Add the brown sugar/green tea mixture to the egg yolks and blend.
5. Add 1/4 cup of cream at a time to the egg/tea blend and whisk until fully incorporated. Pour it back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat until the custard is thick, at about 170°F.
6. Remove the custard from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl of chopped white chocolate pieces. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Let the custard cool to room temp and them cover and chill in the fridge overnight.
7. The following day, processing in an ice cream make according to the manufacturers instructions.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Spiced Iced is so Nice!

Who said iced tea has to be fruity, or spicy tea can only be served hot? Spiced teas make surprisingly good iced teas!
Spiced Iced is so Nice!


3 TBSP loose leaf black tea
4 cups water
12 whole cloves
12 allspice berries
A 2-inch cinnamon stick

1. Pour water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer,not a boil. (When steam is slow and lazy and small bubbles have started to appear on the bottom of the pot, remove from the heat)
2. Add tea, cloves, allspice and cinnamon.
3. Cover and steep the mix for about 5 minutes. Strain out all the spices and tea leaves, and then put in the fridge to chill thoroughly. Serve this spiced iced tea over ice. Garnish with lemon slices.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Classic Southern Sweet Tea

Yes, Classic Southern Sweet Tea is loaded with sugar, but it's still far less sugar than any sweetened bottle product contains, and you can control how much sugar is in your iced tea. This recipe is a little less sweet than a deep south sweet tea, but perhaps plenty sweet enough for the Yankee palate.

For each quart:

2 cups near boiling water (175°F-185°F)
2 Tbsp loose black tea (in a large tea ball, Tsac or cheesecloth)

1/2 cup white sugar

2 cups cold water
1 pinch (1/16 tsp) baking soda


1. Heat 2 cups of the water to just below boiling. (175°F-185°F) 2. Steep the tea with the baking soda in the 1 cup of the hot water for about 3-4 minutes. 3. Dissolve the sugar in 1 cup of hot water. 4. Remove the tea leaves from the brewed tea concentrate. 5. Add the hot tea and the dissolved sugar to the cold water. 6. Chill until ready to serve. Serve over ice. Garnish as desired.
For best results, SensibiliTeas recommends Java Malabar or Assam 1947 for this recipe. Large TSacs for making larger quantities of tea are available at SensibiliTeas. These TSacs are also great for making mulled wine or cider later in the year.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Basic Iced Tea Recipe

This is the basic iced tea recipe. In any recipe I provide you in the future that makes reference to brewed tea, this is the recipe I mean! Takes only a few minutes and packs 10 times more antioxidants than a bottle iced tea!

For each quart:
2 cups near boiling water (175°F-185°F)
2 Tbsp loose black tea (in a large tea ball, Tsac or cheesecloth)
2 cups cold water

1. Heat 2 cups of the water to just below boiling. (175°F-185°F)
2. Placed the tea leaves in 1 cup of hot water and cover and steep for about 3-4 minutes (or as otherwise recommended by SensibiliTeas)
3. Remove the tea leaves.
4. Add the hot tea to the cold water.
5. Chill until ready to serve. Serve over ice. Garnish as desired.


Large TSacs for making larger quantities of tea are available at
These TSacs are also great for making mulled wine or cider later in the year.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

It's National Iced Tea Month

Yes ... that's right! National Iced Tea Month!
Did you know that iced tea is made from ... TEA!
You wouldn't know it by reading the labels of the bottled stuff many people drink:
water, sugar, citric acid, tea extract, trisodium citrate, Vitamin C.

Gee ... know what's in my iced tea?
water, tea and sometimes sugar.

or diet iced tea ...
water, citric acid, tea, sodium hexametaphosphate, natural flavors, phosphoric acid, potassium sorbate, potassium benzoate, citrus pectin, sucralose, caramel color, acesulfame potassium, calcium disodium EDTA and Red 40.

Know what's in my diet iced tea
water, tea

I don't need to add preservatives because I make my tea fresh and I'm likely to drink it within a day or two. Bottled tea has to be preserved for many weeks, if not months, before it ever makes it to your grocery basket.
I don't need to add colors. It's already the right color.
And if I want a flavor ... I'll use a flavored tea, preferably one with an organic flavor.
And diet tea? Really? It was already calorie-free ... why is the ingredient list longer for the diet product? Shouldn't it be less?

Does bottled tea have antioxidants?
Yes ... it has more antioxidants that a bottle of water, a sports drink or a soda. However, The Univiersity of Oregon did a study that showed that bottled tea had only 10% of the antioxidants of freshly brewed tea.
This could be for two reasons. First, commercial teas my be cold brewed. That means tea leaves are soaked in a cooled environment for a long time. The result is smooth, non-bitter tea. However, the antioxidants in tea need heat in order to be released. Additionally, the antioxidants in tea may be coming from the citric acid and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) that is often added to a bottled product.
Antioxidants may also be lower because antioxidants in tea are reduced over time. So all that time the tea is being packaged, shipped, stored and sold ... it's losing whatever antioxidants it had.

Making your own iced tea is incredibly fast and simple. And if it will give you control over the sugar you add, and your variety is infinitely greater then every before.

Getting good iced tea, if you're not making it yourself, is really a matter of knowing what a label says. If you can't pronounce it, you probably don't need it.
If it says sucralose, understand that means Splenda.
If it says Nutra Sweet, Equal, or Canderel, it's aspartame.
Sugars, like High Fructose Corn Syrup are hidden under a bunch of aliases too -- fructose, crystalline fructose, glucose, glucose-fructose syrup, dextrose, corn syrup, cane juice, high maltose syrup, invert syrup, corn syrup solids, sugar, sucrose... it's not unusual for a ready-to-drink product to contain two or more of these sugars.

There's really nothing wrong with sugar, providing it's used in moderation. But I prefere real sugar. Honestly, if your iced tea is good enough to start with, it likely doesn't need sweetening.
At SensibiliTeas, when we desire a sweeter cup of tea, we steep stevia leaves with the tea leaves for a sweeter result. If using honey, we stir the honey into the hot water before applying to ice. Honey just kinda of seizes up on top of the ice cubes. We keep a simple syrup on hand too, for those wishing to sweeten with sugar after it's been made cold.

Future posts this month will provide recipes for iced teas and iced tea punches.
I hope you have the chance to enjoy some freshly brewed iced tea soon!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The forecast is .... ICED TEA WEATHER!

What healthy beverage quenches your thirst better than an iced cold glass of iced tea? Did you know that freshly brewed iced tea contains more that 10 times the antioxidants than store-bought ready to drink iced teas? And it only takes about 3 minutes to make any kind of iced tea your want!

If your SensibiliTeas tea
calls for 1tsp per cup, you need 2TBSP per quart.If your SensibiliTeas tea calls for 2tsp per cup, you need 4TBSP per quart.If your SensibiliTeas tea calls for 1/2 tsp per cup, you need 1TBSP per quart.
Steep the appropriate amount of tea in a container large enough to allow the tea to float freely (that's where flavor comes from!)
Want it sweetened? Adding sugar now allows the sugar to dissolve more completely, possibly requiring less sugar than that added afterward. You also have the option to brew stevia leaves with your tea for added sweetness.
Steep in whatever amount of water allows the tea to float freely. Steep for the time recommended on the SensibiliTeas package.
Now you've made a concentrate. Pour that over ice cubes and top off with cold water. You have the best freshly brewed iced tea in town! Got questions? Give us a call at 518-824-1290 or 888-449-9888.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What's Your Beverage Doing for You? -- Part 3

Obesity rates are staggering — it’s estimated 66% of Americans are overweight and liquid calories are part of the problem. Guzzle a 20-ounce bottle of Pepsi (or two 20-ounce bottles of Vitamin Water or Gatorade) and it will cost you 250 calories. Order that Starbucks Venti Caramel Macchiato and you’re looking at 405 calories!

Although, loaded beverages can be a delicious occasional splurge (I admit it!), when it comes to managing your weight, remember to account for those calories and moderate your intake.

Consider this: Trim 500 liquid calories from your daily diet and you’ll save 3,500 calories a week. That’s potentially ONE pound lost per week and more than FIFTY pounds lost at the end of the year!

Follow these three tips to avoid packing on the pounds:

1. Think before you drink
Be mindful of beverages loaded with caloric ingredients — sugar, corn syrup, fructose, milk, cream, syrup, special flavoring and even fruit juice. When it comes to managing your weight, calorie-free water or freshly brewed unadulterated tea
will always be your best bet .

2. Calculate the “total calories” you’ll be drinking — not just one serving.
Many beverages list calories per serving, but pack 2 or more servings into each bottle. Make sure you look at the serving size… and calculate how many servings (and total calories) are included in one container.

3. Healthy drinks can also pack on the pounds
Just because a product claims to be “all natural,” or contain “no refined/added sugars,” doesn’t mean it’s calorie-free. For example, 100% fruit juice and fruit smoothies are filled with nutrition but also often high in calories. If you’re watching your weight you are better off eating fruit versus drinking it.

Total calories in popular beverages:

Soda (20-oz bottle) = 250 calories
7/11 Big Gulp (32-oz) = 400 calories
Large movie theatre soda (44-oz) = 550 calories
7/11 Double Big Gulp (64-oz) = 800 calories

Tea and Coffee Drinks
Snapple Peach Iced Tea (16-oz bottle) = 200 calories
Arizona Lemon Iced Tea (20-oz bottle) = 225 calories
Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino:
- Tall (12-oz) = 200 calories
- Grande (16-oz) = 260 calories
- Venti (24-oz) = 390 calories

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato = Grande (16-oz) = 270 calories Venti (24 oz) = 405
Starbucks Chai Iced Tea Latte = Grande (16-oz) 260 calories Venti (24 oz) = 390
Duncan Donuts, Coffee Coolata (16-oz w/2% milk) = 190 calories

Fruit Beverages
Jamba Juice: Banana Berry (classic smoothie):
- 16-oz = 280 calories
- 24-oz original = 450 calories
- 30-oz power = 600 calories
POM Pomegranate Juice (16-oz bottle) = 320 calories
Orange Juice (pint container, 16-oz) = 220 calories
Orange Juice (one cup) = 110 calories
Naked Juice-Orange Mango Motion (16-oz container) = 240 calories
Odwalla Citrus C Monster (16-oz container) = 300 calories
Country Time lemonade (12-oz can) = 130 calories
Minute Maid lemonade (20-oz bottle) = 260 calories

Flavored Waters and Sports Drinks

Vitamin Water (20-oz bottle) = 125 calories
Life Water (20-oz bottle) = 125 calories
Gatorade (20-oz bottle) = 125 calories

Freshly brewed iced tea

Any size, any flavor unsweetened = 0 calories!

Monday, May 17, 2010

What's your beverage doing for you? Part 2

Researchers say drinking two or more sweetened soft drinks each week may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.

According to Reuters, the study that appears in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found that individuals who drank two or more non-diet sodas each week had an 87% higher risk of being among those who got pancreatic cancer.

Researchers studied more than 60,000 men and women in Singapore for a period of 14 years for their results.

It is believed that the sugar in soft drinks may be to blame for the high incidence of the cancer since the insulin the body uses to metabolize sugar is made in the pancreas.

"The high levels of sugar in soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth," the study’s lead author Mark Pereira said.

The American Cancer Society reports that there were 42,470 new cases of pancreatic cancer last year and 35,240 deaths from it.ADNFCR-2035-ID-19604233-ADNFCR

Bottoms up?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What's your beverage doing for you? Part 1

Have a Coke and a Smile ...

You know it's bad for you, but you drink it anyway. Let's take a closer look at what that soft drink does to your body.

* In The First 10 minutes: 10 or more teaspoons of sugar hit your system. This is 100% of your recommended daily intake. You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
* 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat.
* 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
* 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
* In less than 60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
* In less than 60 minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.
* In less than 60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. Likely, you’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.

This will all be followed by a caffeine crash in the next few hours. (As little as two if you’re a smoker.) But, hey, have another Coke, it’ll make you feel better.

This is not a slam against only Coke. It’s against the dynamic combo of massive sugar doses combined with caffeine and phosphoric acid -- things which are found in almost all soda.

So how about a nice glass of sugar-free, antioxidant rich iced tea ... it only takes three minutes!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Bono!

Bono, main vocalist of the highly successful Dublin-based rock band U2, turns 50 today! Born and raised in Dublin, it's natural to find that Bono's favorite beverage is tea!

Outside his work with the band Bono is also widely known for his activism concerning Africa, for which he co-founded DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) EDUN (a socially conscious clothing company, the ONE campaign (an organization which aims to increase government fund for and effectiveness of international aid programs) and Product Red (a brand that partners with companies willing to donate proceeds to global funds). He has o
rganized and played several benefit concerts and has met with influential politicians to seek support for his concerns. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II and was named Person of the Year by Time Magazine in 2005, along with Bill and Melinda Gates, for his work promoting justice and equality.

Today is also his daughter Jordan's 21st birthday.

Other Bono bits:
Bono's favorite foods are caviar and fish n' chips, his favorite drinks are tea, Jack Daniels, and wine, and his favorite color is amber.
(Wonder if he knows the perfect tea with fish n' chips is Longjing or Gunpowder ...)
As a child he was a chess champion.
The natural color of his hair is red.
He is fluent in English, Italian and Spanish and also knows some Gaelic.
Bono credits watching The Secret Policeman's Ball in 1979 as being his inspiration to get involved with charity work.

Do you believe world peace can begin with a cup of tea?
I'm not sure, but I think it's a great start.
I'll put the water on and give Bono a call.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Inspired by Spring!

I've become so inspired by the recent outbreak of spring weather here in the Adirondacks! But I've been here long enough to know that spring weather in March is often a cruel hoax and that tea drinking weather is still with us. So in an attempt to celebrate the beginning of spring, and to give you a great chance to stock up in preparation for the early spring snowstorms we often get, I'm having a sale on spring-related teas! So on Saturday, March 20 (the first day of spring) if it has the name of a flower or the word spring in the name of the tea it will be on sale for 20% off.

Included are Lilac Bouquet, Emerald Lily, Orchid Oolong, Assam Rani Spring, Darjeeling Makaibari Spring, Blossom Blend, all the artisinal (blooming) teas, all jasmine teas, etc.

(Website customers can take advantage of this sale through Saturday by adding the code SPRING in the spical comments field of the online order form.

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 01, 2010

The South High Marathon Dance

Well, long time, no blog ... I know! Life has been beyond hectic! My deepest apologies!

Well, instead of touting the benefits of tea this time, I'd like to turn your attentions to a phenomenon we have here in our area. It's the 33rd annual South High Marathon Dance. While I know that conjures images of couples hanging on each other to be the last one standing, this event, scheduled for Friday March 5 and concluding Saturday March 6 is far different.

This marathon dance is an annual fundraising event held by the student of South High in South Glens Falls NY. They raise money through various means to serve the needs of the community that are not properly served by larger organizations. They've been doing this since 1976. Since that time, the kids have raised over 2.14 million dollars that has been funneled right back into the community in which they live. For a list of this year's recipients, please see The kids decided where the money goes, and with the assistance of a devoted alumni group, a dedicated teaching staff and community supporters the kids beat their previous year's total almost every year! Last year they raised over $260,000 with the support of people like you.

SensibiliTeas is a strong supporter of this effort. Our ``tip jar'' is actually part of our donation to South High. We match that penny for penny ... that means a $1 donated equals $2 donated to local causes. Additionally, we've always donated the proceeds of Tom's Compassion and White Pear to the Marathon, as they are the favorites teas of Tom Myott, South High art teacher and alumni and Bill McCarthy, one of the founding members of Marathon, respectively. This year, in addition, I'll be donating proceeds from the favorite tea of South High Alumni Thaddeus Powers -- Earl Grey Creme. And all week this week all proceeds from the sale of any to-go beverage in the shop will be donated AND MATCHED!

I urge you to do what you can to support this effort. Online donations are possible ... click here Every little bit helps! Or just stop by SensibiliTeas and enjoy a cup of tea! Hydrate and help! For those of you who are local, you are also welcome to stop by South High this weekend and participate in their silent and live auctions, and haircuts by Kip Dare of Kipper's Clippers in South Glens Falls. And if you can stay for the closing ceremonies, I think you'll find it to be a moving experience you will not soon forget! Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

All the tea in China

There's a lovely young student in the South Glens Falls school district, Emily Meyer, who is diligently trying to raise money for a once in a lifetime experience with People to People. She's been chosen as one of their ambassadors this year, and the trip she anticipates making will be to China! That would be a dream come true for me!

I've decided to help her in a unique way ... I will be donating a portion of the proceeds of all the teas from China sold between January 17 and the beginning of Chinese New Year, February 14. (Year of the Tiger ... can you hear the jokes starting already?).

So what teas come from China?
All the Pu Erh
Most of the White Teas
All the Artisanal teas (Blooming/Flowering teas)
Many of the oolongs
The iced tea blends (Sorry, :0( Arctic has been discontinued)
Many of the green teas
Any black tea that comes from Hunan, Yunnan, or Keemun, plus the smoky teas
All the yellow teas !

I know that's a lot of tea, but this is the opportunity of a lifetime and its only for a month.
If you'd like to make an additional donation to help Emily reach her goal of raising over $3,000, please contact me and we'll make arrangements for that to happen. (Please note that these donations are NOT tax deductible. This is donation you just make because it feels good to make a dream come true).

Pu Erh, cholesterol, weight loss and you!

This is largely a repost from last year, but it bears repeating. Local doctors are sending people to the tea shop to try a regimen that includes this tea in order to avoid cholesterol medication. Most of those who stick with the tea avoid the medication. While the earthy scent can be tricky to adjust to at first, in my opinion it's easier than adjusting to the $40.00 monthly prescription price tag that comes complete with side effects. Additionally, folks continue to happily share reports of reduced C-reactive protein levels (increased levels have been associated with sudden fatal heart attacks) and triglycerides levels. Pu Erh also has a loyal following of those who are giving up coffee or cutting back on caffeine, as this tea is quite dark and rich, though never bitter. So far in 2010, in just 11 business days, 4 people have come into the teashop to excitedly report that their cholesterol has dropped! This excites me to no end! It's one thing to send a customer out knowing they go equipped with the tea that is capable of keeping them off the medication. It's quite a different happiness when I see the excitement and hope in their eyes as they tell me of their most recent success. The average cholesterol reduction is about 60 points over 6 weeks if three cups of tea are consumed daily. One person reported a drop of 80 points as a result of drinking only one cup per day.
From last year ... This is the time of year everyone tries to lose that holiday weight and head back toward that shapely bathing suit figure. If people come into the shop looking for the ``weight loss tea’’, I usually recommend one of two teas. One of them is Pu Erh. Pu Erh (pronounced Pu-Air or Pu-Er) comes from Pu Erh county in Hunan province. It is not uncommon for it to be made up of leaves plucked from ancient trees rather than from carefully cultivated bushes. It is a post-fermented tea. This means that all the normal processing to be a black tea, a green tea, or a white tea has already been done, and then the tea is aged. Essentially, it is composted, but likely without the worms and all. While in the past this composting occurred in highly guarded caves belonging to the emperor, it is now likely occurring in a climate controlled setting. During this processing the tea takes on an earthy quality. Tea can then be pressed into cakes or tuo cha, small single servings of Pu Erh that resembles a tiny birds nest (pictured in this post). It is also available in a leaf form, which seems earthier, but more popular due to the ease of preparation. Some say it tastes like dirt.

I’ll tell you the black tea loose leaf version, which is what I carry at the shop, certainly smells earthy. The older it gets, the more mellow it becomes. I find it to be a very smooth, relaxing cup of tea. It is believed that the caffeine level is reduced during processing.

The most popular Pu Erh I carry is Immortal Nectar, as found in this collection.
I admit. I hated the first cup I ever drank, but told myself I must be professional about this, and I continued to drink the sample. By the end of the sample, I wanted more. It had become my go-to tea. And I had lost weight, to boot! While there is no carefully controlled scientific evidence available to support the notion that Pu Erh is effective as a weight loss tea, I’ve had in-shop results. I invited 15 willing participants to drink Immortal Nectar for 10 weeks – one cup with each meal, for a minimum of three cups a day. Many of those participants had physicals before they started so they knew their exact weight, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and C-reactive protein levels. Of the 16 participants, 15 lost weight. After 6 weeks, we started receiving reports about cholesterol and triglyceride levels being greatly reduced. Cholesterol reduction was the most popular result.

After 6 weeks, the average cholesterol reduction was 60 points. One woman saw a reduction of 123 points while another saw a reduction of 102 points. When someone comes to the shop looking for Pu Erh now, it is not uncommon to learn that they have been sent by a doctor. For many, this may be an easy all-natural, organic way to avoid being put on cholesterol reduction meds.
Together they lost 164 lbs. The participant who gained weight (6 lbs.) learned that drinking this tea was not a license to eat Crispy Creme donuts for breakfast and lunch. May common sense prevail.

Love spicy food? Pu Erh is the perfect spicy meal complement. I've found the only food I don't think it is suited too is sushi and sashimi. Not a big problem in the standard American household (for sushi and sashimi, try a nice light oolong)

I asked the father of a Chinese friend of mine how he could explain the effectiveness of Pu Erh in a weight management program. He surprising replied … ``Maybe it’s not the tea.’’ He went on to explain he theory that historically, Chinese consume most meals with a cup of tea while Americans take their meals with a cold beverage. And then he asked ``if you are going to put grease down the drain, would you follow it with hot water, or cold water?’’

Could it be that simple?
Well worth a try, I’d guess. And why not make tea that hot beverage?

All we are saying, is give teas a chance!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Cinnamon Apple Rooibos on Sale 01/09/10-01/12/10

Windy and cold in the Adirondacks on
Saturday, 01/09/10.
A high of 18°F ... sounds like tea drinking weather to me!
So how about a tea to warm you -- body and soul!
Cinnamon Apple Rooibos will be the
tea of the day on Saturday
And on Saturday morning we'll be baking
Cinnamon Apple scones to go with it.
Additionally, so you can continue to enjoy this
warm, cozy anti-oxidant rich tea in the
comfort of your own home ...
Cinnamon Apple Rooibos
is on sale
Saturday, 01/09/10!
One ounce, $2.00 (16¢-20¢ per cup!)
Two ounce, $4.00 (16¢-20¢ per cup!)
Four ounce, $7.00 (14¢-17¢ per cup!)
Eight ounce, $13.00 (13¢-16¢ per cup!)
One pound, $25.00 (12¢-15¢ per cup!)

Stop in and warm yourself from the inside out!
(Internet customers enter code CINROO in the special comments section of the online order form. Valid for internet customers 01/09-01/12)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Snow Water

A short poem to enjoy with a cup of tea ...

Snow Water
By Michael Longley

A fastidious brewer of tea, a tea
Connoisseur as well as a poet,
I modestly request on my sixtieth
Birthday a gift of snow water.

Tea steam and ink stains. Single-
Mindedly I scald my teapot and
Measure out some Silver Needles Tea,
Enough for a second steeping.

Other favourites include Clear
Distance and Eyebrows of Longevity
Or, from the precarious mountain peaks,
Cloud Mist Tea (quite delectable)

Which competent monkeys harvest
Filling their baskets with choice leaves
And bringing them down to where I wait
With my crock of snow water.

While I'm not familiar with Clear Distance as a tea, I do carry Silver Needle, one that can be called Eyebrows of Longevity and Cloud Mist tea. All you need is the snow water. Many of us have access to plenty of that!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Sixth of January

The Sixth of January
by David Budbill

The cat sits on the back of the sofa looking
out the window through the softly falling snow
at the last bit of gray light.

I can't say the sun is going down.
We haven't seen the sun for two months.
Who cares?

I am sitting in the blue chair listening to this stillness.
The only sound: the occasional gurgle of tea
coming out of the pot and into the cup.

How can this be?
Such calm, such peace, such solitude
in this world of woe.

From Moment to Moment: Poems of a Mountain Recluse (Copper Canyon Press)

Monday, January 04, 2010

It's National Hot Tea Month!

January is National Hot Tea Month!
I think Joe Simrany, President of the Tea Council in the USA summed it up nicely by stating:

``This January is the perfect time to consider tea as part of a healthy diet. As a new year and new millennium begin, people are making resolutions to eat and live healthier, and there’s no better time to celebrate tea’s healthy attributes than National Hot Tea Month.''

Naturally I agree ...

It's also National Soup Month!

And January 1-7 is Resolution Week. Such a good time to work tea into your healthier-for-the-past-four-days lifestyle. Perhaps paired with a great bowl of soup.

Here's a nice recipe that pairs soup with tea ... the tea is in the soup! Nice vegetarian soup or even vegan with the right pasta choice.


5 cups vegetable stock, broth, or bouillon
4 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 tsp dried thyme, lightly crushed
3 cups chopped broccoli
8oz. small shells or other macaroni shapes
1 cup prepared green tea
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice (about one lemon)
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste


Combine the stock, garlic, and thyme in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the broccoli and macaroni, reduce heat, and simmer until the macaroni is just at the al dente stage of tenderness, about eight to twelve minutes according to package instructions. Stir in the tea and heat through for about a minute. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and pepper, and adjust the salt if necessary. Serve immediately and piping hot.

Need a little different?
Substitute other chopped cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi) for of the broccoli.

For a main dish soup, add 1/2 pound firm tofu or chicken, diced

Enojy with friends, perhaps some awesome hot bread, and of course, a cup of awesome tea.