Thursday, November 17, 2011

Green Tea Helps Children Ward Away Flu

Green Tea Helps Children Ward Away Flu
15 Nov 2011
By World Tea News

Research published in the October edition of the Journal of Nutrition demonstrates drinking green tea helps children keep from catching the flu.

Dr. Patrick B. Massey, M.S., M.D., Ph.D writes this week that the flu vaccine fails to protect us 30 to 40 percent of the time (sometimes more).

“However, a recent medical study indicates that simply drinking a cup of green tea every day may prevent influenza infection, especially for school-age children,” says Dr. Massey, medical director for complementary and alternative medicine for the Alexian Brothers Hospital Network.

Japanese researchers surveyed 2,663 pupils attending elementary schools near Kikugawa City, a tea-growing area. Children, ages 6 to 13 years, who drink tea daily were 40 percent less likely to get the flu. Those who drank up to five cups a day were the least likely to become ill.

“Those who drank the most green tea (about one cup per day) also had significantly fewer sick days from school. The results were so conclusive that the researchers concluded that the regular consumption of green tea is protective against influenza infections during the influenza season,” says Dr. Massey.

There are a number of studies demonstrating the benefits of drinking tea as a preventive measure against influenza in adults. Now it can be strongly suggested this may also be the case with school-age children. Although green tea contains caffeine, none of the children in this study reported side effects commonly associated with too much caffeine.

Protecting yourself against influenza is much more than simply getting vaccinated, he says. And drinking a daily cup of green tea is just what the doctor ordered.

Source: and and the Journal of Nutrition, Oct 2011;141(10):1862-70. PMID:21832025, by Park M, Yamada H, Matsushita K, Kaji s, Goto T, Okada Y, Kosuge K, Kitagawa T. Department of Drug Evaluation and Informatics, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka; Department of Pharmacy, Kikugawa General Hospital, Kikugawa, Japan.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Those cute little flowers ...

Ewww ... does your chamomile look like this?

Many people see chamomile only in this form and don't realize that those cute little daisies popping up all over the yard are chamomile!

Chamomile has been consumed for hundreds of years as the tonic to fix what ails you. Many recognized chamomile's ability to assist restfulness, but did you know it is otherwise beneficial?

Peter Rabbit's mother always gave him chamomile after he ate too much in Mr. McGregor's garden... she was so smart! Chamomile is very calming to the stomach. It is helpful soothing stomach aches, promotes proper elimination, aids digestion and even soothes irritable bowel syndrome.

Ancient Egyptians used chamomile to ease menstrual cramps. A recent study shows that drinking chamomile raises glycine levels. Glycine has the ability to ease muscle spasms, so this make sense!

One study found that a chamomile ointment was useful in soothing hemorrhoids.

Chamomile has antibacterial properties that may make it effective in fighting off colds and other sicknesses.

Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used a poultice of chamomile for healing wounds. Studies conducted recently showed rats given a chamomile extract in their water (hmmm ...isn't that chamomile tea) healed from wounds quicker (don't want to know how that lab rats got ``wounded''). I personally find an oil infused with chamomile, lavender and calendula to be fabulous for almost any skin problem ... included scars. I believe this healing power may have much to do with the antibacterial properties of chamomile.

Chamomile is currently being researched for its beneficial effects against various types of cancer cells. While nothing has been proven yet, it's nice to see research being done in a more natural realm.

So, as you can see, chamomile is an awesome little flower! It does, though, have it's precautions.
Allergic Reactions: If you have any sensitivity or allergy to ragweed, daisies, asters, marigolds or chrysanthemums, you may also have a similar reaction to chamomile.
Pregnancy: Regular usage of chamomile should be avoided during pregnancy, as chamomile may act as a uterine stimulant, and can, in rare cases, increase the chances of miscarriage.
Bleeding disorders: Folks with bleeding disorders should avoid the use of chamomile, as it contains coumarin, a naturally occurring blood thinner. Usage may increase the chance of bleeding.
Drug interractions: Chamomile may interract with aspirin's anticoagulant compounds, increasing the chances of bleeding
Chamomile may interract with platelet inhibitors (such as Ticlopidine [Ticlid] and Clopidogrel [Plavix]. Platelet inhibitors are used to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients who have had a coronary stent implant. The anticoagulant nature of chamomile may increase the chance of bleeding.

Anticoagulants: Warfarin (generic name coumadin) is derived from coumarins, compounds with anticoagulant properties that can also be found in chamomile. Chamomile tea can cause internal bleeding when consumed by someone using an anticoagulant.

Chamomile has been found to inhibit an enzyme called CYP1A2. This enzyme metabolizes certain drugs. Without this metabolism, the drugs may increase in blood concentrations, possibly to the point of toxicity. Please aoid chamomile usage if you use:
Tricyclic Antidpressants: Amitriptyline [Elavil, Endep], Clomipramine [Anafranil], Imipramine [Tofranil]
Antipsychotic drugs: Clozapine, Clozaril, Azaleptin, Leponex, Fazaclo, Froidir, Denzapine, Zaponex, Klozapol, Clopine]
Beta-Blockers: Propranolol [Inderal]
Theophylline: (bronchodilators) Theophylline [Theo-24, Theolair, Bronkodyl, Slo-bid, Theobid,
Slo-phyllin, Theo-Dur, TheolairSR, Uni-Dur]
Cholinesterase inhibitors: (used for Alzheimer's treatments) Tacrine [Cognex]

If though, you don't have plant sensitivities, and aren't on any of the prescriptions drugs listed above, chamomile can be healthy part of your day! Oh ... and what does real [good] chamomile look like? Come to SensibiliTeas and see!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wanna sleep like a baby?

Did you know I have teas that can help you relax and other that will help you sleep?
For relaxing:
Relax ... a lovely blend of Chamomile and Lavender (also a great bath tea or skin tonic)
Bridget's Blend ... a delicious blend of anti-oxidant rich rooibos, peppermint and chamomile.
Serenitea ... This calming caffeine-free blend contains premium blossoms and herbs that impart relaxation and refreshment. A beautiful golden infusion of with luscious notes of citrus, blossom nectar and French lavender. Serenitea contains chamomile flowers, lemon myrtle, jasmine flowers, peppermint and lavender flowers.
Or for sleeping our best selling herbal tea ... Dream a Little Dream. The name says it all. This tea is designed to help you safely drift off to sleep and dream pleasant colorful, vivid dreams you're inclined to remember. Because this tea invokes REM sleep, you wake up feeling incredibly rested. A favorite among early risers and students.

Rest well!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hibiscus ... more than just a pretty flower

Hibiscus sabdariffa, a native to the tropical and subtropical parts of the world and member of the Mallow family of plants, is finding its place in the United States, not only as a delicious beverage, but also as an elixir of sorts.

Studies have show that hibiscus when consumed as a tea can be effective in reducing blood pressure. It has also been show to reduce cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.

According to a 2004 study published in the journal Phytomedicine (2004;11:375-83) people suffering from hypertension can lower their blood pressure significantly by drinking hibiscus tea daily. The study included seventy people -- half of whom drank 16 ounces (2 measuring cups) of hibiscus tea before breakfast daily or ingested 25 mg. of an antihypertensive medication (captoproil) twice daily. At the end of the study, results shows that the hibiscus was as effective as the medication.

It is also known to be a natural diuretic and is also rich in vitamin C.
In Jamaica and Mexico it is known as Jamaica Red flower tea (flor de Jamaica), while the Egyptians call this tea karkade and believed it to be the preferred beverage of the pharoahs. In India, it is known as gudhal (गुड़हल) and in Brazil it is known as gongura. It may also be called Roselle.

Effective hot or iced it is a delicious way to be healthier and feel better, without medications and their costly side effects!

How to make karkade:
First, of course, buy your organic hibiscus from SensibiliTeas! :0)

1 cup of hibiscus flowers
5 cups of water
sugar or honey to taste
(I use simple syrup so the sugar will be dissolved. I use less sugar that way)
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
Delicious with a squeeze of lime.

Simple Syrup
Add 1 cup of boiling water in 1 cup of sugar. Stir until dissolved.

Enjoy and be well!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Made from the best stuff on earth?

Made from the best stuff on earth?
Perhaps a catchy slogan, but hardly full disclosure.
Diet Lemonade Iced Tea ingredient list: Filtered water, sugar, lemon juice concentrate, natural flavors, citric acid, TEA, potassium citrate, sucralose, acesulfame potassium.

Water = good!
Sugar = maybe okay... No high fructose corn syrup anywhere around ... and I don't see Splenda, or Aspartame ...
lemon juice concentrate =I think this is okay ...
natural flavors (I can't always trust natural flavors, knowing that natural flavors can be chemically derived because all chemicals are derived from nature)
citric acid = kinda harmless, but why? It's a preservative ... I use it to clean my boilers.
TEA= good
potassium citrate = last time I checked I think this is a diuretic for dogs ... but maybe used here it's only to control the acid (wait ... they added the acid ...)
sucralose = BAD BAD BAD!!This is SPLENDA with it's Sunday-best name. It was hiding. Not the best stuff on earth!
acesulfame potassium = BAD BAD BAD!! This is the Sunday-best name for Aspartame. It too, was hiding.

My lemonade iced tea would be made of: Filtered water, good tea (from SensibiliTeas, of course), lemons, and sugar.
My diet lemonade iced tea would be made of : Filtered water, good tea, lemons and stevia.

It's really a matter of choice. You can run to the store and wait on line for 5 minutes to but a half gallon of the ``best stuff on earth'' or spend 5 minutes in the comfort of your home brewing iced tea with 10 times the antioxidants as bottled iced tea.
Drink real tea made from real tea and real water ... no more ingredients necessary!
Take responsibility for what you put in your body... and your children's bodies.
Read labels and understand the ingredients.
You can do it!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Key Largo beckons ...

So ... with the sale of one of my distributors, we lost a very popular tea ... Bogey & Bacall. It was green rooibos with the flavors of mango, papaya and peach.

How could we ever forget Bogey and Bacall? And so in tribute to them, and an awesome tea ... we bring you Key Largo. This is a green rooibos blended with the flavors of mango, passionfruit, orange ... and was that a kiss of apricot? Yes ... yes it was ...

Key Largo will be the featured rooibos at the Farmer's Markets this weekend.
Bolton Landing Friday 9am-1pm
Warrensburg Friday 3pm-6pm
Glens Falls Saturday 8am-noon

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


One of our new teas is Blueberry Cheesecake.
Made of rooibos, honeybush, blueberries, cornflowers, marigolds, natural flavors this tea is caffeine-free mostly organic (the flavors and marigolds are not certified organic) and is certified as fair trade. It is a rich creamy taste and an alluring aroma. It easily assists with your weight loss efforts by replacing your dessert and soothing your cravings. For just about 30 cents a cup (when purchases by the ounce -- just 16 cents a cup at the pound price ...) you can't go wrong. Need a little sweetener? A little sugar added at the time of brewing might satisfy your sweet tooth. Otherwise, please refrain from using artificial sweeteners and use agave or stevia to sweeten your cup.

Tune back tomorrow for another introduction!

New teas!

Who thought we could ever carry more teas?
Well, one of our suppliers was purchased by a bigger, evil national chain and not allowed to shared their secrets. Because of this sale, we lost some of our favorite teas.

We lost:
Almond Cookie
Bogey & Bacall
East Friesian Blend
Peach Green Rooibos
Berry Green Rooibos
Rhythm and Blues
Allergy Soother
Apricot Allure
Ceylon Lumbini
Ceylon Vithanakande
Chocolate Cream
Ginger Apricot Peach
Imperial Yunnan Green Silver Tips
Lemon Chiffon Rooibos
Lemony Snickets
Memory Aid
and Tiramisu Mate


Some, I have been able to find from other sources. (Phew!)
For others .... I'm the friendly type and decided it's time for some new friends (and will continue to seek to replace the lost teas).

So, this week I will share with you information about our new teas. One at a time, of course ...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Karkadeh كركديه عناب

Karkadeh كركديه عناب

Egyptian Red Tea also known as Roselle Ennab

1 cup hibiscus flowers
1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
1 gallon of water.

Bring 2 quarts (8 cups) of water to a boil.
Add the sugar. Stir to dissolve.
Add the 1 cup of hibiscus flowers and steep for 5-7 minutes.
(Authentically, the flowers would steep overnight in all the water brought to a boil)
Add the other 2 quarts of water.
Serve over ice. Garnish with thin lime slices if desired.

Precaution!!! Drinking hibiscus can reduce your blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure, please drink with caution and in moderation.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blackberry Lavender Iced Tea

Blackberry Lavender Iced Tea
8 cups water
1 ½ cups sugar (more or less, depending on desired sweetness)
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 Tbsp. fresh or dried French lavender
Bring 4 cups of water to just below a boil. In 2 cups of the water steep the tea and the lavender for 3-4 minutes. Strain the tea.
In the other 2 cups of water, dissolve the sugar (to create a really cool spice note, add a couple black peppercorns to the sugar).
Add the berries to the sugar syrup. Crush with the back of a wooden spoon. Simmer for 3 minutes, turn off heat. Do not leave unattended! Let stand covered for 10 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth liner or very fine sieve pressing with the back of a spoon.
In a large pitcher, put the other 4 cups of water, the tea and the berry mixture. Stir well. Chill for 2 hours. Serve over ice.
For special ice cubes: Put one blackberry or pansy in your ice cube tray. Fill halfway with water, freeze. Once frozen, fill the tray to the top with water, leaving you with the fruit or flowers in the middle of the cube.
Garnish with blackberries and lemons if desired.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Blueberry Lemon Iced Tea

Blueberry Lemon Iced Tea

4 pints of fresh blueberries or 2 (16 ounce) packages of frozen blueberries

1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6-8 lemon)

8 cups water

6 TBSP Black tea (we recommend Java Kertasarie)

1 ½ cups sugar

Bring package of 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 the back of a spoon to press out juice. Discard solids.

Heat 4 cups of water to just below boiling. In 2 cups of the hot water, steep the 6 TSBP of the Java Kertasarie for 3-4 minutes. Strain tea leaves from the tea. In the other two cups of hot water, dissolve the 1 ½ cups of sugar. Remove and discard teabags.

Add the blueberry juice mixture. Into pitcher pour the other 8 cups of water and add the tea/blueberry mixture. Cover and chill 1 hour. Serve over ice.
Garnish with lemons and blueberries if desired.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Strawberry Rosemary Iced Tea


8 TBSP Strawberry Moon black tea (or your favorite black tea)
3 quarts spring water (I always use spring water)
1 cup brown sugar
2lbs fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
4 TBSP snipped fresh rosemary
2 lemons

1. Heat four cups of water to 175°F. (Steam should be slow and lazy. Do not allow water to boil. Steep tea in the water (alone, in a tea bag, or in a tea ball or other infuser) for 3 minutes 30 seconds. Remove tea from water (strain if necessary)
2. In a large saucepan combine fresh or frozen strawberries, brown sugar, and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
3. Using a vegetable peeler, peel of rind from lemons; juice the lemons (should have 1/2 cup). Add strips of lemon peel, lemon juice, and rosemary to mixture in saucepan. Bring mixture just to boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add this mixture to the strawberries
4. Press strawberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve; discard solids (you should have about 1 quart).
4. Place the remaining water in a gallon pitcher. Combine the tea concentrate from the strawberry mixture.
5. Stir and serve over ice. Garnish with strawberries.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Iced mango green tea

6 cups of water
4 TBSP Mango Green Tea
2 cups mango nectar
Fresh mint leaves for garnish

1. Heat two cups of water to 175°F. (Steam should be slow and lazy. Do not allow water to boil. Steep tea in the water (alone, in a tea bag, or in a tea ball or other infuser) for 2 minutes 30 seconds. Remove tea from water (strain if necessary)

2. Place the remaining water and mango nectar in a 1/2 gallon pitcher. Add the tea concentrate from step one and stir.
3. Serve over ice. Garnish with mint and mango slices as desired. Okay ... stick an umbrella in it if you wish!

(if sweeter tea is desired, heat 3 cups of water instead of 2 and dissolve 1/2-1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of the hot water between steps one and two.)

Iced Apricot Tea


8 TBSP Apricot Allure black tea (or your favorite black tea)
9 cups water (I always use spring water)
2 sprigs of rosemary
6 fresh apricots, halved, pitted and sliced
2 1/2 cups apricot nectar

1. Heat four cups of water to 175°F. (Steam should be slow and lazy. Do not allow water to boil. Steep tea and rosemary in the water (alone, in a tea bag, or in a tea ball or other infuser) for 3 minutes 30 seconds. Remove tea from water (strain if necessary)
2. Add tea to the remaining water.
3. Stir in the apricot nectar.
4. Serve over ice. Garnish with the sliced apricots.
(If desired top off with a splash of sparkling water for a surprising fresh spritzer)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Strawberry Iced Tea

What a great combination! Freshly ripe strawberries and loose leaf tea! Yum!

Strawberry Iced Tea
2 cups whole strawberries (cleaned, hulled and frozen)
4 cups of fresh water
2 Tbsp loose black tea (in a large tea ball, TSac, or cheesecloth)
¼ - ½ cup of white sugar (to taste)
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 ½ lemons)

1. Heat two cups of the water to just below boiling.
2. Dissolve the sugar in one cup of the hot water
3. Place the tea leaves in the other cup of hot water and steep for 3-4 minutes
4. Remove the tea leaves and discard (great mulch for roses, azaleas and rhododendrons). In a heat-proof pitcher, add the hot tea to the remaining 2 cups of water.
5. Set aside 4 strawberries.
6. Place remaining strawberries in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
7. Strain the puréed berries and discard the seeds
8. Mix together the puréed berries, tea and lemon juice.
9. Chill until ready to serve. Serve over ice, using reserved strawberries as garnish.

Our favorite teas for this recipe are Darjeeling Gopaldhara or Ceylon Labookellie as the black teas for this recipe, although Longjing green tea and Ti Kuan Yin Royal oolong also result in a lovely strawberry iced tea.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Graduation Tea Punch

Hosting a graduation party? Here's a punch that's healthier than most!

Graduation Tea Punch

3 cups near boiling water

8 Tbsp loose leaf black tea in tea ball, TSac or cheesecloth

3 cups sugar

6 cups cold water

3 cups orange juice

1½ cups lemon juice

3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

1½ quarts ginger ale (48 oz.)

  1. Pour hot water over tea leaves.
  2. Steep for 4 minutes. Strain and cool.
  3. Pour hot tea over sugar. Stir until dissolved.
  4. Add cold water, orange and lemon juices, half of the strawberries, and the ginger ale.
  5. Chill.
  6. Garnish with thin slices of fresh strawberries and oranges.
Makes 35 cups.

Enjoy! And congratulations to the graduate!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Peachy Iced Tea

A southern classic. Iced peach tea with a sprig of mint.
Though no sugar is added to the recipe, this tea is plenty sweet due to the addition of peach nectar. A best bet for the peach tea lover in your family!

8 Tbsp loose leaf black tea

1 tsp hibiscus

8 cups water

1 16oz bag frozen peach slices, thawed
or 3-4 medium size peaches, sliced
1 11.5oz-12oz can peach nectar

1/4 cup of peach liquor (optional)
Fresh Mint


1. Bring 4 cups of water to just below a boil.
2. Steep tea for 3-4 minutes in the hot water

3. Add 12 oz. of the peaches (or 3 peaches, sliced) to a blender and puree until it reaches a smooth consistency.

4. Combine the tea, peach puree, peach nectar, peach liquor (optional) and remaining slices of peaches to a 3-qt glass pitcher.

5. Serve over ice in tall glasses. Garnish with a spring of mint.

(Our tea recommendations are Ceylon Labookellie,
Assam 1947, Alishan Oolong or Darjeeling Gopaldhara Summer)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sweet Lime Iced Tea


4 TBSP Lime black tea (or your favorite black tea)
1 gallon spring water (I always use spring water)
1 1/2 cup white sugar
4 limes, juice from

1. Heat four cups of water to 175°F. (Steam should be slow and lazy. Do not allow water to boil. Steep tea in the water (alone, in a tea bag, or in a tea ball or other infuser) for 3 minutes 30 seconds. Remove tea from water (strain if necessary)
2. Heat 1 1/2 cups of water to boiling. Dissolve the sugar in the cup of boiling water.
3. Place the remaining water in a gallon pitcher. Add the tea concentrate from step one, the simple syrup from step two and the lime juice.
4. Stir and serve over ice. Garnish with lime, lemons and/or oranges.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wild Berry Iced Tea

So ... I just came from Wendy's curious to try their new Wild Berry Tea. I watched the employee dispense the tea and squirt some thick berry-colored syrup into the cup and stir with a long iced tea spoon. The taste is predictably sweet, but I don't care much for the seeds in it.
So, I thought, how can I make that tea at home -- without the seeds and maybe a little less sweet...

2 TBSP Pu Erh tea
1 Gallon of Spring Water
6 oz., or so (to taste) Northland Raspberry Pomegranate Goji Juice (or any raspberry blend juice that pleases you -- this is about equivalent to one juice box.)

Yes, this recipe is a little light on the tea, but really so is the Wendy's version I think ...

1. Heat one cups of water to 175°F. (Steam should be slow and lazy. Do not allow water to boil. Steep tea in the water (alone, in a tea bag, or in a tea ball or other infuser) for 3 minutes 30 seconds. Remove tea from water (strain if necessary)
2. Place the remaining water in a gallon pitcher. Add the tea concentrate from step one and the juice. Stir.
3. Serve over ice.

Wendy's Wild Berry Tea (Medium 17oz size) has 100 calories, 15mg sodium, 14g sugar.
Wendy's ingredient list: Water, Tea, Wild Berry Puree (blackberries, sugar, corn syrup, strawberries, water, raspberry, natural flavoring, potassium sorbate, xanthan gum).

SensibiliTeas version (17 oz.) has 13 calories, 2mg sodium and 2.5 g of sugar.
SensibiliTeas ingredient list: water, tea, juice (apple, pomegranate, goji, raspberry, grape and pear juice, natural flavors, vegetable color, citric acid, fruit extracts, vitamin c, vitamin A and vitamin E.)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Boston Iced Tea

Boston Iced Tea

What's that iced tea I had a Red Lobster? It's sooo good...
Boston Iced tea is really just slightly sweet iced tea with cranberry juice added.


8 TBSP Ceylon Labookellie black tea (or your favorite black tea)
1 gallon spring water (I always use spring water)
1 cup white sugar
1 12oz. can frozen cranberry juice concentrate

1. Heat four cups of water to 175°F. (Steam should be slow and lazy. Do not allow water to boil. Steep tea in the water (alone, in a tea bag, or in a tea ball or other infuser) for 3 minutes 30 seconds. Remove tea from water (strain if necessary)
2. Heat 1 cup of water to boiling. Dissolve the one cup of sugar in the cup of boiling water.
3. Place the remaining water in a gallon pitcher. Add the tea concentrate from step one, the simple syrup from step two and the cranberry juice concentrate.
4. Stir and serve over ice. Garnish with oranges, lemon, limes and/or cranberries.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

June is National Iced Tea Month!!

In 1904, a tea vendor by the name of Richard Blechynden was trying to sell his hot tea at the World's Fair in St. Louis. At the time, there was a sweltering heat wave, and sales were bleak. Since no one was buying any, and figuring he had nothing to lose, he added some ice and iced tea instantly became an classic summer beverage! And so ...

On this sweltering day, when sales were bleak at the tea shop, I decided I will provide a daily iced tea recipe through the blog to try and give you as many options as possible for not only staying cool yourself, but for dazzling your weekend barbecue guests as well.

So get ready ... tea, water, ice ... refreshment! It only takes 3-4 minutes!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In honor of my Cousin Will's wedding

Yes ... he's my cousin. We both descend from Robert, 17th Earl of Bruce. I don't understand what must have happened to my wedding invitation, but that's okay because I don't have enough personal time at my night job to allow me to attend this blessed event, and hardly have time to chose a dress and coordinating shoes and purse.

My most heartfelt wishes for a happy, healthy life (and of course, a child!)

I could have been so kitschy and and developed a tea for the new cousin-in-law, but naming something KaTea didn't seem like a good idea.

In honor of the wedding of my dear Cousin Will and his lovely bride Kate, I'm placing English Breakfast tea and Black Currant tea on sale at 20% off on Friday, April 29, 2011. For online orders, us the code Will and Kate in the special comments field of the online order form. If calling in an order, just reference this posting.

May your joys be
As bright as the morning,
Your years of happiness
As numerous as the stars in the heavens,
And your troubles be but shadows
That fade in the sunlight of love.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day, all of our earthiest teas -- Pu Erh -- will be discounted 20%.
For online orders, type EARTHDAY in the special comments field (order until 04/23)
This includes even the Pu Erh offerings that do not appear on our website -- the Strudel PuErh, Scottish Caramel Pu Erh and the Pu Erh in the mandarin oranges!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Darjeeling Workers Lift Tea Embargo for DTA Gardens
29 Mar 2011
By World Tea News

Darjeeling First Flush From ITA Member Gardens Held Hostage

“The situation in Darjeeling is a mess,” observed Devan Shah, CEO of International Tea Importers (ITI) on his return from the troubled region. A partial embargo by workers of shipments from India Tea Association gardens continues. On Wednesday workers lifted an embargo at 63 Darjeeling Tea Association gardens that had escalated to the point where “workers show up to work, tea is manufactured but not shipped. There is a big backlog of teas and the clock is ticking for these teas,” says Shah.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The embargo of first flush Darjeeling was lifted by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha at 63 gardens Wednesday freeing growers to resume tea shipments that have been disrupted since March 4. The decision makes it posible for suppliers to meet European demand before the important Easter holiday sales season. Only gardens represented by the Darjeeling Tea Association will benefit at this time. There are 87 gardens in the region. The remainder are represented by the Indian Tea Association (ITA).

The decision by the Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union was announced when DTA garden owners agreed to resume talks on a proposed daily rate hike. The 20 member gardens of the Indian Tea Association "will continue to be crippled by the embargo" according to reports in The Telegraph of Calcutta.

The DTA's decision undermines efforts by the Consultive Committee of Plantation Associations (CCPA) which represents 20 ITA gardens, 63 DTA gardens and four independents.

The Telegraph reported that separately the Labour Department, the CCPA and representatives of other trade unions met in Siliguri to discuss a wage agreement that expires Thursday. Participants rejected Morcha's demand to conduct separate wage talks.

The newspaper reported that wage parity among gardens has been the norm.

Monojit Dasgupta, the secretary general of the CCPA, told the group “We are serious about inking the new wage agreement at the earliest. The tripartite talks have proved to be fruitful in fixing the wages. The issue can be resolved amicably.”

A strike in support of the political movement to further divide West Bengal to create the state of Gorkhaland has hampered Darjeeling tea deliveries since Mar. 4. Protests in support of establishing a home state for the Gorkha has disrupted life in all three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. Last week the GJM failed to resolve differences after meeting with garden owners following street protests and a general strike. In response the GJM stopped the dispatch of sample tea bags from the hill gardens. Soon after an embargo of all tea shipments was imposed.

The Darjeeling Tea Association (DTA) represents the majority of Darjeeling's gardens. The older ITA represents the remainder. The Morcha-controlled Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union is seeking an increase from Rs57 ($1.27) to Rs154 ($3.44) a day.

First and second flush teas account for 70 percent of the region's annual revenue which produced 8.2 million kg in 2010. The region employs 55,000 workers in the tea gardens which cover 45,000 acres (18,000 hectares).

According to the Darjeeling Times, garden owners hope to discuss the wage revision “in conformity with well established practices towards a composite agreement covering all sections of the West Bengal tea industry.” This means that the discussion must be carried out with all operating tea unions in Bengal and that no separate parleys could be held only with the Morcha’s union."

"The movement for a separate Gorkha state dates back to the 1980s. Since then it has claimed thousands of human lives. The movement gained momentum last year when the GJM organized strikes on two occasions," according to the Indial publication Hardnews. India employs millions of tea garden workers in its annual production of 10,000 million tonnes; 100,000 are employed in the Siliguri region which last year produced 40,000 tonnes of tea.

Last week tourists were seen fleeing the hills to avoid harassment during the strike. Amid simmering tension, worried parents feared for their children studying in the hill schools. Students have also started moving out of the hills. Supplies to Sikkim were also disrupted as the only highway to the hill state was blocked by the protestors. A guided tour of German tourists in SUVs was detained.

In a statement to the media the CCPA expressed "concern over the move on the part of the Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union seeking to bypass... well established norms to achieve their ends through threats which could completely destroy the Darjeeling tea industry.”
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The good news is that all of the SensibiliTeas Darjeeling teas come from estates that are covered by the Darjeeling Tea Association -- Makaibari, Goomtee, Gopaldhara, Avongrove, Risheehat.
Hoping shipments can be begin soon. A word of caution though ... the price of Darjeeling teas can be expected to rise in the coming months.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Colicky baby?

(the title of the blog post is a link to the referenced article)

Yay! Perhaps the coolest side effect of a downturned economy is how many start taking a look at natural healing! Chamomile, fennel, licorice (I don't mention balm mint because I don't have much experience with it...) to calm a baby's colic. Chamomile is also great for relaxing the baby and used topically will soften hair or is great for skin afflictions.
(If the baby or any one using the chamomile exhibit symptoms consistent with that of a ragweed allergy, please discontinue use.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial colors, flavors and sulphites.
Better off with diet soda? Not if they're sweetened with aspartame or sucrolose. You just set yourself up for a future of kidney and liver disease.

But who drinks only one CAN of soda anyway? Hasn't the normal serving become 20 oz? So that's 1.67x the sugar (17 teaspoons), 250 calories, 50-85 mg caffeine and even more artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and sulphites.

Even though studies have linked soda to osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay and heart disease, the average American still drinks an estimated 56 gallons of soft drinks each year. Additionally, consuming all that sugar will likely suppress your appetite for healthy foods, clearing the way for nutrient deficiencies.

If you routinely drink soda--regular or diet--eliminating it from your diet is one of the simplest and most profound health improvements you can make.

Replacing the soda with freshly brewed iced tea would be an incredible health improvement.
Freshly brewed iced tea boasts ten times the antioxidants you find in bottled tea products, and often just 1 TBSP of sugar is enough to sufficiently sweeten the tea if the sugar is completely dissolved. Even though my classic Southern sweet tea (my recipe) has lots of sugar (1/2 cup per quart/8 tsp) it is still less sugar than you find in soda.

SensibiliTeas has over 500 teas from which to choose! Let me teach you how to start your spring off in a healthy way!

Hoping to post iced tea recipes here as the weather warms up!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

National Australia Day, bottled water and the cold and flu season

Today, January 26 is National Australia Day (at least in Australia it is!)

This day commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and the proclamation at that time of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of New Holland.

Although it was not known as Australia Day until over a century later, records of celebrations on January 26th date back to 1808, with the first official celebration of the formation of New South Wales held in 1818. It is presently an official public holiday in every state and territory of Australia and is marked by inductions into the Order of Australia and presentations of the Australian of the Year awards, along with an address from the governor-general and prime minister.

On 09/26/09, hundreds of people marched through the picturesque rural town of Bundanoon to mark the first day of its bottled water ban by unveiling a series of new public drinking fountains. Such a smart move, knowing that bottled water is just tap water anyway ...

And Australians know the wonders of Lemon Myrtle, one of our best selling herbal tisanes and the perfect answer to the cold and flu season which will soon be peaking. Lemon myrtle is a plant grown in Australian and enjoyed as a beverage, a seasoning and can also be used as a insect repellant or antiseptic.

For general wellness, we recommend one cup a day. If ``something's going around'', two cups a day. And if you are already not feeling well, three cups back to back as soon as possible.
Usually $3.00 per ounce we'll have it on sale for the rest of the week at $2.50 per ounce.
Drink ... and be well!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Neotame ... the new neurotoxic sweetener

Neotame, New Neurotoxic Sweetener: FDA Says No Label Needed, Not Even in Organics
A Monsanto-created chemical, Neotame is likely more toxic than Aspartame. The FDA has quietly decided that we don't have the right to know if it's adulterating our food, not even if the food is labeled USDA Organic.
by Heidi Stevenson
2 January 2011

Aspartame can step aside. There's a new sweetener in town and it isn't saddled with the inconvenience of having to be listed on labels, so it can be sneaked into any prepared food, even USDA so-called Organic. So sayeth the FDA. Neotame is a Monsanto-created chemical similar to Aspartame, including its neurotoxic properties.
Monsanto developed Neotame as their Aspartame patent was expiring, and had no trouble in gaining FDA approval in 2002. They added 3-dimethylbutyl, a chemical listed as hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to Aspartame, making it both sweeter and more toxic.
Both Aspartame and Neotame contain substances that are metabolized into formaldehyde, a highly toxic poison, and an excitotoxic amino acid that agitates, thereby damaging, nerves.
At the time Neotame was originally approved by the FDA,, which battles the addition of many dodgy food additives, stated:
We did a search of MedLine to find studies of adverse effects or side effects of Neotame. Only four studies appeared, two of which were not studies, and the other two of which were actually a single study done by NutraSweet company researchers.
Feingold aptly described one of the nonstudies as effectively saying, "If we don't look, we won't know anything bad." The other, by the World Health Organization, is not a look at potential toxicity, but rather is about setting acceptable daily intakes of Neotame, along with other artificial sweeteners. Note: One must wonder how the FDA justifies non-listing of an ingredient for which there's an acceptable daily intake.
Mary Nash Stoddard, founder of the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network, compared the historic arc of tobacco company research with that of Aspartame. It applies equally well to Neotame:
There is a parallel issue with which to compare the Aspartame issue. That of cigarettes and the deadly effects of smoking. The massive Tobacco Industry is able to produce large volumes of scientific studies showing smoking does not cause: lung cancer, heart disease, strokes or death. Today, mainstream science accepts the fact that smoking can be deadly and addictive. So it is with Aspartame, whose approval was based, not on scientific fact, but as an issue of public policy.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Bad news from Assam, India

Assam teas, grown in the Assam region of in northeastern India, are known for their heartiness, boldness and maltiness and are therefore typically used as the base of most breakfast tea blends. The link provided here will lead you to a story that may help explain changes you may see coming in your strong teas in the future.

I beg that in the future if such changes occur within your teas, that you understand that I cannot control the climate that results in these changes.