Author Archives: Michael Geddes

The Importance of Pairing Tea with Food

The Importance of Pairing Tea with Food

It’s just as important to pair the right tea with your food as to pick the right wine with your dinner. Choosing the optimal tea can transform a simple meal into a memorable dining experience. Although there are several types and flavors to choose from in the world of tea, there are guidelines you can follow.

At Finest English Tea, we specialize in a variety of high quality teas, from earl grey tea and rooibos tea to green tea and herbal tea. We put together a simple guide to pairing an array of teas with food so that you can enhance the taste of your tea and meal, as well as have a unique dining experience.

What’s the Purpose of Pairing Tea with Food?

The importance of pairing tea with food is to strengthen the flavor of both the food and the beverage. A correct combination enables you to choose recipes that complement and accentuate each other by the taste of the tea and vice versa. Fortunately, tea can be paired with a diversity of foods, from spicy Asian dishes to rich chocolate desserts. Below we cover four essential types of tea and which meals compliment them best.

What are the Types of Teas to Pair with Food?

  1. Pairing English Tea

Many types of english teas have strong and heavy flavors so they pair nicely with flavorful dishes, including spicy foods, meats and seasoned chicken. Sweet pastries also pair well with a cup of black tea on the side.

If you’re drinking smoky black teas, then they should be paired with blackened fishes, dark meats, and dark chocolate. However, sometimes strongly sweetened desserts don’t pair well with black tea. On the other hand, earthy black teas, are great beverages to have with potatoes, tangy chicken, or gravy recipes.

  1. Pairing White Tea

Because white tea has a very soft and silky taste, the beverage pairs nicely with subtle foods, such as plain vegetables or salad with light dressing. White tea is one of the most subtle and delicate flavors, so it should be paired with lightly seasoned meals.

If you pair white tea with strong foods or heavily seasoned dishes, then you’ll miss the light aroma and flavor of the beverage. If you’d like to enhance the sweet flavor of the white tea, then add a spoonful of honey, such as Finest English Tea’s raw and natural honey.

  1. Pairing Green Tea

Green tea has a natural grassy flavor, thus it pairs perfectly with mildly seasoned foods, such as chicken, salads, fish or seafood. You can also pair green tea with some fruits, such as melon. Fruity green teas pair very well with chicken, sandwiches, or unsweetened pastries, as well as make a refreshing iced tea. In contrast, smoky green teas are stronger in taste and pair smoothly with pan-fried chicken, stir fry, or even vegetable pizza.

  1. Pairing Herbal Tea

Herbal teas come in a variety of flavors, from earthy and sweet to minty and bitter. Because of their digestive health benefits, herbal tea goes perfectly after a big meal, such as peppermint or minty tea flavors. Herbal teas are great for neutralizing oily dishes, such as stir-fry or meat recipes. In addition, the light flavor of herbal tea can pair well with greasy foods, such as popcorn, oily chicken or noodles.

Whether you choose green tea with chicken or english tea with dark meats, it’s always best to find an ideal complement of aroma and taste. Start browsing your favorite teas and plan your next recipe with Finest English Tea!

Please visit www.finestenglishtea.com to browse our tea and honey selections or call 408.444-1013 to learn more. 

Find Out What Makes Kenya Tea Superior

Find Out What Makes Kenya Tea Superior

If you drink tea, surely you’ve heard of Kenyan tea. You might wonder what’s all the hype is about.

The popularity of Kenyan tea is not just about the taste. There is more to this tea than just something to drink.

Here’s the lowdown on Kenyan tea.

Kenyan Tea Characteristics

Kenyan tea has a distinct taste and quality. It has a bright amber color and a full-bodied flavor. It is brisk and powerful. You can drink it with milk and the flavor will stand, which is why it is used in several blends such as English Breakfast tea.

With fresh Kenyan tea, you are guaranteed to get a strong cup of tea.

The secret to Kenyan tea is the climate of Kenya. The country’s tropical climate and deep reddish soil is perfect for producing the best tea. The soil itself has high mineral content, making tea bushes thrive.

The high altitude of where tea bushes are grown — at over 8,000 feet —  also contribute to the higher antioxidant levels contained in the leaves.

The farmers pluck the tea gingerly, careful not to damage them and affect the taste in the process. The leaves are gathered and dried and cut to be packed into loose leaf bags or teabags.

The tea plants are nourished year-round sunshine and abundant rainfall. The tea leaves are moist and they grow all year round.

The best Kenyan teas are still harvested from January to March and June and July.

Here’s another thing, drinking Kenyan tea is good, but what makes it great and superior to other teas is that it’s more than your experience.

When you choose Kenyan tea, you are choosing fair producing and trade practices.

Sustainable and Fair Trade Practices

Nowadays, consumers are more sensitive as to where the stuff they’re consuming is sourced. The way we eat and drink has changed so much, we now discuss the sourcing and production of our food and drink and whether lives were harmed in the process.

The farmers of Kenyan tea grow, harvest, and dry the tea leaves. The Kenyan tea industry is progressive and protects Kenyan human rights.

Kenyan farmers also maintain sustainable practices so as not to negatively affect Kenyan natural resources as well as diminish the quality of their tea.

Almost all Kenyan black tea produced by the country is by small-scale farmers. To the East, where the best tea from Kenya is produced, are the small-scale farmers.

The Kenyan farmers have their own cooperatives and groups and run their own processing factories.

Larger operations are to the West. Tea plantations owned by multinational corporations are Rainforest Alliance Certified. They also have bargaining agreements with workers. These companies also allow their workers to form their own union.

The tea processing facilities in Kenya meet local and British quality standards and are certified.

Kenya is Africa’s largest tea producer and exporter and has been producing tea since 1903.

Since Kenyan tea is grown all year round, it’s very easy to get your hands on fresh Kenyan tea. Many factors come together to make Kenyan tea superior tea. Think of this the next time you take a sip of Kenyan tea or Kenyan Gold Tea.

Why Use A Ceramic Teapot For Tea

Why Use A Ceramic Teapot For Tea

When deciding on a teapot for tea, it’s not a matter of which teapot is best, it’s a matter of which type of teapot is most suitable for you.

Every teapot possesses unique features and has serious advantages over other types. There is one type of teapot that you must have seen in many shops that sell tea, and that’s the ceramic teapot or clay teapot.

Is the ceramic teapot the best teapot for you? Let’s find out.

The Ceramic Teapot

Tea drinkers spanning many generations and cultures have been using ceramic teapots for tens of thousands of years.

Ceramic teapots that have been used for 11,000 years have a no-nonsense appeal. While some also feature more intricate designs and come with ceramic teacups.

But Why Use Ceramic Teapots?

Ceramic pots are great for tea for they retain heat for a longer period of time in comparison to other teapots. This feature is especially useful for black tea. The ceramic teapot stays hot and the tea stays fresh longer.

Safety is also a key feature since you can handle ceramic teapots without the risk of burning yourself. The handle will remain cool to the touch. These teapots are also lightweight, which makes for easy handling. For these reasons, it is a much safer alternative for older people.

When it comes to cleaning, ceramic teapots are easy to clean. It’s advisable not to wash it with soap. You can simply rinse, dry and repeat use.

Ceramic teapots are also versatile and go with any kitchen decor style. For this reason, tea drinkers usually have more than one in their kitchen and another one in their bedroom.

Some Things You Need To Know About Your Ceramic Teapot

Ceramic teapots are made of clay, very porous material, and because of that, they have high heat and taste retention qualities. It is recommended that you use one type of tea repeatedly per ceramic teapot.

With a western style ceramic teapot, you can brew Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan black tea in one clay teapot. Eastern style ceramic teapots are perfect for brewing green tea with bigger leaves. It’s not advisable to brew green tea in it today and then black tea the next day.

This is alright for tea drinkers who only drink one type of tea — but what if you have a variety of teas on rotation?

You can fix this by having a ceramic teapot for every major tea variety. If you see the quality an design of ceramic teapots nowadays, this shouldn’t be an issue. You have great options and you can take home ceramic teapots in different hues.

A Ceramic Teapot Is Perfect For Traditional Tea Drinkers

Ceramic teapots are ideal for the more traditional tea drinkers. If you make tea drinking a ceremony, that habit calls for a ceramic teapot.

Clay teapots can be charming, simple, decorative, and utilitarian concurrently.

The way you prepare your tea will have a significant impact on the taste, flavor, and drinkability of your brew.

Any serious tea drinker should experience making their brews in them. Any tea drinker would be happy to receive a ceramic teapot for a gift.

The Basket-Style Infuser For a Full-Bodied Taste

The Basket-Style Infuser For a Full-Bodied Taste

A tea infuser is great for bringing out the flavor in loose leaf tea leaves.

With it, you can make your own cup of full-bodied tea – just the way you like it. And all without too much work — all you have to do is insert the amount of tea you want, stick it into the infuser, and pour hot water over it.

Tea infusers come in a variety of styles. Be it in stick or ball form or perforated metal or wire mesh baskets.

For tea infusers — the larger the better

When choosing the size of infuser, it’s better to choose a larger size, enough to hold a 3 gram serving of tea leaves. Tea leaves need plenty of room, enough to grow and expand in size. More room is also needed for full circulation of the water, to create a proper infusion.

Also, there are some tea leaves that are larger and wider, which, a small strainer will make it harder to brew. When tea leaves are crammed into a small strainer, some do not get full exposure to water. This results in some tea leaves — especially those packed in the center — failing to unfurl.

The tea that’s produced is weak and not flavorful, which is an utter waste of perfect tea leaves.

Larger tea infusers are easier to clean

Larger tea infusers are also much easier to clean than smaller strainers, especially models that can hold at least 10 tablespoons of tea leaves.

Basket-style infusers create a superior quality cup of tea

Basket-style tea infusers are much larger and roomier than other tea infusers on the market. Larger basket style infusers mean more space for the tea leaves to unfurl and for the water to circulate, leaving no leaf dry.

Basket-style infusers have an opening measuring 2 inches or more which is easier to reach into to clean.

What makes these basket infusers so great is that they have no clunky moving parts — no clasps, clips, etc.

Basket-style infusers also have smaller perforations than other tea infuser models, which prevents the escape of the tiniest bit of tea leaves. Basket style infusers with a tightly woven mesh will keep the leaves within the infuser.

If you don’t like floating leaves in your cup of tea, like a lot of people, you’d appreciate this.

Stainless steel infusers are safe and won’t affect the taste of your brew

Stainless steel infusers will not change the taste of your tea. They also facilitate cleaning, as it’s easier to just tap out the used tea leaves to empty the infuser.

Ensure that the infuser is BPA free.

The market is saturated with various devices for making tea – from simple ones to the most lavishly priced ones.

If you’ve recently made the switch to loose leaf tea, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the options.

What you should know is that you don’t need a fancy schmancy device. You need something that is easy to use, easy to clean, made with safe materials, and fairly straightforward, like a basket-style infuser.

5 Reasons Why Loose Leaf Tea Is Better Than Bagged Tea

5 Reasons Why Loose Leaf Tea Is Better Than Bagged Tea

Have you ever wondered why people take the time to prepare loose leaf tea? Why go through the ritual when there are tea bags that can cut down the time it takes to enjoy it?

But the fact is, loose leaf preparation has many great benefits. In fact, even more so than bagged teas.

You’ve heard it from tea aficionados. Let’s go through the 5 reasons why loose leaf tea is better than bagged tea.

1) Loose Leaf Tea Has Double The Health Benefits

Loose leaf tea consists of larger leaves, which means it retains more of its polyphenols and catechins.

What this means is that you more of tea’s cancer-fighting, cholesterol and blood pressure lowering, and weight loss benefits. It’s also a bigger boost to your immune system.

Bagged tea naturally has less of these benefits. Loose leaf tea will always have more since the leaves are bigger. What you get is a healthier cup of tea and more double the benefits you’d get in bagged tea.

To get maximum benefits, make sure to brew your loose leaf tea within to 6 to 8 months of buying.

2) Loose Leaf Tea Has A Fresh Smell And Richer Flavor

Bagged tea contains tea dust or fannings. Loose leaf tea leaves, with a greater surface area, means you can steep out more natural oils out of them. More natural oils mean a richer flavor and a stronger and fresh aroma.

With loose leaf tea, you get a fresh and clean taste, and, depending on the type of tea, a sweet, floral, earthy, floral, or orange taste as well. You can taste the subtle nuances of the tea depending on its variety.

With a loose-leaf version of Earl Gray tea, you get a more distinct orange bergamot taste.

Bagged tea does appear to be a little weaker than loose leaf tea due to the size of the leaves contained in loose leaf tea.

3) You Can Enjoy A Wide Variety Of Loose Leaf Teas

There are four main types of tea: white, green, black, and oolong. But each of these can yield many varieties.

With bagged tea, you are limiting yourself to what’s on supermarket shelves. With loose leaf tea, you get to explore more varieties of your favorite type of tea.

Worldwide, different cultures cultivate and process them, and a greater portion of tea produced internationally is in loose leaf form.

This means a great deal to tea lovers. More varieties of tea mean more pleasures derived from drinking tea!

4.) With Loose Leaf Tea, You Can Control The Strength Of Your Tea

Another great thing about loose leaf tea is that you can control the strength of your tea. If you like your tea strong, you can add more leaves to create a stronger cup of tea.

Here’s another thing, you can also create your own taste by mixing different varieties of loose leaf teas.

5.) Loose Leaf Tea Is Of Superior Quality

According to Steve Schwartz, the founder and CEO of Art of Tea, there’s a world of a difference in quality between loose-leaf tea and bagged teas you find in grocery stores.

Just as a bag of potato chips, the chips at the top of the bag are the whole, unbroken pieces. They represent loose-leaf tea. The crumbs at the bottom represent the dust fanning that’s used in bagged teas you find in the grocery.

So, if you want a full-bodied taste in your daily cup of tea, try more loose leaf teas.

Remember, tea that’s young and fresh is good quality tea, and loose leaf tea can also be stale if it’s been stocked in the warehouse too long. Therefore, be specific about wanting fresh loose leaf teas.

Of course, not all bagged teas are created equal. There are premium teas that you won’t normally find in your local supermarket and are of a higher quality than supermarket variety teas.

Choose wisely, and choose only the best and freshest loose leaf teas or bagged teas.

3 Powerful Cancer-Fighting Teas

3 Powerful Cancer-Fighting Teas

Tea has been widely used throughout history as a treatment for a vast number of health conditions.

Studies have shown that drinking tea lowers your risk of developing diseases. And there is no disease more worrying that cancer.

There are three powerful teas that have been shown to kill cancer cells — Roobois, Green, and Earl Grey.

The three are rich in flavonoids and polyphenols. But how exactly do they beat cancer cells?

Rooibos

The leaves of Rooibos — also known as “red bush tree,” when prepared as a tea provides a multitude of health benefits for the drinker.

Rooibos tea does not contain caffeine, which means you can drink more of it if you wish.

It has an earthy vanilla taste and has been described as smoky, sweet, woody, and grassy.

Roobois Prevents Oxidative Stress

Cancer develops when the free radicals outnumber antioxidants in the body. This imbalance causes oxidative stress and damages your DNA cells.

Studies show that rooibos enhances the antioxidant capacity of the body and rids the body of free radicals and reduces the damage caused by oxidative stress.

Roobois Kills Cancer Cells

Rooibos tea also causes “apoptosis,” aptly known as cancer cell death. It is 30 percent more effective at killing cancer cells than other types of tea.

If you are particularly concerned about cancer, better add rooibos tea to your daily habit since it is shown to be particularly effective on premalignant cells.

The powerful compounds in rooibos tea kill cancer cells, ultimately preventing them from multiplying.

Roobois Supports Normal Cells

Rooibos tea also supports healthy and normal cells by removing precancerous cells from the body. It interrupts the progression and cell growth of cancer cells.

Roobois Reduces Inflammation

Excess inflammation has been linked to the development of cancer. For this reason, people diagnosed with cancer are advised to eat anti-inflammatory foods.

It specifically targets inflammation in the gut. So if you suffer from gut problems, rooibos tea is going to help relieve your stomach issues.

Green Tea

Here’s another cancer-fighting tea made from the Camellia sinensis plant — green tea.

It is produced by steaming or heating the fresh leaves of Camellia sinensis immediately after harvesting. It has a seaweed, grass-like and toasted flavor profile.

Green tea contains naturally occurring compounds such as catechins and polyphenols.

Polyphenol Powerhouse

Green tea polyphenols that include catechins are responsible for its great health benefits.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant catechin in green tea. Another catechin is Epigallocatechin (ECG).

Both have high antioxidant activity. They act to neutralize the “free radicals” in your body, limiting the damage that the free radicals can cause.

If you don’t already know, free radicals are highly reactive molecules that have the ability to damage your cells.

Cancer-Killer

Laboratory studies show that green tea slows the growth of cancer cells, or prevents it entirely.

They also prevent the formation of new blood vessels that cancer cells use to feed themselves.

Green tea also boosts the immune system and triggers the natural detox enzymes of your body to protect against cancer.

Consuming 2-3 cups of green tea every day will benefit your health and boost your immune system.

Earl Grey Tea

Earl Grey tea is Fine English Tea created with the infusion of black tea and bergamot oil. It has a very floral flavor with distinct citrus and grapefruit undertones.

The bergamot essential oil is shown to prevent various cancers of the liver, colon, and the skin.

Researchers at the University of Messina in Italy studied the effects of bergamot juice in human liver cancer cells. Their study was published in Life Sciences (2016).

Antiproliferative Nature of Bergamot 

What they saw was bergamot juice’s powerful antiproliferative activity — the bergamot juice prevented the malignant cancer cells from spreading to healthy tissues.

Bergamot Causes Cancer Cells To Self-Destruct

According to the lead researcher, Nadia Ferlazzo, the results also show that bergamot juice caused cancer cells in the liver to self-destruct or commit suicide. In other words, the cancer cells effectively underwent apoptosis.

This study also revealed bergamot’s ability to slow the growth of cancer cells. The findings in the study prove that bergamot could play a role in the development of an anticancer drug.

Other studies have shown the powerful effect of bergamot oil on cancer cells in the colon. It’s also effective in preventing neuroblastoma cell growth.

If cancer is a particular worry of yours, it won’t hurt to add green tea, rooibos tea, and Earl Grey tea to your daily habit.

The polyphenols and flavonoids alone found in these teas are good reasons to incorporate both teas into your lifestyle.

6 Reasons Why You Should Drink Tea Everyday

6 Reasons Why You Should Drink Tea Everyday

Although many people enjoy drinking coffee in the morning, tea is an excellent replacement that can either calm you or wake you up when you need that extra push. Basically, tea is a healthy and soothing substitute you can drink all throughout the day or evening, all while consuming less caffeine than coffee.

At Finest English Tea, we specialize in quality tea products to satisfy each and every one of our customers: from english tea and herbal tea to afternoon tea and raw honey. Here are 6 reasons why people should drink tea everyday:

  1. First, tea is a lot easier to make than coffee.

Oftentimes, making a cup of hot tea only requires boiling water, tea and a tea cup. When making coffee, you need to purchase a coffee machine to brew the coffee, and possibly grind the beans. If your mornings are usually busy, substitute a cup of java for hot tea!

  1. Tea and honey… need we say more?

We all know that honey pairs exceptionally well with tea. Finest English Tea offers homemade, natural raw honey and creamed honey to satisfy your sweet cravings. Natural honey not only provides numerous health benefits, but is loaded with antioxidants. In addition, honey is a healthy “sweetener” for all hot and cold tea beverages alike.

  1. Tea is named one of the “necessities of life” in China.

According to the “Seven Necessities of Life” by Sung Chinese people, tea is consumed on a daily basis and can’t be forgotten. From bold english teas and rich green teas to herbal peppermint teas and exotic African teas, there are a variety of tea types to choose from at Finest English Tea. Start browsing here!

  1. Drinking tea can relieve stress and anxiety.

Drinking hot tea is well-known for calming stress and making you feel rested. Finest English Tea’s herbal range teas, such as Camomile Infusion 25’s, are caffeine-free teas to consume in the evening or before bedtime. Peppermint Infusion Tea is known to aid digestion, too.

  1. Hot tea could help with seasonal allergies.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies every year, drinking hot tea could help improve your symptoms. When you start your day with a cup of hot tea, such as Rington’s Signature Green Jasmine Tea, your allergy symptoms could be slightly improved. Hot tea is excellent for soothing throat pain and healing stuffy noses or sinus infections, as well as control bacteria in the body.

  1. Some people believe that drinking tea is just as hydrating as water.

Last year, the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that tea rehydrates the body just as much as water. In addition, because many types of tea contain antioxidants, such as green tea, there’s an extra bonus. Basically, tea replaces your fluids, as well as supplies your body with plentiful antioxidants, so it’s a win-win for you.

Finest English Tea offers a variety of english tea, herbal tea, afternoon tea, and daytime tea to suit everyone’s tea cravings. Browse our diverse selection of teas and honeys at finestenglishtea.com, or call our toll-free line at 800.529-4954 if you have any questions.

Southwest Tea Fest - Las Vegas, NV

2017 Tea Festival Round Up

After our first year’s trials, we went West Coast tea fest shopping and came back with quite the haul.

Southwest Tea Fest – Las Vegas, NV

We started back at our roots with the 2017 SWTF. This year, a two day event, was held at the lucky dragon casino in Las Vegas. As event veterans (loosely used term), we felt at home and managed to spread tea and Ringtons to the bottom left region of the states while enjoying the company of friends and fellow tea lovers. As for the future, the event will be postponed until further notice. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

Southwest Tea Fest - Las Vegas, NV

Tea Fest PDX – Portland, OR

Out of the desert and into the city of roses, this time for the inaugural pdx tea fest. There was an incredible reception for a place that has quietly changed the world of tea. Home to Stash Tea, and the legend of tea entrepreneur Steve Smith, it was rejuvenating to see people’s enthusiasm, interest, and the growing industry we consider ourselves lucky to be a part of.

Tea Fest PDX - Portland, ORNorthwest Tea Festival – Seattle, WA

The Mecca of the west coast tea festivals. The Northwest Tea Fest. We missed the opportunity for year 9 but were fortunate enough to make it to the decennial event.

Held in Seattle, we made the drive up from San Jose with one lunch stop, and arrived 17 hours later.

Worth it.

People were amazing, kind, and genuinely interested in everything tea. By far the most successful show we’ve attended and look forward to being able to return for number 11.

Northwest Tea Festival - Seattle, WA

San Francisco International Tea Festival – San Francisco, CA

As our second SFITF, and the one we consider our home festival, we were much better prepared this time around. Thousands came out to experience Bay Area tea as well as our locally produced honey! With the popularity, we almost felt like a honey company that does tea on the side! It went fantastic and we already have space marked on the calendar for next year!

San Francisco International Tea Festival - San Francisco, CA

Devan Shah Tea Festival – Pasadena, CA

The final destination for this year’s tour, Pasadena.

People turned out in droves for the two day event. We feel as if we’re starting to get a hang of these events and even feel like locals as we’re recognize not only our fellow tea vendors but returning tea aficionados as well. Hopefully we’ll continue to learn and improve from these ventures and add to our tea tour!

Devan Shah Tea Festival - Pasadena, CA

That’s it for our 2017 tea festival circuit!

The seeds have been well planted this year and we’re looking forward to 2018. 

If you’d like us to pay a visit to your town through an event or as a vendor, please reach out at info@finestenslightea.com or call us at 408.444-1013

Best,

Ian, Michael, & Kirsten

The Tea Festival Team

Creamed Honey Image

Why We Love Creamed Honey

Did you know that creamed honey is known as la crème de la crème? Oftentimes, creamed honey is sold at a premium price due to its thickness, unique taste and aroma, and nutritional benefits. Many parents enjoy creamed honey because its thickness prevents spills and messes in the kitchen; in addition, creamed honey makes the perfect breakfast or snack for children.

At Finest English Tea, we specialize in top quality raw honey, whether it’s plain or flavored. Here are a few reasons why we love creamed honey:

  1. Creamed honey is just as nutritious as liquid honey.

Many people are surprised to hear that creamed honey is equally as nutritious as liquid honey. There’s no difference in health benefits, quality, or antibiotic value. The only difference is that creamed honey has a thick and full-bodied texture compared to liquid honey. In addition, creamed honey is less messy than liquid honey, which is perfect as a breakfast treat or afternoon snack for your kids.

  1. Creamed honey comes from a variety of beekeepers.

The delicious, rich, and thick creamed honey comes from an assortment of organic beekeepers across the United States, Canada, South America, and New Zealand. Although creamed honey sells at a higher price than liquid honey, it’s the worth the extra dollars! Creamed honey is incredibly thick, rich tasting, smooth, and easily spreadable; you can spread creamed honey on toasted bread for breakfast, or on apples and pears for an afternoon snack.

  1. Creamed honey isn’t the same as whipped honey.

Many people think that creamed honey is whipped liquid honey, like butter; however, this is just a misconception. Creamed honey is crystallized, not whipped. If you whip liquid honey, it’s actually dangerous and can possibly introduce moisture and bacteria in the mix. Whipping liquid honey will also not produce the thick, rich quality of creamed honey. In the future, be wary of recipes that call for whipped honey.

At Finest English Teas, we pride ourselves in producing top quality honey and delicious teas for everyone. For more information on our honey and teas, please visit finestenglishteas.com.

Top 5 Types of Tea Image

Top 5 Most Popular Types of Teas

Although all teas come from the exact plant called Camellia Sinensis, there are hundreds of  unique kinds of teas, with their own exotic taste, appearance, and aroma. The most popular types of tea today are green, white, oolong, black, and herbal. These types of teas refer to how a tea is oxidized, or fermented. By exposing the tea leaves to air, tea growers can expose special flavors and aromas from the leaves.

At Finest English Tea, we have a fine selection of rich, full bodied teas to enhance your tea experience. Here are the top 5 most popular types of teas, from black teas and oolong flavors to white teas and fruity infusions:

  1. White Tea

Only a few years ago, white tea was cultivated in China. White tea is the most gentle and soothing taste of tea, and it can even taste elusive with unusual flavors like asparagus or bamboo. White tea also has several health benefits, including numerous antioxidants that help boost cardiovascular health, lower bad cholesterol levels, and manage healthy weight loss.

  1. Green Tea

Unlike white tea, green tea is unoxidized, which helps keep their important color. In China, green tea leaves are roasted or pan-fired to bring out more unique flavors in the tea. Green tea has a range of flavors, from smoky with a lighter body, or citrus-like. Green tea has enormous health benefits, such as high antioxidants with about 20-45 percent of polyphenols by weight.

  1. Oolong Tea

Did you know that Oolong tea means “Black Dragon” in Chinese? Oolong tea is semi-fermented, whereas black tea is fully fermented. Oolong tea was first created in China and Taiwan, where the oolong tea leaves are oxidized and then fired. Oolong tea has a wide range of flavors, with distinctive tastes and fragrances. Oolong tea is known to improve mental alertness and thinking skills, and it has plenty of antioxidants that may boost your metabolism by up to 10%.

  1. Black Tea

Black tea is the most reputable tea in the West, although it was originally cultivated in China and comes from the Indian regions of Assam, Darjeeling, and Nilgiri. Black tea makes a great breakfast drink or soft afternoon tea. In Europe, “estate teas” are the new trend, meaning that teas come from an estate or yard from a certain year. Like a nice glass of wine, estate teas have unique flavors depending on where they’re grown.

At Finest English Tea, our black teas are specially crafted from the finest blends and estates; from Kenyan earl grey teas and Assam breakfast blends to flavorful Kenyan gold teas and exotic African teas. Browse our black tea selection at https://finestenglishtea.com/product-category/everyday-teas/.

  1. Tisane, or Herbal and Fruity Infusions

Tisane teas, or herbal and floral teas, refer to a large selection of plants and fruity infusions that present delicate and sweet tastes and smells. Many people who drink decaf coffee or caffeine-free products choose herbal teas; tisane is soothing for the body and makes an excellent drink for children. Many herbal teas have natural health benefits, such as Vitamin C and antioxidants.

At Finest English Tea, we offer Herbal Range Teas with unique herbs and fruit, such as pure peppermint, lemon, ginger, and ginseng, pure chamomile, and many more. Browse our herbal range teas at https://finestenglishtea.com/product-category/herbal-range/.

We hope you enjoy these 5 most popular teas around the world. For more information on Finest English Tea and our high-quality, unique tea selections, please call our toll-free line at 800.529-4954.

Tea Smoking: A Unique Flavor Enhancer

Tea Smoking: A Unique Flavor Enhancer

Are you looking for a simple way to add a unique flavor to your food? Tea smoking is a centuries-old culinary technique known to add a delicate smoked flavor to chicken, pork, seafood and other meats. Food smoked with tea leaves originated in ancient China, where a mixture of tea leaves and uncooked rice would be heated in a wok until it smoked. The trapped smoke would then be used to cook and flavor their dishes. Since tea smoking only requires a few tools, it is a quick and easy way to enhance the flavor of your food.

Each type of tea has its own unique notes and works best with certain meat. Black teas are perfect for red meats, turkey or salmon and infuses deep, dark caramel notes. If you’re looking for a spicy kick, chai teas are your best bet. For an extra depth of flavor, herbal teas can add floral notes while green teas impart fragrant grassy notes, pairing it well with white fish or chicken. For a great source of rich tasting, full bodied tea products, check out the tea collection offered by Finest English Tea. You’ll find a wide range of tea products that include everything from traditional English black teas, green teas, herbals, fruit infusions and more!

Naturally tender meats like pork belly, chicken thigh, salmon and duck are usually selected for tea smoking. However, your options are endless so experiment with different tea types and find out which one you like the best. Vegetables can also be infused with smoky tea flavor and will taste delicious!

Tea Smoking: A Unique Flavor Enhancer

To get started, follow these simple steps and immerse yourself in the art of tea smoking.

1. Gather these items:
-wok/pan
-tight-fitting lid/foil
-wire rack/steamer

2. Layer your wok
You will need 3-4 layers of foil to line your wok. The foil edges should overhang the sides of the wok.

3. Prepare the tea mixture
Combine loose tea leaves with uncooked rice in equal parts. Feel free to add seasonings, spices and herbs to the mix. Brown sugar can also be added to help speed up the smoking process.

4. Add the tea mixture to the wok/pan
Evenly spread the mixture over the base of the wok/pan. Heat it up until the tea leaves begin to smoke.

5. Start smoking
Position the wire rack/steamer around 5 cm above the tea mixture. Place your food on the rack and then cover it with the lid or foil until the food is thoroughly cooked.

Precooking your meat may be a good idea if it’s extra thick. Be careful not to let the tea leaves smoke too long or you may end up with the smoky flavor becoming too bitter.

Once you’ve perfected the art of tea smoking, you can start experimenting with the various tea types and add a new dimension of flavors to your food.

Southwest Tea Fest | Explore tea through the Southwest

Southwest Tea Fest | Explore tea through the Southwest

Southwest Tea Fest | Explore tea through the Southwest

Southwest Tea Fest

The dust has settled and Nevada’s earth, admittedly a few months later, has been washed from the car. We were reluctant as we had such fun at the inaugural Southwest TeaFest in Las Vegas on February 27th.

 

It was an eventful day where the 600+ visitors could walk through and enjoy the old Las Vegas subway station, which has since been converted into a marketplace. Yoga, Live music, food trucks, every type of tea, tea education, teaware, and everything else tea was available and on display at the festival.

 

We were fortunate enough to take part in the growing tea community of Las Vegas, handing out samples of both our tea and honey, as well as holding a raffle, where the winners took home some coveted teaware.

 

Southwest Tea Fest | Explore tea through the SouthwestSouthwest Tea Fest | Explore tea through the Southwest

 

The people were lovely and truly made the event.

Not just the attendees, but the volunteers and coordinators made it the success that it was. It was an honor and privilege to be a part of the SWTF2016.

 

We had our own success as well, as we ran out of tea samples, and completely sold out of our honey! We’ll be better equipped next time, as we plan on doing it again in 2017, hoping to see you out there next year!

 

Watch the video recap here:

 

 

Learn more about the Southwest Teafest @ https://swteafest.com