Category Archives: BREW LAB TEA SAYS (Knowledge Tidbits)

Top 10 Reasons to Have a Cup of Tea

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Did you know that January is National Hot Tea Month? We celebrate tea all year long but we thought that it would be a great time to focus on the many reasons to add a cuppa to your day. We had a hard time keeping the list down to just 10.

1. It relaxes you.
L-Theanine is an amino acid found in tea that is known to reduce stress and anxiety while also improving relaxation.

2. It contains antioxidants
While it will never be a cure-all, tea contains antioxidants which help our bodies defend themselves against free radicals. Some studies suggest that it may protect against certain kinds of cancer.

3. It’s a healthy alternative to sugary drinks
Tea in its natural state contains zero calories. That makes it a great alternative to soft drinks and sugary juices.

4.It protects your teeth and gums
Tea contains catechin, an antioxidant that supports healthy gums and teeth.

5. It keeps you hydrated.
Despite it’s reputation because of caffeine, tea has been proven to hydrate our bodies just as much as water.

6. It keeps your heart healthy.
The flavonoids in tea promote heart health by reducing plaque build up in the arteries.

7. It is one of the world’s oldest beverages.
Tea has been cultivated since the Neolithic period. Each sip connects you thousands of years of history.

8. It’s celebrated by cultures all of the world.
England, India, China, Japan..the list goes on. There’s not many things that the whole word can agree on but a love for tea is definitely one of them.

9. It lets you get creative.
Tea can be prepared in so many different ways. Infuse it with fruit or even try using it as a base for a cocktail.

10. It tastes great!
All other benefits aside, we love tea simply because it tastes amazing.

What are your favorite reasons for drinking tea? Let us know in the comments!

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What’s in My Cup? Ginger

Here at the Brew Lab, we consider ginger a superstar ingredient.

While the knobby root may not be the most aesthetically appealing herb, the flavor and health benefits more than make up for its looks. This spice also happens to be in good company with plant relatives like tumeric, cardamom and galangal.

Ginger is native to the warm regions in South Asia and today is cultivated and used pickled, dried, ground into powder, candied, and fresh. Depending on its preparation, its flavor can be quite spicy, sweet or mild. Because of this range, you’ll find this multipurpose ingredient in savory dinner dishes, sweet desserts, and beverages—our favorite being ginger tisane, of course.

Famed for its natural medicinal properties, ginger may be most well known for its use to ease nausea. There’s a reason you’re offered ginger ale when you have a stomachache (just make sure it has real ginger, and not ginger flavoring!). It is also attributed with immune-boosting properties and aides with general digestion.

Below are a couple of our favorite ginger blends, but be sure to check out our full collection here.

Black & Ginger:

A pure ginger tisane—because ginger doesn’t need additional ingredients to make it great. This tisane is delicious on its own or mixed in tea cocktail form, as designed by Owl’s Brew here.

Black and Ginger

The Siberian (Vanilla Houjicha Ginger):

This blend is considered a coffee lover’s blend because of the rich flavor combination of roasted green tea, vanilla and ginger.

vanilla houjicha ginger

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What’s in My Cup? Peppermint!

peppermint

In light of the onset of the academic year, we’d like to feature one of our favorite focus-promoting herbs: peppermint. This leaf also happens to make a delicious tisane, alone or combined with other herbs and teas.

A hybrid between water-mint and spearmint, peppermint is native to Europe but is now grown worldwide. Originally cultivated as far back as ten-thousand years ago, peppermint has a storied history of medicinal uses including treatment for nausea and as a digestive aide. Other benefits attributed to peppermint and its aroma are improved alertness, memory and focus—all helpful as we return from summer vacations.

Along with its medicinal uses, peppermint oil is commonly employed as a perfume for skincare products and a natural flavoring in food and beverages. Additionally, the herb can be sprinkled onto all types of dishes, and in particular fresh peppermint leaves are a tasty addition to salads, cocktails and desserts.

Dried peppermint leaves are what we here at The Teaologist care most about. A peppermint tisane can be used to soothe a sore throat, or to provide morning clarity without the caffeine jitters. Our Peppermint Trellis and Chamomile Peppermint blends (pictured below) are two of our favorite, hot or cold.

Peppermint Trellis: An energizing blend comprised of peppermint, white tea and whole strawberries.

peppermint_trellis

Chamomile Peppermint: This simple combination of chamomile flowers and peppermint makes for a light and smooth tisane that is sure to calm the body and mind.

chamomile-peppermint

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What’s in My Cup? Lemon Verbena!

Lemon Verbena

Health comes in a wonderful array of flavors — admittedly, some of these flavors are less than palatable, but such is the sacrifice we make for wellness!  On the other hand, some foods make living a healthier lifestyle nothing less than a treat.  The lemon verbena herb is a prime example of a healthful and delectable nourishment.

Lemon verbena originates from western South America and was introduced to the global market in the 1700s. This herb has a history as rich as its scent—it was hailed in antiquity as a sacred and medicinal plant and used in drinks and teas for festive parties and parades.  In France during the 1850s  it became the main ingredient in many colognes of that era.

Most importantly to us here at The Teaologist, lemon verbena makes for an especially amazing tisane! In addition to the tangy essence, lemon verbena features an impressive range of health benefits.  It is known to help reduce anxiety, ease fevers and asthma, and relax muscles.  It is also highly regarded as a tonic for the nervous system, and is a mood-booster that helps eliminate stress.

Take advantage of the virtuous lemon verbena herb and try one of our featured blends: Lemon Verbena Peppermint, and the tea cocktail version, created by Owl’s Brew:

Lemon Verbena Peppermint: A caffeine-free blend, this tisane is perfect for the morning, as its components are naturally energizing.

Lemon Verbena Peppermint

Lemon Verbena Peppermint Tea Mojito by Owl’s Brew: A grown-up spin on the energizing tisane, this blend, when paired with lime juice, club soda, mint, agave and rum, is a great late afternoon refresher or evening sipper.

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What’s in My Cup? Blueberries!

blueberries

Summer is quintessentially American: The Fourth of July, fireworks, fairs and best of all, food and beverages! Americana is largely defined by the slew of good eats and drinks that you find come summertime. And summer isn’t complete without an essential component to the red, white and blue: berries! From tarts, pies, cookies, jams, even water infusions, blueberries are a staple during the warmer months. America seems to agree, as blueberries are only second to strawberries in consumption. However, not all are aware that the robust fruit provides more than just incredible flavor—it also maintains a host of nutritional benefits.

Most of the star power in blueberries resides in the high level of antioxidants. Also found in many other super-foods such as tomatoes, peaches and kale, antioxidants are naturally occurring vitamins that remove potentially damaging agents within living organisms. Initially used as a defense mechanism to keep the fruit healthy, all the antioxidant benefits transfer to you when consumed. The antioxidants in blueberries are promised to play a major role in skin revival, cancer prevention and brain vitality. Additionally, blueberries are ranked quite low on the glycemic index (GI), which means they are a natural bearer of essential antioxidants and vitamins without the high sugar level content.

So eat and drink up your blueberries! In the spirit of the blueberry’s peak season being summer, we at The Teaologist are featuring our two most popular berry blends:  The Camus and Berry Bunch:

The Camus

The Camus: With a bright burst of berry flavor, this tisane blend provides the perfect mixture of palatable appeal and nutrition. The hydrating effects courtesy of the rooibos and a touch of natural sweetness from the blueberries and raspberries makes The Camus a summertime essential.

  • berry bunch

Berry Bunch:  A colorful conglomerate of herbs, petals, and of course, blueberries compose this action-packed blend. Absolutely brimming with antioxidants, the Berry Bunch’s tart and fruity flavor makes a delicious iced tea.

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‘Tis The Season…For Iced Brewing! Eight Iced Tea Brewing Tips

Oh the weather outside is frightful—ly hot! Yes, Summer has finally arrived in NYC.  The stifling heat may seem endless and unforgiving, but we’ve come up with some wise tips for staying cool.   Staying hydrated is a vital component to surviving the summer, and The Owl just happens to be an expert in this arena.

A steaming cup of tea loses some appeal in the hot weather, and we at The Teaologist are always looking for ways to have our blends complement your day—even the hottest ones. While all of the custom blends on our website can be served iced in light of the season, we’ve brewed up some iced tea options for you.  We are offering these two blends conveniently bagged into one ounce sachets that can be cold-brewed, and yield one delicious, refreshing gallon.

Coco Chai Iced:  Our spiced chai is softened and rounded out with coconut notes.  This blend is sure to cool your day down, no matter how hot.

Coco Chai Iced

Spring Trellis Iced: For a blend that is hydrating and sure to be a hit with all crowds, we offer this tart green roobios, balanced with the natural sweetness of raspberry and tangy touch of lemon zest.

Spring Trellis Iced

Tea brewing is an art that the Owl takes quite seriously. There’s more to consider when brewing than just the basic components. Here are some tips on how to maximize the flavor and benefits of your iced tea this summer:

  1. Consider cold-brewing:  if you have an hour to spare, toss a one ounce bag of tea into a gallon of cool water – we recommend brewing in the fridge.  In 45 minutes, you’ll have a perfectly cool iced tea.
  2. Brew cool – and safe – “Sun Tea”- tea brewed in room temperature water and left in the sun – can harbor bacteria.
  3. Don’t skimp on the leaves! To bring your brew to the fullest potential, use  2 teaspoons per cup.
  4. Steep for deep flavor, but not for too long!  If hot brewing, aim for about three to four minutes per tea. Careful monitoring of time will prevent tannins and other unpleasant compounds found in teas from emerging too strongly.
  5. Iced tea in a pinch?  Brew “hot” with double the amount of leaves brewed to compensate for the melted ice cubes you’ll need to flash cool your cup.
  6. Tea is healthiest when freshly brewed. However, if you’d like to store leftover brews for some postponed savoring, add a bit of lemon juice to help preserve the flavonoids.  Unsweetened tea can last 5 – 7 days if properly stored.
  7.  Some of summer’s most delicious iced teas are made with blends that already include berries, flowers, and herbs.  Why not up the health benefits – and the flavor – of your sipper by muddling fresh berries into your brew, or garnishing with mint?
  8. Finally:  have fun, stay cool, and drink wise!

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What’s in My Cup? Rooibos!

Honey Bear

Honey Bear Blend by The Teaologist

Rooibos. It’s a word that doesn’t easily roll off the tongue, with properties and benefits that are much less known than its pronunciation. Those navigating the health-kick arena may recognize rooibos  as the ‘red bush’ (hence, it’s alternative moniker rotbusch), with its characteristic reddish brown stems.  Though only grown in the northern, mountainous regions of Cape Town, South Africa, rooibos is turning out to be quite an international sensation.

Rooibos is sometimes fittingly referred to as a “coffee drinker’s tea,” in relation to its nutty, hickory-like palatable quality.  More so, the bold tisane is repeatedly hailed for its high infusion of antioxidants, which is strongly believed to treat high blood pressure and allergen-related diseases. Rooibos is said to maintain even more antioxidant flavanoids than green and white teas, which certainly helps add to the herb’s growing repertoire! Aside from its antioxidant capacity, rooibos is naturally caffeine-free and provides essential electrolytes–making it and ultra-hydrating beverage, perfect for the active tea drinker.

The Teaologist features a wide selection of teas and tisanes that feature and highlight the remarkable taste and health qualities of rooibos, such as the popular berry rooibos blend, The Camus, the fragrant mixture of our Spring Trellis tea, and the heart warming Honey Bear blend.

The Camus

The Camus

Spring Trellis

Spring Trellis

Visit theteaologist.com for more from our rooibos and tisane selections!

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