Peach Green Tea Granita

Peach Green Tea Granita

The OWL loves tea in all forms, but this recipe, designed by Nicole Martin of Tea For Me Please, is perfect for a special treat on a warm summer day. Granita is an Italian specialty that originates from Sicily and can vary in ingredients and texture. While tea is not a traditional flavor base for this semi-frozen dessert, we think the combination of green tea and peach is both refreshing and delectable.

Ingredients:

Serves 4 
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • Approximately 5 teaspoons of The Teaologist Peach Green
  • 1 tablespoon of agave nectar
Preparation:
1. Bring water to just before boiling and steep 2-3 minutes.
2. Stir in agave nectar, making sure that it is completely dissolved.
3. Pour into a shallow, freezer safe container.
4. Freeze for two hours.
5. Lightly scrape the frozen tea with a fork until it is broken into very small pieces.
6. Place back in freezer and repeat until the entire container has the consistency of a snow cone.
7. Serve in a small bowl and garnish with a pinch of tea leaves.
8. Enjoy on a nice summer day!
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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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What’s in My Cup? Chamomile!

The age-old adage says if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? With an extensive history that boasts thousands of years of use in medicines, balms, tinctures and teas, chamomile is an all-natural powerhouse that requires little to no enhancement to prove itself worthy of mention.

Best known as a mild sedative and stomach neutralizer, chamomile is also touted as an agent of relief for ailments including heartburn, migraines, nausea, anxiety and skin irritation. While this wonder herb is utilized in oils and creams for its healing and soothing properties, chamomile is most useful in the simplest of its modified forms – tea!

Chamomile tea in its natural form (boiled in water, steeped and consumed plainly) maintains benefits that could replace almost half of your medicine cabinet. From reducing dark circles around the eyes using chamomile teabags, to directly treating the most troublesome of cramps, to even being proven as effective in the treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox and diaper rash, the capabilities of chamomile are endless.

Here at The Teaologist, we have recognized the chamomile flower for the superstar that it is, making it the feature of two of our popular signature blends:

chamomile lavender

Chamomile Lavender: A balance of two fragrant herbs, this blend is the ultimate stress-reducer. One cup is the perfect way to unwind after a long workday!

chamomile peppermint

Chamomile Peppermint: In another herbal blend, chamomile retains its soothing qualities with a hint of minty freshness that is perfect for starting your day off.

During the warmer months, you’ll find it essential to have these blends on hand for a soothing iced tea. Simply double your portions for cold brewing—two teaspoons per 8oz cup—and sweeten to your liking with a bit of honey or agave nectar. Toss in a couple of ice cubes, and prepare for relaxation.

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Our Global Kitchen at the American Museum of Natural History

Our Global Kitchen

Hoot Hoot!

Last weekend the Wise OWL made a trip to the American Museum of Natural History to check out the current exhibit “Our Global Kitchen,” which featured tea as the daily tasting in the Working Kitchen.

The exhibit takes you through cultural food experiences that transport you around the world and back in time. Concurrently, important questions are asked about food choices and the social, economic and political consequences that come along with the challenge of feeding people.

By showcasing historical food scenes, cultural differences and innovations in food systems, the exhibit acts as both a celebration of food and as a mechanism to instill a sense of urgency in making sustainable choices.

Our Global Kitchen

“Our Global Kitchen” runs through August 11, 2013 and features daily tastings in the Working Kitchen with themes such as Grains/Granolas, International Cooking, Pickling and Teas.

Below, samples of Arnold Palmers were handed out to visitors. This version included black tea, lemonade and a blueberry.

Working Kitchen

Looseleaf teas of different varieties were on display.

Looseleaf Tea

A wall of ancient potato varieties made the average spud seem boring.

Ancient Potato Varieties

An elaborate portrayal of an Aztec market pointed out that common foods such as chocolate, vanilla, tomatoes and chili peppers were unknown outside of the Americas roughly 500 years ago.

Aztec Market

A wall of beloved cookbooks found in kitchens around the world.

Global Cookbooks

Models of potential sustainable solutions sparked the imagination for future food systems.

Food System Innovations

Following water, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, and, perhaps because of this, the act of tea consumption is steeped in cultural nuances and traditions (pun intended).

The Wise OWL hopes that fellow tea lovers will appreciate the exhibit!

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What’s in My Cup? Strawberries!

Although March in NYC has felt awfully winter-like, springtime has officially started. This means warmer weather, spring flowers and local produce will soon be drawing us outdoors. Strawberries–one of the OWL’s favorite fruits–happens to be in  peak season just around the corner starting in April and going through June. As the most cultivated berry in the U.S., our adoration of this delectable, natural treat is not uncommon.

For as far back as ancient Roman times, the strawberry has been noted for its medicinal use, and the fruit has not fallen out of favor over the centuries. Today, we see the modern strawberry in desserts and savory dishes alike. Bright and aromatic, strawberries are delicious when freshly picked, preserved in jams or baked in pies. Another creative way to take advantage of the rich flavor in strawberries is by adding them to beverages–tea in particular!

The Teaologist tea blends only include whole dried fruit (no added flavoring) for a reason: to optimize the nutritional benefits and flavors of the ingredients.

Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids and many other nutrients. Adding whole, dried strawberries to a tea blend can work to soften harsh or bitter flavors, or boost a sweeter flavor profile.

Below are two of our favorite blends that incorporate the strawberry. For the moment at least, these blends may be brewed hot, but soon enough you’ll be enjoying an iced glass under the sun.

The Berry Bunch blend is fruit-forward and includes both dried strawberries and strawberry leaves as well as rose petals, blueberries, cherries, rosehips, blue mallow blossom and raspberry leaves.

berry bunch

A tea twist on the classic, the Arnold Palmer blend features white tea, strawberry, strawberry leaf and rose petals.

arnold-palmer

Happy Spring!

xox,

The Sunshine OWL

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