If herbs are not tea, what do you call herbs?

Tea is a plant.  It's one plant but comes in many varieties.  I like to compare it to grapes because with grapes you can make wine.  So just like grapes there is tea.  The scientific name is called Camellia Sinensis.  Depending on where it's grown it can produce a variety of flavors as well.  It really is an amazing plant.  It has a lot of great qualities.  Especially because of the amino acid it carries.  L-Theanine.  It breaks the blood brain barrier and gives you a quick sense of calm. 

Peppermint is not a tea.  Rooibos is not a tea.  Chamomile is not a tea.  If it is not produced by a camellia sinensis then it's an herb.  If you brew it like a tea it is called a tisane.  If no tea is contained in your steeping of whatever plant you put in the hot water then it's a tisane.  However, lemon or honey added to hot water is not considered a tisane.  It's called lemon-water.  Or water with honey in it. 

Tea can come as white, green, oolong, black, or pu-ehr.  Those are the ones common in the United States currently.  There are other varieties that haven't quite caught on but they are out there.  All tea is the same except for the way it's prepared.  Green and white teas are preserved whereas oolong and black teas have been oxidized.  There are different effects as well as caffiene levels in each type of tea based on its processing.  Green and white are better overall but most Americans prefer the black teas.  If you are drinking tea to keep optimal health functions then stick to white and green.  This does not mean it's a cure-all but great at preventing the worst of symptoms and assists with recovery quicker.  That is if you have tea in your system before you become ill.  Oolong is great for digestion. 

Starbucks, your tea sucks

When ordering green tea at Starbucks they fail to mention they add a sweetener.  I'm over the sugar being added to everything, especially for children.  I have yet to find any kid-friendly beverages offered  by Starbucks.  Except milk which is questionable.  Even the soy milk is suspected of being GMO so other than water what is safe? 

Recently I entered a Starbucks and agreed with my 9 year old daughter that a green tea would be an acceptable choice for her.  I specifically asked that they do not add the sweetener.  I tasted it before I handed it to her and either they added it anyways or it just naturally comes sweet at Starbucks.  As an avid green tea drinker I can honestly say there isn't much original green tea flavor in their green tea.  I get it, green tea is not the favorite flavor for most people but sweetening it beyond recognition is nearly a crime.   Especially when I'm trying to keep my child from becoming a diabetic.

Starbucks, you are doing it wrong.

Your tea identitiy

Buzzfeed posted an interesting blanket statement and generalization about who you must be based on your tea preference.   I looked it over and although I see where they were going with this, they are missing the extreme tea connoisseurs who would scoff at such an audacious consensus.  Rather than describing what the highly refined tea drinker is drinking they just took quotes from people with explanations about types of tea and types of people who would drink those teas in the ways mentioned.  With milk, without milk, with sweetener, on and on.  Here is my perspective on the same teas they mention in Buzzfeed.

1. Earl Grey = Your Fathers Tea.  He might put milk in it but if he has been drinking tea long enough he knows that milk is not what you add to Earl Grey.  He might even wince at the thought of changing teas in case his order can not be filled.   He might settle for and English Breakfast or Constant Comment if forced to use a tea bag.

2. Darjeeling = The Well Traveled.   If you have been outside of America then you probably were offered Darjeeling on one of your trips (that includes all of the continent of North and South America). Worldly tea drinkers covet the spring or "first" flush of this highly prized tea.  So if you have been exposed to the different black teas in the world you might realize, yes Darjeeling is considered the best.

3. Rooibos = The Health Conscious.  This is actually not tea.  It does not come from the same plant that produces tea.  This is a non-caffienated bush that grows in Africa but is a perfect alternative to green tea for those looking for the health benefits without the stimulant.

4. Yorkshire Tea = The Ignorant Connoisseur. This is a brand, not a tea flavor.  If you are drinking it for the name then you clearly don't know anything about tea.

5. Milk & Sugar =  What does this have to do with tea drinking?  If you feel the need to put these in your tea then you aren't drinking good tea and just as with bad coffee you put milk and sugar to adjust the bad taste.  True tea drinkers don't use these additions unless it's a habit to add milk and/or sugar to your beverages.

6. Decaf = A joke in the tea world.  To decaffeinate your tea is compromising the original complexity of your tea.  If you need to do without caffeine, drink herbs not tea.

7. Mint Tea = Yes it's basic, you can serve it to anyone.  It's completely harmless.  However, yet again, it is not tea.  It's an herb.

8. Green Tea = The Zen Seekers.   If you are a first time tea drinker and you choose a plain or straight up green tea you might be surprised that it's probably not the best taste in the world.  However if you go with a Genmaicha or a Jasmine flavored green it is much more palatable and soothing.  This is the tea that has all the good stuff in it.  Everyone should  drink green tea.  Calm and control indeed.

9. Chamomile = Bedtimers, people looking to relax.  Kids can have this before bed and it will relax them.  Or anyone who drinks this.  It has a sweet taste, not mothballs.  It's aromatic and pleasant all around.  This herb actually makes you sleepy.

10. Fruit Tea = For people who don't know what tea should taste like.   I concur on this one. 

11. The worst people don't even drink tea?  Wow, now that is being quite presumptuous.  I will have to say for people to claim they don't like tea.  I challenge them that perhaps they don't like poor quality tea.  If you haven't been exposed to really good tea then your opinion doesn't count.

Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ailbhemalone/more-...

Move over Genmaicha here comes Lapsang Souchong

Over the past few years I have seen the tea selection at the Asian market expand from just half the isle to the whole isle.  Then Genmaicha got it's own shelf.  A customer said he liked it so much he bought an entire pound of it to drink by himself.  That's about 200 cups of tea.  Genmaicha is still an up and comer to the American market.  For those who do not like the grassy taste of green tea, Genmaicha is an excellent alternative with it's toasty flavor of roasted rice.   It is one of my personal favorites as well as a favorite amongst my customers.

Lately I have been having people ask me about Lapsang Souchong.  This is a black tea that is smoked.  People in America are finding the reminiscent campfire aroma is enticing and the taste can be amazing to some.  As with any tea, it's purely a preference but the more you drink quality teas the more you will be able to determine distinctions of the tea and where it comes from whether it's grown in China or India. If it was close to the sea or high on a mountain.   Even if you don't get to that point, you could appreciate the distinct flavor that Lapsang Souchong has. 

Although currently Necessitea does not carry Lapsang Souchong, it very possibly could start carrying it in the near future. 

Source: http://www.teaguardian.com/tea-selection-g...


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Sick days on the horizon

It's that time of year when people get sick!  Try something green or something herbal to keep the body working at optimal levels and prevent yourself from feeling the worst if you do get a bug.

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Jasmine Tea, immunity booster and lifespan extender.

Somewhere there was a comment that Jasmine tea had extended the lifespan of a fruit fly by 14 days.   Today a Google search was conducted to find this piece of information.  Only the same regurgitated comment was found on various sites, it goes something like this;

"It is believed that the health benefits of jasmine tea may                                                     surpass those of green tea. Several studies have found jasmine tea lowers cholesterol levels. Other studies found  that fruit flies lived                                                     20% longer when jasmine tea was added to their drinking water. "

At Necessitea, nothing is more unsatisfying than unocumented scientific findings.  And while no direct link could be located to explain the particular study of lifespan of fruit flies that feed of Jasmine flowers, Necessitea stands firm with the belief that consuming Jasmine Green tea on a regular basis defends the body against common ailments like the common cold.   And if it makes us live longer, all the better reason to drink it.

Reading scientific findings is not exciting but drinking Jasmine Green Tea is!  Try a cup, it's calming, soothing, and it tastes good too.


Source: http://www.oleaceae.info/oleaceae/jasminum...

Tips for Iced Tea

For small quantities, bring fresh cold tap water to a full rolling boil.  Use one teaspoon of loose tea or one tea bag per cup (five to eight ounces) of water.   Pour the boiling water over the tea.  Brew three to five minutes.  Then pour over ice.  This may have to be done twice depending on how hot the water is.

Flor large quantities, prepare a concentrate as follows: Bring one quart of cold water to a rolling boil.  Remove from heat and add 8-10 tea bags per quart of brewed tea desired.  Steep 3-5 minutes and our over remaining cold water or ice cubes to prepare quantity desired.

To serve, pour into a tall glass filled with ice.  Garnish and sweeten if desired.

New website, working on the bugs.

Hello fellow tea drinkers and enthusiasts.  We want to hear from you! 

If there is any problems that you are experiencing with this site.  Please email us at info@mynecessitea.com or call Holly the Tea Lady at 206.599.9298. 

We are still working diligently to bring this site to an optimum level of performance.

Thank you!

Comments from customers

"Mmmmmm. I found that if I put 2 tsp in a tea bag instead of just 1, I get a fantastical pitcher of strawberry iced tea. Thanks! I’ll definitely be back for more!"  - Angela S.

"I NEED some more tea lady!! LOVE that Licorice Mint... it's like crack mmmm, mmmm, good!!"  - Heather R.

Tea Preparation

The traditional method of making or brewing a cup of tea is to place loose tea leaves, either directly or in a tea infuser, into a tea pot or teacup and pour freshly boiled water over the leaves. After a few minutes, the leaves are usually removed again, either by removing the infuser, or by straining the tea while serving.

Most green teas should be allowed to steep for about two or three minutes, although some types of tea require as much as ten minutes, and others as little as 30 seconds. The strength of the tea should be varied by changing the amount of tea leaves used, not by changing the steeping time. The amount of tea to be used per amount of water differs from tea to tea, but one basic recipe may be one slightly heaped teaspoon of tea (about 5 ml) for each teacup of water (200–240 ml) (7–8 oz) prepared as above. Stronger teas, such as Assam, to be drunk with milk, are often prepared with more leaves, and more delicate high-grown teas such as a Darjeeling are prepared with somewhat fewer (as the stronger mid-flavours can overwhelm the champagne notes).

The best temperature for brewing tea depends on its type. Teas that have little or no oxidation period, such as a green or white tea, are best brewed at lower temperatures, between 65 and 85 °C (149 and 185 °F), while teas with longer oxidation periods should be brewed at higher temperatures around 100 °C (212 °F). The higher temperatures are required to extract the large, complex, flavourful phenolic molecules found in fermented tea. In addition, boiling reduces the dissolved oxygen content of water. Dissolved oxygen would otherwise react with phenolic molecules to turn them brown and reduce their potency as antioxidants. To preserve the antioxidant potency, especially for green and white teas brewed at a lower temperature, water should be boiled vigorously to boil off any dissolved oxygen and then allowed to cool to the appropriate temperature before adding to the tea. An additional health benefit of boiling water before brewing tea is the sterilisation of the water and reduction of any dissolved VOCs, chemicals which are often harmful.[59][60]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea