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Here at Teatopit, we love a good recipe. It is an added bonus when the recipe includes one of our favorite things—tea. We’ve chosen the two recipes below because they represent two things to us: the first is the warm comfort of soup in winter; the second is the renewed attention to health we try to have at the start of a new year. Both are quite simple, and hopefully contain ingredients that are already in your pantry, or close by at your supermarket. We think they’re both quite good, if you try the recipe, let us know if you think so too!

Jasmine Chicken Soup

Image thanks to kkdiscount.com

Image thanks to kkdiscount.com

Union Jack Tea Pot-01 thepamperedsparrow

Image: The Pampered Sparrow blog

Though the Portugese and Dutch may have been the first European countries to bring tea from China, the English have been synonymous with this drink for over two centuries. To us here at Teatopit, the relationship between the two sounds like the foundation of an epic movie!It was the Dutch that first began to ship back tea to Holland as a commercial import (by encroaching on Portugese shipping routes) in the latter part of the sixteenth century. By the early 1600’s, the Dutch had a trading post on the island of Java, and it was from Java (the irony!) that the first consignment of tea was shipped from China to Holland in 1606. Tea soon became a fashionable drink among the Dutch, and from there spread to other countries as a drink for the wealthy.

The East India Company had a monopoly on British trade throughout the first half of the 1600’s, and while it is likely that their sailors and tradesmen were familiar with tea, it was not a traded commodity until later. Tea was available in coffee houses (more irony!)—most notably Sweetings Rents in London, as a novelty, but really began to catch on when Charles II married Catherine of Braganza.  The Portugese princess was purportedly a tea fanatic, and her drinking of the beverage made it fashionable first among her court, then among the wealthy classes. The East India Company took advantage of this and began to import tea from China in 1664. This monopoly continued for another two centuries, until the East India Company’s monopoly trade with China—which was their chief supplier of tea—ended in 1834.  Because of its strong influence within the country, the British Company began exploring growing tea on a wide scale in India, beginning in Assam. Five years later, the Company had enough volume of “marketable quality” tea to begin selling it at auction in England. In 1858, the British government took over direct control of India and expanded the cultivation of tea beyond Assam and into other parts of India. By 1888, British tea imports from India were greater than those from China.

In one of our next posts, we’ll talk about the English custom of “afternoon,” or “low” tea and how it came to be.

Information in part from the UK Tea Council 

What better time than now with this wintry weather to have a hot beverage of your choice.  There are many options.

As another new year dawns we are filled with hope and endeavor to make lots of new resolutions; a perfect time to start a new routine.  Who doesn’t love a cup of hot coffee or tea in the morning to jump start the day; however Ayurveda medicine suggests that warm water with lemon lemonat the start of the day is your best option as it helps kick start your metabolism. It also has many other health benefits.  

Here are a few reasons to put your hot tea or coffee on hold for a short while.  Lemons are acidic but once ingested into the body becomes “ alkaline” resetting your PH balance.  This is very important to helping maintain good health. 

It is best to drink as is, but for those of you who may have a hard time with new things, try sweetening with a small amount honey to help it go down smoother, adding a little flavor. 

Warm water on its own first thing in the morning also aids digestion.  It gets the internal body functions working efficiently. 

Lemons, however,  are filled with Pectin Fiber which is said to help fight hunger cravings.    Some say that lemon water improves skin tone and even provides energy.  Start now, all you need is hot water, lemon, a mug or cup.  Why resist such ease?

Now that you have started the day with your high energy, metabolism booster, skin toner drink, you are ready for your morning shot of caffeine. 

Whether your choice is a cup or mug image2 of cocoffee or tea, it all starts with the brewing process and the quality of product.  It doesn’t matter if you are using loose leaves with a tea pot or a tea cup cover with tea bag, the brewing time and water temperature are just as important to brew the perfect cup.  Check out recommended steeping suggestions

Coffee drinkers have a myriad of devices available to make it easy, such as the French press, a regular coffee pot, ready-made pods and the list goes on.  Take the time to brew and enjoy a deserved moment to savor the taste. 

Another great beverage at this time of year is a wonderful hot cup of soup which immediately takes the chill off, warming the body.  It can be filled with lots of nutritional value and is easy to digest.

Drink up, warm up, Enjoy!

 

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