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What Is Pu-Erh?

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california-tea-house-what-is-pu-erh-camellia-sinensisPu-erh or Pu’er tea has become a household name in weight loss and cholesterol control ever since the ubiquitous Dr. Oz named it as one of THE best teas for weight loss. Ever.

Whether this is true or not, one thing we all agree with is how awesome Pu-erh is. Seriously, there’s nothing like a good cup of this awesome dark drink with which to start the morning!

So where does this tea come from?

tea and iron deficiencyIt has been told that drinking tea may have iron-inhibiting effects in the body. And because of that, some people have been avoiding tea. But little do we know that the iron absorption effects of tea are minimal, because it only affects nonheme iron, and it's not necessary to stop consumption in the fear of being iron deficient.

Beauty Benefits of White Tea

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White Tea BenefitsWhite tea may not be as popular as green tea and some other tea flavors but it certainly has inherited most, if not all of the tea health benefits every enthusiast enjoy. Most people might have not known that there's this magic-like benefit one could get by drinking every cup - that it helps keep one feeling young and youthful, plus the bonus of fighting off inflammatory and chronic diseases.

Anti-aging Benefits of White Tea

Types of Chinese Green Tea

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types of chinese green teaIt is perhaps safe to say that one of the most famous, if not the most famous tea type is green tea. Aiming to validate the benefits of green tea has been the topic of many scientific endeavors over the past years. But regardless the results, people have continued to patronize green tea for both the purpose of health and pleasure.

Tea Production - Top 5 Tea Producing Countries

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tea productionTea, being one of the world's most loved beverages, is not only full of healthy benefits but also of rich history. From its early beginnings sometime in the 2737 BC in China, tea has traveled a long and rich journey before earning the hearts of millions of people in the world.

Pu-erh Tea - The Healthy Chinese Tea

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pu-erh teaSince the early times, tea has become one of the most exquisite and relaxing drink patronized by people from all throughout the world. Not only is it loved by its calming, soothing and tasty properties, but also because of all the tea health benefits made known to us. Since its propagation, several tea collections and flavors have been developed and among them are green tea, black tea, white tea and oolong tea. But have you ever heard of pu-erh tea? If not, this short article will give you an overview of its history and its benefits.

Ginger Tea: A Spicy and Healthy Remedy

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The smell of ginger tea has defined my college career. Living and socializing mainly with international students from China in my time as a college student, I've gotten used to the sharp smell and spicy taste of the tea that really isn't strictly a tea. While this drink obviously isn't like more traditional teas in that it's made from a root rather than tea leaves, I feel it's a must try for anyone who enjoys tea. According to Chinese folklore, the tea is good for coughing and colds, as it has a "warm" property. In China, the tea is usually made by boiling peeled ginger root and can have brown sugar added to it according to preference.

Night Time Tea - Volume II

Posted by     Mad Hatter Tea Party      0 Comments  views (1509)

sleepytime tea hobbiesHow is it that you enjoy your night time tea? Do you enjoy a cup of herbal in the quiet after the kids go to bed? Do you sip a cup during the nightly news? I take mine out to the front porch and sip my tea while I drink in the night. Listening to the night sounds of suburbia, Killdeers winging through the dark... Sometimes watching a bat fly in and out of the streetlight catchng insects.

Fresh-Roasted Dragonwell Leaves
On the precipice of Halloween, southwest Georgia shows off her changing colors–the pods have fallen from almost every gum tree, and each Japanese oak seems to cling on to its last majestic leaflet, before it inevitably must tumble to the ground. And the cradling action of each leaf that falls is reflected in each cup of Dragonwell.

Golden Monkey Paw - Tea Review

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I love tea... all kinds of tea... but when it comes down to it... black tea is my favorite.

golden monkey pawCalifornia Tea House's Golden Monkey Paw black tea is a gorgeous whole leaf tea...

golden monkey paw black tea

Look at these lovely leaves! Being whole leaf, this tea is full of all those wonderful antioxidents and good things that black tea is known for.

By the Numbers: Tea & Travel in China

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tea travel I'm a travel junkie with few immediate plans to change that. As I yearn for the rush of my next adventure, Spain!, websites focused on travel appease my cravings. As so, The Matador Network has given me the inspiration that I'm adopting here. In the name of tea and travel, I've taken a spin on their weekly "By the Numbers" blog offering and curtailed it for you.

3, 2, 1---and the mountain was gone. A ball of mist swirled in a masking envelope. I looked on. This was the power of Huangshan or as English-speakers will better understand, Yellow Mountain.

Yellow Mountain Green Tea

And moments later, as if my murmurs had been heard, a single ray broke the swirl and the creamy jutting spires of stone dazzled. A natural muse, Hunagshan has served as the source of allure for countless traditional ink paintings and thousands of poems (20,000 to be exact, from the Tang to the Qing, 618-1912). Last counted in 2007, 15 million visited, but for more than just that.

It's August 16th, already?

Posted by     Mad Hatter Tea Party      1 Comments  views (1512)

Like Alice in Wonderland, I've felt time disappear like a vacuum sucking up lint balls. This summer, I traveled through the heart of China--to a mystical mountain where green tea grows in its mist, to pandas so cute its difficult to consider them bears, to teahouses where you can sip, sign and forget the existence of watches and time altogether.

Until, that is, you emerge from the rabbit hole, jet lagged, and you see the reality outside the portals of an airport. August 16th, huh?

Stay tuned for the tales. This is a teaser of what's to come.

Chrysanthemum - The Golden Flower

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One of my favorite herbal teas is Chrysanthemum tea. This fragrant tea is reported to have many medicinal values in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Most notably, within TCM, it is claimed that Chrysanthemum tea can help support the immune system, and help keep your body from getting sick. Studies suggest that chrysanthemums contain a high amount of B Carotene. This is converted to Vitamin A in the liver, which can help support the immune system. Drinking the tea is also claimed to have a cooling effect, reducing body temperatures during a fever and soothing a sore throat.Chrysanthemum Blooming Tea

The Most Popular Green Teas

Posted by     Tea Pearls of Wisdom      0 Comments  views (3104)

green tea listWith the summer heat here to stay for a few more months, many people are trying to find ways to cool down with more than just water. Green tea is known for it’s health benefits and great taste, but many people don’t realize that there are many variations of green tea they can sip on in the shade.

History of Green Tea

Green tea derives from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, the same plant that also produces black tea, but the two differ in not only taste and color but also in preparation. Green tea leaves are steamed which allows the antioxidants to be drank by the consumer. Black tea is fermented in preparation.

Bargaining for tea in Shanghai

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As the tea puffed its warning steam, the host of the teahouse urged me to drink up. I was in the Old Town of Shanghai and after market hunting and bargaining I needed a good wake up. Tea.

Old Town is a reminder, albeit kitschy, of the bustling financial city’s older glamour and simpler times. Dragons decorate ornate black and white buildings, red lanterns populate the area like tourists and truly nothing is more relaxing to escape the preying hawkers than to sit for a spell and watch some tea seep.

So, after the requested gift of Jasmine, I asked, what is the best?

The Health Benefits of Ginseng

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In Traditional Chinese medicine, Ginseng is one of the most used herbs. It is sometimes called an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it is claimed to be one of the best herbs for returning the body to perfect balance. it can be used by itself or in a mixture with other medicinal herbs.

Results in the clinical studies seem to vary widely. Some attribute this to there being several different types of ginseng and the various studies don't always use the same quality of the herb. When taken by itself, studies have found that ginseng has some anticarcinogenic and antioxident properties....

Want to live longer?

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Picture two middle-aged mice, born at the same time. One suffers from gray hair, shriveled muscles, and creaky joints. He's a pint-size Wilford Brimley. The other mouse, meanwhile, looks healthy and young—Jack LaLanne in his fifties. Why the contrast? While the geriatric mouse lived a sedentary life in his cage, his younger-looking contemporary literally outran the effects of aging,” says Outside magazine.

Before leaving China, I knew I had to get one; a proper tea set, complete with a teapot, cups to share and a beautiful glaze. After all, that’s what’s important, right? I wanted a teapot as brilliant as the tea inside.

And that’s what I thought was most important, or rather, the only element important when purchasing a tea set—the look, design and feel it resonates. Important, true, but to be the only detail, well, that was my novice mistake, no doubt

In today’s world, a food’s health profile seems relatively easy to understand. With a cursory glance at the label on a box of Oreos, you’ll not only discover it contains sugar, number one, but also artificial flavor and just 2 percent of calcium, despite all that rich cream in the middle; along with all those other things you didn’t want to read aloud to your conscience, like 60 calories from fat in just a few bites. In today’s world, unfortunately, you need the black and white stats.

But when you break a food apart to each ingredient, compound and chemical, piece-by-piece, how do you really know which is better for you?

Traditional Chinese Medicine

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chinese medicine

From a Westerner's point of view, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is old fashioned and perhaps even obsolete. The methods are usually different from Western Medicine and can often seem like they come from fantasy novels. A closer look, however, can show someone with an open mind that some of the practices make a certain amount of sense.

A little tea shop in China

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As an introduction to myself, being a new writer to this blog, I would like to write about one of my favorite memories involving tea. In 2006, I was living near Guilin, China as a volunteer English teacher at a boarding school outside the city. The other teachers and I would often spend our weekends in either Guilin or the amazing nearby town of Yanghuo. This particular occasion we were in Guilin, Yangshuo is a story for another day.

chinese tea

Guilin and the surrounding areas are a popular destination for vacationers, both Chinese and foreigners alike. The countryside is among the most beautiful in the world. (See picture)

World Tea Production Declines Drive Up Prices

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Japanese tea setThe state of the global economy could be compared to a roller-coaster. Because:

  • there are a lot of unexpected twists and turns that you can never really prepare for,
  • sometimes there is even the mind-boggling loop-de-loop that leaves you suspended,
  • and then there’s always that shocking drop where all you can do is hold on for dear life.

More recently, one of the frequent passengers of this economic rollercoaster has been the tea industry and it’s consumers.

Tea Culture in China

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Chinese Tea KettleIn China, there are seven daily necessities: firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar and, yes, you guessed it, tea! The tea culture in China is a vital part of Chinese history and its culture. China’s tea culture differs from that of other countries such as America or even Europe.

I’ve seen your avid tea drinkers—you know, the ones who routinely set up shop in cafés like Starbucks and gulp their tea while typing on their laptops.

In tea central, what to buy?

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In the history of tea, it’s a long one. And as for its birthplace in Yunnan, China, I couldn’t think of a more idyllic one.

As I posted earlier, I recently visited tea’s historic roots, both physical and mythical, in Yunnan. A unique province, for sure, Yunnan is tea central for any tea buyer, casual drinker or coinsurers. And as for the traveler, it’s a prized gift-buying paradise—tea—something people back home will actually use.

China's Trail to Tea

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Old Tea Horse RoadI've always wanted to visit Yunnan, China's southern-most province. A place named for its clouds, but more notably known for its immense mountains, it's easy to like. And as you learn by living in China, you become the envy of any Chinese national just by spending a day there.

China's Tea Traditions Live On

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China: A land of history and intrigue where many inventions still around today were discovered and created. One such find was the tea leaf. Tea remains a very popular drink in Asia and the tea culture in China thrives in this modern day and age.

The tea houses of China represent an aspect of Chinese culture that has resisted the headlong rush into modernism most countries have succumbed to. Even now, one can go to a tea house and watch tea being prepared the traditional way right before their eyes, just like it has been for hundreds of years.

Chinese Tea Regions

Posted by     Tea Pearls of Wisdom      0 Comments  views (3635)

What is the most confusing place for people to make a choice? It is probably the supermarket. As a tea-savvy, the most time-consuming aisle for me in the supermarket is the beverage. There are a whole bunch of almost the same-size boxes lying on the shelf and usually they can be categorized by different standards. They can be divided into Green, Black and Herbal. They can be categorized by organic and non-organic. People can even choose them according to those emotional adjustment functions, which I never believe so, such as calm, passion or refresh. Or trying to pick out what you need by this so typical American way, caffeine or caffeine-free.

Finding Tea Through China

Posted by     Mad Hatter Tea Party      0 Comments  views (1504)

If this were a confessional, I'd admit it. Before 2008, I wouldn't, couldn't belong here. Why? Did I hate tea? Did I scorn the substance? No, but I didn't drink it.

Tea entered my life only a few days after my passport was inked with three red initials: P.R.C, or as the official moniker goes, the People's Republic of China.

It wasn't that I hadn't tasted tea. Sure, my parents drank English Breakfast tea daily. It was just as essential for their morning routine as the act of waking up, or rather that was just it; they weren't awake before they had it. But I had skipped directly from orange juice to coal-dark coffee from the start of college and hadn't looked back.

Then in the sum