Tea – is there a difference, between the “breakfast blend” and an “afternoon blend?”

THE BREAKFAST BLEND OF TEA:

The relative strength of the tea is the determining factor for the resulting blend.

Tea cup
Cup of Tea

Breakfast blends tend to be much stronger with deeper darker warmth and inviting tones.  The breakfast blends tend to be more aromatic and inviting.  And of course the more aromatic in the mornings the better.  In addition, this blend provides that jolt of caffeine we sometimes look for in the mornings.

 

These are usually a blend of Assam and Ceylon teas.   If you like milk, and\or sugar in your tea, these go well with milk and sugar.   Tea tends to taste good and smooth alone with no sweetener.   Or if you decide to add a sweetener honey is usually the best choice.  If you like a little cream or milk, it’s nice that way too.  I like just a little honey.  But I do drink it with a little cream and honey sometimes too.

 

THE AFTERNOON BLEND OF TEA:

On the other hand the afternoon blends tend to be lighter and are usually a blend of Ceylon and Darjeeling, (mm Darjeeling, it has a special touch).  The delicate flavor of this blend is a perfect accompaniment to delicate finger sandwiches, scones or lightly flavored cookies!  Enjoy your adventure with both of these.  Remember if you are sensitive to caffeine, decaf tea is an option and it tastes just as good. 

Pot of tea
Tea and tea pot

HOW I LIKE MY CUP OF TEA:

I start each morning with a cup of tea.  It’s just so nice and doesn’t leave me nervous as coffee sometimes does.   I simply take one of my favorite go to, sometimes its the Earl Grey with Bergamot.  One of the benefits of a  cup of tea is that its easy to control the strength of a nice cup prepared just for you.  I’ve learned just how strong I like tea.  And that affects the caffeine level suited just for me.  I’ll bring a fresh pot of water just to a boil.  Then carefully pour it directly into my favorite cup, with the tea bag already waiting there or a teaspoon of tea leaves (preferred.)  The tea bag is great for the morning rush I sometimes get into.  (A good quality tea bag works just fine. When not rushed definitely the fresh tea leaves are best.)  And then I  add a teaspoon of honey.  That for me is just perfect.  If you are not a tea drinker you might be surprised at what a difference a nice hot cup of tea can make. It can  ease you into the start of a brand new day.

A FEW FACTS ABOUT TEA:

  • There are over 3000 varieties of tea grown worldwide, they all come from the same type of plant called Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to East and South Asia.
  • Tea has been consumed for thousand of years in Asia.
  • Tea has long been associated with many health benefits.
  • Green Tea is minimally processed, the leaves are steamed rolled and dried.
  • Black Tea is withered rolled or crushed and then fermented before being dried this makes it black and  stronger in taste.
  • Oolong tea is partly fermented.

 

White tea buds
Tea buds
  • White tea is harvested in early spring; the young leaves and silvery white buds are just steamed and dried.
  • Tea averages about 40 milligrams of caffeine per six-ounce cup (versus 100 milligrams in coffee,) depending on the type and brewing times and other factors.  Black tea tends to have more caffeine than green tea.  You can also find tea that is decaffeinated.
  • Each type of tea has a certain flavor characteristic associated with the variety and also the soil and climate it is grown in.

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Why is Honey Good for you?

honey jar
honey in jar

Honey has a great reputation.  It’s sweet and associated with those cute bees. Honey gets its flavor and its golden hue from the nectar of the different flowers the honeybees visit. It ranges from a pretty pale yellow to dark amber in color. But why is honey good for you?

The darker honey contains more antioxidants. The actual levels are low if compared to fruits and vegetables.  The color is not so important when choosing which one to buy. So just pick the one you prefer.

Honey has a very long history. It has been used as a food and as a medicine. It’s very high in beneficial plant compounds. It also offers several health benefits. It is especially a healthy choice when used instead of refined sugar. Refined sugar is 100% empty calories. So honey is the better choice when choosing a sweetner.  Honey is easily absorbed by the body and quickly converted into energy.

Health Benefits

There are health benefits which are supported by science.  Honey contains some nutrients.  A veritable storehouse of B vitamins, various minerals and antioxidants.   It’s a sweet thick liquid made by honeybees. The bees swarm their environment and collect the sugar-rich nectar of flowers.

Once inside the beehive, they work to process the sugar-rich nectar. Once this is done, honey is the sweet beautiful result. This liquid serves as stored food for the bees. The smell, the color and taste depends on the types of flowers the bees have visited. My favorite and the most used by me is multi-floral and clover.   This one seems to work well in most things and doesn’t change the flavor of my tea or coffee (yes I add it to coffee) But try different ones pick a favorite or just try them all.

Honey has many beneficial bacteria and nutreints.  Raw honey can carry harmful bacteria which is dangerous for babies.  Honey comes with a warning, do not feed honey to infants under 1 year of age.

Nutritional Benefits:

honey lavender
honey bee and lavender

Nutritionally; 1 tablespoon of honey (21 grams) contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar, including fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose.

Honey contains almost no fiber, fat or protein. It also contains trace amounts (under 1% of RDA) of several vitamins and minerals.  Raw honey has not been heated or filtered.  A 2012 study by the National Honey Board found that processed honey has the same nutrients as raw honey—and neither type is a significant source of nutrients.

Crystals in Honey:

honey crystalized
crystalized honey

Have you ever been surprised to see your honey develop granules?  It has simply crystallized. It has not gone bad. To return it to liquid form you can gently place the jar in boiling water. Or you can just sit the container in hot water and wait awhile.  It’s  best to store honey at room temperature.  When placed in the refrigerator that’s when it’s more likely to form crystals.

More honey tips:

There is science to support applying honey to treat wounds. But not just any honey will work. Studies have shown that honey made from flowers in certain regions work. These would include honey from the manuka bush in New Zealand and Austraila. And honey from the Adamawa savannah in Cameroon—are effective in speeding healing and preventing infection in burns and some other types of wounds.

And is it true that honey can relieve allergies? Can eating honey really relieve seasonal allergy symptoms? It is believed that eating locally produced or raw honey contains pollen that may help desensitize your allergies. There are minute amounts of pollen in honey and it comes from flowers, not from the grasses and trees that trigger most allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

The FDA has no standard of identity for honey.  It has issued draft guidelines whereby a product can be called “honey” only if honey is the only ingredient; if other ingredients are added, the label must say so (such as a “blend of honey and sugar”).  Products in violation would then be considered misbranded. Read the label, read the ingredients, choose honey.

Real Honey

To make sure you’re buying real honey  Look for the True Source Certified logo, which means the honey (whether domestic or imported) meets certain standards, including traceability, as verified by an independent third party. Though True Source is a self-regulating industry group, its goal is to “support legal, transparent and ethical sourcing” in order to preserve the quality of honey and its “golden reputation.” it is not difficult to find certified honey.  It’s usually sitting in the honey section. 

It is less likely locally sourced honey and honey from small companies are adulterated.

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