Want The Perfect Tea? Use A Gaiwan

By August 24, 2016 Brewing Tea, History and Culture of Tea

Nowadays, with our increasingly busy and hectic schedules, it’s hard to find the time to focus on anything — even making our favorite cup of tea. That’s why tea is available in many convenient and easy forms. For example, you can simply microwave or boil water, add a tea bag, and enjoy. (There are even instant teas!)

But while these options offer convenience, they don’t always translate to flavor. Sure it’s nice to save time and effort, but K-Cup teas and bagged teas typically lack the quality, taste, and even health benefits of loose-leaf teas. (Worse, they can often be bitter and less enjoyable.)

Thankfully, you don’t have to abandon quality for the sake of time anymore. Why? Because there’s a nifty little tool called a gaiwan that’s been used for hundreds of years to provide a wonderful experience to even the most savvy of tea connoisseurs.

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About the Gaiwan

The ancient gaiwan (“gai” meaning lid and “wan” meaning bowl) has it all: elegance, ease, and practicality. In fact, there are only three parts — a lid, cup, and saucer, all of which are made from a variety of materials including glass, porcelain, and clay.

The gaiwan is also well suited for numerous teas, particularly Chinese black teas, oolong teas, white teas, and Chinese green teas.

How To Use The Gaiwan

Not only do gaiwans unleash a phenomenal flavor, but they are also very easy to use.

  1. Pre-warm the cup by adding hot water, gently swirling, and discarding the water
  2. Put about two or three tablespoons of tea leaves in the cup and then pour just a little water over the leaves so you can awaken them and enjoy their aroma
  3. Next, pour hot water to fill the cup and pour in a way that makes the tea leaves swirl — this can be done by letting the water fall over one side of the cup or by pouring the water in a circular motion.

As always, make sure to use the correct water temperature. Also, because white and green teas require less heat, leave a small opening through the lid to release more steam.

Then, steep the leaves for about 30 second and stir everything by gently gliding the lid over the top of the water. The tea can then be poured through a filtered saucer into small cups (a great idea if you’re enjoying tea with a friend) or you can even drink straight from the gaiwan.

If you want to drink from your gaiwan, don’t remove the cup from the saucer. Instead, hold the gaiwan by the saucer — as you sip, use the lid to hold the tea leaves in place as you let the liquid flow.

Another great benefit of the gaiwan is that you can get multiple steeps without needing a huge pot. Simply give the leaves an extra 10 to 30 seconds per additional steep. (Each tea steeping, however, will taste slightly different.)

Gaiwan: Why It’s A Cut Above The Rest

Tea bags and K-Cups offer on-the-go convenience, but it sacrifices the quality, taste, and experience. If you want to get more from your tea, arouse your senses, and turn tea into a meditative opportunity, enjoy the simple and elegant gaiwan.

Try our Traditional Porcelain Gaiwan Set to make your next drink — you’ll be glad you did. Combine it with our 8-minute digital detox and feel your stresses melt away as you get some much needed peace of mind.

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Chocolate Tea — Your Dreams are Answered!

By August 22, 2016 Brewing Tea

Is there anything better than chocolate? (Besides tea, probably not.) So what could be a more perfect union than chocolate AND tea?

Chocolate tea sounds almost too good to be true, but it isn’t — the combination is not only delicious, but it also has tons of health benefits. In fact, chocolate was so precious to the ancient Mayans that it was actually used as currency! Chocolate was also an essential part of the US military rations during World War I.

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Health Benefits of Chocolate

Cacao, the bean that chocolate is made from, has been hailed by many as a superfood. Why? Because it has over 700 compounds and is rich in antioxidants, the most important of which are the flavanols catechin and proanthocyanidin. This powerful combination can help protect your cells from damage and can reduce the risk of many diseases.

In addition, according to Yale researchers, the cocoa in chocolate (which is similar to cacao) has great effects:

“Cocoa can protect nerves from injury and inflammation, protect the skin from oxidative damage from UV radiation in topical preparations, and have beneficial effects on satiety, cognitive function, and mood.”

In a study of 4970 people, Harvard researchers found that chocolate was inversely related with coronary heart disease. A study in 2005 from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition even found that eating 100 grams of dark chocolate for 15 days reduced blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity in healthy people.

Try Delicious Chocolate Tea Selections

Ready for this yummy combination? Try our organic and fair-trade certified Chocolate Monkey Tea! Before you even sip your drink, you’ll be serenaded with the sweet aroma of ripened bananas. Then, with the first sip, you’ll indulge in a rich and silky chocolate flavor — imagine taking the best banana milkshake you’ve ever had and the best chocolate cake you’ve ever had and making a tea out of them!

Enjoy Chocolate Monkey Tea as a diet-friendly way to get a sweet treat in the morning or evening that tastes like dessert in a cup. You can even add a splash of milk to this amazing drink. (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)

Or you can make your OWN chocolate tea using our Organic Dragonwell ! To seamlessly combine the flavor of chocolate and tea (as well as their tremendous health benefits), here’s all you need for a heavenly result:

DIY Chocolate Tea
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon organic Dragonwell Green Tea
  2. 8 ounces of purified water
  3. ¼ teaspoon ground ceylon cinnamon
  4. 1 Tablespoon cacao nibs or 1 teaspoon cacao powder
  5. Optional: Raw honey or coconut sugar
Instructions
  1. On the stove, bring the water, cacao, and cinnamon to a boil.
  2. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool to a temperature of 180 to 190°F.
  4. Pour over your green tea and allow to steep for 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Discard the used green tea and add sweetener if you want.
ArtOfTea http://blog.artoftea.com/

Enjoy!

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Honeysticks: The One Tea Hack Everyone Should Try

By August 19, 2016 Brewing Tea

There’s nothing better than a warm cup of your favorite tea. If you had a hard day at work, you can drink tea to unwind; if it’s a cold winter day, you can drink a cup of tea to warm up; and if you’re feeling under the weather, a warm cup of tea can help to soothe your body.

But you can still add another dimension to your cup of tea.

Honey has long been a popular add-on to tea. It adds a gentle sweetness and is believed to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. (Honey has even historically been used as an antiseptic in wound healing.)

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But who wants to drag around a container of honey every time they want to have some tea? Instead, it’s time you started using honeysticks — they’re the single tea hack that every tea drink should know and try. Here’s why:

  • Honeysticks are portable. Honeysticks are small, slim straw sticks that you can stash anywhere; you can put them in the pocket of your purse, in the glove box of your car, or in your desk drawer at work. They’re also biodegradable so you don’t have to worry about hurting the environment for the sake of a great cup of tea.
  • Honeysticks are mess free. These convenient little sticks of yumminess are so easy to use: All you have to do is bite off the tip of the stick and stir it into your tea. No mess, no spills, and no dirty spoons. When you’re done squeezing it into the cup of tea, simply throw the straw away. There’s nothing left to clean and you’ll be free of sticky fingers.
  • Honeysticks help you stick to your diet. Honey is a healthy, natural sweetener, but like any other source of sugar, eating too much will tip the scales. The great thing with honeysticks, however, is that you have automatic portion control: Each straw contains about a teaspoon of honey, which is the perfect amount of sweetness for your tea. (One teaspoon of honey only contains about 20 calories so it won’t mess up your diet.)

You can get a box of honeysticks from Art of Tea to start enjoying some of the best tea you’ve ever had. Go ahead and add a little sweetness to your soothing and relaxing tea breaks — that moment when you can get some time to yourself and peace of mind — and feel satisfied knowing you are getting the highest quality, 100% Grade A honey.

Enjoy!

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