How To Make And Enjoy The Perfect Crumpets For Your Tea

By September 23, 2016 Cocktails, Mocktails & More, Cooking with Tea

Tea and crumpets could be one of the best food and drink pairings in the world. The crumpet goes amazing as a snack or as an integral part of your next tea party. So how do you prepare and make the perfect crumpet? It’s a lot easier than you might expect.

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Creating The Ideal Crumpet Experience

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Before you start your crumpet journey, bring your water to a boil for the perfect cup of tea. (You can pick any of your favorites, but black tea is the traditional choice.) While your water is heating, grab your toaster. Why? Untoasted crumpets are squishy like a sponge.

Carefully put your crumpet into the toaster and use the highest setting — the high heat will help to create the perfectly warmed crumpet.

Back to your tea, pour hot water over your tea and steep while your crumpet is toasting.

When the toaster dings, your crumpet is STILL not yet ready. Put it through a second toasting and be aware that you’ll want to pull your crumpet out before the edges burn. You’re looking for a golden bottom and a tanned upper crust, not a burn. Remove the crumpet when it looks tanned.

After inspecting for perfection, allow it to sit for one minute. If toasted perfectly, you should have crunchy outsides and a contrasting squishiness on the inside.  

The Crowning Glory: Crumpet Toppers

Honey, butter, and jam are three essential toppings. Your add-ons should melt enough to fill the crumpet holes with flavor in each bite.  

Pure, softened butter is an amazing crumpet topper. If you let your butter rest at room temperature for a few hours before using it, you can just slice off a bit and put it on your warm crumpet.  

If your butter is straight out of the refrigerator, soften it using a hot water bath. Cut off a few chunks of butter and place it in a bowl; then, carefully place the bowl inside a shallow container of hot water to soften the butter quickly. (Make sure only the butter dish — and not the actual butter — touches the hot water.)

Jam is a delicious treat and provides a good contrast of cold and sweet with a hot crumpet. Honey is also a great idea: when combined with salty butter, you get a sweet and savory crumpet.  

You can also add cheese, eggs, vegemite, or even creamy peanut butter as a tasty crumpet topper.

Make Your Own Crumpets

Want to make your own crumpets? In that case, we’re here to help! Here’s a foolproof way to make the perfect crumpet. Enjoy!

Tea Crumpets
  1. 2 ¼ cups of milk that has been warmed to 110F
  2. 1 package of yeast
  3. 2 teaspoon of sugar
  4. 2 cups flour
  5. 2 Tablespoons of gluten flour or vital wheat gluten
  6. 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  7. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  8. ½ cup water
  1. In a bowl, stir together milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  2. Set aside and allow to rise for about 10 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, combine flour, gluten flour or vital wheat gluten, sea salt, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  4. Mix the two bowls together for approximately four minutes. You want the mix to be like a thick pancake mix.
  5. Move to a warm place, cover with a towel for one hour.
  6. After an hour, mix together baking soda and water
  7. Remove the towel on your rested mix and add this new creation, mixing well.
  8. Cover and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  9. Heat a buttered pan (cast iron is best) and butter 4” metal crumpet molds. Allow the molds and pan to heat on low while your mix is rising.
  10. After 30 minutes, scoop out some of the batter gently and add inside the ring. You should fill it ¼ of the way so that when the crumpet cooks, it rises to ¾” thickness. Bubbles will form and the batter will dry out. That’s when your crumpet is ready.
  11. Take the crumpet, ring and all, and brown the top over a flame (or use the toaster method we outlined). Flipping a crumpet causes it to flatten out. Instead, be sure to remove the crumpet by gently loosening it from the ring with a knife.
Crumpets and tea are more of an experience than something that can be described. While they can be enjoyed in so many different ways, whatever you decide, there’s no doubt that mouth-watering flavor of crumpets and tea are a match made in heaven.

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The Best Tea After Yoga

By September 21, 2016 Health & Lifestyle

Do you practice yoga? Well, just like with any workout, rehydrating after a rejuvenating yoga session is essential. But instead of drinking electrolyte soft drinks like many other gym goers do, reach for a delicious cup of hot tea that can be just as relaxing as the yoga itself!

There are countless benefits to drinking tea after a yoga session. But how do you pick the right one for you?


How Much Energy Do You Want?

Tea is a great after-exercise drink. Why? It provides a light pick me up that won’t result in a crash for a simple reason: On average, a cup of tea has half of the caffeine of a cup of coffee. (Different kinds of tea have even less.) In general, the darker the tea, the higher the caffeine content you’ll find in it.

For example, after yoga, the low oxidation of green tea provides a steady release of a low dose of caffeine that make it the perfect meditative and relaxing tea. Those who want no caffeine at all, however, can always find their favorite decaffeinated tea or just opt for an herbal blend.

How Intense Was Your Workout?

Several teas are associated — both through scientific studies and folk-medicine perspectives — with muscle relaxation. These include ginger, green tea, and most of all, chamomile.

Chamomile contains dozens of different anti-inflammatory chemicals and ginger is believed to help with pain relief. Thus, if you tend to push yourself especially hard while you exercise, these could be perfect choices for you.

How Committed Are You?

A number of delicious and healthy teas can actually be grown in your own backyard. If you already have a garden or even just a few pots around the house, growing your own tea can be a highly rewarding experience.

A hugely popular tea that’s easy to make and grow is ginger root tea. By picking up some organic ginger from a health food store or a farmer’s market, leave a portion of the root out until it sprouts and then plant it like a potato. Rose hips can also be made into a tasty herbal blend and  rosemary can make a great drink as well.

In some places, people may have wild chamomile growing in their yard and not even know it; the same goes for mint, another relaxing go-to herbal blend chosen by many yoga experts. (Just make sure it’s properly identified before it is made into tea.)

What More Do You Want From Your Tea?

Are you health conscious (like most people who practice yoga)? If so, then you’ll enjoy the many health benefits of various teas.

Some studies have shown that tea drinkers have healthier bones than non-tea drinkers, despite the fact that caffeine may be linked to bone complications. Experts believe that this may have to do with antioxidant related compounds called flavonoids.

Flavonoids are found in drinks made from tea leaves: Green tea has the most followed by black teas. Tea has also been linked to weight loss, thanks to compounds called catechins, which affect your metabolism. (In fact, no tea has a higher catechin count than oolong, a black tea originating in China.)

While there’s a whole world of tea to choose from, if you’re about to try an after-yoga tea for the first time, green tea may be your best option. Why? Not only does it taste amazing, but it also offers tremendous health benefits.

Give it a shot for your next yoga workout and take your fitness to a new level.

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Everything You Need To Know About White Tea

By September 19, 2016 Brewing Tea, History and Culture of Tea

 What is tea? Well, even though there are many different types of tea  — white, green, oolong, pu-erh, black, etc. — they all come from the same plant called Camellia sinensis.

And while each tea has a distinct flavor and body, white tea is lighter with some notes of honey and a rich, grassy taste.

But what else makes white tea so unique and delicious?


The Origins Of White Tea

For a tea to be considered a “white tea,” it has to come from a region in China called Fujian. Originally, it got its name from the silvery white color it gets from the tiny hair of the unopened tea buds.

The reason the buds aren’t open is due to the process of picking the young leaves and buds that haven’t bloomed yet. In fact, these young buds are picked only 7 to 10 days out of the entire year and undergo no processing before being dried — it’s these younger leaves that actually give white tea its delicate flavor.

The Best Grades Of White Tea

White tea is broken into three major grades. The two best types are Baihao Yinzhen and Bai Mu Dan and the lowest grade is Shou Mei (which we won’t discuss in this article).

Baihao Yinzhen

Also known as Silver Needle tea, this type of tea is the highest grade of white tea available. And its name is extremely fitting: it’s made up of unopened buds that are shaped like a bunch of needles.

The reason that this type is the best is due to its Hao content. Hao is the soft down covering on the outside of the tea that comes off into the tea as you steep it; these little hairs rest at the top of your cup of tea and reflect the light, giving it a shimmer or silver color.

Hao has a very high antioxidant content and also gives the tea a very smooth consistency. There’s also a legend that says it was grown in a secret garden within the province of Fujian and hand-picked by virgins with white gloves; the story goes that only the emperor could drink it.

Talk about a tea with lofty standards!

Bai Mu Dan

Although this tea has a slightly lower grade than the Baihao Yinzhen, it’s still delicious and adored by many. (It goes by the name “White peony” in English.) This type of tea has a mix of both the young leaves and buds.

Both of these teas can be blended and flavored. The Bai Hao Yinzhen has an especially mild flavor. (Some would go so far as to say that it is almost tasteless.) At Art of Tea, we offers blends of both. Amore is a blended Baihao Yinzhen that has the flavors of rose and lavender. There’s also a blended Bai Mu Dan called Butterscotch, which is a sweet delicious buttery tea so tasty and fulfilling that it can replace even your favorite dessert.

Ultimately, white tea is a wonderfully delicate and light tea with high antioxidant levels making it a fantastic choice for your health. And if that weren’t enough, they offer a unique blend of delicious flavors that are lighter than your typical tea. Enjoy!

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