Posts from the ‘Herbal Infusion’ Category

Antioxidants, Caffeine-Free Herbals and Eat for Your Life

It’s been a while since I’ve written in my blog and I must apologise.  I have been active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Meetup and Google+ to a lesser extent, but blogging, yes, I didn’t prioritise and make the time.  But I’m hoping to change all of that because many tea lovers will ask me private questions about tea and I’ve addressed these great questions and ought to share with the rest of the tea lovers in the world.

So yes, I promise to you readers that I will write regularly but in between those times, I do suggest you follow me on any of the Social Media links above and you can always post your questions there too and I’ll do my best to answer.

Okay, apologies over and now back to my original post.  I have many people asking me about herbal infusions and caffeine which you can read more about in the links that I’ve given.  Then I get asked what is my favourite herbal infusion and without a doubt it is one that I’ve discovered from Japan (via Taiwan and Minnesota :D)

This herbal infusion is called Ashitaba.  I won’t tell you the ins and outs of it as you can read more about Ashitaba Herbal Info here.  What I like about this herb is that aside from the compelling studies that the leaflet has alluded to, many of my customers have said that it has made a difference to their lives.  From helping them to sleep better, alleviating them from their pain to “I just like having a caffeine-free beverage before I go to bed”., it is a beverage that mimics all of the health benefits of tea but without the caffeine.  That is the best thing about this herbal.

4. Health Properties of Tea with May King Tsang

It has been placed in a teabag (and I have always advocated that not all tea bags are created equal 😀 ) because the company want to protect its patent on the roasting technique that has been applied to this herbal but the material used to make the teabag is fully compostable and not bleached.  Win for tea lovers susceptible to the effects of caffeine and a big win the the environment.

So there we have it.  My herbal of choice is called Ashitaba and I’m one of those tea lovers that drink this tea not because of the whole host of health benefits it has, but because I like the roasted taste of this caffeine-free beauTEA.  I hope you enjoy it.

P.S. I was privileged to have attended Alison Taafe‘s book launch on Saturday 21st September at Scrumptious Reads.  Alison talks about antioxidants (which is present in tea and also in the Ashitaba Herbal) and the importance of cooking well in order to eat better and feel better.  Her book is inspired by the journey she shared with her sister in battling cancer and is an inspirational story.  Do please check out her book with some aMAYZing recipes.  You won’t be disappointed.

Falling Out and Making Up Over Tea

I am extremely privileged to have met so many wonderful tea friends over the years from the States, Canada, China, UK, several countries in Europe, India and Australia and I often reconnect with these friends through the world of Social Media.

With a large group of tea friends though, there is bound to be a falling out.  Whilst we all love tea many questions are poised with accompanying bold statements and at times we often forget that our own opinions may not be held by others.  I was brought up in a working class background; my parents didn’t have two pennies to rub together.  I was also brought up in a Chinese household which meant no hoighty-toighty-ness; simple as you like with no fuss.  These two influences have also lent themselves into my business.  Whilst there are temperature controlled kettles, thermometers, special teaware like Yixing Teapots, gaiwans and English bone china, I’m just as comfortable with a flask of hot water, tea leaves sitting at the bottom of a cup which is topped up with hot water through-out the day as and when required.

Chinese Thermos

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Tea Appreciation Classes with a KISS

In my former life as an IT trainer, I remember the first few days of training to become a certified Microsoft Applications trainer.  Every class started with KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid.  The premise behind the acronym is when delivering a training course to ensure that you speak in layman’s terms: speak in a language that the audience can understand.  Travelling around the world with my IT role forced me to do that in countries where English was the second language.

May King in action

May King as a Tea Note Speaker

Who’d have thought that my training skills would come in handy when talking about tea?  With so many acronyms and tea terminology, it’s ever so easy to become daunted by them when you see them on paper, or online, but if explained with KISS, hopefully the audience can understand it better.  Here are just a few Tea Terms you may come across.

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Book Review – Homemade Health – Home Remedies Your Grandmother Knew

I had the privilege of meeting with Anke Bialas from Herbology fame on more than a couple of occasions. I even had the privilege of sharing the stage with her as I spoke about herbal infusions at the Friday Tea Club. Anke was there by my side reinforcing the answers I gave to the questions asked and we had a wonderful evening, but I digress; this post is about her new book, Homemade Health – Home Remedies Your Grandmother Knew.

I remember writing last year about how I was being snobby about herbal infusions but I have since had a new found respect for our caffeine-free friends as I have delved into them and studied them a lot more deeply.

I love the front cover of this book. It is simple and uncomplicated, which kinda sets a precedent for the rest of the book as each section is clearly marked and leaves the reader with no illusion as to what to expect.

Homemade Health – Home Remedies Your Grandmother Knew

I also love the sub-title. “Home Remedies your Grandmother Knew”. It made me smile; one of these smiles that is immediately followed by a confirmation nod and as I opened to the Contents page, I was greeted with a beautiful photograph of a bunch of herbs – and another smile ensued.

There were lots of light bulb moments for me as I read fascinating insights into herbs such as rosemary, sage and garlic. And I’m sure that most readers of this book will have their own stories and remedies that they share with others. In fact, it was only the other day that I was asked for any remedies I had for a cold and I shared with a friend of mine a Mexican recipe for garlic soup. It is a soup that my husband always craves for when he has a cold. Funnily enough whenever we’ve had the soup we’ve never experienced bad breath and one of those a-ha moments I previously talked about was when I read about parsley (one of the ingredients in the soup) which is said to chase away garlic breath.

When I have acquired a new book, I like to flick through the pages and I have to admit, the section “From Acne to Warts” excited me. Ailments are clearly listed in alphabetical order with the accompanying herbal to suit that ailment underneath it. As a simple girl, I like simple things and so the alphabetised ailments were easy for me to flick through to get to the conditions that I was interested in. I’ve talked about smiles and light bulb moments and now I’d like to share with you a funny thought as I read through the section on colds.

The first recommendation for a cold the book suggests, is a decoction of ginger root which took me back to my childhood and reminded me of my mother’s age old recipe for treating a cold. The recipe also involves a few slices of ginger being thrown into a pot, but deviates slightly with a smattering of chopped spring onions with….wait for it….a famous branded cola! The mixture would then be heated on the stove and once boiled, it was ready to drink. Now I don’t know if it cured my colds when I was a child but you can imagine that the sweetness of the cola and the warmth of the ginger, which was enhanced through heating the beverage, certainly made me feel a lot better. In fact, I was later to find out that the famous branded cola was once sold as a tonic. I remember telling this story in a Tea Appreciation class I held last month, pens were at the ready for my mum’s age old recipe and you could see the bemused faces when I revealed the secret ingredient. 😀

Homemade Health is packed full of extremely useful information, beautiful photographs and illustrations and it is a book that you will keep returning to as and when you need it. It is an easy book to digest and is far from intimidating which I have sometimes found with other books that talks about remedies found in the garden.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you will know that I am a huge fan of technology and I love the fact that there is a QR code at the back of the book so that you can have instant access to the “Herbology on the Go” app: an app that is not only available on iPhone but also on Android and Microsoft’s Windows phone too.

So, if you would like an easy reference guide to “simple and effective treatments from the pantry” then I would look no further than “Homemade Health” and if herbal “teas” are your cup of tea (guffaw), then I suggest you connect with Anke on Twitter or on Facebook where she has herbal infusion blends with endearing names such as Sereni-Tea and Simplic-Tea available for purchase.

Chinese New Year, Chinese Herbal Infusions and Marbled Tea Eggs

The Chinese New Year is a celebration of change which equates to the familiar saying, “out with the old and in with the new”. I celebrated Chinese New Year for the first time in Brisbane, with these 10 points in mind.

  • Make Time for family – I ventured down to Chinatown with my husband to watch the festivities and shared a cup of a Chinese Herbal containing Chrysanthemum flowers, Goji berries and Red dates.

Chrysanthemum flowers, Goji berries and Red dates herbal

  • Accepting Gifts Red envelopes (Lei See) are given as gifts where the red colour of the envelope and the money inside symbolizes good luck and is said to ward off evil spirits. 
  • Year of the Dragon / Dragon or Lion Dance – A dragon or lion dance is performed on New Year’s Day to bring luck and prosperity for the coming year.  People born in the year of the Dragon are said to be strong, self-assured and loyal. What Chinese zodiac animal are you?

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