Thursday, November 5, 2015

Iced Tea Recipe & Flavor

Since the advent of iced tea the popularity of the hot beverage has risen four fold.  The beverage in time to come will challenge colas all over the Globe. The inclusion of fruity flavors has made tea cocktails readily acceptable to the non tea drinking populace.      

Iced Beverage
Most of the iced beverages are sugary and include fresh fruits which is a healthy addition. But many cold beverages are also flavored by fruity syrups. This cold beverage is prepared and then sent to the chiller. It is served in long glasses, canned or sold in bottles. 

Mint Tea
The brew making is a challenge for the foodies ingenuity  but the iced version offers many combinations. Making iced cocktails with premium and rare leaves would be an ideal party drink. These lifestyle drinks are served as accompaniment with various foods.   

Here is an Iced Tea Recipe 

Photo Courtsey: Wagh Bakri Tea Company 


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Teas: Exotic & Refreshing

It is the tea that cheers and fetches you out of boredom, fatigue and ennui. The leaf glitters like gold in fact green gold when perfectly processed, matched and skilfully blended. In my quest to blog on this wonderful hot beverage I as always search the net. 

There are amazing blogs on tea and scoring them will give you an idea about what to write. Well do not copy no duplicates please the brew is best whence unique.  
Wagh Bakri Ginger Tea

Read about some amazing brews here:

Yak Butter Tea

Popular in Tibet, Ladakh in India, Bhutan and Sikkim. this is brewed along with Yak Butter which is available in Tibet and Himalayan Landscape in North India. In the cold climes butter acts a manna, an energy driven brew, it is extremely helpful, apart from being savory.  

Also known as cha it is brewed for a very long  time till a dark liquid is obtained. The liquid is then poured in a flask containing Yak Butter and some salt. Premium leaves accord wonderful taste and aroma.  

Flower or Blooming Tea

Tea leaves and flower are bundled together which whence brewed open up and blooms. Earlier the bundle is dried and often tied to make it stable. This brew finds its origin in Yunan Province of China and is served in transparent containers. Many popular flowers are used for this ceremonial brew.   

Jasmine Tea

Grown in China and some other Asian countries the Jasmine flower is highly fragrant hence it is associated with tea leaves. The mix is kept together overnight or for long hours sufficient time for the leaves to absorb the aroma of the flowers. As during the process moisture is gained by the leaves they are dried all over again. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tealicious Masala Chai Tea Recipe

I remember coming across a masala chai packet in Ahmedabad where it is most popular. The Gujjus love tea and the only competitor is the ice cream not beer mind you. Gujarat is a dry state and only way one can consume alcoholic drinks is through permit avialable for outsiders and for those on health stick.  

Hence spiced tea is very popular. In Ahmadabad tea is virtually Mary's Little Lamb as where ever you go the stalls are waiting for you. There are many stalls with small stools selling the dark liquor along with butter buns and you name it.  Collegians, Majnoos, Businessmen all look for these seats and while away there time in a meaning full or junk banter everyday.   

Chai Thelas on the dusty desert roads...absolute fun.  

Anyway coming back to masala chai I discovered few ingredients which suit my cup very well. 

Here goes 

Dry Ginger One Piece (Saunt)
Clove        ( 1 or 2)    
Few Peppercorns
One Almond 
One Pistachio 
One or Two Cardamom Pods 
Jaiphal Scrapings (Nutmeg) 
Cinnamon Powder small quantity 
Licorice small quantity 

Add this in proportion as stated above and taste. I have been vague on proportions as to cater to individual taste. Try adding other suitable spices like saunf etc. 

You can add this to the brew and even milk for children. It is wonderful cough medicine as well. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Tealicious Tea Bags or Premium Loose Blend

While a majority of tea lovers use a bag filled of leaves it is not every one's cup. The advantage of this packaging is that you can carry it everywhere and make an instant cup with the hassle of straining. Though the water still has to be brought to a boil the process nevertheless is much quicker.    

Discovered by accident by an American merchant Thomas Sullivan today's packaging is far more advanced than earlier, with hygiene in place. These square or hexagonal shaped paper bags are filled with various blends of teas generally less than premium stuff because of cost but nevertheless quality driven.  

A large populace is immersing these tea bags as a habit inculcated specially when new to the magical brew. They have never tried or want to experience the exciting World of blending the leaves which abound in variants and varieties. 

Does this mean that blending is a mathematical puzzle?

Well yes and know. If you are master blender employed by a major tea house the art comes easy. If you are a connoisseur the art is easier what with no limitation placed by the company. But for amateur it needs lot of immersion in the World of tea leaves. One has to learn the flavors and what they produce in conjunction. 

This is a full fledged activity blending teas from all over the World and producing master blends that tingle your tongue and nostril so that you reach the peak of flavor. Believe me you as a novice can indulge in the passionate world of  blending leaves of camilia sinensis. All most all the variants and varieties are available online buy them and say Cheers!

   

Making a Tealicious Blend

Tired of same spoonful of leaves in your morning cuppa...here is a suggestion. Invest in different kinds of tea:

Assam Black Tea

Nilgiri Leaf from the blue mountains 

Darjeeling Premium Certified Leaf 

The Assamese leaves impart color and strength to the brew while the Nilgiri leaves in the blend make it as astringent without which the taste would be flat and boring. Lastly the Darjeeling leaves add to the magical aroma the gardens are famous for.     

Blend these leaves in equal proportion or reduce percentage of Darjeeling tea as the cost is much higher. Anyway add as per your taste and get a wonderful blend. 

It is best to buy premium varieties of CTC leaves of all varieties if you wish to achieve  fantastic taste and aroma to hit your sensory apparatus. If you are health conscious you can buy the organic leaves which are by all means expensive as compared to the non organic forms.     

The brew should be on the stove for more than three minutes if you wish  for all the flavor to peculate. Excessive boiling will lead to make the brew bitter which not all consumers prefer. 
 

Indian Tea Rising Prices

The cost of food overall has risen during this decade so have the prices of tea. Albeit production cost of this leaf has not risen sharply but the marketing expenses involved and the social cost  of production makes a major dent on the price chart. 

What is social cost?

Well this is a payment made besides the wages for labor welfare vis a vis education of children and health of the workers. This and rising cultivation cost has kept many gardens away from making profit. 

India consumes almost 1000 million kgs of this product yearly. It has to import the leaves from countries like Kenya and Sri Lanka. But the home production is riding very fast making it imperative to increase consumption here as well as increase exports in order to ride much above the break even mark.    

The Tea Board of India is planning a series of advertisements in order to boost the store able cold form or iced tea. The advantage this form offers is its attraction for younger audience as well as the attractive packing.

Another advantage is that it is instant and does not require any preparation unlike
Iced Mint Tea

Lemon Iced Tea

Tea Garden

Chai.
its cousin the hot beverage.  

Photo Courtesy: Wagh Bakri Tea Company 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Tea Manna From Heaven

Most recent study by Japanese discovered that consuming the hot brew resulted in aging more strongly. This was unlike the case of non drinkers who were much frailer and disabled. The old fared better as far as functional disability is concerned. 

That the tea consumers fared better than the western counterparts who were stuck with caffeine rich coffee  has proven the leaf to a a medicine alternative. With more research in place the leaf is going to turn over more and act as alternative medicine for those who do not consume it on regular basis.  

In India, the leaf supplements traditional medicine and offers cost effective health solution. As far as medical benefits are concerned green tea finds the greatest users thanks to its beneficial chemicals.  

While the manufacturers extol these virtues which are attracting more towards the brew there prime concern is to increase the consumer bases targeting all audience. 

Though iced tea has been highly successful in finding a base among the teens more has to be done as cokes offer a stiff competition.   
Caffeine Meter
Chai

Green Tea Soda : Courtesy Wagh Bakri Tea

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Cuppa Chai Or Iced Tea

Long time ago few leaves of Camilia Sinensis fell into a bowl of warm water held by a Chinese Emperor. The aroma that emanated from the brew was intoxicating and thus tea was discovered. A typically hot beverage that has floored the World completely is literally speaking undergoing the ravages of time.      

The paradigm shift albeit at a snails place in traditional tea consuming countries is taking place. Enter the wonderful zesty iced tea  a cold phenomenon that is capturing a new target audience the young unes. The chai as we call it in India is traditionally drunk hot from a cup or small glasses. It is slipped slowly taking a good time probably in betwixt a conversation. 

The iced version is a modern invention perhaps necessitated by creativity and the stiff competition from colas. The usual hot beverage turns into iced form upon refrigeration or with addition of ice cubes. This form of brew is also subject to lot of sugary additions or in many cases lime or both. A dash of ginger throws lot of punch.

The herbal variants also come in this form with lot health benefits. The can or bottled version of this cool beverage is taking the popularity sky high. It is assumed that cool tea beverage will take away an impressive share from the hot form as well as from fizzy cola drinks.