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.    

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tangy Zesty & Estatic - Absolutely Tealicious Cuppa Chai

Monday Morning Freshness! 

A night before scrap some lemony zest in cupful of water. Let it rest overnight for the water to absorb the bitter sweet tanginess  from the zests. Get up early in the morning (He!He!) wash your mouth and charge at the stove. Take a spoonful of leaves from a good brand, Wagh Bakri, Tata or Green leaves of Organic India. Best is to add both black and green variants in equal proportions.     

Sprinkle the leaves in the water containing zest and lift it to the stove. Now add a mix of cinnamon and cardamon powder. This will enhance the earthy and musky flavors of the leaves. Gung Ho bring the mixture to the boil and strain. 

Slurrp! There you have one of the most tealicious hot brew on Earth. Good Morning!   

Have it with Poha or zust bread and butter. Better still sip the cup full to savor the aroma without any conflict and then dive for brekky.  

I sip mine, predawn, at the balcony when the World is asleep.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Video Relationship & Wagh Bakri Tea

Rishto Ki Garmahat

Relationship can only happen with Wagh Bakri Tea

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Tealicious Brew That Cheers

Say Cheers! Well this is not done only with drinks this is done also with tea.Well if not said the brew does create a cheerful ambiance and enlivens your spirit. Regular sipping of premium teas is a soulful melody an aspect the keeps the spirit high of the depressed.     

Well green tea does this with small amount of harmful caffeine unlike coffee. And the presence of EGCG accelerates your metabolism and burns extra fat. Hence this beverage facilitates weight loss. Something more to cheer thanks to EGCG.  

There are many different opinions regard as to which brew is the best Green, White, Oolong or Black. Well in my opinion all work the same.  Though white and green variants have more antioxidants all these hot beverage pack the same punch as far as enlivening your body. It is not only the chemicals, it is the aroma and taste that jars your sensual apparatus and awakens.     

Spices added in the right amount give a tremendous boost  to your spirits. Hence in India people go for the masala chai with mind boggling variants of mix. Cinnamon, clove, ginger, cardomon, mint you name them and they all work.

Say Cheers! They Tealicious Way!   

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Tea House - Cafe & Lounge

Its  all about tea and vendors. Cafe, Coffee Shops, Tea Lounges and hidden restaurants that focus on tea in Mumbai. 

Wagh Bakri Tea Lounge 

The first tea lounge in India offers tealicious range of WB teas and delicious choice of snacks. An excellent meeting place offers ideal option for parties and business meet.  There are two joints in Mumbai one is  situated Off Hanuman Road, Ville Parle Mumbai. The other is situated at BKC Bandra East.    


NCPA Cafe 

Situated bang opposite the Arabian Sea the cafe serves hot beverages as well as delicious food. It provides a refreshing and tranquil retreat in the maddening crowd of the mega city we call Mumbai.  

Tea Villa 

The joint offers mind boggling range of teas to its customers. Promises long hours and refreshing brew as tealicious escape for the rush.  
Cafe in The House 

Ideal for casual repast and some energizing beverages.
Kala Ghoda Cafe

Part cafe, part bakery and an excellent eatery. Stroll around the gallery in this excellent meeting place in Ropewalk Lane.   
Chai Coffee

As the name suggests serves both chai and coffee. Best place for cutting chai and keema pav. 

For more Information Visit WB Tea Lounge

The Tripoto Site

Cooking With Tea - Tealicious

The wonderful hot oops and cold beverage is there for sipping right? Wrong it is there for cooking as well. Yes the leaves are added in food. Our own Indian cooking is a fine example were the leaves are added for color as in Chole.  

So take a fine blend of the leaves and start cooking. You never know, the contemporary trend is of innovation in cooking. Hook on to a food channel and discover mind boggling fusion cooking taking place. I was reading on an online portal called sunset.com  about many recipes that use the tea leaves for creating mind boggling food.    

Best types of leaves used for cooking are the jasmine flavored ones. Another wonder addition is the Darjeeling Leaf. Lapsang Souchong China.is another good choice. Genmacha and flowery Matcha from Japan. Addition of Indian Chai Masala can create wonder. So don the apron and light the stove. Here Goes!  

Here are some examples. 

Smoked Tea Duck

The crust in this case is created using the leaves and rice. This result in a crispy tealicious crust.  

Leaf Crusted Tofu

A crust of leaves is created and cooked along with mushrooms and cabbage.   
Green Tea in Soup 

Simmer in vegetables and broth the choicest green leaves and create a mind boggling soup.  

Darjeeling Dashi

Japanese soup stock with Darjeeling Leaves! Tealicious! 

Chai Spiced Cookies

Using English Breakfast Chai Leaves the extra softened bread creates tealicious cookies!
Cran Berry Green Tea Smoothie

Delicious and loaded with antioxidants. 

Black Berry Leaf Sorbet 

A refreshing desert with energizing black leaves post dinner! 

Find here recipe details at sunset Tea Recipies

Tealicious - A taste that tingles



I may have tasted many blends of tea as a regular consumer but what has increased my fixation to this wonder beverage are the Darjeeling and Premium Black Leaf Variants.

Darjeeling Leaf is grown in the notified gardens of the District of Darjeeling in the Indian State of West Bengal. Though the seeds sown were of  Chinese origin  the plant grew well and yielded leaf of amazing aroma and taste.

The premium production of this wonderful aromatic leaf depends upon the flush and also the estate it is produced in. The Tea Board of India certifies the authenticity of the produce. To bring the cost lower the leaf is also blended with premium black leaves. But this is not always the case as blending with the black leaf may yield a mix with superlative taste.  

Assam produces one of the finest black teas in India. While the leaf is cultivated in highlands in Darjeeling in this State it is cultivated at sea level. The State is a major producer and has large number of garden producing quality leaf. It is also known for its deep color and malty taste. It finds use in many exotic blends as well. But consumption is completely consumed by Indian masses. A part of exquisite premium blends are exported to UK and many other countries since ages.

Both Assam and certified Darjeeling tea are exported to exported to UK and many other countries. The finest premium blends are not for mass consumption cost prohibiting. But small quantities are added to create fine brands for mass consumption.    

Both teas are tealicious just buy, brew and enjoy.  

Teaplomacy - Unite & Create Bonds

One of the most desired and consumed hot beverage has a magnetic charm as well. The ritual gives rises to a level of teaplomacy that enlivens and seals relationships. The process  begins with the making of chai and the wait that creates an ambiance of serenity, generates positive thoughts and vibes. This is the magic of chai as the host or the stall owner get busy brewing.     

Whence on invite there is always an air of expectancy thanks to multiple styles of brewing and mind boggling variants. Once I was surprised by cinnamon tea whence on tour. The hosts was marveling at his wife's recipe of the hot beverage, it brought my tongue tingling and the I was not disappointed.  In spite of the distance the urge is strong for another rendezvous.  
Opening Wagh Bakri Tea Lounge

Our Prime Minister always invites International Guests PMs and Presidents on a meet where the brew is the focal point. Just pour a cup for the guest and see how the magic happens. It is one of the most appeasing gesture some what similar to making a drink for a fellow. 

Not only high profile meetings it is a casual get together between friends and relatives that the hot beverage enlivens. Chai offers an event a purpose and a memorable one at that. Hence learn to brew a perfect concoction and you will be successful at making relations and cementing bonds. 

It is the chemistry that unfolds as aroma fills your nostrils and the taste that tingles your taste buds. The energizing tealicious drink never fails to deliver.    

To Chalo Chai Ho Jaye!           

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Going Overboard - Hot Beverage Consumption

Though tea and coffee are wonder brews consuming beyond the limit can be harmful. The hot beverages come along with plethora of health benefits. This accrues when the consumption is under the recommended limitation. 

Tea does not contain caffeine in the same quantity as coffee does hence its consumption is advisable up to four and five cups a day. Consumption greater than this may cause loss of sleep, acidity and possible increase in heart beat. Higher levels of bad cholesterol results from drinking unfiltered coffee in excess.    

Tea is a winner as far as beneficial aspect are concerned thanks to it variants and less quantity of caffeine. But this does not mean one should consume it in excess.  Heavy caffeine consumption is linked to many ailments in our body.  

As per reports coffee contains as much as 180 mg of caffeine whilst in the other it is up to 70 mg maximum. Hence the preference is obvious. The consumption of coffee is more per person as compered to tea making the latter a better choice in obtaining the health benefits.





   

The Clash of Beverages - Tea or Coffee

The hot beverages are the most consumed in the World. The origin of coffee is said to have taken place in the Islamic World namely Ethiopia. From hear the popularity is said to have spread to nearby Kenya & Sudan.  Although the earliest evidence points to 15th Century the brew must have been popular ages back.

It was trade in the 16th Century that brought the hot beverage to Europe.But large scale popularity is attributed to the 19th Century in Ethiopia.  

Coffea Arabica  a tree now cultivated in many parts of the World yields the brew through its seeds after roasting. The brew was discovered to energize the whole system on consumption apart from delivering a captivation aroma.  Health benefits of drinking coffee
are slowly emerging thanks to research. It is attributed to prevent Diabetic II, liver cirrosis and  prevent some types of cancer. But the most vital aspect of the beverage is its instant energizing effect.  

Tea
Tea Camellia Sinensis on commercial scale originated in China and then spread to India. Where the British rulers encouraged its production in the gardens of Assam and Darjeeling.  The leaf especially the green leaf accords tremendous health benefits attributed to antioxidants and many other chemicals. 

Research is where the comparison catapults into complete derailment. The inconclusive aspect of findings point more towards the green tea but is equally impressive about coffee.   

In coffee drinking sphere tea is making a fast intrusion especially the green variant. More research is proving many claims of drinking tea are proving to be right. Another advantage is addition of health benefitting spices and essentials that is not possible in the case of coffee. 

Hence tea is receiving large number of followers. This is further augmented by the introduction of iced tea and its innovative packaging in smart bottles. The biggest boost the consumption of this wonder brew is its amazing aroma and taste. 
   

Monday, July 27, 2015

Amazing World of Cocktails & Teas

For large number of tea drinkers the leaf is limited to black and green ones. For many it is extended to Oolong or white leaf. As I am discovering the World of tea is like an expanding Universe. The more you delve into it the more you fathom.      

For a regular tea drinker some of the cocktail combinations appear bizarre. But nevertheless the popularity can easily be gauged hence these drinks deserve a try. Most of the recipes are handiwork of expert chefs hence a wait is required till the products percolate down as household recipes, or in cans or bottles.     

Here are some of the products used in various cocktail recipes. 

Jasmine Green Tea
Black Forest Berry Herbal Tea 
Rooibos Tea or Red Bush Tea


English Breakfast Tea (Blend) 

 Earl Grey Tea (Bergamot) (Blend) 

Chamomile Tea (Herbal)

 Most of the products or herbal concoctions are as a result of mix with alcohol like Bourbon, Vodka and Rum.    

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Tea: Tourism & Assam

The wonder brew flourishes at no plain spaces it does so at amazing wonderlands. Tea in India grows in one of the most picturesque destinations that dazzle visitors expecting just plain fields laden with plantations.   

Assam is no less as beautiful as Darjeeling is. It is the largest producer of black leaf in the country. Popular all over the world specially in India the flavor is reminiscent of  malt flavor with dusky red color. The color is imparted whence the brew is brought to a boil. The chai wallahs are known to repeatedly boil the brew in order to extract the bitter malt flavor and a dark liquor.  
Garden

Assam grows premium and ordinary leaf the latter for mass consumption.None is less flavored than the order. The latter finds use on the streets as broken leaf and dust.   

Tea Plant
A visit to Assam gardens is an enthralling experience especially whence you learn how the leaf is cultivated and processed. Finest leaf is cultivated in these plantations some of which are as old as whence the production started in India.



Dodebetta View
 

There are many tour operators organizing visits to regions like Jorhat and Dibrugarh. Apart from sightseeing one visits the top gardens most of them built in colonial style. The age of customs and traditions that still govern life at tea gardens is worth knowing.     

Assam is home to many wilderness areas like Manas and Kaziranga. The tiger reserves and sanctuaries are home to many endemic species. Kaziranga is the best place to see one horned rhinoceros while Manas is home to the Golden Langur and Hoolock Gibbon.  

Tea Cocktails - Changing Trends

The wonderful hot beverage that cheers millions of souls everyday is undergoing a paradigm shift. The brew served hot in a traditional manner is breaking all barriers of stagnating traditions. It may seem that breaking away from the tradition is a sacrilege, but this wonderful leaf has done it without a sword being raised. All for the whiff of fresh air, tangy flavor and sensational aroma thanks to the new admixture created by the innovative connoisseurs and foodies.  

There are no extremists raising guns and swords to bloody the innovators guts. Tea is being consumed as cocktails, iced, bottled and masala all over the World. Wait! It is still being consumed like that way it was since centuries ago but things are changing and fast.   

Cocktails are maddening mixture of fruits and alcohol and the recipe can lead to both hot or icy cold beverage.  

The hot cocktails are enticing during the cold season and rainy days. They a are created by warming the water as usual and adding the leaf and other ingredients. 

Some of the popular names are:
 
  • Masala Chai
  •  
  • Hot & Toddy 
  •  
  • Blueberry Tea  

  • Autumn Chai Sizzle
 Many a type of punches have been created. Most of these cocktails are non alcoholic meant for summers and warm weather. 

Th iced tea or mocktails are usually made as warm tea chilled and then the ingredients are added to it. Iced Brews are also sold at tea lounges along with snacks. They are also sold in cans and bottles not forgetting the soda machine dispensers. 

Some of the popular drinks are:

  • Bourbon Tea

  • Cherry Bitch 

  • Bee Tea

  • Derby Tea
  •  
  • Ginger Tea 
Innovation is completely going to change the teas of the future and how we consume it. Be prepared.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Good Morning The Herb Way

What a better way to start one's morning then to do it the herbal way. I love my green tea and mix some black in the brew as well. To fight diabetes I add a mix of cinnamon and cardamom in the brew.  

Health is wealth and the green brew delivers just that. Fond of ubiquitous black tea I developed taste for the green variety whence I bought the Wagh Bakri green brand. Ever since I am hooked to this magnificent leaf that carries so many beneficial compounds with it. 

For extra flavor one can add the Darjeeling leaf in the mix. This will jack up the price but nevertheless it will add miles to the flavor. 

The morning brew once prepared is then consumed in two three cup fulls. The exhausted leaves are then left to steep till the time I brew the cup again. This assures gain of all the healthy chemicals along with economy in use. Try it you will not be disappointed. 

One can add many times of herbs, oils, powdered extracts as per the health benefit one desires. Most of the additives have medicinal and curative properties.   

So next time you brew a sizzling hot beverage add some muscle into it!