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It’s a season of hot days and sultry nights, but did you know that a cup of beautiful tea can refresh you like nothing else can? Choose a flavour that you love and it can make the end of your day just as good as when it began.

If you love the fragrance of cinnamon laced with a hint of cardamom in your tea, the Kashmiri Kahwa is the perfect brew to soothe your cares away. This tea, which is a blend of green tea leaves, saffron, cinnamon bark, cardamom pods, and Kashmiri rose, is much loved, both for its taste and for its many benefits. It is usually served with sugar or honey and crushed almonds or walnuts to add a richer texture to the brew.

What makes this tea so wonderful? Check out this compilation of facts of this special brew…

The Tea Route

Most people believe that the Kashmiris were the earliest addicts of the Kahwa. While most of India discovered their love for tea due to the British tea companies, Kashmiris used to get their special teas from China through Tibet. Many believe that Kahwa tea leaves came to Kashmir through the Spice Route, though some people say it originated in the Yarkand valley during the Khushan empire in the first and second century AD. Though its origins are still a matter of debate, today Kahwa is Kashmir’s trademark beverage and is often called the “magic tea”. This tea is also popular in countries like Bangladesh, Afghanistan and other regions of Central Asia. Even though the drink is Kashmiri, its name “kahwa” is a word of Arabic origin, which is why it is also called Arabic kahwa.

What is kahwa?

The gentle golden colour of this tea and its glorious fragrance make the kahwa a prince of teas. It is a brew that is an exotic mix of Kashmiri green leaves, whole spices, nuts and saffron. There are various varieties of kahwa, depending on what nuts and dry fruits are added to it. Some people add dried fruit like cherries, apples, raisins, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, cashewnuts, dried apricots and dates to this tea, giving it richer flavours and delicious overtones.

Many people in Kashmir begin their day with a cup of kahwa tea. Besides keeping you warm during bitter winters, Kahwa is also a health drink. So, it is perfect for every season as it contains fruit and nuts in a green tea base.

How to prepare kahwa

The preparation of Kashmiri Kahwa is an elaborate and almost ritualistic procedure that has been honed through perfection down the years. Traditionally, it is made by grinding tea powder, cardamoms and cinnamon to a fine powder. Water is brought to a boil and the ground tea mixture is added and stirred. As the tea simmers, saffron strands are added to the brew. It is left to simmer for at least 10 minutes over a low flame, and then strained before serving.

Today, however, tea bags are also available which make the process of making this tea much easier. When you use a tea bag, the process is simple: heat the water till it reaches 90 degrees centigrade. Put your teabag in a cup and pour the hot water into it. Let it steep for four minutes to get the right flavour of the tea. You can sweeten the tea with honey if you like your beverages sweeter.

In Kashmir, the kahwa tea is made in a special utensil called the ‘samovar’, which is a brass kettle which has a central cavity within which you are supposed to put live coals. A bit of space is left for the ingredients to warm up in the vessel and there is a nozzle to pour out the tea. Some people drink the tea in a bronze cup, while others prefer cups made of china clay. The Samovar is made of copper or brass.

Don’t miss the beauty and delicious flavour of the Kashmiri Kahwa. The next time you need a pickme-up, let this fragrant tea mesmerize your senses and transport you to the serenity and beauty of the valleys where they were cultivated and nurtured over time.

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What’s better than a tangy cup of cranberry tea?? Cranberry-Mango tea, of course!! With summer here, and our desperate need to stay healthy and toxin-free, consuming the ultimate antioxidant is essential. And what better flavours to do the trick than summer’s favourite fruit mango and vitamin-rich cranberry.

Traditionally, we make a hot cup of tea to revive our tired selves. However, enjoying the same jolly cup o’ tea in the summers can be a nightmare. That’s when it’s time to get out the ice cubes and cute straws to make yourself a refreshing glass of iced tea.

Here how you can make what will soon become your favourite summer drink:

What you’ll need:

  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cups sugar
  • 3 Cranberry-Mango Mania tea bags
  • 2 cups cranberry juice (sugarless)
  • Cut mango and mint juice or sprig (to garnish)
  • Lots of ice

 

How to make it:

  1. Bring the water and sugar to a boil, until the sugar is dissolved. Pour this mixture over the Cranberry-Mango Mania tea bags in a bowl, or any other container utensil at home, and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Discard tea bags and stir in the unsweetened cranberry juice
  3. Add in just a dash of mint syrup, or the mint sprigs, and garnish with cut mango (let some of the juices in for extra flavour)
  4. Serve in a cocktail glass with a twisty straw and ice

 

Ah!!! Can’t you almost taste all of that goodness that’s in this iced tea? What you have here is not just an absolute saviour in these scorching summer days, but also a super healthy beverage, considering the health benefits of cranberries (It keeps urinary tract infections at bay). It’s a great way to keep yourself hydrated through the day and get your nutrients and antioxidants – two birds with one stone.

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The processing of Oolong tea is a form of art in itself. The tea has a reputation that is no less than that of fine wine, and even tasting oolong and truly enjoying it might take a trained tongue. How a tea master processes the leaves is what seals the fate of each leaf.

How is Oolong processed?

Tea lovers would know that whether it is black, green or oolong tea, all the leaves are from the Camellia Sinensis plant. The final product depends on the processing, and oolong has its very own, which give it its unique flavour and properties.

The process for oolong tea is an interesting one and goes like this:

Delicate, freshly plucked leaves are bruised, just a wee bit, by tossing them around. Sounds like fun, but it’s important to remember that this is the most important part, as it’s what initiates oxidisation, and brings about the true flavour of oolong. The leaves are then left to bathe in the sun and lose some moisture content. Once the leaves have withered enough to be flexible for rolling and shaping, they are left to cool down.

Soon, the leaves start to wilt and change shape, and are ready to be rolled. Rolling allows for further bruising of the leaves, letting out essentials oils and the like, which lend flavour to oolong tea. Here, each leaf will finally have a defined shape. The oxidisation process (we hope you remember how important this is) takes place again, with the chemical components of oolong being expose to oxygen. This determines the final appearance and colour of oolong tea. The flavour of what you take home depends on the level of oxidization, which could be anywhere in between 8% to 80%.

The leaves are then roasted in order to stop the oxidisation, adding an extra punch of flavour. This is followed by another round of rolling that will give oolong its unique shape. They are then dried yet again to ensure all the moisture content is removed, so they can be stored well.

Last, but not the least, the leaves are sorted based on their size, colour and shape before they are packed and bought by oolong lovers.

It seems like quite a tedious process, but how else would one achieve the rich and robust Oolong that has been so popular and precious among cultures in Asia. So, the next time you brew a cup, take a closer look at the shape of the leaves, and try understanding the aroma. It might actually help you connect with and enjoy your daily dose of oolong better.

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There’s a very small percentage of oolong tea made in the world, but the demand for this tea has increased with its popularity. The difference between oolong, in both taste and aroma, and other teas lies in how the leaves are processed, which lends these delicate, curled-in leaves their unique flavour. It also results in oolong being the perfect medicine for a range of health issues.

Oolong tea contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which are known for their ability to fight diseases such as cancer and heart diseases. For those who go out of their way to maintain good health, your routine is incomplete without at least one cup of Oolong every day.

Some of the most immediate and basic benefits of Oolong tea are listed below.

Skin

Skin care is crucial in your beauty regime. We always have a range of products to help keep our skin in good condition. However, what we take into our body plays a very crucial role in the appearance of our skin. Oolong tea is much higher in antioxidants than black or green tea. This would mean that consuming a cup of oolong a day will have amazing results on our overall health, which will eventually impact our skin. Introducing oolong to your daily diet will give you nothing less than beautiful, glowing skin.

Bones and Teeth

Oolong tea is high in minerals that help maintain bone and teeth health. People with osteoporosis would find this piece of news to be a big relief. Consuming oolong can help increase the mineral density in bones. The longer you consume the tea, the longer your bones remain healthy.
Stress and Alertness

Stress and Alertness

Oolong can have a positive effect on your mood, attention and overall brain function, which is a result of the caffeine and theanine content in the tea. Any working individual today would know the effects of long and tiring days. Staying alert and focused is a task, but you can take care of this issue with a cup of oolong. Its calming effect allows one to effectively rejuvenate and face long days.

Weight and Digestion

Drinking a cup of oolong a day can increase metabolism and, therefore, have very good results when it comes to losing weight. It also helps increase immunity and fights obesity. As it is partially oxidised, oolong successfully restores its antioxidant properties and is helpful in lowering lipid. It is not new that tea, specifically black and green tea, has its benefits and is a healthy addition to our diet. With oolong, we get a beverage that is more effective, making it a great drink for those who want an easy and good way to say fit and healthy.

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Strawberries remind you of summer, when the hot sun burns the earth, fruits burst with flavour and flowers blossom in abundance. The sky is the colour of blue oceans and with such near perfect weather at hand, you can plan picnics or just a simple high tea under the branches of an old mango tree. This time around, pack a pot of Strawberry Decaf to brighten up your day.

When you inhale a cup of strawberry tea, it is like stepping into a fresh, aromatic heaven. The scent is so vibrant, it will energize you instantly and take you to a state of complete wellbeing. Check out why it is so special in our compilation of all the facts of this glorious tea.

The source and origin

Where did this heavenly tea originate? The only teas consumed in ancient China were the green teas and the oolong or semi-oxidized tea. According to some legends and historical narratives, when an army took shelter in tea factory in the Fujian province, the production in the factory was held up. The tea was left out for much longer and they became more oxidized and this resulted in a crop of darker tea leaves. They dried these tea leaves by smoking them over pine wood, thereby creating the first ever black teas in the world.

The first black tea was the Lapsang Souchong—Lapsang meaning high mountains and Souchong meaning small leaves of the tea tree. The British and Dutch traders named it ‘black tea’ when they brought it back to Europe and England. Today, black tea is grown in China and in India also. Black tea is known to retain its flavour for several years. It is stronger in taste, more delicious than other teas and is arguably, one of the most popular teas in the world.

What makes strawberry decaf special?

While black tea is produced by oxidizing the leaf of the plant, Camelia sinensis, the decaf tea contains absolutely no caffeine. The decaffeination process removes not only caffeine, but also polyphenols and some antioxidants, but that does not mean that decaf tea is not healthy. It is rich in all the other benefits of black tea, like boosting your heart health, lowering the risk of diabetes, increasing immunity levels in the body and keeping your digestive system healthy. What’s more, it contains the rich flavour of ripe and juicy strawberries. It is said that the strawberry was first cultivated in Rome and was Emperor Nero’s favourite fruit, and ever since has become one of the world’s most loved fruits. As it does not contain caffeine, the tea can be enjoyed at any time of the day, either as an afternoon pick-me-up or an evening de-stressor.

Good for all seasons

Decaf strawberry tea is perfect as a fresh and rejuvenating during hot summer days. It can be sipped with ice on a sunny morning when you need to feel cooler and when the weather changes by evening, warm the tea to enjoy a hot beverage.

The Decaf strawberry Tea comes in pyramid tea bags, woven out of silk or nylon threads which allow beautiful infusions of the brew in a teacup. It offers optimum flavour, colour and taste and you feel like you are drinking a fruit, instead of eating it

Many people experience an energy boost when they have a cup of Strawberry Decaf tea, and it is so much better than sugary drinks and juices that sap your energy and make you feel more tired by the end of the day. Make Strawberry Decaf tea a part of your diet to enjoy its many textures and flavours and also to reap its benefits all year round.

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