YIXING XUAN TEAHOUSE
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TEA GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS AND PROS
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CHOOSE YOUR TASTE
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TEA APPRECIATION WORKSHOP
Chinese tea to most people is that common, slightly bitter beverage that is served at Chinese wedding dinners and restaurants. Few have experienced the ambience and the highly therapeutic effects of the traditional art of Chinese tea making in an authentic Chinese teahouse. In fact, avid Chinese tea drinkers are known to pursue the perfect tea leaf as fervently as connoisseurs of fine wines.
At our Tea Workshops, you will learn about:
- Chinese culture
- Arts and the history of tea recognising the various kinds of tea leaves and equipment
- Preparing tea the traditional way
- Tea and its relationship to your health
Come and participate in our tea workshop today!
from the blog
TEA FUN FACTS
“While there is tea, there is hope” — Sir Arthur Pinero We all are guilty of this. Stashed in the deepest, darkest corner of our pantry, is a box of tea that someone gave us years ago. Tea has some amazing health benefits when drunk fresh, but what can you do with tea that is old, gone stale or just lost its flavour? Good news! Tea, beyond being a flavourful health beverage, has some properties that make it useful around the home and in everyday life. The tannin in tea makes it a powerful cleanser. Tea’s nature to absorb odour is a superpower. (That’s why it is important to store tea away from items like spices). Here are some amazing hacks you can do based on the superpower of teas. In the Kitchen Make it part of your food You can steep tea in any cooking liquids like broth or milk or even water to infuse the tea into any dish. For milder flavour, you can use leaves or teabags which have been previously brewed. The concentration of tannins in tea also make it a great tenderizer for meat – marinate the meat in strongly brewed tea overnight before cooking. Dry black or tea leaves could also be used as a smoking agent. Directly incorporate steeped tea as a spice or a filling in noodles or if you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand making Lahpet, Myanmar’s famous tea leaf salad. Use it to clean stubborn dishes It is common knowledge that soaking dishes in warm water helps to loosen stuck food. Power up your dishwashing routine by adding tea to the water to break up any grease. The astringent property of tea, caused by tannins, breaks down the grease without hours of scrubbing. In the Bath Bathe in tea Tea leaves contain antioxidants which are obviously great for your skin. Drop them into the bath to reap their benefits while relaxing. For an added experience, use a fragrant tea like jasmine or chamomile for a relaxing, therapeutic experience. Clean your toilets A fuss-free and easy way to clean your toilets! Throw a few tea bags into the toilet bowl, leave them for at least an hour. Remove and discard them before scrubbing down with a brush and flushing. Have a clean smelling fridge If you’re low on baking soda, use dried tea leaves as a substitute to soak up those weird fridge smells. Make sure to use leaves that you don’t want to brew. Around the house Remove lingering odours Tea’s ability to absorb is legendary and while it is a pain to store in the pantry, it is great for absorbing nasty smells. Both tea leaves or tea bags can be used for this purpose. Sprinkle pre-brewed tea at the bottom of your trash bins to neutralise any strong smells or keep tea in the fridge to keep it smelling fresh. They are also great for removing smells from your rugs – keep storing pre-brewed tea leaves/bags in the fridge until you have enough and sprinkle damp (not wet!) leaves over rugs and carpets until they are totally dry. Then sweep up the dry leaves! Freshen your air Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to dry used leaves to create air fresheners. This is much easier with teabags because you can hang the bags. Once the oil fades off, add a few more drops to refresh. Alternatively, you can use them as potpourri and place the dry scented leaves in small decorative bowls. Polish your wood Use weak tea made from pre-brewed bags to clean and shine hardwood floors and polish wood furniture. Polish your Glass Brew weak tea and spray onto windows, mirrors, and other such glass surfaces to loosen up dirt and clean grime and fingerprints. Wipe away with a clean, lint-free cloth to minimize streaks. In the Garden Water with tea Use weak tea to water your plants such as ferns and any other acid-loving houseplants to protect them from fungal infections. When on vacation, lace a handful of tea leaves or tea bags into the drainage layer of the pot; the tea will absorb water and will slowly release it back into the plant. Fertilise with tea It’s simple – mix tea leaves into the topsoil as fertiliser. Mix them into the topsoil for a lush visual. Tea is highly acidic and full of nutrients that can help plants thrive. You can also throw them into the compost pile. For your health Draw out infections Warm, moist pre-brewed tea bags are great for drawing out infections and reducing pain. Apply one over the affected area, whether pinkeye, canker sores or even boils, to soothe and heal. Soothe skin irritations Instead of warm, use cool and moist tea bags to soothe skin irritations. Place them over sore, tired eyes to ease discomfort or massage over sunburn to reduce redness. Place against bruises to ease discomfort and help speed healing. Just remember, if you plan to use already brewed tea leaves or tea bags, it is important to keep them in the fridge, especially if you are accumulating them, to prevent mold. If it does smell weird, it’s best to throw them instead. Sources https://www.today.com/food/tea-not-just-sipping-54-ways-use-amazing-ingredient-t98611/ https://www.rd.com/health/beauty/tea-benefits/ http://www.naturallivingideas.com/used-tea-bags/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lahpet
“Tea is nought but this: First you heat the water, then you make the tea. Then you drink it properly. That is all you need to know.” – Sen Riyku Seems simple right? Yet tea brewing has been the subject of much focus and debate, with tea cultural centres like Japan and China having elaborate rituals that are associated with serving tea. Even Britain, which is known to be culturally reserved, has an obsession with this drink. So much so that George Orwell, the famous author, found it necessary to write an essay on the 11 cardinal rules of brewing tea, which includes his distaste for sugaring the drink. Without a doubt, there are different ways of brewing tea, depending on the type and profile of tea. However, they can be largely classified as Asian, British and Indian styles, which are defined by the tea that is usually preferred. Both the Indian and British method of brewing usually uses black tea, while the Asian style tends to focus on green tea. The British style uses a large teapot. The tea leaves are steeped for a longer time, usually not more than twice. As the tea is steeped for a longer time, a smaller amount of tea is used and the leaves are filtered and discarded after steeping. Tea made using this style is usually drunk in larger cups, and sugar or milk is sometimes added to lighten the bitterness. Brewing tea liquor is not controversial in this school of thought. However, the adding of milk is a subject of much debate. Traditionalists, like Orwell, are clear that milk should be added to the hot tea, thereby allowing one to regulate the amount of milk. About 70 years later, The Royal Society of Chemistry begs to differ and states “If milk is poured into hot tea, individual drops separate from the bulk of the milk, and come into contact with the high temperatures of the tea for enough time for significant denaturation – degradation – to occur. This is much less likely to happen if hot water is added to the milk.” While this seems to settle the debate, it may take a while to catch on! Tea brewed Indian style, also known as Chai, is traditionally a concoction of spices infused through the tea liquor. While recipes of the spice mix vary across cultures and family, the method of brewing is largely similar. The tea leaves are first boiled in water with the spices. As this brew boils, milk is added and the spiced tea is boiled again. Sugar is almost always added when the milk is boiling but it can be added separately. Asian brewing is distinct. Tea is prepared as an infusion of whole leaves multiple times in short bursts. Traditionalists prefer brewing it in a small clay teapot (“Zisha Hu”). Depending on the tea, a quarter to a third of the teapot is filled with leaves. After brewing, the tea is usually drunk pure, in small cups. It is believed that the due to the larger amount of tea used and short intervals of steeping, this method provides for a richer taste. In fact, each additional infusion can reveal distinct flavours, especially if the tea is of a suitably high quality. This style of brewing is also about encouraging relaxation and allowing enough quality time to spend with family and friends. In all brewing methods, there are always a few important factors to be attentive to: The type of tea: Different teas require different water temperatures to produce optimum flavour. Oxidised teas like black tea, need hotter water to release a full-bodied flavour. Green and white teas have more delicate flavours. If you’re looking for a strong brew, use smaller tea leaves as it creates a stronger tea liquor by infusing more flavour. The type of water: Don’t forget that tea is fundamentally flavoured water, even if milk is added. It is important to use good and fresh water, for a good flavour profile. Some teahouses recommend using water that is more alkaline. The temperature of the water: Generally, tea requires a brewing temperature of anywhere from 70°C to 100°C, depending on its type. White and green teas need to be brewed with much cooler water than Oolong, Black and Puerh teas, which can stand higher temperatures. Steeping method: One of the essential requirements of brewing tea is giving the leaves enough room to unfurl and expose surface area. By doing so, the essential oils have time to transfer from the leaves into the water and their flavour is properly extracted. Hence, the tea should flow freely through the water so no tea bags, infusion baskets or tea balls! Ideally, water should be poured directly over the tea and can be strained before drinking. Secondly, how long you steep controls the flavour of your brew – if it’s too little, the tea is weak and watery; if it is over-steeped, it is bitter and astringent. Steeping time also affects the quantity of caffeine in your brew. For more alertness, steep for a shorter amount of time. For less caffeine, you can do a brief steep, pour out the brew, and then re-steep to cut as much as 80% of the caffeine. If you’re not sure, use this handy timer to know how long to steep your brew! 3 Reasons to Cold Brew BALANCED FLAVORS: Brewing makes all the difference to a cup of tea. Leave the tea bag in too long and it’s bound to get bitter. Take it out too soon and it will taste weak. With cold brewing, you don’t have to worry about timing. Cold water extracts flavours more slowly and naturally so the result is less bitter and cleaner than hot tea. NO ICE: Ice is generally used to cool the tea, but it can also water down its unique flavour profile. When you cold brew, there’s no need to add ice since the tea is chilled in the refrigerator. HEALTH BENEFITS: Cold brewed tea retains more antioxidants than hot brewed teas. Studies also show that cold brewed teas contain about half (or two thirds) the amount of caffeine. Hot-to-Cold Method FOR LOOSE OR TEA BAGS: Pour 8 oz. of just boiled water over 2 Tbsp. loose leaf tea (or 2 tea bags). Steep for 2-4 minutes. Strain and pour over ice. Or strain, let cool and refrigerate to chill. References http://lifehacker.com/5697622/the-hackers-guide-to-tea http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-brew-green-tea-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-203091 http://orwell.ru/library/articles/tea/english/e_tea https://www.greenterraceteas.com/blogs/news/9796464-tea-making-western-style-vs-chinese-style https://www.teatulia.com/tea-varieties/indian-tea.htm https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/jun/25/science.highereducation https://www.teatulia.com/tea-101/how-to-make-cold-brew-iced-tea.htm
“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.” – Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President Coke vs Pepsi. Tom vs Jerry. Microsoft vs Apple. Right up there with these world famous rivalries have to a rivalry as old as time – The eternal tussle between coffee and tea! Each drink has its loyal supporters, with coffee drinkers being associated with that busy buzz of energy while tea drinkers are seen to be zen and restive. Obviously, there are benefits to both beverages but is one really better than another? Let’s find out! For a morning jolt: Coffee It’s no secret that coffee is the choice of drink if you want that sudden burst of energy. It only takes 10 minutes for your body to feel the effects of caffeine. One cup of coffee can easily pack about 80mg per cup ( almost 1/5 the recommended daily caffeine intake for men and 1/3 for women), so that’s a quick morning pick me up. But, this could also be psychological. In a 2011 study, researchers discovered that daily coffee drinkers who were tricked into drinking decaf still scored the same on tests as caffeinated coffee drinkers. We’re so used to associating coffee with energy that we intuitively expect it to provide a jolt, even if it isn’t there! For morning zen: Tea While tea can pack a fair amount of caffeine, it also contains an amino acid called L-theanine.This tiny chemical creates two reactions in your body; the first, it lowers the absorption speed of caffeine and the second, it stimulates the neurotransmitter GABA in your brain, which has anti-anxiety effects. This creates an alert but relaxed state, which explains why tea is popularly used to aid meditation. For weight loss: Tea While caffeine has been shown to slightly reduce appetite, we’ve all heard the good news about green tea. More than the caffeine, the EGCG in green tea can help shrink fat cells and makes muscle cells more active. To build muscle: Coffee (But not too much!) While tea might be better for burning fat, coffee is the drink of choice when you want more muscle. An article in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise discovered that men who drank 2.5 cups of coffee could sprint up to 9 percent more than when they didn’t have coffee. It is likely because caffeine stimulates your muscles, which can help you power through with more reps. However, the article was careful to state that the coffee had to be drunk a few hours before their workout. To sleep better: Tea (If you really had to choose between the two). While tea also packs some caffeine and can cause sleeplessness, too much coffee in your system makes it harder for you to sleep as each cup packs a significant amount in comparison to tea. Lesser known is that too much coffee can make it hard for your body to absorb magnesium. As it is, many of us don’t get enough magnesium. Having too much coffee, coupled with this common nutrient deficiency, can cause symptoms like muscle cramps and sleeplessness. For overall well being: Tea’s clearly a winner (But coffee is not too bad either!) The long list of health benefits of tea, especially green tea and white tea, is common knowledge. Long story short, green tea is loaded with antioxidants such as flavonoids, EGCG and catechins that make green tea such a great catch! These chemicals recharge the white blood cells and help prevent viruses from reactivating. They also help fight inflammation and prevent blood vessels from hardening. This is also why tea is associated with anti-aging. Tea is also known to boost brain health; tea drinkers who drank more than 2 cups of green tea a day had a significantly lower risk of age-related declines in memory, compared to those who had less than 3 cups a week. Still, coffee does have its benefits. Similar to tea, it also contains antioxidants, though significantly less than tea. Like tea, which improves insulin sensitivity, coffee is believed to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Each cup of coffee contributes to almost a 7% reduction in developing this disease. It also plays a part in protecting the liver and reduces the risk of cirrhosis. Coffee also contains key nutrients such as potassium, manganese, magnesium, and niacin. However, one area where coffee loses out to tea is bone health. Regular tea drinkers are likely to have higher bone density levels and slower rates of bone erosion. While it remains unclear how significant the effects of coffee on bone density is, one study found that 4 or more cups a day reduced bone density up to 4 percent. Coffee is also notorious for causing acid reflux. Coffee can relax the band of muscle between your oesophagus and stomach. When that space opens, stomach acid could splash back up and cause acid reflux. The preparation of coffee can also affect its health value. Unfiltered coffee, like espresso or French press, may increase “bad” LDL cholesterol, which could increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. This increased risk is because of oily substances called diterpenes. Cafestol and Kahweol are the two significant diterpenes in coffee. They are present either as oily droplets or in the grounds floating in the coffee. For whiter teeth: Don’t drink either! It is common knowledge that coffee can yellow teeth badly, so for a long time, tea was touted as a credible alternative. Green tea is also believed to promote oral health as the antioxidants in green tea can actually kill bacteria in your mouth and keep you from getting an infection. However, the tannins present in tea are acidic and will break down the enamel on teeth. Once this enamel layer is eroded, pigmented molecules are easily able to attach to teeth and this leads to staining. It is unclear whether this means that green tea, which is rich in tannins, can lead to more staining! For amazing skin and hair: Use both! Use ground coffee to make a scrub and exfoliate your scalp. If you have dark hair, good news! Coffee can also impart an incredible shine to hair. Follow it up with a tea hair rinse to boost hair health. Tea is also a natural alternative to dyeing your hair. While terrible for your teeth, its staining properties add color to naturally blonde or brunette locks. Coffee is a known diuretic. While this is bad news when you drink up, it’s great news when you apply it topically! The same diuretic effect draws fluid away from fat cells, making them shrink. This tightens your skin, temporarily minimising the visibility of cellulite. Tea is very useful as a soother for sunburns and bug bites. Cold compresses made from black tea bags can relieve pain and reduce redness. And if you are having trouble with foot odour, cooled boiled tea is your friend! The tannic acid in tea is both antibacterial and antifungal, so it stops feet from sweating and smelling funky. The winner: Tea mostly! While we might seem a bit biased, the truth is tea is probably much better for your overall health. While coffee has its benefits, you do need to be a regular drinker to reap them. But the caffeine content does add up, which is likely to cause over stimulation and affect sleep quality. However, you can get your coffee fix by using it externally as it is a skin and hair booster! Sources http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/the-face-off-coffee-vs-tea https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21824504 http://www.health.com/food/coffee-or-tea-an-rd-weighs-in-on-which-is-healthier http://blog.paleohacks.com/tea-vs-coffee/# http://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating/coffee-vs-tea/ http://www.dermstore.com/blog/tea-vs-coffee-effects-on-skin-health/ http://www.byrdie.com/coffee-beauty-benefits/slide5 http://www.prevention.com/beauty/beauty-uses-coffee http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/20/tea-beauty-benefits_n_3780258.html http://www.vogue.com/article/should-you-drink-coffee-tea-health-benefits http://stylecaster.com/beauty/beauty-uses-coffee/#ixzz4nLomZybo http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/what-is-it-about-coffee
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY ABOUT US
This was a highlight of our time in Singapore! Charlene was so knowledgeable, friendly and fun! We loved the tea appreciation workshop as well as the delicious lunch that followed. I love that each morning when I am home I can have my lung Ching green tea in my beautiful new mug and remember our fun day!
I was pleasantly surprised by the good service. The lady boss and her family really made the effort to engage me by asking me if the food was ok, telling me more about the tea and etc. The tea house really felt homely and comfortable. Will go again.
Charlene and Vincent provides such good service and I can feel their enthusiasm. Apart from just that, their good knowledge has given me as first time buyer a good insight of what I bought and got me all excited about my tea! Thank you Yixing Xuan Teahouse!