Also Known as
Chai, Chai Patti, chai ki patti
We often reach for a cuppa when our spirits need reviving; Tea is a beverage made from the processed leaf of a plant whose Latin name is: Camellia sinensis. The tannin compounds and essential oils are responsible for the flavor of tea, the color, the astringency and the delightful aromatics.
Tea-making is no just throwing some sugar tea powder and milk together. It's an art. Master the trick of making tea that everyone loves to sip. To make a nice cup of tea, it's essential that tea should never allowed to over infuse. You'll end up with bitter, ruined tea. For stronger tea, add more leaves rather than infusing longer than recommended. At the end of a timed infusion, decant all of the tea or remove the tea leaves to avoid ruining your beverage. A tea strainer is preferable for infusing loose leaf teas rather than a tea ball or clamping spoon in order to give the leaves plenty of room to expand and fully infuse. Using water that is too cool, or too hot, can ruin a good cup of tea.
Secret tips for making special tea
· Add a pinch of salt while the concoction is boiling. It will give a unique flavour to your tea and make it special
· Avoid using cold milk in hot tea. It can ruin the warmth of tea
· Avoid boiling tea over and over again. It spoils the flavour and is an unhealthy habit. Make tea and store in a kettle or thermos.
Green tea Green tea is a traditional Chinese tea somewhere between green and black in oxidation. It ranges from 10% to 70% oxidation. It is a non-fermented tea. The fermentation or oxidization process is done by rolling or stimulating the leaves by shaking them. The leaves slowly begin to oxidize and turn a darker color. It is very beneficial for loosing weight, has the ability to fight infection and kill bacteria and is a very powerful antioxidant and has anti-cancer properties.
Ice tea, also known as iced tea, is a form of cold tea, often served in a glass over ice. It may or may not be sweetened. Iced tea is also a popular packaged drink. It can be mixed with flavored syrup; with common flavors including lemon, peach, raspberry, lime, and cherry. Unsweetened iced tea is sometimes made by a particularly long steeping of tea leaves at lower temperature
Fresh Green tea leaves
Fresh Green tea leaves are picked and then immediately fired, a tea processing term which means the leaves are either steamed or heated. The tea leaves are then dried and prepared for either sale or further processing. Because of the process used to make black tea, most of the antioxidants that are proven to provide health benefits are removed which is why green tea, still antioxidant rich, is considered healthier. Green teas are available in leaf form, in tea bags, in nutritional supplements, and as prepared beverages.
How to Select
A good quality of tea usually should have a very nice, fresh aroma, and are not stale or odorless. It should have a vibrant, glowing colour where the stronger teas have a deep colour compared to the lighter teas. Poor quality teas tend to have a dead colour.
· To make amazing iced tea, brew double strength then pour over ice.
· Tea as a spice: Simply grind tea leaves in a pepper mill and combine with white pepper. This makes an unbelievably delicious rub, perfect for a steak or a pork chop. The tea adds a wonderfully fresh Asian-cuisine nuance to this otherwise ordinary meal.
· Tea as a marinade: Wondering what to do with that extra Earl Grey tea left in the teapot at the end of teatime? Don't dump it.... Use it! Try adding it to your favorite marinade. As a vegetarian digression, tea marinated tofu is a wonderful substitution in this dish.
· Tea as a tenderizer: Among tea's many benefits and effects, it is an efficient tenderizer.
· Tea as a dessert: It is a fairly common practice to take tea after a meal. Many bakers and chocolatiers are adapting and adding new recipes to include the wonderful hints that tea can add.
· Tea is not only a refreshing, delicious and healthy beverage, but also one of the most versatile and interesting ingredients
· Brewed tea can be used as a braising liquid, or as a seasoning for marinades.
· As the base for a sauce, fruit juices gain depth of flavor with a tea addition.
· A small handful of tea leaves add an herbaceous flavor and a golden glow to cream sauces.
· The sweets table becomes infinitely more interesting with a cake or shortbread made with tea.
How to Store
Store tea in a dark, cool and dry place away from strong odors and moisture. Do not store tea in containers above the stove because it is too humid and warm. Tea hates moisture, light, and heat. A well-sealed container kept in a cool dry place is best. But never in the refrigerator or freezer, or in a clear glass jar unless it is stored in a dark place. And NO plastic! When stored properly, loose tea should have a shelf-life of about two years, also check on the expiry date.
· Tea is, for the most part, healthful to humans; however, individuals can misuse tea by drinking too much of it or making it too strong. As with many things we ingest, moderation and restraint are watchwords.
· Tea is a very mild stimulant, since it contains caffeine. It contains fewer miligrams of caffeine per equal-sized cup than does coffee, but more than cocoa.
· Tea contains small quantities of tannic compounds technically called polyphenols, vitamin A, B2, C, D, K, and P, plus a number of minerals in trace amounts and also aromatic oils.
· Drinking three to four cups of tea a day can cut the chances of having a heart attack.
· Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it's got two things going for it
· Tea contains high levels of antioxidants, some of which are called polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins, and all of which take on the "free radicals" in the body and prevent them from harming the healthy cells on board.
· Tea also contains flouride which benefits your teeth and has bacteria killing properties which helps control bad breath and the formation of plaque.
· Black tea may lower "bad" cholesterol
· Tea is a naturally refreshing drink and taken on its own it has no calories, so it's the perfect drink to keep you feeling good.
· Long stressful days at work, lack of exercise, too much convenience food that is high in fat and sugar but low in fibre, can all take its toll. A well-earned tea break is often the way to catch your breath, but it can also help maintain heart health as part of your healthy diet and lifestyle that includes plenty of exercise.