Loose leaf tea can create a moment for mindfulness. Explore how to simply intergrate mindfulness into your daily routine.

Tea and Mindfulness – How to make mental wellness an everyday activity

When you have a full and busy life, and who doesn’t, building small moments of mindfulness into your lifestyle can really help to balance the mind. If I suggested meditating for an hour 5 times a week could help you to feel calmer, think clearer and be energised you would probably believe me, but, finding 5 hours a week can seem impossible! Which means you try it for a week or two and then slowly forget you are supposed to be doing it at all apart from brief guilty flashes. The idea of building mindfulness in with tea is that you take a moment to centre yourself by fitting it into the lifestyle you already have. 

What is mindfulness?

The concept is devastatingly simple. It is so easy to be caught up in doing and reacting and living inside our heads and not really noticing the impact on our minds and bodies. Mindfulness is the simple act of stopping your life for a moment and directing your thoughts to be aware of that moment. Become aware of the light, sounds smells and the environment you are in. Once you see the present moment clearly you can use this to reconnect with your body. Take time to acknowledge how you are feeling; physically and mentally. Take control of your thoughts, name your feelings “this is Anxiety”. Slow your thought stream and be conscious of the individual thought one by one. Be aware of how each thought is making you feel.  Continue reading

A father and child enjoy a cup of tea together.

Can Children Drink Tea?

In short, yes. Children can enjoy tea, but we recommend reading these recommendations to make sure your child has a safe and happy experience (all advice is aimed at children over 6 months of age. Water and milk are the only recommended drinks for infants under 6 months).

You know that whole leaf tea is good for you, so if it’s such a healthy option for you then why not offer it to your child? After all, most drinks promoted to children are full of sugar and artificial flavours. With whole leaf tea you know they’re getting the natural product free of fat, salt, sugar, cholesterol and artificial colours and flavours. 

Health benefits of tea for young people

  • Whole leaf tea is sugar-free, salt free, fat-free and free from artificial colours and flavours.
  • Tea contains catechins which help fight harmful bacteria in the mouth. This helps to keep breath fresh too. Tea also contains fluoride. 
  • It’s immune-boosting! Those same catechins have anti-viral properties, which help to keep the immune system in tip top condition. 
  • A Harvard Medical School study showed that green-tea drinkers were at a 31% lower risk of developing cardiovascular ailments. Further studies have shown that many of these ailments often start in childhood.

Basically, all the health benefits tea has for adults apply to children as well.  Continue reading

Recipe: Matcha Pancakes

It’s pancake day, but of course we have to put our unique twist on things, with our yummy Matcha tea pancakes recipe!

Serves 2-4 (depending on how much you like pancakes!)

Matcha pancake frying in pan next to a stack of pancakes

150g self raising flour

1 tbsp Tea Enthusiasts Matcha powder

2 tbsp caster sugar

2 eggs

125 ml semi skimmed milk

2 tbsp butter, melted

Sunflower or olive oil, for frying

Sift flour and mix in the Matcha powder and sugar. Make a well in the centre. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and beat in the milk. Stir in the melted butter and pour into the well in the flour mixture. Whisk together until you have a smooth batter.

Place a frying pan over medium heat and add a little oil. When it’s hot, drop large spoonfuls of batter into the frying pan, leaving plenty of space between the pancakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden underneath then flip the pancakes (be sure to video this bit for social media!) and cook on the other side.

Top tip: Keep pancakes warm in the oven on a low heat while you cook the rest.

Serve with syrup, fruit, ice cream, or use your imagination!

All About Tea and Caffeine

Approximately 80% of the world’s population consume caffeine on a regular basis, but what do we actually know about it?

^ Caffeine

We put the caffeine guidance on each of our tea listings, but why? Simple: it’s because it’s one of the things we get asked about most often. So we thought we would put answers to the most frequently asked questions in one place.

Before we start let’s establish what the guidelines for caffeine consumption are for a healthy adult. Both the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) consider a daily intake of 400 mg of caffeine as safe. This amounts to 2–4 cups of coffee per day. It is further recommended to limit the amount of caffeine you consume at one time to 200 mg per dose. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women should limit their daily intake to 200 mg.

The Science bit: What is caffeine and what does it do?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant that is produced by plants to act as a deterrent to pests and bugs. In humans, it has a stimulating effect on the brain and central nervous system. Caffeine is water soluble and is extracted into the brewed cup when preparing tea. When consumed it is quickly absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream. Caffeine’s main effect is on the brain where it stops you feeling tired by blocking the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that relaxes the brain. Adenosine levels build up over the day, making you increasingly tired and encouraging you to want to go to sleep. Caffeine connects to adenosine receptors in the brain without activating them leading to reduced tiredness. Much of the research that has been conducted on caffeine and humans refer to coffee as it has higher consumable rates of caffeine per oz.

Does tea have more or less caffeine than coffee?

Coffee Vs Tea

This is a frustrating question because there is no simple answer! When measuring coffee and tea in their dry forms then yes tea has more caffeine than coffee….but keep reading….when comparing brewed coffee and tea, coffee generally has more caffeine than tea! What?! How does that work? Well, I am glad you asked! Normally we use 2-5 grams of tea per 8 ounce cup, and 10 grams of coffee for the same quantity of water. A 2004 British study looked at 200 cups prepared by consumers going about their normal brewing routines. It found that the average caffeine level in the cups of tea (black English teabag style teas) was 40 mg vs 105mg in the average cup of drip coffee.

While the caffeine in tea and coffee are the same the experience is different. Tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which reduces stress and promotes relaxation. In tea, it works in harmony with caffeine to calm the body without reducing caffeine alertness. Tea also contains high levels of antioxidants which slow the absorption of caffeine. Together this produces a gentler increase of the caffeine in the system, a longer period of alertness with no crash at the end.

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Experience a world of Flavour

5 Steps to Better Loose Leaf Tea:

5 steps to better loose leaf tea: by that, we mean a better cup of tea for you. Everyone likes their tea slightly different and one of the joys of loose leaf tea is that there are endless possibilities! Often people think loose leaf tea is complicated but so long as you follow a few simple guidelines you can’t go far wrong.

1. Water

Let’s face it, your tea is flavoured water. If you don’t start with good water, you won’t get good tea! Use freshly drawn or filtered tap water where possible. Some may say that spring water is ideal but these days we have to consider the environmental impact of our daily cuppa. Mineral water is too hard and will leave a metallic taste in your brew. Distilled water is too soft and will leave your tea flat. You are looking for a PH of 7. If you need to filter your water it is best to use freshly filtered water that has not been standing around. Do not use water that you have reboiled. Please do not microwave your water, this removes all the oxygen from the water and will leave you a very flat-tasting brew.

2. Temperature

Different teas require different temperature water. If you are new to drinking loose leaf tea, or just new to that type of tea, a good place to start is the instructions on the packet. We include a simple amount/temp/time infographic on all of our teas. You can then experiment until you get it right for you! If in doubt, use cooler water, many teas can be damaged by water that is too hot, but few are hurt by the water being a few degrees too cold (I can feel my grandmother staring at me).

Boiling water and letting it cool will dramatically reduce the amount of oxygen in the water and affect the taste of the tea. Where possible take the water temperature up to, not down to. We have temperature adjustable kettles here, which can be bought cheaply from Amazon. Why is this so important? If you put boiling water on sencha it will taste bitter and horrible, no matter how good the tea was. Continue reading

boiling tea kettle

My Love Affair with Tea

I was young when my love affair began, not even walking. I used to sit on my father’s lap and steal the dregs of his tea. At the time he drank a strong brew with 4 sugars that we used to affectionately call a “squaddie”. I am pretty sure in hindsight that my first experience of tea was, in fact, more sugar than tea. Luckily I have experienced a much wider education in tea since then.

Tea has always been there for me

After my first traumatic break up as a teen, I drank tea with my mom and confirmed that it was all definitely, absolutely his fault. When I got married I swigged tea while I had an existential crisis over my hair and makeup. Immediately after giving birth (sorry) to my children I demanded a cup of tea, I had to reinvigorate similar to David Tennant as The Doctor just after regeneration. On the day my mother and I realised my grandmother’s health was failing, did we panic? Did we suffer hysterics? No we had a cup of good old tea.

Notice anything?

Tea is a drink that invokes family memories for me. When a person close to you has a problem, sort it over a cup of tea. Need to have a brag or a moan? Much friendlier to do it over a pot of tea. As Sheldon (Big Bang Theory) says, “When people are upset the cultural convention is to bring them a hot beverage.” No one so far as I know has been insulted by the offer of tea. Gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, suitable for all religions and all dietary requirements. Tea transverses all age, culture and gender gaps. At the outbreak of war in England, the government took over the distribution of tea as it was considered essential to the moral of the country. It is the single greatest unifying force on the planet earth. There is a reason people refer to tea as a hug in a cup. Continue reading

HealthBoostBox

New Year, New You: Health Boost Box

health boost box

Health boost box

Are you aiming to be a slightly better version of you this year? Did you make a deal with your body this year that you would take better care of it? Did you swear you would finally lose that extra couple of pounds to improve your health? Well, these boxes are designed to contain enough tea to help you keep your new year’s resolutions in January.

Keeping new year’s resolutions in the cold dark days of January can be hard, but promising to enjoy a delicious cup of tea each day….that seems very achievable. These boxes are not magic and they can’t do it alone, but as it says on the box, they can lend a helping hand. These teas have all been selected because there is some science behind their helpfulness.

We also include an infuser basket and a cheeky free sample of something to treat yourself (don’t worry it is healthy). As a package, these sets are cheaper than buying the elements individually and of course include free shipping! More than £25 of tea and accessories shipped to your home for just £20. Total bargain.

We are well aware of some “detox” or “slimming” teas that have laxative effects and we would like to reassure our customers…None of these teas contains any laxative ingredients. Just pure natural ingredients.

As always we would like to remind you that while we are very enthusiastic about tea we hold no medical qualifications. If you have a medical condition and require medical advice about any of our teas we strongly suggest you speak to a medical professional.

Three teas to help you improve your day-to-day health. All contain tasty ingredients that have been proven to help health or immunity. Sip your way to feeling great and dodging the winter lurgy! Continue reading

New Year, New You: Slim Down Box

Are you aiming to be a slightly better version of you this year? Did you make a deal with your body this year that you would take better care of it? Did you swear you would finally lose that extra couple of pounds to improve your health? Well, these boxes are designed to contain enough tea to help you keep your new year’s resolutions in January. Keeping new year’s resolutions in the cold dark days of January can be hard, but promising to enjoy a delicious cup of tea each day….that seems very achievable.

These boxes are not magic and they can’t do it alone, but as it says on the box, they can lend a helping hand. These teas have all been selected because there is some science behind their helpfulness. We also include an infuser basket and a cheeky free sample of something to treat yourself (don’t worry it is healthy). As a package, these sets are cheaper than buying the elements individually and of course include free shipping! More than £25 of tea and accessories for just £20. Total bargain.

We are well aware of some “detox” or “slimming” teas that have laxative effects and we would like to reassure our customers…None of these teas contain any laxative ingredients. Just pure natural ingredients. As always we would like to remind you that while we are very enthusiastic about tea we hold no medical qualifications beyond a basic first aid certificate. If you have a medical condition and require medical advice about any of our teas we strongly suggest you speak to a medical professional.

Slim down:

Three teas to help you towards your goal of losing weight. Also exceptionally tasty and rewarding in their own right.

Continue reading

Teabag despair

Free the Tea – Dump the Teabags!

Why you should dump the tea bags!

Tea bags: Surely there is at least one in every kitchen? Years of routine and familiarity doesn’t necessarily make the humble tea bag the best option for your next brew.

Teabags? Just say NO

Teabags: Bleach and Plastic

There are two fundamental types of teabag. Most tea bags are a bleached paper outer that is woven with 20% plastic. Inside this bag are tiny tea particles known as “fannings and dust” in the trade. When steeped, they release more tannins than whole leaf tea, resulting in bitter astringent brews. It is highly unlikely for the best teas to be used in these bags, which are generally produced by large corporations and found in every single supermarket and convenience store. There are also some companies out there who offer whole leaf teas in silk pyramids. We’ll talk about these a bit more at the end.

A seasonal, artisanal, foodie approach to tea

Teabags are designed for standardisation. People expect their supermarket teabag blend to taste the same year in year out regardless of the season. Our offering of loose leaf teas is the exact opposite. Flavour profiles, aroma, and appearance vary from year to year and season to season. Generally, estates, regions, processing styles and growing seasons are known for particular flavours and aromas, but weather patterns or geopolitical changes may affect any harvest. Our experts monitor world tea production and drink hundreds of samples (we don’t mind this part too much!) to bring the best flavours to you every season. We may bring you a blend from a single region or even a single portion of a single estate. Alternatively, we may also blend a Chinese tea with French herbs and African spices. This breadth and depth of tea profiles appeal to foodies and gourmets. You could drink several cups of tea a day for years and never have the same experience twice!

Freshness

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Welcome to The Tea Enthusiasts

Welcome to The Tea Enthusiasts blog pages!

Tea Enthusiasts Logo

So who are we and what are we doing here? Well, my name is Liza Johnson and I am the founder of The Tea Enthusiasts. I have forever enjoyed great tea and having the good fortune to be related to a tea merchant I was always at the receiving end of high-quality samples that I could share with my friends. Almost all of my friends could tell you their favourite loose black or green tea blends, their children could tell you about the fruit infusions they enjoyed. When a new blend arrived I would take the opportunity to share it with friends by inviting them over, sharing the learning journey. So this business concept is rooted in rolling out that experience to all. By using the latest website technology we offer this personalised service via e-commerce to our customer. It’s that simple, come and join us!

Mission Statement: The Tea Enthusiasts provide a wide range of excellent quality tea and accessories. We do this with fantastic service, knowledgeable staff and a real relationship with our customer.

Of course for that to work, we need to hear from you. when you get in touch we promise we will do our best to answer you as fast and as completely as possible. We are happy to hear about your good and bad tea stories as well as chatting about your tea journeys. Yes, we would love to see your Instagram of our tea! We may even feature it on our page! If we can help you find your next perfect cuppa we will consider it a job well done. We have tried to make this as easy as possible and will add more options for getting in touch as time goes by.

Contact: Tea@Tea-Enthusiasts.com

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