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

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 Can Children Drink Tea?

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!

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 5 Steps to Better Loose Leaf Tea: