Info on Brewing Tea

                                                                                                           September Newsletter 2012 

The basics of brewing, if your tea is too bitter you have now brewed it too long. The guidelines are given on each package and now it is time to brew that perfect cup. Some information this month on tea, a few delicious recipes also are included for you to try out. Information about teas that are used to create Black blends, some teas are just not meant to be blended together, special suppliers that we use have create classic blends, by trial and error I bet.  But all of the blends that we use are simple delicious.




Black tea – Complete boiling of water     – added to tea right away


Oolong – Brew when water has the bubbles forming @ the bottom


Green & White – Best brewed when water is just


Starting to boil, look for the steam rising from tea Kettle.

“Classic Spice Cake”

by “The Little Black Book of Tea” by Mike Heneberry

2          cups all-purpose flour

1          cup sugar

1          teaspoon salt

1          teaspoon baking powder

1          teaspoon baking soda

¾        teaspoon ground cloves

¾        teaspoon ground cinnamon

2/3      cup shortening

¾        cup packed brown sugar

1          cup buttermilk

3          eggs

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a large cake pan and dust with a pinch of flour.  Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Add shortening, brown sugar, and buttermilk and beat for 2 minutes, until smooth.   Add eggs and beat 2 minutes more.  Pour into cake pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until a tooth-pick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

How do you brew your tea?

Pot or Mug

Tea Bags – lower grade tea

Loose Tea – well sealed package high quality blending.

Loose tea expands twice the size of original amount placed into tea filter, tea ball or tea pot.

It is best to use 1 teaspoon per cup, too much tea can make the taste bitter or may cause insufficient flavor of original tea.

Brew half full of tea in your filter or tea ball.

– Suggested to use one teaspoon per cup for the tea pot.

Some tea enthusiasts prep their tea pot or mug with hot boiled water before the initial brewing of their tea. This method helps keep the temperature in the brewing surface, which in turns makes a satisfied cup of tea.

Important to close the lid of the tea pot once you have brewed the specific tea. All the teas have specific steeping time.

Oolong – brew up to 8 minutes.

Black – up to 6 minutes.

Herbal Tisane’s – up to 7 mins.

Green & White – being the shortest time to brew in less than 3 minutes.

Also it is good to remove the leaves once the brewing time is up, or you may have a very bitter tea or a herbal tisane tasting funny.

Herbal teas are classified not as a tea, but a “Tisane”.

Strong brewed teas are enjoyed by tea enthusiasts in Turkey & Russia. The second cup is created by just adding hot water.

Turkish Tea Cookies”

by “The Little Black Book of Tea” by Mike Heneberry

2/3      cups pignoli nuts, chopped fine

2          cups sugar, divided

1          cup water

1          tablespoon lemon juice

2/3      cup margarine

2/3      cup milk

½        teaspoon baking soda

½      teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3      cup semolina flour

pinch of salt

2-2/3  cups unbleached flour

*Toast pignoli nuts in a hot skillet for 3 minutes, stirring frequently to keep them from burning.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Boil 1-1/3 cups sugar and water in a saucepan for about 10 minutes, until a thick syrup formed.  Stir in lemon juice and return to a boil; remove from heat and set aside.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Melt margarine and place in a mixing bowl.  Add milk, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, baking soda, and vanilla and mix well.  Stir in semolina and salt, then slowly add flour and blend until smooth.  Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes.  To make cookies, form an oval from 1 tablespoon dough.   Make a lengthwise groove and fill it with toasted pignoli nuts.   Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 30 minutes, or until light brown.   Remove cookies from oven and pour syrup over them.  When syrup is absorbed, remove cookies from pan.    – makes about 30 cookies

Info on Tea


Rich in fluoride is a cup of unsweetened tea.

When preparing tea in either the Japanese or Chinese way the white or green teas can have less caffeine.

Tea is known to help with digestion.

Country of Origin

 Assam – “Northeastern India”

Ceylon – “Sri Lanka”

Darjeeling – “Himalyayan mountains in Northestern India”

Keemun – “Southwestern China in the Anhui province.

Nilgiri – “Southern India in the vat Blue Mountains.

Sikkim – There is a state called “Sikkim” between Bhutan & Nepal in the

                 Northeaster part of India.

Yunnan – Southwestern China in the YunnanProvence.


Reference: “The Little Black Book of Tea” by Mike Heneberry. 

Butterfly Botanical Blog:

Tour Blog (Magenta Tours):     – 


Nutrients found in Rooibos

Nutrients found in Rooibos (per 200 ml)

Iron (Fe) – 0.07 mg.

Potassium (K) – 7.12

Calcium (Ca) – 1.09 mg.

Copper (Cu) – 1.07 mg.

Zinc (Zn) – 1.04 mg.

Fluoride (F) – 0.22 mg.

Manganese (Mn) – 0.04 mg.

Magnesium (Mg).— 1.57 mg.

Sodium (Na) – 6.16 mg.

Reference: Info Knowledge—Supplier

Info on Rooibos – Part 2 of 2

This herb plant contains no caffeine unless it is blended with coffee or other blending components.

Rooibos can be drank just like Black tea by adding your milk and sugar to it. Some like to drink it just on its own, but others have placed lemon with the tea.

Brewing Rooibos coffee in the shops in South Africa have created some delicious trends like Red Latte’s, Iced tea versions, Red Cappuccino’s and Red Espresso’s and presented just like Espresso’s in Demi Tasse cups. In several countries like the U.S.A., Australia and South Africa have been brewing up Rooibos tea as an Iced Tea. Blending your own types of drinks with Rooibos is simply endless.

Health conscious people around the world are realizing the benefits of the structure of Rooibos tea like Vitamin C, antioxidants, very low tannic acids, phenolic compounds, Rooibos is known help towards allergies, the digestive system and just plain nervous tension.

References: Suppliers of Rooibos & Wikipedia

Info on Rooibos (Herbal) – Part 1 of 2

Rooibos is part of the legume family and grows in South Africa.

The nice flavor of Rooibos (Aspalathus Linearis) and oddly enough the generic Greek name comes from the plant called “Calicotome Villosa, aspalathos”.

The linear leaves is the structure of the leaves (needle-like) and this is where the word Linearis comes into the plant name.

This tea is not a regular tea but is classified as a Herbal tea. The Dutch are known to call Rooibos as this “Rooibosch”.

In South Africa, Rooibos is grown in the region Western Cape province.

Fermentation Rooibos – the reddish color of the Rooibos has been oxidized and produces a rich flavor. The process is very similar to the procedure of used in Camellia Sensis (Tea). Rooibos (red) can taste like a cup of Vitamins, strong and almost Medicinal or earthy like some Keemun teas.

Un-oxidized Green Rooibos—is more expensive because it is produced same as the Green tea production. The version of Rooibos that is green has a totally different taste and can taste a bit grassy with a malt taste.

In the earlier times of harvesting this herb the plants were damaged because the farmers used axes to harvest the bush and hammers, which left the chopped bush to ferment without using the method of drying them in the sun.

Re-planting the seeds is done in early February and March, then left to grow for a period of 18 months, then the cycle of harvesting begins. The Rooibos plant is then cut & tied and then “milled” to the right size. Placed into rollers to begin the fermentation procedure which brings out the characteristics of the herb. Then processed for Distribution for Export to places around the world.

Reference: Wikipedia & Supplier of Rooibos

Copyright © 2012 Lavendar Cove—Canada

New Tea Samplers

A selection of new Loose Tea Samplers are available under Spa Loose Tea Sampler section.

A little tea to try, most teas are available in larger sizes.

Enjoy a new tea today.

Making Matcha into a Tea

A cup of Matcha

  1. Sift amount of Matcha.
  2. Warm cup or bowl and whisk.
  3. Add water, after 1 minute remove water.
  4. Place 2/3 teaspoon of Matcha into cup or bowl.
  5. Bring fresh water to boil, place 1/2 cup of boiled water to cool down to 176 d. Fahrenheit (80 deg. C.).
  6. Add Matcha to water whisk until foamy, then drink and enjoy.

Reference: “New Tastes in Green Tea” by Mutsuko Tokunaga

Learning about Matcha – part 3

Info on Matcha – part 3

A powdered version of Sencha will only produce “konancha”.

The domination of the flavor of Matcha is from the amino acids.  The higher grade is very sweet, but the counterpart more granule or coarse have a deeper flavor and are harvested later.

Not using the right equipment while grinding down the leaves to create Matcha can effect the quality and may scar the leaves and change the taste.

A simple problem with oxygen and Matcha can change the colour and will give Matcha an odd smell.   Oxidation can greatly affect the grading process.

Resource: “Wikipedia?

Learning about Matcha – part 2

The leaves after harvesting are produced by rolling and drying the leaves.  The result will produce Jade Dew tea.   Now it all changes if the leaves are flat when drying and become flaky, this will produce what is called “Tencha”.  The process to create Matcha is to strip its leaf properties by grinding it down to a powder or a very fine granule.   The powder is viewed as a vibrant green and this is Matcha.

Stone grinding down Matcha in low quantities can take up to 50 minutes.

Next part 3…………

Resource: “Wikipedia”

Learning about Matcha – part 1

Matcha tea is more expensive than other types of tea.  

     Finer Texture — higher grade.   

     Sandy Texture — lower grade.

Matcha comes from tea leaves that are shade-grown and also the same leaf that makes gyokuro.  Prepping the tea leaves and preventing direct sunlight, this process turn the leaves a darker green and with this the amino acids start to produce.  Plucking only the finest buds are picked for Matcha.        Reference: “Wikipedia”

continued to page 2……..

What is a “Zhong”?

 A “covered cup” introduced with the American attitude is a called a “Zhong” in China.

 Reference: “The Green Tea User’s Manual” by Helen Gustafson