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Archive for the ‘tea’ Category

Featured in our Gourmet Store – Rishi Tea Gift Set w/ Organic Black Tea

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on January 30, 2010

Welcome to the grand opening of CulinaryDelights’ Gourmet Store, powered by Amazon.com! This is a huge step for us as we partner with Amazon’s robust platform to bring you “all things culinary” – the highest quality foods, appliances, and reading material available on the subject of the culinary arts.

Our first featured product  is Rishi Tea’s Gift Set with Organic Black Tea.

Rishi Tea Gift Set

Description:

Glass Teapot with Stainless Steel Coil Filter 300ml (10oz). Organic Fair Trade China Breakfast Black Tea. Organic Fair Trade Earl Grey Black Tea. Handcrafted Bamboo Gift Box. Steeps 53 servings. Both teas are First Place Winners at the 2008 World Tea Championship!

For more information, visit our Gourmet Shop.

To learn more about Rishi Tea, watch this entertaining video:

Rishi Tea’s Taste of Origin: Mannong Manmai from Sean O’Leary on Vimeo.

Rishi Tea’s Homepage – http://www.rishi-tea.com/tasteoforigin/

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A County in China Sees Its Fortunes in Tea Leaves Until a Bubble Bursts

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on January 22, 2009

An article written in the NY Times January 16, 2009 speaks about the collapse of southwest China’s Pu’er tea market.

Visit article here.

Tea factory in Menghai County

Tea factory in Menghai County

Pu’er is an fermented tea touted as having the ability to reduce cholesterol and cure hangovers, as well as having a number of other health benefits. From 1999 to 2007, its price increased tenfold befold sinking well below its pre-boom numbers. It has been a lesson in gullibility, greed and the risks of speculative trading. A group of manipulative tea buyers and connoisseurs took over the market and drove the prices to astronomical levels, sometimes paying up to 30% more for the “drinkable gold” than in the previous year. When the stock values hit record levels last spring, the buyers unloaded them, took the money and disappeared.

Menghai County farmers were among the worst hit by this crash, many having never experienced the level of success and prosperity available in other cities in China. They built new homes, equipped with t.v.s and refrigerators; and sent their children away to good schools. They bought cars and designer-label clothes.

Chen Li, a trader who jumped into the business three years ago, now survives by offsetting his losses with profits from a restaurant his family owns in Alabama. He does remain one of the few optimists in town. He’s confident that Pu’er’s prices will eventually rebound now that so many farmers have stopped picking.  And the mounds of unsold tea that nearly engulf him?

“The best thing about Pu’er,” he said with a showman’s smile, “is that the longer you keep it, the more valuable it gets.”

Do you share Mr. Chen’s optimism?

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Tea and its Place in Jamaican Society

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on August 26, 2007

Tea and its Place in Jamaican Society

Tea is made from the leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is an evergreen tropical shrub. It is native to mainland Asia but is now cultivated worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions. The seeds can be pressed for tea oil, which is a seasoning and cooking oil. Fresh leaves from the camellia sinensis plant contain about 4% caffeine; the young leaves are more desirable for tea production.

Tea tree plant

There are generally four types of tea – black, white, green and oolong. These are all harvested from the same plant, but are processed differently to achieve different levels of oxidation.

Black Tea

Black tea is more oxidized than white, green and oolong teas. It has a stronger flavor and more caffeine than the other varieties. In Chinese and some other languages, black tea is known as red tea, which perhaps better describes the color of the beverage. In the western world, red tea refers to the South African rooibus herbal tea.

Assam tea

Black tea can retain its flavor for many years, unlike green tea, for example, which usually loses its flavor within a year. Varieties include Keemun (China), Darjeeling (India), Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and Earl Grey (blended with bergamot oil – common in the United Kingdom).

White Tea

White tea is made from the new buds and young leaves of the tea plant. Oxidation is deactivated by shocking it with heat, then drying. Since this variety of tea contains buds as well as leaves, the dried product has a pale appearance.

White tea

Due to the lack of oxidation, white tea retains high concentration of catechins, an antioxidant found to reduce the risk of stroke, heart failure, cancer and diabetes. Buds and young leaves have also been found to contain higher levels of caffeine than older leaves, which would suggest that some white teas may have higher caffeine levels than green teas. Varieties include Bai Hao Yinzhen (China), White Puerh (China), Ceylon White (Sri Lanka), and Assam White (India).

Green Tea

Called a “true” tea, green tea has undergone minimal oxidation during processing. It has a yellowish-green color and a bitter flavor. Green tea is popular in China, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Morocco, and the Middle East among other countries. Recently this trend has extended to the West.

Green tea

Varieties include Longjing (China), Gyokuro (Japan) and Matcha (Japan).

Oolong Tea

This is a traditional Chinese tea, also known as wu-long. With an oxidation range from 10% to 70%, it’s somewhere between green and black tea. Oolong has a flavor more like green tea, with a more nuanced profile: it doesn’t have the flowery aroma of black tea, or the sometimes grassy notes of green tea. The leaves are often processed then rolled into long, curly leaves or into ball form.

Oolong tea

Varieties include Da Hong Pao (China), Huang Jin Gui (China), and Pouchong (Taiwan).

Jamaican Connection – A Brief History

Jamaica, an island nation in the Caribbean, was originally populated by Arawak Indians. Christopher Columbus claimed the island for Spain upon his arrival on May 5, 1494. Spain eventually relinquished its claim in 1670 to England, which had claimed it in a raid. Jamaica gained independence on August 6, 1962 but has remained a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, a voluntary association of former British colonies/possessions.

Through many years of colonization, the Jamaican cuisine took on many of the habits and traditions of the British. The most obvious is consumption of tea. Jamaicans drink the most tea per capita in the Caribbean to this day as a result. Of the four main types of tea, black tea is the preference of most Jamaicans.

Herbal teas, often referred to as “bush teas”, are believed to be good for you, and are held in high regard. The most popular of these bush teas is cerasse tea, thought to be able to prevent and cure everything from colds and flu to headaches and bellyaches. Although hailed as a blood cleanser and sugar controller for people with diabetes, it is feared by everyone for its ghastly bitter taste. Other popular herbal teas include black mint, peppermint, fever grass, ginger, lime leaf, and bizzy or bizzy nut.

Of course, there is much more information to this topic than I can cover here, but I would love to hear from you. Especially if you’re from Jamaica or anywhere else in the Caribbean, what’s your favourite tea? How do you like it – sugar, milk, black? Which tea do you absolutely hate 🙂 ?

 

References:

Wikipedia: http://www.wikipedia.com

United Kingdom Tea Council: www.tea.co.uk/

Lori-Ann Thompson is the owner of Culinary Delights Gourmet Baskets, a gift basket service in Florida. She has been certified in the Culinary Arts and has worked in the field for a number of years. Visit her site at www.culinarydelightsgourmetbaskets.com and see what’s new.

Posted in culture, food, tea | 2 Comments »