Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Edible art on Toast by Ida Frosk

I accidentally found a famous food artist online. Her name is Ida Frosk. She presents her food in art, with healthy ingredients. From fruits to vegetables and yogurt, she makes her foods an edible art!

I love The Art Toast project she created-Van Gogh, Picasso, Pollock. You name it! And, most importantly, she drinks tea!!! For most of the toast below, you can safely pair green tea or light black tea.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Healthy recipe Strawberry Jam vegan gluten free

Summer is the best season for delicious fruits like strawberries! I one time bought a bag of frozen strawberries. It tastes not too bad, but it just doesn't taste yummy like the fresh ones.

Strawberries are rich in Vitamin C (which tastes sour) and is a great weight loss fruit!! Great to know it huh? The sour tastes from Vitamin C stimulate our taste buds.

Free download recipe here

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Apple Jasmine tea iced sugar free stevia dairy free vegan

Almost the whole summer i drink jasmine iced tea! Love the aroma, and taste. Traditional Jasmine manufacturing process is a labor intensive one-need to make the green tea first, then mix tea leaves with freshly blossoming jasmine few times, until tea leaves obtain the nice aroma. Then dry it. It takes about one month to complete premium jasmine green tea process. If higher quality is desired, it takes even longer time and labor to make it.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

RE: George Owell's 11 Golden rules of making perfect cup of tea

I read an article recently,  George Owell's 11 Golden rules of making perfect cup of tea, on TheKitchn.com, by Cambria Bold. Absolutely love it! It's very informative. I made some notes based upon Mr. Owell's golden rules (his rules in Italian while my comments right below)

I did a quick research on the web about George Owell:

Based upon wikipedia, George Owell was born in India in 1903 (one year older than my grandpa), died in 1950. Grew up in a "lower-upper-middle class family and moved from places to places, Mr. Owell was a heavy smoker and loved strong tea. By profession, he was a journalist. One time he ate cat's dinner by mistake. (how??) His sister Avril actually ran a tea house in England at that time. This info explains why and where he got his 11 golden rules of a nice cup of tea.

First of all, one should use Indian or Ceylonese tea. China tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowadays — it is economical, and one can drink it without milk — but there is not much stimulation in it. One does not feel wiser, braver or more optimistic after drinking it. Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.

1. Mr. Orwell lived during World Wars era. After Opium War (1884), India and Sri Lanka stayed dominant for Black tea export. Chinese tea industry was almost completely destroyed during the war times. So Mr. Orwell didn't really have the right access to good quality Chinese tea.
2. Throughout history, teas for export were not premium quality due to high duties and high manufacturing costs. 
3. He mentioned "stimulation", which indicates high volume of Caffeine content. Depends on how tea is brewed, but in general black teas contain higher percentage of caffeine than green tea, mainly due to the varieties of tea leaves used to make black tea and when tea leaves are harvested. Caffeine tastes bitter, which mainly contributes the strength of cuppa tea. Since he was a heavy smoker, his taste buds surely need "stronger stimulation". More caffeine helps keep Mr. Orwell staying alert, thus "wiser & braver". But based upon scientific research today, strong tea may not be a good thing for health.

Secondly, tea should be made in small quantities — that is, in a teapot. Tea out of an urn is always tasteless, while army tea, made in a cauldron, tastes of grease and whitewash. The teapot should be made of china or earthenware. Silver or Britannia ware teapots produce inferior tea and enamel pots are worse; though curiously enough a pewter teapot (a rarity nowadays) is not so bad.

In traditional Chinese tea ceremony, only smaller teapots and tea cup sets are used. There are reasons for that-smaller teapot sets 1) allow tea drinkers to identify the key characteristics of tea in depth; 2) help bring more balanced flavors and stronger aroma out of tea. If bigger pot, like urn is used, tea gets diluted, both aroma and taste. Even if more tea leaves are added, the tea drinking experiences are completely different between the two different brewing devices: smaller teapots vs urn. It's like sip vs drink: one is to appreciate the love of labor and the present from nature, while another one is to crunch the thirst.

Thirdly, the pot should be warmed beforehand. This is better done by placing it on the hob than by the usual method of swilling it out with hot water.

This is absolutely classic, Mr. Orwell! I would assume the "hob" here refers to tea warmer? During tea ceremony, hot water constantly are poured on teapot directly to keep the teapot hot. This helps tea release aroma and stay strong. In most of times, tea gets condensed when sitting on tea warmer. 

Let me do a quick survey: who warms the teapot before brewing tea? Leave a comment below if you do!

Fourthly, the tea should be strong. For a pot holding a quart, if you are going to fill it nearly to the brim, six heaped teaspoons would be about right. In a time of rationing, this is not an idea that can be realized on every day of the week, but I maintain that one strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones. All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes — a fact which is recognized in the extra ration issued to old-age pensioners.

Don't agree with this one. Regardless personal preferences, from health perspective, light tea is highly recommended.

Fifthly, the tea should be put straight into the pot. No strainers, muslin bags or other devices to imprison the tea. In some countries teapots are fitted with little dangling baskets under the spout to catch the stray leaves, which are supposed to be harmful. Actually one can swallow tea-leaves in considerable quantities without ill effect, and if the tea is not loose in the pot it never infuses properly.

For whole leaf tea, absolutely agree with this one! Strainers help separate tea leaves from the liquid, but limit the space for tea leaves to expand. 

There's another reason not to use strainer-beautifully processed tea leaves create a dynamic and artful presentation when soaked in water-some leaves up, some leaves down; some leaves fully opened while others half display;  the beautiful colors of leaves bring nature to the cup. This is another way to appreciate the top skills of tea masters who make the tea.  

Another thing Mr. Owell didn't cover is the CTC tea. CTC tea is the modern invention from the industrialization. It brings down the costs of tea manufacturing thus makes it one of the most popular drink world wide possible.  For CTC tea or smaller sized tea leaves, strainer should be used. 
George Owell on Time mag

Sixthly, one should take the teapot to the kettle and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact, which means that one should keep it on the flame while one pours. Some people add that one should only use water that has been freshly brought to the boil, but I have never noticed that it makes any difference.
During tea ceremony, it's important to keep teapot hot. Normally water freshly boiled is better to be used to brew tea. If keeping tea kettle on the flame all the time, it causes liquid to evaporate, which impacts the tea brewed.

Seventhly, after making the tea, one should stir it, or better, give the pot a good shake, afterwards allowing the leaves to settle.
Depends on leaves: when brew regular leaves, it helps tea leaves release the tastes and aroma faster when stirring or shaking it. For much younger leaves, especially tender silver needles green tea (top grades), or Bi Luo Chun, no need to shake or stir.

Eighthly, one should drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type. The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind one’s tea is always half cold before one has well started on it.

It's my impression that English tea cups are transformed from the Chinese Gai Wan, traditional tea drinking device. The size and shape allows everyone to
1) finish it without getting cold;
2)enough volume to leave nice aroma on the cup wall;
3)good size to refill water to the body after few hours sleep
4)Enough caffeine to wake the spirit up and catch the 5 am train;)

Traditional Gai Wan

Ninthly, one should pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea. Milk that is too creamy always gives tea a sickly taste.

Original English tea doesn't have any milk or sugar added. Milk, etc is added to tea partially to blend local food culture into tea drinking. Other things added to tea include garlic, onion, spices, etc. This is especially true after CTC tea becomes popular. Regular CTC teas are made of more mature tea leaves, very strong, not much complexity. It's almost undrinkable if without milk added.

There are pros and cons of adding milk to tea. Or it depends on what kind of you drink. Maybe Mr. Owell was trying to create his own style of tea drinking. Adding cream to tea, in my view, creates a little bit texture to the drink. It's like cappuccino for coffee. However, mixing milk with tea can negatively impact the function of tannins, active components of health benefits tea brings to the table-weight loss.

Another thing, try to avoid drinking tea with an empty stomach. In Asia, people normally pair tea with nuts, biscuits, etc to protect stomach.

Tenthly, one should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all; indeed in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.

Very interesting.

  • School #1: milk first tea added later-possible beginning tea drinker or someone who used to drink milk. Add tea to get some health benefits or tastes.
  • School #2: tea first then add milk later-possible regular tea drinker. 
Among the two schools, which one you would like to join?

One thing worth to try, if you are used to add milk to tea, try hot milk! The hot mixture brings out nice aroma of tea and milk combined.

Lastly, tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should be drunk without sugar. I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tea-lover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.
Some people would answer that they don’t like tea in itself, that they only drink it in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need sugar to take the taste away. To those misguided people I would say: Try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again.

Mr. Owell is truly a tea enthusiast-He enjoyed the natural taste of tea, instead of mixing with anything else. This is typically all tea professionals would do-drink tea only, without mixing anything else. This allows people to identify the nuances between different teas. 

It's like Whisky-serious whisky drinkers enjoy more the single malt whisky, instead of cocktails.  

However, we should always have side snacks when drinking tea, including starch/sweet snacks, nuts.  

These are not the only controversial points to arise in connexion with tea drinking, but they are sufficient to show how subtilized the whole business has become. There is also the mysterious social etiquette surrounding the teapot (why is it considered vulgar to drink out of your saucer, for instance?) and much might be written about the subsidiary uses of tea leaves, such as telling fortunes, predicting the arrival of visitors, feeding rabbits, healing burns and sweeping the carpet. It is worth paying attention to such details as warming the pot and using water that is really boiling, so as to make quite sure of wringing out of one’s ration the twenty good, strong cups of that two ounces, properly handled, ought to represent.

Well, I think I just completed my own "A nice cup of tea" essay!!! Right after I wrote my response, I found similar article posted by Stephen Hough on Telegraph.co.uk. Enjoyed reading people's comments as well

Do you drink tea? what's your favorite tea?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How to make Strawberry Frozen Yogurt NO sugar added

Hot hot hot and humid weather this summer! Too hot to handle this summer Drink iced tea every day now! The great part of summer is that there are so many different fresh fruits available! I bought some organic strawberries at Wholefoods the other day. Today I want to make something icy icy cold frozen yogurt to cool me down. I have two air conditioners on right now. Still feels the heat!

Made few strawberry recipes before:

Strawberry smoothy

Healthy Recipe Strawberry Smoothie (3 ingredients or less, strawberries, peanuts)

Strawberry Chardonnay Sorbet

whole wheat strawberry green tea pancake

Lightly Alcoholic Blooming Tea Punch

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wendesday Photography Trees

image credit: Michi Lauke
Does it look like a puppy head?

Tree of light by this guy

Tree in tree (not sure who shot this photo. I didn't do it). If you work too hard and feel tired at office, look trees outside of the window. It is said green color helps relax your eyes. I found that very true cause all dollar bills are in green color.

This is by GetawayAlpha

This photo somehow reminds me the Snow white story. Who did this?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tea-holic Lightly alcoholic Jasmine Pea-cha-cha #Stevia recipe

Tea-holic Lightly Alcoholic Jasmine Pea-Cha-Cha stevia recipe


Time to celebrate this beautiful weather. What's your plan for July 4th? Whether getaways trips, or simply beach parties, an iced drink is a NECESSITY for a sizzling tzzling summur!

Recently we imported some Premium Jasmine green tea. O-M-G! A-D! (Absolutely Delicious) Y-H-T-T-I (You have to try it). I have always wanted to carry Jasmine tea, but I am kinda picky: it has to have stuuuung and luuuung lasting aroma!  Couldn't find any products meet my requirement until recently I discovered one tea farm that makes such a FDAL (fabulous delicious absolutely lovely) jasmine tea. I am so excited to share it with everyone!

 Click here to download this recipe

This Jasmine tea is processed with traditional method-tea leaves are processed and assorted first. Next step is to mix tea with freshly blossoming jasmine flowers for a whole night. Then separate and dry. If stronger aroma is desired, repeat the aromatizing process few times. Each time new and fresh jasmine blossoming flowers are required.

Friday, June 28, 2013

TGIF Happy 4th of July quote

Here's my Happy 4th of July quote:

American independence does not come for free. It has to be drunk for and get passed out. On this 4th of July may your stomach be filled with tea, compassion for your fellow tea lovers, and the determination to drink hard to make this country a better place to host tea parties. Cheers!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tea Hack-How to make an easy water filter refill BPA free

What water you use to brew your tea or coffee every day? Tab water, spring water, filtered water, distilled water? Or glacier water, water from Mars?
In old times, people believed water from heaven was superb quality cause it was from god, so they would use a big bucket to collect rain and snow to brew tea. They were right, at that time, when no airplanes flying in the sky. Have you heard of blue ice from airplane? Yeah, from the same heaven!

FREE download this article here

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Map of where your money goes

What did the duck say after he went shopping?
(Put it on my bill!)

What did the football coach say to the broken vending machine?
(Give me my quarterback/quarter back!)

What has a hundred heads and a hundred tails?
(One hundred pennies!)

Why did the woman go outdoors with her purse open?
(Because she expected some change in the weather!)

Why can't you borrow money from a leprechaun?
(Because they're always a little short!) 

via enchanted learning

via hapsical

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Are you a Double dose Tea Mastrrrr?

I got an email minutes ago:


I noticed on your profile on LinkedIn.com that your credentials include the designation "Certified Tea Master."  I would be interested in knowing how and where you obtained this designation.  The American Tea Masters Association is the owner of this trademark, and we go to great lengths to protect it.  To the best of my knowledge, you have never studied with us or participated in any of our training programs...."


I certainly never heard of this Chas nor such association...There are just too many world wide...

Not to disrespect this Chas on the internet, here's my response:

do you also own Certified Tea Mustor? Certified Tea Mastrrrr, Certified Tea Mstr??...No problem, my title actually is Certified Double Dose Tea Mastorrrr

Here's my linked in title now:

What's Double dose Tea Mstrrrrr (Pro)? you need to email me;))


After back and forth emails with this person, I requested his credentials about his certificates. So far,
1) he never responded with his credentials.
2)couldn't find any of his claimed Registered Trade Mark info on USPTO.gov . If Certified Tea Master is a registered trade mark like claimed, there should be a public record on USPTO website. But I can't find any. Anybody has any info, please email me INFO@TEABEYOND.COM.

I would like to trade in-Anybody who can answer the two questions above, i offer a full set of teapot and tea cups sets plus 100 grams (3 oz) of  premium Jasmine green tea! First come first serve-only two available.

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