Review: Chefman Precision Electric Kettle

This does what it’s supposed to do! I love that. I love when you buy something for a purpose and it does it! I’d say even to perfection. Okay, so all it does is boil water, how difficult is that? Well, this has temperature control and that is the key when making a good cup of tea.

img_0076
The kettle doesn’t take up a lot of space. Also – still love the hanging cups underneath the cabinet. See how I did it HERE! 

What I love:

Easy to use!

Hot water anytime I want it; even if the unit is shut off, from off to boil, is darn near instant. I usually turn it on first thing in the morning and I go about my business. The beep will sound that it’s ready (loud enough, but not obnoxiously loud); warm lemon water, followed by an herbal cup of tea. As I sip away, I’m using the boiled water to heat up dog/cat food; I’ve used it to make instant oatmeal, heating up pasta, I’ve even made coffee!

Easy to clean; add white vinegar and water and set to boil! Doesn’t get any easier than that! Tip to keep my sink drains unclogged… I will pour the boiled white vinegar and water down a drain in the house. I pick a different one than the last. (Another tip; adding baking soda first in the drain then the boiling white vinegar and water helps to keep my drains clear).

If I’ve made tea in the pot and leave the tea sitting for a while, it will leave a stain at the bottom. No a big deal! To remove the stain I will use the white vinegar and water method. Set the pot to boil. I will do this 2-3 times and the stain will lift. If there is any stain left over, I will just use the kettle as is and the stain will eventually be gone after a few uses. I have used the kettle for just boiling water with the stain and it does not affect the taste of the water. I have very hard water, so even using filtered water, in time, there will be bits of hard water deposits. The white vinegar and water method keeps the hard water deposits out of the pot and it will come out totally clean the first time.

Programming is simple and straightforward; One button for the ON/Off and a red light will turn on letting you know the unit is on. The button next to that is the program button; press that. And a blue light will go on, then you have two buttons on the left side of the base that controls the temperature you want to set it at. It’s super easy, if I so say so myself, since I’m not the best with most electronics of any kind!

If you just press the ON/OFF button once it will turn on the kettle and warm up to whatever temp it was on last, then once heated, it will turn off. This unit heats to a maximum of 212 F and can be adjusted down in increments of 5. If you press the ON/OFF button and then the program button, it will heat water to what you had it set at last and stay heated for 60 minutes. That is what I do automatically as I want hot water all day long. I will keep making teas and as the water level goes down, I add to it and turn the unit back on as needed throughout my day. The temperature setting will stay on the last setting unless you unplug the unit for it to reset. I just adjust the time by using the (+ or – ) buttons on the left to control the temp. And another thing; you will notice an ER indicator when removing the kettle. It does NOT mean there is a problem with the unit. It shows up when you remove the kettle from the base. Once you place the kettle back on, the ER indicator goes away.

Holds a good amount of water. 7 cups…1.7 liters. I have filled mine past the max line with no issues. (not saying I would recommend this, I just haven’t had an issue)

Kettle is made for right and left-handed users. Returning it to the base can be done from either side, even from behind the unit base!

Comfortable to hold. The kettle handle is comfortable in large and small hands. (My husband has large hands and I have small hands and we both can hold the kettle easily). The lid release button is substantial; easy to find and press.

Tea infuser; I’m just gonna say, I LOVE this! Adding tea leaves, herbs, dried flowers; this infuser holds them and steeps them beautifully! The water flows into the infuser easily allowing a wonderfully infused pot of tea. Removing the infuser is simple and cleaning it is just as simple; press the button on the handle, remove the infuser, dump the contents into compost bin, and wash tea infuser with soap and water, rinse well and set out to dry.

The display light makes it is easy to see/read; bright enough to read with no other light on at night and bright enough to read in good daylight.

No cord on the kettle. The cord is on the base (obviously), just not on the kettle which makes it super convenient when pouring and taking the kettle to another area such as the breakfast table. The unit will stay on and remember the setting for five minutes after removing the kettle.

Glass kettle; I can easily see what I am brewing or if I need to add more water. It’s also rather soothing watching the bubbles. There’s a soft blue light that adds a nice touch too!

It’s a nice size. Kettle is next to my Ninja coffee maker (which is still going strong! We brew about a pot or two a day. Check out that review here.)

Parts of kettle can be removed and cleaned. The tea infuser, tea infuser mount, spout filter can be removed and cleaned. I don’t need to clean it often as I mainly boil plain water. Once or twice a week I will make tea in the pot using the tea infuser. Most of the time I make tea using the tea infuser inside my cup. I like to drink many types of teas during my day and the tea infuser is awesome. Just find a cup/mug that it can fit into. It eliminates me having to use a tea ball or straining it out with a strainer or something like that. Like I said before, when I am done using the infuser I dump out the contents in my compost and wash and rinse. It takes about 30 seconds.

One complaint:

If I had to pick one, I suppose I wish it would stay on longer. It has a boil-dry protection mode and if there isn’t enough water in the kettle, the unit will turn off automatically. That is a good thing. Though, as I mentioned above, I fill the kettle throughout the day so there’s always a good amount of water.

All in all, I really can’t complain about anything with this unit. I am very glad I bought it and have used it for about five months nonstop. I turn it on first thing in the morning and off last thing at night. If I don’t turn it off, it will shut off within the hour of the last time I turned it on. I would buy this again as well as give this as a gift!

I hope this was helpful for you in choosing an electric kettle.

Happy tea making/happy boiling water!

Love and Peace…Koko

Advertisements

Ninja Coffee Bar with Glass Carafe

I had a Cuisinart Coffee maker I had been using for almost three years. The review on that can be found here . I really liked that coffee maker. A lot! At almost three years, the machine itself started leaking water. The coffee maker still worked, but the side where it made hot water sprung a leak. I tried taking it apart to see where it was coming from and I found the parts I would need just wasn’t worth it to fix. Enter the Ninja Coffee Bar with Glass Carafe!

IMG_7381 (1)

This is the Ninja Coffee Bar with Glass Carafe!

I looked at a few dozen types of coffee pot machines and after careful thought, I decided on this Ninja. It didn’t hurt that it was on sale at Target! I believe I picked it up for less than half the price. Winning! 🙂

Ninja’s words…”Ninja has a patent-pending brewing technology designed to deliver better, richer- tasting coffee with variable richness levels that are never bitter. Only the Ninja Coffee Bar® brewer has Thermal Flavor Extraction, which truly unlocks the full flavor potential of your coffee using automated controls for Temperature Calibration, Pre-infusion & Coffee Saturation.”

The settings brews four types of coffee; classic, rich, over-ice, specialty. I have used them all. It’s stepped up my coffee game! Classic Brew is what I’d call a regular brew, a nice perfectly brewed coffee. I like this setting when I drink it black. The Rich Brew is a bolder flavor. And by bold I don’t mean bitter. Just a nice stronger flavor. If you use milks or creams, I find you don’t lose out on that coffee flavor. Using the Over Ice Brew makes the coffee even richer so as not to lose any coffee flavor when pouring over ice. No watered down taste! The Specialty Brew is even more concentrated coffee, making the coffee flavor just right when making any type of “fancy” concoctions. It comes with a recipe booklet too. Tweaking the recipes to my tastes is a lot of fun. WE have coffee bar nights where we pick a recipe to try! A great “party” theme.

IMG_0469

Their trademarked Ninja Easy Frother™ is such a simple design that does the job very well! I’ve had other frothers, yet there’s something about this one that sets it apart. To me, it froths the milk much faster and the consistency of the froth is much thicker.

This coffee pot doesn’t have a filter. It wasn’t a deal breaker for me as I use filtered water anyway, though I  had to “get over” not having my coffee double filtered, hahaha! As it turns out, it’s good in the way that I don’t have to remember to change the filter (and the cost savings of buying them) and have to deal with another compartment to keep clean. And speaking of keeping it clean, this pot is very easy to clean. The machine comes apart easily. Nothing tricky about it. Seriously easy!

IMG_7380 (1)

The reservoir is a neat feature. Ninja’s Auto-iQ™ One Touch Intelligence feature sends out the right amount of water you need depending on what size you want. Super cool! I keep it full of filtered water, so making a cup, half a pot, or full pot is quick and easy. You can remove the water container to fill it or you can pour water into it from another pitcher or other vessel (which is what I do most of the time).

IMG_7386 (1)

See that silver round piece? It flips down and that is where you set your cup for that single serving cup. Flipping it back up allows you to make a travel sized mug full of coffee, or of course, a half pot or full pot.

What I like about this feature is you can make that single serving or travel mug size without using those “pods”. I have yet to meet a pod that made a decent cup of coffee or tea for that matter. By the way… I’ve used this machine to make yerba mate tea! It does a fantastic job at brewing it just right! How does it know? 😉

IMG_7389 (1)

My only “con” about this set up…the mouth of the carafe is small. You can’t fit your hand inside to clean it. So, you need a bottle brush or something like that to clean it effectively. This is not a complete deal breaker, however, if I were looking at two coffee makers, both being equal, but one had the traditional carafe opening, I would buy the wider opening. Ninja does sell a soft sponge brush for $5.95. See the video I made below to so see how I clean my carafe!

Continue reading

Review Cuisinart Coffee Maker

IMG_9451

This is the same machine, 2 years later. Still looks and preforms like new!

Remember when I reviewed this Cuisinart’s Cuisinart Coffee Plus 12-cup Programmable Coffeemaker plus Hot Water System coffee pot? Here I am re-reviewing it.

It’s still awesome! 2 years and going strong! Insert cheers here***

This is the one appliance that is used daily in my household. The first thing I do when I step into the kitchen is turn on the hot water feature. (Pets are cared for first thing. I use it to warm their food.)

I can say that this machine is quite the workhorse as daily pots of coffee are made and many, many cups of tea. The hot water feature is used not only for teas and cocoa, I use it to make oatmeal and as i’ve said, heat my pets food.

Everything I’ve done 2 years ago with this machine, I still do. I wipe the machine down with a damp cloth (inside and out) regularly. I used white vinegar to clean the inside of the machine about one-two times a month and the filters get changed about every three-four months. I feel I can stretch the filter changes as I use already filtered water. I don’t have “off/funny” tastes with this unit. I’ve had people ask if the tea tastes like coffee. I can honestly say, I don’t have an issue with that. My tea tastes like tea! 🙂

This machine is so useful when friends are over. They go to the hanging cups and help themselves. We can sit at the breakfast bar and chat and sip and make more beverages to our hearts content!

Cuisinart still sells this unit. Don’t hesitate to buy it. It was a smart purchase, I mean…(I thank Santa Claus for leaving this amazing machine under the tree those years ago!)

Hope you enjoyed the review and it was helpful to you. Whatever you do in your day, make time to have a cup of something. Whether you are a coffee, tea, cocoa drinker, taking a moment for yourself or with someone you care about and enjoy a cup is a wonderful way to start your day. I take mine out onto the deck (weather permitting) and even if it’s for five minutes, I take time to breathe in the clean air and sip my drink…starts my day happy.

Take five minutes for YOU. Breathe, sip your drink, and let the happiness fill you!

Be well Friends. Peace, Koko

DIY Tea Box Repurposed

IMG_7506

I am a huge note taker. Also, for me, there’s a comfort that comes from the feel of physically writing or even doodling. It’s also a wonderful way to clear the mind. Because my mind doesn’t rest, writing things down helps to relieve having to think/remember everything. I like to write on note cards (3×5’s). They are the right size. I can fit them in my purse, or pocket, and they tuck nicely in the corner of a nightstand or drawer.

Ok so, I have 3×5 cards littered in a few places. I’ve been meaning to buy a card holder. Well, I’m not the most patient person and it was late last night when I decided I NEEDED a card holder. I was making tea at the time of this “thought”…and the box my tea was in would do nicely. Shall I continue? Okay, you’ve twisted my arm…

IMG_7540

Before I show you what I did…I made tea, of course! I like this tea with raw honey (neat info on  raw honey ) and raw cream.

Continuing…

IMG_7501

This tea is really seriously delicious. If you are short on time to measure out the spices (like here  or here) to make your own, give this one a go! 

IMG_7502

Only three bags of tea left… I took out the insert.

IMG_7503

I decided I wanted to keep the lid and sides to help reinforce the box. Plus the peacock is so adorable! 😉 They were too big folded inside, so I measured, and trimmed. 

IMG_7505

Fold the flaps down.

 

IMG_7510

Add the 3×5 cards. I made the tabs by cutting a few cards. Now I’m more organized. A more “Zen” workplace and I feel better having all my notes in one place. 

I could have gone out to buy one, but truth be told, then I wouldn’t have this cute box with a monkey on it!

I’ve said it before, and I will continue saying it…I appreciate your support, kind words, and follows. As the card reads on the desk…THANK YOU! Your comments make me smile and your kind words make me sigh! These past few months I’ve needed it more than you can know. THANK YOU.

Take care of yourself. Peace, Koko

Easy DIY Cabinet Space Saver You Can Do!

picstitch (7)

Ooooh…Ahhhh… Cute polka dots!

Organizing is always on the forefront of my mind. For me it just makes sense. If I can find things and easily store things, that makes my life run smoothly.

Is your cupboard full of coffee mugs; stacked one on top of the other? Mine was a mess. And I worried that they’d chip being cramped in such a small space. Also I couldn’t showcase how cute my cups were. This is what I did to free up valuable cabinet space as well as something pretty to look at and make me smile…

I took some paper (taped pieces together to make it large enough) and made a template. I then measured out how far apart I wanted the cups. Keeping in mind to give room so the cups don't hit the back of the wall.

I took some paper (taped pieces together to make it large enough) and made a template. I then measured out how far apart I wanted the cups (see orange dots). Keeping in mind to give room so the cups don’t hit the back of the wall.

After the template was made I taped it to the bottom side of the cabinet. I then took a 16d otherwise known as 16 penny nail (any nail or sharp pointed object will do)(though I like using nails better as it makes a great starter guide hole) … Using a hammer I tapped once or twice straight through the paper at each dot/mark. Your goal is to make a “guide” hole to make it easier to screw the hook into.

After the template was made I taped it to the bottom side of the cabinet. I took a 16 penny nail (any nail or sharp pointed object will do) ... and tapped it straight through the paper at each dot/mark I made.

And then comes the easy part…I removed the template and screwed each hook into the holes I had made using the 16 penny nail. (For those of you who don’t know what a 16 penny nail is–it’s just a very large nail.)

Hang cups...

Hang cups…

To complete the look...insert coffee pot here. :)

To complete the look…insert coffee pot here. 🙂

This coffee pot also does hot water. See my review here

Factoid:

The “d” in 16d refers to “penny”. Way back in the Roman times the “d” stood for denarius which was what they called their coin (money) then. The nails were hand forged during that time period (obviously…hehehe) and was said that a hundred 3 1/2″ nails cost 16 pennies. Hence the name we now use as 16 penny nails or also can be referred to as 16d. The cost of one hundred 14d nails (during that time) was 14 pennies and so on and so on… 🙂

Nails come in many lengths from 4d on up to 60d. There are different shaft shapes too!

This was a very easy project anyone can do. Yes YOU! I believe in YOU! The cost was my time (FREE–though I wish I were paid…hehehehe) and the hooks which run a few dollars. Tip: You can use newspaper or paper bags to make a template with. Any questions you might have, ask away!

Save some cabinet space and give this project a go! If you do, please post it or email me a picture. I’d love to see your collection of mugs!

Enjoy your day everyone and please like, follow, and share, your support really touches my heart. ❀Koko❀

Review Cuisinart’s: Coffee Plus 12-cup Programmable Coffeemaker plus Hot Water System

picstitch (21)

We just got the Cuisinart’s “Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker Plus Hot Water System”.  In one word; LOVE. We are big coffee drinkers, and what’s more is we are big tea drinkers too, and the occasional hot chocolate gets in there somewhere.

Coffee makers come with all kinds of bells and whistles. In your most basic maker, there is an on and off switch and the hot plate; which is what the coffee pot sits on. For most people this is good enough. But for those of you that need a built-in programmer so your coffee is ready whenever you want it to be, this has that, and more!  The features are really simple to use.

It has a temperature setting for low, medium, and high allowing you to really customize your cup-of-joe! We keep ours on medium temp and that is plenty hot enough. Now when we are going outside with a cup we will turn the setting on high to give our hot coffee a chance at staying hotter longer while we are out working in the cold.

This maker does have what Cuisinart calls “brew pause” and that means if you need that caffeine fix NOW, then you can simply pull the pot out and pour before it’s finished brewing the entire pot. A brilliant feature for when that visitor or relative comes for a visit; you know who I’m talking about, the one person that won’t utter a single word until coffee has crossed his or her palate.

It has a water filter; a simple charcoal pack that is easily installed. I use filtered water anyway, but knowing this has a filter built-in, makes it doubly nice. I’m all for filtering out as many impurities as possible.

I like that it comes with a gold tone filter basket. Not all coffee makers come with one. I made the switch many, many years ago, well before some coffee makers started including them (again, not all coffee makers include the gold tone filter basket). I’ve had to buy them in the past.  If you have to ever replace it, it costs around 10 dollars, but keep in mind, my last one lasted 2 years!  I never really liked dealing with the paper filters. Less to toss in the trash the better. But if you go this route, look for the paper cups that aren’t bleached.

Now I’m really excited to tell you about the hot water feature. I seriously never thought how this one luxury would change my life! Okay, maybe I went too far, but really, this feature is so awesome. I’ve said it before, we are big tea drinkers. The tea kettle was the most used “pot” in the house. We boil a lot of water. Constantly filling the pot setting it to boil, waiting for it to boil, then forgetting it, to then be subject to the eardrum piercing “teapot scream”. This would happen no less than a dozen times a day. The stress of not wanting to leave the kettle because you wanted to avoid the “scream” was apparent :( .  Pouring water from the kettle was another stress as water would spill out and down the spout and puddle on the counter no matter how careful you were.   We have gone through many tea kettles and all have this leaky-when-you-pour issue. If that wasn’t bad enough, we always had to be mindful of a kitty burning his paws on the hot stove.  I know, they shouldn’t be on the counter in the first place, but it happens. (And YES counters are wiped down several times a day! Not so much from the occasional kitty not minding manners, but I have black granite counter tops. Need I say more? :P )

Not only is the hot water feature awesome for making tea and hot cocoa, it is very useful for our pets foods. If you are into the dry soup mixes this hot water feature is perfect for that too. It’s also great for making oatmeal too (just ask about my amazing oatmeal recipe).

It has its own water reservoir; holding 54 ounces. The heating element works so fast that I feel it’s almost a no wait ready hot water maker! The hot water feature even tells you when you need to add more water via red light indicator. Again, the water heats up so fast that I have never had to “wait” for it to get hot before I can use it. By the time I’ve measured out my tea leaves the water is ready. If that isn’t a fast enough time measure, I’ve taken a tea bag out of the canister, put it in my cup and poured. In my book, that’s fast. And the best, best thing…no more loud kettle scream! My ears thank me daily. There is a light to tell you when the water is ready if you really need to know; It will go from a flashing light to a solid.

A convenient drip tray catches an unwanted drip or two and it’s removable allowing taller mugs to be used.  Great for those tall travel cups! There is a safety feature that allows you to lock the hot water dispenser lever. We don’t have use for that as we are an adult household, still, may come in handy if you have a very curious cat or counter-high-dog (Great Dane!)

It has a blue back-lit LCD making the digital clock easy to read. The blue light is so pretty!  Another plus. What!?…Pretty makes me smile.

If all of that wasn’t good enough….wait for it…, it’s BPA free! I love that!

Is this machine perfect? Do I have anything negative to say? If I had to pick one thing, it would be the “beeping” sound it makes to let you know when the coffee is finished brewing (and turning off).  It’s… very audible.  Not obnoxiously loud (not sure if it would “wake a baby” kind of loud), but definitely perceptible. I suppose that is a good thing if you are in another room, upstairs, sitting on the back porch waiting for “said” coffee to brew, you get the picture. All in all, it’s certainly not “too” loud to make me take this back. In fact there are a few appliances I do own that I’d give back….NOT my Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable plus Hot Water System! NEVER!

Would I recommend this to a friend? Absolutely! In fact I would give it to someone I love! ❤ This would make a wonderful gift for a college student. Coffee and hot water on tap!

Thank you for reading. Be well. Peace, Koko 🙂

 

Apple Spiced Infused Tea

I baked an Upside-Down Apple Cake last night.  Part of the directions was to boil water and then add the sliced apples, cloves, and cinnamon stick, turn it down and simmer for five minutes…then discard the cloves, cinnamon stick, and water.  Well if you know me, you know I don’t like to waste, as well as I LOVE getting more than one “thing” out of something.  So instead of dumping out this amazing apple/clove/cinnamon infused water, I made tea!

I remembered a tea that http://hariqhuang.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/apple-cinnamon-tea/ Hari made and it sparked my brain, “Brilliant I know what I can do with this apple spiced infused water”!  Oh my! It was so good, that I am doing this every time I make this cake. In fact perfect compliment to it.  When I was a kid and not feeling well, i’d add sliced ginger to this concoction.  Ginger is very soothing for the tummy!

photo (65)

Apple Spiced Infused Tea

Now even if you are not making this Upside-Down Apple Cake you can still make this infused tea.

Boil 6 cups of water.  While water is boiling…

Peel, core, and slice two apples.  I used granny smith. I like the tartness to them.

After the water comes to a boil…

Add the apple slices

Add 8 cloves

One stick of cinnamon

Simmer for 8-10 min.

Strain out the solids.  Enjoy!

Makes 4 nice mugs full of apple spiced tea!

FYI: If you want you can grate the apple like (Hari) did.  Or, you can slice the apple, then chop up the sliced apples, to expose more of the apple for a deeper infusion. I found just slicing them and simmering them for the 10 minutes did the trick. No real right or wrong.

The flavors will depend on the types of apples used, but if you are an apple lover, then any type of apple will make for a nice tea.

An herbal infusion is a tea that is steeped longer than a couple of minutes and usually more than one herb is used in a larger amount.  By steeping it longer you get the maximum amount of essential nutrients from that particular herb/flower/etc.

Herbal tea is really any “tea” that is non-caffeinated made from an infusion process using any herb, flower, or spice. 

True teas come from the tea bush (Camellia sinensis), which is where we get our green, black, oolong, etc. teas from). 

By the way…The upside -down apple cake was a hit.  Family had it for dessert, then the next morning with half and half poured over top!

This was a happy cake.  We all couldn’t help smiling while eating it.

Here’s to you all having a happy day, no matter what kind of cake your are eating!❀

Flavored Water…Simple and Inexpensive!

photo (64)

An easy way to drink more water…Get a container, preferably a large one with a lid.  (The one pictured is a 56 oz. bottle). Fill up the container with good clean water.  (I say that because not all water is created equal!)  I don’t always; but drop a tea bag in, any flavor; this one happens to be a passion tea by TAZO.  And sip away.  I will drink one to two of these bottles a day.  And that doesn’t count the hot teas or a cup of coffee I may have throughout the day.

Water is so important for the body.  Did you know that hunger pains you feel could also be a sign of needing to be hydrated?  Water is necessary for many functions of the body; for proper elimination, for great skin, for energy (yep, feelings of sluggishness can be a sign of needing more water). So go grab a bottle and sip throughout your day.  Make it into a game.  My sister-in law and I will text each other back and fourth….”Drank another glass!”  It makes it silly fun 😉

That’s my version of flavored water.  Simple and inexpensive!

What do you do to help you drink more water?

Here’s to Awesome Health,  Koko❀

Sunday and Chai latte

It’s a beautiful day.  I’ve got the day, well this moment to myself.  I’m going to sip this tea and breathe.  If you haven’t tried chai, please do.  Spice of star anise, cloves, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, and to round out all the spices; ginger.  It really is a delicious blend.  I like to add a bit more fresh ginger finely shaved and sometimes a splash of organic half and half.

Take a moment for yourself; sip tea and breathe…and have a beautiful day.  Peace, Koko

photo (30)

Chai Latte

Star anise: aids in digestion

Clove: good for entire digestive tract and joint anti-inflammation.  This little spice is jam-packed with nutrient dense goodness!  It’s an excellent source of manganese.  It has omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, dietary fiber, and vitamin C.  Also a good source of calcium and magnesium.

Cardamom: great digestion issues like IBS, heartburn, and intestinal spasms.  When I’m feeling under the weather I consume this spice.  Great for sore throat too.

Black pepper: improves digestion in a very impressive way helping you get the most out of the foods you consume.  It has antioxidant and antibacterial benefits too.  Last but not least, a factoid; The outer layer of the peppercorn helps you slim down by stimulating the breakdown of fat cells!  Woo hoo!

Cinnamon: Reduce inflammation and has antioxidant benefits.  Manganese, calcium, and fiber can be found in this fantastic spice.  Smelling this spice can boost brain power! I do love the scent of this tea!

Ginger: Aids in tummy distress!  Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.  If you are feeling nauseous ginger is the go-to.  Potent anti-inflammatory compounds; it really is beneficial with arthritis and joint pain.  I consume ginger daily in a drink I make and I can attest to the pain easing benefits.  From the time I was a little girl, my mom would tell me to drink fresh ginger tea for any ailment I had.  Look up more info on this amazing rhizome; the list goes on and on. Add fresh ginger shavings to everything!

Black tea: High in antioxidant benefits; good for heart health. Great for memory retention.

Let’s Make Some Tea!

photo (97)

Let’s make some tea!
Making tea is really simple. There are three basic steps; Choose it; heat it; steep it! That’s all there’s to it.

Tips: 1. If you want a stronger tasting tea, don’t steep longer, just add more tea. A lot of the times steeping longer only makes for a bitter tea. (I don’t mind it, as I often forget I’m steeping.) 😛

2. Temperature plays a part in the “perfect” cup of tea.

3. Some folks with really discerning tastes may notice a difference in taste depending on what their tea steeped in or what container the water boiled in. The one way I can tell is when my tea is made in anything plastic. And I for one am not crazy about that. My water is boiled in a ceramic pot. My cup is either ceramic or glass.

4. Water can have an effect on taste too. Use the best water you can get your hands on!

Factoid:
1. Tea was discovered in China! Woo hoo! Yippee! Yay for the discovery!
2. Four cups a day is recommended to reap the health benefits.
3. Americans consume over 50 billion servings of tea a year.
4. Black teas are the most popular.
5. Green, oolong, and black tea all come from the same plant. Well whatdoyaknow?!
6. Green tea is not oxidized. It closely resembles the chemical composition of the fresh tea leaf.
7. Black and Oolong tea are oxidized. Black is oxidized for about three hours; oolong gets a shorter oxidation. A natural chemical reaction happens, making for its own distinguishing flavors.
8. Tea is naturally low in caffeine; about 40 milligrams.
9. Tea bags were use to hold samples of tea way back in the day.
10. Tea is a natural antioxidant.
11. Tea contains about half the amount of caffeine than coffee.
12. Black tea helps get rid of bad breath. I find this to be true of a lot of types of teas.
13. Drinking black tea can help reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes.
14. Green tea can help raise your metabolism. Love that factoid! (I can always get help in the metabolism department.)
15. Another weight loss tea is oolong. Oh, oh, good! In China, oolong is known for its fat blasting powers, speeding up that metabolism almost at the speed of light; well not that fast, but hey give it a try, i’m sipping kamiya Papaya oolong tea right now.
16. Tea’s are great for high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart health.
17. Tea’s an immune booster; infection fighter…Bring it on!
18. Oolong means black dragon in Chinese. Roar!
19. Drinking oolong is said to increase your brains functionality, reduce tiredness, and power up focus.
20. Tea: It’s tasty!

Teavana….ahhhhhh, they had me at first sample! I can’t walk past a shop and not sample their latest tea they’re brewing that day. I can’t say what my favorite is, as I’ve really enjoyed so many types and blends. I also can’t say whether I like hot or cold. The same tea tastes different hot or cold, and sometimes, one or the other is what I like better depending on my mood. Oh and of course sweetened or unsweetened will change the flavor, and again depending on my mood, I will have it lightly sweetened with their delicious German rock sugar. If you haven’t had their tea, you really should give it a go. If you can’t find a Teavana near you, they do ship.  (You can also find a plathora of teas right at your nearest grocery store!)

At  http://www.teavana.com  there’s a wealth of knowledge.  If you are just getting started with teas, it’s a perfect way to learn and if you’re a seasoned tea connoisseur, well, there is something there for you too! Pick that tea out, heat some water up, and steep. Sip away! Enjoy!

photo(9)

Iced black tea with fresh crushed mint and a sprig of mint topper 🙂

Teavanna drinker; 10 plus years!