Monthly Archives: February 2014

For All The Tea Lovers: This One’s For You!

ImageI am a person who loves my tea. Literally loves. It was a few years ago when I decided to ditch the usual PG Tips (not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with black tea, I’m sure it sits very nicely with many people) and move onto green tea. Not long after that I discovered what would soon become the love of my life – white tea. Sweeter and more distinctive than green tea, it has a subtle, smooth taste that leaves you wanting more. Loose leaf tea is something I favour now and the loose leaf of White Peony and Silver Needle (striking names!) is something I cannot imagine not having as a part of my daily life.

Aside from the wonderful flavours, probably the best thing about white tea (which many people don’t seem to be aware of) is the incredible range of health benefits. White tea is famed for having a very high amount of antioxidants, more so than black or green tea. It is said that it possesses a profound power against cancer-causing cells, that it lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, reduces blood sugar levels and also has direct positive impact on sufferers of arthritis. It also keeps the heart healthy – research shows that those who drink two or more cups of white tea a day are 50% less likely to die after suffering a heart attack. These little buds have a wealth of power inside them and each one of us would benefit from drinking it daily.

ImageNow where do I get my tea? These white and green teas I drink can’t be found in your local supermarket. You can get the teabag variety, including green and white (though finding white teabags in the supermarket is pretty difficult in itself and the strength of taste is not quite the same) and, as for oolong tea (which is used especially for weight loss) it is near impossible to find them. The place where I get my tea is a company called Chah Teas. Now, I had been browsing around several online tea companies and tried out a few here and there, but when I stumbled upon Chah, this was the place I decided to stick with. Their loose leaf tea is incomparable and their White Peony in particular has such a unique and vibrant taste that one of my favourite things to do when I come home from work is to sit down with a nice pot of Peony – all the stresses and problems seem to fade away with each sip. As well as White Peony, I have also tried their other varieties. Dragon Phoenix Pearl (yet again a cool name!) is a type of green tea and it has a very distinctive, powerful taste; very little of it is needed at one time so it ends up lasting you for many months. Flowering tea is a fascinating type of tea – you dissolve it in hot water and it literally opens up into a flower. Remarkable to watch if you have one of those see-through teapots. I have also tried their Ceremonial Matcha tea – this drink is supreme in a number of ways. It is a type of ground green tea and can be used to drink or put in ice-cream or even in baking cakes. Again, little is needed at a time, but the taste itself is quite extraordinary. It leaves a distinct aroma and at the same time can be quite filling. Milk Oolong tea is a type of oolong and – well, it tastes a lot like milk! But some of the richest milk I’ve ever tried – the flavour in Milk Oolong is pretty uncanny. There’s a collosal amount of flavour in one little bit so it doesn’t require too much either. If you’re a fan of Bubble Tea, oolong often features in those drinks and you can recognize the taste right away.

One of the great things about Chah is that they’re not too expensive; the prices are excellent for the quality and quantity of tea you receive. I have been to special tea shops that will charge something like £20 for 50g – Chah, by comparison, can save you 50% to 80%  of this. The day I stumbled across their website is one of the luckiest days I ever consider having – I get my fix of the finest teas and at the most reasonable cost! Their variety is superb – black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, fruit and herbal tea (for fruit and herbal lovers, there are some real gems in this section!), flowering tea and macha tea. I would strongly advise tea lovers to check them out. You can find them here at http://www.chah.co.uk . If you’re anything like me and you love your good tea, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Now, time for some White Peony …