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Tea Sommelier Course 15th – 17th April 2019

Last month, Camellia’s Tea House proudly held the ITEI Tea Sommelier course in three days from 15th to 17th April 2019. The course was occurred at the Dukes Hotel in central London, with the participants are managers from famous hotels and tea passionate drinker, especially one of our trainers are the manager from the Dukes Hotel in Food and Beverage section, her purpose for the course is to expand her knowledge in tea section.

The course is designed to provide extensive practical aspect, which focus on various tea ceremonies and tea cupping (tasting), the course will also include the basics sach as tea types, regions and manufacturing, an also other subjects such as tea and food parings, tea menu design, and tea orientated mixology.

First day of the course, our trainers were learned about the world of tea, where teas are producing by countries and regions.
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Besides theory about tea, our trainers were practised with six different types of teas during three days for the course, from white tea, green tea, oolong tea, black tea, puerh tea and herbal tea. Our sourcing tea is from famous different countries and regions, from China, Japan, or India.

The trainers started with experiencing the scent and aroma of different tea types, each tea will bring different and unique scent, whether it is a floral, nutty, or fruity.

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Then touching and feeling the tea shape.
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Followed by is the technique of how to brew your tea properly, which was practised by all trainers.

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Especially the tea tasing for all tea trainers

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To make a perfect cup of tea.

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The following days, our trainers were discovered different technique and tea types. Some examples are, the Japanese green tea has different technique to brew for their tea.

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Everyone carefully observed and listened to our tea expert to make perfect tea cup.

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The photo below is the achievement of one of our trainers to mix the Matcha with perfect form and colour.

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Moreover, the art of brewing tea in the Gong Fu tea set was also produced during the tea course.

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Three days accompanied together in the tea course, we hope the Tea Sommelier course had provided you with confidence, knowledge about the world of tea, in addition, it is a great way to gain qualifications to support for your career in the future.

Thank you very much for all of our lovely trainers and your contribution to the course.

A Guide To The Best Summer Iced Drinks

How have you been enjoying the weather? Here are some recipes for you to play around! Let’s make the best summer iced drinks and get over the heat of summer together.

At Camellia’s Tea House, we have experimented different flavour combinations and sampled new concoctions and have created a number of truly delicious summer drinks for you guys.

Generally, we cold brew the teas that we use for our ice drinks, as we have found that the brew has a sweeter, fuller flavour. Usually, iced drinks contain tonnes of added sugars, so cold brews are a great option for those of us trying to cut down. Cold brews also contain less caffeine and are much higher in anti-oxidants and vitamin C.

Cold brews need to steep for quite a while – we usually leave ours overnight – and as a result, new flavours develop, giving the teas extra depth. It is easy to combine different blends, and you can get creative and add other ingredients to the mix too. We have found that citrus fruits, berries and mint all make great additions.

Don’t forget to share with us your home-made iced tea by tagging @camellias_teahouse on social media!

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Very Berry Iced Tea
Having all your favorite berries in one cup!
Brewing Instruction:
1. Use 2 teaspoons of Very Berry Fruit Infusion per cup.
2. Brew with boiling water in 5 minutes.
3. Remove the infuser and fruit from the tea. Let the tea cool down in room temperature.
4. Stir in sugar/ honey.
5. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with fresh berries.

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Matcha Mango Smoothie
Energy Boost!
Blending Instruction:
Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
1. Use 1 teaspoon of Premium Matcha Powder per cup
2. 1/2 cup of milk
3. Half of the mango
4. Pinch of sea salt
5. Garnish with a slice of mango

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Sparkling Summer Punch
Festive Drink!
Brewing Instruction:
1. Use 1 teaspoon of Peach Green Tea and 1 teaspoon of White Orange Tea per 6 ounces of water.
2. Steep green tea for 6 to 8 hours in the fridge.
3. Add lemon-lime soda or any sparkling fruit juice to each cup as preference.
4. Fill with ice and frozen fruits.

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Green Tea Mojito
Brewing Instruction:
1. Muddle the lime juice, mint, and sugar syrup together in a tall glass until the leaves bruise lightly and the flavors release.
2. Add ice until glass is about 3/4 full and then pour in rum and green tea.
3. Pour in cold-brew China Gunpowder Green Tea
4. Stir well and garnish with mint and lime.

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Lemongrass-Lime & Mint Cooler
Summer Detox
Brewing Instruction:
1. Use 1 teaspoon of Zest Tea and 1 teaspoon of Peppermint Herbal Infusion per cup.
2. Brew with boiling water in 5 minutes.
3. Remove the infuser and herb from the tea. Let the tea cool down in room temperature.
4. Add in lime/lemon juice.
5. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with fresh mint leaves, lemongrass, and lemon slices.

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Apricot Cold-brew Tea
A Tropical Taste
Brewing Instruction:
1. Use 1 teaspoon of White Tea Apricot per 6 ounces of water.
2. Steep white tea for 6 to 8 hours in the fridge.
3. Serve the tea as is or with add-ins of your choice: fresh apricot/ peach.
4. The cold-brew tea will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for 3 to 5 days.

LATEST CHARITY INITIATIVE – FoodCycle

Helping to serve community meals across the country.

We love to bring people together over tea, and so we though it only made sense that, having done some fundraising for them in the past, we start to support the charity, FoodCycle. FoodCycle serves community meals across the country, with a number of sites here in London, and aims to build communities by combining volunteers, surplus food and spare kitchen spaces, creating nutritious meals for people at risk of food poverty and social isolation.

We care deeply about waste and make a huge effort, as a business, to minimalise and manage our own. It therefore made sense to link with a charity that uses surplus food to create delicious meal with the intention of bringing people together.

Over the last nine years, FoodCycle has served 250,000 free, community meals, made from 270 tonnes of food that would otherwise have been wasted. That’s an impressive achievement! They have grown to deliver 37 projects across England, opening their doors and providing a safe, friendly space for people to eat and make friends each week.

We donate 5p of every cup of tea sold at the tea house to FoodCycle, as well as encouraging our customers to personally donate to the project. Our local projects are the LSE (King’s Cross) Project, and the Marylebone Project, and the members of our team are looking forward to helping out at the kitchens later on this month!

https://www.foodcycle.org.uk

 

 

Tea of the Month – August

Beautiful Skin
Red clover is such a common sight in our fields during the summer, but did you know it has amazing health benefits? When researching for this piece I was shocked to find that this simple flower can have so many positive effects on our health, particularly when brewed as a tea. Often used fresh in salads, we chose to use dried flowers in our Beautiful Skin tisane, and combined the clover with other summer blooms, dandelion, elderflower and chamomile, knowing this would be the best blend for promoting healthy, clear skin.
Like all of our other bespoke wellness teas, Beautiful Skin benefits the whole body, particularly the respiratory system, but as red clover is said to contain compounds that mimic estrogen, it is particularly good for the skin. It promotes elasticity, reducing the appearance of aging, keeping the skin youthful and supple. Combined with  chamomile, a famous anti-inflammatory, dandelion flowers, rich in minerals required for healthy skin function, and nettle, a powerful astringent, this tea is an antioxidant powerhouse, tailored to promote healthy, clear, beautiful skin.
It brews to a light gold, almost clear, and has a delicate, slightly floral flavour. It would be perfect just before bed.
Extravagant Earl Grey
Earl Grey, one of the most widely drunk teas in the world, is given a decadent lift in our bespoke Extravagant Earl Grey. We combine our bergamot infused Chinese black tea with rose flowers, lavender and cornflowers to produce a deliciously floral, aromatic, tea that has a wonderful hint of sweetness.
There are many stories about the origin of the Earl Grey blend, which has been known in England since at least the 1830s. It is assumed to be named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, the British Prime Minister in the 1830s. The most exciting of these stories proclaims that the blend was presented to the Earl by a grateful Chinese diplomat whose son was rescued from drowning by one of Lord Grey’s men!
This perfumed black tea is very versatile, and as we love experimenting, we chose to add our Extravagant Earl Grey to a cake mix to create a decadent Earl Grey and Lavender sponge layer cake. It’s proving to be extremely popular! Similarly, we have found that this blend of Earl Grey works really well as a latte, both hot and iced. With the pink rose petals and blue cornflowers, this is a beautiful blend to use as a cold brew.

Tea of the month – July

MANGO BLACK TEA

With mango season in full swing, it only makes sense to pay tribute to our Indian roots and choose our black mango tea as one of our teas of the month. The bright yellow pulp, protected by a thick waxy skin, dark green with a rosy blush, is synonymous with summer desserts. Our black tea, which is scattered with sunflower blossoms, will bring this sunshine into your tea break, along with a little caffeine boost.

Whilst lovely as a hot brew, we’re really enjoying this tea blend as a cold brew drink at the moment. Given the recent heat wave, it made sense to us to develop a range of cold drinks, and this has proven to be one of the most popular choices with customers in the shop! Cold brewing means it tastes naturally smooth and sweet, so there is no need to add sugar, like you usually would with an iced tea. Without getting too scientific, this is because cold water extracts a different chemical balance from the tea than hot water, resulting in less of that black tea bitterness.

Cold brewing is something you can easily try at home. All you need is a large bottle, a few scoops of tea, and a space in the fridge! We usually brew ours overnight, but it needs a minimum of 4-6 hours. The sunflower petals and mango cubes make this a really pretty blend to have brewing.

 

HAPPINESS INFUSION

Our happiness infusion has this name for a reason! A cheerful blend of lemon verbena, rose buds, fennel and rosehips, this is an uplifting infusion which helps to clear the senses and revitalise the spirit. Winner of a Great Taste Award, this blend harks back to the age of foraging and preserving plants and herbs for medicinal purposes.

Lemon verbena has a number of health benefits, primarily decreasing inflammation, thereby protecting muscles and boosting the immune system. It can also clear up congestion and reduce fevers. When paired with rosehip, a seed famous for its high vitamin C content, it is great for preventing and treating colds and flus. The delicate rose buds add a gentle floral flavour, as well as some colour.

As this is a wellness infusion it won’t over brew like a regular tea would. We usually recommend leaving for around 5 minutes before enjoying. If you leave the tea for longer however, you will notice that the brew, initially a light green, will darken to a russet red as the rose hips come into play and it will taste more tangy. This is a truly versatile tea as it can adapt to different taste preferences, without getting bitter.

Wimbledon Tennis Championships

The Wimbledon Tennis Championships have started, which that means that the London summer is in full swing. City summers are so different from the countryside, and believe me, when I’m like a sardine on the central line, I would much rather be in rolling fields with the breeze in my hair. However, there is something special about living in a city during the summer months.

In this weather, it’s a pleasure to walk home from work, iced tea in hand, surrounded by barbeque smells and kids playing on their bikes. With the evenings being so long now, you have time to walk through the parks or along the river and stretch your legs. It’s so much easier to be active in summer, and, inspired by the greats, many people opt to improve their backhand, with varying levels of success… The oldest, and arguably the most prestigious, tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon has a great many traditions, one of them being, for sure, leaving half of London with aching muscles and tennis elbow!

It’s lucky, really, that we are here to help! We have a number of single herb infusions and wellness blends that are great for rejuvenating you after exercise, but none can be better than the perfectly named Aching Muscles blend to get you but up and out there! A soothing mixture of chamomile, passion flower and oat straw, it smells just like sun-warmed grass. Hints of lemongrass and spearmint come through when it is brewed, lifting the blend. It is a deliciously light and refreshing infusion, and the passion flower, thought to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, helps to lower blood pressure, thus reducing muscles cramps.

A tisane, this blend will not over-brew, however, we recommend you brew this for around five minutes before you enjoy it. Generally brewed as a hot infusion, this would also work well over ice to help you cool off after exercise.

 

Tea of the month – June

Happy Midsummer!  Here at the tea house, we have chosen two teas that remind us most of summer to help us welcome it in.

Nothing can be more idyllic than a bloom-filled English summer garden. Drooping foxgloves, overblown roses, drifts of wild flowers, the English meadow is filled with romance and nostalgia. A flash of colour caught between the greens of spring and the yellows of harvest, the smells and sounds of a countryside walk can leave you feeling contented and fulfilled. With flowers and foliage at their most bountiful, they are perfect for harvesting and preserving, meaning we can use them in our tea blends, allowing you to make the most of their benefits later on.

Aptly named, our Summer Garden wellness infusion is a delicious blend of chamomile and lavender flowers. It is, quite literally, a summer garden in a tin! Known for their relaxing properties, and thought to reduce anxiety emotional stress, these two herbs brew to a clean yellow, with sweet undertones. We have also added a little ginger to lift the oils of the lavender and the cleanse the palette.

To balance this flowered, herbal infusion, we have chosen a blend more reminiscent of Southern Europe. Our Peach Green tea, with a Sencha base, truly captures the flavour of summer with its sweet and aromatic taste. With their soft, furry skins and delicious, juicy flesh, peaches are a summer dessert favourite. Lightly brewed, this tea is perfect for any time of the day. We like to add a little fresh lemon juice to ours and pour it over ice to make a refreshing peach tea lemonade!

Both of these blends are available in our tea house and online. We have a wide range of products, including our artisan loose leaf tea bags, tea boxes, and tea caddy’s. Our Summer Garden is now also available in a limited edition dark green caddy!

Iced Drinks

In was confirmed in the news this week that this May has been the hottest in the UK on record! It certainly makes a nice change from all that snow we were having a couple of months ago… How have you been coping with the heat? Here at the Tea House we have found the best way to manage is to drink copious quantities of ice tea! With so many infusions to choose from, we have enjoyed exploring different flavour combinations and sampling new concoctions and have created a number of truly delicious drinks for you guys.

Don’t worry, we still have the classics, such as iced coffee and iced matcha latte, but what we’re really excited about is the drinks we have developed through our teas, such as our blended ice chai latte, our green tea mojito, and our peach tea lemonade. We won’t be giving away the secret recipes here, but we can assure you they are absolutely delightful! Generally, we cold brew the teas that we use for our ice drinks, as we have found that the brew has a sweeter, fuller flavour. Usually, iced drinks contain tonnes of added sugars, so cold brews are a great option for those of us trying to cut down. Cold brews also contain a lot less caffeine, and are much higher in anti-oxidants and vitamin C.

Cold brews need to steep for quite a while – we usually leave ours overnight – and as a result, new flavours develop, giving the teas extra depth. Its easy to combine different blends, and you can get creative and add other ingredients to the mix too. We have found that citrus fruits, berries and mint all make great additions.

The other great thing about cold brews is that they make a great base for cocktails. We’re currently in the process of developing our cocktail menu, and you can be sure that cold brewed tea will make an appearance.

Drop in and cool off with us!

Breaking the back of the tea industry in Darjeeling

Storms are brewing in the eastern state of West Bengal, as India’s most famous tea-growing region is under conflict.

Darjeeling with its beautiful sprawling estates and unique micro-climate, by many considered to be the Mecca of tea, produces some of the world’s most expensive black premium teas, including the highly coveted First Flush teas. Prized for their distinctive flavor and aroma, Darjeeling teas, also known as the ‘Champagnes of Teas’, are largely exported to European markets.

Due to the current conflict, Darjeeling tea estates have lost an entire harvest leading to an estimated loss of $22.5 million.

The 34-day strike by West Bengal Gurkha, who are seeking statehood, announced the agitation will “turn terrible” if their demands are not met.  The strike halted the second flush tea harvest (when the leaves are at their finest), closed factories, and has idled several hundred thousand tea workers across the northern reaches of the state. Prolonged unrest may prevent the third and final harvest of autumnal tea.

Food is in short supply, traffic is unable to move unhindered, and the ban on internet services has been extend.  Except for pharmacies and hospitals, all other shops, restaurants, and hotels remain closed. Banks and ATMs are closed.  Bars and pubs are closed and outdoor sporting events canceled.  Schools and colleges have extended their summer break until the unrest ends.

The ongoing unrest in the hill has added to the strain on the tea gardens that are already reeling under the impact of climate change, a drop in global prices and high production costs.

Support Darjeeling

To show our support for the Darjeeling region, we are offering a 30% discount on our Darjeeling First Flush till the end of August.

Our Darjeeling First Flush is light and aromatic with a delicate hint of nutmeg, slight astringency and sweet undertones.

 

Can a Cup of Tea Fight Inflammation?

Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and substances they produce protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses.

However, in some diseases, like arthritis, the body’s defense system triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign invaders to fight off. This is known as autoimmune diseases.

There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation arises after a cut or scrape in the skin, site of injury or sore throats. It is short-term and the effects subside after a few days.

Chronic (sometimes called systemic) inflammation is long-term and occurs in conditions such as lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies and asthma. If left untreated, chronic inflammation can unfortunately lead to more serious health issues. Some key factors that contribute to autoimmune diseases can be due to lifestyle, genetic predisposition, lack of exercise, stress, poor diet, smoking, excessive alcohol and pollution in the environment.

Thankfully, by making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle choices may keep inflammation under control. By learning how specific foods influence the inflammatory response could be the best strategy for containing it, even though some establishments say that hard evidence is lacking.

Anti-inflammatory food diets are generally what health nutritionist advice you to eat such as fruit and veggies, whole grains, nuts which contain healthy fat to stop inflammation, fish, herbs and spices.

If you are looking to keep your inflammation levels under control through lifestyle changes and dietary means, then you may want to consider the following;

  • Eat a variety of colourful, whole, plant food in their natural state
  • Avoid or limit processed foods
  • Stay hydrated with water
  • Exercise often – ensure regular movement in your daily routine
  • Sleep – make sure you get good quality sleep and find breathing exercises and meditation to keep stress levels down

The best anti-inflammatory herbs and spices known are cloves, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne pepper, basil, sage, coriander, ginger, and peppermint.

 

Drink tea to fight inflammation

 The best teas to help fight inflammation are peppermint, fennel, cinnamon, ginger, nettle leaf, rose hips, matcha and most types of green teas. Black teas also help with keeping inflammation at bay because it is rich in quercetin, a bioflavanoid that has anti-inflammatory effects. Black tea can be high in caffeine depending on how it’s brewed so you may want to brew lighter infusions.

 Its best to try a variety of teas over the week so that your taste buds develop and learns to appreciate the healing effect of different flavours and subtle notes of sweet and woody herbs and floral and fruity characters of green teas.

 Here are some recommendations from the Camellia’s Tea Collection which we think will help the body to alkaline and reduce inflammation.

 Handmade wellness herbal infusions:

Can a Cup of Tea Help Fight Inflammation

For the healing effect try longer brews for herbal infusions to boost the tea’s potency.

Green teas:

  • Anji Bai Cha is a delicate spring green tea with a very pale green colour
  • Ceylon Green tea – this is rare and one of the finest organic green teas
  • China Gunpowder is one of the most widely drunk teas in China
  • Green Mint is invigorating which combines strength and quality
  • Lung Ching also known as “Dragonwell” renowned for its quality and flavour
  • Matcha Premium is of a ceremonial quality and classic for the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony

Avoid steeping green in water that is too hot for longer than 3-4 minutes, as this will result in a bitter brew.