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Tea Talk for Tea Lovers, Issue #010 -- Choosing Good Water for Healthier Tea, Recipe of the Month
September 17, 2014
|Greetings from The Tea Talk!
Welcome to Issue 10 of Tea Talk for Tea Lovers, our monthly newsletter about the many benefits of tea for health and wellness!
Choosing Good Water for a Healthier Cup of TeaTeas and herbal tisanes are such beneficial choices for supporting good health and wellness. Whether you adore green tea, can't do without your daily 'cuppa' black tea, or have a tea cupboard well-stocked with all sorts of caffeine-free herbal tisanes, you'll benefit from the multitude of ways this beloved beverage is good for physical, mental, and emotional health.
As you make your next pot of tea, give some thought to the water you're using to make your tea, too! Although we tend to take water for granted, the quality of water used to make tea will not only affect the taste of the tea, but how healthful and beneficial it is, as well.
Whether you use water from a well, a public water supply, or bottled water to make your tea, here are some things to keep in mind about water for tea, as well as some suggestions for ways to make healthier (and safer) water choices.
Public Water SuppliesIf water from your kitchen tap comes from a public water supply, chances are it may have some questionable additions. Here are some unexpected additions that could be in your public water supply...
-- Chlorine and/or Fluoride - In many areas, government bodies have chosen to add chlorine (to kill bacteria) and fluoride (to prevent dental cavities) to public water supplies. However, the safety of both chlorine and fluoride has been questioned, and research suggests that long-term exposure to these can have harmful effects on physical and mental health.
-- Pharmaceutical residue - Widespread use of prescription and over-the-counter medications means that our water supply may contain pharmaceutical residue - not only unintentionally through human waste, but also on purpose as unused or expired medications are flushed rather than being returned to the pharmacy.
-- Heavy metal residue - Some water supplies may be contaminated by seepage from industrial heavy metal compounds, as well. And, exposure to excess amounts of heavy metals or other toxins (such as mercury, hexavalent chromium, lead, and arsenic) can potentially cause serious health concerns for the human body and mind - including risk of respiratory, neurological, gastrointestinal, and skin issues, as well as cancer.
-- Chemical fertilizers and pesticides - The run-off from the chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other toxins applied to lawns and gardens has been associated with numerous health risks, such as chronic disease and hormonal damage/disruption.
-- Contaminants from outdated pipes - And, water often travels through old pipes to reach our homes, providing opportunity for additional harmful contaminants to leech from those pipes into the water by the time it pours out of our household taps.
Well WaterWhile well water can be a safe, healthy, delicious option in many areas, some natural water supplies are contaminated by run-off from synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals in widespread use by non-organic farmers, or by toxic residue from nearby industry.
Bottled WaterBecause of some of the risks associated with our public water supplies, bottled water has become increasingly popular over the past few years. However, the bottled water industry isn't as yet well regulated, and, while some bottled water does come from natural, healthy sources, other types of bottled water are little more than filtered tap water.
Some tips for ensuring healthy water (and a healthier cup of tea)If you're concerned that the water you use to make your hot or iced tea isn't as clean or healthy as you'd like, here are a few tips to ensure safer water choices for you and your household.
-- Learn about your water supply. If you are using public water, ask your water company for a copy of their yearly water-quality report. Or, if you're using well water, have your water tested every year by a certified lab. Once you have the water quality report, you'll know how safe your water is, and if there are any contaminants you need to deal with.
-- Use a water filter. Whether you keep a carafe-style filter in your fridge, add a faucet-mounted or under-sink filter to your kitchen sink, or install a house-wide filter, a water filter will improve the taste of your water, and help protect you and your family from many of the potential dangers in your drinking water, too. Be sure to research before you buy, so you are confident the filter will remove as many harmful toxins and contaminants from your water as possible.
-- If you're a bottled water drinker, choose bottled water labeled as 'natural,' 'spring,' or 'mineral' water, so you will know your water is coming from natural sources and hasn't had beneficial minerals and elements removed. And, for additional protection for your health, make sure bottles are made with BPA-free plastic, and don't leave or store bottles in warm or hot locations (like your car).
Small choices we make each day can add up and make a big difference! Although it may not seem like much to choose healthier, safer water for your tea, add this healthful decision to other little smart choices you make throughout the day, and you will be doing a world of good for your body, mind, and spirit!
As always, have a chat with your naturopathic or homeopathic doctor, herbal practitioner, or other qualified healthcare provider about any decisions or questions you have about your health and wellness, including safe and beneficial water, teas, and herbal tisanes. She or he would be happy to help you make the best choices for you and your family. And please visit us at http://www.theteatalk.com to learn more about this most beneficial (and delicious) of beverages! :)
Did you know... Warm, moist teabags make wonderful healing compresses! For example, the next time you have a throbbing tooth or sore gums, try tucking a warm, moistened peppermint teabag directly on the achy spot for some natural, soothing relief.
Tea Recipe of the Month - Pumpkin RollThis is my sister's favorite sweet treat! Light but flavorful, this Pumpkin Roll is the perfect autumn dessert for a dinner with friends, a special tea party, or even just to make afternoon teatime a bit of a celebration.
Pumpkin RollYou’ll need…
-- 3 eggs
-- 1 c. sugar
-- 2/3 c. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
-- 1 tsp. lemon juice
-- 3/4 c. flour
-- 1 tsp. baking powder
-- 1 1/2 tsp. ginger
-- 2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-- dash of nutmeg
-- 1 c. finely chopped pecans or walnuts
-- icing sugar
To make the Pumpkin Roll...
Preheat your oven to 375F. Generously butter a 15" x 10" rimmed cookie sheet or pan, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and spices.
Beat the eggs until they are very thick, and gradually beat in the sugar. Fold in the pumpkin and lemon juice, and then fold in the sifted dry ingredients.
Spread the mixture evenly into the buttered pan, and sprinkle the nuts evenly over top. Pop the cake into the oven, and set the oven timer for 15 minutes.
While you're waiting for the cake to bake, lay a clean towel on the countertop, and sprinkle icing sugar generously over top. Once the cake has finished cooking (when the edges are just beginning to turn golden and the cake springs back after you've pressed it with your finger), remove it from the oven and turn it immediately out onto the towel. Carefully remove the parchment paper.
Beginning at the short side, carefully roll up the cake (and the towel along with it). Cool the rolled cake completely. Then, unroll the cake, fill it with Cream Cheese Filling (you'll find the recipe below), and roll up the cake again. Serve immediately or chill and then serve.
Lovely on its own or with a dollop of whipped cream! And, of course, even better served with a cup of autumny tea, like cinnamon or ginger.
Cream Cheese Filling
Beat together 8 oz. cream cheese, 4 tbsp. butter, 1 c. icing sugar, and 2 tsp. vanilla or maple flavoring until creamy smooth.
'Tea is a divine herb.' - Xu Guangqi
Our Monthly Tea TipIf you're a loose-leaf tea lover (or are thinking about a change from teabags), you have quite a few options available for making your tea. Whether you already have a tried-and-true brewing routine or are new to loose-leaf teas, you may find a new favorite method here!
Many of us who enjoy loose-leaf tea use infusers. Made from fine mesh, an infuser can simply be filled with loose-leaf tea and popped into a mug or pot. All sorts of styles and shapes of infusers are available, from the classic mesh balls or 'pincers' to the unusual and unique!
A strainer can also be used to make loose-leaf tea. Tea strainers are tiny colanders (typically made from silver, stainless steel, or bamboo) that rest in a tea cup or mug, ready to catch and prevent any tea leaves from reaching your cup. After the loose-leaf tea has steeped in a teapot, pour the tea through the strainer into the cup, and enjoy! Some strainers come with drip catchers, too, where you can place the strainer afterwards to prevent tea drips on your table, tablecloth, or mug rug.
Many online and specialty tea shops also sell paper tea filters, for those of us who love the convenience and portability of teabags, or like to blend a few favorite loose-leaf teas together. So easy to use (just fill the filters with your favorite tea or teas, and then make and steep your tea as usual), these make lovely gifts that are easy to personalize for the lucky recipient, as well.
A French press is another wonderful way to make loose-leaf tea. Once you've added the loose-leaf tea and hot water to the press, steep your tea as usual, and then pour through the built-in strainer to sip and savor. A French press is perfect for herbal teas, too - very convenient for adding cinnamon sticks, Rooibos, or bits of peeled, sliced ginger for additional flavor and health benefits.
However you make loose-leaf tea, you're sure to notice a richer, less bitter, more complex flavor, as compared to store-bought teabags.
Wishing you a peaceful, tea-filled day,
Della @ The Tea Talk
Visit us at www.theteatalk.com to learn more about tea's many benefits for your body, mind, and spirit! You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theteatalk and on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/theteatalk.
Questions or comments? We'd love to hear from you! You're welcome to reply to this newsletter, or you can contact us at email@example.com. And please feel free to share this issue of Tea Talk for Tea Lovers with a fellow tea lover!
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