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Tea Talk for Tea Lovers, Issue #005 -- Some Unexpected Tea Health Benefits, Tips for Making Iced Tea
April 08, 2014
Greetings from The Tea Talk!

Welcome to Issue 5 of Tea Talk for Tea Lovers, our monthly newsletter about the many benefits of tea for health and wellness!

Each month in the Tea Talk for Tea Lovers newsletter, we'll provide you with tea tidbits about health and well-being, recipes for teatime (or recipes made with tea!), and other tea tips to help you enjoy this healthful, delicious beverage to the fullest.

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This month...
-- Some Unexpected Health Benefits from Drinking Tea
-- Tips for Making Iced Tea
-- Tea Recipe of the Month
-- Our Monthly Tea Tip

Some Unexpected Health Benefits from Drinking Tea

Many of the health benefits of teas and herbal tisanes are becoming quite well-known, thanks to the growing popularity of these delightful beverages around the world. Not only do we love tea for how it refreshes, soothes, and warms (or cools) us, but we also love how it cleanses, protects, and strengthens us.

Teas and herbal tisanes help and heal in countless ways - they help us fight the common cold and flu viruses, boost metabolism, encourage a good night's sleep, protect us from chronic disease, and so much more.

And tea has some health benefits that perhaps aren't quite so well-known to many of us... Here are some wonderful - and unexpected - benefits of teas and herbal tisanes that may surprise you!

Tea is good for dental health and can freshen your breath, too. Black, green, and oolong teas, for example, keep your teeth healthy by stopping the development of cavity-producing bacteria in our mouths and by preventing plaque build-up, as well.

Herbal teas, such as peppermint and ginger tisanes, are effective, healthy replacements for drugstore mouthwash. Simply gargle or rinse with one of these herbal teas to freshen your breath if you are caught without a toothbrush or toothpaste. The antibacterial properties in peppermint and ginger tea will help to destroy any bacteria in your mouth, as well.

Tea can ease post-workout muscle soreness. Ginger herbal tea contains an active ingredient called 'gingerol,' which can quickly and effectively reduce those muscle aches and pains that are so common following a workout, sports, or other fun activities, like gardening or playing outdoors with your kids or grandkids.

Black tea is another good choice to help manage muscle soreness - the theaflavins (potent antioxidants) in black tea substantially reduce DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) and shorten your recovery time after a workout, too.

Tea can keep us looking younger! Teas and herbal tisanes are excellent sources of potent antioxidants. Antioxidants provide a host of health benefits, from fighting free radicals to supporting a healthy immune system to providing protection against chronic disease. Another amazing benefit that antioxidants provide is reducing the visible signs of aging (such as wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity).

And, enjoying tea provides you with some extra hydration, which is also so very good for your skin's health and appearance.

No matter which teas or herbal tisanes you prefer - Rooibos, black, white, ginger, hibiscus, cinnamon, green... (the list goes on and on!), enjoy and drink up for good dental health, to lessen pain, and to encourage your skin's smooth, youthful glow!

Please visit our website at to learn more about how very good teas and herbal tisanes are for physical, mental, and emotional health. And remember, teas and herbal tisanes can have some potential side effects, so please be sure to stay informed about the teas in your tea cupboard. Ask your herbal practitioner, naturopathic or homeopathic doctor, or other healthcare provider about the best teas for you and your family, too.

Did you know... We often hear that we should drink at least 8 - 8 oz. glasses of water each day. But, did you know that any beverage containing water (including tea) will meet your body's hydration needs? Research has shown that the body's hydration levels are the same whether you enjoy water or tea.

Tips for Making Iced Tea

Warmer weather is just around the corner in many parts of the world, which means that many of us are eagerly looking forward to Iced Tea Season!

If you've been thinking of making your own iced tea or have very recently ventured into the world of home-made iced tea, you'll find that making iced tea is so simple, and iced tea made from scratch is absolutely delicious, as well.

Whether you're using loose-leaf or bagged tea; brewing black, green, or an herbal iced tea; making a frosty glass of iced tea just for you or enough for a big party this evening, keep these iced-tea tips in mind.

-- The general rule of thumb is to use about twice as many teabags or twice as much loose-leaf tea when you're brewing tea to enjoy iced, rather than hot. This will ensure the tea is strong enough to hold its wonderful flavor when you've chilled it and added ice.

-- Plan to make only as much iced tea as you will drink in a day or two, because older iced tea won't taste quite so fresh or flavorful.

-- Use fresh, clean, good quality water so you will only taste your delicious tea (and not chlorine or any other funny - or unhealthy - taste).

-- When making an herbal iced tea, remember to cover your herbal tea while it's brewing, so you don't lose any of those wonderful beneficial oils.

-- If you're planning to sweeten your tea, consider adding the sweetener to the hot tea (rather than later, when the tea is chilled) to make sure the sweetener will fully dissolve.

-- Sweet or savory flavored ice cubes add a special touch and additional flavors and textures to your iced tea. You can freeze fresh lemonade, limeade, or another liquid into ice cubes, and adding a mint or basil leaf, a small piece of fruit, or a bit of lemon or lime rind to each ice cube is a pretty, tasty touch.

While it may be tempting to just pick up a bottle or two of ready-made iced tea, making your own iced tea is so fast and easy, and the taste and health benefits are amazing! And, the flavor combinations and recipe variations are endless with home-made iced tea, so you'll never tire of this refreshing, healthful beverage.

You'll find some delicious iced tea recipes on our website, including recipes for Iced Rooibos Tea and Iced Peppermint Tea.

'Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary.' - Ancient Chinese proverb

Tea Recipe of the Month - Lemony-Chamomile Cookies

If you're ready to venture into the world of baking with tea, these mouthwatering shortbread cookies are the perfect place to start. So simple to make, their lemony taste and aroma is beautifully accented by a mild hint of chamomile tea.

Lemony-Chamomile Cookies

1 cup butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar
1 lemon
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons loose chamomile tea leaves (you can use loose-leaf chamomile tea or, if you don't have any on hand, simply cut open a chamomile tea bag or two)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling the dough

Preheat your oven to 325F.

Cream the butter on its own for a few moments until it's light and quite fluffy. Gradually add the sugar, beating in just a bit at a time. Cream the mixture well.

Wash and rinse the lemon, and gently pat it dry. Then, firmly roll the lemon on your kitchen counter for a few seconds to help release the juices. Grate or zest the lemon, taking just the zest (the colorful outer part of the rind), not the more bitter 'pith' or white part just beneath the zest.

Stir the fragrant, freshly grated lemon zest into the butter/sugar mixture. Add the juice from half of the lemon to the mixture, as well, and mix thoroughly. (Set the other half of the lemon aside to add to a cup of tea later.)

Stir in the chamomile tea leaves, and then add the flour. (This will be quite a stiff batter.)

Gently roll or pat the dough to 1/4 - 1/2" thickness on a floured board or countertop. Cut the dough with your favorite cookie cutters. (This recipe also works like a charm with a cookie mold, so press the dough into a lovely cookie mold, if you'd rather.)

Place the cookies an inch or two apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the middle of the oven until lightly golden around the edges (or longer if you like a crispier cookie).

Cool on a rack, or go ahead and enjoy these lovely, melt-in-your-mouth cookies right away, if you can't wait.

This recipe doubles well, and these cookies freeze very well. A wonderful snack to have on hand to enjoy with a cup of tea in the afternoon!

Our Monthly Tea Tip

If you've been thinking of growing your own herbs for fresh herbal teas, peppermint is an excellent choice to begin with! So easy to grow, this pretty herb will thrive with little attention on a sunny windowsill or in a corner of your yard.

But, keep in mind that true peppermint is a sterile hybrid that cannot produce seed. As such, start your own peppermint plant from a cutting, or ask a friend with an herb garden to share a peppermint plant (root and all) with you.

Bypass those packets of 'peppermint' seeds at the store - they actually contain some other type of mint seeds (such as spearmint).

Learn more about growing and harvesting your own peppermint here.

Wishing you a peaceful, tea-filled day,
Della @ The Tea Talk

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Questions or comments? We'd love to hear from you! You're welcome to reply to this newsletter, or you can contact us at And please feel free to share this issue of Tea Talk for Tea Lovers with a fellow tea lover!

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