The Tea Blog – News & Notes from The Republic of Tea

Caffeine In Tea Compared to Other Beverages

caffeine in teaIn today’s fast-paced world, many Americans consume tea and other beverages containing caffeine as a way to keep up with the rigors of day-to-day life.  However, when it comes to caffeine and its effects on the body, not all caffeinated beverages are created equal.  Let’s look at the top caffeinated beverages most commonly consumed and how they compare to caffeine in tea.

Caffeine in Coffee
Beginning alphabetically, here is a breakdown of the stats on coffee.  Keeping in mind that levels may vary based on grinding and brewing procedures, a typical 8 ounce serving of brewed coffee may contain anywhere from 95 mg to 200 mg.  Consuming too much coffee as a stimulant has been reported to cause numerous side effects such as an upset stomach, feelings of anxiety, headache and problems with insomnia.

Caffeine in Energy Drinks
Often marketed toward the younger crowd, energy drinks are made using synthetic caffeine and other stimulants.  Energy drinks contain anywhere from 6 mg to the sizeable amount of 242 mg of caffeine per serving, depending on the brand and serving size.  These drinks offer little to no health benefits, and have been suspected of causing adverse effects on the body.

Caffeine in Sodas
Soft drink.  Soda.  Pop.  Soda pop.  Whatever you call it, sodas often contain a fair amount of caffeine in addition to other not-so-great ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and phosphoric acid.  A typical 12 ounce serving contains anywhere from 16 to 55 mg.  Like energy drinks, soda offers very little by means of health benefits and has been blamed for a variety of concerning side effects such as diabetes.

Caffeine in Tea
When it comes to caffeine in tea, there is a wide range of caffeine levels from which to choose.

Zero Caffeine: For those who prefer to sip caffeine-free teas, there is a large selection of herbal teas available.  Unlike coffee, which may still contain up to 12 mg of caffeine per serving even when decaffeinated, herbal teas are truly caffeine-free, so you can sip with confidence knowing you are stimulant-free.

Low Caffeine: Nothing offers a gentle pick-me-up quite like a nice cup of tea.  For those looking for a mellow boost, 100% white tea and premium green teas contain less than a quarter of the amount of caffeine as that in a cup of coffee.  Black tea is also available in many varieties and contains about half the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.  Bear in mind, caffeine content levels may vary slightly depending on the variety of tea selected, whether you are using tea bags or full-leaf loose tea, and on tea preparation and steeping times.

High Caffeine: Derived from premium teas boosted with green tea extract, our HiCAF® line of signature teas is a healthy choice for those looking for an extra charge in their day, without the ill effects of other caffeinated beverages.  Containing slightly more caffeine than a cup of coffee, the natural caffeine and L-Theanine found in green tea extract and tea leaves combine to give you a hearty, calming boost without the harsh caffeine buzz other beverages tend to bring.

caffeine chart

With the number of options above, it’s easy to see why tea is a convenient choice when it comes to caffeine preference. Further, the antioxidants and flavonoids found in tea are known to offer up an extensive list of health benefits as well.  It’s a healthy beverage that can’t be beat. The next time you need to reboot and recharge during a busy day, steep a cup of tea and pause to enjoy, sip by sip.

 

Posted in New and Fresh, Tea Knowledge

Green Tea Cleanse: A Guide to Detoxify and Feel Better

green tea cleanseDo you find that you exercise less or practice poor eating habits over the long winter months, leaving you feeling rundown and less energetic?  Well, have no fear, because summer is here!  Just as spring and summer are the perfect time for cleaning out your house and yard from clutter that may have accumulated over a long winter, it is also the ideal time to do a green tea body cleanse. A body cleanse can free you from toxins that may have built up after months of bundling up under layers of clothing and not taking the best care of yourself.  Premium green tea is a beverage that refreshes, rehydrates and may help to cleanse your system of unhealthy toxins.

How to Do a Proper Green Tea Cleanse
Performing a cleanse with green tea is easy.  Simply start incorporating several cups of premium green tea into your diet throughout the day and let the healthy beverage work it’s magic over the next few weeks.  Along with a healthy, nutrient-rich diet and exercise, the antioxidants in green tea help to flush toxins from your system while aiding in digestion and keeping you hydrated.  Containing a small amount of caffeine, less than a quarter contained in a cup of coffee, green tea is perfect for all day sipping, though there are plenty of decaffeinated varieties available as well, if you prefer.  Repeat this cleanse several times throughout the year or any time you start to feel rundown.  Keep in mind you should always consult a physician before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise routine.

How to Get the Most out of Your Green Tea Cleanse
In addition to using green tea as a body cleanse, the antioxidants and catechins found in premium green tea have made it well known for offering up a wide variety of health benefits.  Here are a few pointers for getting the most out of the antioxidants contained in green tea.

1) Select only Premium Varieties
Choose tea only from a source with a long record of blending and marketing organic and exotic teas from around the world.  There are many varieties of premium green teas available for your health and enjoyment.

2) Steep Properly
Correctly steeping green tea will further ensure that you are maximizing its antioxidants and healthful properties.  First, never steep premium green tea using boiling water; using water that is too hot risks scalding the delicate leaves and compromising its taste.  Be sure to remove the water from your heat source when piping hot, but just short of coming to a rolling boil.  Secondly, do not over-steep.  Just as using water that is too hot may damage green tea, so may steeping for too long.  Premium green tea bags require just one to three minutes, full-leaf loose green tea needs two to four minutes.

tea steeping chart

3) Consume Correctly
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.  Live the actual moment.  Only this moment is life.”  This quote from Thích Nhất Hạnh perfectly reinforces our mantra: Enjoy sip by sip, rather than gulp by gulp.  We believe taking the time to pause and truly appreciate your green tea as you cleanse will also reinvigorate your mind and spirit.

Try a green tea cleanse and discover how good it feels to detoxify and refresh your body.  After all, nothing deserves a good spring-cleaning more than your body.

Posted in New and Fresh, Tea Knowledge

Reduce Stress with a Cup of Premium Black Tea

black tea benefitsReduce Stress with a Cup of Premium Black Tea

Black tea is the most popular variety of tea consumed by Americans.  Considering that our fast-paced way of life tends to be immensely hectic, and that black tea is thought to help calm the feelings of stress, one might say that the two are perfectly suited for one another.  Several attributes make premium black tea a calming elixir in today’s stressful world.

Peace of Mind in Production
Find tranquility in the knowledge that at The Republic of Tea, we procure only the finest teas obtained from prized tea gardens.  Premium black tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant.  Tea leaves are harvested and then withered and rolled until oxidization occurs.  Leaves are then fired to dry them and draw out their flavor.  This process of producing premium black tea yields a beverage believed to be full of healthful properties.  Premium black tea contains antioxidants including polyphenols, flavonoids and amino acids.  In addition to offering up many health benefits, it is thought that these components also contribute to the relief of stress.

Stress-free Selections
There is no reason to stress about a lack of selection, black tea offers a large variety of choices.

Flavor: Often described as full-bodied with robust taste and a deep caramel color, premium black tea is versatile and easily blends with a variety of fruits, spices and other flavors to create many intriguing infusions.  From traditional blends such as British Breakfast Black Tea, to luscious infusions like Cardamom Crème Brûlée Black Tea there is a variety available for even the most discriminating sipper.  While these flavors taste decadent, do not stress about counting calories: black tea is naturally fat free and calorie-free so you can indulge without guilt.

Hot or Iced: Black tea is delicious hot and may also be served over ice or enjoyed from our selection of refreshing Glass Bottled Iced black teas, a relaxing way to unwind and de-stress.

Full-Leaf Loose or Tea Bags: Available in full-leaf loose, or in our unbleached, non-GMO tea bags, at The Republic of Tea, we stress quality and source only the highest-quality tea grown in the premier tea gardens of the world. Whether you prefer the rich flavor of full-leaf loose black tea or the convenience of black tea bags, either way you will be enjoying high quality, premium black tea.

Caffeine: No need to stress about caffeine, we have a premium black tea available guaranteed to suit your preference.

If you like to unwind and relieve stress late in the day, or if you simply prefer low caffeine alternative, there is a large selection of decaffeinated black teas from which to choose.  A typical cup of premium black tea contains half the caffeine as a cup of coffee, meaning you can get a gentle pick-me-up without the stressed-out feeling that consuming too much caffeine too quickly can bring.

If you need a little extra energy to get you through the day, HiCAF® Teas are a healthful alternative to coffee that will help to ease stress and leave you feeling invigorated.

Relaxing Ritual
Steeping premium black tea is simple and stress-free:

1) Heat fresh water to a rolling boil.  While water is heating, we suggest using this time to relax with quiet meditation.

2) Once water is hot, pour over black tea and time the steeping: black tea bags and full-leaf loose black teas will require three to five minutes.  This is the perfect opportunity to further reduce stress by taking a moment to practice some deep breathing.  Relax and inhale the enchanting aromas of premium black tea.

3) Remove the tea, sip and savor.  Take time to notice and appreciate the intricate taste and flavors.  Feel stress begin to subside.

With its appealing flavors, variety of choices and many health benefits, it is easy to see why black tea is the perfect tea to sit back and enjoy, sip by sip.  The next time you feel the stress from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, steep a cup of premium black tea and discover why it is the number one choice of so many Americans.

Posted in New and Fresh, Tea Knowledge

Five Teas to Drink During Your Natural Detox

natural detoxTo detox means to rid your body of and abstaining from toxic substances over a period of time, usually a few weeks.  This practice has gained popularity in recent years as many people have begun to take a deeper interest in improving their health and well-being.  Drinking tea can be very beneficial during the detoxing process.  Let us take a look at the advantages of drinking tea during a natural detox and five varieties that will keep your body hydrated and preforming at its best.

The Benefits
There are a few ways drinking tea during a natural detox will help to support and enhance the process.

1) Removes Toxins
The antioxidants contained in most varieties of tea are thought to help flush the body of toxins such as those caused by too much caffeine, food additives, smoke, alcohol and other environmental factors.
2) Aids in Digestion
Teas such as Dandelion SuperHerb® and Biodynamic® Ginger Tea not only taste great, but the herbs used in these teas are thought to help boost the body’s digestive system, further helping to eliminate damaging toxins.
3) Suppresses Appetite
Adhering to a natural, nutrient-dense diet along with hydrating by drinking premium teas can help to curb the urge to indulge in less healthy, over-processed foods.
4) Naturally Energizes the Body
The small amount of caffeine contained in teas such as premium green or 100% white tea is known for giving the body a gentle boost without the harsh buzz that other caffeinated beverages often bring. It is perfect if you need a little lift during your natural detox.
5) Hydrates
Much like water, but with many additional health benefits, drinking tea helps to rehydrate the body and keep it operating efficiently.

The VarieTEAS
We offer a beneficial selection of organic rooibos detox teas as a healthy way to aid in cleansing your system.
1) get clean® – No. 7 Herb Tea for Detoxing
As the name suggests, this caffeine-free herbal detoxing tea contains organic rooibos, milk thistle, red clover and sarsaparilla, dandelion, chicory and burdock root to help stimulate the liver and get clean®The Get Clean Stackable Tea Tin is a two-week supply of specially formulated teas available to help you detox from morning to night.
2) get relief® – No. 9 Herb Tea for Digestion
As mentioned, boosting digestion helps to reinforce a natural detox and this flavorful tea is specially designed to do just that.  Organic rooibos, cinnamon, anise, peppermint and stevia combine to soothe and get relief® for your stomach with each sip.
3) get probiotic® – No. 18 Herb Tea for Digestive Health
Another variety created to aid in digestion is our get probiotic® herbal tea.  Organic rooibos couples with the potent probiotic GanedenBC30® to balance and support your digestive system.
4) get charged® – No. 3 Herb Tea for Energy
If going through a natural detox is leaving you feeling sluggish, this tea is was designed to help you get charged® and boost your energy.  Eleuthero, Chinese ginseng and Ashwagandha blend with organic rooibos, hibiscus, gotu kola and blueberry for a fruity tasting tea that offers a natural pick-me-up.
5) get it going® – No. 2 Herb Tea for Constipation
Finally, you can’t flush your system of harmful toxins if you are unable to get it going®.  Organic rooibos and senna leaves combine to help keep you regular while ginger relieves cramping and sweet licorice helps to soothe the gastrointestinal tract.

If you are interested in trying a natural detox, remember that it is important to consult with your physician beforehand.  Along with clean eating and an active lifestyle, drinking caffeine-free tea during a detox will aid digestion, keep you hydrated and help you to reap the benefits of this healthy routine.

Posted in New and Fresh, Tea Knowledge

Chai Tea: Benefits With Tradition and Charm

benefits of chai teaIn India, drinking traditional chai tea is a core part of day-to-day life.  From morning until night, citizens pause to sip the enchanting beverage on street corners, in cafes and restaurants, while at work and at play, and from the comforts of home.  As more and more Americans are recently discovering, there is a reason for chai’s increasing popularity.  Not only does it offer up intriguing flavors and captivating aromas, chai tea is also thought to benefit health and overall well-being.

A Crash Course in Chai Tea
If you are new to tea, or have simply not yet tried the exotic infusion that is chai tea, you are probably curious about what it is.  Traditional chai tea is the blend of premium tea with the imperial spices of cinnamon, orange peel, ginger, cardamom seeds, star anise, cloves and black pepper.  Chai tea may be prepared using black or green tea and even red rooibos tea.  Traditionally, it is prepared by simmering chai tea with water, milk and honey resulting in a beverage that is rich in savory sweet flavor with a spicy finish.

The Benefits of Chai Tea
Like all tea, chai is thought to offer up many health benefits.  For centuries, Eastern medicine has believed that chai tea may benefit the immune system.

Rich in Antioxidants: Since chai is prepared using different varieties of tea, the benefits it offers vary as well, but each variety, such as black tea, contains antioxidants that are thought to fight free radicals in the body.  The ground spices used in chai also increase its health benefits and are thought to aid in digestion.

Healthy Honey: The addition of honey in chai preparation also adds to its benefits.  Honey contains healthy antioxidants and flavonoids as well, and is often used to help soothe a sore throat.  Chai Spice Honey for Tea combines Grade A white honey with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and clove, making each sip a truly decadent treat.

Cuts Caffeine: Perhaps the biggest benefit to chai tea is its use as a caffeine reducer or replacer for those looking for an alternative to coffee and other caffeinated beverages.  The robust body and complex flavors of chai tea make it an excellent substitute for coffee.  Republic Chai® Black Tea contains less than half the caffeine of a similar sized cup of coffee while Republic Chai® Green Tea contains less than a quarter the amount of caffeine in coffee.  Both are a tasty choice whenever a gentle boost is needed.  For a caffeine-free treat, Republic Chai® Red Tea blends South African rooibos red tea with traditional chai spices for a hearty, flavorful beverage without the harsh caffeine buzz coffee can bring.

Tranquil Tradition: Finally, steeping a hot cup of chai tea, relaxing while holding the warm tea cup in your hands, breathing in the spicy aromas, and sipping the sweet savory flavors is sure to benefit your overall sense of calm and well-being anytime you need to unwind.

There is no need to travel to India to experience all chai tea has to offer!  There are numerous chai varieties and recipes featuring chai tea available for endless exciting possibilities.  We encourage you to give chai a try!  Its intriguing flavor and many benefits are sure to take you on a journey toward increased well-being and bring you peace of mind anytime you feel the need for an exotic escape.

Below is a handy tea-steeping chart to make clear the temperature of water needed and steeping times for each variety.

tea steeping chart

Posted in New and Fresh, Tea Knowledge

Steeping Tea in Style: Must Have Tea Accessories

tea accessoriesIn addition to the numerous varieties of tea available, there are also countless tools and accessories to help make your tea time a simple, yet sophisticated, affair.  From teaspoons to tea kettles, we have a smart selection of sipware that will help you steep in style.

Tools of the Trade
Steeping tea always begins with heating fresh water.  Whether you prefer to heat your water on the stovetop, or electrically, a tea kettle is a must-have accessory.  A Stainless Electric Kettle will heat water quickly and efficiently, while looking trendy with its elegant gooseneck spout.  If you prefer a more traditional approach, a Click Kettle is effective on the stovetop with a classic, yet modern stainless steel appearance.

Next, select what type of tea you will be preparing.  Tea bags are a popular and convenient choice, while full-leaf loose teas will reveal the full flavor and characteristics of premium tea.  If using full-leaf loose tea, you will need to incorporate the use of an accessory such as a tea strainer or infuser.  Simply measure out a teaspoon of full-leaf loose tea per serving into the accessory.  After the full-leaf loose tea or tea bags are ready to go and the water has reached the proper temperature, it is time to pour the hot water overtop and start steeping.

Timeless Teapots
When it comes to tea accessories, we think the teapot is one of the most charming!  With teapots made from clay, glass, cast iron and porcelain there is a style that is sure to meet yours.  If you prefer a classic look, our new Teapot of Prosperity may be just what you are looking for.  With its durable enamel-lined cast iron and classic Japanese design, this teapot looks both trendy and traditional.  If you prefer a more modern look, the Clarity Glass Teapot might be what you have in mind.  Handsomely crafted from glass and including a built-in glass infuser, this teapot makes steeping tea both stylish and convenient.  Rest assured, there is a teapot available that will bring character to your kitchen and set the ambiance for your tea-steeping rituals.

Trendy Tea Cups and Mugs
Premium, high quality tea deserves to be sipped in style.  Our tea cups and mugs range from classic to contemporary and are an accessory you should not be without.  From whimsical designs like our porcelain Big Butterfly Mug, to our clear, lightweight Pavina Double Wall Glass Tea Cups, there is a selection to suit your fancy.  Tea cups and mugs also make great gifts!

On The Go with Travel Mugs
Our selection of stylish travel tea mugs will allow you to take your tea with you and keep it hot or cold while you are away from the comforts of home.  The Sip by Sip Travel Tea Press, Personal Carafes and Glass Tumblers with infusers even allow you to steep while on the go.  Accessorize with one of these fashionable mugs and never be without your favorite teas again!

The Coolest Iced Tea Accessories
As we draw nearer to summer and warmer weather, you do not want to find yourself without some must-have iced tea accessories.  From glasses that reduce condensation, to pitchers that come with their own infusers, there are accessories to help you cool off and serve our award-winning iced teas in style.  Show off your iced-tea steeping skills and impress your friends the next time you serve iced tea with a carafe and tea cup set.  The Mediterranean-inspired Windowpane Iced Tea Set adds a touch of elegance, while the Vintage Glass Iced Tea Set brings a sense of nostalgia with mason jar glasses, complete with straws and lids.

This is just a snippet of the latest fun and convenient tea accessories available.  Have a look around to see what you may need to add to your tea-preparation accoutrement.  You deserve to make your next tea time an enjoyable and stylish experience.

Posted in New and Fresh, Tea Knowledge

Arigatou, Japan!

sushi-groupOur last day in Japan started off like most days: with hot green tea. However, this cup was a bit more unique: It was served to us at 6 am alongside an incredible sushi breakfast at the world-renown Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market. Yes, we enjoyed fresh tuna, eel, crab, shrimp and a variety of other fresh fishes just after sunrise – and it was incredible. And what better palate cleanser than sips of green tea in between bites!

fish_market

This final day only got better as it progressed, and by dinnertime, we were enjoying the meal of our lives. Our group from The Republic of Tea took over a 150-year old sushi restaurant (Bentenyama Miyako Sushi) headed by a fourth-generation sushi chef. As customary, it began with a cup of classic Sencha green tea and very quickly progressed. Dish after dish began emerging from behind the counter: ahi tuna with flakes of nori seaweed over rice; sea urchin; freshly cooked crab legs; red snapper sashimi; clam soup; seafood egg custard, and then the pièce de resistance: eight beautifully crafted nigiri, each topped with something magnificent from the Tsukiji Market. Eel, smoked salmon, snapper, yellow-tail, squid, tuna, mackerel, shad and snow crab were displayed before us in amazement. The taste was unlike anything we had experienced back home – much fresher and smoother.

And with full bellies, our trip came to a close. It has been an incredible journey and we have gained so much knowledge about Japan’s history with tea. From learning how the tea is grown to how its use in tea ceremonies has been an integral part of the culture for centuries. We discovered so much about all the unique cuisine types, from the familiar sushi to the beautifully intricate Buddhist lunch we enjoyed atop a hillside in Kyoto. Cup by cup and sip by sip, we got to know Japan a bit better. Goodbye and arigatou!

sushisushi2sashimiurchin

Posted in New and Fresh, Tea Travels

Green Tea 24/7!

matcha products In Japan, the flavor of green tea is as prevalent as vanilla in the United States. Green tea or matcha flavor is in EVERYTHING, from donuts to noodles and everything in between. Our group of tea lovers has excitedly tried a number of new treats on our five-day tea journey of Japan and haven’t been disappointed yet.

Green tea’s popularity is not surprising given Japan’s intertwined relationship between tea and culture. Nearly every historical place we’ve visited includes tea as part of its rich history. We learned how Buddhist monks began incorporating tea into their daily life to keep them focused throughout their prayers way back in the 9th century. We learned how samurai warriors would drink tea before battle. And we learned how a geisha’s evening of entertainment, even today, begins with a tea ceremony. Tea touches just about every cultural aspect of Japanese life, and has for many centuries. And with Japan’s fondness for culinary innovations, it’s no surprise that green tea has made its way into so many snacks, treats and dishes.

matcha dinnerGreen tea is a vital part of today’s food scene in Japan. Every meal we’ve had has included tea, primarily at the end. For one lunch, we all had hot noodle dishes, so the chef made sure we were served iced green tea at the end to balance the meal’s temperatures. At others, we were served more roasted genmaicha style green teas that paired well with the various foods. You may have to ask for a glass of water with your meal, but green tea will always be included.

Posted in New and Fresh, Tea Knowledge, Tea Travels

7 Facts You Didn’t Know About Matcha

matcha powderIn honor of matcha’s rich history and legacy in Japanese culture, we offer today’s blog topic: 7 Facts You Didn’t Know About Matcha

  1. Matcha has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of all known “super foods.” With an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value of 1384 TE/G, a single cup has more than 5x the antioxidants of blueberries.blueberries
  2. To produce matcha, the tea bushes are covered with shades of cloth at least 20 days prior to harvest. This shades the plants from direct sunlight, increasing the levels of chlorophyll and enhancing the production of L-Theanine.
  3. Matcha creates a calm alertness thanks to L-Theanine.
  4. Samurai used to drink Matcha tea before going into battle due to its energizing properties.
  5. The Japanese have been drinking Matcha for more than 800 years.
  6. Matcha is the traditional tea served in Japanese tea ceremonies.
  7. Matcha is an ingredient in many mainstream Japanese foods, including Kit Kat Bars and Pocky.IMG_8706
Posted in New and Fresh, Tea Knowledge, Tea Travels