Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tisanes: Lemongrass Pandan

Summer is almost here. 
The summer heat needs a refreshing and cooling element for those of us who cannot bear drinking anything warm or hot.
Tisanes are excellent remedies for the heat and added flavor that has health benefits.
This is an excellent tisanes, it cools, mildly detoxifies, aids in digestion, refreshes and enlivens.
This tisanes has so much flavor from the herbs used that it does not require a sweetener however if desired a little rock sugar is an excellent healthy addition.
A squeeze of lemon or lime will also add a very welcome flavor.


  • 150 grams lemongrass - pounded to release the flavor
  • Screwpine  leaves - tied in a knot
  • 5 slices ginger - lightly bruised
  • 1.8 litres water
  • 40 grams rock sugar or honey rock sugar to taste


  1. In a non metalic pot, add the ingredients except rock sugar. 
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Add rock sugar and stir until dissolved. 
  4. Discard lemongrass stalks, ginger and screwpine leaves. 
  5. Drink warm or chilled

Friday, May 17, 2013

Ba Bao Cha - 八寶茶 Eight Treasure Tisanes

This is a traditional tisanes of the Hui and Dong Xiang people (descendants of the Monggols who converted to Islam in the 13th century)  of the Silk Road.
It was traditionally served to guests and relatives.
It is historically noted that the tisanes originated during the Tang dynasty and introduced to Northwest China during the Ming and Ching dynasty.
It is famous in Lanzhou.
Legend has it that the Empress Dowager Cixi ordered her Imperial doctors to come up with a formula  that would retain her youthfulness an maintain a cool, level head.
Her recipe was called Royal Babao Cha “Eight Treasure Tea”- Ginseng slices, Sultanas, Dried Longans, Chinese Dates, Goji, Luo Han fruit, Chrysanthemum, Rock sugar and Jasmine Green tea.

The tisanes is usually sweet, floral and has the flavor of dates. 
It has health benefits such as clearing the larynx, nourishes the Yin aspects of the body, moistens the lungs, quenches thirst, nourishes the blood and energy, decreases the body's heat, nourishes the kidneys, invigorates the mind, brightens the eyes and if drank regularly can also ensure longevity and an ever youthful appearance, promotes digestion, relieves fatigue and helps to remedy heat stroke.

Eight treasures is usually made with rock sugar, Chinese Red Dates, walnuts, Longan, Raisins, Apricots, Apple slices, Chrysanthemum flowers, Roses, Green tea, Wolfberry, Chinese Black dates, Ginseng, Medlar Pome fruit, Orange rind, Black Sesame seeds, Luo Han Kuo, Walnuts, Peanuts, Licorice, Almonds, Honeysuckle flowers, Ginger, White Fungus and Lily Buds.
Not all recipes have Green teas part of the recipe and some only has 7 ingredients not 8.
Recipes can range regionally that use it traditionally as a health booster.
However the basics are - Chrysanthemum, Longan, Chinese Wolfberry, Chinese Red dates, dried Orange peel, Rose buds, Rock sugar and Lily Buds.
It can also be made with an aged Puer.
Astringency in a green tea enhances the sweetness of the fruits.
Using more flowers in the Ba Bao Cha and reducing the sweet ingredients will also assist in managing humidity and helps with weight loss.

It should be served in the traditional Chinese three-piece San Pao Tai tea bowl (It means pagoda as the tea cup resemble a Chinese pagoda). 
This tea bowl is also known as a Gaiwan.
The tisanes is usually steeped in the bowl and nursed several times as the flavor
change with each re-steeping. 


Monday, May 13, 2013

Chai Wallah

Walla or wala is a person who is involved in a specific activity or task.
It is derived from Hindustani वाला - vālā.
A wallah of anything is an occupation which is generally held by those with a lower status in society.

These are some examples:
Dabbawala - lunch box deliverer
Auto-wallah - driver of an auto rickshaw
Attar-wallah - seller of perfumes and extracts
Bottley-wallah - recycler of printed material, bottles, electronic gadgets 
Dhobi wallah - laundry worker.

Therefore a Chai wallah is a street vendor selling chai - selling tea that is distinctively Indian in flavor.
Chai wallahs knows no gender or age group but usually the task is performed by men or old women.

Chai wallahs do not just sell tea but they prepare the tea themselves to sell.
They are a major human landmarks in Indian society.
They usually have stalls or carts that they work from and sometimes have an errand boy/person to make the tea runs.
These tea runners carry the cups of tea on trays that have notches or cup holders built in.

A Chai wallah's tea stall is a gathering place for the local community.
Mostly men patronize these stalls, and they come from all stratas of society.
It is the local gossip ground and catch-up for many.

Each Chai wallah have their own recipe and method of preparation.
No two are the same as also with their patrons each have their favorite Chai wallah.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Chemical Constituents of Camellia Sinensis

Polyphenols  contributes to the astringency of tea
Epigallocatechin gallate     
Epicatechin gallate   
Epigallo catechin  
Flavonols and flavonol glycosides 
Leuco anthocyanins   
Polyphenolic acids and depsides 
Caffeine contributes to the briskness of tea
Amino acids contributes to the brothyness of tea
Organic acids   
Cellulose and Hemicellulose  
Chlorophylls and other pigments contributes to color and appearance of tea
Ash (minerals) 
Volatiles contributes to the aroma of tea

Biochemical compounds responsible for color

Compounds                            Color
Theaflavins                                      Yellowish brown
Thearubigins                                    Reddish brown
Flavonol glycosides                         Light yellow
Pheophorbide                                   Brownish
Pheophytin                                       Blackish
Carotene                                           Yellow

Biochemical compounds responsible for flavor

Compounds                                        Flavour
Linalool, Linalool oxide                                                  Sweet
Geraniol, Phenylacetaldehyde                                         Floral
Nerolidol, Benzaldehyde, Methyl salicylate,
Phenyl ethanol                                                                 Fruity
Trans-2-Hexenal, n-Hexanal,
Cis-3-Hexenol, Grassy, b-Ionone                                    Fresh flavour

The components


Caffeine is a purine derivative, which is 1,3,7-tri- methyl xanthine.
Caffeine content in black tea is around 3 – 4% of dry weight.
It has stimulating property and removes mental fatigue.
 The contribution of caffeine to the infusion is the briskness and creamy property resulting from the complex formed by caffeine with polyphenols.
Briskness is a taste and sensation while creaming is the turbidity that develops from a good cup of tea when cooled.

Tea fiber

The leaf cell wall, containing cellulostic materials surrounded by hemi-cellulose and a lignin seal, prevents the penetration of hydrolyzing enzymes.
The reduced succulence in the matured shoot is believed to be due to structural bonding between phenolic components of lignin, polysaccharides and cutin of cell wall.


The free sugars found in tea shoot are glucose, fructose, sucrose, raffinose and stachyose.
Maltose in Assam variety and rhamnose in china variety appeared special.
Pectic substances contain galactose, arabinose, galacturonic acid, rhamnose and ribose.
Free sugars are responsible for the synthesis of catechins in tea shoot, formation of heterocyclic flavour compounds during processing of black tea and contributing towards water-soluble solids in tea liquor.
Cellulose, hemi-cellulose, pectins and lignins are responsible for the formation of crude fibre content in black tea.

Tracer studies using 14C-glucose in detached tea shoot showed that glucose was one of the precursors of polyphenols in tea.
Except theanine all amino acids present in tea shoot were biosynthesized using 14C-glucose, 14C-sodiam carbonate and 14C-sodium propionate.
Theanine was mainly synthesized in the root and translocated to the shoot.

Amino acids

Aspartic, glutamic, serine, glutamine, tyrosine, valine, phenylalanine, leucine, isoleucine and theanine (5-N-ethylglutamine) were found to be the principal amino acids present in tea leaf.
Theanine alone contributed around 60% of total amino acid content.
Asparagine was formed during withering.
The amino acids play an important role in the development of tea aroma during the processing of black tea.

Volatile Carbonyl Compounds formed from the amino acids during processing:
Glycine —› formaldehyde
Alanine —› acetaldehyde
Valine —› isobutyraldehyde
Leucine —› isovaleraldehyde
Isoleucine —› 2-methylbutanol
Methionine —› methional
Phenyl alanine —› phenylacetaldehyde

Lipids and fatty acids

The neutral, glyco and phospholipid contents and their fatty acid composition varied in Assam, China and Cambod varieties and also during different stages of black tea manufacture.
Total lipid contents(%) and total fatty acids (ľg/g) at different stages i.e. green leaf, withered leaf, rolled leaf, fermented leaf and black teas are about 6.5, 5.7, 4.5, 4.3 and 2.8 and 9.8, 8.4, 6.6, 4.8 and 3.7 respecttively.
The major fatty acids available in tea are linolenic, linoleic, oleic and palmitic.


The four major carotenoids, ß-carotene, lutein, violaxanthine and neoxanthine were estimated spectroscopically in four different Tocklai released clones, namely, TV-1 (China hybrid), TV-2 (Assam Betjan variety), TV-9 (Assam-Cambod variety) and TV-17 (China hybrid).
The quantitative changes of these carotenoids in different stages of black tea manufacture were also studied in TV-2 (less flavoury) and TV-17 (flavoury) clones against TV-1 as standard.
Comparative study showed that TV-2 contained the least amount of these carotenoids whereas TV-9 and TV-17 contained higher amounts.
All these carotenoids were found to decrease appreciably during black tea manufacture.
The decrease was found to be higher in curling, tearing and crushing method than in the conventional orthodox method of tea manufacture.
The changes of two of these carotenoids viz. -carotene and lutein were not significant statistically during withering but were highly significant during fermentation.
However, the reverse was true for violoaxanthine where as the neoxanthine shows significant changes in both of these stages.
The vitamin A value was calculated from the residual -carotene amount, pro-vitamin A, in black tea.


Delphenidin and cyanidin were the major anthocyanidins present in tea leaf.
Anthocyanin contents were higher in tea shoots from pruned than those of unpruned bushes.
Role of anthocyanins on the quality of black tea however, has not been found to be significant.

Organic acids

Citric, tartaric, malic, oxalic, fumaric and succinic acids were detected in Assam leaf.
Role of organic acids towards the biochemical influence on the quality of black tea is not yet reported.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Nurturing and growing a clay teapot

Aside from the preparation and cleaning of  a teapot, giving extra effort 
to seasoning a teapots is a reflection of the owner's dedication to the Art of Tea.
   The porous nature of clay gives it the ability to absorb the essence of tea. 
It take effort to allow teapots to absorb tea on both the inside and outside surfaces.
 After much use, the natural tea oils also create a beautiful luster to the seasoned teapot.  
This extra care and attention is referred to as nurturing a teapot.

One of the main characteristics of clay is its permeability and breathability.
  Because of this characteristic, trace amounts of the tea liquor 
is absorbed into the clay every time the teapot is used.
 The heating cycle - when hot water is poured into a clay teapot and cooling occurs in between each steep, this helps the liquor to absorb into the pores of the clay
Over a period of time and with regular use, the properties (amino acids, catechins, vitamin C, flavonoids, theamine, tannins, essential oils, etc) 
 from the particular tea liquor accumulates in the clay. 
This and along with proper nurturing techniques from the teapot's owner, 
will give the teapot a subtle glow.

 As long as the teapot is used regularly, this subtle glow can be maintained
However, in order for the glow to be even, the owner must be able to maintain
 it with great dedication and patience.
Teapots are personal. 
They are like the domesticated geese, will respond best with one owner only.
Sharing teapots are fine as log as all users have the same dedication and care towards to the object. 
Otherwise, expect uneven stains and glows - then all mayhem breaks out!

The lack of nurturing causes uneven glow.
To get an even nurturing of a teapot certain habits are to be maintained.
The common question is - Why is the lid of the teapot less nurtured than the body?
Well, several factors come to play:
1. The tea leaves are left to steep in the teapot overnight therefore causing the body to absorb more of the chemical constituents of the tea for a longer period than the lid - some consider this an abuse!
Remember, clay's characteristic is permeability - this is WHY the glow of a teapot can be nurtured.
This can work for or against you when trying to nurture and acquire a glow to your favorite teapot. 
Time can be your friend or enemy in this process as well.
Herein is the age old Taoist concept that comes into play - Yin and Yang.
2. Seasoning or nurturing a teapot is a direct translation of a Chinese word YǎngHú 养壶.
 养 Yǎng means to raise, to care for, to help to develop.
壶 Hú means pot.
 YǎngHú is consequently a slow process that requires patience and the right technique or skill.
It is compared to raising a child. 
A good Yǎng-ed teapot looks and feels better to the touch. 
The main secret to why a clay teapot is seasoned is because it is known 
to enhance the flavor the tea it steeps.
The teapot will "grow."
This growth comes about from the nurturing of the patina.
The most prized possession of a Tea Master or a well seasoned tea drinker is a well nurtured, seasoned teapot NOT a new one!

A new teapot would be considered more Yin 
and a well seasoned and nurtured teapot as more Yang.
Some clay teapots in the marketplace has a tendency of being waxed or glazed.
Clay teapots made from any of these clays - Zisha, Zhusha, Hong Ni or Duan Ni are peameable clays and therefore meant to be seasoned and nurtured with use.
 Therefore purchasing teapots that are waxed or glazed would defeat this purpose.
These already waxed or glazed teapots (a process done on the outside of the body of the teapot) are meant to mimic the effects of of time and use.
This glazing or waxing will clog the pores of the clay, thus inhibiting the natural pemeability and breathability of the clay, consequently stunting the "growth" of the teapot.
Generally, most of these glazed or waxed teapots are not handmade and the clay used is tainted with dyes to achieve the inherent colors that are from the Yixing region.
The quality of a new teapot is always best investigated before a financial investment is made.

To "Yang" a "Yin" teapot is to baby sit it and nurtured it from the inside out.
The "feeding" of a Yin teapot is to make tea in the teapot.
This process of making tea - the first steeping is a tea wash, this is poured over the teapot.
Every step in the Art of Gongfu Tea is a calculated step and purposeful.
The tea washes that are poured over the teapot and steepings is more than warming the vessel but it causes the dilation of the pores of the clay on the inside as well as outside.
These steps patina the teapot naturally with the active chemical constituents of the tea.
The practice of saving some tea from each steeping to keep pouring
 over the pot is greatly encouraged. 
Among seasoned tea drinkers one clay teapot is usually assigned to one particular tea.

How is it done correctly:
When the teapot is being used proceed normally with the steps of steeping
 as well as pouring the tea wash over the teapot.
Then remove all the spent tea leaves from the teapot and rinse it well with boiling water.
Then fill the teapot with boiling water.
Let the teapot sit   for a few hours.
Empty the teapot out and use a suede buffing cloth or a clean tea towel.
Make sure that the cloth or suede used is very clean.
 and begin buffing the teapot.
Dip the cloth into clean boiled Spring water and begin buffing the teapot.
Buff until the teapot is completely dry on the inside and outside of the teapot.

This process of seasoning/nurturing is best achieved with time and great patience.
The patina achieved will make it looked waxed.
The key to a glow in the patina is frequency of use - months or years and overall care.

How to prime a new teapot:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Darjeeling Flushes

Darjeeling First Flush
First Flush is the first tea harvested after winter, from the end of February until the end of April.  
It is bright in color and has a light, flowery flavor.


Darjeeling Second Flush
Second Flush refers to the second harvest of the year, leaves picked from the beginning of June until mid-July.  It produces an amber-gold liquor that is fuller and stronger in taste than First Flush.

Darjeeling Selected Tea
Selected Tea is carefully selected from different harvests. Its flavor is similar to First Flush, but its liquor is darker.

Green Selected Darjeeling
Green Selected Darjeeling - carefully chosen from different harvests.
Green Darjeeling is made from the same tea bushes as black Darjeeling.
Only the process of production is different. 
Whereas black Darjeeling is changed by oxidation (fermentation), green Darjeeling is not. 
Thus, it keeps its green color and its typical taste – slightly bitter, while remaining  mild and fresh. 

Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe 1 - FTGFOP1
In Darjeeling, the very best leaf grade is “Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe 1.”  
The term refers to tea of the highest quality, which has been most carefully produced from even leaves and tender tips.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling Tea is widely and universally acknowledged to be the finest tea from the Indian sub-continent.
The flavour is so unique that it cannot be replicated. 
 Darjeeling Tea is the champagne of teas from the Indian sub-continent.

Darjeeling is the region on the southern slopes of the Himalayan Mountains in India.
It is one of the source's of the world's best tea.
Grown at extreme altitudes, on steep slopes, under intensive sunshine in a generally cool climate.
Darjeeling tea has a distinct and unique flavor.

Annual harvest is limited.
 Darjeeling tea is very  sought after and is special.
Its taste and aroma cannot be replicated anywhere else.
Darjeeling tea is often called the "champagne of tea."

Darjeeling tea is available in black, green, white and oolong.
The brew yields a thin-bodied, light-colored infusion with a floral aroma.
The flavor can include a tinge of astringent tannic characteristics, and a musky spiciness sometimes described as muscatel.
 Darjeeling teas are marketed commercially as black teas.
 Almost all of them have incomplete oxidation <90%, so they are technically more oolong than black.

Unlike most Indian teas, Darjeeling is normally made from
 the small-leaved Chinese variety of Camellia sinensis var. sinensis rather than the large-leaved Assam plant (C. sinensis var. assamica).
Traditionally, Darjeeling tea is made as black tea.
Darjeeling oolong and green teas are becoming more commonly produced.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Masala Chai

Masala chai Hindi - मसाला चाय literally  means mixed-spice tea.
It is a flavored beverage, achieved by brewing black tea, milk, butter/ghee and a blend of spices and herbs that are indigenous to India.
This particular style of tea originates in South Asia.
A true masala chai is decocted rather than steeped or brewed.
Most of the masala chai served up in coffee and tea houses are not true masala chai.

Chai means tea in the Hindi language.
Masala  मसाला means a mixture of spices and herbs. 
Spices of herbs can be a mixture of cardamom, ginger, 
cinnamon, star anise, cloves, bay leaves, etc.
Masala chai is used as a form of medicine in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is the ancient 5000 year old medical science of India that is still used to treat diseases and manage health.
In the Ayurvedic medical text chai is referred to as the method and ingredients that are used to make the beverage.
 The herbs and spices are boiled with tea in either milk or a mixture of milk and water, either sweetened or unsweetened.

The recipes vary in accordance to the constitution of the individual.
 The spices used are usually a potent blend and has a myriad medicinal and health promoting benefits.
Chai is traditionally used to increase the digestive fire, sooth and relax the digestive tract, increase the waste removal as well as toxin excretion, elevate metabolism and decrease appetite.

 The main ingredient being tea from the Camellia assamica.
It is processed into a black tea.
The tea and the combination of spices that give the beverage an excellent source of anti-oxidants, flavors and healing properties.
 The result is a delicious, piquant, and often times dark brew.

The basics to the method to chai decoction is the tea.
A strong black tea such as an Assam tea that is processed into 'mamri' is used.
Mamri are granules of tea versus leaves or cuts of leaves.
Mamri means neat and grainy in appearance.
Mamri tea, also known as CTC -cut, torn & curl, is a blend of high grown black tea commonly used in Kenya and India.  
A distinct variety that offers bright, full bodied liqueur.

It has a full body to the brew and especially great for making chai.
It is cured in a special way that yields itself into granules.
It is an inexpensive tea and most popular among the Chai wallahs in India.

There is no fixed recipe or preparation method for masala chai.
Many have their own special versions of the tea.
However, all masala chai has four basic components:
  • Tea - the basic tea is usually a strong black tea, such as Assam. The various spices and sweeteners do not overpower this varietal. The varietal should have a strong aromatic scent with dominant tobacco and floral notes.
  •  Sweetener - white sugar is usually used. However, in India, a form of unrefined cane sugar called Jaggery or gur is commonly used. The sugar is a concentrated product of cane juice without separation of the molasses and crystals. They can vary from golden brown to dark brown in color. 
  •  Milk - whole milk or non-dairy milk - soy, rice will do. Condensed milk may be used  which also doubles as the sweetener. 
  •  Spices - The traditional masala chai has a bracing, strongly spiced flavored brewed with spices. Masala chai incorporates one or more of the following: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, peppercorn, and cloves.
Methods of tea preparation can vary widely however this is the common preparation techniques include:

Boiling tea dust in water over an open fire
Add cow's milk or buffalo's milk or milk powder to the boiling tea
Mix in plenty of raw sugar
Chop or smash the fresh ginger root
Grind cardamom pods
Grind the other masala (spices) such as cinnamon and cloves
Tear fresh herb leaves, such as lemongrass and mint
Boil spices and/or herbs with the tea
Strain the tea leaves and spices

The recipe for chai typically varies by region.
  • New Delhi - black tea with fresh ginger root, milk and sugar
  • Mumbai / Bombay - thick, strong, milky black tea boiled with cardamom seed and sugar, served in half-size servings called "cuttings"
  • Kerala - "metre chai" made from milk, sugar and black tea and poured back and forth between two cups until foamy and bubbly
  • Ladakh - pu-erh tea made with milk and salt, no sugar
  • Gujarat - mixed spice black tea with milk, served from a shallow bowl rather than a glass or mug, and sometimes garnished with a sprig of mint
  • Fort Cochin / Kochi - mixed spice tea with a bit of black pepper
  • Tamil Nadu - sweet, strong milk tea prepared with a filter akin to a coffee filter; sometimes spiced
  • Hyderabad - so-called "Sulemani chai", a drink made of sweet black tea with lemon
  • Bhopal - black tea made with milk and salt, no sugar

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What is Chai

Chai in Hindi चाय  chāy means tea.
It is a hot beverage from the Indian subcontinent.
Chai is a generic word for tea in India and Asia.
However, the word Chai in the West is misconstrued as Masala Chai.
Another misconstrued usage for the beverage  are the words  'Masala Chai tea.'
To say Chai tea is redundant meaning 'Tea tea.'
The correct usage would be to omit the redundancy for just Masala Chai or just Masala tea.

Plain Chai
The traditional chai brewing process in India is to actively boil the tea leaves over sustained heat. Preparing tea with this method reduces the amount of caffeine and also the prolonged boiling produces a more robust tasting beverage. 
The tea is mixed with milk and sugar 
Chai is simply prepared black, with milk, without sugar or spices.

Masala Chai
Masala chai is a spiced milk tea and is distinct from other types of tea. 
Masala chai is prepared through a decoction.
Loose tea leaves are simmered or boiled in a mixture of milk and water.
Sweeteners - sugar or Jaggery and whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves or black pepper are added to create a unique and distinctive flavor.
Chai masala in Hindi चाय मसाला.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Earl Grey Tea

Earl Grey tea is a tea blend.
 It has a distinctive flavor and aroma.
The aroma and flavor is derived from the addition of Citrus bergamia essential oil.
The essential oil is extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange, a fragrant citrus fruit - a relation of the orange.
Earl Grey tea was originally made from black China teas - the Keemun variety. 

 Bergamot oranges are indigenous to South East Asia.
They are also grown in Italy as a commercial crop. 
There are many different grades of bergamot that can be used to flavour the tea so consumers shouldn't assume one brand will taste the same as another.
 Depending on the blend the tea could contain oil, granules or spray from the fruit.

 Legend has it that the tea was created in honor of Prime Minister, Charles Grey - the 2nd Earl Grey who had helped rescue the drowning son of a Chinese mandarin while on a diplomatic mission. 
The mandarin was so grateful that he presented the Earl with the blend in 1803.
However, documents have revealed that the Earl never even set foot in China! 
Realistically, it's more likely that the Earl received a gift of China tea flavored with the distinctive bergamot flavor.
The Grey family history indicates that the tea was specially blended by a Chinese mandarin for Lord Grey, to suit the water at Howick Hall, the family seat in Northumberland.
The use of bergamot in particular was to offset the preponderance of lime in the local water. 
Lady Grey used it to entertain in London as a political hostess.

Portrait of Earl Grey

Another claim to the tea's creation comes from Jacksons of Piccadilly.
  Lord Grey apparently gave the recipe to the firm in 1830 and they claim to be continuing to make the original blend today.
Tea flavored with bergamot to imitate the more expensive types of Chinese tea is known in England at least since the 1820s. 
In 1837 there is a record of court proceedings against Brocksop & Co. who were found to have supplied tea "artificially scented, and, drugged with bergamot."
There is no known published reference to an 'Earl Grey' tea before advertisements by Charlton & Co. of Jermyn Street in London in the 1880s, though 'Grey's Tea' is known from the 1850s.

The taste of a good cup of  Earl Grey should be a bright, 
invigoratingly citrus-scented and a smooth brew.

Winter is Coming - Ginger Tisane

 The warmth of summer is slowly fleeing as the September nights and mornings hint at the coming of winter. Ginger tisanes are perfect to pr...