5 Green Tea Smoothies That Will Make You Forget All about Coffee


Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages that you could possibly drink on a daily basis. It’s been present in people’s diets for centuries and for a good reason. As it’s full of nutrients and antioxidants, its effects are various and amazing. And if you combine it with some other healthy ingredient, you are destined to feel great, healthy, and energized.

Why is green tea so special?

Green tea does a lot of great things for our bodies. Its powerful antioxidants may even protect you from cancer, while its bioactive compounds improve our brain functions. There is even a correlation between drinking green tea and decreased risk of developing diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Thanks to the catechins in green tea, this wonderful beverage inhibits the growth of certain viruses and bacteria. As it helps to decrease the risk of infections, your dental health will also be improved. Lastly, green tea may slightly reduce your blood sugar level, meaning it helps fighting type 2 diabetes from developing.

Having a green tea smoothie as a morning energy drink

Green tea is also known to raise our energy levels, so it’s good to drink it in the morning instead of coffee. However, it’s is weaker than coffee, meaning it has less caffeine. That’s why a morning green tea smoothie is a great idea! You can make a perfect blend of different ingredients that will keep you energized for longer than if you just had plain green tea. If you mix this powerful herb with a couple of others, you’ll be amazed!

1. Green tea watermelon detox smoothie

Watermelon is a great choice for mixing with green tea. Its lycopene protects your cardiovascular system, while compounds like flavonoids and carotenoids act as anti-oxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. That way, it will be a real detox beverage.

2. Citrus and green tea detox smoothie

When the day is hot and you want to detox and cool your body, this drink is a perfect choice. Whether you pick orange, grapefruit or lemon (or you blend them all together!), you won’t make a mistake. They all clean your blood and provide you with a large amount of vitamin C. This smoothie will also help you fight free radicals.

3. Blueberry green tea protein smoothie

If you sometimes feel like you’d like a bit of a crunchy smoothie with a perfect blend of sour and sweet, then this is the smoothie for you. Blend frozen raspberries and blueberries and mix them with cooled green tea. Finally, add a flavored vegan protein powder to the mix – whether you’re in the mood for chocolate, vanilla or some other taste, adding good vegan powder will keep you full and the fruit will boost you with vitamins.

4. Mint matcha smoothie

This type of smoothie consists of some of the best green food on the planet. You’ll need spinach, matcha and avocado (and, of course, green tea). Mint matcha will improve your digestive system and freshen up your breath, while avocado will help you fight inflammations and lower your sugar levels. And it will add a creamy touch to the whole mix.

5. Green tea mango smoothie

This green-colored smoothie gets its color from green tea and spinach, while mango and a banana will provide you with numerous vitamins and minerals. You can also try adding an apple to the mix.

All in all

It’s obvious why green tea is so great – not only does it have incredible effects on your body when you drink it, but it changes the taste and enhances the health benefits when you mix it with other nutrients So, start your day with a healthy smoothie!

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Georgia Tea Is Back! – T Ching


A little over ten years ago, I wrote a post for this blog–Tea from Georgia will have to wait–about the setbacks in the tea industry in the Republic of Georgia.  Just a few days ago, I ran across this article dealing with the revival of Georgian tea and I am pleased to report that we may be able to taste tea from this region in a year or two.

Over the years, tea has inspired poetry, art, and pottery–it has also been the subject of great innovation—and war.  Tremendous advances in sailing technology were made because getting tea from countries of origin to countries of consumption as quickly as possible was of paramount importance.  Now, given advances in agricultural practices, tea can be sustainably and responsibly grown on six of the seven continents on Earth. While every American school child knows the tale of the Boston Tea Party and its pivotal role in the American Revolution, J. Norwood Pratt makes the link between the tea trade and the Opium Wars.

The phrase “tempest in a teapot” has a rich history.  

As the tea industry balances greater demand with sustainable agricultural practices, readers of this blog are justifiably concerned that quality is not sacrificed for quantity, which has been a concern in growing regions like Georgia.  If the only tea available is lousy tea, consumers will make do, pay the going rate, and never experience high-quality whole leaf.

Delighted that Georgian tea is making a rebound, I am going to try to score a hundred grams of this tea.  Have any of you tried Georgian tea?

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Image 2:  Yuri Tsintsadze (image used with permission from TeaJourney)
Image 3:  Retail display of Georgia tea (image used with permission from TeaJourney)



A New Breed of Tea Shops Opens in London


I’m always delighted to hear about new iterations of tea shops. Early this month, Covent Gardens in London saw the first of its kind when Teatulia Literary Tea Shop opened its doors. During the daylight hours, this tea shop operates like most traditional tea establishments serving a variety of whole leaf teas.  While the evenings offer tea cocktails on the menu, the innovation continues with a monthly “Living Bookshelf”. This curated selection of books is recommended by famous authors, actors, musicians, and filmmakers, the first one being selected by actress Tilda Swinton.

“We are giddy with excitement about the opening of our Tea Bar v2 in Central London!” writes CEO Linda Appel-Lipsius, adding, “With a bold new style and branding, the introduction of extraordinary crafted tea cocktails and collaboration of the amazing Tilda Swinton, Teatulia continues to “wake tea up” by doing things differently.”

According to an article in the World Tea News, the tea shop “…sources its tea at a USDA organic certified tea garden in the Tetulia region of Bangladesh, located near the Himalaya Mountains, north of the Brahmaputra River valley. The garden was planted on virgin land in 2000. Tea is farmed on 3,000 acres by 600 full-time workers who make up the Teatulia Cooperative, the first large-scale enterprise to operate in the area.” I really appreciate that Linda uses a tea cooperative in her tea purchases. Being socially responsible adds another component of value to her endeavor.

I think whenever innovation comes to a retail store, we all benefit. Tea consumption increases and people renew their excitement and enthusiasm for this ancient beverage. Keeping it fresh and current is something that all retailers must strive for. I think this one will be hard to beat.

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Blast From the Past: Georgia O’Keeffe and the cup of humanity


One of my favorite encounters with the spirit of tea came while touring the home and studio of Georgia O’Keeffe in Abiquiu, New Mexico. In her pantry, I spied two Mason jars on the wall. One had been hand labeled by O’Keeffe as Tea. Next to it was a jar with a label that read Good Tea. I laughed out loud. This is the moment of enlightenment all students of tea eventually discover along their way. Enlightenment begins the moment we realize there is tea, and there is good tea. Hopefully, we carry that awareness further into art and good art, food and good food, and life and good life.

My other lasting memory of that New Mexico visit was my awareness of space within the O’Keeffe home. The colors, the furniture, and the few select pieces of art were all in keeping with Okakura Kakuzo’s idea of harmony and simplicity as found in The Book of Tea. “Eliminating the insignificant” is what Frank Lloyd Wright called it. O’Keeffe was a second-generation disciple of Okakura. Her teacher at Columbia University had been Arthur Wesley Dow, a friend of Okakura in Boston. I knew The Book of Tea was one of her favorite reads, but I didn’t understand how much she loved the book until I came across Christine Taylor Patten’s book, Miss O’Keeffe. In it, Patton recounts the evenings she read sections of The Book of Tea to O’Keeffe during her last years.

I spoke by phone recently with Patten at her home in Santa Fe and we talked at length about her recollections of The Book of Tea. She vividly recalled O’Keeffe’s love for Okakura and spoke eloquently of the similarities between O’Keeffe’s life and the Japanese tea ceremony. “They were obvious – her constant manner, her humility, her exactness, her utterly respectful exactness,” she remembered. “A small act seemed to be a natural ritual – the folding of her handkerchief, for instance – as if it was the most important thing a person could do.” That bit of insight explained why I was drawn to O’Keeffe’s art long before I knew of her tea connection.

If we are mindful, we recognize the tea spirit in all our daily activities – making a cup of tea, gardening, painting, making music, writing, cooking, and even sweeping. Okakura reminds us that “one of the first requisites of a tea master is the knowledge of how to sweep, clean, and wash, for there is an art in cleaning and dusting.”

If we can find Okaura’s concept of teaism in the humble act of wielding a broom, we find contentment. Or, as the Tao Te Ching teaches, simply be. Or, as the English housewife instructs, have a cuppa tea. Okakura walked in the cultures of both East and West and recognized our common love for the ancient beverage he called the cup of humanity. Within that communal cup, the little thing becomes the great thing, and living becomes good living.

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Originally posted by Bruce Richardson in October 2011



Tea and Illness – T Ching


In mid-September, my husband woke up one morning half chipmunk-cheeked: something had caused one of his cheeks to swell up. On day three, when the swelling had not receded, he finally acquiesced to go to the doctor. The doctor’s finding was as expected: an infected tooth was causing the salivary gland to swell in reaction. Step one: a week of antibiotics.

Thus began my poor, beleaguered husband’s miserable week in bed as antibiotics and infection waged a bitter warfare within him. I worked from home for it so I could cook him the three meals that he needed to take three antibiotics (with food!) per day.

The other important thing that I pressed on him was, of course, fluids. It’s vitally important to push fluids when one is on antibiotics, in order to flush the toxins that are generated as a by-product of both infection and antibiotics. As such, I made him pot after pot of–did you see this coming?–TEA.

For both my husband and myself, tea has always been the go-to whenever ill. It was a regular occurrence in both of our childhoods that with illness comes the drinking of tea. We both grew up in a time that didn’t think twice about the caffeine content in tea having a negative effect upon children. And unlike the lemon-lime Gatorade that my father tried to ply me with when I was ill (to this day, I have a strong associative aversion to the stuff), tea is a constant source of comfort. It is always delicious, always welcome, always beneficial.

A pot of tea, a spoonful of raw, local honey. What could be more healing than that?



Hail Colombia!


Just when you thought you’d tasted a creditable selection of the world’s teas comes along a refreshing surprise—Bitaco tea grown in the Andes from Colombia where it is now spring, heading toward summer. As I sit contemplating the end of summer and confirming that fall is indeed here despite the summery weather, my thoughts turn to the fruits of the season—pears, apples, Asian pears, pomegranates, persimmons, even quince.

Here are fruits not just for eating on their own, and here’s a tea that brings uncomplicated pleasure in the cup but also is a perfect steeping liquid for the fruits of fall. Coppery colored, bright in flavor, this tea is as comforting in the cup as it is welcome in the dessert maker’s kitchen. It spells fall to me. Shorter days, cooler nights, and orchard fruit seem to be a perfect match. Seeing the bounty piled high in my local farmer’s markets, beckoning me with their burnished skins, a visual feast of red, golden, yellow, speckled green, brilliantly flame-colored–I can’t resist taking home armloads. Looking for ways to enjoy them beyond eating them out of hand (other than quince which are best cooked to become tender, aromatic and rosy colored), I brew some tea, spiced with a whole cinnamon stick and then sweetened with a tinge of honey and add an assortment of peeled, cored and quartered fruit. Turn the heat down low and let the fruits soften, absorbing the mellow flavors of the tea. Usually a half hour of patient cooking over medium to low heat transforms the fruit (the tea should barely cover the fruit in the saucepan; add more tea if you note that the liquid has evaporated too quickly and the fruits are still raw). To check doneness, insert the point of a knife into the fruit. When done, the knife should easily pierce the fruit. Continue cooking until you get to that point.  Remove from the heat, and then let the liquid and fruit come to room temperature. Remove fruit and poaching liquid to a non-reactive shallow dish. Chill covered until cold. Get the best local honey you can find along with a tart but not overly thick plain yogurt. Crush some buttery gingery cookies (homemade or storebought) and set aside.

To serve, arrange the fruit and some liquid in small bowls, dollop on rivulets of yogurt, drizzle the honey over all and then finally add some crunch with the cookie shards. If you’d like to gild the lily even further, splash a bit of good Cognac just before serving. And if it’s cool enough in your area, enjoy this dessert around the hearth, logs blazing and crackling, the colors of the flame matching the palette of fall fruits.  

Serves 3-4
The details:

  • 1 lb of fruits, peeled and cored and then quartered or halved, depending on size
  • 1 quart brewed Colombian tea
  • ¼ c. good honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Yogurt
  • More honey, as desired
  • Shards of gingery buttery cookies
  • Cognac, optional

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Blast From the Past: Ancient Tea Forest


Tea,
Whisper in my ear.
Leaf,
Tell me your thoughts.

What hidden things stir your veins,
on the tree in the still of night?
Fragrant watery breeze blowing from nearby stream
Teasing you with fingers that never touch.

But that is the language of nature:
Touching without limbs
Seeing without eyes
Breathing without moving
Singing without a song.

Secrets told in invisible languages
Leaf to leaf.
Harmonies sung without words.
Your pulse quickens
As lush days turn into fecund nights.
To those without ears, the sound
Is impossibly beautiful.

Originally posted in October 2007 by Paul Rosenberg



Mangosteen Tea – T Ching


Mangosteen, an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia, bears fruits with dark-purple rind and white flesh whose tangy sweetness and adorable appearance garner fans from all over the world.  In Thai, mangosteen is called mangkhud, as in the recent super typhoon Manghut that made landfall in the Philippines and persisted destruction in Hong Kong and China.

Tea is often a euphemism for “powder.”  Ground, surprisingly, from the leathery rind, mangosteen tea is known for its anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties due to containing the compound xanthones.  Juice derived from cooked mangosteen shell, yet another form of “tea,” has been consumed in Asia for centuries; the fruit’s by-products are no funky commodities in the Western world either.  Some of the Internet articles dated a decade ago reiterate that like myriad other health products, mangosteen tea’s benefits such as disease-fighting capabilities are yet to be validated.  Believers continue to believe.

The packs of mangosteen tea I purchased in the Philippines last month do not come with preparation instructions.  I savored fresh mangosteen for the very first time in Indonesia more than ten years ago; the flavor was indescribably scrumptious, so sweet and juicy that I presumed indelibility.  When re-encountering mangosteen last month, I could recall neither the flavor nor how the tough shell could be squeezed, twisted, and crushed by hand to expose the sheltered edible flesh.  No way will I forget again as I have found over-priced mangosteen, probably air-flown from Asia, at one local supermarket.

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10 Ways to Enjoy Green Tea with Milk – Part 2


Green Boba Tea

Boba tea is a popular treat throughout East and Southeast Asia. It’s also sometimes called “bubble tea”, a reference to the black tapioca pearls that rest at the bottom of the cup. The classic black tapioca bubbles can be purchased at many Asian supermarkets. They’re also widely available online.

The body of the drink calls for a handful of ice cubes and equal parts brewed green tea and milk. An optional teaspoon of matcha powder can add a splash of rich green color. Mix everything together in a cocktail shaker and you’ll have a full serving of naturally colorful milk tea ready to pour. If you’re adding tapioca pearls to your beverage, make sure that you drink it through a wide enough straw to get the full boba tea experience.

Green Tea Ice Cream

Green tea is one of the most delicious ice cream flavors. Many popular brands offer their own spin on green tea ice cream. Alternatively, you can make your own by adding a tablespoon of culinary grade matcha powder for every cup of wet ingredients in your favorite ice cream recipe.

Matcha Custard

For the ultimate marriage of healthful green tea and decadent dessert, we highly recommend incorporating the flavors of green tea into your next batch of custard. Only a teaspoon of culinary grade matcha powder is required for every cup of wet ingredients. The results are visually stunning, rich in antioxidants, and absolutely delicious.

Milky Green Tea Popsicles

Just like all the best homemade popsicles, green tea popsicles are very simple to make. The recipe calls for two teaspoons of culinary grade matcha powder for every cup of milk. Sweeten the mixture to taste with agave nectar and freeze it for five hours in your favorite popsicle mold.

Matcha Smoothies

Adding green tea to your favorite healthy smoothie is a simple way to give it added flavor and a little kick of caffeine. The taste of green tea pairs well with just about every fruit combination under the sun, but our personal favorite recipes bring together matcha powder, milk, and vanilla for a rich, refreshing flavor.

You can adjust our simple vanilla variation with mint, citrus, or even a little protein powder if that’s your style. You can also mix a few teaspoons of matcha into your own go-to smoothie for an easy antioxidant upgrade.

The delicious flavor of green tea can spruce up your favorite go-to recipes or inspire you to try something outside your comfort zone. As these lattes, cupcakes, and custards prove, matcha and milk are truly a match made in heaven.

Read more matcha and green tea recipe through my book.

A BOOK ABOUT HOMEMADE RECIPES USING THE AMAZING MATCHA & GREEN TEA THAT EVERY AMERICAN CAN ENJOY.

The recipes in this wonderful cookbook by Kei Nishida highlight the uses of matcha and green tea as main ingredients. It educates and informs readers on the essence and importance of green tea to health and our overall well-being. Readers gain basic knowledge needed about brewing tea, modernized varieties of green tea beverages such as smoothies and cocktails and pastries such as bread, cakes, and the making of sweets.

The book also has over 200 clear images of most of the ingredients and food mentioned so that readers can get a vivid visualization and step-by-step guide to all the recipes given.

Check out Cook with Matcha & Green Tea by Kei Nishida



10 Ways to Enjoy Green Tea with Milk – Part 1


You already know that green tea is a delicious, healthy beverage, but you might not be aware of just how versatile your favorite tea can be. A wide variety of beverages, desserts, and baked goods blend the rich, satisfying taste of milk with the subtle, earthy flavor of green tea. The possibilities are endless, but we’ve listed ten of our favorite green tea recipes below.

Matcha Green Tea Latte

Matcha lattes are delicious, healthy, and easy to make. For the uninitiated, matcha is a powder made of ground green tea leaves. Whereas green tea leaves are steeped in hot water before use, matcha powder is blended directly into recipes or beverages. If you’re drinking matcha by itself, a fine “ceremonial grade” matcha powder is recommended. For a nice latte, on the other hand, a more affordable “culinary grade” powder will do the trick.

To begin, use a bamboo whisk to blend a teaspoon of matcha powder into 1/4 cup of boiling water. Then, add milk and sweeten the latte to taste with agave nectar or other natural sweeteners. It’s that simple! This tried-and-true latte recipe is delicious hot, but you can also combine the ingredients cold in a jar with ice and shake vigorously for a yummy, chilled alternative.

Matcha Cupcakes

Culinary grade matcha is perfect for baking. Not only is it healthy and flavorful, but it adds a dramatic splash of green to baked goods without the use of artificial dyes. Adding matcha powder to your next batch of treats will imbue them with an eye-catching grass green color derived from a natural, healthy source.

Cupcakes are the perfect confectionary candidate for the vivid green of matcha powder. Just add two tablespoons of matcha green tea powder to your favorite vanilla cupcake recipe for every cup of milk or buttermilk. Don’t forget to sprinkle a little matcha powder onto your decadent frosting of choice.

Green Tea Pudding

Lots of delicious, milky desserts benefit from the earthy flavors of matcha powder. For example, adding a tablespoon of culinary grade matcha powder to your favorite pudding recipe will add both color and flavor to a classic sweet treat. For extra presentational flair, sprinkle additional matcha on top of the pudding.

Green Tea Lassi

Lassi is a traditional yogurt-based Indian beverage. A version of lassi with turmeric powder is a popular folk beverage all across India, but lassi with green tea also has devotees all over the world. Sip this mild, chilly beverage on a warm summer day and you’re sure to understand why.

Lassi is very simple to prepare. You’ll just need equal parts plain yogurt, milk, and a teaspoon or two of matcha powder. Beat the ingredients together thoroughly and sweeten to taste with agave nectar. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice for a little citrus kick.

Matcha Donuts

As with cupcakes, donuts are great for showcasing personality through playful presentation. The vivid green color of matcha can give your next batch of donuts an eccentric style all their own.

A few tablespoons of culinary grade matcha powder will blend well into any donut recipe, but you should also consider whipping up a sweet matcha glaze to get the full effect. Our favorite matcha glaze recipe calls for half a cup of whole milk, two cups of powdered sugar, and two tablespoons of matcha powder.

Check out Cook with Matcha & Green Tea by Kei Nishida

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