It’s a tea-shirt

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Tea Wars

When I say I have never drunk a cup of coffee in my life, I mean that I have literally never.

When coffee lovers soak up the aroma with passion and love in their eyes, I’m holding my breath so I can’t smell it. When a restaurant brings coffee flavoured sweets with the bill, I’m utterly disappointed, and when I bite into a cappuccino flavoured muffin I look as if I’m swallowing nails.  To sum it up, I just am not a fan of coffee.

At this point in my post I’ve either completely annoyed some coffee lovers, or I’ve intrigued them with where I’m going with this. If you are smart, you will read on, old sport.

The hype around coffee is really quite ridiculous to me, but I usually keep that to myself, because I just don’t speak coffee. To me,  coffee is a mixture of bitter German with an after taste of smelly French… yummy

So, I decided to get hold of a friend of mine who is currently doing her Masters in Nutrition to give us some insight into these two drinks. Apart from the taste, lets look at some benefits of BOTH tea and coffee. Take not of my maturity towards the subject matter; I could easily have told you all about the benefits of tea only;)

Lets have a look what Daniella has to say about the benefits of tea first.

She explains that on a whole, green tea has been found to have more health benefits than ‘black’ tea due to less fermentation of the leaves in the making of the tea.  Green tea contains polyphenols, which are responsible for the antioxidant and other benefits of green tea. Antioxidants protect the body cells from damage from free radicals, where free radicals are formed by the breakdown of food or by toxins from the environment and can cause cancer and other diseases. Green tea is thought to help increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol in the body, helping fight heart disease. It has also been associated with anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is associated with cancer, so generally there has been a lot of research around green tea and cancer prevention. It has even been associated with weight loss. Interestingly, adding milk to black tea prevents the nutrients from the tea being absorbed in the body. The English got it all wrong!

And coffee?

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Better understanding with pictures? Here you go then

For a long time there has been conflicting research on the health benefits or risk of coffee consumption. The compounds in coffee that have been linked to health benefits are caffeine, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and hydroxyhydroquinone. Some research has shown that coffee consumption is linked to a lower risk of diabetes, some cancers, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Coffee contains vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which is needed for certain chemical reactions in the body. Caffeine is thought to facilitate in proper cognitive functioning.

On the other hand coffee consumption has a possible link to heart problems; it also interferes with some hormones affecting pregnant women and postmenopausal women. It causes withdrawal symptoms in those addicted to it, such as muscle fatigue and headaches. It must be noted that emerging research on gene-nutrient interactions are revealing that different people will experience risks or benefits of such substances such as coffee depending on their genetic make-up. (ahem…just saying)

So in some of my own, non-scientific terms; basically tea is for troopers and coffee is for droopers, coffee smells funky aaand it is far more expensive than a cup of tea…or a pot of tea so therefore more for less. It’s all about value people. Jump on the tea-train, but to do it the healthy way, go for Green, minus the milk and sugar and be thankful you don’t smell like a coffee bean.

Contact Daniella for more much needed nutritional facts at http//:twitter.com/DeeSmithils

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I’ll have that shaken not…frapped. Bubble Tea

Originated in 1980…it has finally reach SA. What on earth took you so long to get here Bubble Tea? 

bubble tea 1As you make your way to the V&A Waterfront Food Market (on the Aquarium side) you won’t only come across a variety of yummy treats, but the famous BUBBLE TEA. The tea has hit a gap in the market where there is no other tea quite like it. It provides a fun experience both watching it be prepared, and drinking it along with the endless options, I’m surprised no other tea has been innovated in South Africa before it made its way here.

bubble tea

Now, I have to admit that the name it a tad bit deceiving as it’s a tea-based drink and not quite a tea. For those who haven’t tried it you will see what I mean once I’ve taken you through the steps. Nevertheless, I classify it as a tea and its just as fun to drink as it is to choose flavours and watch how its made.

Step 1: Prepare yourself. There is an overwhelming amount of options. I hit a mild panic when I had to decide on the spot what I wanted.

Step 2:  Choosing your base.

So here’s the tea part. You have a choice between Green, Oolong, Rooibos or Ceylon black tea.

Step 3: Milky or fruity

Then you get a ton of different options under each of these, so many that I feel the only understandable way to show this is in a diagram flow chart or something…who thought choosing a drink could be so complicated. Everyone loves options though and I think The Bubble Tea Company’s strategy behind this is that one would have to try around about 100 (I question my maths) in order to say, “I have tried every type of Bubble Tea possible”.

Some examples of each of these options would be:

Milky: you can have flavoured powders (taro, blueberry, peach, mango etc), or you can have flavoured syrups (caramel, vanilla, chocolate, coconut etc)

Fruity: under this you have an option of flavoured juice (strawberry, blueberry, mango etc) or flavoured jams (pear, blueberry, passionfruit etc).

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Step 4: yes, there’s more.

After you’ve finally understood the process, and questioned your choice, you then decide on your bubbles, which they call Popping Bobas. These come in in yoghurt, chocolate, green apply, passion fruit etc. These bubbles have a thick skin that burst in your mouth when you chew them. It’s a very strange feeling, but once you use to that then you good to go. I still don’t quite think I’m use to it though…it’s a very odd feeling for me and I landed up playing with the Bobas.

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The shaker machine

And just when you think you done with deciding you will be asked if you would like it shaken or frapped. So, in the end I asked the lady behind the counter to whip me up a favourite as I was completely confused..if only I had read a blog that warned me of my options before;) I landed up having the green tea base, caramel milky, yoghurt Bobbas shaken, not frapped. Phew

This little R30 treat definitely adds to the ‘tea experience’. As I mentioned in my Sophisticated tea-drinking post, you have to get out there and try new flavours and mixes. This is definitely one for the books.

Go live a little Capetonians…I know you know how to;)

http://www.thebubbleteacompany.co.za

You can’t buy happiness but you can buy tea, and that kinda the same thing…

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Tea find of the day

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Check out these little tea-shirt hangers

A Boozy Tea Party

Sometimes you just need to take a break from varsity, remember you still a student and have a boozy tea party with all the girls

This post actually has very little to do with actual tea, but rather to show how tea parties can take all forms and types. Nics from our Entrepreneurship class initiated and hosted this little event for the girls because when one finds themselves with less than a kabillion deadlines for the week, one needs to celebrate…right.

Each girl had to bring a plate of eats and drinks for themselves where the winning quote of the day took place by dear Amy Murray: “Sorry guys I can’t bake, so I brought a bottle of Tequila instead”. Oooh boy! Many faces were pulled up to just the name, but some brave souls like Jordi took attempted it! Well done Jords…

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boozy tea blog

boozy yea blog 2So basically I’m just taking this opportunity to boast about beautiful Cape Town and how much I love living here. The Capetonian lifestyle should be experienced by everyone and anyone, as the hey-shwey lifestyle is very well suited to the average tea-drinker. ‘Moments’ to take a break and absorb everything that surrounds you is very Cape Town-ish: some (mainly the Joburg folk) would call this just plain slow or blasé, but let me tell you, us Capetonians are going to take over the world with our creative thoughts and attention to detail, just because we took a break, had some tea and absorbed our surroundings.

Here comes the entrepreneurial part…

Every varsity day is comprised of lecturers explaining how creativity is lacking in the business place, culture of the business is vital to successful business and we are the next generation to implement new and successful was of creativity in business. Well my friends, I think we’ve found our winning idea. Everyone should just have a standard tea-break where all different varieties of teas and flavours should be experienced to generate the mind and not only grow cultural tea experience, but get the creative mind working while employees feel like they having a relaxed tea break. Genius I tell you!!

OK back to reality Amy…so that probably isn’t the next Steve Jobs theory of creativity, but I’m pretty sure a lot of tea-drinking Capetonians will agree that we do tea best;)

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” 

― Henry JamesThe Portrait of a Lady

Image        Tea leaves…

Sophisticated Tea-Drinking

Everyone wants to be sophisticated every now and then

Two lessons completely unrelated to tea;

Lesson 1: Check to see if where you are planning on going is open.

Lesson 2: Everything happens for a reason.

Explanation: Today I was extremely excited to toddle off to The V&A Food Market to grab a Bubbly Tea that I’ve heard so much about, as my very first tea post :D. The beautiful weather was playing along for a fresh, bubbly tea and I had my two tea-tasting buddies with me…until we found out its not open today. Problem.

Never fear, as us girls usually do, we make a plan. Thanks to Google and the Waterfronts diverse array of restaurants, we found ourselves in a rather sophisticated and trendy teashop called Myatt Cafe and Chocolatier. So we wouldn’t have found this little wonderland if it wasn’t for me, basically.

I’m not going to lie to you, the first thing I noticed while entering the restaurant was the suuuuper cool chair, so we obviously had to sit at that table. Then realised very quickly that one can’t be sophisticated in a sophisticated restaurant drinking tea, while sitting in an oval chair hanging from the ceiling. We then remembered our manners and sat like sophisticated ladies (after a pic pretending like I’m handling the uncontrollable moving chair+drinking tea+ looking sophisticated situation), which makes today’s blog the “sophisticated tea drinking experience”.

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The beauty of exploring different teas and tea emporiums is not only the interesting, and sometimes very strange, selection of teas, but the price. Tea is not an entire, costly meal that is a huge shame if not finished. Teas should be explored and although over-priced in most situations, it is not a huge dent in the savings account. And I’m allowed to say this as a full-time student with little cash-dollar to throw around.

So the big decision came down to Myatt Cafe’s Blue Horizon flavoured Green Tea for me, and Strawberry and Vanilla flavoured Green Rooibos for the other two; Kendal and Kerry. The tea’s are served in elegant china tea pots with a mini chocolate and vanilla macaroon on the side all for a woppa R15. OK, I know you saying “but that R15 for boiling water and leaves”, but then unfortunately I will have to tell you to go live a little and try these amazing mixture of flavours, as well as the experience of being in a quaint  little restaurant like Myatt.

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Fun tea fact for the day:

The word tea comes from the Chinese T’e, which was the word in the Amoy dialect for the plant from which tea leaves came. In Mandarin, the word was ch’a, which is where the words char and chai are derived from.

http://www.myattcafe.com

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a4835623ec0781720beb0acddafc32aa      tea leaves…