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Tuesday, 30 August 2016 12:56

Kick Soda to the Curb with Sparkling Tea!

Whether you call it pop or soda, we all know by now that the majority of fizzy soft drinks out there aren't very good for you. Just one average 16-oz bottle of soda contains ten teaspoons of sugar—the total recommended intake for an entire day! As we know, heavy sugar consumption is linked to several serious health factors; aside from the weight gain and obesity connections, it can also increase the severity or likelihood of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and chronic inflammation. And the sickly artificial sweeteners you find in diet alternatives are associated with cardiovascular disease, kidney disfunction, strokes, and, again, type 2 diabetes.

One thing I often hear from many of our clients is that cutting down on sodas is one of the battles they are fighting to improve their quality of life. Trust me, I definitely understand; it can be hard to replace the cool, sparkly, refreshing experience of soda, but it's not impossible. Here at Discover Teas, we can help provide you with a mighty weapon to help you win the war: Sparkling tea!

In addition to being delicious, sparkling tea, particularly when made with all-natural loose-leaf, is healthful and easy to make. You don't even need to buy a pricey home carbonation machine! It is a simple process that can be done several different ways, depending on what best fits your needs and lifestyle, and all you need is sparkling water (preferably unflavored seltzer), an air-tight steeping solution, and, of course, tea.

If you missed our Sparkling Tea Workshop, don't fret, the steps are simple:
1. Add tea to your steeping solution, such as a tea filter or infuser. Our Urban Tea Tumblers are ideal for this!
2. Add sparkling water.
3. Chill, and wait!

For small quantities, the tea should be ready to go within an hour. For larger servings, 3-4 hours is better. If the sparkling water and steeping materials aren't kept cold prior to preparation and after serving, the carbonation may dissipate more quickly—so consume with gusto!

Making your own sparkling tea is also easy, efficient, and allows you to play around to create whatever flavors you want. It's a bright, refreshing experience that lets you enjoy the fizziness of a cold drink without the sticky, parched aftertaste of soda. You can do it on your own, or make a fun family affair out of it.

If you enjoy the energy boost from caffeine, there are plenty of black, green, oolong, and white teas to choose from; if you prefer something caffeine-free, you can choose from a whole variety of caffeine-free herbal teas, whole fruit blends, rooibos and honeybush.

These are some of my favorites I highly recommend sparkling up:

You can also blend your own bubbly concoctions for extra fun. Why restrict yourself, when there's a whole world of sparkling tea for you to discover?

If you are looking to replace your soft drink consumption with something more healthful, sparkling tea can be your answer. Plus, if you are making your sparkling tea with real loose-leaf tea with no artificial ingredients, you're not just cutting out an unhealthy element of your diet, you're actually adding in the nutrients and powerful antioxidant properties of tea, for a double increase in benefit.

(photo credit: Caitlin Gerres, Caitlin Gerres Photography)

Everyone knows there's a lot of pressure around getting married. Once the big question is popped, the planning starts in earnest! Each wedding celebrates the union of two unique people, and so it's only natural that spouses-to-be are always looking for new ways to make their big day stand out.

Here at Discover Teas, it is our honor and our pleasure to have been approached by many couples about making our quality, all-natural loose-leaf tea part of their wedding experience. Our versatili-tea means that we can do more than just provide tea for the reception (although that is an option, depending on the rules of the venue). We can also provide tea for showers and as wedding favors for guests!

Of course, in order to make the tea as special as the wedding will be, not just any tea will do. That's why Lindsey and Neil D., whose blend is featured above, came to us when they were planning their big day. They wanted to build a tea that was not only appropriate to the late fall weather, but also matched their personali-teas.

One of our favorite parts of the process is being able to sit down with the happy couple in person for a custom consultation to create their very own exclusive wedding tea blend or blends. This allows us to discover what truly makes each person unique and blend a tea that celebrates the union of their best qualities. Our custom blend consultations are free and available by appointment by e-mail or phone.

For example, Lindsey and Neil wanted something that would showcase their zest for life, and that would reflect their enjoyment of putting a modern spin on classic traditions. Their Harvest Union blend of spicy cinnamon, black tea, and tart harvest fruits was the perfect complement to their partnership and to the upscale rustic theme of their ceremony and reception!

The next step is to figure out how to serve or distribute the blend. This of course changes from couple to couple, but for those who are looking to give the tea as gifts to their guests, we can even custom-print labels, pre-bag tea, and fill small tins for an additional fee. DIYers like Lindsey and Neil, of course, can always order special-tea blends and filter bags to do their own packaging and printing at home, for a presentation as unique as the couple and their tea.

Popular teas for wedding blends vary seasonally as well as for each couple, but here are some combinations with broad appeal:

Jasmine Green and Earl Grey
Piña Colada and Kyoto Cherry Rose Festival
Peach Apricot Black and Whimsicle
Rose Black and Le Marche Spice
Ti Kuan Yin Oolong, lavender, and Vanilla Cream Black Tea
Chocolate Chai and Irish Mocha La'Tea 

With over a hundred different teas and blending options, we can make sure your special tea is as memorable as your special day!

And if you're not getting married yourself, but have a lot of weddings to go to, a personalized custom tea blend for the happy couple also makes a great one-of-a-kind gift. ;)

Photo courtesy of Caitlin Gerres Photography, used with permission.

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