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  • Keep Cool with Luponde Iced Tea

    Even the most ardent tea fan can find hot drinks difficult in August weather – luckily, that doesn’t mean that you have to give up your tea habit, just switch to iced tea!

    Making iced tea is surprisingly simple and it’s a favourite in hotter countries, especially southern states in the USA. There are a huge number of recipes available to suit your taste, whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer the sharp taste of lemons and citrus fruits.

    Here are two of our favourite recipes:

    Peach Iced Tea

    Peaches are perfect in summer – this recipe blends their sweetness with your favourite tea for a refreshing drink you can keep with you all day.

    All you need to do is combine equal amounts of sugar and water (just measure them with a cup), with 1-2 skinned fresh peaches. You bring this to the boil to make a syrup, making sure that you gently press on the peaches to release as much juice as possible. Let the syrup sit for a few minutes after all of the sugar has dissolved and start brewing your tea – you’ll want to let it steep for a few minutes before removing the teabags and putting the tea in the refrigerator.

    Once the tea is cooled, strain your syrup through a sieve to remove the fruit pieces and add it to your tea. Serve it with ice and fresh peach pieces. You can make a large jug and keep it in the refrigerator to drink throughout the day.

    Lemon Iced Tea

    If you prefer your tea to taste a little more like your standard hot cup, you may prefer a lemon iced tea. The process is mostly the same; you just need to boil your water and add up to 1 cup of sugar (depending on your amount of water, it should be around 1 part sugar to 4 parts water) and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda (this prevents the tea from tasting bitter). Let the sugar dissolve in your boiling water and add your tea bags for a few minutes. Then just remove your tea bags, add lemon juice, and chill. Remember to serve with ice and freshly sliced lemon.

    Make the Most of Your Ice Cubes

    If you’d like to avoid diluting your iced tea with ice, just make iced tea ice cubes! All you need to do is pour your iced tea mixture into an ice tray and freeze it – once you add it, you can cool your drink without losing any of the flavour.

    You can even use your ice cubes to add other flavours to your tea – try adding lemon juice, mint, berries, or different fruit purees to your ice cubes to give the tea a little kick.

    Alcoholic Iced Teas

    Speaking of a little kick, you can even make a spiked iced tea for those lazy summer evenings or BBQs. Just follow your standard recipe for iced tea, and add a mixture of lemonade and vodka, and relax on your patio with some friends.

  • Tea for Health

    The medicinal powers of tea have been known for thousands of years. Early man is thought to have brewed certain leaves known for their curative properties and to have utilised these basic teas in the curing of various diseases and injuries.

    Tea as a medicine is something which is well accepted throughout the world and some teas are well known for their curative properties.

    White Tea:

    White tea is well known for its high antioxidant content; it is also believed to reduce the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular disorders as well as to improve oral health.

    On the beauty side of things, it is also known to protect skin from ageing by deflecting UV light. It has antibacterial properties meaning it’s a great tea to drink during flu season.

    Green Tea:

    Another tea well known for its antioxidant qualities; green tea is not only thought to have properties which fight cancer forming cells but also to improve brain function, kill bacteria and help you to lose weight.

    Spearmint Tea:

    An invigorating and tasty tea, Spearmint is also known to aid digestion, to relieve headaches and nausea as well as cold symptoms.

    Chamomile Tea

    Chamomile is recorded as being used for medicinal purposes right back to the Middle Ages in Europe and even earlier in Egypt.

    Back then it was used for asthma, colic, fevers, inflammations, nausea, nervous complaints, children's ailments, skin diseases and cancer.

    Today we know it as a tea which is full of antioxidants and also a useful aid to relaxation and sleep as well as a cure for eye infections and morning sickness.

    Recent scientific research has confirmed Chamomile’s properties and it is known to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as anti-allergenic and sedative effects.

    All of these marvellous teas may be purchased at Luponde where the quality of the teas on offer is extremely high.



  • Tea and Teapots – A Potted History

    It’s perhaps difficult for Westerners to separate the teapot from the ritual of tea. But in reality, few homes today actually utilise the teapot, preferring instead to dunk a teabag in a mug and leave it at that.

    However, there are still many purists who choose loose leaves over bags and teapots over cups and luckily, manufacturers are happy to provide a huge selection of different styles for them in addition to other tea-making-tools.

    The teapot first originated in around 1500 with the development of the Yixing teapot in the Jiangsu Province of China.

    These pots were made from a purplish-red clay called Zisha and still are today. Zisha was originally chosen as the perfect clay for teapots because of its absorbent qualities.

    For this reason, teas were only brewed in their own dedicated pots…nobody would brew mint tea in a pot meant for green tea because the delicate flavours would be compromised.

    The pots of the 1500s were not meant for shared tea though…they were designed for individual use and the spout was designed to be drunk from! Each person would carry their own pot and make their tea in it.

    It wasn’t until around 1644 that the original, plain designs of the Yixing teapots began to change and artists began to paint them with decorative scenes which gradually became more and more extravagant with gold details and more elaborate scenery being added.

    In Europe, it wasn’t until the 17th century that people were introduced to the fine teapots from China when the East India Company used them as ballasts for their cargos of tea.

    Europeans used these pots until the invention of Porcelain and soon afterwards, the creation of more and more unusual and novelty teapots became a popular pastime amongst the potteries of Europe.

    People vied with one another to produce the most amusing or beautiful teapot for their table and some amazing creations are to be found in museums today.

    Luponde stock a wide array of pretty and stylish teapots for your pleasure.

  • How to Start your Own Tea Club

    First of all, you may be wondering what a tea club is. In short, it’s a small group of friends who use tea and the loveliness of it, as an excuse to meet up on a weekly or monthly basis in order to enjoy one another’s company as well as to partake in a wonderful, traditional tea party.

    Much like a book club without the books, a tea club is the perfect way to keep up-to-date with those people who you might not otherwise get a chance to see as often as you’d like.

    Busy schedules and commitments often get in the way when it comes to arranging to see friends; we want to see our best pals but something mundane often stops us from calling to arrange it.

    By starting a tea club, you and your friends can not only have the pleasure of a regular meeting but also the pleasure of a lovely, informal meal together.

    The idea is that each member takes it in turns to host a meeting and that the meetings take place at roughly the same time regularly.

    If everyone works, then weekend teas are a good idea; if not, then Friday afternoons are a lovely day to meet…the weekend is calling and you’ll all be ready to relax and enjoy partaking in some new teas and some new treats!

    Trying out different tea blends is a must, as is everyone contributing something to eat. Cakes, sandwiches, pastries and dips all make good choices when it comes to ensuring that everyone enjoys the meeting; bear in mind those members with food preferences and intolerances though!

    Luponde stock a fabulous range of teas to try out at your first meeting…and if you’re in need of some new china or glass in which to serve your tea, you can impress your guests with some of Luponde’s lovely glassware or Dunoon mugs and teapots!

  • Bring Afternoon Tea Back into your Life

    The ritual of afternoon tea was once as present in people’s day to day lives as today’s ritual of kicking back on the sofa in the evenings for a little light surfing and a few snacks is for us.

    Yesterday’s routine was less about total slobbery and more about total pleasure in every sense of the word. From the table setting to the food and drink presentation things were just more careful. Even an ordinary family would make an effort to use good china, tablecloths and tray cloths along with the nicest napkins and besides that, afternoon tea was the perfect time to invite a new friend back to meet the family! It’s an informal, relatively short meal so it can, even today be a great excuse to catch up with a friend or get to know a neighbour better.

    Afternoon tea was a time for reflection and a time for boosting the soul as well as the body. A little chat, some tea and cake and all was well with the world.

    Of course, we were living in a different world back then…people’s hours of work were fewer and more reliable and with less of a daily commute, it was to be expected that folk were back in the house at around the same time each evening.

    Today, with many people in one household on different schedules it’s trickier to meet up for a regular routine of afternoon tea but …that’s not to say we shouldn’t make the effort!

    A little time in exchange for a big reward

    The simple fact is that spending time around a table with those you love…or indeed with yourself alone, is vital if we’re to remain on a good wavelength with our families and in a good mental state if we live alone.

    Making the effort to lay a table may seem far-fetched to some, even silly…why bother with all that when nobody expects it?

    However, scientific research has proven a correlation between our environment and the way in which we behave with more beautiful environments creating more positive behaviour.

    Where we eat and drink is just as important a part of our environment as the rest of our home. Making a beautiful tea setting can really lift moods and children in particular will respond well to a regular, set afternoon tea where they can sit, enjoy a light snack, a chat and something to drink with their parent or carer.

    A modern take on afternoon tea

    We view afternoon tea today as a rather special treat; something we might do on our birthday in a lovely hotel or restaurant. We expect afternoon tea to include all kinds of pastries and rich sandwiches, cake and scones with preserves, butter and cream but in reality, afternoon tea can be a healthy, regular meal which isn’t difficult to arrange at all.

    The ingredients

    Tea of course is a must-have. Whether you choose herbal teas, fruit teas or more traditional options is up to you but make sure that you use your best china! Lay the table…it’s not a lot of effort to use a tablecloth or if you’re not a fan of table linen, simply add a plant or vase of flowers to your table for an instant feeling of occasion.

    In terms of what to eat, it’s not realistic to plan to consume quantities of salmon sandwiches and fruit scones on a daily basis, nor would most of us want to! Instead, look at healthy alternatives to the old-fashioned and filling afternoon teas of yesteryear.

    Some good options include the following;

    • Vegetable crudités with humus
    • Fruit salad
    • Cold meat
    • Cheeses
    • Quiche
    • Soup
    • Boiled eggs
    • Salads

    Whatever your favourite, light snacks are, these should be considered as candidates for your modern take on afternoon tea and after all, you can always include scones, cakes and sandwiches on special occasions!

  • 7 Clever Ways to Recycle Used Tea Bags

    For most of us, a tea bag is a single-use item isn’t it? We make our delicious cup or pot of tea and the bags, shrivelled, damp and useless are thrown away. Unless you can think of something else to do with them that is!

    You’ve probably heard about the old beauty trick where a cold, used tea bag is placed on tired eyes to help tighten up the delicate skin around your eyes right? Well there are a lot more brilliant uses for spent tea bags than that…so read on and learn more about how to make the most of your favourite tea bags.

    • Improving your garden: Did you know that if you save up your used bags until you have a good amount of them and then add them to a bucket of hot water, the resulting weak tea is a marvel at keeping fungal infections away from your plants? It’s also full of nutrients which your plants will love. So save up those bags, brew up a weak tea, cool it down and then offer your garden a refreshing drink!
    • Flavouring cooking: Teas such as Jasmine and Green Tea are wonderful for enhancing the flavour of your cooking…especially where rice is concerned. Simply pop a used bag into the water you’re boiling for your cooking then remove before adding the rice. The delicate flavour will subtly enhance your meal.
    • Freshen up your carpets: Before the days of vacuum cleaners or carpet shampooers, housemaids would hoard tea leaves to aid in the cleaning of the floor coverings in large houses. Save your used tea bags in an airtight container in the fridge; when you have enough, open up the bags and let the leaves dry out a little. Sprinkle liberally over the carpet, leave them in place overnight and then vacuum them up. Your carpets will be visibly cleaner and smell sweeter!
    • Natural air freshener: Tea bags make wonderful odour neutralizers and you can add them directly to your cat’s litter, to your dustbin and to the fridge where they will literally absorb nasty smells.
    • Deter mice: If you believe any one of the many children’s story books illustrating mice enjoying cups of tea and slices of cake, then you’re sorely mistaken. Mice hate tea. They like cake…but tea? They won’t go near it if they can help it so if you think that you may have a little rodent issue at home, sprinkle some dried tea leaves from used bags liberally in the area and they’ll hesitate before coming back.
    • Hair conditioner: Tea makes excellent hair conditioner and you don’t even need to use a fresh bag! Save up a few bags and brew a weak mixture. Use this in your final rinse after shampooing and you will notice a real improvement in shine.
    • Glass cleaner: That’s right, you can even use tea as a window cleaner! You only need a weak mixture to really clean windows to their full shine. Polish with a cotton cloth after cleaning to maximise shine.

    With so many genuinely useful uses for used tea bags, we’re certain you might think twice before composting your next tea bag!

  • Health Benefits of Organic Peppermint Tea

    cup of peppermint tea on wooden placemat

    Peppermint tea has a number of health benefits that we'd like you to know about. Here are five of them.

    Organic Peppermint Tea Improves Digestion

    Peppermint tea is a natural muscle relaxer (also known as an antispasmodic). The oils in the peppermint tea leaves help to reduce nausea and vomiting. It can be used to ease these symptoms during illness, or to prevent them during activities that cause motion sickness (such as sailing or lengthy car travel).

    It is also a carminative; a herb which helps to stop gas from forming in the gastrointestinal tract and reduces flatulence. Its analgesic properties ease the discomfort of bloating and cramps, while soothing indigestion.

    Peppermint Tea = Fresh Breath

    Both the menthol and the antibacterial qualities in peppermint tea can help keep your breath fresh. The menthol provides a clean scent while the antibacterial elements kill germs that can lead to halitosis.  

    Organic Peppermint Tea Fights Cough and Colds

    The menthol in organic peppermint tea reduces fever by cooling your body down. The antispamodic qualities will ease throat muscles and reduce the urge to cough. These benefits can each pave the way back to good health. Peppermint tea is also naturally caffeine free, so it won't prevent you from getting the rest you need during a bout of illness.

    Peppermint Tea Helps With Weight Loss

    The scent of peppermint is a natural appetite suppressant. It can thereby cause less temptation and enable you to exercise better choices when it comes to portion control. This will naturally combat weight gain and prevent obesity.

    Organic Peppermint Tea Promotes Mental Health

    Another health benefit of the menthol found in organic peppermint tea is that it reduces stress. This is due to its antispasmodic and sedative qualities.

    Both the menthol and the antibacterial qualities in peppermint tea can help keep your breath fresh. The menthol provides a clean scent while the antibacterial qualities kill germs that can lead to halitosis.  

    With so many reasons to drink peppermint tea, why not try a cup of our organic peppermint tea, harvested fresh for you all the way from Tanzania.

  • 3 FAQ’s About Tea Etiquette

    woman drinking tea with white gloves

    There are some important rules when it comes to taking formal tea. Here are some frequently asked questions and the answers that have kept us in good stead with our organic tea fans throughout Europe and, indeed, the world at large.  

    Who Pours the Tea?

    Whether it’s Earl Grey or organic peppermint tea, the first to pour remains the same. If the waiter or host pours the first round, then that settles that. If the pot is simply placed on the table then it is the person nearest the teapot who will pour for everyone at the table.  

    What do I wear to tea?

    Dress should be smart at all times. It will not do to wear trainers or any type of sports attire. Flip flops are also taboo. Ladies can wear their favourite skirt or dress, or simply a neat blouse, fashionably fitting trousers and ballet flats.

    Gentlemen can don button-down shirts and khakis, or can take it up a notch with a sports jacket or suit. Jeans are suitable as long as they are neat and worn with well chosen shoes. When dressing for tea, consider what would be appropriate for a dinner party, and your choices will proceed in the right direction.

    Is there anything I shouldn't do when taking afternoon tea?

    Plenty! Don't take bites that are too large; it's undignified and prevents you from participating in conversation when called upon. While eating, indulge from the bottom of the three-tiered tray to the top (savouries, scones, then pastries). The jam should always be placed onto one's plate, not directly onto your scone.

    When stirring your afternoon tea, avoid hitting the sides of your cup with your teaspoon. Also, avoid cluttering the table and surrounding area with bags, iPhones and keys. Neatly place everything under your chair after switching your phone to silent.

    This tradition is much like a dance; grace is involved, a bit of respectful costume, and all your best manners. With this mindset, you'll make a good impression and keep a treasured British custom elegantly.



  • Why We Love Earl Grey Tea

    earl grey tea leaves

    We love Earl Grey tea and wanted to write about the reasons why. Let us know if your own reasons for enjoying Earl Grey are similar.

    Earl Grey Aids in Digestion

    Many use chamomile for this purpose, which is also successful. What you may not know is that Earl Grey can help relieve indigestion, nausea and colic. Earl Grey tea is even used to treat intestinal worms.

    Earl Grey Can Help to Prevent Heart Disease

    Earl Grey can lower blood triglyceride levels, increase HDL and fight free radicals, as evidenced in a study by Preventative Medicine. Participants from the study drank three cups of Earl Grey tea daily, and experienced these results within just 3 months! An Italian study also indicated a 39% reduction in LDL cholesterol after the extract of Earl Grey was taken for one month.

    Earl Grey Inhibits Depression and Anxiety

    The essential oil bergamot is infused into Earl Grey tea to give it a light citrus aroma. Essential oils are used to ease emotional stress and bodily tension, especially for people who work under highly stressful conditions. It has been known to provide a calming effect while improving mood. A 2011 study in Taiwan shows that it benefits those with mild or moderate anxiety.

    Earl Grey Helps to Promote Weight Loss

    Earl Grey is commonly used to promote weight loss. Why this particular blend of tea? As mentioned, Earl Grey contains the citrus extract bergamot, which is believed to help break down calories through natural metabolism. The essential oil is also believed to cure fevers and boost the immune system.

    Earl Grey Strengthens Concentration without Adding Anxiety

    Earl Grey helps to promote focus and concentration. It also has properties that relax and soothe, which are found in the bergamot oil. This is helpful at work when you need to concentrate, but you don’t want to become anxious or unsettled.

    These were just a few of the reasons why we love Earl Grey tea. Let us know about your own reasons for drinking it!

  • How Green Tea Improves Dental Health

    woman smiling with a cup of tea

    Green tea has been consumed for thousands of years. It has many health properties to be proud of, which have been demonstrated in studies. In this blog segment we’ve listed 5 ways that green tea can improve your dental health.

    Green Tea Encourages Healthy Gums

    Japanese studies have found that individuals who drank green tea had healthier gums than those who didn’t. Green tea contains catechins (antioxidants with anti-inflammatory benefits) which may reduce the effects of periodontal disease (also referred to as gum disease). By blocking an inflammatory response, green tea can fend off other diseases that periodontal disease is associated with (including diabetes and cardiovascular disease).

    Green Tea Can Help Reduce Cavities and Tooth Loss

    woman with healthy white teeth being checked In 2010, a Japanese study revealed that people who drank at least one cup of green tea per day were less likely to experience tooth loss. Less tooth decay reduces the risk of a variety of overall health issues and diseases in the human body.

    Green Tea Kills Bacteria and Inhibits Viruses

    The catechins in green tea have already been discussed as antioxidants with anti-inflammatory benefits. Catechins also are responsible for inhibiting the growth of the mouth’s most harmful bacteria: Streptococcus mutans. This, in turn, weakens viruses such as the influenza virus.

    Green Tea Reduces Progression of Oral Cancer

    This was demonstrated in a study by the University of Texas, who gave green tea extracts to patients with precancerous lesions in their mouths. The study found that the green tea extracts inhibited the progression from precancerous to cancerous lesions.

    Green Tea Can Reduce Bad Breath 

    woman with arms outstretched in forest

    How can green tea reduce bad breath? It is scientifically proven to kill the microbes that cause it. This has been measured against chewing gum, mints and parsley seed oil in a study done by the University of British Columbia. Less odorous compounds were found in the mouths of participants who chewed green tea extract than in those who used the mints, gum or parsley seed oil.

    Green tea has celebrated for its health benefits for thousands of years. We hoped you’ve enjoyed reading about how it can help to improve your dental health.

    Luponde offers organic, fairly traded and Rainforest Alliance Certified teas that provide a ‘whole system’ approach to farming and food production. This includes our organic Earl Grey Loose Leaf Green Tea and teabags. To order from our selection of teas and teawares, or for more information about our biodiversity or sustainability efforts, contact Luponde here.

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