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Luponde

  • 5 Reasons to Add Organic Green Tea to Your Workout

    woman doing yoga and drinking tea on beach

    At Luponde, we love to discuss in the benefits of organic green tea. Here are five great reasons to add it to your workout or next athletic event.

    You Can Skip the Caffeine and Still Burn Fat

    Green tea has calorie-burning catechins. A study by the USDA shows that one cup of loose leaf contains 127mg of catechins. (Brewed decaffeinated green tea still contains 56mg of catechins.) So you have the option of skipping the stimulant while enjoying the fat burning benefits of organic green tea.

    Green Tea Neutralises Antioxidants While You Work Out

    Green tea has more antioxidants than black or oolong tea. These antioxidants, as mentioned, are called catechins, and they not only burn calories but also eliminate the damaging effects of free radicals (such as those found in pollution or toxins). Free radicals can harm your cells, so every bit of effort to cleanse your body helps.

    Green Tea Can Be Incorporated Into Pre-race Drinks

    For regular workouts, organic green teas are an excellent way to neutralise free radicals while burning fat. Prior to intense events such as the Tough Mudder, The Spartan or the Brighton Half Marathon, you can mix green tea with a number of ingredients that will give you both short term and sustained energy.

    With Tea, You Know What You Are Drinking

    Our organic green teas are purer than the sweetened and carbonated energy drinks, which have flooded the market in the last decade. With Luponde teas, you are getting tea that is organically planted, harvested and packaged in the purest, most environmentally friendly way.

    You Can Sample Tons of Online Pre-race Tea Recipes

    Add carbohydrates to your green tea to make any number of pre-workout or pre-race drinks. There are hundreds of recipes online that will give you energy while keeping your glycogen energy stores from being depleted.

    Here’s one organic green tea pre-race supplement that was specifically created for races and events:

    Sample Green Tea Pre-Race Supplement

    • 12oz water
    • 7 grams of Luponde organic green tea
    • 2 teaspoons of coconut oil
    • 1 tablespoon of raw honey

    After brewing, mix the coconut oil until it’s fully dissolved. Repeat this step with the honey. Drink right away to avoid separation.

    We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the reasons to add organic green tea to your workout. Let us know about your own green tea workout recipes. We’d love to hear from you!

  • Tea News: World’s Oldest Tea Leaves Discovered

    China landscape

    This month, researchers identified what archaeologists discovered as the world’s oldest tea. It was buried with the Han Dynasty Jing Emperor Liu Qi. The Han Yangling Mausoleum was first discovered in the 1990’s and is located in Tibet, north of the Xi’an, along the north bank of the Weihe River. The Chinese emperor died in 141 BCE, which dates the tea leaves at 2,150 years old.

    The appreciation and enjoyment of tea is reflected in its oldest textual reference in 59BCE, during the Western Han Dynasty. This, however, is the oldest actual tea discovered.

    How Did They Know It was Tea?

    Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences made this discovery by measuring crystals caught in hairs on the surface of the leaves using liquid and gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The tea was buried in a wooden box among other items ritualistically placed in pits surrounding the emperor’s tomb complex. Aside from food and drink, he was interred with full size chariots and horses, sculptures, pottery and weapons.

    What Do We Know About This Ruling Tea Drinker?

    Han Dynasty Jing Emperor Liu Qi was an unusually evolved ruler; he reduced taxes to improve the quality of life for his subjects, insisted on the humane treatment of criminals and worked to reduce the power of the ruling class.

    It is poignant that tea lovers were so fond of the drink. As quoted by Professor Dorian Fuller, Director of the International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology (based in UCL London), “The discovery shows how modern science can reveal important previously unknown details about ancient Chinese culture. The identification of the tea found in the emperor’s tomb complex gives us a rare glimpse into very ancient traditions which shed light on the origins of one of the world’s favourite beverages”.

    The enjoyment of tea was clearly appreciated by the finest palates. Chinese royals were customarily buried with anything that they would need or want in the afterlife. Of course, this included a cup of tea. We can completely relate!

  • Four Things to Know About Your Tea Company

    These days, more and more tea drinkers are choosing tea companies that operate under high standards. To this end, here are four things that you will want to know about your tea company.

    Your Tea Company is Organic

    soil association organic standard logo

    When a tea company is organic it operates based on a ‘whole system’ approach to farming and the food production system. From soil to consumer, your tea company functions in accordance with the natural systems, cycles, and levels of plants, animals, and soil. This helps the soil maintain fertility and biological activity and protects sensitive habitats and landscape features.

    Organic companies minimise waste and pollution, work with local systems and distribution teams, and provide their workers with a fair, healthy, and equitable way of life. Organic companies respect geographical differences while implementing appropriate practices. At Luponde, we are certified by one of the UK’s top organic organisations (Soil Association Certification Ltd.)

    Your Organic Tea Company Is Certified as Fair Trade

    FairTrade certification logo

    At Luponde we’ve been Fairtrade certified since 1994. This means that the price of our organic tea is negotiated by growers and buyers and must cover the cost of sustainable production. Buyers also pay an additional sum, which funds development projects to benefit workers and their communities. Examples include the construction of schools and day-to-day running of local hospitals.

    Your Organic Tea Company is Rainforest Alliance Certified

    rainforest alliance certified logo

    What does it mean to be Rainforest Alliance Certified? It means that we protect our land and its workers by safeguarding ecosystems and providing complete training and safe conditions for our workers including health care and housing. We support the prevention of deforestation, agricultural expansion and timber extraction. Luponde has been Rainforest Alliance Certified since 2012 and we are honoured to demonstrate that sustainable companies can flourish in the modern economy.

    Your Tea Company is Kosher

    Kosher logo KLBD

    Kosher principles are followed in Jewish life because it is believed that they are healthy for both the body and spirit. The word ‘kosher’ means ‘proper or acceptable’. We are pleased to provide a product that is certified by KLBD Kosher, one of the world’s leading kosher certification agencies.

    All four of the criteria listed are standards that our own tea company, Luponde adheres to. For more information on our products and practices, contact Luponde here.

  • The Perfect Afternoon Tea: The Tea

    lemon tea

    The most important part of the afternoon tea is, after all, the tea. It’s the glue that holds it all together (and washes it all down) – the perfect tea needs to work well with your sweet and savoury selection, without overwhelming the delicate flavours of your sponge or cucumber sandwiches.

    If you want to make sure all of your tea partiers have the perfect drink, it’s a good idea to offer a few options. You could even make some iced tea for arrival drinks and then offer earl grey, black tea, peppermint, or even lemon verbena tea when everybody’s ready to eat.

    Classic Choices

    Black tea is what people tend to expect with an afternoon tea. Our black tea is an English Breakfast style blend with a rich but crisp flavour.

    If you refer a dash of bergamot in your tea, we have an earl grey blend too. It’s entirely up to you!

    Iced Tea

    On a hot day, iced tea can really hit the spot. You can turn any of our blends into the perfect iced by brewing 4 teabags with 4 cups of water. All you need to do is stir 1 cup of water into 4 cups of cold water and then combine the two mixtures. Let it cool further and serve with ice.

    With a Twist

    Sometimes you want a little extra for your afternoon tea. Lemon tea is extremely refreshing (and has the added benefit of being good for you) while peppermint tea has a lovely aftertaste and helps with digestion. If you’d prefer to stick to black tea, you can add lemon instead of milk, or even raspberries to add another layer of flavour to your brew.

  • The Perfect Afternoon Tea: The Sandwiches

    afternoon tea cucumber sandwiches

    Finger sandwiches for your afternoon tea need to be small – only about 2-3 bites each – and crusts are definitely a no-no. I prefer long rectangles to triangles and bread needs to be thin to make sure the proportions work.

    According to afternoontea.co.uk, the top 10 afternoon tea sandwiches are:

    1. Smoked salmon and cream cheese
    2. Egg mayonnaise and cress
    3. Chicken and mayonnaise
    4. Cucumber and cream cheese
    5. Cheese and chutney
    6.  Ham and mustard
    7.  Prawn and mayonnaise
    8. Beef and horseradish
    9. Tuna and mayonnaise
    10. Roasted vegetables and cream cheese

    Cucumber Sandwiches

    Cucumber sandwiches are always associated with afternoon tea, and a lot of people can’t imagine why they’re so delicious. The key is in preparing them properly and enjoying the delicate taste. Sogginess is a sign of a bad cucumber sandwich and you may enjoy a bit of acidity (from vinegar or lemon juice) to give the sandwiches a kick.

    The Guardian has a great recipe for dainty finger sandwiches.

    Unusual Approaches

    afternoon tea with burgers

    As afternoon teas become ubiquitous, restaurants are looking for unusual approaches to the classic afternoon tea to stand out from the crowd. My favourites include mini hotdogs and burgers instead of sandwiches. They’re great for a winter afternoon tea or for a younger group.

    Palachinka’s blog has a fantastic recipe that involves booking the rolls and making the mini burgers yourself to get the perfect size. If you’re not quite up to that, you can always get the mini hamburger and roll selections from Waitrose.

  • The Perfect Afternoon Tea: The Sweets

    The sweet part of an afternoon tea has always been my favourite. It’s just not afternoon tea without some scones and cake. So here are some recipes and ideas to help you fill the top tiers of your cake stand with something delicious.

    Scones

    Scones for afternoon tea

    Scones are one of the easiest things you could bake, and there’s really nothing more wonderfully British than a warm scone, smothered in clotted cream and strawberry jam.

    Our favourite recipe comes from Mary Berry. You don’t need any special equipment for it and it only takes around half an hour. You can make them in advance and even freeze them if you want to make a large batch.

    Victoria Sponge

    victoria sponge cake

    Classic Victoria sponge is the perfect teatime cake. It’s incredibly simple to make with an exceptionally forgiving recipe. Unlike other cakes, you don’t need perfectly level layers or lots of icing for a beautiful slice.

    Jamie Oliver’s recipe is fantastic, and even shows you how to make your own strawberry filling instead of jam so every single element is homemade. Of course, you can replace that bit with jam if you prefer.

    There’s a bit of an ongoing argument about whether you should have cream or buttercream as your filling. My perfect Victoria sponge has sweet buttercream to offset the tartness of the strawberries  - it also means it won’t fall apart too easily if you’re transporting the cake or eating it outside on a hot day.

    Pastries

    Pastries can be a bit intimidating and look extremely fiddly, but a lot of them are surprisingly easy to make. A few lighter baked goods just mean that you can add even more variety to your top tier.

    Mini Apple Rose Pies

    apple rose cakes afternoon tea

    Apple rose pies look so impressive but they’re very easy to make. Martha Stewart’s recipe is lovely, but if you don’t have a heart cutter you can just cut out circles for the base.

    Microwaving the apple slices really helps you roll them up, but make sure that you spread them out once they’re out of the microwave or they’ll keep heating up and go too floppy. The little roses actually hold together really well, and the mini pies are a lot easier to handle than one big one.

    White Chocolate and Blueberry Mini Tarts

    blueberry pastry afternoon tea

    Sweet, fresh, and ever so dainty, these bite-sized tarts are one of my favourite things to serve with tea. The recipe from What Megan’s Making so easy to follow and if you don’t have a mini tart pan you can just use a cupcake tin (make sure that you have baking paper circles under the pastry though!).

    Now your sweets are sorted, it’s time to think about the savouries – good thing it’s coming up in our next blog post!

  • The Perfect Afternoon Tea

    afternoon tea

    Afternoon tea dates back to the 1800s, when the Duchess of Bedford decided to take tea and snacks in the afternoon to keep her sated until dinner time. At first she took it as a private meal but later decided to invite friends to share with her every afternoon, and afternoon tea was born.

    There are a huge number of options for afternoon tea in restaurants, cafes, and hotels around London. A lot are indistinguishable from another and can be quite expensive – that’s why we’re putting together the perfect afternoon tea for you to make at home. Prices range from £25-£55+ per person for an afternoon tea in London, so throwing your own at home certainly looks like an attractive option. Especially when you can put on your perfect spread for a fraction of the cost.

    One of the major things that makes the difference between ‘just tea and a snack’ and ‘afternoon tea’ is the theme. You can create a classic afternoon tea or add a twist of your own to make it a little more interesting.

    Classic

    Classic afternoon tea is a theme in itself. There are items that you always associated with it; tiered cake stands, pastel shades, bunting, and a beautiful tea set.  To stay ‘on theme’ you would need to make sure that your menu only serves standard afternoon tea foods.

    A fantastic menu for your classic tea would be:

    Freshly prepared finger sandwiches;

    cucumber, egg mayonnaise, smoked salmon, coronation chicken, ham and mustard

    Warm scones with clotted cream and jam

    ...

    Homemade cakes and pasties;

    chocolate gateau, éclairs, Battenberg cake, Victoria sponge, or even a crème brûlée

    .

    As part of our tea series of blog posts, we’ll be posting recipes and matching ideas for your tea party menu so make sure you come back to find out how to make the perfect cucumber sandwich!

    Vintage Tea Party

    vintage tea party

    Vintage tea party menus have similar menus to classic tea parties, but the styling is different. A lot of tea partiers like to dress up in vintage clothing or even add vintage accessories to their home. Fascinators, retro curls, and lots of doilies are a fantastic way to add a vintage touch to your afternoon tea.

    Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

    mad hatter's tea party

    Literary influences, like Lewis Carrol’s Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, have inspired a lot of afternoon tea establishments and even sparked a menu from Heston Blumenthal at the fat duck. While you may not have the time or patience to make pocket watch ‘tea’ or actual chocolate tea pots, you can live out your favourite tea party from literature or even combine your book club meeting with afternoon tea.

    Pocket watches, top hats, queens of hearts, and beautiful table linen are all must haves for a Mad Hatter’s tea.

    Picnic

    picnic tea party

    As it’s getting warmer, picnics are looking more and more attractive. A garden party or outdoor tea party is a fantastic way to spend a summer’s afternoon. You can dress it up with different blankets and cushions, and lay out your food and tea the same way you would on a table.

  • Christmas Gift Ideas

    I know it is still November but Christmas is well and truly on its way. With Christmas adverts hogging the television and the Christmas lights being switched on in London yesterday it is definitely time to start thinking about Christmas shopping so I thought I would share with you some gift ideas from Luponde!

    Subscriptions are a great gift for someone who has everything. Treat them to a yearly subscription of our tea and they will receive three large tins of our Tea of the Month every quarter for a year. They will also receive a 750ml glass teapot so they can enjoy the teas straight away.

    Gift boxes of tea make a perfect present for friends or family. We offer a range of different sized gift boxes and you can mix and match between loose leaf or tea bags and our full range of tea and herbs. Why not give them a tea they may not have tried before! A gift box of tea also makes an unusual teacher present!

    Our Dunoon fine bone china range is quite simply stunning. With a choice of mugs, teapots, tea cups and saucers and with a wide variety of brightly coloured patterns there is something for everyone.

    Tea accessories such as infusers, tea bag holders and pincers make fantastic stocking fillers or secret Santa gifts.

    Whoever you need to buy for this Christmas we have something that suits everyone. Just visit us in-store or online and if you need any specific help we will be more than happy to assist and advise. Throughout December in-store there will also be some tea to try and some biscuits on offer!

    Melissa, November 2014

  • Gwyneth Paltrow's Pear and Lemon Verbena

    I was flicking through my copy of Gwyneth Paltrow’s book It’s All Good trying to find some healthy smoothie recipes for my last few weeks of pregnancy and came across another scrummy drink idea using some of our lemon verbena. I thought I would share it with you as another use for our herb!

    Pear and Lemon Verbena

    • 3 cups of water

    • ½ cup raw honey

    • 2 ½ pounds pears (about 6 pears), stemmed and seeded and cut into large pieces

    • 1 sprig of leafy lemon verbena

    • Juice of 2 lemons

    Combine the water, honey, pears and lemon verbena in a large pot set over a high heat. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, remove and discard the lemon verbena, and cover the pot. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Puree the mixture in a powerful blender in batches and pass the puree through a fine-mesh strainer or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Discard the contents of the strainer and whisk the lemon juice into the agua fresca. Serve immediately over ice.

    She also says you can add more honey if you would like it sweeter!

    Melissa, November 2014

  • Dunoon is back in stock!

    We have just had a delivery of our stunning Dunoon fine bone china, just in time for the Christmas shoppers!

    Get in there early and choose from a range of mugs, teapots and tea cups either for yourself or as a present. The difficulty comes when deciding which design you want! My favourite pattern is the Starburst.

    We have some of the collection on our website but come and visit us in-store for even more designs or give us a call or email if there is something we have that you would like!

    Why not pair a mug with a tin of our tea for something a bit different or mix and match the mugs so that every member of the family gets a different pattern. Whoever you choose to buy for this Christmas there is something for everyone and Dunoon will brighten up every kitchen or desk!

    Melissa, November 2014

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