Just had to share this picture. I was making some Yogi Tea (Green Tea Rejuvenation, to be exact) earlier when I noticed the motto printed on this particular tea bag. (Backstory: Yogi Tea prints little fortunes on the paper ends of each of their teabags – such a freaking cute idea.) Anyway, the fortune on this bag simply says, “You are unlimited.” I can’t tell you how awesome those three words are: empowering, encouraging, effective. Puts me in a very good mood. Plus the tea’s absolutely delicious. Moral of the story: Never limit yourself. Second moral of the story: Drink green tea. 🙂
I’ve been drinking a lot of “berry” teas lately…I think subconsciously I’m getting myself ready for the fruity tastes and smells of late spring and summer. 🙂 Most of the berry teas I’ve ever had have been herbal teas, without an actual “tea” basis, just brewed herbs and leaves with fruit flavoring. However, if you’re more into actual tea leaves, and a stronger taste, I’ve found the right berry tea for you: Lipton’s Bavarian Wild Berry Black Tea.
This is a flavored black tea made with pieces of real berries, packaged nicely in Lipton’s awesome little pyramid bags. (I love the pyramid bags – you can actually see the fruit pieces basically open up after steeping, and the smell and taste are much stronger.) Here’s the tea’s official ingredient list: Black tea, dried apple pieces, rose hip peel, chicory root, cinnamon bark, licorice root, modified corn starch, natural flavor, dried blackberry pieces, dried black currant pieces, ginger root, orange peel, dried blueberry pieces, dried raspberry pieces. That’s a lot of fruit pieces, people. The fruit never overwhelms the black tea though – the strong black tea is just as easy to taste as all of the wonderful fruit.
I haven’t tried the tea iced yet, but I’m guessing that like most teas, it tastes even better hot. I let my bag steep for 3-4 minutes in boiling water. Each bag has 80 mg of Flavonoids per serving (that’s a good thing), and 20 mg of caffeine per serving.
Final say: The tea smells fantastic, and tastes just as good – this one’s a must-try.
I’ve always liked smoothies, especially the ones with tea in them, but with warm weather (tank tops! shorts! the beach!) around the corner I’m really watching my diet and nutrition. This means less sweets and more fruit, and even an occasional meal replacement. Occa-sion-al.
Anyway, here are two smoothie recipes from the Bigelow Tea Website that I plan to try this week, and I wanted to share them with my readers in case you’re interested in trying them too!
Green Tea Fruit Medley Smoothie
1 cup water
3 Bigelow® Green Tea Bags (use any flavored green tea)
1 cup fresh berries; choose from raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup ice cubes
Prepare tea by steeping 3 Bigelow® Green tea bags in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Squeeze out bags and discard.
Combine tea and remaining ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Yield: Makes 4 – 6 oz drinks, each servings around 52 calories. Prep time: 5 minutes.
Bigelow® Herb Tea Smoothie
3/4 cup hot water
6 Bigelow® Herbal Tea Bags: (Perfect Peach®, Red RaspberryTM, Chamomile Mango®, Pomegranate Pizzazz®, or Herb Plus Wild Blueberry Acai)
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, mangos, raspberries, blueberries, or a combination)
In a measuring cup, combine hot water and 6 tea bags of your flavor choice listed above. Allow to steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove tea bags.
Allow tea to cool, then place in the refrigerator until well chilled.
In a blender, combine the yogurt, frozen fruit, and 1/2 cup chilled tea. Puree until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve with a straw. Yield: Makes 3 servings, each serving around 85 calories.
I’m a huge fan of Celestial Seasonings and their always-wonderful tea. Huge fan. I was recently in Target (my second home) when I noticed the company’s Fruit Tea Sampler. Upon examination, I realized that the sampler contained a few teas I hadn’t tried before. Gasp.
I recently reviewed one of the other teas in the sampler, the Raspberry Zinger. I love it muchly, and trust me, the True Blueberry is just as good. It doesn’t taste sugary, but it has a SLIGHT sweetness to it that makes it almost like dessert, or reminiscent of a blueberry yogurt flavor. As an herbal tea, it’s caffeine-free, and the ingredients are “hibiscus, rosehips, orange peel, natural blueberry flavor with other natural flavors (contains soy lecithin), blackberry leaves, wild blueberries and blueberry leaves”. The word blueberry is mentioned three times just in the ingredient list, so that’s a good thing, right?
Wild blueberries (that just sounds exotic) are used in the tea, and it’s no secret how good blueberries are for your body. There’s almost an grape-like flavor to these blueberries. I’ve tried the tea cold and it’s great that way, but it’s even better hot, like a warm slice of blueberry pie. Just pour boiling (or almost-boiling) water over a bag and steep for around 4-5 minutes.
Anyway, it’s hard to express in words what truly should be expressed through taste, so try this tea, and try it soon. Let me know what you think!
(Fruit Tea Sampler Image from Celestial Seasonings website)
Hey, don’t hate on my Quagmire glass. Inside is my knock-off version of Smoothie King’s to-die-for Green Tea Tango smoothie, which turned out very, very close to the original. I think I get extra points for having no matcha on hand to use…and no clue what I was doing.
So the other night I decided that nothing would make me happier at that exact moment in time than a green tea smoothie. However my Smoothie King is on the other side of town, it was late at night, and I was in my pajamas. And lazy. I really wanted to make my own version, but at first thought that seemed impossible since I don’t currently have any Matcha powder. Then (*brainstorm!*), I decided to brew up 2 cups of green tea and experiment. I didn’t write down my steps or measurements as I went along because, quite frankly, I didn’t expect it to be even close to edible, so I’ll try my best to remember exactly how I made the smoothie. I used 2 green tea bags and brewed them in one of my largest mugs. I then poured the tea in a blender and added 4-5 ice cubes. I know that yogurt is a staple of any good smoothie recipe, so I added about 1/4 cup of plain fat-free yogurt, then added a little bit of soy milk. Technically, you probably shouldn’t even mess with the soy milk, because once I made my drink I instantly decided to add between 1/3-1/2 cup 2% dairy milk, so just stick with that: about a cup of dairy milk. The ice cubes I had added melted almost instantly due to the hot tea, so I had to add 3-4 more ice cubes. The drink was close to perfect, but was just too bitter, so I added sugar. How much you add is up to you, and I really didn’t want to add any because I hate sugar in my drinks, but trust me – this concoction is way too bitter without sugar. I added about 1/4 cup, and since this all brewed up between 2-3 actual smoothie servings, your per-cup sugar serving isn’t THAT bad. Not bodybuilder-healthy, but not horrendous. Now, I’ve tried the Smoothie King Green Tea Tango with fruit added (like the company recommends), and I was very disappointed to realize that all you taste is the fruit – no hint of matcha at all. Now when I order my smoothie, I tell the worker that I don’t want fruit because I want to only taste the matcha/yogurt, and they’re always VERY friendly and happy to oblige – they just usually add a little extra powder to make the texture just right or whatever. Anyway, if you like fruit in your smoothie, feel free to throw that in the blender too, and I’m sure it will taste fine.
Final verdict: Although my mixture isn’t all that green (due to the lack of actual matcha), and it took some tweaking and experimenting to get it right, it was actually DELICIOUS and tasted almost identical to the Smoothie King version. Next time I get a late-night smoothie urge – or feel too lazy to drive 15 minutes – I’ll be doing this again. Yum! 🙂
Most people reward themselves when they’ve done something great or accomplished a big goal. Ummm, I’ve worked out a few times this week and I’ve read more than should be humanly possible. So here’s my “you done good” gift to self: Homemade Frozen Strawberry Crumble (yeah, you pretty much can’t see it sitting on that dish, haha) and Celestial Seasonings’ Wild Berry Zinger Tea. (Yum!) Or…maybe this is a subconscious attempt to show off my new spring dishes from Target that I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with. Yeah, that’s probably it.
If you pride yourself on being a tea connoisseur (*raises hand*), then you probably have noticed something about raspberry tea: it’s either really “fake” and overly sweet, or it’s pretty freaking awesome. It’s one of those teas that’s a hit or miss. Well, the Raspberry Zinger from Celestial Seasonings is a hit. Big-time. Like bases-loaded, let’s-score-the-winning-run sort of hit.
My favorite thing about this tea is the tartness you can detect: nothing sugary, but a taste slightly sour, like it should be with a raspberry tea. My second favorite thing about the tea is the wonderful aroma. Seriously, candles should smell so good. Basically I’m saying that I love the taste and the smell, so what else do you need?
I’ve never drank the tea iced (I’m a sucker for a cup of hot goodness), but I’ve heard that it makes fantastic iced tea. The listed ingredients for the tea are hibiscus, rosehips, roasted chicory, orange peel, blackberry leaves, natural raspberry flavor with other natural flavors (contains soy lecithin), raspberries and raspberry leaves. Just brew your bag in about 8 ounces of boiling (or near-boiling, in my case) water for around 5 minutes (4 to 6, the company says), and enjoy!
I’m not overly picky about what I review on this site…basically, if “tea” is mentioned in the title or ingredients anywhere, I’ll try it, and then give you my completely unbiased opinion on it. A little while back I was given a packet from a distributor of Zija with a sample of the company’s “Smart Mix Beverage” powder and a few bags of their “Miracle Tea”. As usual, a a review for the company and their products was not promised, but would be appreciated by the supplier if I got the chance.
I usually try not to review (or drink!) anything that promises a form of “weight loss” or “lots of energy” because I think we’re a lot safer getting our energy and nutrition from our food and diet. But I did my research, and after confirming that these products wouldn’t kill me or affect my body or behavior in any weird way (I’m very paranoid about energy drinks and products), I went for it.
I’d never heard of Zija International before receiving this packet, but apparently it’s a Utah-based company that sells a line of “nutritional”, “energy”, and “weight management” products, focusing mostly on their main ingredient moringa, an exotic and apparently nutritious plant known for its therapeutic properties and used widely in ancient cultures. The company uses distributors, newsletters, and sales systems to sell and market their product, and you can find much more information here.
All that being said, I don’t vouch for the health properties of the drink, and none of their information is FDA-approved as far as I can tell. I’m just here to give you a little background and let you know how it tastes. 🙂
The cold drink from Zija that I tried was the Moringa Smart Mix Powder…you add a .5 oz packet to 8-20 oz. of water (I know, wide range, right)? I added it to about 16 oz. of water and the result was pretty tasteless, so I would recommend not adding more than 12 oz. if you like for your drinks to have much of a taste. The first five ingredients for the smart mix all started with the word “moringa”; also listed were natural flavor, citric acid, agar, and fruit pectin. The drink has around 19 calories, and I think if it weren’t so diluted, it would actually taste pretty good. The company claims that the mix is “overflowing with cell-ready nutrients, antioxidants, and vital proteins”. I obviously can’t promise any of that, but it was a decent-tasting morning drink.
The other Zija drink I tried was their “Miracle Tea”, and I drank it hot both times. The company calls it part of their “Zija Weight Balance System”, but I wasn’t drinking it for that reason so I’ll leave that subject alone. It’s an herbal tea that purportedly aids in digestive cleaning, fat-metabolizing, and appetite-suppressing. I let it steep for the maximum recommended time (10 minutes), but it honestly didn’t really have a taste to me, so I don’t have much to review there. Seriously. I tried very hard to actually recognize some sort of taste to mention, but nothing doing.
Of the two drinks I tried, I came away thinking that these products don’t have much of a taste and you’re basically just consuming water with a few added calories. I haven’t tried all of the company’s products and can’t make a judgment on the rest of the system, obviously. Basically, I’d advise any of my readers to do plenty of research before trying any product for the purpose of energy or weight loss, especially a drink system with distributors and market quota.
I just found this through a Google search on green tea and I wanted to share; it’s from a site called Nutra Ingredients USA (about health food, supplements, sports nutrition, etc.), and it’s a summary they posted about a Japanese study. This study focused on green tea and its effects on certain functional disabilities, and it’s pretty darn interesting. (My apologies – I’m the nerd that always enjoyed learning about science and health and biology and whatnot.)
To summarize, this study found that people drinking 1-2 cups of green tea a day had a reduction in functional disabilities (such as osteoporosis or stroke) as opposed to people drinking less than a cup a day. The study also found that the polyphenols in green tea could improve leg strength, along with possibly lowering depression. The whole article is copywritten so I don’t want to copy and paste any of the info here, but you can read everything at this link:
All right, one more post about my awesome tea-related Christmas gifts, then I’ll be done.
Here’s a beyond awesome tea-towel I received from my mom…it’s kind of similar in color to some adorable Paula Deen tea towels I got last year. You know what that means; I will be redecorating my kitchen to match the colors and theme. No big deal:
Here’s something I received from my younger sister – a box of Earl Grey tea (one of my faves!) and a Tazo tea glass with a set of Tazo Tea (one of my favorite tea companies, by far):
And lastly, here are two kinds of tea that the same sister gave me – Raspberry Green Tea by The Tea Nation and Pomegranate Tea by the English Tea Shop. I had never tried either kind before, but take it from me – they’re awesome: