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We feature a large selection of delicious herbal and chai teas, gourmet cocoas, and some of the tastiest shortbread cookies you'll find anywhere! You'll enjoy them sip by sip and bite by bite.
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~ Some Facts About Tea ~

The people of The Republic of Tea, have always delighted in the fact that Sip by Sip living brings about a life of health, balance and well-being. Now scientific studies are finding that tea is rich in the plant substances known as flavonoids, which function as antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that can damage cells and lead to diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Researchers from several countries have presented evidence that suggests that black teas, green teas and oolong teas, have a protective capability against oral, lung, colon and other cancers. Green teas especially, with more than thirty polyphenols, has a unique beneficial effect on the human system. These polyphenols are also found in fruits and vegetables and act as antioxidants like vitamin C, E, and beta carotene and may reduce serum cholesterol and the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Although the healthful effects of teas have been known to countless generations, recent research shows that drinking tea both black and green, can lead to a long and healthy life. In addition to being a soothing, calming beverage, tea is reported to aid digestion, strengthen the immune system, and reduce the risk of heart disease, all of which play a role in healthy aging. The fluoride in tea can strengthen bones in the same way it strengthens dental enamel. Recent studies in the United States, China and Japan found that drinking green tea inhibits esophageal cancer as well as other types of tumors. Other studies have shown that regular green tea consumption can result in lower incidence of several types of cancers. One possible explanation for this seems to be that the compounds in tea inhibit the formation action of cancer causing substances, such as nitrosamines, which are the by product of cooking meats and fish.

In addition to other dietary and lifestyle factors, tea has been shown to contribute to a healthy heart. By inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract, tea helps prevent the formation of unwanted clots which may cause a heart attack or stroke. All types of tea black, green and oolong, contain some caffeine, although the amounts vary. Green tea, which is not fermented, has about one-third the caffeine per cup of black tea, which is fully fermented. Oolong is semi-fermented and has about half as much caffeine as black tea. Coffee by contrast, has about twice as much caffeine as black tea.


Chai Tea Blends And Their Effects
Chai is an ancient beverage with its origins in India, Nepal and Tibet. The brewing methods and types of tea and spices used vary by region. A traditional chai is a blend of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns which are brewed with tea and finished with milk and honey.

In India, chai is very popular in train stations and open markets. Natives and tourists alike gather around vendors known as chai "wallahs." Their call resonates through the crowd "Chai-ee, chai-ee." Low-fired, unglazed clay cups, called "kallurhs" are used for serving. The "wallahs" fire these traditional vessels in the open flames used for brewing the tea. The cups impart a rich, earthly flavor to the chai. After the beverage is done, the cups are discarded on the ground and returned back to the earth.

Cardamon is exported from Malabar, Ceylon and Mysorethis. Cardamom seeds grow only in rainforest with at least 150 inches of annual rainfall. From the same family as ginger, it is commonly used to create warmth in the body and aid in digestion. Seeds can also be chewed to sweeten the breath.

Cinnamon was once used in love potions and to perfume royalty. It is the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree and is harvested during the rainy season when it becomes pliable. Once dried, it curls into long quills, which are cut and sold as cinnamon sticks or ground into fine powder.

Cloves are the dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical evergreen clove tree. Cloves are sold both whole and ground. Reddish brown and nail-shaped, their name comes from clavus, the Latin word for nail.

Pepper is the world's most popular spice. In one form or another it is used in almost every culture. Pepper stimulates gastric juices and aids in digestion. It comes from a vine native to India and Indonesia and grows in grapelike clusters.


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