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Jan ‘14

green issue


Contents PAGES what is green tea? 3 the tall tale of three teas 4 why tea changed my life 6 INSIDE spots, spots, go away matcha green tea ice cream go here this month to brew the perfect cup


Green tea is an ancient brew same plant as many other te yellow, black, oolong and p and quickly dried to avoid f for its health benefits the po black tea has been more po

what is green tea? Matt Bouch

w with roots in China dating back some 4000 years ago. Originating from the teas, it is the processing of the leaves that define a green tea from its white, pu-erh counterparts. In the processing of green tea, leaves are picked, steamed fermentation; this results in a far lower oxidation level than other teas. Praised opularity of green tea has grown substantially in the West, where traditionally opular.

The health benefits of drinking green tea are well documented and there has been a fair amount of research done to substantiate these claims. It is important to note that these benefits are associated with actually drinking the tea and not with the consumption of its byproducts. While many of these products may present health benefits, a large majority contain concentrations of green tea extract that are either too low to be beneficial, or so high that they can be detrimental.

To fully reap the rewards of this miracle elixir, your best bet is to drink it as nature (or at least the Chinese) intended: freshly brewed with careful attention to detail. A general rule of thumb is that there is no rule of thumb; each brew should be approach in the manner best suited for that particular tea. Water temperature and steeping times differ depending on the type and quality of the tea, but generally range from 60째C to 90째C, with steeping times between 30 seconds and 3 minutes.

Certain teas may need to be steeped more than once in order to achieve the desired taste. Over steeping and the use of excessively hot water should be avoided at all costs as this will result in a bitter and unpleasant brew.


the tall tale of three teas Matt Bouch

Mao Jian Fur tip Grown in the Xinyang mountains of China, Fur Tip is harvested from spring to autumn; with leaves cropped before summer yielding the best brew. The leaves are long and curled with silvery tips, and great care is taken to pick only the most tender of shoots. It is a common misconception that the name Fur Tip comes from the fine downy hairs covering the tips of the leaves, when in fact this name is a tribute to an ancient Xinyang villager: Li Qiang. As legend has it Qiang had fingers so slender and soft it was if he were born to pick the delicate leaves from a tea plant. His feather-like digits where no use in daily life, or in any other aspect of tea growing for that matter, but when it came to picking tea his touch was something to behold. Qiang stroked shoot from plant without so much as moving another leaf. He earned the name Fur Tips as his fingers were often compared to the tail of a cat. The tea he picked in the was subsequently named after him.


Hou Kui Monkey King Monkey King is a tea grown in the foothills of the southern slope of Huangshan in the Anhui province of China. It has a sweet, herbaceous flavour and a delicate floral aroma, none of which have anything to do with its name. Monkey King gets its name from the mountainous area in which it’s grown, an area that is perennially shrouded in clouds and mist. This is the perfect environment for two things: growing tea, and hiding mythically large apes. Although there are no confirmed sightings of such creatures, with a name like Monkey King it’s safe to assume we’re not the first ones to make the connection.

Lung Ching Dragonwell This may well be one of China’s most famous green teas. Grown in Hangzhou in Zhejiang province the tea has a distinctively smooth, flattened shape. This is the result of pan-firing and gives the tea a toasty aroma, and a full buttery taste. It is believed that when the leaves are fried correctly the steam rising from the wok takes the form of a dragon, who, depending on his mood, grants either eternal life and ultimate wisdom, or a swift kick in the pants. For centuries tea masters have tried to draw the dragon from the leaves, and over time the wok became known as the dragon’s well: the place from where he will be drawn. The “s” was later dropped as Dragonwell made for a better name, and prevented the name being misread as Dragon swell which is a different topic all together.


why tea changed my life tea enthusiast

I’ve always been a tea drinker and lover. Admittedly I preferred my Five Roses Ceylon bags, but I began to culminate quite a collection of rather interesting teas over the years. I thought I was being all explorative. I hadn’t even touched the surface. So I had a new man in my life. And so it goes, they try to impress. It was our first date, and it crossed over my birthday weekend. He took me to the Mount Nelson for high tea. Now, as a lady, I eat rather large amounts of food at meal times. I had never before gone for high tea (I booked once for mother’s day but my inconsiderate family ate a large breakfast and we weren’t hungry come two o’clock) and had heard it was wondrous. Well; I tell you. Firstly, this man has stuck around. Yes to the first date impressing (and, strangely enough the dates after have been equally entertaining) and triple yes to the delicacies.


However, my absolute favourite part was the teas. The whole experience was immersing. The tea leaves (supplied by Nigiro) were brewed perfectly, with timers, in glass tea pots, and served to drink out of delicate china. We must have gone through at least 8 different variants of teas, my favourite being Forest Berries. I was awestruck. There was no way my white peach and ginger tea at home had a spot on this blend.

I proceeded to investigate where I could get my very own Forest Berries tea leaves, and found myself at Nigiro. I ended up buying a glass pot and 200g of the aromatic tea. I overestimated it. Only one teaspoon is needed per cup, and the tea lasts. Since then, my boyfriend and I have gone to explore more tea shops, more teas and introduced others to this way of life. It’s always satisfying to see a friend or relative look dubiously at the tea and change to pleasure once tasted. The teas all have different effects, whilst the Forest Berries continues to be my favourite, the cranberry is great during my period (men, remember this – your girl will love you for it), and the herbal sundown is perfect for a relaxing night just before bed; it knocks you out. Green teas have wonderful benefits and some teas wake you up and refresh you.

I would recommend trying out a few and find your favourite flavours. Don’t just buy on description and smell alone; I have done that and was greatly disappointed. Most tea shops offer tasting, and is relatively cheap.


spots, spots, go aw Ritz Mphaka

If you’re like me and always had lovely skin until you hit eighteen, then this might be due to stress. Skin treatments and products can be quite pricey and not always easy to get to. So, here’s a little tip and a review on how it works… While online, I found a Green Tea skin treatment that was simple and made using things that you would already have in the house. The only thing you would need to buy is the tea bags. I used organic tag-less green tea teabags. I’m going to show you a morning and night treatment.


way morning For the morning time, just because one usually has less time I the morning than at night time, this is what I did: Get a teabag, run hot water over it just enough so that it’s soaked, but not too much because you don’t want to wash away all of the nutrients in the leaves inside the bag. When you have done this, take the tea bag and squeeze gently to let out a little bit of the moisture so that it does not drip. Then take the teabag and gently dab it all over your face. This is a nice treatment to soak nutrients into the skin and to open up the pores and clean out the skin. You will notice the fresh feel your skin gets after this treatment. It is quick and easy (only takes about 6 minutes including the time it takes to warm the water) and it doesn’t cost much.


night This treatment is for the nighttime simply because one usually has more time at night to do this. I recommend doing it shortly before bedtime. It does not have to be directly before; you could do this before you brush your teeth while watching TV. Get a teabag that I’ve either used, only once! After steeping the tea bag, take it out; don’t leave it in because there won’t be any nutrients left after your cup of tea if you do. Otherwise, get a teabag and run hot water over it like before. Tear the teabag and pour out the leaves into a cup or a small container.


Take a teaspoon of honey and mix it in with the leaves. Take this mixture and spread it over your face. Leave in for about 5 minutes. Rinse off and dry. And that’s it; your skin will feel soft and refreshed. Do this treatment 2 or 3 times a week because it deep cleanses.


matcha green tea ice cream Go all the way green and try this Green Tea ice cream recipe. This ice cream is creamy and low in sugar and therefore lower in calories than other ice creams and also has a refreshing green tea flavour. A bonus to this ice cream: Even though it doesn’t necessarily retain all of the other health benefits and nutrients that green tea has, it is rich in EGCG, which is anti cancer and anti aging. So enjoy‌ moderately.


Yield: 1 Litre Prep Time: 5 Cook Time: 20 Total Time: 25 plus freezing time

1 1/2 cups heavy cream 1 1/2 cups milk
 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons green tea powder 5 eggs
 1/3 cup sugar

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream, milk and salt to a bare simmer. Whisk in the green tea powder until dissolved. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture to temper the eggs, then slowly pour the eggs into the saucepan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to a custard (it will be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon) . Immediately remove the pan from the heat and strain the custard into a medium bowl set over a bowl of ice water. Stir the custard until it is cold. Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker until frozen, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze until hardened. If you don’t have an ice cream maker like me, just pour the ice cream mixture into a container and place it in the freezer for approximately 3-4 hours, taking it out of the freezer, stirring it and pressing it back down before you put it back in. Do this every hour.


go here this month

This place stocks the full range of Nigiro tea - which is over 80 teas (if you go directly to Origin you will only find the most popular). It doesn’t hurt that Origin coffee is also stocked. The staff really know their tea, and are passionate about tea. They are very willing to share all their knowledge if you ask. Tea pairing with the menu is on offer; always a fascinating experience. The menu is updated often, which allows for new meals to be tried. O’ways is in a central spot, 50m from Cavendish Square, which allows for safe parking. You get asked to hit the gong on the way out if you enjoyed your experience.


to brew the perfect cup The optimal kettle for brewing tea. Russell Hobbs’ Glass Touch Kettle allows for a range of temperature control and a maximum capacity of 1.7l. Available at Hirsch for R1369.99

For the interactive experience of steeping your tea, Nigiro’s Small Rocking Teapot and Glass Infuser Saucer are available. R250.00 and R35.00 respectively. Both available from YuppieChef or Nigiro.

From Johannesburg comes the toniglasscollection. For the perfect strength we recommend the Tea Measure Spoon available online for R55.00.


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