Healthy Green Tea and Plum Smoothie

Green tea leaves are the dried leaves of the tea plant, which contain less caffeine than black tea because they do not undergo the fermentation process. For centuries, the health benefits of green tea have been known and utilized by the Chinese and Japanese. Green tea is good for the heart, skin and boosting energy levels. From lowering cholesterol levels to cancer prevention, green tea leaves contain natural antioxidants that translate into healthier living.

Health Benefits of Green Tea

  • The advantages to drinking green tea seem endless, but a few standouts to consider include:
  • Removing aging toxins and promoting glowing skin from the liver detoxification associated with catechins found in the tea.
  • Reduction in inflammation and better control over food allergies – thanks to the plant chemical called quercetin.
  • A weight loss aid that not only assists in the burning of fat, but also helps regulate blood-sugar and insulin levels, which is also beneficial to diabetics.

Green tea is often sipped without any extras, but the flavor is also enhanced by adding lemon, sugar, and especially honey. You can also blend green tea with other ingredients to create satisfying drinks. To tap into the health benefits of green tea while enjoying a cool, refreshing fruity drink, you might want to consider the following recipe:

Green Tea and Yellow Plum Smoothie
(serves 2)


  • 1 green tea bag
  • 1 ¼ cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon high-quality honey
  • 2 ripe yellow plums (halved and pitted)


  1. Add the tea bag to a teapot (or heatproof pitcher).
  2. Pour the boiling water over the teabag.
  3. Allow the tea to steep for 7 minutes. Remove and toss out the teabag.
  4. Let the brew cool off, and then chill in the refrigerator.
  5. Pour the chilled tea into a food processor or blender.
  6. Add the honey and yellow plums.
  7. Process the ingredients until they become smooth. Serve the drink at once.


When a customer receives a drink from Starbucks it is your number one pit stop for coffees, teas, and desserts. It’s a triple combo all in one!  From their commitment to serving the highest quality coffee in the world, you are truly going to enjoy everything from that coffee bean smell to that first sip.


Starbucks does have a gluten free dessert option. It’s called Valencia orange cake. This delicious gluten free cake has a moist, delicate, tender texture. It is a refreshingly light cake with blends of almonds and premium Valencia oranges. All of its ingredients include whole eggs, almond, sugar, Valencia orange pulp, orange oil, and baking powder.


The caffe latte is the original coffeehouse classic. Part of its appeal is the simplicity. A caffè latte is made up of one or two shots of bold, tasty espresso with fresh, sweet steamed milk over it. Some even like to add syrup or extra espresso to the recipe.

Frappaccino is coffee with a flavors powder, blended with milk and ice. Then it is topped with sweetened whipped cream. Very refreshing amd cooling during a hot summer time evening.


Tazo teas are available brewed or iced. One sip and you’ll find it to be extremely flavorful. Their premium black tea gets a snappy little splash of citrus and is shaken, not stirred, with ice.


So don’t forget to stop into on of your communities local Starbucks coffee house. It even has wi-fi service, so sit down, sip your beverage, and bite into a slice of cake.

Twinings, Shaping Tea Traditions

Today, we’d like to introduce you to Twinings.

About Twinings

Since 1706, creating the perfect balance of flavor, taste, and aroma has been this company’s pride! During all these years, Twinings has introduced new tea trends and has helped millions of tea lovers find their favorite blend! It has brought families together and witnessed new family traditions.

Blends & Flavors

Twinings teas come in a variety of choices. Here are 10 of the most popular ones in no order whatsoever:

Twinings Tea. Photo courtesy of vanceming

  1. Earl Grey
  2. Green & Camomile
  3. Green Tea
  4. Ultra Spice Chai
  5. English Breakfast
  6. Lemon Twist
  7. Mixed Berry
  8. Peppermint Organic
  9. Irish Breakfast
  10. French Vanilla Black Chai

Some flavors are available in decaf as well. Twinings teas come loose, in tea bags and K-cups (for Keurig Brewers). For a complete list of their blends, flavors and other products, please visit their website or the Twinings store on Amazon.

A Few Tips

  • For a milder  flavor, shorten the brewing time and for a stronger flavor, increase the brewing time.
  • You have the option of course, to add sugar and milk, but with these teas there are other choices. If you add lemon or orange juice to a cup of chamomile tea the flavor will be enhanced. Apple, cherry, grape, or even pomegranate juice compliments most of Twinings teas. Lastly, the alternative to regular milk can be rice, almond, or even soy. These three “mock milks” go perfectly with the English breakfast.
  • Keep your Twinings teas in an airtight container; this way they stay fresh for up to 3 years!

What Else Should I Know About Twinings?

  • Twinings teas are gluten free and are certified Kosher.
  • When served on its own, Twinings teas contain no fat and have no calories (unless you add milk, honey, sugar, etc).

Where to find Twinings

You can find Twinings teas all over the world! In the U.S. you’ll most likely find them at Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Costco, Stop & Shop, Barnes & Nobles cafe, and practically any vegan cafe or grocery store. If you cannot find Twinings at your local store, you can always visit their online store or the Twinings store on Amazon.

You can also find Twinings on Facebook!

Now, most individuals enjoy a good cup of Joe, Java, espresso,  cappuccino latte, etc…but never forget a simple cup of soothing tea. These teas are absolutely heavenly to wake up to and simultaneously, are extremely relaxing before bedtime. Try Twinings for yourself!

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Sip-t Tea Company

I was browsing the net the other day and I found this tea company called Sip-t. So I decided to feature them! Here is what I found out!

Sip-t Tea Co. is owned by a mother/daughter team who hand craft artisan teas out of the finest available organic and fair trade ingredients forming delectable, unique teas with a focus on quality, the environment, and their community.

Sip-T began from one recipe and now the pair boasts 15 unique and amazing teas that they hand produce in beautiful Bellingham, WA. Each tea begins with hand sourcing the ingredients, assuring each has only the finest in organic and fair trade components, and then is hand blended with an exacting recipe in a batch that never exceeds two pounds so as to bring every tea fresh to the hands of their loyal fans.

Cheyenne Black

Sip-T is a Toward Zero Waste company, that is constantly seeking ways to reduce their impact and maximize their contribution to the community they love.

Sip-T Tea Company Announces New 99% Waste-Free Packaging!

Just one small staple – that’s the only thing in Sip-T Tea Company’s new packaging that can’t be composted. Cheyenne Black, co-owner with her daughter Kamea, noted that although the company’s original packaging was 100% recycled content, they are always striving to do better.

“Our new packaging is tree-free – it consists of hemp paper, a plant-based compostable cellophane, and a reusable cotton tea infuser, grown and sewn in the USA,” Black said. “Everything except the staple is biodegradable, compostable, and tree-free – and our customers get a reusable tea infuser, too!”

Sip-T is among the Sustainable Connections business members participating in the Toward Zero Waste Campaign. ” I think we’ve created something usable, and something that will provide real value to our customers,” Black added. “Reusability is where it’s at — you can’t get less waste than to reuse it and keep it out of the waste stream altogether. “When we first went into business, I had no idea how much of my time would be dedicated to packaging. It’s our image, it’s the feel in the hands of our customers at stake, and it’s the inherent usability of our product,” she explained. “It’s definitely more time-consuming to package this way, because there are many more steps involved, but we believe that tree-free and compostability are incredibly important. As with our original packaging, every unit is packaged by hand, so it’s a bit all-consuming for us on packaging days, but we are incredibly happy with this new stride forward!”

Kamea Black

The Bellingham-based, family-run company, founded in January 2009, handcrafts a range of Passionately Delicious Artisan Tea™ in micro batches of two pounds or less. “This means that our teas are always fresh and never stored for long periods of time,” she explained. “The leaves aren’t crushed or broken in the blending process, so the full flavor remains intact.”

Sip-T uses only certified organic and fair trade tea leaves, and additional ingredients are also certified organic, such as the mango, ginger, and lime in the Tiki Nui Mango Lime Island Tea. Sip-T is a green company, both in product and purchasing choices.

Where to find them:
Sip-T chai teas, black teas, caffeine-free teas, green teas, oolong tea, white teas, and rooibos “red teas” are sold at the Bellingham Farmers Market (both the Saturday market at Depot Market Square and the Wednesday market at the Fairhaven Village Green), and online at For Wholesale pricing call: (360) 220-8100

What Are Tea Sticks?

When it comes to tea, you’re probably used to pouring a boiling pot of water over a teabag or using a gadget to steep whole leaves. However, a handful of companies are offering what they claim is an easier way to brew your favorite beverage. It’s called a tea stick and the invention strays from the traditional methods of brewing tea.

Tea sticks are designed to withhold tannic acids from a cup of coffee. This means that you can enjoy a stronger cup of tea without the bitterness that comes with oversteeping a teabag. The delicate flavor of teas is preserved in a tea stick because they are constructed not to collapse and compress when in contact with water. Tea leaves can uncurl and release their flavor and antioxidants without the taste being affected.

Pre-packaged tea sticks are made out of aluminum foil with perforations that allow your tea to escape into a cup of hot water. You place the stick into the water and stir. The water is forced through the perforations and the brewing of tea leaves begins. Remove the stick when the desired strength is achieved.

Another tea stick option is typically made out of stainless steel. For example, the Blomus tea stick is the latest in tea infusers to hit the market. This particular brand is a brushed-finish stainless-steel strainer with plastic insert that you fill yourself with tea leaves.

Brands of Tea Sticks

  • Petit Tea
  • Ticolino
  • Gamila
  • Teaworth
  • Assamica

The Advantages of Tea Sticks

Tea sticks are easily portable. Toss a few in your purse, glove compartment or office desk, and all you have to do is add hot water.

Since you don’t need a whistling teakettle, strainer or stirrer to use a tea stick, fresh cups of tea are available at your fingertips anyway – at home, work, and when traveling.

From doing away with the soggy teabag to dripping tea from a strainer, tea sticks produce less mess.

The Disadvantages of Tea Sticks

Since tea sticks is a relatively new invention, the variety of flavors is limited. In order to enjoy a cup of your favorite blend, you might have to shop around different brands. In some cases, you may not find the flavor you seek.

Sanctuary T’s Tea-Recipe Contest

Contest details: Until September 30th, Sanctuary T Shop will be hosting a tea-inspired recipe contest.

Prize: The winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to Sanctuary T Shop and have their winning recipe featured on the Shop’s site. The runner up will win a free bottle of T-Dust Seasoning and a 2oz tin of tea of their choice.

Full contest/submission details at:

Good luck!

photo courtesy of Sanctuary T Shop

5 Ways to Cook with Tea

As one of the most popular beverages in the world, tea comes in a variety of flavors and origins – from soothing chamomile to the antioxidant power of green tea. What many people don’t know is that cooking with tea is not a new concept. In fact, the ancient Chinese stuffed fish with dried pungent oolong leaves before steaming, boiled eggs with tea leaf water, and added tea leaves to their fires when smoking duck. If you’re looking for creative ways to incorporate tea into the way you prepare food, consider the following suggestions:

As a Dessert

From shortbread cookies to tea biscuits, green tea has found a place in many recipes for desserts. For instance, green tea powder (called matcha) is an ingredient used in a range of Japanese-style sweets. Some bakers and chocolate makers will incorporate green tea into their recipes. One example is the Organic Chocolate Green Tea Bar – filled with a creamy green tea center and wrapped in a blanket of dark chocolate. Other ways to use tea as a dessert ingredient includes Earl Grey Muffins, Spiced Chai Cookies, and Green Tea Sorbet.

As a Marinade

Leftover tea makes a decent marinade for dishes with meat. Marinade your chicken breasts with tea possessing a distinct flavor, such as Earl Grey, to create an aromatic dish. Some vegetarians have even marinated their tofu in tea before serving. It’s also suggested to explore the aromatic distinction of East Indian teas, which offer hints of cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, clove, nutmeg, and lemongrass.

As a Meat Tenderizer

Avoid tough cuts of meat by using tea as a tenderizer. Experiment with different flavors, such as rooibos tea – also known as ‘red’ tea.

As a Spicy Rub or Coating

If you grind tea leaves (such as oolong) in a pepper mill and combine with white pepper, you can create a savory rub for pork chops and steak – perfect for enhancing Asian-style dishes. Coat your meat, fish, or poultry with dried tea leaves to create a crunchy texture and appealing flavor. Poultry and seafood usually respond well to smoked teas.

As a Rice Enhancer

Don’t have aromatic rice to serve as a side dish? Create your own by adding a bit of tea (like Jasmine) to create varying levels of flavor and fragrances. Since tea is an edible leaf, you may also add to rice to produce interesting dishes. For example, some teas possess an earthy taste comparable to spinach.

Dessert in a Cup… of Tea!

Who would have known? You can have your cake, and drink it, too! Adagio Teas offer signature blends, that recreate some sweet treats, to give you what you need to feed your sweet tooth, without all the guilt. Here are a few of these ‘dessert’ teas they have to offer:


iconA #1 Chocolate Cupcake icon

If you love the smell and the taste of a chocolate cupcake, but don’t always have the time to whip up a batch, this tea is for you! Chocolate chip is the base of this tea with cream and vanilla tea swirled in. Its the best way to get some of the same flavors, but in a healthy cup of tea. So ‘sip back and enjoy!


A #1 Peach Cobbler icon

Peach cobbler is a popular dessert that is enjoyed by so many people. Peach tea provides a sweet fruity base with a swirl of cinnamon for spice and a hint of vanilla that acts as that vanilla ice cream flavor just to top it all off.


A #1 Raspberry Cheesecake icon

Raspberry Cheesecake  tea is a perfect way to enjoy the flavors you associate with cheesecake without the guilt, hassle or effort of making it!  A blend of cream, chocolate chip, and raspberry teas. Enjoy!

icon A Bite of Peach Pie Chai

Delicious peach flavor and aroma blended with the delicious spices of masala chai… smells and tastes like a freshly-baked spicy peach pie. Delicious hot with a splash of cream, or makes a refreshing peachy iced tea. Great gift to introduce someone to loose leaf teas.


Fresh Picked Berries’n’Cream

A refreshing blend of fruit teas with a touch of cream. This custom blended tea has  combined blueberry, raspberry, and and cream tea to create a tea that can be served hot or cold.


Birthday Tea

A treat for any day of the year! A tasty blend of vanilla, cream, and a touch of caramel. The inclusion of rainbow sugar sprinkles adds a festive note and makes this tea perfect for celebrating your special day.


Accidental Awesome

A delicate blend of chocolate and peppermint flavored teas with a hint of vanilla.  Makes a great after dinner tea!

A Chocolate Caramel Nightcap

Delicious, warming blend of chocolate, caramel, with a touch of rum. Just the thing to warm you on a chilly night. Smooth and sweet!! Chocolate black tea, caramel rooibos and rum tea. Yum!

All custom blend teas featured are $10 per 4oz, or $0.20 a cup.  For more varieties, please check out Adagio Teas.