What comes to mind when you hear the word “tea”? This is a question I ask the audience whenever I give any presentations or have any engagements about tea. The reason I ask is because tea is very personal. While it may just be a morning/afternoon beverage for someone, it might be the very basis of living for someone living on the other side of the globe!
The centuries old legend of how tea was first born is even more fascinating and mythical. As the legend has it, a Chinese Emperor accidentally drank a cup of hot water that had green leaves from a tea tree. While the brew was different, he liked it! Centuries later, we romanticize the same leaf in a much different way!
Without getting into too much technical detail, for those of you who did not know already, every single tea in the world comes from the same plant Camellia Sinensis. The reason we have a variety of different teas is because of the production process! And no, any herbs, plants that can be brewed in hot/cold water is NOT tea, they’re called tisanes. Leaving that aside for another blog, I’d love to discuss more about what particular tea has had what effect on me and how to go about choosing the teas and bends depending on my mood. I hope you find some parallels in my thought process which might help you choose just the teas from our organic tea portfolio.
When I want to start the day refreshed:
Black Teas and especially our Kumari Gold is what I pick for an early morning brew. Black teas are fully oxidized teas that have a comparatively more caffeine content than other forms of tea. In general, a cup of black tea has about ⅓ caffeine compared to a cup of coffee. Furthermore, unlike coffee, black teas do not give you the caffeine jitters, rather our black teas give you a mellow sustained energy lift that continues for quite a long time. The best part, you can brew our loose-leaf black tea multiple times! I tend to go a little overboard with multiple infusions but you can easily brew about 3-4 cups of tea with our high-quality organic black tea.
Every single time I drink a cup of Kumari Gold, I am taken back to the roots, our tea garden. The earthy flavors in every sip reminds me of the wet, mushy soil at an elevation of more than 6000 feet. I also remember the fresh misty breeze flowing through the tender tea leaves that are delicately plucked by the veteran hands of our dear farmers!
I encourage you to try this tea and think about your roots and the time and space you are in currently. Start the day by counting your blessings and feeling energized about the work you have in front of you!
When I need a good night’s sleep:
Our herbal blends and especially the organic golden milk. It is simply a heritage for me and my siblings. As my sister vividly recites in the Golden Milk Recipe blog, we used to have this brew as kids before going to bed without really knowing its benefits but just because it tasted delicious. Turmeric, which has been widely commercialized as a superfood, indeed is one, in my opinion and my sister, a naturopathy practitioner, also has to something to say about it. Read the blog she wrote if you’d like to understand the benefits of specific components of our organic golden milk.
While I tend to steer away from the exact health benefits, I am always reflecting on what effect a particular food/drink has on me. When I make organic golden milk tea, I tend to get lost in the creaminess of the milk and the slight astringency of the turmeric. It really helps me to wind down and get ready for bed especially after a long tiring day.
When I am anxious or feeling restless:
With the current situation of Covid-19 pandemic, combined with remote work and parenting, anxiety is at a level I’ve never felt before. It is quite easy to get bogged down to our screens all day and not make time for ourselves. My personal remedy to practice mindfulness is brewing a warm cup of white tea, especially our organic silver needles or a cold brew of our white prakash. With very mellow but quite fresh floral aroma and taste, I take a break and tend not to think about anything else except for the beauty and the complexities of this little tea leaf.
I romanticize these tea leaves a lot and especially while I am trying to destress or let go of the day-to-day humdrum. I tend to reflect on the complex production process these leaves go through and how far they’ve travelled and also the many hands it has passed through. As the tea leaves slowly unfurl, I tend to relate the leaves to my own life; when and where I was born, the sophisticated social upbringing and the journey I have travelled to be here today writing this blog sipping a cup of the same white tea that I am writing about.
For a long day, you should really try to have green teas and/or white teas, which are generally less oxidized and processed the least. These lighter teas tend to contain the highest amount of antioxidants that are present in the unprocessed tea leaves.
When I have the energy slumps and want more creativity:
Oolong Teas and especially our shangri-la oolong is the epitome of creativity in the Nepali tea industry in my opinion. Our shangri-la oolong is quite an oxidized darker oolong tea which has not failed to amaze me every time I brew it. I tend to focus on the production process of this oolong when I am trying to have a creative day. The balance of art and science that goes into perfecting this tea is quite amazing and makes me realize how important it is to find that very “balance” in our lives.
I generally think of the creative space that oolong tea-making process provides where it could be anywhere from approx.15% oxidation to almost 70%. The range is wide and there can be a lot of experiments in the middle. With our decently oxidized shangri-la oolong you can hope to get that sustained caffeine boost while analyzing and trying to decipher where the hint of spiciness actually came from. It is sure to take you on a creative journey as you begin to make multiple infusions of our organic oolong tea.
When I feel cold or just need something to spice up my day:
Masala Chai or “Chiya” as we call it in Nepal, is the way to go. Nothing can beat the warm feeling of a good quality tea mixed with some of the most invigorating spices such as cardamon, cinnamon and ginger. While ginger in itself is great for warding off cold, the ayurvedic mix of our Kathmandu Cosmos is just a sweet and spicy heritage. Though our kathmandu cosmos, does not really have the traditional masala chai spices, it really creates a twist to the typical chai by using our high-quality golden tips tea rather than CTC teas.
If you’re just looking for more traditional chai, our Nepali Breakfast will surely delight you with its traditional yet fresh recipe. No wonder, it is one of our best selling teas! The spices really complement the authentic flavors of the black teas which is just what you need when you’re down or feeling a bit sick.
Well, there you go, these are some of the teas and my reflection on each type of tea that we carry. Do let us know what you think of when you’re sipping some of our teas or any teas in general. Tea is very personal and I sincerely hope you find the joy in sipping every cup of this find brew as I do!
Nishchal Banskota | Founder, Nepal Tea | A Tea Addict