Archive for the ‘Oolong Tea’ Category

  • Tea In The Garden

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    The title of this blog might be a bit misleading. I’m not talking garden parties or afternoon tea; I’m talking gardening with tea and tea leaves.

    Tea is high in nitrogen and contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc and even fluoride that are needed for healthy plants.

    Tea leaves make a great organic fertilizer. When added to soil, they add bulk and acidity and help absorb and hold moisture. The recommended tea leaves for fertilizer are black, green, oolong, and Rooibos (also known as redbush).

    True teas from the Camellia Sinensis plant are highly acidic and are the most beneficial for acid-loving plants. Try sprinkling your used black, oolong, green and/or white tea leaves around the base of azaleas, rhododendrons, ferns, hollies and roses. Vegetables plants that benefit from tea leaves include tomato, pepper, and eggplant.

    Got leftover tea? Add it to your watering can and use it to water your indoor and outdoor potted plants. This will add nutrients and, in the case of green tea, may even discourage insects.

    Another added benefit of adding tea leaves to your soil is the possibility of warding off slugs and snails. Some studies have shown that as little as a 1 to 2 percent solution of caffeine can kill these pests.

    This sounds great, but does it really work?

    I scared my husband a bit when I surrounded his tomato and pepper plants with a generous amount of used tea leaves. After a few waterings, he had deep green, healthy plants that almost doubled in height. It was amazing. Even the little runt of a tomato plant greened-up and started growing. So after the vegetable garden, I moved on to the roses which are now blooming like crazy. When we potted up some flowers, I added tea leaves to the potting soil. So far, I have nice healthy plants that seem to be withstanding the heat.

    Just remember that too much of a good thing can kill you plants. It’s recommended that you only add tea leaves or water your plants with tea no more than every two weeks.

    Happy Gardening!

  • Which Tea Do You Drink With Dinner? Part III

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    Some feel that Oolong tea has such a complex flavor and aroma that it should be consumed on its own. Pairing foods with Oolong teas is a little trickier since Oolong’s character tends to fall somewhere between a black tea and a green tea. Lightly oxidized Oolongs tend to go very well with foods that would be paired with white wines. On the other hand, full and medium oxidized Oolongs would go with foods that are normally paired with red wines.

    Lightly oxidized Oolongs tend to have a sweetness that pairs nicely with sweet, rich seafood dishes, such as scallops and lobster.

    The toastiness and full flavor of medium and dark Oolongs matches well with stronger flavored foods. Dark Oolongs are excellent with grilled foods, spicy or tangy dishes, and Chinese or Thai foods.

    For a wonderful ending to a meal, try pairing an Oolong with a sweet dessert like crepes or Pecan pie.