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Tea: Vata Ayurvedic

Vata Ayurvedic Tea

Vata Ayurvedic Tea

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting very much in Happy Sushi Belly over the past few weeks… well I was really sick, and really sick means no new sushi adventures!

(Or energy to write up posts for that matter either…)

Now that I’m starting to feel a little better, I do have a new mini-post for you though, about a very pretty tea from David’s Tea called Vata Ayurvedic. It’s an herbal tea that I had in a multi-pack of other herbal teas, but right now it’s not available on David’s website – check back later though, it might be back…

According to ayurvedateas.com, Ayurvedic teas are caffeine-free herbal teas “that help to balance one’s doshas”. The site goes on to state that Ayurvedic teas “help to regulate and balance vata, pitta, and kapha doshas, and thus keep the body in balance and harmony” and are “an effective and economical way to bring back one’s doshas into balance”.

So…. there’s that.

On Wikipedia, I read that a “dosha” is “one of three bodily humors that make up one’s constitution according to Ayurveda. These teachings are also known as the Tridosha theory”. This is starting to sound pretty circular. Maybe I should have waited until I was totally healthy before starting this…

So, let’s just talk tea.

Since the tea is no longer on the David’s Tea website, I can’t say for certain what is in the tea, but visually it looks like peppermint, chamomile, rose buds, and lemongrass. Reading one of the Steepster reviews, it looks like the tea also contains fennel, licorice, and orange.

The David’s Tea write up for this tea is:

“Relax, help is here
5000-year-old Ayurvedic medicine says that we all consist of three doshas in differing proportions. Vata is the most delicate one, and an imbalance can cause anxiety or nervousness. Regain your equilibrium with this soothing blend of organic chamomile, saffron, licorice, ginger, fennel seeds, rose buds, spearmint, organic rosehips, lemongrass, organic holy basil and orange.”

The taste is almost exactly like the custom-blend a friend made up for me with peppermint and chamomile as the predominant ingredients. It’s pleasant, but not anything really special. I don’t think that I’d look for it again if David’s Tea brought it back, but I’ll make up a few more cups of it while I’m trying to drink lots of fluids during this cold….

Feeling under the weather?

Since I’m still not feeling well – leave a comment below with your favourite ‘feel better’ teas!

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Posted by on June 11, 2014 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Organic North African Mint

David's Teas Organic North African Mint loose leaf tea

David’s Teas Organic North African Mint loose leaf tea

Even if you don’t usually like green teas, I think you might like this green tea from David’s Tea.

I tried this tea recently when it popped out of the holiday crackers I mentioned in my pre-holiday post.  Both myself and the other person I pulled the cracker with both got North African Mint, and it was only a few weeks later when I realized that I had this tea already – it was one of the (many) I had taken to work!

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Posted by on March 9, 2014 in South-East Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Devil’s Chocolate

The retail wall of David's Tea

The retail wall of David’s Tea

Ages ago I picked up a small amount of Devil’s Chocolate from Teaopia, a rooibos tea with cacao nibs, ginger, cloves, and red pepper.  The tea is intended to be a rich chocolate flavour for chocolate lovers, but I was disappointed in the tea as a chocolate tea.  The tea is tasty, but not really the chocolate flavour that I was hoping for.

Dry, the tea is mostly spicy, warm, hot…  There’s also a slight bitterness to the scent which I didn’t care for, but     I was so curious to try the tea that I went for it anyways. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Treats: Gingerbread House

It’s very likely the holidays that are making most of my recent posts about treats rather than sushi or tea (although I did pick up some glorious new teas recently that I’ll post about soon hopefully). Still, I thought I’d throw up a quick post showing off the Gingerbread House I made.

It’s from a kit (I think I mentioned in my last post that I’m feeling lazy lately..) but I added in things (and didn’t use any of the hard-as-rocks candy that they included in the kit).

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

  • Trees: ice cream cones covered in frosting and mini M&Ms
  • Wreath on the back: Salt water taffy squished down, cut out, with a jube-jube poinsetta
  • Shingles: Vanilla wafer cookies, split into thirds and then thirds again
  • Walkway: Chocolate wafer cookies
  • Door and windows: Chocolate mint thins
  • Bushes: spearmint leaf jellies cut into pieces
Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

So it’s not the most impressive house, and I’m not likely to actually EAT it.. but I had fun making it – and that’s important too!

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Treats

 

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Treats: Gluten-free foodgasm

Banana bread

Banana bread

Fortunately I don’t have any issues with gluten, but I know lots of people who do. Either way, when I was invited to a tasting party for a brand-new bakery, I thought it was a great idea – and even though I don’t need to eat gluten-free, it doesn’t matter too much because the treats were just delicious!

First I had quite the challenge finding the location for the party – it’s up in Crowfoot which is totally out of my comfort-zone. The last time I was up there was during Stampede if that helps illustrate how rare it is for me to get out that way!  However, when I got there, I was greeted with the delicious aroma of baked goods, and the warmth of a room with ovens going full steam… Hmmmm

There were a number of plates laid out on the central table with cards naming off what each of the dishes was (I wish I had gotten a good picture of this – but the table was constantly surrounded by other guests!) along with a little form asking for feedback on the different treats we all tried.

 

Gingersnap

Gingersnap

 

I started off with a gingersnap cookie – super crisp with real chunks of candied (?) ginger in it. I LOVE ginger!  I chatted with another guest who commented that she wasn’t a fan of ginger, unless it’s teamed up with something sweet – and she adored the cookie (so much so that she wasn’t going to share with her partner.. he needed to get one of his own!)

Next up I tried a Mexican Chocolate cupcake (I think.. their website isn’t working for me and I didn’t see them on their Facebook page) which was fantastic – I expected it to be spicier, but it was ‘just right’ with a nice subtle chocolate flavour, good texture, and just a little kick at the end to remind me about the spice.  They were super-smart and made all of the goodies “testing” size – two bite cupcakes allowed us to try lots of different things rather than binging on one or two items and then being stuffed.

Cupcake!

Cupcake!

Next up – one of the favorites of the night – a coconut-lime cupcake (recommended by the baker’s partner) with coconut cream cheese icing… incredibly delicious!  If you have celiac disease or just don’t LIKE eating gluten, you might find that you ‘miss out’ on so much… with these cupcakes you wouldn’t be. Super tasty!

I chatted with a few people throughout the night – one guy who was in gastronomic heaven – this was the first chance he’d been to a ‘buffet’ kind of event and actually been able to eat everything – rather than hovering at one end of the table over the one or two ‘safe’ dishes that wouldn’t make him ill.  Another woman I chatted with is gluten-free not out of an allergy concern, but rather she opts out of gluten because it just makes her feel better – her argument is that our bodies just don’t process regular flour the right way.  I don’t know if that’s true – but certainly avoiding gluten is a challenge!

Brownie

Brownie

Next, a slice of chocolate brownie.  I really wanted walnuts in the brownie – but it was still really good without it.  Later on, the bakery posted on their Facebook page that nuts had been a big write-in, with a reminder that when ordering, nuts (along with double-servings of that fabulous icing!) could be added in to any of their orders.

After about an hour and a half, I was really quite full, and the event was winding down a little, so I headed home… and was treated to a little bag to fill up with goodies to take home!  I picked out another slice of brownie, another gingersnap cookie, and a pumpkin spice cupcake to take home to share.  (And by share.. I mean that someone else ate them, because I was full!)

Cupcake with their card

Cupcake with their card

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Treats

 

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Blends with Benefits

Not long ago I was looking through my mum’s November 2011 issue of Canadian Living magazine because she pointed out to me: Blends with Benefits.

The article discusses the different benefits that different types of tea can have for people with different health concerns, though oddly enough the article doesn’t really say what I would expect to read.  For instance, they recommend ginger tea for people who are having respiratory ailments – where I would normally expect to see ginger recommended for upset stomach.  For digestive problems they instead recommend rooibos tea.

So, here are the recommendations from the article.  Obviously the November issue isn’t on stands anymore, but the library might have a copy if you’re interested in reading more.

For anxiety: Chamomile tea
Calm down without zoning out with sedatives.  Cover the pot or cup while steeping to retain anti-inflammatory oils responsible for the calming effect; then can escape with the tea’s steam.

Buttercream tea from David's Tea

For weight control: White tea
The least processed tea may help prevent the growth of new fat cells while stimulating the break down of existing fat cells.

For those at risk for cardiovascular disease: Green tea
With lots of disease-fighting antioxidants, green tea is linked to heart-health benefits.  The article quotes a study that indicates that one of the antioxidants acts as an anti-inflammatory which protects the interior lining of  blood vessels.

For digestive problems: Rooibos tea
The article suggests 2-3 cups of tea per day of this naturally non-caffeinated tea because of anti-inflammatory properties which can relax stomach muscles and intestinal tissues.

Pomegranate Green tea from Teaopia

For those concerned about cancer: Green tea
The article suggests 2-3 cups per day of green tea, to take advantage of the anti-carcinogenic effects; catechins  that interfere with cell growth related to cancer development.

For hypertension: Hibiscus tea
I rarely see hibiscus tea available in shops by itself; only included in blends, however the article recommends it for those with high blood pressure. The article mentions a study where subjects drank 3 cups of this tea per day  and saw a reduction in blood pressure, perhaps due to an antioxidant responsible for widening blood vessels.

For respiratory ailments: Ginger tea
This is another that I rarely see by itself, but the article suggests that ginger tea dilates the bronchial tree and soothes airways.  This can also help those with asthma, and can suppress coughing.

General comments:

  • Loose leaf teas tend to have more antioxidants, and flavour, than bagged teas.
  • Steeping teas for at least 5 minutes increases the polyphenol content (though I personally wouldn’t agree with this, since a lot of teas get bitter if they are over-steeped). 
  • Dunking teas releases more flavonoids (antioxidants) into the water.
  • Decaffeinated teas may have lower levels of beneficial flavenoids
  • Tea can interfere with iron absorption, but the vitamin C in lemon added to the tea can counteract this.  (I presume that this iron absorption issue is with caffeinated teas?)
 
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Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: The Skinny

For Christmas gifts this year, I picked up a few different teas (which I put into cute little tins for little tea samplers) for friends.  In the process, I kept a tiny amount of each for myself as well, including this tea called “The Skinny” from David’s Teas.

Well…. this tea had better be good for me, because it certainly tastes like it should be.  You know, like cough syrup and cauliflower and sweaters your grandmother knits you with fuzzy brown kitties on the front and you’re like grandma I’m in my 20’s what am I going to do with a pink sweater with a brown kitty on it and your mum is like ‘wear the darn sweater kiddo, or you’re not getting the iPhone we got you’… that kind of “good for you”.

(Not using the word “like” several times in one run-on sentence is also good for you, but I digress.)

The Skinny from David's Tea

The ingredients include oolong and pu’erh tea (the aged green tea I talked about in a previous post), ginger, ginseng, & orange peel.  Oolong =good.  Pu’erh= good. Ginger = very good. Orange = good.  Perhaps it’s the ginseng (which I can’t say I can remember tasting) that I don’t like? There is a slight orange scent when dry, which is one of the selling points when I picked it up – and steeped up there is still that orange scent, but the taste doesn’t follow through. I don’t taste any ginger, nor do I taste any green tea in this.

The tea steeps up FAST – I left mine in for about 4 minutes (of the 4-7 recommended) because I knew how fast the pu’reh would steep up, and the colour was DARK and the flavour intense.  I added sweetener – no luck.  I’m considering trying another infusion for much less time to see if a weaker tea is a better tea, but I might just grab something else I’ve got kicking around instead. Another thing that is kind of weird.. I’m getting a bit of a coffee buzz off the tea (I presume.  I haven’t had anything else to eat/drink that would explain it.) which is strange, because it shouldn’t be exceptionally high in caffeine.  The Skinny is supposed to be good to sip after a big meal, and I can imagine it would be good if someone had an upset stomach too. I sure hope that the person I gave it to likes it more than I did!

Keep in mind with my review  that I do have a preference for sweet, fruity, or mint teas.  The blogger at FieldGuided loves The Skinny to sip all day, and although she also loves dessert teas, we clearly don’t share the same taste on this one.  Your mileage may vary – but if you’re curious I suggest getting a drink of The Skinny at a retail David’s Teas before investing ($18/100g) in loose leaf.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in South-East Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Ginger Rooibos

Yep, another ginger post!  I love ginger, and I picked up this Ginger Rooibos from the Banff Tea Company not too long ago.

Ginger Rooibos

It’s definitely another nice-to-look-at tea, though not as pretty as some of the others I’ve featured.  Their ingredient listing on the website only lists “rooibos, ginger & natural flavors” which is a bit misleading – you can tell that there are more things in this tea.  Being a rooibos, it tends to escape most of my strainers, so it’s a bit fussy that way too – but the flavor is very nice.

The ginger really pops out when the tea is hot, with the rooibos giving a nice smokey kind of flavor after the spicy ginger.  It’s when it’s cold that it’s even better in my opinion (or perhaps it’s only because I had it on a really hot day when iced tea was MUCH nicer than hot tea!) because the ginger is even more noticeable – sharp and spicy, while the rooibos flavor mellows out a lot more and becomes less noticeable.

Ginger Rooibos

Have you tried ginger rooibos tea?  Wifey woman tried some (not this brand though) and gave it a 5/5 review on her blog.  I like mine when my stomach is a little unhappy, because of the idea that ginger is supposed to help settle your stomach.  I don’t know if it always works, but it sure is tasty!

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Out of town - Alberta, Tea & Beverages

 

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Treats: Ginger Gelato

If you don’t care for ice cream, but want a frozen treat, I recommend trying Peppino’s Ginger Gelato.

Ginger Gelato

I first picked this up at Co-op, but I think you can also get it in Kensington at their shop. It’s not cheap, but it’s really good, and so flavorful that you’ll only need a small bowl. The ginger flavor is the best – a fresh, not-too-sweet treat with little chunks of ginger throughout. I’ve also tried the Hazelnut, the Coconut (also really good), the Raspberry (fresh and tart just like frozen raspberries) and Italian Kiss which is a chocolate/hazelnut blend. Still, Ginger is the best IMO…. perfect after an at-home sushi dinner! hehehe  It’s not ~creamy~ the way ice cream is though – but with some flavors that seems to be ideal – it keeps it nice and light feeling.  (However, for chocolate, I’ll stick to the creamy goodness…)

In the Celiac Husband blog, GF tried out the hazelnut variety, and if you’re keen on the idea of making your own, I found this recipe on a fellow wordpress user’s site – Ginger Gelato

Have you tried it?  Do you think it’s worth the premium price? Let us know in the comments below!

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in South-West Calgary, Treats

 

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