Saturday, June 28, 2008

Refreshing Iced Strawberry Cream Green with Tea Ice Cubes

Tea Ice Cubes*

Make your ice cubes with your favorite tea instead of water. You will have full-flavored iced tea instead of water-downed tea.

Take a little extra time to make the ice cubes a little more special. Small slices of orange, lemon, or lime added to your ice cube sections before pouring the tea in will look beautiful when frozen and will add extra flavor to your tea as the ice cube melts.

Blueberry Tea Cubes Add 2 blueberries to each section of your ice tray before pouring the tea in.

Orange Tea Cubes Zest an orange into long strips. Add a strip of orange zest to each section of your ice tray. Pour the tea in and freeze.

Strawberry Tea Cubes Add small pieces of strawberry to the sections of the ice tray before freezing.

*Reprinted by permission from The Ultimate Tea Diet by Mark "Dr.Tea" Ukra ISBN 978-0-06-144175-2. Visit

For more fun, dip the rim of your iced tea glass in water then in colored sugar for a festive touch.

Visit for Strawberry Cream Green tea.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The World Tea Expo

I recently attended the World Tea Expo which was held in Las Vegas this year. There was an amazing array of tea products ranging from traditional teas to frozen tea drinks to tea liquors. On display were many delicious new teas and fabulous tea accessories. A selection of these will be featured on my website soon. Educational sessions were held in conjunction with the exhibits.

My picture shown here is with Dr. Tea. I attended his session, "Converting the Coffee Culture". Dr. Tea's tea business in located in Las Angeles. He has made numerous television appearances and has written a book titled The Ultimate Tea Diet. This book has many ideas on how to live a healthier life based on common sense and drinking tea! It is filled with valuable tea tidbits, recipes and successful weight loss stories.

*The secret of tea's ability to help you lose weight is the synergy of tea's three main ingredients: caffeine, L-theanine, and EGCG. Here is a quick rundown of the ingredients starting with caffeine. Because caffeine is a stimulant, it will help you lose weight. Unfortunately, however, caffeine has unhealthy side effects. Recent studies have shown that caffeine raises both blood sugar and insulin levels.

Doesn't Tea have caffeine? Yes, it does, but it has far less than you'll find in a cup of coffee. And here's the "magic" of tea: It also as L-theanine, an amino acid that works to counter caffeine's harmful effects. L-theanine also influences the neurotransmitters in the brain that affect your dopamine and serotonin levels which send the brain signals of satiety. The more tea you drink the stronger the message to your brain that says "I'm not hungry." Therefore, tea not only helps you lose weight, it helps to reduce your appetite and stay on a diet as well.

The third secret ingredient is EGCG, the miracle antioxidant that stimulates your body's metabolism; you're actually burning fats as you sit there drinking your tea. EGCG also lowers the levels of tryglycerides in the blood and inhibits the accumulation of fatty acids in the fat cells, thus making it a significant antiobesity agent.

Can you eat whatever you want and still lose weight simply by adding tea to your diet? Probably not. But if you start by drinking tea, it will begin its work on your alpha brain waves, your neurotransmitters, and your metabolism to increase your energy and decrease your appetite. When you add in the Ultimate Tea Diet weight-loss food plan and a moderate amount of exercise, the pounds and inches will come off quickly and safely.

Dr. Tea's favorite advice, "If you think you can, you will; if you think you can't, you won't."

*Reprinted by permission from "The Ultimate Tea Diet" by Mark "Dr. Tea" Ukra ISBN 978-0-06-144175-2 Visit

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pot Luck Tea

When you're short on time, sharing food preparation is a great way to have a tea party. It can be great fun to see what each person prepares. It is also a good idea for your guests to bring a recipe to share.

My good friend and former tearoom chef, Cynthia and I enjoy getting together regularly for tea and periodically we prepare our own tea fare. We share the baking and each makes scones, tea sandwiches, sweets, and or savories.

Cynthia is a champion scone maker and we seldom host an at home tea party without her fabulous scones. Thank you to those who still email me about them from our days at Civil-La-Tea.

Our pot luck menu for our most recent at home afternoon tea consisted of Triple Cherry Scones, Puff Pastry Napoleons, Ham and Cheese Filled biscuits, (You can find the recipe for these biscuits in the May edition of the newsletter. Just click "News" where you will find all the past editions.) Mini Peach Tarts, Almond Poppy Seed Tea Bread, and Coconut Chewies.

Have you had pot luck tea parties? Please leave a comment and share what you like to prepare the most.