Flavanol-rich tea, apples and cocoa linked to healthy heart

It has been known for a long time that tea is an amazing way of adding an antioxidant boost to your daily life but this week we were pleased to see that new research has come out that confirms this once again!

Diet rich in flavanols — such as are found in apples, berries and tea — can help to lower your blood pressure and stave off heart disease the study has suggests.

British and US researchers studied the diet and blood pressure of 25,168 people living in the county of Norfolk.

They found that, on average, a person with a flavanol-rich diet had a blood pressure up to 4 mmHg (millimetres of mercury) lower than a person with low flavanol intake.

'This study gives us is an objective finding about the association between flavanols — found in tea — and blood pressure,' said paper author and nutritionist Gunter Kuhnle of the University of Reading.

'This research confirms the results from previous dietary intervention studies and shows that the same results can be achieved with a habitual diet rich in flavanols.'

'In the British diet, the main sources are tea, cocoa, apples and berries,' he added.

We were especially pleased to read this as it means all of our Black Teas and Green Teas are even better for you than we first thought! By having our teas throughout your day life you could significantly improve your health and lower your risk of heart disease. Additionally to this we have our Intense Rose and Cocoa tea that contains black tea as well as pure organic cocoa which would massively increase the number of Flavanols consumed. 

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Book of the month: The Wild Silence by Raynor Winn

The last few weeks have suddenly taken the UK from a pleasant summer and autumn into quite a brutal, wet and raw semi winter. It's been the perfect type of weather to curl up in the warm with a hot cup of tea and a good book. 

We have totally loved reading 'The Wild Silence' by Raynor Winn which is a sequel to her first ever book 'The Salt Path' that came out a few years ago. It tells the true story of Raynor Winn's recent life and the unfortunate diagnosis of her husband Moss, with terminal Corticobasal Degeneration. Both of her books are heartbreaking but inspiring with extreme lows but also extreme highs. They will totally transform the way that you will view your life, your actions and your future- to not live a single day to the fullest is, not a day wasted, but definitely a day that should be thought about and considered. 

Raynor's writing is heart felt and true, it allows you to feel a small part of the pain and anguish that she must be going through in her daily life. Somehow she carries on and remains seemingly calm enough to organise her life. It feels like that but under the surface it must also feel so lonely and in a constantly shifting but always sizeable hole of despair. The love that she has had for her husband Moth all of the time they have known each other is so evident and effects readers to their cores. 

Whilst reading it we were sipping our Raspberry Leaf Digestions Tea, staring out into the wild wind battered and rain soaked garden and felt such a strong connection to Raynor and her predicament. At the same time, and almost perversely, her story and life is inspiring- immediately we started googling walking routes local to us and what kit to buy, borrow or bring.

To follow in the steps of Raynor, although terrifying in terms of the illness that her partner is living with in his life, is to be released from the shackles of daily modern life and be truly fulfilled. No emails and no social media, no worrying about things that don't really matter.

Her story reminds us all of a life without those things and with only things that do matter and an acceptance that life may not be perfect or always happy. It is hard and you have to be tough but by living a life that is fulfilled and real is to live life properly and only then can you find true happiness. 

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Origin of Herbal Teas

Herbal Teas have a long history all over the world. Herbal tea is an infusion of any edible plant, usually in hot water. It is available in huge varieties and can be made using many different ingredients, including tree bark, flowers, leaves, roots, spices, seeds, and fruit. It is defined by not containing the actual Tea plant that is found in Black and Green Teas and is therefore caffeine free.

For the majority of human history, herbal teas have been the beverage of choice. The earliest verbal record of herbal teas dates back to 2737 BC in China. In written history, we can find records of herbal tea that go as far back as the third century AD. These teas spread from China to Egypt to Japan, and then to Europe and beyond.

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Origin of Black Tea

Black tea, also known as “red tea,” was discovered in China in the 17th century. Up till this point only only green and oolong teas were consumed. Black Tea came about when a Chinese army was marching for a prolonged time through the mountains and were forced to delay their progress due to the weather. This unscheduled stop led to a delay in tea production, and the tea leaves were laid out in the sun for a longer period than usual. This prolonged oxidization caused the tea leaves to turn to a dark red color. To “save” the tea and accelerate the drying process, a farmer placed the leaves over a fire of pinewood, which resulted in a tea that was smoky in flavor. This discovery produced Lapsang Souchong, the original black tea that would soon pave the way for black tea grown in China, and eventually the Western world.

Due to the fermentation process, black tea can retain and improve its flavor with age, as well as be preserved for longer periods of time. When the British traders learned about this tea and its many positive attributes, it was a dream come true as it meant that the tea could be transported throughout the world and would gain value the longer it was transported. Over time they found a new strain of the tea plant in India and cultivated this. These teas have a larger harvest at a more cost-effective rate, and the flavour is stronger with much higher levels of caffeine. Teas such as Darjeeling Earl Grey and Orange Pekoe were created by British growers in India.

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Origin of Green Tea

We have made this unique breakfast blend with a twist on a classic Black Tea. Fruity, fresh and royal notes blend with the warmth and woody aromatics of our Organic Black Tea and smokey Lapsang.

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