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May 23, 2014

Peach and Lavender Tart

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am


On my last trip to the grocery store, I noticed that peaches have made their come back this year! Since I love peaches and needed a dessert for the weekend, I looked in my herbal cookbook and found a recipe that combined my favorite fruit with our herb of the month lavender. The recipe was easy to follow and I wish I had taken a photo of the tart right as it came out of the oven, because it vanished all too quickly……

Give it a try!


one 9-inch  pastry shell, store bought or homemade

2lbs  peaches, split, pitted, and cut in 1/4 inch slices

4 tbsp lemon juice

1/3 cup sugar

1 tbsp. lavender flowers, dried and slightly crushed

2/3 cup blanched almonds

1 large egg

Heat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine peaches, lemon juice, 2 tbsp sugar and lavender. Toss and let stand for at least 1 hour. Put the almonds in a small baking dish and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes or until golden. Break up the almonds in a food processor, then add the remaining sugar, egg or egg substitute and butter, process until blended but chunky. Spread the almond mixture over the bottom of the pastry shell.

When the peaches have given up about 1/4 cup of juice, drain them well, reserving the juice. Spread half the peaches over the almond mix, then arrange the remaining half in a spiral pattern on top. Bake tart at 325F for 50 minutes, lightly brushing the top with the reserved juice three times during the baking. To keep the crust from becoming too brown, cover the rim with aluminum foil until the last 15 minutes of baking. Cool and serve.

Add some vanilla ice cream and you have yourself a slice of heaven!

source: Herbmentor


May 19, 2014

June Herb of the Month: Lavender

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am


I not only have a fondness for lavender because purple is my favorite color, but also because this beautiful and fragrant flower is a powerhouse when it comes to healing properties.

Used since ancient times in skin-care products, it was the favorite scent of Nefertiti and Cleopatra. Native to Africa and Europe, Lavender can easily be grown and enjoyed here in the desert. There are 4o different species of this plant, the two species you want to remember are Lavandula vera (best used for cooking) and Lavendula angustifolia (used for medicinal purposes).

BENEFITS OF LAVENDER….in a nutshell:

  • the scent of lavender helps you relax and go to sleep easier. It also helps lift your mood and reduces symptoms of PMS and anxiety
  • lavender eases tension, stress, pain and inflammation when used in bath products
  • the scent of lavender repels mosquitos and other insects.  Use some essential oil in a diffuser on your patio!
  • lavender acts as a natural antiseptic and disinfectant
  • lavender essential oil helps heal cuts, scrapes, burns and insect bites
  • as a moisturizer, it is hydrating and healing – excellent for problem, and teenage skin
  • keep a small bottle of lavender essential oil handy as a natural cure for headaches and jet lag

Have any questions about how to use lavender, send us an email:!




May 16, 2014

Marriott Now Offers Tea Service For The Connaisseur….

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am


I don’t know about you, but I am always disappointed when I go on vacation, check into a nice hotel where customer satisfaction is a high priority – which apparently does not include tea service.

While there tends to be quite a selection of coffee beverages – espresso, macchiato, cappuccino – when it comes to tea I might have a choice between Lipton and Lipton. Green tea still seems to be a mystery to most baristas and is often prepared with overly hot water, turning it into a bitter and astringent brew.

So when I leave home, I have learned to bring my tea-gear: electric water kettle, my favorite tea(s) and a strainer. This way, too, can enjoy my perfect cup of tea in the morning.

It seems, though, that Marriott has caught on to the tea trend, not in the least because of their increasing Chinese clientele.

Marriott International executives discussed the growing importance of accommodating global tea culture. and is taking the lead in upgrading tea service for some very tea savvy customers.

The hotel chain employs Chinese speaking staff and serves tea Chinese style.

Maybe there is hope after all!!!

See more at:

Drought Affects Assam Harvest

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:05 am



sorting tea grades by hand

If Assam is your cup of tea, an article published in the Times of India might be of interest:

“Tea is a tough little bush and with tenacity and pluck the Assam and West Bengal bushes survived the longest dry spell since 1988.

This week India’s millions of Assam bushes are reviving. The first flush (March/April)  is history and losses in yield will carry forward but the second flush harvest , which begins in mid-May, was saved by the downpour.

Rainfall was not uniform in the great Brahmaputra Valley and in in the northern reaches of West Bengal which lie in the shadow of the Himalayas but forecasts predicts the dry spell is broken. Output for the year is expected to be down at least 10%.

The first flush is the most valuable harvest but the bulk of India’s tea is plucked in late spring and summer.

A remaining concern is water levels in the region’s reservoirs. Assam derives 60% of its power from hydroelectric generators in dams and along its fast moving rivers.

The rivers have dried up. Hydel projects cannot produce power during the day. It is only during the evening, when some water accumulates in the reservoirs, that these projects are able to generate some power.

It will take several weeks of rains to restore reservoir levels.

Source: Economic Times, Times of India

– See more at:

May 12, 2014

Green Tea Can Improve Working Memory!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:00 am



Tea boosts connections between frontal and parietal regions of the brain.

This news probably strikes a cord with many students who are in the midst of finals right now.

Researchers at the University of Basel, Switzerland, have now found that green tea can improve working memory

(Schmidt et al., 2014).

Working memory is vital to holding pieces of visual, verbal or other information in your mind while you manipulate them.

Better working memory has been linked to improved learning, attention and other vital outcomes.

The study investigated the effect of green tea extract on brain activity during working memory processing. In a double blind study, 12 volunteers received a milk whey-based soft drink containing 27.5 g of green tea extract or a milk whey-based soft drink without green tea as a control substance. The participants then underwent an MRI exam to observe memory effect on the respective areas of the  brain.

The study showed that green tea extract did indeed  increase the working memory and cognitive functioning.

So when you are taking the books at he end of the semester, or study for a test – keep a cup of green tea close by!


May 5, 2014

Green Tea Margarita

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am



Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Who says you can’t have your tea and margarita at he same time?

We added some green tea with lots of antioxidants to the original recipe for this tangy, tasty “Green Tea Margarita”

In this Souvia recipe, a  Margarita with lemon juice is blended with “green chai’ ice cubes!

For one serving,  you will need:

1 lime or lemon wedge

Saucer of granulated sugar for coating rim of glass

1/2 to 2/3 cup strongly brewed Souvia Green Chai frozen into 6-8 small ice cubes

2 1/2 tbs premium tequila

1 tbs fresh lemon juice

1 tbs orange liqueur (Cointreau) and 2 tsp sugar

Rub the lime wedge around the rim of a margarita glass. Dip and rotate the rim in the saucer of sugar, making sure to keep the sugar on the outside. In a blender, combine the chai ice cubes, tequila, lemon juice, orange liqueur, and sugar. Blend on the pulse setting until slushy. Pour into the sugar-rimmed glasses.


May 2, 2014

Tea – Not Just For Drinking!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 9:59 am


We all know how good tea tastes and how can instill as sense of well being and relaxation. But there are many more ways you can use your tea leaves.  Cosmetic Companies have already tapped into the antioxidant powers of the Camellia Sinensis plant and incorporate tea in many of their beauty products.

I want to share three tips on how you can use tea in a new, creative way that will benefit your beauty and health:


New York City dermatologist David Goldberg recommends green tea soothe a sunburn. The anti-inflammatory properties in tea will cool your skin and relieve irritation. Simply fill a spray bottle with chilled green tea and spritz onto the sunburned areas twice per hour.


The astringent properties in tea will help your complexion glow by removing build up from make-up and air pollution. To make your own “tea toner”, pour 1/4 cup of boiling water over 4 tsps of tea (green, black, it will all work) and steep for at least one hour to make a strong infusion. Remove the tea leaves and add 1/4 cup of witch hazel to the tea. Cool and fill into clean glass bottles. Apply with cotton ball.


Hair rinses work gradually, the longer you use them, the better the results. To darken hair and keep a healthy shine, use black tea and sage; to lighten blond hair, use chamomile.

Steep 2 tbsp. of dried herbs in 2 cups boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Strain liquid and let cool before you use it.

It’s fun and easy to make any of these three recipes…..and maybe you will tap into the creative powers within yourself and discover more.

If you do  – I’d love to hear it!