SPOTLIGHT ON TEAS FROM ATTIC TEAS…

Delicious Magazine put ATTIC Teas on their best UK tea brands. They have given loose tea a makeover with super-stylish tobacco style packaging. Each tea pouch has a droll government warning-style caveat: Drinking tea calms you and those around you, and is complete with five Rizla-inspired make-your-own-tea-bags.

ATTIC offers the gamut of Chinese teas, with around 20 varieties of black, white, green, jasmine, oolong and puerh, alongside the more familiar breakfast and Earl Grey. Just like loose tobacco, ATTIC loose tea pouches are sold in 50g packs.

Their front page has a quote across it saying “Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world”. ATTIC exists to remind us of the forgotten potential of Tea. A miracle from nature, its proven ability to reduce stress and shift both mind and body into a healthier place, opens us up to a more balanced and joyful life.

ATTIC is an acronym for ‘All the tea in China’ which not only refers to our wonderful whole-leaf teas, but also reminds us just how valuable these teas are. In fact, as the saying goes, priceless. There ‘All the tea in China‘ tea blend is a unique tea, created to represent all that is great about drinking Chinese tea. Containing a heady mix of all 5 tea types – White, Green, Oolong, Black and Pu’erh – it is packed full of healthful nutrients and has a rich and familiar taste, it costs £14.95 for a 50g pack or you can sign up for a subscription.

Founders Anne and Ric went to China for the first time in 2005. Then inspired by the vast array of beautiful loose teas Anne saw there, they opened a tea bar in Bristol, intending it to be the perfect peaceful environment in which to experience the teas.

To make it a viable business, they also had to sell coffee but soon realised that the bustling coffee energy jarred with the peaceful state of being the teas induced. Then after a few years they took the difficult decision to close the tea bar and find different ways to introduce these essential moments of peace into people’s lives…and the rest as they say is history.

The Chinese Tea Tasting Kit above contains 6 teas and a tea maker.

A true gift from nature, carefully chosen Chinese teas have been found to reduce stress, boost your natural healing ability and keep you calm and centred. They also positively alter your brain chemistry to help shift your perspective so everything feels more possible. They coat £29.95 and include tasting notes to help you enjoy your tea experience and once you have found the tea or teas you like they suggest drinking them every day.

10 TIPS ON BREAD MAKING FOR “REAL BREAD WEEK “…

Following on from my post on Real Bread Week 20th – 28th February, here are ten tips on making bread.

  1. When baking bread, put the empty baking tin upside down in the oven beforehand to heat up. Then when you drop the dough in it, it puffs up and creates a lighter bread.
  2. Always use the right yeast, the easiest type to use in home baking is the fast acting/easy-blend dried yeast which most bread machines use.
  3. Warm up your utensils before starting the process.
  4. Always warm your milk, only slightly but just enough so that the yeast isn’t slowed down by the fat in the milk.
  5. Make sure you check and double check your salt quantity.
  6. Store your yeast at the correct temperature. Dried can be kept for a few months. Fresh yeast can be kept in the fridge for a week or two or could be frozen for up to 3 months.
  7. Make sure you measure everything correctly. Use digital scales. The smallest difference in just the amount of water or yeast can make a big difference to your bread.
  8. There are a number of different flours out there so try different ones.
  9. Throughout the process the dough should be kept warm ie at approximately blood heat, but it must NOT be overheated.
  10. Check rising time with each recipes as they can vary quite a bit and do not leave dough to just rise. Make a note of the time you left it and set an alarm to check it at the correct time.

And, enjoy with lashings of butter on…

Source : BHF

THE BEST HEALING TEAS …

We all like our cuppas but did you know that certain teas have healing effects and some can be quite beneficial to your health. Regular tea, a refreshing stimulant, only two calories per cup, is the world’s most popular non-alcoholic healthy drink. Tea glorifies us with many different flavors, scents and colours; the colours are determined by the length of exposure to oxidation.

Recently, researcher Iman Hakim, a professor at Arizona Cancer Center suggested the compounds in green tea positively affect genes involved in cancer susceptibility and DNA repair. Green tea has been recommended highly for the prevention of colon cancer and prostate cancer.

Tea researchers have only been interested in the effects of tea for the last 30 years and point to a 5,000 year track record of the attributes of green tea; they say that at the very least, green tea cannot hurt you, and most likely is…

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REAL BREAD WEEK FEBRUARY 20th-28th…

What is Real Bread Week?
Launched by the Real Bread Campaign in 2009*, this is the annual, international celebration of Real Bread and people who make it.

Each year, the Campaign encourages bakeries and baking schools in its supporter network around the world to organise hold classes, feasts and other events and activities.

Meanwhile, everyone else is encouraged to get along to a local, independent Real Bread bakery and support a business that helps to create more jobs per loaf at the heart of your local community and to keep your high street alive.
Doughy digits
One of the two main aims of the week has always been to encourage more people to bake their own Real Bread. We’re particularly keen to see more children learning to bake it, whether at home, in a bakery, baking school or in the classroom.

Not only is this great fun, but it’s a way helping them to avoid all of the artificial additives that turn up in industrial loaves. It can also be a way of steering them towards healthier food – you’d be amazed at the number of children who ‘don’t like wholemeal’ but love it when it was lovingly made by their own mitts.

Home baking
Recipes
Real Bread classes/courses
Discounts on ingredients, equipment, classes

NB loaves raised with baking powder / soda fall outside our definition of Real Bread
Bigging up little bakeries
It’s time to kick the additive-laden industrial loaf habit and support YOUR local Real Bread baker!

Small, independent, locally-owned bakeries help to:

support more jobs per loaf for people in your local community – skilled jobs at that
keep more money circulating in your local economy, helping to keep your high street alive

They may also offer social benefits, from being a place where older people at risk of isolation can see a friendly face and stop for a chat, to those that are set up to offer training and employment opportunities for people facing one of a range of challenges.

Don’t be fooled by so-called ‘artisan’ loaves turning up on supermarket shelves: insist on the real deal.

Look for The Real Bread Loaf Mark
Discover a local Real Bread bakery
Why support a local Real Bread bakery

Get involved!
How are YOU celebrating Real Bread Week this year?

Whether you’re a teacher, professional or amateur baker (or even a non-baker), there are plenty of ways to help people in your local community enjoy Real Bread…and maybe even raise dough for the Campaign at the same time.

Even better if you team up with local good food organisations and/or other small-batch food and drink producers to make a real party of it.

Here are a few more ideas of events and activities. You could organise a Real Bread:

beginners‚baking workshop
tasting dinner or pizza night perhaps in association with a local pub or eatery
lunchbox masterclass to share all the great Real Bread alternatives to soggy factory loaf sarnies with parents at a local school
club event to bring friends colleagues and neighbours together to bake
networking event for fellow breadheads

The more the merrier
Perhaps you could involve a community group such as your local:

School
Youth club
Scouts, Guides or other local youth organisation
WI group
Farmers’ market
Country Market
Slow Food group

Support the Charity

he best way to support our charity’s work is to join the Real Bread Campaign

You don’t have to be a baker to join us – in fact, the majority of our supporters aren’t.

Rates (unchanged since 2009) start from £22.50 a year, the equivalent of LESS THAN £2 A MONTH. 

Supporter benefits you’ll get to enjoy include our exclusive True Loaf magazine; and special offers on Real Bread ingredients, equipment, baking classes and more. Read more about why and how to join us.

Make a doughnation

If you’d like to make a one-off doughnation as well as / instead of joining us, you can do so here.

Help us to raise dough

Can your business make a special donation, or collect from your customers, during the week? Maybe you could send a percentage of your total sales, or just from a Real Bread Week loaf/class.

You can send what you raise to us by debit/credit card or PayPal payment via our doughnations page

Source: Awareness Days, Real Bread Campaign

OVER TEN CHARITIES YOU CAN SUPPORT BY #RECYCLING…

IMAGES OF A HYGGE LIFESTYLE...

 If you have some glasses you do not use anymore and are not one of your favourites then give them to Vision Aid Overseas. All you have to do is leave them at most UK optician branches and they will send them onto the developing world.   For CD’s and DVD’s the best place to give them is The Royal National Institute for the Blind as they can raise £50 per 100 CD’s or DVD’s donated.

If you have broken watches, or damaged jewellery then Marie Curie Cancer Care will recycle them for cash.   For electronic goods the ‘Rethink Recycling Appeal’ collects old mobile phones, DVDs, laptops, electric toothbrushes, printer cartridges, cameras, torches, power tools and other electric devices for reuse and recycling, and then allows you to donate the money they make to a charity of your choice.

If you have a load of old textbooks…

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