TONICS & TEAS TRADITIONAL AND MODERN RECIPES, BOOK REVIEW…

If, like me you like the taste of different teas then it is worth reading “Tonics & Teas Traditional and Modern Recipes that Make You Feel Amazing”, by Rachel De Thample so you can decide which ones are healthier for you.

With over 141 reviews and most giving 5 stars this book is definitely one for your table.

Everyone knows that chamomile tea is the answer to a good night’s sleep, that lemon tea is an invigorating way to start your morning and that ginger tea can settle your stomach. But did you know that Jamu Kunyit, a ginger and turmeric tonic, is the Balinese equivalent of ‘an apple a day’ to ‘keep health problems at bay’?

Herbal medicinal vinegars can be antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral as well as helping fight respiratory infections, coughs and bronchitis; and adding black pepper and coconut oil to any turmeric drink can help your body reap the benefits more effectively.

Author, Rachel de Thample has gathered a collection of the best of these ancient drinks and traditional remedies, along with a few modern spins, offering tips on how to best build them into a busy lifestyle.

Organised into three chapters, she covers Tonics such as Dairy Kefir, Beet Kvass, Nettle Tonic and Ginger Shots; Teas such as Grasshopper Tea, Spice Route Tea, Armenian Herbal Tea and Afghan Pin Chai, plus delicious and beneficial Drinks such as Elderflower Cordial, Amazake and Kombucha. This eclectic mix of natural brews is the perfect way to give your body a healthy boost.

Rachel de Thample has worked in the kitchens of Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal and Peter Gordon. She is the author of Less Meat, More Veg (Kyle Books) and FIVE (Ebury), and has served as Commissioning Editor of Waitrose Food Illustrated and Head of Food for the pioneering organic box scheme Abel & Cole. She lives in Crystal Palace, London, where she has helped set up numerous local food initiatives, including the award-winning Crystal Palace Food Market and the Edible Garden. Rachel is currently running preserving courses at River Cottage in Devon, runs seasonal Market Table pop-up dinners and writes for The Simple Things and Locavore magazines.

‘This charming little book offers recipes for remedies from kombucha, kefir and medicinal vinegars to herbal teas and my favourite “immune powerhouse”, elderberry syrup with echinacea and ginger. Rachel alleviated her achy joints with turmeric in golden chai, while her mother’s high blood pressure was quickly reduced by drinking a potent probiotic drink made with beetroot and whey.’ –The Mail on Sunday

This eclectic mix of natural brews is the perfect way to give your body a healthy boost.

It would make a great present for anyone who needs a tonic. A great little book that makes foraging fun especially when a lot of ingredients are probably already growing in your own garden, like rose petal, rose-hips, herbs and dandelion roots. So many great recipes, you won’t know which one to try first.

THE BEST & THE WORST WAYS TO STORE TEA…

Correct storage of tea will mean it will last a long longer and taste just as fresh as it did on the day you bought it. Here is a list of the best and worst ways to store your tea.

  1. It’s best to transfer both loose tea and tea bags from a cardboard or paper packet or tub into an air-tight container.
  2. Tins and caddies with tight-fitting lids are good as they can keep out smells and humidity which can affect the tea.
  3. Storing the jars in a dark cupboard will mean the tea will keep well.
  4. You should never keep it in the fridge as there is always the chance that water will get into the packet.
  5. You should always be careful with flavoured teas, as the added flavourings can be very powerful and easily taint other teas nearby.
  6. For loose tea, it is essential that you check that the spoon or scoop that you use is completely dry.
  7. If there is even a drop of moisture on the spoon, the humidity introduced to the interior of the packet or caddy will have an effect on the quality of flavour.

According to The Spruce Eats there are also certain things you should not do when storing tea.

Air exposure increases the chances that your tea will absorb moisture and odors. So, avoid leaving tea out, sealing it with excess air in the packaging or storing it in porous packaging materials, like paper bags. Do not store your tea near a spice cabinet, trashcan or another source of odor is a no-no as tea can absorb odour very easily. Heat can degrade your tea, so avoid placing it in the sun or near heat sources like stoves or ovens. Light and UV rays degrade your tea very quickly. Avoid buying tea from vendors who store their clear tea in glass or plastic containers, and avoid storing your tea in anything clear unless you plan on keeping it in a dark cabinet.