Tea Ingredient Focus: Ginger
Did someone say ‘warm beverage’? While many of us are still in a wintertime lull, there’s always our favorite comfort treats to get us through the colder months on the calendar. And for the team at Heavenly Tea Leaves, that always means a freshly brewed cup of tea. For a flavor that’s not only deeply satisfying, but also complex and healthy, we turn to our good old friend, ginger.
If it were a Hollywood staple, ginger would be the tea ingredient to the stars, strutting its way through all kinds of blends, making an impact wherever it goes. Hot or iced, black or herbal - ginger is an equal-opportunity superfood that has entered many popular tea blends, and left a delicious and lasting impact worthy of the top award.
It’s important to start at the humble roots of ginger, as we do with all our tea ingredients. What, actually, is this mysterious flavor bomb? Ginger is a root with a long history that starts in Southeast Asia and eventually makes its way around the globe. More specifically, ginger a rhizome - that is, the underground part of the stem. It’s related to other superfoods like turmeric and cardamom, too. Tonics containing ginger have been used, some believe, for about 5,000 years medicinally, sought after by Indians, Romans, Arabs, and others, later becoming a major player in global trade. In its raw form, it’s tough and knobby, with a starchy, porous texture on the inside. When peeled, it can be used raw in all kinds of cooking to lend an intense, slightly spicy yet refreshing aroma, and of course, can be thrown into a fresh cup of almost any kind of tea as a flavor enhancer or balancer. Since ginger is rather piquant, the addition of honey to a food or drink containing it can act as a delicious counterbalance.
To take it to the next level, let’s talk about ginger’s almost magical health benefits. Across the board, the root is a famed ingredient, known to support a healthy lifestyle. When consumed regularly, ginger has been shown to help maintain a healthy weight, prevent osteoarthritis, curb inflammation and reduce menstrual pain, improve brain function, and most prominently, aid indigestion and bloating. Got gut problems? Ginger is the answer. For an upset stomach, it’s commonly recommended to consume ginger in larger quantities to get some natural relief.
What are some delicious tea blends, then, that can help get a healthy dose of this ingredient in? Our starting lineup begins with Ginger Lemon Green - an organic blend that contains citrus to brighten it up for a refreshing twist. Plus, this one is green tea–based, making it an antioxidant all-star. Remember that green tea has slightly different brewing instructions than the rest due to its delicate nature: Use one teaspoon of tea per every six ounces of water, heated to just under a boil at 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Steep it for one to two minutes and do not over-brew, in order to avoid bitterness.
Next up, there’s Refresh. This naturally caffeine-free herbal blend has a fruity angle, making it an excellent, naturally sweet dessert tea. Refresh uses ginger as a savory accent alongside things like orange peel, cardamom, chili, and spearmint, creating a sophisticated and surprising flavor jungle. Consume this one any time of day (or year) for a perfectly rounded-out and comforting flavor profile.
On deck, there’s one of the most exciting and unique ginger blends to be found anywhere: Energizer. An organic melange like the rest, the brew is described as “an uplifting infusion of green tea, mate, spearmint, turmeric, and more health-promoting herbs that are expertly blended into a refreshing wellness tonic.” This sharp tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine, making it perfect for an invigorating morning wakeup, or that steady midday burst of energy you always need. To brew this one, follow the same method as for Ginger Lemon Green for the best results.
Our final recommendation, which is definitely not the least of the list, is the special blend, Digest. The simple name of this detoxifying herbal elixir says it all! Boasting an impressive list of organic ingredients like fennel, spirulina, lemon oil, cinnamon, and rosehip seed, this drink is not for the faint of heart. Ginger is just one of the many health-promoting ingredients in this bundle, making it a top choice for those looking to use tea as part of a wellness-forward, holistic lifestyle (especially when it comes to digestion). Plus, it’s tasty to boot.So, lesson learned: if you want to jazz up your cup, choose a tea blend that contains ginger, or add a fresh, peeled piece to your teapot. Ginger tea is great to sip on during any season, and especially comforting when it’s nippy outside but toasty inside. To take your pick(s), view the full selection of Gingery Teas at Heavenly Tea Leaves.
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