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Magnificent Matcha

What is it? Matcha is the result of finely milling high quality green tea, and not to be confused with the fannings found in low grade bagged tea. The processes of harvesting, drying, grinding, and oxidation are all very important in producing a quality matcha. The tea leaves are strictly shade grown just before harvesting — this results in an increase in chlorophyll production, resulting in matcha's bright green color — always harvested by hand, gently steamed to stop oxidation, and laid flat to dry. After drying, veins, stems, and other impurities are removed to prevent any bitterness from developing; the result is called tencha. The tencha is then slowly ground to produce a fine powder — matcha. Only tencha...

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Carefree Cocoa

  What is it? Cocoa is simply a slightly processed cacao bean. The Theobroma cacao tree was named by the Swedish Botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753; the name is Latin for “food of the Gods”. Cacao beans and nibs have a long and colourful history, beginning in Central and South America around 1400 BC. The entire cacao fruit was used medicinally by the Mayan, Olmec and Aztec civilizations. Unbelievably, these early civilizations discovered that a little honey added to slightly processed cacao beans would make a special drink, one of the most popular beverages today; chocolate. The Mayan and Aztecs believed cacao was a “gift from the gods”. After the Spanish conquest of the 1500’s, cacao & its derivative cocoa...

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Crazy about Cayenne

Cayenne What is it? The Cayenne, or Guinea pepper, or Bird pepper is a red, hot chili pepper used to spice dishes, as well as for medicinal purposes. The fruits are generally dried and ground, or pulped and baked into cakes, which are then ground and sifted to make the powdered spice known as cayenne pepper. Healing powers of Cayenne powder? Great to avoid upset stomach: Cayenne pepper added diet helps avoid stomach aches, gas and cramps. Rheumatic and arthritic pains: Topical application of cayenne pepper causes irritation in the applied area thus, helps distract the nerves from joint pains due to arthritis. Cure Headaches: Smelling cayenne helps cure headaches. Topical application of the medical ingredient in cayenne also helps...

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A Berry Good Post about Acai

What is Acai? The acai berry is an inch-long, reddish-purple fruit. It comes from the acai palm tree, which is native to Central and South America.   Nutrients & Applications: Acai is known to have very high antioxidant properties. During a recent vitro test, the well known antioxidant phenols and anthocyanin chemicals were extracted from the fruit, showing that  Acai has the ability to support healthy and normal cellular tissue growth. The ORAC value of Acai is one of the highest in the world. In Brazil, Acai is primarily being used as an astringent and blood cleanser. The dark purple color of the fruit is due to the polyphenolic compounds. The compound anthocyanin is responsible for creating red to purple...

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Black Tea

Black Tea – Vanilla Chai Plant Species: Camellia sinensis Family: Theaceae • Camellia sinensis is a small evergreen shrub with white flowers, native to the mountainous regions of China, Japan and India. • Whether black, green or white tea, they all come from the same plant. The way the plant is dried is what differentiates them.• To make black tea, the leaves are withered, rolled and slightly heated. They are then fermented before the final heating/drying process.• Much to the surprise of adamant green tea drinkers, black tea too is teeming with nutrients. By consuming it with additives like milk or sugar, some of the health benefits are depleted, but not entirely lost. History and Cultural Significance:• Tea is believed...

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