Tea News - It's Tea Time! – Page 2 – A.muse Projects
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#amuseprojectstravels to Bangkok, Thailand

Singaporeans love travelling to Thailand for a number of reasons: cheap and good food, extremely affordable massages, beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and ever-growing cafe/coffee scene. I personally am guilty as charged especially for the awesome massage and local food. I would never ever refuse a massage session unless I’ve had two sessions the day before, terrible I know.
Beyond all the goodness mentioned above, in the last year or two, I’ve really started looking forward to visiting Bangkok for a new reason - to check out the local tea scene. No, not our not-so-secret-favourite Thai milk tea, but their specialty and artisanal teas! Some may not be aware but there’s a local tea movement brewing in Thailand. There are a few notable tea houses / cafes to check out in Bangkok and here are some from my recent visit! They are listed in no particular order! What I loved about each of the tea houses / cafes was that each had something unique / different to offer making my tea-house-hopping experience very interesting!
Enjoy visiting them and do let me know what you thought about them!
1. Peace Oriental Teahouse
Peace Oriental Bangkok by A.Muse Projects
Known for specialising in Japanese teas e.g. Matcha, Hojicha, Sencha. 
They do offer other teas e.g. oolong and black teas we well.
It was quite a walk from the BTS station to the location plus the weather was really warm and humid.  I was in desperate need of a cold drink / dessert when I arrived and I could not help but order their Hojicha Extremist - Hojicha ice cream coated with black charcoal, flash freezed and served with a side of sticky rice! It was definitely perfect treat in the weather! 
 
2. The Orange’s Tea
I had previously met sweet Chanya (owner) in Singapore and when I learnt that she had opened a tea room of her own, I had to visit! I loved how quaint and cosy her little space was. She serves up a wide range of single estate teas (pure teas) as well as blended teas. But what I loved most was her nitro fresh brews! I'm mad in love with her Nitro Hipster Moroccan and savouring it in my memories! Absolutely refreshing and flavourful. Also made me feel like I was sipping a beer! 
 
3. Te Time and Space
I’ve long heard about @thetepot in the tea scene in Thailand and I’ve previously gone to different retail shops to try their teas prior to my last trip. I were super thrilled to find out that they had recently just opened up a tea house of their own in Thong Lor! Te Time and Space is a 3-storey space with workshop space and tea bar at the 3rd level. You will be able to see them brewing up fresh teas for you at the tea bar. If you are feeling up for a chat, sit at the bar to chat the lovely couple (Nanthida Ratanakul and Nattakit Udomsrirat) who started Te! I was very fortunate to have met them and had a chance to chat about Thailand’s tea industry and I am extremely envious of how they have access to a world of herbs grown locally in Thailand! I ordered an iced version of their midsummer dream and it was absolutely tangy and refreshing! Loved the colour of the drink too. Perks one’s mood up immediately!
P.S. either take a cab or tuktuk over as it’s a fairly long walk to the nearest BTS station. We took about 25mins to walk back to the BTS.
4. Seven Suns - Energy Tea Lounge
Serves up a wide range of tea selection but Matcha is their signature! 
I took awhile to find this place as Google Maps was taking me all over the place. But you’ll be rewarded with a solid good Matcha when you finally find the place!
Oh, did I mention there's free wifi available?
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Prana Chai Apple Muffins Recipe

Craving for something sweet and healthy that goes super well with tea? 

From the official Prana Chai cookbook, here is a tried and tested recipe that you'll love!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of Prana Chai, Masala Blend

  • 200ml of milk

  • 2 cups of self-raising our

  • 1 cup of brown sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 100ml of olive oil
  • 200g of diced poached or tinned apples
  • 15g / 1 tablespoon of butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon of raw sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place muffin liners in a muffin tin.

  1. In a small saucepan, place the Prana Chai and the milk.Slowly bring to a boil then turn off the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes before straining. Set aside to allow to cool (about 5 minutes).

  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour and brown sugar.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and strained milk.

  4. Stir the egg mixture into the flour, mix gently, then fold through the apples.

  5. Pour the mixture into the muffin cases, lining them to about 3⁄4 full.

  6. Place it in the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes.

  7. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Combine the sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle on top of muffin while still warm.

Have you tried this recipe? We want to see your photos and videos! Tag us on social media with #pranachaisg and @amuseprojects

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Chinese New Year & Tea Traditions

When we think of Chinese New Year  ("CNY") traditions the first thoughts that come to mind is probably giving out and / or receiving red packets 红包 or indulging in all the festive snacks e.g. Pineapple Tarts and Bak Kwa. 

What you may not know is that tea is also present in many CNY traditions. 

For example, on the first day of the traditional CNY celebrations, guests are welcomed with tea and sweet fruits and treats to sweeten the upcoming year. It is not unusual for the treats to be arranged in eight units for each tray (for auspicious reasons). 

In China, every region has different traditions when it comes to how teas play a part in the New Year celebrations. One of the popular practices is to brew up premium pure tea and serving it to the oldest member of the family who then passes it on to the younger members. Pu'erh and Tie Guan Yin are often chosen for this ceremony and passed around with a tray of sweets, called "the box of prosperity".

Photos credits: @imehly

Another example is found in Southern China where guests are usually welcomed with three cups of tea.

Each cup has a meaning: 

First cup is sweet to bring "sweetness" in the near year;

Second cup is a smoked bean tea, a blend of tea leaves, shredded carrots, orange peels, perilla seeds and sesame seeds. It's said to wish "harmony"; and

Final cup is instead a cup of simple green tea, offered after a meal to conclude the tea ceremony. 

Have you heard of any other tea tradition? Do share them with us. 

Gong Xi Fa Cai wishing you and your families a very happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!

 

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Bi Luo Chun Junbucha

Recently one of our tea loving customer reached out to us via Facebook messenger and us asked for some green tea recommendation for brewing Junbucha.
A little on Junbucha ... also known as Jun Tea - a ferment made with honey and green tea instead of black tea and sugar (which is what Kombucha is made of). Fun fact: Jun Tea is also known as the “Champagne of Kombucha”!
We recommended Annie the Bi Luo Chun from our Pure Tea collection as we felt that it was a very delicate but yet flavourful green tea and based on it's flavour profile, it would work well with some fermentation. 
We were so pleased to hear back from Annie that her version of Junbucha ( Please Note: Annie feeds her scoby with raw sugar instead of honey. Officially, Junbucha is made by feeding scoby with honey) made with Bi Luo Chun turned out well! In her own words, “Bi Luo Chun is a very nice tea. It’s very smooth and sweet. It does not have any bitter after taste. I did a second fermentation with apple … very nice when chilled. My family like the taste and it tastes better with Bi Luo Chun than the Japanese green tea I tried previously.” 
We were even more thrilled when she told us her children loved it too! She was extremely kind to even share with us her homemade recipe and we thought for the sake of spreading the love of tea, we’ll share it with all of you too! 
Here you go!
Annie’s Recipe
Please Note: Annie feeds her scoby with raw sugar instead of honey. Officially, Junbucha is made by feeding scoby with honey. 
Ratio:
700ml @ 90°C hot water
3grams of Bi Luo Chun (Chinese green tea)
3 tablespoon raw sugar (for authentic Junbucha, replace with honey)
100ml starter
1 Jun Scoby
Instructions:
Leave for 4 days (or hints of sourish).
Remove scoby and add 1 apple for another 2 days
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Why drink pure tea?

Pure teas refer to any tea that comes from only one tea estate or garden. Also known as single-estate teas.

In the words of Mary Lou & Robert J. Heiss, “Single-estate teas are the “single-malt Scotches” of the tea world – unblended.”

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For those of us who have been around in the world of tea recently, we have taken note that the pure tea (a.k.a single-estate tea) movement is spreading fast in Singapore

How Is Pure Tea Different?

Pure tea (a.k.a single-estate tea) is different from blended tea (e.g. Earl Grey / Breakfast Tea) because pure tea leaves come from only one tea estate or garden while blended teas is a combination of various teas, flowers, herbs and spices. For pure teas, there is nothing added to the leaves and you get to enjoy everything that it has to offer, without the flavours of other “mix-ins” interfering, like as in a blended tea.

Now, if you’re wondering which is better: pure tea or blended tea, the answer comes down to preference. Think of it this way: blended tea is like a good mixed drink or for some, a good cocktail. You get to enjoy the flavours of various teas, flowers, herbs and spices in one, and they combine to create flavour notes that you might not be able to enjoy when drinking a beverage created with just one ingredient.

On the other hand, pure tea (a.k.a single-estate tea) is a pure experience (hence the name), experience the most natural and unique flavours created by each tea estate. Pure teas are also sometimes marked with the name of the teas estate on which they were grown (e.g. Assam Dejoo), allowing you to dig a little deeper to understand and learn about the history of the tea and its growing region.

The Benefits of Pure Tea

Pure tea has many benefits, so there’s no excuse to not add in a cup of tea to your daily regime. To name just a few:

  • Exercise: When consuming tea, studies have found that participants have increased endurance during exercise and have an improved ability to burn fat!
  • Heart: It's been shown in studies that drinking tea regularly can reduce the risk of heart attacks.
  • Antioxidants: Studies and research have shown that antioxidants in tea could help prevent many different kinds of cancers and other body issues.
  • Free Radicals: According to studies, tea helps fight free radicals, which lead to quicker ageing and damage to your DNA.
  • Hydration: Obviously, tea is a great way to get hydrated any time of day and take in a little more water.
  • Parkinson’s: Studies have shown that regular tea drinkers are thought to have a reduced risk of Parkinson’s Disease.
  • UV Protection: Studies have shown that it could be possible for certain things in tea to help protect your skin from UV rays.
  • Diabetes: According to research, tea is possible beneficial to those with Type 2 Diabetes, suggesting that compounds in tea can help them process sugars better.
  • Bones: Tea has been found in studies that drinking tea does improve bone strength and mineral density, leading to better bone health!

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