Friday, October 28, 2016

Learn To Take a Relaxing "Me Time/Tea Time" Break with Pure Tea

Cookbook Author & The Chew's Daphne Oz Celebrates Pure Leaf's Ten New Teas  & Tea Time

Pure Leaf® Celebrates its Love of Tea with new Bagged and Loose Tea Varieties 

By some benevolent twist of nature, Pure Leaf® has buoyed its line of tea products and expanded beyond the brand’s ready-to-drink offerings. I attended the informative and entertaining launch of Pure Leaf’s new 10 long leaf bagged and loose teas and can heartily recommend these new, pristine teas. Pure healthy elegance. Just the way nature intended...


While I have used the bottled Pure Leaf teas in cocktail creations and more than a few celebratory punches, I have written that the sugar content was a bit of a concern - especially for caregivers serving the drink to their families. In contrast, the ten new teas are pure, delicate leaves that the company claims are picked, rolled, and blended with real fruit, petals, and herbs, allowing the “tea essence to shine through.”

The bagged tea comes in light, gossamer “bags” that seem more exquisite and intimate. And the fact that the transparent tea bags are plant-based and biodegradable, UV barrier-protected, and come in BPA-free PET jars - demonstrates the brand really did their homework on these new tea offerings and is so very gratifying.

You’ll love the herbal blends and fruit notes that add a lovely hint of flavor to every glamorous sip. It’s lovely just to read the provenance of the teas...

The new bagged teas are:
  • Black Tea with Vanilla - Indian black tea leaves with bright marigold petals and flakes of Madagascan vanilla beans
  • Green Tea with Mint - Indonesian gunpowder green tea coupled with green peppermint leaves
  • Chai Tea - Sri Lankan and Kenyan black leaf teas crafted with cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and bold spices 
  • Iced Green Tea with Citrus - mildly smoky Indonesian green tea blended with bold bursts of natural lemon and lime and pieces of orange 
  • Iced Tea with Peach - High-grown Kenyan black tea with peach, mango, and apricot pieces and a medley of herbs
  • Iced Tea Classic Black Tea - High-grown Kenyan black tea with floral and malty notes 
  • Iced Tea with Raspberry - High-grown Kenyan black tea blended with raspberries, blueberries, black currants, blackberries, rosehips, and hibiscus flowers 
All the aforementioned iced teas can be brewed hot, so I wasn’t really sure why the distinction…but oh - the company explains! The Pure Leaf Iced teas are crafted “using a highly invigorating blend of long leaf teas” that deliver flavors “specially designed to shine at colder temperatures.” The color is rich, vibrant, “with a silky smooth tea flavor that is crisp ad refreshing. The specially brewed iced teas offer a base tea with a pleasant malty flavor, a floral aroma and natural tea sweetness - tastes that can stand up to ice.”
Available in 16-count jars for the Pure Leaf bagged teas, at a suggested $4.99.

The new loose teas are:
  • English Breakfast Black Tea - Blend of dark Assam and Ceylon black tea with a robust, full taste
  • Gunpowder Green Tea - Tightly rolled, long-leaf Indonesian greentea pellets with a fresh, clean taste 
  • Iced Classic Black Tea - High-grown Keynan black tea with balanced floral and malty notes 
The two Pure Leaf loose teas English Breakfast and Iced Classic Black Tea are available in 4.7 ounce jars and the Gunpowder Green Tea in 5.8 ounce jars; both retail for suggested price of $6.99. All products are available nationwide on Amazon.com and in grocery stores, mass market retailers and select club stores.

“We at Pure Leaf believe that the most delicious tea is real tea, simply picked, rolled and crafted from sustainably grown leaves,” said George Hamilton, Tea Director at Unilever. “We have poured all of our expertise into this new range, which we hope people will enjoy drinking as much as we do.”

In a “tour” of creatively designed pop-up compositions at the launch space, the company posed representations of the four key tea regions of India, Kenya, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.

Here, Pure Leaf’s Certified Tea Specialist, Lisa Boalt, took the press on an informative tour of the tea-producing regions, highlighting the growing, climate, and harvesting of the tea leaves. 
We learned these are all sustainably sourced teas. And the importance of Long Leaf tea or Orthodox tea vs. CTC or Cut, Tear, Curl.
These are the two main methods to produce drinking tea; Long Leaf is crafted by an artisanal batch process by hand or mechanical rollers. This way the leaves are gently bruised and the exposes the tea leaf’s natural essence. According to the company, “Compared to CTC teas, Orthodox or Long Leaf teas are more elaborate and display more complex array of aromas, colors and mouthfeel.” Love the way that sounds! Brewing naturally releases the teas’ sweet and delicate character. (CTC teas are more often enjoyed with milk to balance their more bitter nature.)

The company explains, “Pure Leaf’s delicate tea leaves are kept long, then simply picked, rolled and expertly crafted with real fruit pieces, petals and herbs, allowing the natural tea essence to shine through. 
To ensure an exceptional and authentic taste experience, Pure Leaf offers single-source tea leaves from Rainforest Alliance Certified tea estates in India, Kenya, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. 

Pure Leaf’s uniquely transparent packaging reveals the masterful tea blends and lets the quality of the ingredients speak for themselves.”


There is no substitute for the ritual and tradition of brewing tea. In fact, entire cultures have elevated the process to high art: especially the Japanese art of the tea ceremony -- as performed by TeaWhisk Inherent in the tea ceremony is a thoughtful mindfullness that celebrates nature, calm, peace… 
You too can practice your own mindful tea ceremony - a kind of escape and special retreat to help you take a moment to indulge in a natural, healthy break.

The Happy Cook
Besides the new teas, the Pure Tea launch featured a star of TV’s The Chew and cookbook author star, Daphne Oz who was there to celebrate her new cookbook, The Happy Cookbook.   Daphne is a doll! She posed for pictures, signed copies of her cookbook, and offering tea tips and food pairings. 

I'm the short one!
Daphne is indeed a happy cook and baker, very focused on her extended family (in case you're not a TV watcher - her father is Dr.Oz) and her adorable two children.


She spoke to the members of the press in a living room kind of composition - with her homemade Blueberry Tea Cake served up on a tray on the center “tea table” (no coffee table here, please!)














Daphne described how she adores teas - from tea parties with her daughter - to tea times while waiting for the cake or food to cook up. She encourages home cooks to be confident, be casual and have fun! You need to get her cookbook for lots of holiday home recipe ideas.

Daphne was kind enough to share this recipe straight away. Enjoy. It was moist (made with sour cream, she noted) and delicious. Here she pairs the cake with Black Tea with Vanilla. Very soothing and healthy...  


Daphne's Blueberry Tea Cake Recipe  

Pairs with Pure Leaf Black Tea with Vanilla

Makes one 9-inch square cake
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 21/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square cake pan with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter, lay down two sheets of parchment paper perpendicular to each other, leaving overhang to use as tabs to lift the cake out when it is cooked, and grease again with another 1/2 tablespoon butter.
To make the streusel, in a medium bowl, whisk together 11/4 cups of the flour, 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in the microwave. Drizzle in the melted butter and use a fork to stir the mixture together until large streusel-like crumbs form. Set the streusel aside.

To make the batter, in a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 11/4 cups of the flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and lemon juice. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the granulated sugar and the remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar and 10 tablespoons butter and cream on low speed until the mixture is combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and cream until the butter is airy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed between each addition. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.

Reduce the speed to medium-low and add half the reserved flour mixture, then the sour cream mixture, then the rest of the flour mixture, mixing until combined and scraping down the bowl as needed. Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the blueberries
Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top evenly with the streusel and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a crumb or two attached. The top will be a rich golden brown under the streusel, and the cake will give springy resistance to pressure.

Use the parchment paper to remove the cake from the pan, then discard and cool the cake completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve, or cover with a dome or plastic wrap for up to 3 days (though there’s no chance it lasts that long in your kitchen).

Tip: This batter works very nicely in a muffin tin, a loaf pan, or practically any baking dish. The cook time will vary depending on whether you use a dark coated pan, cast iron, or glass dish, so just keep an eye out for the golden brown top and springy texture to make sure you don’t overcook.

* From THE HAPPY COOK by Daphne Oz. Copyright © 2016 by Daphne Oz. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.  Book officially on sale November 1st.

The Pure Leaf team also provided some sweet treats - delicious food and drink:



Thank you, Pure Leaf and Daphne. 


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