Cold summer afternoon, the warmth of the sun rays softly grazing the skin, your loved one by your side and a cup of tea - A perfect setting to love, to care and to freshen up. However, have you ever wondered, what is in a tea that sets the mood for all good things? Well for centuries, it has been mans favorite beverage. How many of us are actually aware about the latest sensation in tea- the green tea? Since time immemorial, "green tea" has been in place. However, are we aware of its benefits? Green Tea BenefitsUniversities and research labs have undertaken research on the effect of green tea on health. They have come out with several interesting results. Green tea is abundant in antioxidants. What are antioxidants?Antioxidants are molecules that prevent oxidation of other chemical or organic compounds. In our body, several antioxidants are present. Vitamin C and Vitamin E are vital producers of these antioxidants. Oxidation reaction can be caused due to several factors like ultra violet radiation, environmental pollution, cigarette smoke, high levels of cholesterol in the body, excess blood sugar level etc. Oxidation of chemicals can result in producing free radicals. Oxidation reaction results in withdrawing electrons from the molecule. As a result a free radical is formed. These free radicals can produce several chemical reactions in the body, which are detrimental to the body. Oxidation can cause different forms of cancer and heart diseases. These antioxidants are generally reducing agents like phenols, aldols etc.Green tea is produced from unfermented leaves of tea. It has high levels of phenols present that act as antioxidants. Some of the medicinal properties of green tea are:1.Regulates blood glucose levelIt has been proved that green tea prevents type I diabetes. Type I diabetes is caused due to less production of a hormone called insulin. Insulin controls the blood sugar level in the body. Excess blood sugar harms the immune system.2.Prevents liver cirrhosisLiver cirrhosis takes place for people who take excessive alcohol. Green tea has proved to be beneficial in preventing cirrhosis of the liver.3.Decrease ObesityObesity is the worst affected disease that has hit the developed and the developing nations and it has epidemic proportions. Green tea can boost body metabolism resulting in burning excess fat.4.Lower the level of cholesterol in the bodyThe High Density Lipids (HDL) concentration in the body should be present in higher proportions and the total cholesterol level should be low. The intestine absorbs the cholesterol in our body. Green tea prevents the absorption of excess cholesterol by the intestine. This in turn regulates the total cholesterol level in the body.5.Prevents blockage of coronary artery6.Prevents several forms of cancer7.Helps in glowing of skin8.Prevents rheumatoid arthritis9.Helps to strengthen the immune systemChina, Japan, Ceylon, Vietnam and places in India like Darjeeling and Assam produces large quantities of Green tea. The Chinese green tea Xi Hu Longjing produced in the Zhejiang province is one of the most famous green teas in the world.However, one has to note that amidst all this benefits, green tea still has some proportion of caffeine that is harmful to the body although the concentration is much lower as compared to the one present in coffee.Therefore, when you sit and de-stress yourself over a cup of coffee not only savor the taste, relish the joy but also remember the benefits it has to your body. Drink green tea and live a disease free, fun filled life!
If you are a coffee drinker, you no doubt have asked yourself how much coffee is it safe for you to consume on a daily basis. This is not surprising since so much has been blamed on coffee. Heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, you name it. At one time or another, coffee has been made to blame.Here's a new question that you may have never asked yourself: is coffee ever good for you? The answer may surprise you.Here is a statistic to ponder: did you know that there are over 160 million coffee drinkers in the Unites States alone? In terms of consumption, the average American consumes 8.8 lbs. of coffee per year. But consider this: the world leader in terms of consumption is Finland which comes in at nearly 30 lbs per year. That's a lot of coffee!Another statistic is that there have been well over 19,000 studies done to analyze the effects of coffee. Now, studies can often be skewed to show whatever the author wants, but here is what is generally agreed: consuming 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day is often considered more beneficial than harmful.But, since everyone's body is different, we all tolerate things differently. In some people even the smallest amount of caffein can cause nervousness and irritebility. Consider also that a person may consume caffein in other ways besides coffee. And often without knowing about it. For sonme other interesting coffee articles, check out http://www.fmcoffee.com.A little known fact is that coffee contains antioxidants which have been shown to imporve oveall health. Here is a short list of some benefits which have been shown to be present in coffee:* Reduce symptoms of Parkinson's Disease* Antibacterial ingredients* Reduce the risk of developing gallstones* Preserve mental accuity* Reduce risk of developing type 2 Diabetes (if you have diabetes, reduce your consumption* If you are free of hypertension, coffee will not likely produce it* Headache relief* Reduce the risk of some types of cancer* Improve physical enduranceThis is not to say that there are not some serious negative results of drinking coffee. It is nice to know, however, that a cup or two in the morning may not hurt you. But how do you know for sure? Be sure to talk to your health professional and get their advice on consuming coffee. They (and you) know what conditions you may have that you need to be careful of when it comes to coffee. Then do you research and, if appropriate, enjoy your coffee.
When exposed to air, coffee beans will oxidize. Coffee grounds suffer this more so because they have a larger surface than the beans and lack the beans protective skin. Home coffee grinders allow you to stop the level of exposure and produce the freshest grind. Most importantly, grinding can be done when you need it.Everything has a price, though. Picking the best grinder can make the messy and long process of grinding much more rewarding.There are three main types blade, crusher and burr. The crusher is the ancient way of using a pestle and mortar to mash the beans. This process is difficult and gives an uneven grind because it just crushes them not highly recommended. Blade grinders chop. The blade whirls, slicing the beans into small grounds still not the best because the grains are not the same size and not all the oils are released, varying the flavour and dissipating a lot of the flavour. However, burrs use motorised plates with teeth that are pyramid in shape, allowing for the perfect grind. Better burrs allow for varied grain sizes because the speed can be adjusted accordingly.The burr allows for the perfect brew. Speed control keeps the heating of the beans low.Burrs have two categories. Professionals prefer the conical. It is noisy however. Good ones can go up to 500 rpm. Top quality ones go up to speeds of 10 thousand rpm, with their blades spinning at about twenty to thirty thousand rpm. This allows for fine grinds for Turkish coffee, for example. Some come with a dial for continuous speed adjustments. Others have buttons for some varied 40 different speed adjustments.Beyond that you should look for ones that are solid in construction, easy to clean and preferably less noisy. They should also include a brush for cleaning and easy to remove upper type burrs (blades). Beware of construction materials that cause static electricity. This can let the grounds stick to the blades and the container.Other useful features include a timer and an auto-switchoff. It also helps to be able watch the beans as the grinding takes place. Without this you cannot decide if the grind is ready. So, try to find one that doesnt use glass or darkish plastic as this hinders your view. You should be able to judge the grind by its colour, but if you cannot see them then this is a problem.Finally, do your research and read all the reviews you can find about each grinder that interests you before you buy it. When you find the right one, you will be pleased with the fresh and flavoursome cup of coffee you produce.
The role of the Church in the production and marketing of wine declined with the Reformation, particularly in northern Europe, but this did not convulse the wine world half as much as the discovery of the usefulness of corks about a century later. For the first time since the Roman empire, wine could now be stored and aged in bottles. Throughout the Middle Ages wine had been kept in casks which had presented a dual handicap: first, too long kept in wood could rob a wine of all its fruit; second, once the cask was opened the wine inevitably deteriorated unless drunk within a few days. The bottle, with its smaller capacity, solved the former problem by providing a neutral, non-porous material which allowed wine to age in a different subtler way and removed the latter problem by providing sealed containers of a manageable size for a single sessions drinking. However, the cork and bottle revolution was not an instant success; bottles were then so bulbous they would only stand upright which meant the corks eventually dried out and as a consequence let in air. But, by the mid 18th century, longer, flat-sided bottles were designed which would lie down, their corks kept moist by contact with the wine. As a result wine making now took on a new dimension. It became worthwhile for a winemaker to try and excel, wines from particular plots of land could be compared for their qualities, and the most exciting could be classified and separated from the more mundane plot wines. As a result todays great names of Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhine first began to be noticed. In the early 19th century, Europe seemed one massive vineyard. In Italy 80% of people were earning their living from wine and in France there were vast plantings rolling southwards from Paris. Also the vine had moved abroad thanks to explorers, colonists and missionaries. It went to Latin America with the Spaniards, South Africa with French Huguenots, and to Australia with the British. Could anything stop this tide of wine expansion? Well, yes and it came in the form of an aphid called phylloxera, that fed on and destroyed vine roots. It came from America in the 1860s, and by the early 20th century, had destroyed all Europes vineyards and most of the rest of the worlds as well. The solution was to graft the vulnerable European vine, vitis vinifera, onto the phylloxera-resistant American rootstock, vitis riparia, naturally a very expensive effort. The most immediate effect in Europe was that only the best sites were replanted and the total area under vines shrank drastically as a result. Elsewhere the havoc wrought was comparable and vineyard acreage is only now expanding to old original sites destroyed over a century ago. The 20th century brought further change as science and technology revolutionised viticulture and wine making. But despite the chemical formulae and computerised wineries, the grape retains its magic and allure that attracts wine enthusiasts from all over the world.
Theres sure is nothing that says home like the smell of fresh-baked bread. Except for, possibly, when the baker takes it up a notch and the bread in the oven is banana bread.Though it is bread, this enjoyable treat is in many ways more like a cake. The leavening agent in "banana bread" is usually baking soda instead of yeast. What's more unlike regular bread, banana bread is baked from batter and not dough. And evidently, it includes bananas thats normally mashed and put into the batter.A huge family favorite, this has been around for years! In fact it first came into popularity in the 1930s, and ever since then a number of varieties have appeared in cookbooks. Banana bread is relatively easy to make, and hence popular among home bakers. In addition it can often be found in the display cases of bakeries and coffee shops.It is not only tasty but also versatile. Usually a great on-the-go breakfast item, either at home or grabbed at the coffee shop where the busy professional stops for his or her daily dose of java. Also it can be packed in a lunchbox that makes it a great ending to the afternoon meal, but is just as likely to be a warm after-school snack waiting when children hop off the bus. Whats more it can also serve as a last-minute dessert option when guests turn up unexpectedly and you find yourself whipping up a quick meal. If whipped together before dinner and popped into the oven it makes a fantastic accompaniment to a relaxing cup of tea while watching evening television.This homey treat is so versatile because it is sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. There is an adequate amount of a dessert-like texture and taste for it to serve as a sweet meal-ender. But its dessert like qualities are milder than overwhelming, and banana bread can be just as fulfilling accompanying a meal or as a standalone quick breakfast with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.It is generally baked in loaf-shaped pans and can be cut into thin slices or larger wedges for serving. There are plenty of variations on banana bread out there. Of which, some banana bread recipes are passed down by a number of families from generation to generation, and each will declare theirs the best. Perhaps the most common varieties are banana nut breads, which are made from standard banana bread recipes but also include walnuts or pecans.In fact there are many other types of fruit or even vegetable-based breads. Such as cranberry bread, cranberry banana bread, and zucchini bread are among a few examples. While these are also often-enjoyed treats, banana bread still seems to take the front in terms of popularity.