5 Ways To Train Your Palate With Rangsaa Tea

Tea Talk 9Rangsaa’s tagline ‘Symphony of Colorful Tea’ reflects the various tasting notes in our blends, which come together to create a beautiful, elaborate musical composition, full of orchestral flavor profiles. There are different tasting notes, depth of flavors, aroma, undertones, complexities and spikes before you get an aftertaste. Every Rangsaa blend is an experience in taste, simplicity and purity, making it a beautiful tea drinking journey, something that you want to keep coming back for.

Indulging in novel ideas and events enriches our understanding of life and enhances the quality of our experiences. We at Rangsaa love trying out new notes, taste and flavour profiles with our tea blends. With the finest organic herbs and high altitude tippy tea leaves, we have created a beautiful symphony of unique flavours and notes, distinguishing our blends from the artificial ones that have proliferated the market today. We want people to experience this colourful symphony with five simple steps. Ask yourself the following questions when drinking our teas:

1. Describe your tea blend – How is the appeal? Examine the appearance of the dry tea leaves and other ingredients in the blend. Are the tea leaves whole or broken? Do you see silver or golden tips? How do the ingredients look? What do they smell like? Examine your tea, studying it for clues and flavours that are about to indulge your senses. Rejoice in the moment.

2. Describe the color of the tea liquor – Watch the leaves infuse and spread a cloud of color in your cup or teapot. Is it amber, crimson, golden, or a different color altogether? How does the color change with steeping time?

3. Describe the aroma – Close your eyes and inhale the rich aroma wafting from the infusion. What does it smell like? What are the hints of flavors that you are experiencing? Is it fresh, exciting, warm, spicy, comforting etc.?

4. Describe the tasting notes – Now, slurp the tea (don’t worry about the loud noises). Spread it all over your tongue and mouth. What flavors, notes, undertones do you detect? What are the top notes? Is there a balance? How is the texture and the finish? Try to describe your experience.

5. Describe the aftertaste – Finally, swallow the tea. Is the finish long or short? Do the flavors dissipate quickly or last for a while in your mouth? What flavors remain? Is the mouthfeel dry or creamy? Do you detect sweetness? You are the taster here. Enjoy every sip.

For a heightened tea experience, we suggest steeping the tea for 5-10 minutes and see how you like your tea, detecting the change in density and depth of flavours, thus allowing the musical notes to resonate.

To learn more about the new flavors that you can experience, please refer to our tea reviews on the website. Our reviews will act as an introduction and reference guide and will also enhance your experience by giving you cues on exploring your blends in different ways.

Train your palate and explore new flavors and nuances with Rangsaa’s premium tea blends and tisanes. Drinking tea is fun and we want you to experience the magic with your Rangsaa journey.

6 Ways To Cook With Rangsaa Tea Blends

cookingwithteaRangsaa’s obsession with tea transcends just drinking it. We like to add a whole world of innovation to how we use our blends. Our teas are our favorite ways to add grassy, herbal, sweet, and even smoky notes to our cooking repertoire. From buttery cookies to smoked meat and even stir-fries and butter, here’s how to eat more tea:

1. Swap stock for tea – Use Rangsaa for making pasta and oats, cooking grains like rice, barley, buckwheat and quinoa. You can also spice your soup up with a hint of fine tea. Use our infusions with intense aromas and flavors to give an unexpected twist to otherwise simple dishes.

2. Use it as spice rub – Adding Rangsaa to the usual rub suspects like salt, brown sugar, and garlic adds a savory note to cooking all kinds of poultry. Use our tea to mix with spices and rub it on meat (chicken, fish, lamb), followed with pan sautéing. Infusing the meat with tea makes for an enticing medley of scents and flavors. You can then de-glaze the pan with brewed tea, add a bit of butter and have a delicious pan sauce ready! Whether you are cooking a pot or baking a delicious chicken roast, experiment and have fun with Rangsaa.

3. Make tea butter – Think of this as your Rangsaa-rated herbal butter. To prepare the butter, add tea to heated butter and let it seep in for 5-10 minutes on medium heat before separating the leaves. Re-solidify the butter and store it in the fridge for later use in cakes, cookies, desserts and other baked items. The possibilities are truly endless. Be ready for a big gustatory surprise!

4. Work it into dough and batter – Tea absorbs water much like flour does. Adding butter stir-fried Rangsaa to the homemade dough for pasta, noodles, batter for bread and cakes imbues the item with a pretty color, texture and an exotic flavor. Add noodles into soup, bake a nice fruit bread or tea cookies or come up with an invention of your own. There are multiple options to mix and match your Rangsaa to wonderful recipes.

5. As a flavoring tool – Make a strong Rangsaa concoction and soak nuts and fruits in it overnight. Store this in the fridge and use in cakes, desserts and various dishes. This easy trick does wonder to your recipes and will amaze everyone around you.

6. Braising with Rangsaa – Apart from providing pleasure in a cup, Rangsaa is also ideal for braising lesser cuts of meat. A long slow cooking of meat in brewed tea results in a delicious sauce. Try brined sweet chicken to begin with. You’ll fall in love with the recipe and it won’t even be the beginning of a delicious affair!

Whether you are a seasoned chef or a newbie experimenting with different dishes, cooking with tea is going to take you on a new, uncharted culinary journey. Try our variety of blends and make Rangsaa not just a beverage choice but an ideal companion for your daily meals too.

Tea Aromatherapy – Find Your Balance With Rangsaa

tea-talk-10The practice of aromatherapy as an alternative medicine uses essential oils and aromatic plant extracts to heal, relax and improve one’s mood. From burning incense to fragrant oils, the tradition of aromatherapy has long been practised in temples, spas, meditation centres, hospitals etc. The popularity of aromatherapy has encouraged many to jump on to the bandwagon, labelling and selling synthetic candles, lotions and cosmetics for “aromatherapy”. These artificial products, naturally, do not have the properties the real herbs and oils do.

The many health benefits of aromatherapy make it hugely popular, such as its ability to reduce anxiety and depression, boost energy, eliminate headaches, induce sleep, reduce pain and strengthen immunity. And over the course of time, this simple ritual has paved it’s way to our homes – a practice aimed at healing and relaxing our bodies and mind.

Tea, a simple medium to achieve the meditative state, has been filling the need for an authentic way to aromatherapy. The healing and rejuvenating exercise is shifting to tea, with essential oils being infused into tea leaves, leading to an evolution in the diversity of flavors and aromas.

What makes tea such a soothing beverage is not just its taste nor the chemical compounds in the drink but the aromas and scents wafting from the cup, which go a long way in reducing stress. With each sip, the scents linger in the air, relaxing and energising the body and mind. The process of smelling the warm, rising aroma, is a process to connect with our inner selves, awaken from within and find a sense of harmony with nature.

This is the embodiment of aromatherapy in it’s most natural state. If you’re looking for something for vigour, vitality, healing, soothing or just lulling yourself to sleep, the task is as simple as bringing hot water to a boil and indulging in a fine cup of tea.

At Rangsaa, we strive to achieve the same sensory experience and mental balance with our all-natural blends. Our ingredients come alive in the water, bringing out layers of strong and complex aromas that are unique, reviving, soothing and relaxing, making way for the perfect, serene tea-time. Tea aromatherapy in all-natural way with no artificial essential oils or flavouring – this is the Rangsaa way. Just a medley of simple ingredients packed with 100% genuine love.

We believe our sense of smell plays a major role in our lives. The “smell” receptors in our nose communicate with parts of our brain (the amygdala and hippocampus) that serve as storehouses for emotions and memories. When you breathe in the aroma from a cup of Rangsaa, the receptors stimulate these parts of your brain and influence physical, emotional, and mental health. An important element of aromatherapy is synergy, a unique combination of a variety of aromas that can create an effect far more than that achieved by the oils on their own.

In today’s fast paced world, it is our effort to help people find balance and harmony of mind, body and spirit in a simple cup of Rangsaa. A journey from scratch to the molecular realm, Rangsaa aromas develop an all new character when brewed, with a unique burst of strong aromas that you’ve never experienced before. Brew our tea, find that perfect spot in the house and clear your mind of all worries. Dive into a journey of healing and wellness with a delectable and soothing aromatherapy experience. Jumpstart your journey of mindfulness with Rangsaa and experience the healing power of tea.

Why Wine Lovers Make Awesome Tea Addicts

tea-talk-11A not-so-well-known fact about tea is that it has more diverse sensory wheel than wine. Wine and tea lovers, alike, would agree that the two drinks are about flavor and taste. The common element of subtlety unites the two. Wine lovers have learned about wine by paying close attention to the physical experience of taste and aromas. People who love wine are often sensual beings, operating on a feeling rather than thinking level. They crave touch, smell, taste and the finer things in life, not very different from tea lovers. No wonder wine lovers make the best tea connoisseurs too and here’s why:

1. A time travel machine – Good wine does this wonderful thing to you – it transports you back to the time and place it was made in. This is a quality of wine even the beginners find easy to catch up to since the regional differences in the production of wine brim to the surface before anything else. The same is the case with tea, whose agricultural environment is revealed in its properties. There are still some teas that are created such that all hints of the origin vanish. For wine drinkers, this is how you can tell an average tea from a great one.

2. Myriad of flavours and aromas – If you have a cup of high altitude tippy green tea, it will taste nothing like wine! However, there are several compounds found in tea that are identical in aroma and flavour to those in wine. Only a seasoned drinker will be able to spot this similarity. A sensitive palate is what makes wine and tea drinkers much like each other. When you learn the art of tasting the subtle notes, you improve both your ability to identify good quality tea and to taste in general.

3. Savoring it – Wine lovers know the art of savouring, the act of taking it slow and enjoying what stands right before you. And this is exactly how you enjoy tea. Taking a break from the humdrum life and enjoying a meal, some fine wine and good company.

4. Always more to know – While tea may look like a simple thing to learn, it’s vast in both breadth and depth. Tea lovers know learning all there is to learn about tea is an uphill task. Much as a glass of wine, each cup of tea is an opportunity to expose yourself and engage with a rich cultural history and tradition. Wine and tea both carry within themselves a bit of the earth’s geology. For those who have a deep love of learning, nothing better than a lesson in tea.

5. Love for variety – Variety is truly the spice of life. Both wine and tea stay true to the adage with the huge number of options they present. You could easily try a bottle of wine a day and a cup of tea a day and you would still be left with a vastly uncharted territory.

6. Appreciating the little things in life – Celebrating the moment comes naturally to wine and tea lovers. Nothing better than spending a lovely evening with friends and family over a nice pot of tea. Tea-time is a way to cherish the little things in life, something to hold on to. Wine and tea lovers don’t need a lot to make them happy. They can turn an ordinary evening into a memorable one. It’s a very happy way to live!

At Rangsaa, we believe in the power of rich tea with rich experiences. So calling out to all wine lovers, who we are sure would love our teas! Indulge in the exquisiteness of Rangsaa blends and surround yourself with all things good.

PEOPLE TEA – My Way of Tea by John Bickel

people-tea-1-1I’ll discuss a bit about how I brew tea, after an introduction. My name is John Bickel, and I’m American, but I live in Thailand now, for the last nine years. Exposure to different tea traditions led me to an unusual level of interest in tea. I write a blog about the subject (Tea in the Ancient World), and help run a Facebook tea group (International Tea Talk). There’s a lot one might say about tea, about types, how to brew, health benefits or concerns, ceremonial aspects, storage, and about gear, but I’ll focus on brewing.

There are two main categories of brewing approaches, although there are others. Masala chai, spiced teas, are typically simmered over a long period of time, but this isn’t one of those two main methods, not commonly practiced in places like China, Japan, and Taiwan, or in Western countries. Gongfu cha (literally “tea technique”) and Western brewing are the main approaches. Both relate to varying proportion of tea to water and adjusting infusion time related to that. I use both, depending on the tea, and what I feel like drinking, and how much free time I have. This blog post goes into how to cut the process as short as possible, how to brew loose tea with a fast breakfast.

Gongfu cha is the approach favored by tea enthusiasts. A relatively high proportion of tea to water (eg. five grams of tea for 100 ml of water) is steeped for a short time, using a gaiwan (a cup with a lid) or small clay pot. This approach can brew the same leaves ten or more times, for as little as a few seconds or as long as a minute, depending on the tea and personal preferences. Some types of tea turn out much better made this way, for example Dan Cong oolongs or sheng pu’er (compressed tea, more or less designed to benefit from aging). One benefit is that astringency can be limited by the short infusion times. Using many infusions also allows for experiencing the transition of tea characteristics; the aspects will change across infusions. The main trade-off is the time required.

The brewing process used most is generally referred to as “Western style.” This uses one teaspoon of tea per each cup of water (roughly) in a larger teapot for a few minutes time (3-5). The leaves might be brewed a second or third time depending on different factors. With the proportion of the tea to water as the main difference tea could be brewed Western style in a large gaiwan, or by a process much closer to Gongfu style in an English-style porcelain teapot, or by either in a French Press. One main advantage is ease and convenience. One or many cups of tea can be prepared in five minutes or less, the brewing time, using minimal gear. Any variation needs to control the main brewing inputs to get the most out of teas: temperature, proportion, and infusion time.

I’ll mention a few other factors here. The basics aren’t so hard to master, but a review of some other good sources would spell those out in short order.

Temperature: Hot water is fine for black tea, although some people advocate not using full boiling point temperature. Green tea works better brewed slightly cooler, in the range of 75 C and 170 F (although recommendations do vary), with oolong in the middle.

Gear: Beyond using a gaiwan / clay pot and English-style porcelain pot for the two approaches many other alternatives would still be fine. Specialized brewing equipment—similar to a coffee maker—with timers and water heating function is at one extreme, an infuser basket that goes in a mug is at the other.

Tea quality: There is a divide between CTC (commercial processed tea) and orthodox tea (more hand-made) that is hard to summarize. In the most general terms ground up tea is not as good as whole-leaf processed tea, but quality varies for different reasons. Regional tea sources are another main factor; tea varies according to both how it is made and where it is grown.

Good luck with your own exploration of nicer loose teas.

7 Ways To Enhance Your Tea Experience

tea-talk-8Charles Dickens once said, “If you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head, I should better understand your affairs”. Wise words from a tea lover, indeed. Tea improves your mood and enhances creativity, the sublime effect created by a combination of elements associated with the tea experience, including aspects of tea preparation, an indulgence in the taste and aroma during consumption and simply acting as a refreshing break from other activities. Tea is known to bring peace and relaxation to one’s mind, thus helping achieve the elusive ‘zen’. The many wonderful proprieties and peculiarities of tea can lead you to experience the zen you are looking for and sip in a whole new tea affair.

A complete tea experience comes with several nuts and bolts that must all come together to create a synthesis as heady as a luxuriant blend. To deepen your understanding of tea, we would like to introduce you to 7 different ways of enhancing your everyday tea experience:

1. Nothing else matters – When you drink your daily cup of tea, focus only on the tea and forget the constant worries, meetings, projects, and deadlines to be met. Push daily life to the back of your mind, to be retrieved once the session is done. The state of mind when you pause and transcend beyond trivialities and annoyances, away from the everyday mundanity and hustle, is the true way to enjoy tea.

2. A tranquil and elegant space – A clutter-free, pleasant and elegant drinking space fosters positive sentiments, heightening the pleasure of drinking tea. Go for a tastefully decorated room to liven up an empty space, creating a solemn and respectful atmosphere for tea preparation and drinking. Light incense sticks or a candle, it’s all up to you to decorate your personal tea space.

3. Appreciating tea – Experiencing tea is not just about drinking but rather about carefully tasting it. Examine and judge your tea’s flavor, color, aroma and texture. Allow the tea to unfold it’s inner workings and dormant flavors to you. When you are clear about the ‘Way of tea’, you will be able to judge tea quality and value.

4. The art of teaware – Tea masters and scholars have on several occasions emphasised, and we concur, that refined and exquisite teaware enhances the enjoyment of drinking tea. Whether you love your traditional tea bowl or your stylish glass teapot, proper and elegant teaware can make a significant difference in your overall tea experience.

5. Intimate understanding – Tea drinking is an accurate representation of the oneness of man, nature and spirit. Get intimate with your tea, connect with it and dive into the process mindfully. You can thus hone your skill, understand the natural forces behind the process and increase your appreciation for tea to the molecular level.

6. In-sync with nature – Nature is integral to the enjoyment of tea. The placement of stones, an arrangement of potted plants and use of natural materials such as a wooden table, bamboo stools, earthenware – all add to accentuating your tea experience as a creation of nature.

7. Good company – Like wine, tea takes you on its own, unique journey. Drinking tea in the company of advanced tea drinkers who appreciate the aesthetics of tea, have a keen understanding of the finer things in life and value tea, can lead to an enriching tea experience and enhance the beauty of the whole exercise.

Enrich your everyday tea drinking experience with these simple ways and watch your tea take on new flavors, forms, colors and meanings.

Find Your Daily Zen With A Simple Tea Meditation

tea-talk-3-1Today’s world is an ever-demanding place where we are constantly expected to be on-the-go, with little time for ourselves. Are we relaxed in our daily lives, with our minds calm and clear? The very fact that modern lifestyles drive us crazy with their deadlines, tight schedules and endless expectations draw several people to find that one quiet moment in the day.

Tea meditation helps you do just that. Meditation may be hailed as the ultimate path to mental peace and calm, but most of us find the first step towards achieving that great ideal a task in itself. The biggest challenge we face while trying to meditate is keeping our thoughts from running amok while we stay put physically.

On my quest to tackle the issue effectively, I figured out just the right way to ease myself into the exercise – tea meditation. The very process of preparing, brewing, followed by drinking tea in a calm setting is the most potent form of meditation, to me. Just the act of taking the time out to brew the perfect cup of tea helps me cancel out both external and internal noise and practise mindfulness, tuning into the present moment and focusing on what is important, here and now. Tea helps me slow down, pause, breathe and get in sync with the natural, uninterrupted rhythm of life.

The subtle aromas of different leaves, the simplicity and purity of natural flavours help us connect with nature. The entire process – starting from boiling water to brewing tea leaves, ending with sipping the flavorful infusion – gives us a much needed hiatus, a break in the endless action that our lives are. Compared with the tiny amount of time we get while waiting for the train or making a dash for a quick morning coffee, this is a time we can be certain of diving into and enjoying.

Tea is a delightful romance between water and tea leaves; tea leaves distend in water, releasing wafting aromas, colors and flavours nurtured by nature, giving you the very essence of nature in a cup of tea. The act of drinking tea is soothing, simple and a mind-awakening experience that is nothing short of a thrilling sensory experience. The entire process of experiencing and observing tea release its natural charm is meditative. Naturally, the use of proper and beautiful teaware assumes importance, contributing to and enhancing the overall tea experience.

Tea meditation is a great path to introspection and inner reflection. It helps us realise the intrinsic beauty of life and the grand amalgamation of experiences it offers us each moment. Along comes the realization that the present is the most important moment, worthy of all our attention and one of the best ways to heighten our awareness is the simple act of drinking tea with mindfulness.

You can practise your tea meditation during any given time of the day, be it the morning, afternoon or evening, depending on the freedom your work schedule allows you. A simple tea ritual, when practised daily, ensures peace of mind, a harmonious attitude towards life, self-realization and ultimately the freedom to experience life on your own terms.

The greater your appreciation and sensitivity towards the wonders of tea, the shorter will be your path towards a calmer, happier and zen you.