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Dragon Pearl Jasmine Tea Biscuits

Makes 72 small biscuits

 2 Tablespoons Jasmine Dragon Pearl Tea
2 Cups All purpose flour

1 Cup Bakers (caster) Sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Cup Chilled Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons Iced Water

1) In a processor or grinder, pulse the tea until powder-like. Use a pestle and mortar to break down any resistant buds remaining.
2) In a cake mixer, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and the tea.
3) Dice the cold butter into tiny cubes. Add this to the mixer along with the vanilla extract and water.
4) Gently stir the ingredients together on your machine’s slowest setting until a loose dough is formed.
5) Divide dough into two equal pieces. Without over-handling, press each to form a dense ball and then roll each into a 30 cm long log.

7) Preheat oven to 190 c with a shelf located in the centre.
8) One log at a time – remove from the fridge, slice rounds, place on a baking tray and bake on the middle shelf for 16 minutes until the edges of the cookies just start to colour brown.
9) Remove from the oven and leave on the tray for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
10) Enjoy.

Tea Art

Lady GaGa gets it!

The Beatles got it!

James Talks Tea

A little about tea

The Chinese began drinking tea thousands of years before the rest of the world. According to Chinese mythology,in 2737BC, the emperor Shen Nung, who would always boil water before he drank it for hygienic reasons, stopped during a long journey across his empire. As he was boiling his water, a leaf of Camellia sinensis fell into his mug. Upon drinking the new liquid, the emperor raved of its health benefits and refreshing taste.
Camellia sinensis, known as the tea plant, is responsible for producing black, green, white and oolong tea. The difference between these teas lies in the levels of oxidation. Black, being the most oxidized and white being the least. The young leaves of this evergreen shrub are handpicked at harvesting. To produce green tea, the leaves are steamed right away to prevent oxidation. Leaves left to oxidize slightly longer become oolong tea, while black tea is left to oxidize the longest.
Of course, there are literally thousands of variations of each of those types of tea and each tea growing region throughout Asia has become well known for producing certain styles of tea.
In Japan, Green Tea is the cup of choice and styles such as Sencha, Matcha and Gyokuro are very popular. Tea plays an integral part in the day to day culture and rituals of Japan.
Indian & Sri Lankan tea has become the most popular tea in the world today, especially in the west. India produces an estimated 850,000 tonnes of tea per year, this is exported around the world. In England, where tea drinking is a national pastime, there is 144,000 tonnes of the stuff swilled each year.
In China, where it all began, production is at around 200,000 tonnes per year and much of this is mostly savoured locally.  It is here you will find the most refined and delicate teas produced anywhere in the world, some of these leaves need to be tasted to be believed. Many small growers will produce as little as 30 kilograms in a year, focusing on quality rather than quantity. Some teas grown here are so fine they fetch a price, winemakers can only ever dream of. The Oolong tea, Tieguanyin, can cost as much $2,700 for a kilo, anyone who has tasted a half decent Tieguanyin would most likely argue that it’s worth every cent too.
However you like your tea, one thing is for sure, with an amazing history spanning more than 5000 years, it sure isn’t some passing fad.

Tips for Brewing The Perfect Cuppa

There are some simple techniques for brewing tea that will make the difference between making a good cup of tea and a superb one.

Clean Your Equipment before making your tea.
Make sure your teapot and utensils are clean. This helps to remove mineral deposits and old residue that can taint the flavour of your freshly made brew.

Start with Cold, Good-Tasting Water
Since tea is comprised of 99% water, the type of water you use will have an impact on the clarity and taste of your tea. The best type of water to use when brewing tea is filtered or bottled water (not distilled water) that is free of chemicals and chlorine. If that isn’t available and you are using tap water, run the tap for around ten seconds and until the water is cold before filling your tea kettle.

Water and Steeping
The water temperature and length of steeping time varies by the blend of tea you are brewing. Here are some general tea brewing guidelines for water temperature and steeping times. Again, adjust the heat and time based on your individual preferences.
Water Temp: 96-100 C
Steeping Time: 3-5 minutes

Water Temp: 85-93 C
Steeping Time: 3-5 minutes

Water Temp: 73-85 C
Steeping Time: 3-5 minutes

Water Temp: 71-75 C
Steeping Time: 2-3 minutes

Water Temp: 95 - 102 C
Steeping Time: 5-7 minutes

Amount of Tea
To maximize taste, it is preferable to brew tea leaves in loose form rather than using a small tea ball or infuser (although these accessories are popular, convenient, and yield tasty brews). This allows the leaves to fully open and release all their flavour.  The unfurling of the leaves is referred to as "the agony of the leaves".

Use 1 teaspoon of whole leaf tea for each cup you are brewing. This is the standard for compact blends. If you are brewing tea that has a lot of volume, consider using up to two tablespoons per serving.

When your tea is finished steeping, immediately remove the tea from the strainer . Then serve while fresh and hot. If your tea gets too cool, it is best to enjoy it over ice rather than re-heating the tea.
Depending on your preference, you can enjoy drinking your beverage plain or with a bit of milk, lemon, honey or sugar. In Asia, people typically drink tea without accompaniments.
In England and Australia a  small amount of milk is often added to black tea for extra body and smoothness. In Russia, brewing tea and adding lemon is common. Raspberry jam is sometimes added for sweetness. Brewing tea is all about the experience and how you take your tea is a matter of individual taste and enjoyment. Experiment until you find a combination that suits your palate "to a tea."