Black Tea, decaf tea, and herbal tea while pregnant and nursing

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*Please note this post is purely for entertainment and should not be taken as medical advice. For medical advice please consult your doctor.

So you’re a tea drinker and are thinking about or have become pregnant. Congrats! If you’re like me you’ll google “tea and pregnancy” and then get hit with a lot of conflicting information. Like all pregnancy advice, you need to take it all with a grain of salt and see what will work for you. I’m a middle of the road kind of girl when it comes to pregnancy guidelines. I’m not ultra conservative but I also didn’t disregard many rules. I hope this helps you decide how much salt you personally should add to my advice.

Black caffeinated tea

Black tea (along with other caffeinated beverages) is generally regarded as safe in limited quantities while pregnant and nursing. I’ve met plenty of women who gave up caffeine entirely while pregnant. If that works for you, cool. Me? I was tired and wanted a little pick me up here and there. My midwife said that up to 200 milligrams of caffeine/day was safe in pregnancy. To give you an example: a can of soda is about 50mg, a small regular coffee 100-140 mg, and black tea is between 50-100mg depending on type & length of time steeped. (Don’t forget to count any chocolate you eat in your daily caffeine total — about 50mg for a bar of chocolate)

If you want to cut the caffeine content of tea I had a doula recommend a quick rinse. Pour boiling water to juts cover the tea. Swirl for 10 seconds. Dump that water and then steep as usual. This can cut as much as 90% of the caffeine and for me still resulted in a much more flavorful tea than most decaffeinated black teas.

As far as nursing goes, I’m told that every baby is different. I haven’t seen any affect of caffeine on either of my infants but if you notice that baby has trouble sleeping or is spitting up more after you caffeinate, you may want to cut back.

Decaffeinated black tea

For me these were a huge disappointment. With every decaf black tea I tried I noticed a lack of flavor. If you do try decaf, you should check to see how it is decaffeinated. Many decaf teas use a chemical process to remove caffeine, yuck! For this reason I only recommend organic decaf teas.

Herbal Tea

Most safe herbal teas are safe in small quantities. I was told I would have to drink a gallon or two to ingest enough herbs to see and effect.  However there are some teas that are important to avoid such as diet/detox teas. Marigold and Rose Hips are also listed as to be avoided, but again, from when I’ve been told you’d need to drink a whole lot to ingest enough of the herb to be a problem. Some herbal teas are good for pregnancy side effects. Try ginger or mint for morning sickness and acid reflux.

One herbal tea in particular, Raspberry leaf tea, is often talked about in regards to pregnancy. There is varied advice on the consumption of this tea. I’ve read to drink it for the entire final trimester for an easier labor as it ‘tones’ the uterus. I’ve also heard that since it can cause contractions in late pregnancy to only drink it after 37/38 weeks. Honestly, it tastes like twigs. Drink it at the end of pregnancy to try and move things along but in my opinion it’s not worth drinking a lot of! Also, I steeped it mixed with black tea to hide the taste.

When it comes to nursing, too much mint can negatively affect your milk supply so avoid mint teas if you’re trying to build or maintain your milk supply.

Review: Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai Green

Zhena's Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai Green

 

Abby says:

Tea Type:
Temperature: @ 195 (below boiling)
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Here’s a twist on one of our favorite bagged teas! You may remember that we have reviewed and even hosted a giveaway for Zhena’s Coconut Chai (black tea). We love that tea for its bold flavors and interesting blend of coconut and chai flavors. Well, now there’s even more to talk about in this version. It’s green tea folks! Green tea with chai spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves) and coconut flavors. Switching from black tea to green tea means the flavor is lightened up a lot and the coconut is able to shine. It also mean less caffeine and more other good stuff that people are always spouting off about: antioxidants, anti-aging, super food etc, etc.

Though certainly a non-traditional chai, this tea still tastes really good! I didn’t taste much of the chai flavors, but the coconut flavor is pretty strong. If you like the taste of coconut, you’ll like this tea. If you are looking for a chai tea, you many want to try the black tea version. Personally, I think coconut is the bee’s knees, so I loved this tea. It is really easy to drink because the slight sweetness from the coconut blends with the grassy green tea and is more forgiving if the tea is over-steeped.

Other good news about this tea is that it is both USDA certified organic AND fair trade! You have to love that, a tea that tastes good and feels good to drink!

Zhena's Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai Green

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 tea leaves – this tea requires very little effort.

*Pro tip: This also makes a great iced tea!

 

Shoppe – gifts for arty crafty people and tea lovers!

Have you seen Shoppe by Scoutmob yet? It’s what I image would happen if Etsy and Anthropologie had a baby. Lots of high end homemade items described as being from independent makers. Here are a few of my favorite tea things from their site but do go have a look for yourself! 

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Review: Bao Zhong (Taiwanese Oolong) from Dobra Tea

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A close up view of the opened up tea leaves. I think it makes them look delish, but what do you think? Yum or yuck?


Overall Rating:

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 tea leaves –  This tea is a bit delicate.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose Leaf
Temperature: @95 (below boiling)
Steeped: 1.5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

We’ve written about Dobra Tea before so you may already know how much we love it there. It’s such a happy tea house right smack in the middle of Portland at their new location on Exchange Street. If you find yourself in the area, get to Dobra for sure!

Bao Zhong is the lasted tea we’ve tried from Dobra. It’s a beautiful full-leaf oolong that steeps to a light, yet flavorful tea. The recommended steeping time is 1.5 mins with an additional 30 seconds for each additional steep. For this tea, I found that sticking to those times is important, otherwise it gets bitter. However, when steeped correctly this tea has a beautiful grassy and buttery taste!

For me this tea is perfect for the spring  and summer time because it reminds me of new growth and the tea itself is light and pretty. Give this one a try if you are looking for a tea to bring the gap between the strong black teas of winter and the fruity green tea blends of summer.

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 tea leaves –  This tea is a bit delicate.

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose Leaf
Temperature: @95 (below boiling)
Steeped: 1.5 minutes
Served: With a touch of honey

More often than not Abby and I have similar tastes when it comes to tea and here is shows! What a delicious tea. Normally I like a darker tea but I really enjoyed this light Oolong. Even though it was light in color it had a very nice earthy nutty flavor. For me adding a light touch of honey brought out these flavors more. I enjoyed it hot, but this tea would be nice hot or iced. Unfortunately it didn’t stand up to a 2nd steep. (It was so yummy that I tired) I agree with Abby, this is a great summer tea. My suggestion? Make a nice big pot in the morning and enjoy it later iced!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 tea leaves –  This tea is a bit delicate.

Tea and Cake Happy Hour at MAPS, Portland, Maine

MAPS tea

Believe it or not, one of the newer local bars here in Portland, hosts a daily tea and cake happy hour. From 4-6PM at MAPS you can get a pot of tea for one and a generous piece of house-made cake for $5. It sounds good, because it is good!

MAPS doesn’t have an an abundant selection of teas to choose from, but they’ve got their bases covered: traditional black tea, jasmine green tea and an herbal tea. I didn’t get a photo of the tea menu, but I recall about four tea options. Also the tea is served with all the accompaniments tea lovers need, all on a super cute tea tray.

The cake is really where it’s at! MAPS cakes are made by one of the owners. She typically has two options to choose from. The photo below shows a sponge cake with salted caramel frosting. She also has a chocolate cake with peanut-butter frosting and last week there was a chocolate-cherry cake up for grabs.

MAPS cake

MAPS hosts a more traditional happy hour as well with discounted draught beers and wines daily. If you find yourself in Portland, Maine make time to stop in to MAPS for some tea and cake, or a beer if you prefer. It will be well worth it.

Review: Joseph Wesley Black Tea T2 White Tail Blend

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Overall Rating:

Taste: 4.75 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!

Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged

Temperature: @ 195 (just below boiling)

Steeped: 2.5 minutes

Served: Nothing added

Once again, Joseph Wesley Black tea has impressed me with great tea. This time we are talking about T2 White Tail Blend, a chinese black tea from the province of Hunan. In the past we have reviewed several Joseph Wesley loose leaf teas, but the T2 comes bagged. Don’t worry the tea bagged holds whole leaves that unroll as they steep, so the tea flavor is nice and strong. Another fun surprise – this tea is certified organic! Love! This White Tail Blend as all the features I look for in black tea. It steeps to a rich chocolate-brown with a nutty aroma. The taste provides the typical black tea flavors with nut and chocolate and cinnamon hints with bright fruit notes as well. Each sip leaves your mouth slightly dry, in a good way. This tea is easy to drink, yet is each sip is interesting. If you enjoy black loose leaf tea and are looking for something more portable give this one a try. That being said, if you typically drink bagged black tea and want to trying something more flavorful and interesting T2 White Tail Blend is the way to go!

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.

Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Katie says:

Tea Type: Bagged

Temperature: @ 195 (just below boiling)

Steeped: 2.5 minutes

Served: With a touch of honey

Joseph Wesley does it again with another delicious tea. If you haven’t tired his teas you really must, he has quickly become one of our favorite tea suppliers. All of his teas are black tea based, and there is something for every tea drinker’s palette. While I am usually a drinker of super strong black tea (the kind that can stand up to milk & honey) I very much enjoyed this lighter black tea. While lighter in color, this tea isn’t light on taste. I liked it with just a hint of sweet and found that really brought out the nutty earthy flavors of the unique black blend. This chinese-sourced tea is like a fancy version of what you might get a a Chinese restaurant. I also loved that with this tea you get the convince of a bagged tea without skipping on quality. Inside the bag are nice big leaves!  After steeping you’ll see the the bag looks fuller because the leaves have unrolled. Make sure to save the bag, this tea can hold up to one or two re-steeps. White Tail Blend is a limited edition tea, so be sure to check the Joseph Wesley website for more unique flavors in the future!

Taste: 4.5 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!

Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

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Review: Finest Kind Tea Mixers & Modifiers *Giveaway*

UPDATE: The giveaway has now ended. A winner will be notified shortly. Thank you!

 
Finest Kind Tea Finest Kind Tea Mixers & Modifiers Giveaway! Just comment for a chance to win. (see below)

Mandatory Entry:  (comment to tell us) This tea is a concentrated brewed tea to use hot, iced, or as a mixer :) How would you take your Finest Kind Tea? Hot, iced or in a cocktail? (One Extra Entry for Each, please comment once for each entry to let us know!)

– Share your idea for a cocktail using Finest Kind Tea Mixers & Modifiers !
-Follow @Delecteable on Twitter.
-“Like” DelecTEAble on Facebook
-Follow Finest Kind Mixers and Modifiers on Instagram

-Share this giveaway via Twitter or Facebook. (Once Daily) Feel free to copy/paste: I entered the @Delecteable giveaway for a chance to win @FinestKindTea! You can enter too! http://bit.ly/1DYZAPb #giveaway

Remember, each entry must be left in a separate comment. A winning comment will be chosen at random. The winner has 48 hours to reply and claim their prize before a new winner is selected. Only U.S. residents can win but others are welcome to comment. Note this post is set to auto publish at noon on 4/19. The comments will be closed and a winner will be chosen at 9PM EST Tuesday 4/28

*This giveaway is sponsored. We were given enough product to sample & giveaway from Finest Kind Tea Mixers & Modifiers.

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Our Review & Overall Rating: 1753 Green Tea, Hibiscus & a Touch of Honey
Overall rating:
Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

 

Abby says:
Tea Type: Bottled 
Temperature: Over Ice
Served: Nothing added

Finest Kind Mixers & Modifiers makes fun, stylish and tasty mixers and modifiers using a tea base. Sounds good, right? Yep. The 1753 is my favorite of the blends we tried. I love it because it isn’t sweet at all. This allows the mixer to lend itself well to a variety of different drink styles. I sampled this one just over ice because I really wanted to be able to taste the blend and all it has to offer. I liked it a lot and found it flavorful, tart and easy to drink. The hibiscus keeps it interesting without being too flowery or tasting like perfume. It compliments the green tea nicely. The honey is very light, thankfully! I didn’t taste it in every sip, but it keeps the mix from being too tart. Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa! Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Katie says:
Tea Type: Bottled
Temperature: Over ice
Served: as iced tea at first, added a touch of honey to sweeten more

I liked this tea, the hibiscus gives it a very unique taste. I did want it to be a bit sweeter so I added a touch of honey. The hibiscus flavor was nice, but I felt that it overpowered the green a bit. Like Abby I tried an iced tea version of this drink and found it very refreshing. I think this would make an excellent mixer with an herbal liquor like St. Gremain. Or, if you like cocktails, try it with this Elderflower tonic.

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Since I am currently pregnant I didn’t test out the alcoholic cocktail recipe. If you do try it please let me know how it is!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa.

Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Finest Kind Tea

Our Review & Overall Rating: 1960 Black Tea, Lemon Juice, Cane Sugar
Overall Rating:
Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

 

Abby says:
Tea Type: Bottled 
Temperature: Over Ice
Served: Nothing added

The 1960 blend from Finest Kind is the most similar to what you would expect to find in an “iced tea” mixer. Don’t worry, it’s much better than what you typically find, but it’s a blend of the traditional black tea, lemon and sugar. After following the directions of 1 part mixer to 7 parts ice water, I found it a little too sweet for me. To even it out I added a touch of fresh lemon juice and it was perfect for me. If you like sweet tea, you’ll love it as is. Again, I sampled it over iced to get the full flavor. it was a bit too sweet for me in that form, but I suspect that the extra sweetness would work well when using this as a mixer for a tasty cocktail! The black tea, lemon and sugar match each other pretty well and a smooth blend of all three. On a side note: I just LOVE the tiny glass bottles our tea samples arrived it and have been trying to think of good ways to repurpose the bottles since all of the tea is long gone. Then I remembered Katie’s post about tiny tea-party flowers and found my use – tiny wild flower vases! Love!

 

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves: A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

 

Katie says:
Tea Type: Bottled
Temperature: Over Ice
Served: As directed, diluted with water over ice

I think this tea is fabulous! I tired it iced, loved it, and must acquire a big bottle ASAP. Since my sample bottle said it makes 2 servings I let my co-worker Justin try some and he also thought it was delicious, no modifications needed! I find the strength of the black tea to be perfect with just the right amount of lemon and sugar. This iced tea is perfectly yummy! Also, do note that Abby and I have very different tastes when it comes to the sweetness of tea. While this is a sweetened iced tea I did not find it to be overly sugary. It’s a New England version of sweetened tea. If southern sweet tea is your thing your thing then you’ll want to add a bit more sugar.

*Please note that we are just as critical of free teas as the ones we purchase. If we get a sample we don’t like we won’t include it on our blog.

Quiche recipe for brunch

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This quiche is quite yummy so it doesn’t last long. It might be worth doubling the recipe to make 2! Prep time 25 mins the bake for 40 mins.

6 shallots or 1 medium onion
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped ham
5 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded cheese
1 pre-made pie crust

1) Preheat oven to 325. chop onions/shallots.

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2) Sautée onion in 2 tablespoons of butter.

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3) Place sautéed onion in the bottom of the crust in pie plate.

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4) Chop ham.

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5) Add ham and 1/2 cup of cheese to the pie crust.

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6) Whisk together eggs & cream

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7) Pour egg & cream mixture over pie crust.

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8) Top with remaining cheese.

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9) Stir gently with a fork and place in oven on center rack.

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10) Bake at 325 for 40 minutes. Let cool 10 mins before serving.

Review: Yogi Lemon Ginger

Yogi - Lemon Ginger

Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: @Boiling
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Lotta ginger, not much lemon! Because I let this tea steep as long as I did the ginger was strong. Thankfully it wasn’t too spicy, just the right amount of bite. The scent of lemon is there, but I didn’t taste it. Maybe if it steeped for five minutes or less the lemon might come through a bit more. Though I didn’t get lemon, I still enjoyed this tea. For me it makes just the right cuppa for cuddling up with a good book or movie after a long day. Flavorful and comforting. Also note that it’s made with organic ginger though it is not a certified organic tea like some of other Yogi teas.

Ginger is known to settle the stomach, so it’s nice to have a stash of ginger tea in the box just in case. I prefer loose ginger tea, but this works well in a pinch. Especially if you don’t feel well, and don’t feel like preparing loose tea.

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Yogi - Lemon Ginger

Katie says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: @Boiling
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: with honey

If you are looking for a tummy-taming tea this is really fantastic. I may not choose this spicy for my daily morning cuppa but its a medicinal tea that still tastes yummy. I really like the spicy flavor of real ginger that I got from this tea. With the addition of honey it has a similar flavor to ginger candies. Nice flavor and it makes indigestion oh so much better. I’ve tired other teas with blends of chamomile but for me, the predominately ginger tea with a touch of lemon has much nicer taste than more blends of more ingredients. I particularly recommend it to anyone suffering from the many unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy, but (of course) check with your doctor or midwife first!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Recipe

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

If you’re anything like me, you are planning already looking ahead to planting a spring garden, though there may still be three feet of snow covering it at the moment. I’m currently trying to use up the frozen zucchini in my fridge to make room for the bounty of my sure-to-be amazing (read: weeds growing in every square inch) garden. The best way to do that is a double batch of chocolate chip zucchini bread, one for me and one to share!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

3 Cups – all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 large eggs

2 cups white sugar

1 Cups canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 Cups grated zucchini

3/4 Cups (generous) chocolate chips

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 5-9in. bread-loaf pans with butter.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices.

3. In large bowl beat eggs until fluffy, while continuing to blend add sugar until combined. Stir in oil, vanilla, zucchini and chocolate chips. Stir in dry ingredients and pour into pans.

4. Bake for about 45 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

This recipe makes two loafs of bread, so keep that in mind prior to whipping this up. It make a great gift, or surely your office mates will love it!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Our Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread goes very well with tea. Obviously! We love pairing our recipes with tea. There are a few that we will think work well:

Marks and Spencer Everyday

Joseph Wesley Black Tea )6 Bai Lin Congfu

Tega Masala Chai Roobios

Steven Smith Teamaker Fez

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread