Winter. It’s cold, dark, and all we want to do right now is curl up in a ball and hibernate. But rather than retreat, we thought it would be a nice time to channel the cosy feels into something positive. Through this content series and set of member events called Self-Care Sundays, we’re exploring different ways of improving our health and wellbeing in the chilly months.
Like many great projects, Good & Proper Tea started out with passion and an idea: Emilie Holmes wanted to bring better tea to London. “Though tea has remained the nation’s favourite hot drink, the quality on offer when we are out and about is more often than not distinctly average,” she says. “That’s what I wanted to change – by offering fellow tea-drinkers the same quality experience that my coffee-junkie friends currently enjoy.”
She put her proposal for a mobile tea van on Kickstarter, and 372 brew-passionate backers helped make it happen. Fast forward just a few years and her business has grown to include a flagship tea bar, an online store, and a strong presence in cafes and restaurants around London. This weekend Good & Proper Tea are visiting us at The Collective Old Oak to teach us about the benefits of tea and turmeric in our very first edition of Self-Care Sundays. Emilie was kind enough to spill the tea, and share a very special recipe for London’s trendiest hot drink at the moment, the turmeric latte – aka golden milk.
Tempe Nakiska: Run us through why particular teas are good for winter health.
Emilie Holmes: Other than simply being simply fantastically hydrating, tea also boasts a plethora of other health benefits –largely thanks to the high concentration of catechins (antioxidants) which fight damaging free radicals in the body. Here are a few in particular:
- Green tea contains both caffeine, a stimulant, and L-theanine, which reduces anxiety. Not only does that mean getting your morning buzz without the jitters, but also the combination is particularly potent for increasing cognitive function and improving memory. It is also a favourite for many nutritionists, thanks to its effect on the speed of your metabolism.
- White tea, thanks to minimal processing, has the most antioxidants of all. These help protect the body from free radicals, fight disease and keep you and your immune system healthy. They have also been shown to help reverse skin damage caused by stress, diet and sun, and can even help the skin to rebuild resistance to stress.
- Oolong teas are believed to increase your metabolism for up to two hours after eating, which is why you’ll find so many articles online linking oolong tea with weight loss. The high levels of antioxidants again also help keep your skin
looking vibrant and youthful.
- Herbal infusions, though not strictly from the tea plant, also offer a wide range of health benefits: peppermint for aiding digestion, lemon verbena for soothing aching muscles and chamomile for reducing anxiety and stress.
Tempe: You’ll be teaching us more about turmeric at our event. Can you tell us something about it?
Emilie: Turmeric, the deep orange root, is also fantastically good for your health. Curcumin, the secret to turmeric’s bright hue, is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects, making it a positive addition to the treatment of anything from arthritis to pre-menstrual tension. Both tea and turmeric are therefore wonderful, natural sources of a wide range of health benefits and make a great addition to a healthy, balanced diet.
Tempe: How can we use turmeric – could you share a recipe?
Emilie: At our Leather Lane Bar, we offer a range of tea lattes which are always met with excitement. The Turmeric Latte is something extra special; combining the benefits of both tea and turmeric and resulting in a wonderful warming, winter latte. The addition of coconut milk makes it dairy free free and vegan too.
Good & Proper Turmeric Latte Recipe
What you need
- For 450ml of tea + turmeric syrup (15 servings)
- 5g lemongrass
- 30g maple syrup
- 60g fresh ginger, grated
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- 1⁄4 tsp ground cayenne
- 100g fresh turmeric, grated
- 500ml water
- A muslin cloth-covered sieve (or a clean J cloth)
- Approx 200ml coconut milk
- Add the ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, peppercorn and cayenne to a saucepan of water
and bring to a boil
- Simmer for 20 minutes
- Whilst you’re waiting, measure out the loose lemongrass and the maple syrup, into a
- Strain the turmeric liquid through a muslin cloth-covered sieve into the lemongrass and
maple syrup liquid
- Steep (soak) the mixture for 1 hour and then strain again to the remove the lemongrass
- Pour 30ml of the syrup into your mug of choice, and top with the heated
coconut milk (approx 200ml per cup)
- Sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon and enjoy!
For more on Good & Proper, head to their website. Members, head to the app for all Self-Care Sundays events.