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Explore the Colorful World of Tea with Zojirushi: 8 Types of Lesser-Known Teas and Tisanes To Enjoy This Winter

At Zojirushi, we’re a little obsessed with tea. Not only does tea boost focus when you need a little pick-me-up, but it can also give you that quiet moment of rest and relaxation when you’re looking to unwind after a long day. Most people may be familiar with black, green, and oolong teas, but there are thousands of different teas out there that are just as delicious and unique in their own ways. Today, we’ll be diving into a few of our favorite lesser-known teas to help you discover new flavors to explore and enjoy. Let’s dive in!

If you’re new to the world of tea, we suggest starting out with our introductory guide to learn about the most popular types of tea first.

What’s the Difference Between Tea and Tisane?

Herbal teas, also known as herbal infusions or tisanes, are made from blends of herbs, spices, and sometimes flowers. Though they are commonly referred to as teas, it’s important to note that herbal teas or tisanes do not contain caffeine, and are not made from the camellia sinensis plant. Herbs like peppermint, chamomile, and ginger are popular ingredients for herbal tea recipes, and even contain medicinal properties that can help with things like upset stomachs or nausea.

Fresh Herb Tea

Consider chamomile tea, for example. Made from the dried leaves and flowers of the chamomile plant, this tisane has a beautiful floral scent with health benefits that range from lowering blood sugar, reducing inflammation, and even helping you fall asleep and relax. 

 

Hibiscus tea, made from the hibiscus plant, is another great example of a flower that can boast impressive health benefits. It was first popularized in Western Africa and South America and is known for its fruity flavor and bright red color. Hibiscus, like most teas, is full of antioxidants, which can promote weight loss, fight bacteria, and help prevent disease. 

Spiced Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea is another non-caffeinated tea that is also bright red in color but is not to be confused with hibiscus tea. Made from a South African Papilionace bush, rooibos tea is described as earthy, sweet, and full of flavor. Many people will enjoy rooibos tea with some milk, as it is naturally sweet and balances well with other flavors.

Honeybush tea is also made from a bush, that, as its name suggests, smells like honey. Processed in a similar way to rooibos, it is a rich and wonderful smelling beverage that has a lot of antioxidants, without caffeine.

Tea Varieties You Should Know

Now that we’ve gone through non-caffeinated herbal teas and tisanes, let’s talk about types of caffeinated teas that you may not be so familiar with, but should be!

Yerba Mate is native to South America and is a member of the holly family. Technically, it’s not a tea because it does not come from the camellia sinensis plant, but it is known for its tea-like features. Known for being a strong stimulant with caffeine levels similar to that of coffee, Yerba Mate brews up strong with an earthy flavor of straw and a touch of sweetness on the finish.

Matcha is a powdered green tea from Japan that is traditionally whisked in water before serving. This tea is made from plants that are grown in the shade, resulting in a deeper green color and more caffeine and l-theanine. Matcha tea is steamed immediately after harvest, preventing the oxidation process, and has an umami flavor that is great for lattes and baking.

Pu-erh tea is a very unique type of Chinese tea made from large, dark leaves that are semi-fermented, so it brews up an inky brown-black color. It has a distinct, full-bodied flavor with a wonderful earthiness, strong aroma, and thick mouthfeel due to the fermentation. It has a fairly high amount of caffeine, so enjoy it when you need a bit of extra energy!

Purple tea is a rare, wild tea produced from a special purple-leaved plant from the Assam region of India, though they are now grown in parts of Africa. You’ll be able to tell a purple tea from others due to its unique purple color, both from the bright dried purple leaves to the purple drink. This tea has less caffeine than others, and has been compared to green teas in flavor, with slightly less bitterness.

The Hot Tea All Winter Long

Stainless Tea Tumbler with Handle SE-KAE48

There’s nothing like warming up to a steaming cup of tea in the winter, whenever and wherever you want it. Our Stainless Tea Tumbler with Handle SE-KAE48, which was designed specifically for enjoying tea, lets you enjoy hot tea in seconds with its dual infuser and strainer for all types of teas. The handle on the infuser makes it easy to remove your steeped tea leaves, and our signature vacuum-insulation technology will keep your beverages hot for hours. Now that you’re a tea expert, what type of tea are you looking forward to brewing next?

Discover tea recipes to create for your Stainless Tea Tumbler with Handle on Zojirushi.com, from our Spiced Rooibos Tea, Fresh Herb Tea, and our Silky Milk Oolong Tea.

Did you discover a new type of tea that you’re looking forward to trying today? Do you already own a Stainless Tea Tumbler with Handle SE-KAE48? Make sure to share your thoughts, comments, and questions with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan

 

Warm Up to Savory Soups and Grilled Meals with Zojirushi’s Multi-Functional Electric Griddles

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Hi Zo Fans, have you met our Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet line? Whether it’s a hearty soup, grilled meats, or even hot pot that you’re craving this winter, our versatile electric griddles help you cook, sauté, and steam your favorite dishes in a cinch – with delicious results every time. If you’re looking for the best electric skillet to suit your kitchen, learn more about our versatile Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillets in our comprehensive breakdown below. Let’s get cooking!

The Basics

There are three electric griddles that we’ll be covering in this guide today:

We’ll be going over each of these skillet’s unique features in a bit, but first, we wanted to highlight a few important cooking and safety features that all of these appliances share. With our Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillets, you can always expect:

  • Titanium and ceramic enhanced nonstick coated cooking surfaces. Say goodbye to burnt food or food sticking to the pan. These cooking surfaces makes cooking, and cleanup, a breeze.
  • Heat resistant body guard that protects from accidental contact with the hot surface. Safety is one of our top priorities at Zojirushi. We designed our electric griddles with heat resistant body guards that protect from accidental contact with the hot surface to ensure your safety and peace of mind
  • Detachable power cord. Disassembling your electric griddle has never been so easy. Our detachable power cords gives you the capacity to go from grill to tabletop as soon as you would like to, and also ensures a safe use of your appliance by disconnecting it from power when not in use.
  • Tempered glass. Each griddle comes with an easy-to-hold lid with a flat knob that lays the lid both flat and angled. With tempered glass, you can easily see into your skillet to monitor the cooking process.
  • Stay cool handles. Our side handles are designed to stay cool, making removal of the pan quick, easy, and safe.
  • BPA-free. All Zojirushi products are BPA-free where surfaces come into contact with food or beverage.

The Models

Now, let’s dive into each of our griddles! We’ll guide you from smallest to largest, beginning with the Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet EP-PBC10.

Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet EP-PBC10

This single pan, multifunctional electric skillet features a deep dish (2-¼” depth) that is great for making stews and hot pot meals right on your tabletop. You can use the 10-½” surface of this skillet to grill and sauté with variable temperature settings from Keep Warm (176°F) to 480°F. Note that the inner pot can also be removed and used right on top of your stovetop burner if you like as well. This EP-PBC10 comes in a Light Gray (-HC) color and uses a 1,300 watt heating system.

Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet for Yin Yang Hot Pot EP-PFC20This electric skillet features a single base with two different cooking plates. One is a deep pan (3-⅛”) with a divider that can be used to cook up to two different hot pot soups at once, and the other is a dual surface griddle pan that is ideal for grilling meats on one side and vegetables on the other. With a diameter of 12”, this electric skillet is great for small households or larger format meals.

To turn on the grill mode, simple select “grill” and choose your temperature between Keep Warm, Med, and High. To use the cook mode for your hot pots or soups, simple select “Cook” and select your temperature between simmer to high. When you’re done enjoying your meal, you can simply remove the pans from the electric base for easy clean up. This skillet comes in a gray (-HA) color and uses a 1,300 watt heating system.

Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet EP-RAC50

The EP-RAC50 Electric Skillet is a largen skillet that comes with two cooking pans, an ultra-deep dish of 8 ⅛” for soups, fondues, and sukiyaki, and a flat grilling plate for meats and vegetables. This appliance also comes with a steaming plate that can adjust to two different heights, low and high, to steam different food items.

The deep pan can be used directly on your stovetop burner, and the base of the skillet features variable temperature settings from Keep Warm (176°F) to 480°F. This appliance comes in stainless white (-XW) color and uses a 1,350-watt heating system.

What do you think of our Zojirushi Electric Products? Did you find an electric griddle or electric skillet you’d love to add to your kitchen? If you’re feeling inspired, check out our electric griddle recipes on our website. If you already have a Zojirushi Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet, share your thoughts, comments, and questions with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan

Explore the Colorful World of Tea with Zojirushi: A Guide to Tea Types

Did you know that tea is the second most consumed beverage on earth after water? Tea is a delicious, healthy beverage that comes in many varieties, colors, and forms, and is a delightful pick-me-up for when you need a boost of focus, or when you want to relax and unwind after a long day.

In this post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the most popular types of tea, how they’re processed, and how to prepare them for optimal flavor. We hope that by the end of this guide, you’ll gain a new appreciation for tea and love it just as much as we do.

What is Tea?

All tea is made from leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is native to countries across Asia. It’s been around for thousands of years, with deep roots in China and Japan, but is now grown and enjoyed all across the globe.

It has become a staple in many countries for its many health benefits, from helping prevent heart disease and cancer, aiding in weight loss, and lowering cholesterol levels. With hundreds of varieties and flavors, differences relate to how they are grown, processed, and prepared. Let’s walk through the main categories of tea and how they are processed next.

Different Types of Tea

Loose leaf tea: Loose leaf tea refers to tea leaves that have not been cut or crushed in processing. Because of this, loose leaf tea tends to have more flavor than bagged tea. More often than not, these types of loose leaf teas will also be more aromatic than their bagged counterparts.

White tea: White tea is a premium variety known for its high concentration of antioxidants that can help protect against cancer. White tea is the least processed of all teas, as it’s plucked early in the season from buds are covered with fine white hairs, and the leaves are not oxidized at all. Instead, they are steamed or air-dried immediately after harvest. Some tea producers even roll them into small pearls.

Green tea: Studies have shown that green tea can help boost metabolism, improve skin complexion, and even help improve sleep quality and reduce inflammation. They’re an effective source of theanine, a compound that can help calm your nerves and reduce the effects of stress on your body. Unlike black tea, which is fermented for at least 4 hours before drying, green tea is steamed and then dried very quickly to preserve its fresh, vegetal flavor.

Gyokuro tea: Gyokuro is a type of green tea that we felt deserved its own section due to its truly unique characteristics. It is a Japanese tea that is considered to be of the finest quality. Gyokuro is known as “jade dew,” because it’s made from young leaves plucked before they’ve fully opened. This makes them extremely delicate and flavorful, with high levels of natural caffeine content, and a crisp, refreshing flavor profile that pairs wonderfully with food.

Oolong tea: Oolong is a semi-oxidized tea that is usually processed within 48 hours of picking. Its flavor profile will vary depending on how the leaves are processed and where they were grown. For example, Taiwan tends to produce a smoother style of oolong whereas in China the leaves are rolled more tightly and have more of a bite to them. Oolong can have a range of flavors from floral, fruity, and earthy to flowery and grassy, usually with a thick mouthfeel. Though they are oxidized, they should still taste quite light.

Black tea: Black tea is the most highly processed and heavily oxidized of all teas. It goes through many steps: picking and sorting, withering, rolling, fermenting/oxidizing in a large container (the “wok”), and then drying. The length of time each step takes determines whether it’s a light-colored or dark-colored tea. Black teas are generally very strong in flavor because of their extended oxidation times. They will usually contain about 4% caffeine per cup, which is also higher than other types of teas.

How to prepare the perfect cup of tea

There are many variables to brewing tea correctly, but the most important factors to consider are temperature, type of water, and brew time. For example, using unfiltered water can affect the taste of your tea, while using too hot water can burn the leaves and leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Our Zojirushi water boilers come with four different temperature settings that are ideal for brewing tea. They are as follows:

  • 160°F, ideal for most green teas
  • 175°F, ideal for matcha tea
  • 195°F, ideal for white and oolong teas
  • 208°F, ideal for black teas

From green to black to white and everything in between, there’s a tea out there for everyone! Now that you know about different types of tea and how to prepare them, what are you looking forward to brewing next? Make sure to share your thoughts, comments, and questions with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan

Everything You Need to Know About Zojirushi Water Boilers

When it comes to brewing great-tasting tea and coffee, every drop counts. That’s why we’ve designed our Zojirushi water boilers for maximum efficiency and convenience so that you can have the hot water you need at the touch of a button. If you’re looking for a water boiler to add to your home or office, or want to know more about our lineup, look no further! In today’s guide, we’ll go through all of our water boiler models and their functions – from Café Drip Mode to Quick Temp Modes – to help you choose the best hot water heater for you.

The Basics

First, let’s go through some basics so that you can understand how our hot water heaters are labeled and categorized:

  • There are three main categories of our water boilers: the Vacuum-Electric Hybrid (VE Hybrid), Micom, and our Commercial size water boiler. We will go through each of these models in detail below.
  • You will notice that each product will have a number at the end of it. This denotes the water boiler capacity: 30 stands for 3 liters, 40 is for 4 liters, 50 for 5 liters, and so on. If you are looking for a smaller capacity hot water dispenser, you may want to look for a product ending in “30,” if you’re looking for something large, take a look at our products ending in “50.”

The Features

Now we’d like to show you all of the features that make our water boilers uniquely Zojirushi. All of our hot water heaters will include the below, no matter the model:

  • Micom Technology: a computerized technology that keeps water at a select temperature for as long as it is plugged in.
  • Safety Auto Shut-off: A function that prevents overheating when no more water is inside or when the lid is open.
  • Descaling Mode: This important function will help you keep your water boiler sparkling clean, free of mineral accumulation. Just make sure you use it often with citric acid.
  • Unique dispense mechanism: All our hot water heaters do not require lifting or pouring – just a one-touch or pump dispense!
  • Other features include:
    • Reboil mode
    • Dechlorinate Mode
    • Convenient lock/unlock feature prevents accidental dispensing
    • Sturdy fold-down handle for easy transport

That’s a lot of great features, right? Now, let’s get into the different models to see which hot water dispenser is best for you.

The Models

First, we’d like to introduce you to the Vacuum-Electric Hybrid (VE Hybrid). VE Hybrid models use less electricity to keep water warm and feature quick temp modes to reduce heating times and electricity. There are currently two VE models in our lineup:

VE Hybrid Water Boiler & Warmer CV-JAC40/50

What makes this model unique is all of it’s features! It has 4 Quick Temp modes and four Keep Warm settings: 160°F, 175°F, 195°F, 208°F, a 930-Watt high powered heating element along with its energy-saving timer function that lets you time your hot water out from 6-16 hours out (that’s more than half a day!). Lastly, note that this model has an easy-to-clean nonstick coated stainless steel interior, and comes in a classy Stainless Black color.

VE Hybrid Water Boiler & Warmer CV-DCC40/50

This model also has four Keep Warm settings (160°F, 175°F, 195°F, 208°F), but three quick temp modes: 160°F, 175°F, or 195°F. The energy-saving timer function can be set from 6-10 hours, and the exterior is stainless steel, with a non-stick interior. This model comes in a Stainless Dark Brown color.

Next up are our Micom models.

Micom Water Boiler & Warmer CD-NAC40/50

  • Comes in a Metallic Black color, which can be paired with the Metallic Black Umami® Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NL-GAC10/18 for a complete set. Comes in 4L or 5L sizes, so it is ideal for larger households.

Panorama Window® Micom Water Boiler and Warmer CD-LFC30/40/50

  • This water boiler comes with a unique Panorama Window® which gives you a wider window to view your water levels. It also has a Café Drip mode for slower dispensing, which is especially useful for coffee. Available in three sizes, it comes n a clean white color that will brighten up any space.

Micom Water Boiler & Warmer CD-WCC30/40

  • The model comes in either a 3L or 4L size, so it is ideal for both small and medium-sized households. Comes in a Stainless Gray and also features the convenient Café Drip mode.

Micom Water Boiler & Warmer CD-WHC40

  • This model comes in a Stainless Gray color and features a rust-resistant stainless steel interior. The energy-saving timer function can be set from 6-10 hours, and the Quick Temp modes will keep water warm without needing to reach a boiling point.

Micom Super Boiler CW-PZC22/30

  • The Super Boiler is a classic and is ideal for smaller households with its 2L and 3L size. It is simple, with just one temperature setting of 208°F, and comes in a White Ballerina design.

Lastly, we have our commercial water boiler, which is ideal for restaurants, office, or tea houses:

“Commercial” Water Boiler & Warmer CD-LTC50

  • This model has a 5 liter capacity (169oz.), which serves up to 21 cups. There are three keep warm settings, 208°F , 195°F or 175°F, and two QUICK TEMP settings: 195°F or 175°F. The commercial water boiler has a 7-hour delay timer, so you can set your water up to boil the night before, and like all models, has an automatic lock for safety.

The Zojirushi Difference

At Zojirushi, we’re committed to delivering thoughtfully designed appliances that fit perfectly into your everyday needs. For example, all of our Zojirushi water boilers are equipped with a descaling mode, which makes it easier to clean and maintain your water boiler at the touch of a button.

Many of our water boilers also have an easy-to-hear indicator sound, which you can set to fun melodies or beeps that ring when the water is at a boil or is at a low water level. Best of all, Zojirushi water boilers can be set from 6-16 hours, extending the time for your convenience.

Now that you’ve met all of our Zojirushi Water Boilers & Warmers, let us know what you think! Did you learn anything new about our hot water heaters? If you already have a Zojirushi hot water dispenser, make sure to share your thoughts, comments, and questions with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan

Tips on How to Store Rice (Before and After Cooking)

Today, we will be diving into how to properly store rice so that it can stay as fresh as possible, for as long as possible. There are several ways to do this, for both uncooked and cooked rice, to keep your rice moist, delicious, and safe to eat for later consumption. Plus, with proper rice storage, you can even save precious money and time by being able to reheat your rice whenever you need it!

How to Store Uncooked Rice

Did you know that rice can deteriorate, even when uncooked? When rice comes into contact with moisture (its worst enemy), heat, dust, or any other contaminants, it will, in fact, go bad. Moisture can also introduce bacteria, which of course, can cause serious issues. So, how do you make sure that your uncooked rice stays as fresh as possible?

  • Buy your rice in small quantities. The less rice you have on hand, the less likely it will be for you to have extra uncooked rice on hand.
  • If you do have extra rice on hand, no need to worry! Choose an airtight container that is made from plastic, glass, or metal. You can even use plastic bags – just make sure to press the air out of the bag before sealing.
  • Extend the life of your raw rice by refrigerating or freezing it. Hot temperatures can damage your rice grains, and high levels of humidity can introduce moisture. Even if you store your rice in a cool and dark place, high temps in the summer can unknowingly damage your rice. So, when in doubt, refrigerate!

Pro tip: The shelf life of raw rice differs for brown rice. White rice tends to have a longer shelf life, up to 2 years, while brown rice still contains oils that deduct the shelf life to about 6-12 months. One way to know that your brown rice has gone bad is by checking for an unpleasant, almost rancid, smell.

How to Store Cooked RiceSome of you might believe that you can “store” your cooked rice in your rice cooker, as long as it is in “keep warm” mode. This is both true and untrue. We do not recommend that you store your rice in your rice cooker for longer than 12 hours, or 24 hours if your Zojirushi rice cooker has the “Extended Keep Warm” feature. We’ve heard of some people storing rice in their rice cooker for days at a time. Don’t do that! Not only will the flavor of the rice become less pleasant, but moisture will eventually evaporate, leaving you with dry, hard rice. We want you to always be able to enjoy delicious rice, and recommend the following:

  • Refrigerate or freeze your leftover rice. Yes, the same trick for storing dry rice applies to cooked rice too! Put your cooked rice in a storage container or wrap tightly in plastic wrap. The USDA recommends cooling rice to 70°F within two hours, then from 70°F to 40°F within the next four hours, and to store rice at 41°F or below.
  • Use frozen rice within 6 months. Refrigerated rice should be enjoyed within 5 days. You can use your microwave to reheat rice and dress up your leftover rice in a fried rice dish or salad. Just remember, if you plan to reheat rice, choose a microwave-safe rice storage container to store it in.

Pro tip: Add a tiny bit of water to your leftover rice to reintroduce some moisture and to prevent your rice from drying out when reheating.

Delicious Leftover Rice Recipes

Some recipes are in fact tastier when you use leftover rice, partly because leftover rice tends to be a little drier, and easier to toss in a pan with other ingredients. In fact, did you know that fried rice dishes are often made with leftover rice? Here are some rice dish recipes you can make the next time you find yourself with some leftover rice on hand:

Did you learn anything new about how to store rice today? How do you plan on using your leftover rice? Make sure to share your thoughts, comments, and questions with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan