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Cuppa Tea in SRQ #8 – The Overton Rosemary District Sarasota

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Cuppa Tea at The Overton

For this episode of “Cuppa Tea in SRQ”, now available from our YouTube Channel we visit The Overton in the Rosemary District of Sarasota for a chat with owner Christian Hershman.

When we visited this week, the MTV reality show “Siesta Key” show was wrapping up filming. And, per usual The Overton had a buzz about it. The Overton is Americano, fast casual at its finest. Christian is a ground breaker and The Overton does it again.

The food is “On Trend” and eclectic, but more important, Delicious!!! They do things the Overton Way from the ‘Avo Toast’, thick cut bacon and a porridge along with many other breakkie favorites.

For later in the day, The Roadside Burger is probably the most popular with fresh ground beef by the Butcher Block. The Fries are available in beef tallow or olive oil and the list goes on…

Also, The Overton makes two styles of cold brewed iced teas, a Nitro and a Sparkling.  The Nitro is frothy with a thick foam.  The Sparkling is a bit bubbly, but not overwhleming.  Try them and let us know which on you like better!

 

For each episode of ‘Cuppa Tea in SRQ’ we do a ‘Video Visit’ with one of our Serving Partners.  It’s short, it’s light and above all, tries to be funny.

Please subscribe and after that, let us know what you think.

Cheers,

Episode #8 The Overton in the Rosemary District Sarasota

The Overton Logo

Cuppa Tea in SRQ #7 – Pastry Arts on Main Street Sarasota

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Cuppa Tea at Pastry Arts

For this episode of “Cuppa Tea in SRQ”, now available from our YouTube Channel we visit Main Street Sarasota and Pastry Arts to chat with owner Chip Beeman.

They have a extensive Tea Menu to go with a massive pastry case.  All pastries are made from scratch daily, with the espresso muffin most popular.  Pastry Arts also serves soups and sandwiches for lunch.  Chip is also the owner of Main Bar Sandwich Shop.

The walls are filled with the works from local artist Ron Genta, including a few pieces with the Local tea logo!  Pastry Arts is jammed on Saturday mornings during the Sarasota Farmer’s Market.  Stop by and enjoy the outdoor seating and watch Sarasota!!

Tea is featured most afternoons as perfect for a break from the office.  There is a bit of an afternoon rush when guests stop in for a cuppa and something sweet.  Spend some time out front with the rest of Sarasota

For each episode of ‘Cuppa Tea in SRQ’ we do a ‘Video Visit’ with one of our Serving Partners.  It’s short, it’s light and above all, tries to be funny.

Please subscribe and after that, let us know what you think.

Cheers,

Episode #7 – Pastry Arts on Main Street Sarasota

Pastry Arts Bakery and Sandwich Shop Sarasota

Cuppa Tea in SRQ #6 – Bean Coffeehouse in Siesta Key Village

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Cuppa Tea at Bean Coffeehouse

For this episode of “Cuppa Tea in Sarasota”, now available from our YouTube Channel we go back to the very beginning to where it all began.  The first location of Local Tea Company, and Local Coffee + Tea in the heart of Siesta Key Village for a cuppa tea at the Bean Coffeehouse

The shop, now known as the Bean Coffeehouse was opened in 2007 and you can read more about it in the history section of the Local Tea Co. website.  The interior is wildly colorful with many works by local artist Ron Genta.

For this Holiday episode we visit the Bean late in the day, just before closing to chat with Zach and his massive tea menu. They only serve loose leaf teas AND they have a great selection of retail tea packets available.

Where else can you find so many #Rooibos teas to pick from?

Each episode of Cuppa Tea in Sarasota we do a ‘Video Visit’ with one of our Serving Partners.  It’s short, it’s light and above all, tries to be funny.

Please subscribe and after that, let us know what you think.

Cheers,

Episode #6 – Bean Coffeehouse in Siesta Key Village

Logo for Bean Coffeehouse in Siesta Key Village Florida

Gladwell Tea Party Podcast

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Gladwell Tea Party Podcast

I listen to podcasts.  A lot of podcasts, but mostly current events, politics, comedy and golf.

The first podcast I ever listened to was Malcolm Gladwell’s “Revisionist History” in 2015. My friend, Matt Turck turned me on to podcasts, actually taking my phone from me while we were at the Corner Bistro in NYC, and downloading Gladwell’s first episode that had launched that very day. Thanks Matt.

Gladwell Tempest in a TeaCup

My preference is the long form interviews especially while driving my Tea Wagon around Sarasota.  Always on the lookout for new podcasts, though I don’t usually listen to podcast about Tea.  There are a bunch, I just don’t find them as interesting as the ones I like.

I’ve moved on from Revisionist History.  I still subscribe, but don’t really listen.  That is, until I noticed ‘Tempest in a Teacup’.  I read the overview and then listened. Fantastic!

Gladwell tells his tale, in this case revisiting the Boston Tea Party. The episode was released on July 4 and while I am a bit behind, I learned a few things…

The ‘Tea Party’ was actually the culmination of a colonial drug war.  And the colonial drug of choice was tea.  Really??  I always thought the Patriots dumped tea into Boston Harbor to take a stand against taxation without representation.  Not so, says Gladwell.

Boston Tea Party Local Tea CompanyThe Patriots were smuggling tea from China into the colonies.  This ‘Bohea Tea’ was cheaper and turned into a very profitable business by undercutting the British taxed tea.

Great Britain found out about the smuggling and passed the Tea Act of 1773 lowering the price of tea.  This was not good for biz.  So, the Patriots dressed up as Mohawk Indians and dumped the British taxed tea into the harbor. As the Canadian Gladwell points out, our Founding Fathers were a criminal enterprise, drug dealers defending their turf.  Cool!

Drug dealers?  Okay, anything that makes tea dangerous is good by me. It makes Local Tea Company a bit more interesting!  And if you are interested, have a listen to this podcast.

I also learned about the Lapsang Souchong smokiness scandal, part of a ‘bro’ thing.  Full confession, I drink lapsang souchong most mornings with honey and oat milk.

Apparently, lapsang has become popular with guys, and the smokier the better. As a result, tea companies have been upping the smokiness of lapsang souchongs. And, in the opinion of Tony Gebely of Tea Epicure, ruining lapsangs by over smoking them.

Gladwell, also a lapsang drinker and unaware of the scandal was deemed part of the problem by Gebely.  Thanks Malcolm.  Tea Epicure is a wonderful tea blog that rates “the world’s most exciting teas” and goes deep into the tea world.  Thanks Tony.

Our lapsang souchong has a subtle smokiness, and not nearly as smoky tasting as it smells in the tin.  And there is there is great story about the origin of lapsang or caravan tea posted in our Lapsang Souchong product description.

Lapsang Souchong black tea from Local Tea Company

More disclosure, I was thinking I might like a smokier version for my morning lapsang.  This podcast stopped me in my tracks. I don’t I believe our lapsang has gotten any smokier over time?  But please tell me if you think it has.

Anyway, an interesting podcast having to do with tea as the colonial drug of choice, and over smoked lapsang souchong that I thought I would share here.

And the Tea Journey continues.

 

Cuppa Tea in SRQ #4 – Second and Seed

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Our latest episode of “Cuppa Tea in SRQ” is now available from our YouTube Channel.  We visit Second & Seed, a CDB Apothecary in downtown Sarasota.  They offer a ‘nitro charged’, CBD infused iced tea using our Organic Strawbango Black Tea.  Magic!!!

Each episode we do a ‘Video Visit’ with one of our Serving Partners.  It’s short, it’s light and above all, tries to be funny.

Please subscribe and after that, let us know what you think.

Cheers,

Episode #4 – Second and Seed

Second and Seed CBD Apothecary

Cuppa Tea in SRQ #3 – Cafe in the Park

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Our latest episode of “Cuppa Tea in SRQ” is now available from our YouTube Channel.  We visit Cafe in the the Park in downtown Sarasota in Payne Park.  Each episode we do a ‘Video Visit’ with one of our Serving Partners.

It’s short, it’s light and above all, tries to be funny.

Please subscribe and after that, let us know what you think.

Cheers,

Episode #3 – Cafe in the Park

 

YouTube for Local Tea Co.

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We are having fun with our new “Cuppa Tea in SRQ” YouTube Channel.  Check out this series visiting our wholesale Serving Partners, in and around Sarasota.  We find the owner and have a ‘video visit’ with them.

It’s short, it’s light and above all, tries to be funny.

Please like, comment and subscribe.  You will see the first 2 below, Oasis Cafe and Lila.

Cheers,

Episode #1 – Oasis Cafe & Bakery

Episode #2 – Lila

Pu Erh Teas

When I got to work this morning (if you call going to Selby Gardens, sipping, talking tea all day work!) I decided to crack open our Young Pu-erh. Pronounced Poo-Air, a special broad leaf tea, pu’er tea takes its name from the Pu’er county in the Province of Yunnan of China.

This is not a tea I reach for often. Maybe I should not call myself a dedicated tea drinker because of this, but I was given a newspaper article about an area called Menghai in China. NYTimes Jan 2009

Pu'Er Tea

Farmers and citizens got rich investing and selling the bricks of Pu-er tea produced in Menghai. Some buyers promoted it as liquid gold and when the value hit record levels they dumped their stock and disappeared. Now it is less than a 10th of the peak price and the tea traders are no longer buying, leaving the farmers and citizens broke.

What is Pu er tea?  Let’s talk about this tea that people are willing to pay huge amounts of money for.  Pu Erh goes through an additional oxidation process much like composting where bacterial and fungal fermentation takes place.  Many refer to it as pu erh fermented tea.

The tea can then be aged for many years. Aged Pu Erh tea leaves are often compressed into cakes or bricks and then wrapped in tissue paper to absorb moisture. The bricks are then left to mature in dark, dry places enhancing the already earthy flavor.

Pu Erh is said to lower cholesterol, cure hangovers, help with digestive problems, aid metabolism and tends to be low in tannins. Our Young Pu Erh at Local Tea Company is loose rather than compressed. The flavor is very pungent and earthy, smells like a compost heap and looks like tar so I know it’s going to be good for me! Pu'er Tea

I finish the first steep and continue with four more steeps. I like the later steeps better than the initial steep and find a lovely sweet beet tasting dark golden liquor with the fourth and fifth steep.

By this time, late in the afternoon I am thinking Pu Erh should be brewed more often by me and shared with visitors to Selby Garden as well as the Sarasota Farmer’s Market. I’m not sure I would invest pots of money in Pu-erh but it is definitely worth experiencing. What a fascinating thing this drink called Tea!

Cheers,
the Tea Lady

Earl Grey for Picard

“Tea, Earl Grey, Hot… and whoever this ‘Earl Grey’ fellow is, I’d like a word with him..”

-Jean Luc Picard, Star Trek The Next Generation

 

Who was Earl Grey?

This week one of our glorious customers ordered some Garden Grey Black Tea.  This is a tea we blend ourselves with organic lavender grown in the wilds of Tibet.  What an aroma!  While this is not one of our more popular teas, it did get me thinking about Earl Grey in general.

Most tea lovers are familiar with Earl Grey.  One whiff of this tea reveals the distinctive aroma on the nose and in the cup.  This is a very traditional black tea with the addition of oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange, a very fragrant citrus fruit.

What about the man behind the tea?

Earl Grey

Charles Grey (1764-1845) descended from a long established Northumbrian family seated at Howick Hall and was educated at Eton and Trinity College  and Cambridge.  He became the 2nd Earl of Grey, was a politician in the Whig party (Democrats) and he became Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 22!  His first parliamentary address as PM was in 1787 and concerned a recent free trade agreement made with France, to which he was very opposed.  He was involved in four years of political reform, the author of the Reform Bill of 1832 (which saw the reform of the House of Commons) and had an enormous impact on the development of democracy in Britain, abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire in 1833.

The Whig historian T.B. Macauly wrote in 1841,

‘At an age when most of those who distinguish themselves in life are still contending for prizes and fellowships at college, he had won for himself a conspicuous place in Parliament. No advantage of fortune or connection was wanting that could set off to the height his splendid talents and his unblemished honour.’

Outside of his political achievements Earl Grey enjoyed the life!  He was said to be tall, slim and strikingly handsome, had 10 sons and 6 daughters with his wife and fathered at least one illegitimate child!  Earl Grey enjoyed gallivanting around the country, breeding dogs, playing cribbage and also found time to have an affair with the Duchess of Devonshire.

There are several tales as to how the tea was named after such a noble and colorful figure!  According to the most popular legend a grateful Chinese mandarin whose son was rescued from drowning by one of the Earl’s men, first presented the blend to the Earl in 1803.  This legend seems to have little basis as the Earl apparently did not set foot in China and the use of bergamot to scent tea was then unknown in China.  Jackson’s of Piccadilly claim they were the originators of the recipe, which was given to them by the Earl himself.

While the truth is not known, like the very popular Earl himself, this tea is one of the most well known flavored teas in the world.  Many people who I chat with over the years claim not to care for the very distinct flavor of Earl Grey.  I have found by offering samples of Earl Grey, that most people have never experienced a good quality, loose leaf tea and the quality of both the tea and the bergamot is paramount! Any deviation can result in an unpleasant tea with a residual taste on your palate.

Organic Loose Leaf teas
Loose Leaf Earl Grey

Also, consider an iced Earl Grey, (Me thinks the Earl would not approve!)  Delicious, so be sure to try for yourself especially cold brewed, as explained in a previous blog post.

When brewing a hot cuppa Earl Grey, we infuse for only 2 minutes or so, and then enjoy multiple infusions from the same leaves.  It is the perfect accompaniment to tea sandwiches and cakes (Mmmm!) but just drinking alone is fine too.  ‘Gallivant’ with your Earl, and find your favorite way to enjoy.

Along with the Garden Grey, we offer two version of Earl Grey Black tea, one is our premium blend Earl Grey and we also offer an Organic Earl Grey.  Our Organic Earl Grey is the tea we offer in the silk tea sachets and can be found served from nearly all of our serving partners.

You may be surprised to find you like the Earl, now that you know a bit about the man behind the tea.

Cheers,

Your Tea Team