Selva Grill will soon be opening their second location at the University Town Center, after nearly 20 years on Main Street in downtown Sarasota. They opened in 2004.
The new space will be larger with indoor and outdoor seating. We have only seen pictures of the interior, a warm and inviting environment similar to the Main Street location. The many favorite Peruvian-inspired dishes and craft cocktails will be offered at the new spot, along with their eclectic tea menu.
One change we are happy to report is the addition of Mote Beach Tea. We are thrilled to share the fantastic news. It seems like a good time to share a bit of the history between Local Tea Company and the Selva Grill not covered in our history. And we are long overdue for a fresh Sip Locally Tea Journey blog post!
Selva Grill was our first wholesale client. They helped Local Tea to start selling our loose leaf teas to restaurants and cafes in the Sarasota area.
It all started back in 2010 or maybe 2009 when a bright young woman came into our Siesta Key Shop (now the Bean Coffeehouse.) She mentioned that she wanted to improve the tea experience where she worked. I remember her telling me, “Just like in the kitchen, we are always trying to improve every aspect of the dining experience.” She was a hostess at Selva Grill and a Tea Lover!
Her thought was that after an exceptional meal at one of the best restaurants in Sarasota, “why not offer quality loose leaf teas rather than common tea bags that anyone could find at Publix?”
She went on to say that guests order from an extensive wine list and then ports or sherries, but they did not have anything comparable for kids or those not drinking alcohol. She believed that diners at Selva Grill expected a better tea experience. Adding, “We want the last experience to be memorable, and if that is tea, it should be exceptional.”
Without any formal program in place, we discussed options for herbal and caffeinated teas. We created a Tea Menu with a balanced selection to match the breadth of the Selva Grill menu. The Tea Menu was printed and laminated at Blue Line and delivered a few days later.
And, “¡eso!” Local Tea Company had a wholesale customer. There have been a few changes over the years as Selva Grill continues to evolve.
Mote Beach Tea
Adding Mote Beach Tea to their Tea Menu is one example. Especially since the new Mote Aquarium broke ground nearby at Nathan Benderson Park. And with every purchase of Mote Beach Tea, a portion is donated to the operating budget for Mote Laboratory and Aquarium.
Our Mote Beach Tea is a beautiful caffeine-free tropical tea for those not familiar with this fabulous herbal tea. Five ingredients blended to perfection include rosehips, hibiscus, apple, coconut, and pineapple. You can learn more about our partnership with Mote in the post More about Mote.
So, check out the NEW Selva Grill when it opens in May. Be sure to linger over a fine cuppa tea. And thank you for supporting all of our Serving Partners and the many local, independent restaurants in Sarasota.
The author, Heather Dunhill, picked our Bertha Palmer Rooibos and the category of Green Teas. We suggest any of our green teas for the combined effect of calming alertness. She references Buddhist monks who drink tea all day long, striving to balance a relaxed, calm mind.
Similarly, for Rooibos, we offer nine (9) varieties with a range of flavors. Rooibos offers many health benefits and is caffeine-free so that it can be enjoyed at any time of your day. Here is a recent post, Five Reasons you will Love Rooibos, by Tim Agnew. The article also tackles How to pronounce Rooibos. Or, what is the proper pronunciation for Rooibos? We say ROY – BOSS.
Other parts to the pieces include DogStreet Cookies from DogStreet Photo, a CBD Balm from the Skin and Body Bar, Lavender bath salts from Blue Mercury, and a Weighted Blanket from Ravi. With a Cuppa, a wonderful collection for your ‘Self Care’ Sunday or any day of the week.
Thank you, Sarasota Magazine and Heather Dunhill.
We are always trying to find new ways to stand out in a crowd at the Local Tea Company. Our loose leaf teas speak for themselves, so the idea is to stand out with our customer service. Hence, our new Confirmation Email from Local Tea Co.
If you have ever ordered from Local Tea Company, you will have unpacked your order, Your Glorious Tea Order, and found a little something extra. Usually a tea we think you might enjoy, or in the case of our long-term customers, a bit added to the packet.
We add a full packet rather than a sampler for a few reasons; if you like it, you will want more than a few cups, and sometimes it takes more than a few cuppas to decide if you like a tea. We call it a ‘gift’ and not a sample, and no reason to take shortcuts with a gift.
Dianne introduced me to the word Lagniappe, which I think means “a little surprise” in cajun. But our gifts go back to the very first order we shipped in 2009. Every order gets a little lagniappe to go with the handwritten note.
Yes, Michael does get a lot of grief about his handwriting. More comments were shared when we had retail shops (The CarriageHouse Tea Room at Selby Gardens and our Tea Tent at the Downtown Sarasota Farmer’s Market). The feedback is welcomed and deserved…his handwriting is horrible!!! Michael insists on writing a note with every order and has since we started selling tea online.
Confirmation Email – Local Tea Co. Style
Another customer service element is the emails that go out to our customers when they order online. We have had that same boring confirmation order until now. With inspiration from Derek Sivers and CD Baby, we came up with our Confirmation Email Local Tea Co. I hope you enjoy our attempt at a bit of hyperbole!
We have a 4-ton gong that dates back to the Han Dynasty. There are older gongs, but few more beautiful.
Nearby hangs a carved wooden mallet about 4 feet long. One end is tightly wound using a soft fabric.
When your Glorious Tea Order was announced to our team, our Employee of the Day struck the gong once. All heads bowed for a moment of silence in your honor.
Then, the entire team leaped into action. Your Glorious Tea Order was sorted, packed, and sealed into custom packets with hand-painted labels meant to look like printed labels.
As the ink was drying, the team paused to brew a pot of the Glorious Tea you ordered. This is our last quality check, and Your Glorious Tea Order needed no adjustments.
Your Glorious Tea Order was then gently placed into a hand-cut package meant to look like a Priority Mail pouch from the US Postal Service.
We then walked single file from our Tea Lair to the post office. We first gave the postmaster a list of delivery instructions for Your Glorious Tea Order. Once all the details were reviewed and confirmed, then and only then did we release Your Glorious Tea Order.
Your Glorious Tea Order
Finally, we left the postmaster a wrapped gift to show our appreciation of his concern and care for Your Glorious Tea Order.
Exhausted but satisfied, we returned to our Tea Lair, where your name was stitched onto a banner that we now hang from our rafters.
Yes, we are tired. We will now rest as we await your next Glorious Tea Order.
Thank you for supporting the Local Tea Company. I do hope you enjoyed our little story.
Tomorrow is the opening day for Cremesh Coffee and Bakery. Find Cremesh Bakery in the plaza next to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida.
I have known Chef Pavel for over 10 years. I believe he was put on this earth to bake. He has finally created the bakery he has been dreaming about for a very long time.
Pavel and his wife Tracy add to their popular and authentic Cremesh European Restaurant nearby. Pavel Hasenohrl is a Master Baker, and his bread and desserts will go fast, so go early.
You will find locally roasted coffee from Banyan Coffee Co. And, made-from-scratch muffins, pies, brownies, and scones will be available fresh from the oven. For lunch, they will offer a selection of sandwiches and soups. And, of course, you can expect other secrets from the Chef Pavel archives!
Supporting Local, Thank you
If someone forwarded this email to you, you need your own!
Happy Holidays Tea Lovers
Last week was Small Business Saturday and then Cyber Monday. We had record sales at our online shop. I am massively grateful and sincerely appreciate all the support AND the many kind notes received with your orders.
This year more than ever, supporting local businesses is vital. And it’s wonderful to see so many people finding clever ways of support.
Before we opened in 2007, we established our three operating tenets…
- Buy local products and services,
- Celebrate local treasures,
- Protect local environments.
We still use these ideals for how we operate today. And, while no tea is grown in Sarasota, we consider our teas ‘locally inspired.’
Thank you for supporting our Serving Partners. This month I am thrilled to add three new locations offering our teas; Cheesecake Cutie, Cremesh Coffee & Bakery, and Vernona Gourmet. While you have every reason to doubt my neutrality, all of our Serving Partners are the BEST!
Onto the Holidays in Sarasota…
Lights in Bloom starts on December 12th when Selby Gardens is transformed into a holiday celebration. The Bromeliad Tree is lit, so grab a cuppa and enjoy the splendor!
Tea Pairing – Selby Select Rooibos was our first locally inspired tea and still our best seller.
Sip Locally Tea Blog – recent posts
GIY – Grow it yourself
I found this article about creating your own Herbal Tea Garden filled with great tea details, and the wonderful quote below.
Tea Pairing – Organic Egyptian Chamomile
“We often think that drinking anything without caffeine is innocuous,
but herbal tea has power.” Timothy d’Offay
Recently, Dianne and I visited The Ringling Museum to check out the Kabuki exhibit. Fantastic.
Every visit to Ringling is special. The Gallery with the enormous Rubens is my favorite spot in Sarasota, absolutely transportive. It feels like Firenze!
We revisited the Japanese Tea Room, then walked to and along the waterfront near the Ca d’Zan, back past the newly filled wading pool and the Mable’s Rose Garden. We are lucky to have this treasure in Sarasota.
Tea Pairing – I’m going with the Big Top Tea, and next time we’ll go into the Circus exhibits.
Every version of Fargo is a blend of suspense and odd humor. Always a twist and filled with surprises.
Tea Pairing – Pinhead Gunpowder Green Tea a dangerous-sounding tea!
It is a short one, but I started ‘The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle’ this week. Growing up, I wanted to be a veterinarian because of both Dr. Doolittle and James Herriot’s books. And now I sell tea!
Tea Pairing – Little Monkey or DragonFruit Green Tea! Both good choices:):)
As always, your comments are welcomed, and thanks for your support.
Your Local Tea Team
5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea is a repost with updates and additions.
After spending Thanksgiving at my Aunt’s home, I found a neglected tea cabinet that I immediately corrected. The details are irrelevant, other than to say I started from Square 1.
As I put together a list of teas, I realized it might help others thinking about gifting tea for the holidays. You can find the actual list at the bottom of ‘5 Things to remember when Gifting Tea.’
5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea
As a gift, tea is a wonderful way to show your love, appreciation, respect, and that you are thinking about someone. That is the point of any gift. While the gift of tea can be personal, everybody has a tea they love. Some just don’t know it yet!!!
Here are a few thoughts to consider when giving the gift of tea…
1. Caffeine or Herbal (caffeine-free)
Which tea has the most caffeine, or what tea has the most caffeine? We hear that all the time. Caffeine is an important consideration. Caffeinated teas are a great way to begin the day or a superb lift in the late afternoon, but caffeine can create problems for the novice or the beginning tea drinker.
A wonderfully flavored black tea like our Organic Strawbango might not be the best tea to drink after dinner. I always ask the server for their home number when ordering herbal or caffeine-free beverages at a restaurant, so if I am awake at 2:30 AM, I know who to call.
For my ‘Thank You’ gift, I went with a mixture of both—a few blacks, a few greens, and then an equal number of caffeine-free teas. And here is a post about how green tea can make you happier.
2. Loose leaf tea or tea bags
We are quite partial to loose-leaf tea at Local Tea Company. Experienced tea drinkers tend to prefer loose leaf tea. The tea typically will be of better quality, fresher, and a much better value. It cost money for the convenience of bagged tea!
Loose-leaf teas also provide more flexibility in how much tea you might want to brew; tea for two or three or a big pot for your sewing circle.
That said, teabags, especially the biodegradable ones we offer, SOILON sachets, are very convenient for anyone traveling or those interested in trying a new tea.
Check out the many options of our tea samplers available in loose-leaf or sachets. If they don’t love it, the tea can always be served to guests.
I noticed a box of tea sacs during my visit, so I’ll send both loose-leaf teas and teas in sachets.
3. Flavored tea or pure blends
Would you rather a gift of Organic Sarasotan Breakfast blend (an unflavored, blended tea) or our Organic Earl Grey (flavored with Oil of Bergamot)? This may be the easiest comparison. Flavored tea or pure?
What is better than a strong cup of pinhead gunpowder green tea or a pure Organic Sencha on the pure side of the discussion? Maybe a pot of our Organic Red Berries that you can share with the kids or enjoy as an iced tea later in the day.
Tough one, but that is why you are an expert gift-giver, and you really can’t go too wrong!!
For my gift, I erred on the side of abundance and included both.
Is your gift for a serious tea drinker, someone loaded with tea accessories? Do they really need another tea ball with an elf fob?
There are ‘heaps’ of options. For the newbie just starting their tea journey, a box of tea sacs or a few mesh balls of different sizes will spark a conversation.
Or get them an inspired gift, maybe a bamboo tea basket, and challenge them to figure it out! And there is also the whole category of things that can be added to tea that make wonderful gifts; honey or jams are always welcome.
Another void during my visit was honey? So, I included a bottle from Sarasota Honey Company. Yes, this is quite a gift!!!
Find a clever and creative tea. Find a tea with some meaning, or be realistic, something that can easily be ‘Regifted.’
I will be back for another visit in February and plan to take a tea inventory! Here is my complete list of the gift I sent yesterday. The total cost before shipping was $99.
- Organic Sarasotan Breakfast Blend (Loose-leaf)
- Organic Earl Grey (Sachets)
- Island Mango Black (Loose-Leaf) … Cochin Masala Chai would have worked here as well.
- Organic Sencha Green Tea (Loose-Leaf)
- Goji Green (Sachets)
- Mote Beach Tea (Sachets)
- Selby Select Rooibos (Sachets)
- Organic Peppermint (Loose-Leaf) … Organic Egyptian Chamomile was considered!
- Raw Wildflower Honey from Sarasota Honey Company
***I threw in some printed GolfToons for their cartoon-littered fridge!
Please visit www.LocalTeaCo.com or send us a note in the comments section of 5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea, and we will help you select tea gifts.
If someone forwarded this email to you, you need your own!
Thanks for the wonderful response to our first newsletter. Your comments and kind wishes are always welcome. Thank you.
Many of you asked after Glynis. She is well and has been working at Selby Gardens in the Welcome Center. She still helps with all adjustments to our tea line up, and she still drinks a lot of tea. Lately, though, Glynis has been drinking ice tea. Yes, Ice Tea!! I can hear the collective gasp from those who have heard her opine about Hot Tea. It is hot here in Sarasota, so she is making pitchers of Bertha Palmer Rooibos Iced.
Others asked about some of our discontinued teas. I’ll start with our new teas and then list our excuses:):)
Island Mango Black – Created for the Gaugin exhibit at Selby. So popular that we kept it. Black tea with mango and lime.
Black Lemon Ginger – We needed a black tea with ginger and lemon, and we found it! This is an excellent quality black tea, an OP (Orange Pekoe) from Sri Lanka.
* Black Coconut – We still get a bunch of requests each month for this tea. And we are still working on a replacement.
* Sparkling Pineapple White Tea – I liked this one too, but we did not sell enough to keep it. Sorry!
* Flowers in the Factory – This was a tea created for the Warhol exhibit at Selby. We used our Organic Red Berries tea, so the cool packet is not available, but the tea is!
Our other best seller is Mote Beach Tea, and we do contribute a portion of all sales of this caffeine-free gem back to Mote Marine Laboratory. Here is a blog post, More about Mote, with details about the volunteer programs Michael is active with; Sea Turtles and Dolphins.
Our Serving Partners offering Mote Beach Tea include; Bean Coffeehouse, Cafe in the Park, Burns Court Cafe, Morton’s Bakery, Blue Dolphin Cafe, Breakfast House, Mojo Risin, AJ’s Kitchen, Mountain Comfort Coffee, Pastry Arts, Serving Spoon, State Street Eating House, Sunnyside Cafe, and The Reserve. Please support these and any other local businesses you can. Thank you.
We are always looking for tea connections out in the world. Here are a few recent favorites…
Poldark – We binged this Masterpiece Classic on Amazon Prime. Set in the 1790s in Cornwall. Great drama and even more fabulous images of the Cornwall coastline. Demelza and Ross don’t drink as much tea as port and sherry, but the 5 seasons was a great escape!
Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou is an Ethiopian piano-playing nun, and she will be 97 in December. I don’t recall how I came across her mellow sounds, but she is easy to listen to on Sunday mornings with a cuppa Yerba Mate. Sweet Orange Mate is my favorite. Her music is fantastic, and her story is even better.
Coverville is one of my favorite podcasts, offering themed cover songs & stories. Loved a recent Blondie Episode, especially ‘The Tide is High’ covered by Dakota Blonde – a country cover of a new wave song originally recorded as a reggae song! No tea connection, but a great listen.
Summer thriller Camino Winds by John Grisham. Not much tea involved, mostly cold beer and wine, but I look forward to a Grisham book every summer.
As ever, we welcome your comments and thanks for your support.
Your Local Tea Team
More about Mote Beach Tea
Yes, Mote Beach Tea is a delicious caffeine-free herbal fruit infusion. One of our bestselling teas.
As a hot tea, you get a bit of tropical sweetness that can transport you to a hammock near the sea. As an iced tea, Mote is both incredibly refreshing and wonderfully healthy. No sugar added, powerfully hydrating, and with hibiscus being one of the ingredients, the tea is packed with vitamins and minerals. And the red color is gorgeous. You can learn more about Mote Beach tea from an earlier post here.
I want to share some details very dear to my heart about Mote Marine Laboratory. You may know or suspect that we contribute a portion of sales of Mote Beach Tea as a charitable donation back to Mote. Each quarter, I send a report detailing each of the forms we sell the tea in; Biodegradeable sachets, loose-leaf and 1 gallon Ice Tea bullets, and our two channels, online purchases, and sales to our Serving Partners.
Along with this report, I send a check. And every quarter, about a week later, I get a letter from Mote thanking me for the donation and letting me know how much they appreciate our partnership. I also get a sticker, the round blue logo with a shark in the middle. I love getting those stickers, I love getting those letters, and I love working with Mote. To a person, Mote is a group of the highest quality people, all passionate and committed to the world undersea. Read More
Hello Tea lovers – Remember Us?
We are restarting our email newsletter after a bit of a break. Yes, it has been more than 7 years, so more of a hiatus, but here we are.
First, if you would like to unsubscribe, click here.
You can expect an email every three or four weeks with updates and announcements about our teas. We will also share interesting tea-related products you might enjoy, with an inspiring tea quote to go with what we are listening to, watching, reading, and laughing about as we drink our tea.
It’s good to be back! And now, more than ever, the simple pleasures of a calming cuppa tea are crucial to our collective sanity. Organic Peppermint works for us. What tea do you turn to for comfort?
Who are you?
When last we sent our newsletter, Local Tea Co was busy sampling and selling our teas at the Carriagehouse Tea Room at Selby Gardens. And, on Saturday, you could find our ‘Tea Tent’ at the Sarasota Farmers Market. I HOPE you remember us.
Part of the reason we restarted this newsletter is that the Market restarted last weekend, after a few months off. This return got us thinking about all the people we met and spent time with on Saturdays or at the Garden.
We are no longer at the Market, and we left Selby Gardens as well. You can find all the details in our History.
What have we been doing?
We are now focused on our wholesale tea business. We have a long list of Serving Partners that offer our wonderful teas. And if you know of a cafe or restaurant that should be selling our teas, let them know about us.
We also continue to sell out teas online. And Michael has committed to improving his handwriting, though we have our doubts:):)
This ‘TeaMail’ newsletter was titled “Think out of the Bag,” as we are always promoting loose leaf tea. We still promote loose leaf teas, though now offer 20 of our teas in biodegradable SOILON silk sachets.
Our Pinterest Page is probably our most active social page. Have a look and please, follow, like, and comment on any of our pages.
On Instagram and YouTube, we have a bunch of videos visiting our Serving Partners. Have a look and a laugh. And we try to keep up on Facebook and Twitter. What is your preferred social media platform?
As ever, we welcome your comments and thank you for your support.
Your Local Tea Team
Cuppa Tea at Cafe Evergreen
This is one of our favorite spots, especially after a soak at Warm Mineral Springs. The Beet Reuben is off the charts, and all of their food is creative, eclectic, and delicious.
Breakfast is best known for the Evergreen Scrambler with tofu, quinoa, spinach, and more. They also offer a freshly pressed juice bar, along with wheatgrass and ginger shots.
For lunch, check out the Evergreen Club sandwich, voted Best Vegetarian Sandwich in America by the Restaurant Hospitality Magazine!! And the previously mentioned the Beet Reuben with roasted, pickled beets, house-made sauerkraut, and a chickpea thousand island dressing. Fantastic!!!
All the teas are organic for dinner (or lunch), and Local Tea Company created a custom iced tea, Evergreen Peach. Try it. And all the hot teas are served as loose leaf teas in teapots for the best tea experience possible. Tristan and his wife like our Organic Strawberry Smile green tea.
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.
Episode #9 Cafe Evergreen – Nokomis