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5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea

5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea is a repost with some updates and additions.

After spending Thanksgiving with my family, 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 a list of teas together, I thought it might help if I shared what went into the teas I selected and the actual list.  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, or that you are thinking about someone. That is the point of any gift.  While the gift of tea can be personal, the truth is everybody has a tea they like or love. Some just don’t know it yet!!!

Here are a few thoughts to consider when giving the gift of tea…

A script of Thank you used in the Sip Locally Tea Blog by Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida.

1. Caffeine or Herbal (caffeine-free)

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, so if I am awake at 2:30 AM, I know who to call.

When in doubt, go with an herbal, rooibos, or fruit tea. You can’t go wrong with our Organic Peppermint, Selby Select Rooibos, or Siesta Tea (fruit tea).

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.

2. Loose leaf tea or tea bags

We are quite partial to loose leaf tea at Local Tea Co. Tea lovers, and 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!Close up picture of the Green Tea Sampler from Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida

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.

There are so many spectacular blended teas from our Goji Green or Jasmine green tea with flowers to our Cochin Masala Chai or our many rooibos blends.

What is better than a strong cup of pinhead gunpowder green tea or a pure Organic Sencha? Maybe a pot of our ruby 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!!  Again, I erred on the side of abundance and included both.

4. Accessories

Is the gift for a serious tea drinker, someone loaded with tea accessories? Do they really need another tea ball with an elf fob? Go with an expensive porcelain mug with painted flowers.

There are lots of tea lovers’ options.  For the newbie just starting their tea journey, a box of tea bags or a few mesh balls of different sizes or teaspoons 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 for 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!!!

5. Overthinking

Clever image of people hugging and regifting used by Local Tea Company in their Sip Locally Tea Blog about giving the Gift of Tea.Most important is not to overthink your gift. The person you are gifting will appreciate the gesture you are making and the thought behind this gift. They will love it as much as they love you.

Find a clever and creative tea. Find a tea with some meaning, or be realistic, something that can easily be ‘Regifted.’

I expect to be back for another visit in February and will take inventory.  Here is my complete list of the gift I sent yesterday.  The total cost before shipping was $99.

    1. Organic Sarasotan Breakfast Blend (Loose-leaf)
    2. Organic Earl Grey (Sachets)
    3. Island Mango Black (Loose-Leaf) … Cochin Masala Chai would have worked here as well.
    4. Organic Sencha Green Tea (Loose-Leaf)
    5. Goji Green (Sachets)
    6. Mote Beach Tea (Sachets)
    7. Selby Select Rooibos (Sachets)
    8. Organic Peppermint (Loose-Leaf) … Organic Egyptian Chamomile was considered!
    9.  Raw Wildflower Honey from Sarasota Honey Company

***I threw in some printed GolfToons for the New Yorker 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.

The Time of Year for Chai Tea

Cochin Masala Chai

The cooler weather is here, and people are starting to order chai tea.  We wrote about Chai Tea in a blog post a while back (here is a link) and thought it was time for an update.  I was reminded that January is National Hot Tea Month, so I am getting a jump on that important holiday!

Our Serving Partners offering our Cochin Masla Chai include the following; Cafe in the Park, Oasis Cafe, Burns Court Bistro, The Breakfast House, The Bean Coffeehouse, Pastry Arts, The Selby House Cafe at Selby Gardens, and Morton’s Gourmet Market.  Thank you for supporting local businesses.

Thanksgiving is next week, and a cuppa Chai before or after your meal might keep everyone awake for the Football games or the Dog Show!  This is the time of year for Chai Tea.

Time for Chai Tea

Chai is the generic word for tea in much of the World. The British adopted the word as slang, and ‘cha’ or ‘char’ became the meaning of a teacup.   So what is true Masala Chai?

This beverage from the Indian subcontinent is made by brewing tea with a mixture of aromatic spices and herbs.  The traditional process of making chai involves actively boiling the tea leaves over sustained heat with spices.  While there are many preparation variations today (some not too good either!), there are four components that remain true to chai tea’s original idea.

  1. Strong black tea – usually Assam, but can be Ceylon. The loose leaf tea is strong, so spices and sweeteners do not overpower the flavor.
  2. Sweetener, usually white sugar, palm, or coconut sugars. A large quantity is required to bring out the flavor of the spices. You can use honey or agave also. Condensed milk can be used, which also adds sweetness.
  3. Milk, usually whole milk for richness, but alternatives like Soy, Almond, and Oat can be used. 1/4 to 1/2 parts are required.
  4. Spice, usually warm spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, peppercorn, and cloves, with cardamom being the predominant flavor. Other possible additions are nutmeg, rose, licorice root, almond, and saffron.

Cochin Masala Chai

At Local Tea Company, we offer an outstanding Cochin Masala Chai, authentic and warm traditional flavor. It bears the name of a busy port, which also has a long history in trading spices.

We like to drink it without anything added, though I admit to having caught the Oat Milk craze.  Other options include Almond Milk, Soy, and good old-fashioned milk.

Go ahead and try a few different options and see which one you like the best.  Then put your feet up, stay warm with a cup of Cochin Masala Chai, and celebrate the holidays!

 

Tea Newsletter #4 – Why Loose Leaf Tea is Better

Why Loose Leaf Tea is Better

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Hello Tea Lovers

It may be late in the year for Iced tea (or Iced tea.)  Even here in Sarasota, we have the windows open, and it’s great sleeping weather. But I have a story I want to share with you about Why Loose Leaf Tea is Better.

Debbie S is a long time customer who uses our Organic Sarasotan Breakfast Tea to make ice tea. I recently connected with her, and she told me she steeps her tea THREE times, with outstanding results.

Cold Brew Iced Tea

She makes large tea bags using the Tea Sacs #4 – Large and 38g of tea.  In the first batch, she uses the  ‘Cold Brew‘ method; a gallon of cold water in a sealed container, with the Tea Sac in the fridge overnight.

For the next batch, a second steep in cold water, but this time she leaves the container in the fridge for at least 24 hours.  Debbie told me the tea is a little bit lighter, but it’s still a nice cup of tea.

For the third steep, she uses the same tea sac in a large bowl and hits it with a quart of boiling water.  She lets the tea steep until it cools, adds cold water to make it a gallon, and then puts it in the fridge.

Debbie is a creature of habit and drinks tea all day long.  My preference is hot tea, and I like a bit of variety.  Above all, this is just one reason why loose leaf tea is so much better. In this case, so much more economical than tea bags.  Debbie is an inspiration to anyone, everyone who wants to get the most out of their tea.  It is possible, and I thought it was interesting to share it here.  Thanks, Debbie.

Tea Station at Home

We have a tea shelf loaded with tea options at our home, and then near the kettle, we keep the teas we are drinking most often.  I found this article about creating a tea station at home ( or a coffee station) with tons of details and good ideas.

The author is Lorena Roma, and the article is at Porch, a company focused on helping people take better care of their homes.  Pretty cool, and I hope you find this helpful.

 

Correction to Last Month’s Newsletter

Thank you for the emails telling me ’Live from Here’ got canceled. Drag!  I need a whole new Sunday Tea routine.

Netflix

I am a sporadic viewer of the Great British Baking Show, but I found ‘Biscuit Week’ to be especially ”Tea Focused”  I don’t bake at all, but the show grabs me with the characters and the vocabulary.  I love the way the brits turn a phrase.  Hilarious, and they don’t take themselves too seriously, even in competition.

Enter Rowan.  He laughs his way through a few episodes, stopping for a cuppa amidst the chaos.  For the ‘Showstopper’ challenge, many contestants created variations of tea services made from biscuits. Clever.  However, I still have a few episodes to go.
Tea Pairing – Chocolate Honeybush with store-bought biscuits.

Places

Faith Stewart-Gordon, the owner of the Russian Tea Room, has died. She was 88.  Obit here.  Fun Fact – Madonna was a coat A decorative glass teacup used in the Think Out of the Bag monthly Newsletter by Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida.check clerk and was fired for slipping her demo tapes to guests.  Stewart-Gordon had a goal “to make the restaurant look the way people remembered it, not the way it was.”  RIP, and I raise a cuppa Lapsang Souchong in a decorative glass teacup in her memory.

 Sip Locally Tea Blog – recent posts

5 reason you will love Rooibos Tea

Teapots for TeaParties – Teapotty

Books

I am reading ‘Titan’ by Ron Chernow. My ‘big book’ for the year from the author who wrote Hamilton. I don’t see a rap version of this story about John D Rockefeller, but then again, Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius.
Tea pairing – Organic Earl Grey with a splash of Oat milk.

GolfToons

I play more golf since the Carriagehouse Tea Room at Selby Gardens closed.  GolfToons is a side hustle I’ve been working on with Dianne’s brother, Marty.  Have a look, and please pass along to any golfers you know.  Or, you can subscribe and Laugh at the Agony!
Tea Pairing – Organic Strawbango Mushed up words that sound funny!

As always, your comments are welcomed, and thanks for your support.

Your Local Tea Team

5 Reasons Why You Will Love Rooibos Tea

This article by Timothy Agnew was posted to his Health & Wellness blog and reposted here with permission.  

Note: This is the first in a series of blogs on the science of tea. Learn why it’s good for you, and all about the myriad kinds of tea (we love tea!)

Consumed in southern Africa for centuries, rooibos tea has a growing fan base and enormous health benefits to go along with the eclectic flavor. Also known as a red or bush tea, rooibos tea uses leaves from a shrub called aspalathus linearis, often grown on the western coast of South Africa. While it uses the “tea” moniker, The South African Rooibos Council considers rooibos an herb, not a true tea. But don’t let that dissuade you from trying this marvelous beverage.
Like most tea, prepare rooibos tea by steeping the fermented leaves. In addition, the beauty of rooibos is the longer the steep, the more delicious the flavor in your cup (unlike black teas, which tend to get more bitter). Rooibos tea offers something for everyone. Let’s take a look at the health benefits of drinking this unique tea.  You will love Rooibos tea.

1. Loaded with Antioxidants

For anyone concerned with a healthy lifestyle, rooibos is loaded with powerful stuff. Aspalathin and nothofagin are two vital antioxidants designed to boost your immune system and protect your body against all types of diseases (especially diabetes). Rooibos contains polyphenols, flavonols, flavonoids, and dihydrochalcones. These protective compounds have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimutagenic qualities. Polyphenols are organic chemicals known for their antioxidant capabilities. Flavonoids can help lower the risk of coronary heart diseases. This study suggests that regularly drinking organic red rooibos tea provides anti-inflammatory support, and the Sloan Kettering Institute suggests rooibos slows tumor growth.

2. Improves Heart Health

Since rooibos tea is anti-inflammatory in nature, the tea is a natural angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. This helps regulate blood pressure and boost heart health. Many studies confirm the protective cardiovascular effects of red rooibos tea. Quercetin, another powerful antioxidant found in rooibos tea, helps prevent many heart conditions. It also promotes an increase in HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and inhibits LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) from binding to arteries and blood vessels’ walls.

3. Managing Diabetes

Aspalathin, one of the antioxidants found in rooibos tea, has several unique traits. The Rooibos Council found that aspalathin in rooibos tea can help balance blood sugar, improve insulin resistance and glucose absorption by muscles, and boosts insulin secretion from the pancreas. Above all, rooibos has a dramatic protective effect on diabetes.

4. Skin Care

Because of the richness in antioxidants, vitamin D, and the array of minerals (zinc, manganese, calcium, magnesium, and more) present in the tea, roobios is a dynamic force on the skin. Its anti-inflammatory components help with acne, eczema, and rashes, as it helps neutralize free radicals. And it makes you look beautiful!

5. Caffeine Free

Rooibos tea is completely caffeine-free and is the perfect choice for patients who have insomnia and for those who need to keep caffeine low in their diet. Similarly, a cup of rooibos tea just before bedtime can help you sleep better (and maybe enhance your dreams).  You will love Rooibos tea.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a truly healthy lifestyle tea, this strong and delicious tea has many benefits. Where to buy rooibos tea? A great source is the Local Tea Company, featuring locally inspired loose leaf teas. They also offer 9 diverse blends of rooibos and so many others.

Teapotty!

Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company

Author unknown

Recently, we brought to your attention the Tea Cozy, and now we turn to the  TEAPOT!

Origins 

The teapot is a vessel for steeping loose tea leaves or herbal infusions.  Although the pot does not have as long a history as the leaf, its humble beginnings were also in China.

At first, tea was boiled in open pans.  Not until the Ming Dynasty did the idea of a covered pot became popular.  Those pots were small, and the tea was taken directly from the spout.  But they served their purpose well, keeping the flavor and allowing the steeping process to be repeated several times.  More about this later!

Towards the end of the 16th century, the Dutch started shipping cargoes of tea to Europe, and the teapot came along. The designs were mostly blue and white stoneware. Dutch potters started re-creating these designs, and by 1710, Germany began production in the Meissen factory, followed shortly after by production in France and England.

At that time in Colonial America, Boston became a center of silver production, which included the making of elaborate teapots. Two Dutch potters who settled in England established the pottery industry in Staffordshire, and it was some hundred years before they discovered the secret of making fine translucent pottery called porcelain. The teapot journey had begun!

In the eighteenth century, Josiah Spode is credited for creating the distinctive look of English China and famous names as Wedgewood, Worcester, Minton, and Derby.  All created such beautiful and elegant designs. Maybe you are lucky enough to have one in your collection!

Shapes and Sizes

Over the years, the size and shape of teapots have changed to suit tastes and fashions.  Now, of course, we can get any size or shape or material imaginable. From the finest china to stoneware to glass, basically, anything goes!  But which is the best style of the teapot?

I urge my customers to think carefully about their tea-drinking habits, as bigger is not necessarily better. The early Chinese method rings true for a reason. It seems that the majority of people, if they have a 6 cup pot, then they cannot resist making a full pot and maybe only take 1 serving!  You can stash the leftovers in the fridge for some Iced Tea (or Ice Tea.)

Whilst drinking that 1 serving, the remaining tea is becoming quite undrinkable unless you like major astringency! My advice is to make 1 serving and reinfuse the leaves for a second helping when you are ready, continuing till you have no flavor in your leaves…Multi-Steeping, not to be confused with Infusion Confusion.

If you were to decant the 6 cups of tea into another vessel upon completion of brewing, that would also be acceptable. The key is to gauge how much you will be drinking and brew accordingly. Choose a pot to match your drinking habits; life is too short to waste good tea!  Along with Life is too Short to Drink Bad Tea!

How to use a Teapot

How to make a nice pot of tea? In Yorkshire, they would say ‘take the pot to the kettle and not t’other way round.’   Warming the pot is so important!  Place the leaves in this inviting environment and they start to release their aroma. Stick your nose in the pot and inhale deeply.

All teas vary slightly in weight.  The general rule is one teaspoon per cup, and I add ‘one for the pot’ because my mum always did!  Steep for the recommended time or your preference and TAKE TIME TO ENJOY YOUR TEA.  Enjoy the first cup, and when you are ready, re-infuse your leaves, and don’t forget your tea cozy to keep the tea warm this time!

So, what’s your favorite teapot look like, or what would you like it to look like? I invite you to have some fun with us on Pinterest.

Here is my favorite teapot from the Yorkshire Dales!  And we have a wonderful Pinterest Board, TeaPotty, with heaps of Teapots.  Enjoy!

Tea Newsletter #3 – Better Teas, Better Spices

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Since the pandemic, sales on our web site have ticked up.  I suspect people are drinking more tea, with many new habits formed these past months. Firing up the kettle any time of the day is one of the healthiest habits you can have.

Better Teas

And if you are drinking more tea, the next logical step is to drink better tea.  We have many favorites, like Selby Select and Mote Beach Tea or Siesta Tea and Goji Green.  All will dazzle you and contribute to that newly formed habit.

If you are interested in learning about healthy teas, here is a post Glynis wrote a few years back and a more recent post about consuming goji berries every day.

Some of our more unusual teas include Lapsang Souchong (my personal favorite), our Young Pu Erh, or perhaps our Aronia Oolong with chokeberries and passion fruit.  Lots to explore in our online shop.

This uptick in sales does not cover the drop volume to our wholesale business.  So, if you can support our Serving Partners, thank you.

Better Spices

Like everyone else, we have been preparing more of our meals at home.  And in the spirit of drinking better tea, I am doing the same when it comes to the spices.   So, we are using better spices.  Better teas, better spices.

We have used a mortar and pestle for years to grind pepper and kosher salt.  And, we use a lot of fennel, especially on salmon.  Freshly ground fennel is Magic!!

And now, I have started using really good spices, and the difference is MASSIVE.  I have known about the Spice Trekkers (or Epices de Cru) for years.  I have even gifted sets of their blends, along with a mortar and pestle as my go-to wedding gift.  But like many gift buyers, I bought better for others than myself…

No more. I am hooked. My first order was for two different black peppers (Yupanqui and a Tellicherry) and fennel from Greece.  I also found a powerful Chinese Five Spice and a tangy Harissa.  I filmed an unboxing video, in case you are interested.  Better teas, better spices!

The company is based in Montreal, and they have a fantastic website filled with ‘spice stories.’  I really like the videos they created, especially for the Yupanqui black pepper from Ecuador. Very cool and hard to not order the works!!  Merci, Epices de Cru!

Better Teas Better Spices

My Sunday tea is Sweet Orange Mate while listening to Live from Here on NPR. I do miss Garrison, but the music Chris plays is much better. And Tom Poppa always makes me laugh.  I drink my cuppa (or mugga) Mate as hot tea.  And you may enjoy a recent blog post, “Is it Iced Tea or Ice Tea?”

Music

I had some fun reviewing Yusuf Cat Stevens ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ this summer.  I thought the remastered version was his new one.  Explained here.  ‘Tea for the Tillerman 2’ came out a few weeks ago.  The original was arguably one of the best albums ever, and 50 years later, we get another version by Yusuf Cat.  I’m working on the final post, but in the meantime, listen and enjoy.  Tea PairingOrganic Sarasotan Breakfast Blend “brewed strong with a cardamom pod dropped in, taken sweet with a dash of milk.”

TV

We ping pong between Lovecraft Country and The Vow.  HBO is knocking it out of the park, though I don’t know which is weirder. John Oliver is back, and Fargo is waiting in the wings.  Tea Pairing – Organic Peppermint, for when your breath gets taken away!!

Podcast

My new favorite podcast is “It Was Said,”  A shortish show (45 minutes or less) where Jon Meachum covers a famous speech and provides a bit of context or historical perspective.  The Ronald Reagen episode was especially touching.  Tea Pairing – Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling, a serious black tea!

And lastly, a farewell to Pat Glass, Dianne’s Mom.  She passed away last month.  Pat was incredible, a true force in the Universe.  Glowing tributes here and here, and an obit with her many accomplishments. With Love!

As always, your comments are welcomed, and thanks for your support.

Your Local Tea Team

Ice Tea or Iced Tea?

Ice Tea or Iced Tea?

“Iced tea may not have as much wisdom as hot tea,

but in summer better a cool and refreshed dullard

than a steamy sweat drenched sage –leave sagacity to the autumn”

Linda Solegato

 

One of our Serving Partners was revising their menu and asked me, “is it Iced or Ice Tea?”

Good question!  So I thought I would look into the matter.  This leads me to the quote above from Linda Solegato, which, in turn, lead me on a slight detour.

Steep Loose Leaf tea multiple times, we call if Multi-Steeping at Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida

Hot Tea

First, the quote.  Hot tea does evoke a sense of contemplation.  We are often gifted a few moments as the kettle boils water or the tea is steeping.  How many great ideas or other inspirations have come from these ‘Tea Times.’  Or what do you call these between times?

I know the time between the honk from the cab’s horn behind you and the light turning green is a New York minute.  Maybe I’ll get to that term in a future post, and until then, I’m going with Tea Time.

I expect many will respond with the same moments of reflection as we refresh ourselves with a tall glass of cold tea.  Yes, I am waiting to introduce the title term of this post for a bit of drama and SEO benefits.  So, is there wisdom in a cold cuppa?  I’ll leave that for yet another possible post.

Linda Solegato

The tangent I mentioned earlier came after a quick search about the author, Linda Solegato.  Who is Linda Solegato, and what other gems has she to share?  Linda is also credited with a few other non-tea blurbs,

“Plants give us oxygen for the lungs and for the soul.”

“When one of my plants dies, I die a little inside, too.”

“It’s so hot even my fake plants are wilting.”

But, who is this sage?  My search leads me to the QuoteGarden website and Terri Guillemets.  For some reason, unknown to my sleuthing, Linda Solegato is a pseudonym for Terri Guillemets.  She is a lifelong collector of quotes, and her site is fabulous.  I plan to return often for more tea quotes for future Sip Locally posts.

Ice Tea or Iced Tea?

But what about refreshing, cold tea.  Is it Ice Tea or Iced Tea?  That is the question.

I thought a simple search would determine the correct use.   And here is a fine time to admit my guilt in using both versions at Local Tea Company along the way. However,  I never thought to get to the bottom of this mild mystery.  Until now!

Grammarist and Merriam Webster both offer detailed and similar explanations.  Elocution.  Both cite ice cream, previously known as iced cream but adjusted for ease of pronunciation.  Merriam Webster goes a bit further (or farther)  with nods to Waxed Paper, Skimmed Milk, and Boxed Sets.  The tea world has not committed just yet.  So, both Ice Tea and Iced Tea are both acceptable and interchangeable.

History of Cold Tea

The world of iced tea is not that old.  The widely accepted story is of Richard Blechyden at the 1904 World’s Fair in St Louis.

Crowd at the 1904 World's Fair at St Louis for Local Tea Company

The tale goes, the tea merchant Blechyden had planned on promoting
his fine Indian loose leaf tea. The day was scorching hot, and nobody was
interested in his hot tea.  He took some ice from the iced cream
vendor next door and added it to all the drinks.  This idea proved to be a massive hit, and ice(d) tea was born.

French’s Mustard was also introduced at the same 1904 event, handy trivia knowledge put to good use a few weeks ago.  French’s Mustard was founded in my home town of Rochester, NY.  Throw in Long Island Iced Tea, which sounds better, and elocution rules again.

Statistics show 85% of Americans drink iced tea.  And in 2010, ice tea actually overtook the Brits in the tea-drinking stakes by consuming so much of the iced beverage!

Health Benefits of Ice(d) Tea

There is plenty of evidence about the great benefits of drinking tea. Tea contains high
levels of antioxidants called polyphenols, which attack the free radicals in our
bodies and stop them from harming our healthy cells.

Do we get more of those antioxidants from hot tea or iced tea? The overwhelming
evidence indicates that higher quality loose leaf tea provides the
most antioxidants (and much better flavor) whichever way you serve them. If you
are among the 65% that use tea bags, you might want to introduce loose tea
into your life and “think out of the bag.”

We think it is worth the small amount of time and effort to brew your iced tea with loose leaf at Local Tea Company.

Many of our Serving Partner clients use large tea sacs to make a gallon of ice(d) tea.  We call them bullets and use the large T-sac to contain the tea and one ounce of black or green tea to make a gallon.  A little more is required for fruit and herbal tisanes.

Cold Brew(ed) Ice(d) Tea

We have always liked the cold brew method.  That is, add cold water to loose leaf tea and leaving in the fridge overnight.   Try this method with some of the old tea bags you have in a drawer.  You will be amazed at the flavor, and a better idea than tossing them the next time you clean out your cupboard.

Ice Tea or Iced Tea?  It doesn’t matter according to the grammar gods.  It all comes back to our very own adage that I’ll turn into a quote here…

Find the tea you like and drink it. 

And drink it often. 

Tea is an incredibly healthy beverage and if you like the taste,

you will drink more of it.

Sign up for our Newsletter here, and please share this post on social media.  In our Newsletter #4 ‘Why Loose Leaf Tea is Better,’ we share a story from a customer who steeps her tea three times, two times using this Cold Brew method, and then she uses hot water for the last steep.

Tea Newsletter #2 – New Teas and Old Teas and Glynis

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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.  

Also, our next blog post… Is it Ice Tea or Iced Tea?  Does anyone want to guess???

Others asked about some of our discontinued teas.  I’ll start with our new teas and then list our excuses:):)

New Teas

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.

Old Teas

* 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!

Otherwise, our line up is the same, with  Goji Green Tea leading the way.  Our selection of Rooibos is going strong at 9, and that is not counting Chocolate Honeybush, our perennial best seller. 

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…

Watching

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!

Listening

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.

Reading

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

Tea Cozies of (P)interest

Tea Cozies

“And I want a tea cozy. I don’t know what a tea cozy is, but I want one!”

Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy

I don’t think Buffy is alone.  Many Local Tea Company customers and tea drinkers, in general, do not know about tea cozies.  Or, they may have heard about Tea cozies but have never seen or used one!  They are a straightforward yet amazing invention to keep your tea warm in the POT.

It would seem their popularity has waned since the invention of the teabag, which in turn meant fewer people used a teapot.  So, let’s try and get back on track, get the teapots back out, add some good loose tea, and bring back the popularity of tea cozy!

Tea Cozies

Snail Tea Cozy posted in the Sip Locally Tea Blog of Local Tea Company in Sarasota, FloridaWe have been ‘Pinning’ tea cozies on our Pinterest page for many years.  Our Tea Cozies Board has 823 pins at last count!  I have added a few here, and check our Pinterest Page to see more.

The tea cozy history is not too well documented, though It seems unlikely that they were used when teapots first originated as the pots were small and tea was costly.  When William Pitt the Younger was Prime Minister in 1783 at the tender age of 24, he passed the Commutation Act, which lowered the tea tax, making tea more affordable and, no doubt, the teapots bigger!

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More about Mote

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.

Mote Beach Tea is an herbal fruit infusion from Local Tea Company in Sarasota, florida and celebrates Mote Marine Laboratory

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