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.
“That’s one of the things I look forward to about an evening like this. Someone to drink tea with at the end of it. For all I know, the whole point of civilization is to provide one with someone to drink tea with at the end of an evening”.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! We hope you plan on drinking tea with someone this evening, Valentine’s Day with Tea! At Local Tea Company, we have two exceptional teas with which we celebrate our loved ones – Sweet Sin Rooibos and Chocolate Honeybush. Both are packed full of romantic flavors, and both are naturally caffeine-free herbal infusions. Perfect for drinking in the evening. You may recall an earlier Valentine’s Day post, “A Time for Tea,” that Glynis made a few years back. What tea has the most caffeine?
Sweet Sin is a South African Rooibos tea blended with raspberry and rose petals. Rooibos is becoming more and more popular as tea drinkers discover the unique taste, excellent health benefits, and versatility.
How to pronounce Rooibos? Or, what is the proper pronunciation for Rooibos? We say ROY – BOSS.
Sweet Sin is fantastic served as a hot tea but equally useful as an iced tea. Maybe garnish with a rose today? We have a previous post about Rooibos tea and a more recent guest post titled “5 reasons you will LOVE Rooibos Tea” if you want to refresh your memory on where this herb is grown, how it is produced, and the tea’s excellent health benefits.
If you have not yet read any of Alexander McCall Smith’s books about the No.1 Ladies Detective, then do look them up and enjoy tales of Mme Ramwotse solving cases whilst drinking Rooibos tea. I am sure she would drink this tea with her husband to celebrate Valentine’s day with Tea. What tea has the most caffeine?
Chocolate Honeybush is also from South Africa, and although Honeybush is a ‘bush’ tea, the plant is a different species. This tea is blended with rose petals, chocolate flakes, and caramel pieces.
Above all, this tea is perfect for ‘Chocoholics’ and ‘Romantaholics,’ and is very yummy served hot and very able to satisfy a sweet tooth without all the calories! Not quite as healthy as the original Organic Honeybush, but Valentine’s Day is a good excuse to indulge.
Whatever you do today, wherever you are, I hope you have someone special to share tea with at the end of the day. Therefore, taking tea together is very civilized, especially with ‘love’ in the air. Enjoy.
Green Tea v Covid
If someone forwarded this email to you, you need your own!
Happy 2021 Tea Lovers
Tea always seems to be in the news, especially in the first part of the year. After all, January is National Hot Tea Month, so we have been…drinking a lot of hot tea. How about you? What’s in your cuppa?
Green Tea v Covid
Also, in the news, Green Tea fights Covid? Really?? A research study from North Carolina State University says maybe. While you are waiting for your vaccination, why not put some green tea in a teapot? For an added boost, matcha! We wrote about the many benefits of Matcha powdered green tea here, and Glynis shared a recipe for Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream here. What tea is good for a sore throat?
This is not news, but if you are ever near the Venice Airport, be sure to visit the SunCoast Cafe in the terminal. Chef Tony braises his pork for 13 hours and then compiles the best Cuban sandwich in my world. They serve our teas, but you really have to go for the Cuban with rice and beans.
The cafe is busy and always has reggae music playing in the open kitchen. There is a Bob Marley quote on the grill hood, and people really do fly in from all over for lunch at the SunCoast Cafe. You should too.
At the end of Dr. Doolittle, I found this quote and thought it was of special ‘tea’ interest. The last line in the book reads…
“You know, there’s always something rather attractive in the bad weather in England-
when you’ve got a kitchen-fire to look forward to…
Come along-we’ll just in nice time for tea.”
While we are on quotes, I loved ‘Steal Like an Artist’ by Austin Kleon, filled with quotes and inspirations. Here is one I liked from Salvatore Dali, and if you are ever near Tampa, be sure to visit The Dali Museum.
“Those who do not imitate anything produce nothing.”
Next on my list for 2021 is the Queen’s Gambit novella by Walter Tevis.
Tea Pairing – I suggest Roasted Mate; all of our yerba mates bring out the cleverness in me and gives me a boost in the afternoon.
Green Tea Fights Covid? – Green Tea v Covid 19. What tea is good for a sore throat?
Cremesh Coffee & Bakery – New Serving Partner in Bradenton
Green will Make you Happier (Guest Post by Tim Agnew)
I did NOT know there was a remake of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ when I mentioned James Herriot’s book in my last Newsletter. And, yes, I am enjoying the show very much! The accent reminds me of another Yorkshire lass:):) I’ll let Glynis pair a tea in the next newsletter.
Listening – Podcast
The podcast LBJ‘s War is a bit dry but a welcome escape. The last trip I took before the Pandemic was to Austin, Texas. An unexpected connection to Austin Kleon, who also lives in Austin! Anyway, we visited the LBJ Presidential Library, my only visit to any Presidential library. Very cool.
Tea Pairing – Something sweet, probably Sweet Sin Rooibos (also ideal for Valentine’s Day!) and probably iced tea or ice tea.
Listening – Music
I found Lloyd Cole on Twitter and have been listening to his Spotify Channel. A blast from the past, I hadn’t really thought about him or The Commotions in many years. East Lansing’s most important musical duo, Kwi-J, introduced me to Lloyd Cole’s music in the ’80s. Cole is now a golfer and maybe the next subscriber to GolfToons? He sells his handwritten lyrics. I think?
Tea Pairing – I’m going with Pioneer Tea, a blend of citrus, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and sweetened with beetroot and carrot flakes. Very unique, and so, also, a nod to Dali.
As always, your comments are welcomed, and thanks for your support.
Your Local Tea Team
Green Tea Fights Covid? Can green tea really help you fight off Covid?
A university study says, Yes, maybe.
Green Tea to the rescue!
North Carolina State University released a study on November 30th presenting research on certain chemical compounds found in specific foods that seem to ‘inhibit’ the virus causing Covid. And, you guessed it, Green tea showed the most promise.
Green tea can ‘bind to and block’ the function of specific enzymes (or protease) in the coronavirus, slowing down or inhibiting replication.
“If the virus can’t replicate, the virus will die,” said Dr. De-Yu Xie, a plant and microbial biology professor who led the study.
The flavanoids and catechins unique to green tea are also present in muscadine grapes, cacao powder, and dark chocolate.
The study explored how the main protease (Mpro) in the SARS-CoV-2 virus reacted when confronted with chemical compounds known to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Think of the Mpro as having a ‘pocket’ filled with the chemical compounds.
Green Tea and the muscadine grapes successfully inhibited the replication function of the Mpro, while cacao powder in dark chocolate reduced the activity by about half.
Covid Vaccine is coming; Green Tea is here!
While the vaccine is on the way, and long lists and lines are forming. Let’s table the discussions about when or who it will help, side effects, and potential risks. Instead, why not explore natural methods of protecting yourself from the virus?
Drinking green tea is always a good idea, and especially during the cold and flu season. Now, more than ever, green tea is an effective booster of your body’s immune system. Add ‘superfruit’ goji berries or antioxidant-rich strawberries found in our Goji Green or Organic Strawberry Smile green tea blends. Green Tea Fights Covid!
So, Wear a mask! Wash your hands! Social distance for others! And Drink green tea!
- Which Green tea is Best? Our Organic Sencha Green tea is a great choice for purists. And we have many flavored green teas that people love. There are many green tea benefits.
- Why is Green tea good for you? Or, is green tea good for you? A combination of antioxidants and L-Theanine make green tea one of the healthiest beverages you can consume.
- How much Green Tea is too much? What green tea good for? Drink more green tea, that is the best advice!
- Is green tea caffeinated? Yes, there is caffeine in green tea. Rather than drinking decaffeinated green tea, we suggest you try an herbal, fruit, or rooibos tea. There will always be a bit of caffeine in decaffeinated tea, so beware!
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!
Note: This is part of a series of posts on the science of tea. Learn why it’s good for you, and all about the myriad kinds of tea (we love tea!)
Green Tea Makes You Happier?
Over 158 million Americans will drink tea on any given day, and it’s obviously the go-to-beverage when plain water won’t do. Among those 158 billion tea consumers are green tea aficionados. While only 15% are green tea drinkers, its growth is outpacing all other tea forms, with a 60% increase in consumption since 2004. Why the crazy growth? Well, green tea has a lot to make you happy about.
A Diverse History
Green tea was discovered in its greenest form over five thousand years ago. While stories vary, some versions of leaf’s history have a flower magically falling into a teacup. In contrast, another has an Emperor chewing a leaf, imaging how delicious it would be steeped in water. The most important book to set the record straight was Cha Jing, or Tea classic, written around 600 AD. The book detailed exactly how a cup of green tea should be made and how it should be served. Today, green tea is prepared in the same way (or should be), and drinking it has multiple health benefits. Green tea is the result of semi-oxidized leaves from camellia Sinensis. Flavors and aromas vary greatly depending on the season of harvest, country of origin, and method used to process. According to the Local Tea Company, flavored green teas are especially popular, where the best-sellers are Goji Green, Organic Strawberry Smile, and Acerola Green Tea. They offer 13 other green teas.
Feel the Power
Green tea is more than just a hydrating beverage that tastes great. The green tea plant contains a bevy of powerful compounds that make it into every cup. Rich in polyphenols (compounds great at reducing inflammation in the body), green tea is a cancer-fighting champion. Green tea also contains a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG is one of the most powerful compounds in green tea. Catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other cellular protections. Together, these substances help reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals play a large role in aging and many types of diseases. The benefits of green tea are numerous, so it’s worth adding to your diet.
Perhaps the best news (and one that may make you happiest) is that green tea accelerates fat burning and boosts metabolic rate. Look at any weight loss supplement, and you will see green tea on the label; that’s because green tea is a dynamo for assisting weight loss programs.
But let’s not leave out our most important organ, the brain. With an increase in brain-related diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, the brain needs protection, too. The bioactive compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on the brain. They may reduce the risk of dementia, a common neurodegenerative disorder in older adults. Multiple studies show that the catechin compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons in animal studies, possibly lowering the risk of dementia and memory loss.
Green tea consumption worldwide is growing, not only for its wonderful taste but for its endless health benefits. And as science backs up these benefits, it will only grow in popularity. Try to choose a higher caliber green tea brand, as some of the lower quality brands can contain excessive amounts of fluoride.
What’s the best green tea? A great source is the Local Tea Company, featuring locally inspired loose leaf teas. Try their diverse blends of green tea and so many others.
Today we restocked the Selby Gift shop with more Selby Select Rooibos, Secret Garden Green, and Little Monkey Fruit Tea. There is a wonderful holiday vibe when you enter the Gardens. Lights in Bloom at Selby Gardens is underway.
Selby Gardens comes alive with brilliant lights, festive displays, and a spectacular Christmas tree made of bromeliads every year.
Guests stroll through a magical garden filled with sparkling lights, live holiday music, and children’s activities.
The Gardens look GREAT!!! My favorite is the flamingos with antlers! This year will be slightly different, though the ‘Botanical Elves’ at Selby Gardens do a tremendous job every year. See you at Selby!
This blog has a bunch of posts about Lights in Bloom as well as our FestiviTea. Tis the Season, and we did have a bunch of orders for FestiviTea over the weekend.
See Lights in Bloom at Selby Gardens, the Open-Air Holiday Light Show through Jan 2, 2021.
Here is how Selby Gardens describes the event…
‘More than two million lights illuminate the gardens, and walkways are transformed into sensory light tunnels. Stroll through magical gardens filled with beautifully lit flowers, radiant rainforest butterflies, dragonflies, and more. Lights in Bloom®: An Open-air Light Show. has become a tradition for residents and visitors to celebrate the holiday season in Sarasota.’
So true, a wonderful Local Treasure.
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