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Cremesh Coffee and Bakery

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.
Watch Out!!!!!

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!Cool red floor at Cremesh Coffee and Bakery in Bradenton

Before I mention the Tea Menu at Cremesh Coffee and Bakery, check out the floor!!!
And here is a review in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and here is a review in Neal Finelli’s Taste Dining & Travel.
The Teas offered include Sarasotan Breakfast Blend, Organic Earl Grey, Goji Green Tea, Organic Peppermint Herbal Tea, Selby Select Rooibos, and Mote Beach tea.   Yes, a portion of all Mote Tea sold supports the operating budget for Mote Aquarium.

Enjoy!

How Green Tea Makes You Happier

‘How Green Tea makes you Happier’ is written by Timothy Agnew was posted to his Health & Wellness blog and reposted here with permission.  

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?

An image of green tea in a glass vial on a dark countertop used in the Blog Post How Green Tea will make you Happier by Tim Agnew for the Sip Locally Tea Journey by Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida.

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.

Brain Protection

 

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.

Lights in Bloom at Selby Gardens 2020

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.The entrance to the Selby Gift Shop at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida for a blog post by Local Tea Company about Lights in Bloom.

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.

Tea Newsletter #5 – Supporting Local, Thank you

Supporting Local, Thank you

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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 CutieCremesh 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…

Places

The Selby House Cafe is one of our Serving Partners; they sell a lot of our tea at Selby Gardens.  What is better than walking around this botanical waterfront oasis with a hot cuppa?

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

5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea

The Time of Year for Chai

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

Places

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.

TV

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!

Books

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

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…

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

When in doubt, go with a caffeine-free 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. 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!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.  Flavored tea or pure?

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 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.

4. Accessories

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!!!

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.  Remember, it’s the thought that counts.

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.

    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 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.

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, and here is a post about how green tea can make you happier. 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