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Life is too short to drink bad tea

Life is too short to drink bad tea.

Life is too short to drink bad tea

 

I like this quote.  When I went to find someone to attribute this quote to, I couldn’t find anybody, so I’m claiming it for myself.  That may be right, wrong, maybe morally questionable, but the truth is, life is way too short to drink bad tea.  And there is no reason to drink bad tea when so many great options exist everywhere.  

Loose Leaf Tea

Perhaps the quote should be, “Life is too short to drink anything except loose leaf tea”  Loose tea is the better tea, fresher, and allowing for the best flavor, the deepest, resonant, complex, and any other word you can think of to describe the awesome flavor.  There are superb teas in bags or sachets. Seek them out and stop drinking bad tea.  The difference is immense.

Life is too short to drink Cheap tea

Tea is an emotional beverage.  What other drink conjures memories, alters moods, and makes you a better person.  Yes, there is a similar quote, “Life is too short to drink bad wine,” but tea is healthy and can be drunk every day.  And you should drink tea every day.  We all want to extend our time on this planet and get the most out of each day.  So drink tea and drink great tea.

Motivating?   I’m not sure. Perhaps I’m just trying to get to the end of this blog post. But how about this?

“Make the most of every day”  I won’t try to claim credit for this adage, but if you are going to drink the world’s most popular beverage after water, make the most of it and drink a great tea.  

Life is too short to drink cheap tea

Black Tea

Drink great black teas—a robust, strong Assam or Darjeeling with a splash of fresh almond milk or a rich cream.  Drink a great breakfast blend like our Organic Sarasotan Breakfast Blend, Or a mild, sweeter Nilgiri. Or, if you want more flavor, spicy chai might be the perfect option.  I almost forgot to mention Oolongs!  Especially our ‘milky smooth’ Dung Ding Oolong.

Green Tea

Drink great green teas—Froth a pinch of a matcha green tea, or gently steep a pure Organic Sencha.  Add a touch of flavor, maybe strawberry or goji berries, or any other subtle sweetness that brings out that cool wonderful green tea flavor.  Yes, white teas too. Drink them!

Rooibos Tea

Drink great rooibos teas.  This is wonderful in the afternoon when there is no fear of caffeine stealing sleep from you. When faced with solving a mystery, drink Rooibos, or Bush Tea is not only a lovely, mild flavor. Rooibos takes on other flavors like vanilla and orange peel (Selby Select) or Lavender or Rose (Mable’s Rose Rooibos).  Drink Honeybush and Chocolate Honeybush, and the list goes on.  

Life is too short to drink cheap tea

Herbal Tea

Drink great herbal teas, peppermint, Yerba Mate, or hibiscus or tulsi.  I just saw this weekend that Roselle blossoms were available at the Sarasota farmers market.  They are they’re blooming in Florida, and they make incredible tea as well as gorgeous jams and jellies.  Drink a fabulous chamomile tea from Egypt and dream of Cleopatra or floating down the Nile.

Fruit Tea

Drink great fruit teas.  Please share them with a young person.  Introduce a child to the joys of tea.  Start with the kettle boiling’s anticipation, then take a moment to select a tea to fit the mood, watch when hot water meets tea leaves, and the flavors release.  This is called the ‘Agony of the Leaf’ what does it conjure in your imagination. Heat the mugs with hot water while you wait for all the flavor to extract, and then pour two mugs full and blow cool air over your brew.  

Start a young person on a tea journey, drinking tea as a part of a ritual, after dinner, before bed, in the morning, later in the day.  There are so many opportunities to drink tea. This ‘Tea Journey’ will last a lifetime, and you will be responsible for the very first steps.  

Life is too short to drink anything but great tea

And then there is the perfection that is Mote Beach Tea or Little Monkey fruit teas.  Make a cuppa of either of these herbal gems before you go to bed. I promise you that your dreams will be finer, they’ll be sweeter, and your sleep will be deeper and richer and better.  I can’t promise that your dreams will come true, but a great cuppa tea can bring hope.

Share Tea

Share that idea with everyone, a life of sound sleep and fantastical dreams.  You are never too old to begin a ‘Tea Journey.’ And what a wonderful community to be a part of, drinkers of great teas!

Appreciate all that goes into a great cuppa tea.  Where the tea was plucked, how far it might have traveled, who else might be enjoying the same cup at this same moment.  How many years or decades or centuries have people been drinking this same tea. Or how much progress has been made in heating the water.  Before electricity, 200 years ago or 2000 years ago, how did they boil water? What was the mug like or bowl or the cup? There is much to consider in a simple cup of tea.

And be sure to steep your tea for the correct time.  Not too short, robbing yourself from a fully expressed cuppa.  And not too long, for the bitterness or astringency might distract from the beautiful flavors intended for you.  

Give Tea

Life is too short to drink cheap bad tea

Give the gift of tea.  Nothing can be so easy to share, so thoughtful, so considerate for either a tea lover experienced in drinking great tea or introducing someone to your favorite tea.  Tea elevates the idea of a gift to a new level.  Here is a post with 5 Things to remember when Gifting Tea.

Yes, I was hoping you could buy my teas, and we have plenty of options for you.  But find a new place to buy tea, a wonderful loose leaf tea. You will recall the moment later when you are drinking or serving this tea.  Tea comes with its own story. You have to be a bit creative about it. The story is available, and there is a joy to be had.

Life is too short to drink inexpensive teaServe a great cuppa tea in a fine piece of China, in a cup that needs a saucer.  Please take a moment and make it special. You will enjoy the experience even more or help someone else feel special.  That’s where this big thought started, with living your life to the fullest. Life is too short and so find the moments, the joys to extract a bit more than you may have expected.  Surprise someone, delight them. Give that gift or treat yourself. You deserve it.

So drink up. Life is too short to drink bad tea.

Michael Duranko

Local Tea Company

5 Things to Consider when Giving the Gift of Tea

5 Things to Consider when Giving the Gift of Tea

Tea is a wonderful way to show your love, appreciation, respect, or that you are thinking about someone. Perhaps the universal gift, like age, gender, geography, time of year, relationship status, or any other boundary, can be crossed safely, without confusion. While the gift of tea can be personal, the truth is everybody has a tea they like or love. Some don’t know it yet.

We recently added a Tea of the Month program, either 3 months or 6 months.  That got us thinking about “gifting” tea.  Here are a few thoughts to consider when giving the gift of tea…

 

1. Caffeine or Herbal (caffeine-free)

Caffeine is an important consideration, especially sensitive as we are here in Florida. 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 in the morning, 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)

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! 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 the tea, it can always be served to guests when they come over for a cuppa.

3. Flavored tea or and pure blends

Would you rather a gift of Organic Sarasotan Breakfast blend (an unflavored pure 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!!

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. Our cat mugs sold incredibly well at our Selby Gardens Tea Shop, and they still sell floral mugs in the Garden Shop. Or, for a more modern gift, one of the newer steep-in-one traveling mugs.  There are lots of tea lovers’ options, and 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.

5. Overthinking

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. We recommend our Mable’s Rose Rooibos or the tropical fruity Mote Beach Tea. Find a tea with some meaning or be realistic, something that can easily be ‘Regifted.’

Please visit www.LocalTeaCo.com or send us a note in the comments section, and we will help you select a tea.  And here is a post with 5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea.
Thank you,
the tea team

Name that Tea – Organic Strawbango Black

A name for Organic Strawbango Tea

‘The naming of teas is a difficult matter,

It isn’t just one of your everyday games—

Some might think you mad as a hatter.

Should you tell them each goes by several names.

For starters each tea in this world must belong, to the families Black or Green or Oolong;

Then look more closely at these family trees—-

Some include Indians along with Chinese.”

T.S. Elliot, The NAMING OF CATS with liberties taken by Local Tea Company  :>

The naming of this tea was very difficult too.  You have every right to think the name was taken straight from a T.S. Elliot book!  We are very excited about our Organic Strawbango Black tea and know many will love this blend as much as we do.  Maybe even as much as your feline friends.

Organic Strawbango Black  is an organically cultivated black tea from the mountains of Sri Lanka.  Not only do we have a splendid tasting black tea, but two of our favorite Florida fruits are added for the perfect amount of exotic sweetness!  Scattered between the juicyness, you will find delicate Calendula blossoms.  A truly beautiful and aromatic tea.

Have you guessed what those fruits might be?  Strawberry and Mango of course, these two fruits are made for each other.

Join us in celebrating this exceptional tea with a ‘bang’!  Gift yourself, a friend, or a member of your family with Organic Strawbango Black tea.  You can always find this tea from one of our serving partners, Cafe in the Park in Payne Park in downtown Sarasota.  This iced tea is perfect after a bit of fun at Circus Park, or during one of the amazing outdoor music sessions they have.

Cheers,

The Tea Team

Pinhead Gunpowder and Guy Fawkes

Pinhead Gunpowder and Guy Fawkes

November 5th is the perfect time to talk about our Pinhead Gunpowder green tea. For me, this tea conjures up images of Guy Fawkes, a very celebrated and notorious fellow in Great Britain.  Born in Yorkshire, I am sure you have seen the mask below on Halloween or in the “V for Vendetta” movies or comic books.  Do you know what Guy Fawkes was notorious for besides drinking Yorkshire tea?

Guy Fawkes

“Remember, remember the Fifth of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.”

Guy Fawkes

In 1605 a group of conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, attempted to destroy the House of Parliament by filling the cellar with explosives.  Known as the “Gunpowder Plot,” the conspirators wanted a Catholic King rather than the protestant King James I.  The plan did not work, and Guy Fawkes was captured, hung, drawn, and quartered for his part in the plot.  However, his name lives on.  Guy Fawkes Night is a festival in Britain remembering the Gunpowder Plot and the King’s survival.

Every year on 5 November, Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated with bonfires in towns across England.  Dummies, or “guys” are burnt atop the fires.  A great tradition we children anticipated with excitement was making the “guy” dummies a few days before the 5th. We carried the dummies around the village, shouting “penny for the guy.”  The quality of our ‘guy’ was determined by the number of pennies we collected.

Today, the Guy Fawkes mask is worn by protesters to demonstrate their commitment to a shared cause against the establishment, as was Mr. Fawkes’s intent.

Pinhead Gunpowder

 

Gunpowder Green Tea

And so to our pinhead gunpowder, a classic green tea from Zhejiang province in China is made from leaves rolled into small pellets that look like actual gunpowder.  It never ceases to amaze me how many people comment on this fascinating tea.  The tiny pellets transform, unfurling into graceful, dancing leaves.  If you have a glass teapot, enjoy the performance.

Gunpowder green tea is harvested in April, as this is the absolute best time of year for quality leaves.  The leaves are withered to reduce moisture content making them more pliable, steamed, rolled, and dried.  Although the individual leaves were formerly rolled by hand, most gunpowder tea is rolled by machines today.

After that, the highest grades are still rolled by hand.   This rolling process also renders the leaves less susceptible to any breakage and allows them to retain more of their flavor and aroma. You can determine the freshness of gunpowder green tea by the sheen of the pellets.  And the smaller, the better, as the size is associated with quality, hence the name pinhead.

Our Pinhead Gunpowder green tea brews darker than most green teas with a rich flavor and a slightly smokey finish.  I have enjoyed Pinhead straight up, infusing multiple times, but it can be brewed very successfully with ginger or peppermint and used as an iced tea.

I hope you enjoyed the gunpowder plot, and please do enjoy many infusions of this classic tea.

Cheers,

Glynis Chapman

A Nice Cup of Tea George Orwell

Tea George Orwell

All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little
stronger with each year that passes

Tea Questions

We answer a lot of tea questions at Local Tea Company.  The most popular inquiry is about what makes for a good cup of tea?  This tea quote is taken from an essay published in the Evening Standard in 1946 by the English author George Orwell.  He directed his keen wit and passion for clarity in language to the topic of the perfect cup of tea.

Black and white photograph of George Orwell for a blog post from Local Tea Company
Orwell taking time for tea

Orwell identified 11 points that he regarded as ‘golden.’   While I risk an overly lengthy post, it would not seem right to leave any of them out.  Each is so witty and relevant to the last detail, though I have risked a touch of editing. Enjoy…

First of all,

One should use Indian or Ceylonese tea. China tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowadays.  It is economical, and one can drink it without milk, but there is not much stimulation in it. One does not feel wiser, braver, or more optimistic after drinking it. Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.

Secondly,

Tea should be made in small quantities, that is, in a teapot. Tea out of an urn is always tasteless, while army tea, made in a cauldron, tastes of grease and whitewash. The teapot should be made of china or earthenware.

Thirdly

The pot should be warmed beforehand. This is better done by placing it on the hob than by the usual method of swilling it out with hot water.

Fourthly

The tea should be strong. For a pot holding a quart, if you are going to fill it nearly to the brim, six heaped teaspoons would be about right. In a time of rationing, this is not an idea that can be realized every day of the week, but I maintain that one strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones. All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong but like it a little stronger with each year that passes.  A fact which is recognized in the extra ration issued to old-age pensioners.

Fifthly

The tea should be put straight into the pot. No strainers, muslin bags, or other devices to imprison the tea. In some countries, teapots are fitted with little dangling baskets under the spout to catch the stray leaves, which are supposed to be harmful. Actually, one can swallow tea-leaves in considerable quantities without ill effect, and if the tea is not loose in the pot, it never infuses properly.

Sixthly

One should take the teapot to the kettle and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact, which means that one should keep it on the flame while one pours. Some people add that one should only use water that has been freshly brought to the boil, but I have never noticed that it makes any difference.

Seventhly

After making the tea, one should stir it, or better, give the pot a good shake, afterward allowing the leaves to settle.

Eighthly

One should drink out of a good breakfast cup, that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type. The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind, one’s tea is always half cold before one has well started on it.

Ninthly

One should pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea. Milk that is too creamy always gives tea a sickly taste.

Tenthly

One should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all.  Indeed in every family in Britain, there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk, whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.

Lastly, tea

Unless one is drinking in the Russian style, tea should be drunk without sugar. I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tea-lover if you destroy the flavor of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter.

If you sweeten your tea, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar.  You could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water. Some people would answer that they don’t like tea in itself.  They only drink tea in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need sugar to take the taste away. To those misguided people, I would say, try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight.  It is very unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again.

(The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of Tea George Orwell)

Cheers,

Glynis Chapman

Three Men in a Boat

Three Men in a Boat

A favourite book of mine offers an interesting quote or excerpt about tea.  I will share it with you.  Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome was first published in 1889 and was intended as a serious travel guide about a boating holiday on the Thames between Kingston and Oxford.  However, it turned out to be a very humorous account detailing the adventures of the three friends Jerome, George Wingrave, and Carl Hentschel, along with a fictional dog called Montmorency!

Three Men in a Book Excerpt

When I read this excerpt today, it seemed so clever and witty, evoking powerful thoughts about the beverage I so love…. tea.  Enjoy.

‘It is very strange, this domination of our intellect by our digestive organs.  We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomach wills so. It dictates to us our emotions, our passions.  After eggs and bacon, it says “Work!” After beefsteak and porter , it says “Sleep!”  Then, after a cup of tea (two spoonfuls for each cup and don’t let it stand for more  than three minutes), it says to the brain, “Now rise, and show your strength. Be eloquent, and deep, and tender; see, with a clear eye, into Nature, and into life: spread your white wings of quivering thought, and soar, a god-like spirit, over the whirling world beneath you, up through long lanes of flaming starts to the gates of eternity!”

Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat.

What type of tea does it take for you to rise and show your strength, be eloquent and deep or indeed spread your white wings of quivering thought?  It would have to be a good strong cup of Yorkshire Harrogate for me!  Here is an earlier post about Yorkshire.  Please share your comments and take time for tea.

Cheers,

the Tealady

Toast and Tea

Toast and Tea

“BREAD AND WATER CAN SO EASILY BE TOAST AND TEA’

 

Tea Quote

This is a lovely quote (author unknown) that came to mind this morning.  I was actually making some Lemon Curd at the time, but I also had a visitor in the Carriagehouse Tea Room at Selby Gardens that told me he would not drink tea because his mother always made him have toast and tea when he was sick!  Of course, she would; mothers know what is good for you.

I also felt sorry for him!  Toast and Tea is a custom most of us have such good feelings about, and I, for one, can sample this pairing at any time of day.  There is nothing as simple or as tasty as toast and tea unless you add a little lemon curd, that is!

Lemons are in abundance here at the moment, and as they keep arriving by the bagful at my house, I keep churning out the Lemon Curd!  I got myself a cup of jasmine tea and Lemons at the ready.  Want to have a go too?

Lemon Curd Recipe

This is a straightforward recipe and method to follow.  You will need preserving jars that have been sterilized in boiling water.  I put the lemons in the same water as it makes the juice release easier.  I usually double up the recipe, but to make one batch, you will need:

Juice and rind of 1 lemon (I have been adding rind of an extra lemon too!), 2 eggs, 2oz unsalted butter, and 3oz sugar.

  1. Place sugar and rind in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk eggs and lemon juice together.  Add to bowl.
  3. Cut butter into small chunks.  Add to bowl.
  4. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until butter melts and whisk lightly over heat until the mixture thickens.  (It may seem like the mixture is never going to thicken, but it will.)

Place in jar and refrigerate.

It tastes delicious and is so worth the effort.  I love giving to friends and, of course, the suppliers of all my Lemons!  Lemon Curd is also the perfect accompaniment to scones, so maybe next time we will make scones.

I recommend putting on the kettle and making a pot of Yorkshire tea, and sit down to enjoy some toast and tea.  Mmmm!

Cheers,
The TeaLady

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos Tea

I cannot believe it has taken me so long to write about Rooibos tea.  Maybe that is a good thing, though, as I have now reached a stage where my love of this tea is such that I cannot imagine life without it!

Rooibos

As an orthodox tea drinker, black teas, and mostly unflavored green teas, you will have heard me say many times that I love the taste of tea.  However, like many women before me, I seem to have reached an age where too much caffeine (even in my beloved tea!!) seems to be disruptive for my body.

Rooibos

Enter ROOIBOS (Aspalathus linearis), a broom-like shrub and member of the legume family found in a small area of the Western Cape Province of South Africa.  The word rooibos (pronounced Roy-boss) is Afrikaans for red bush and has been popular in South Africa for generations.

Rooibos has a huge following all over the world due to the many health benefits and Mama Ramotswe, a certain lady detective. Suppose you are one of the few people not to have seen or read the No 1 Ladies Detective series by Alexander McCall Smith then do so soon.  Like the tea, these books are compelling, very relaxing, and worthy of your time.

Bush Tea

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

So, what does Rooibos have to offer?  Rooibos has very high antioxidant levels (aspalathin). In fact, some claim that Rooibos has more antioxidants than green tea.  And I advise anyone not caring for green tea to drink Rooibos.  The tannin levels are low (responsible for causing astringency in true tea), and there is NO oxalic acid, which makes this tea good for anyone suffering from kidney stones.  Relaxing and restful, rooibos can assist with nervous tension, allergies, dermatological issues, and anti-spasmodic properties, making rooibos helpful for digestive problems.

In South Africa, rooibos is used to aid infants suffering from colic and is added to the baby’s bathwater (and yours) to soften the skin.  Research continues on possible anti-cancer properties, and I think we will hear more about the benefits of drinking Rooibos for some time to come.  Perhaps most important, you will find NOTHING about rooibos’ adverse effects, which is quite amazing!

Caffeine-Free

Rooibos is an herb and is NATURALLY caffeine-free, making it the perfect tea for my sleeping predicament.  This tea quite simply tastes and feels so good, and I have become a huge fan.  I have found many tea lovers dislike pure rooibos, though it blends so well with fruits and flowers.

At Local Tea Company, we have a wonderful collection of Rooibos teas.  Our best selling (of all our teas) is Selby Select, an orange peel and yogurt blend we created for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The list continues with Van Wezel with black and red currants (see post), Lemon Sunset with lemongrass and lemon peel, Bertha Palmer with licorice, peppermint, verbena, and fennel, and finally Mable’s Rose with cherry and rose.  I hope you agree that it is quite a line-up, and if you are an iced tea drinker, do not despair. All are beautiful iced!

One of our rooibos teas is especially nice to share with a loved one.  Sweet Sin combines raspberry with vanilla and is always popular around Valentine’s Day.

Sweet Sin Rooibos Tea

What a versatile and special tea this is, and if you haven’t discovered Rooibos already then, I hope you do so soon.  Here is a post about Five Reasons you will Love Rooibos Tea.

Cheers,
the TeaLady

Tea Rubbed Pulled Pork

Tea Rubbed Pulled Pork

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about a video?   Check this one out titled, “The Making of Tea Rubbed Pulled Pork.”

Tea Rubbed Pulled Pork

Local Tea Company collaborated with Local Catering and Chef Maryna to create a wonderful pulled pork creation.  The secret ingredient is using our Lapsang Souchong black tea.

This Fall, Selby Botanical Gardens hosted the Garden Music Series under the banyans.  Our pulled pork sandwich may have stolen the show, selling out each week as we doubled the batch.  We may not wait until the Spring Music Series, so visit Selby Gardens and ask for the next chance to try this unique blend of tea and porcine.

Tea Rubbed pulled pork using lapsang souchong tea
Lapsang Souchong

Some interesting tales about Lapsang Souchong can be found on our product page.  We have also tried this smoky tea iced with very positive results.  This is not an everyday tea, but on a chilly afternoon with a good book and a comfy chair near a fireplace, Lapsang Souchong is your tea.

Cheers,
The TeaLady

 

Lapsang Souchong

Lapsang Souchong Black Loose Leaf Tea from the Fujian Province in China.  This tea is a large, bold, full-bodied whole leaf with a smoky flavor from drying over pinewood fires.

After that, this special smoked black tea from Fujian Province in China has a very distinctive flavor and aroma. The term “souchong” means sub-variety. This is a sub-variety of black tea from the Wuyi Mountains, where thick pine forests and heavy mists provide ideal environments for growing top-quality tea.

In conclusion, legend claims that the smoking process was discovered by accident.  An army unit (during the Qing dynasty!) camped in a tea factory filled with leaves waiting to be processed. When the workers returned, it was too late to follow the usual procedures.  So, they dried the leaves over open pinewood fires to hasten the process and created the sensational tea we know as Lapsang.

Kombucha with Yorkshire Tea

Kombucha Yorkshire Tea

Thank you to those following my Kombucha side trip on my Tea Journey.  And for enduring me when I get carried away with Kombucha enthusiasm! Since my earlier Kombucha posts, #1 and #2, I have been busy brewing.  I continue to learn about the variations, the good, bad, and the ugly about this fascinating beverage.

Kombucha Yorkshire Tea

Kombucha Tea

I am not very disciplined about drinking my kombucha when at home.  However, during my working days at the Carriagehouse Tea Room at Selby Gardens, I sip during lunch and the afternoon hours. During the ‘dog days of summer, ’ kombucha gives me a boost of energy.

Michael and Tray continue to make excuses for why they no longer brew kombucha.  Tray drinks as much of my supply as available. I must be doing something right. So, what’s new?

Black Tea

I have found that black tea seems to work best, especially our Harrogate Yorkshire tea.   This is not really surprising; this tea has such strength and character as the people of Yorkshire!!  Brewing the tea for 14 days was too astringent for my taste, so I reduced to 7 days.  Less fermentation time results in a slightly sweeter taste and more fizz.   I also started adding new tea on top of the same SCOBY instead of washing out containers each time.  I no longer split the mother and baby as often.  The SCOBY has grown really fast, improving my results.

kombucha SCOBY

After reading that more fizz is achieved if you leave bottles out for 4 days before refrigeration, I tried this routine.   I found the bottles started to grow ‘mini’ SCOBYs (ew!), so I now refrigerate immediately.

I am very much enjoying where this journey is taking me.  New converts or fellow ‘Kombuchans’ are found in all sorts of spots. You may have heard of retailers removing the commercially bottled Kombucha from their shelves, so there has been growing interest in home brewing. I have been giving away SCOBYs to anyone who wants to try making their own and hope to have more success stories to share.  Stop by Local Tea Company to talk about tea.  .Kombucha Yorkshire Tea

Cheers,
The TeaLady