I want to share a new tea with you, Festivi-Tea, created for the “Lights in Bloom” holiday celebration at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. 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. And here is a post about Lights in Bloom 2020.
Festivi-Tea will conjure up all your favorite yummy smells and tastes of this time of year. A blend of sencha and bancha green tea with dried orange cut almonds and cream of caramel. This tea is perfect for any evening, especially a night at Lights in Bloom.
Sencha (‘Sen’ meaning green and ‘cha’ meaning tea or ‘infused tea’) is a tea style. Harvested leaves are heated in a wok to prevent oxidation. The leaves have a slightly mellower ‘roasted’ flavor and characteristic thin, cylindrical shape.
Bancha or ‘common’ green tea is harvested from the second flush of leaves in late summer/autumn. The larger leaf gives a very mellow flavor and contains less caffeine.
Then we have the Holiday factor! Citrus peel, for me, is synonymous with Christmas. When I was a little girl, I remember how thrilled I was to get a bag of Oranges in my Christmas stocking. Oranges were expensive and hard to come by in the heart of Yorkshire. They were such a special treat! The peel of citrus fruit can be bitter and not very appetizing. However, it adds great flavor and health benefits when dried and added to tea.
Almonds are something I try to eat all year round for their healthy heart benefits. Almonds contain monounsaturated fats responsible for lowering LDL cholesterol. And for me, almonds conjure more Christmas memories. We always had nuts in the shells, and it was difficult to eat many as they were so hard to crack open. My sister and I usually lost interest after a short while, but we had such fun and very rosy cheeks from sitting by a roaring fire!
Cream of Caramel is a delicious ‘concoction’ of sugars and milk, dried and added to enhance this tea. I try to bring you teas with all-natural, healthy ingredients, but sometimes exceptions must be made at this is the time of year.
Festivi-Tea is easy to drink with subtle notes of all the ingredients as well as a smooth finish. Best hot, I think, though we have sampled iced Festivi-Tea at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market with wonderful results.
Please join us at Selby Gardens this year for Lights in Bloom starting December 17th (details at www.selby.org). Visit the Local Tea Company Carriage House to see our complete selection of tea and tea accessories.
I hope you enjoy Festivi-Tea as much I have enjoyed sharing my Christmas past with you.
Sorori TEA Sisters Review
A few of our teas have recently been reviewed by Sorori TEA Sisters Tea Review, a blog dedicated to reviewing teas. We are sharing the reviews with you. See what the tea professional and others are saying about teas from Local Tea Company.
Mote Beach Tea celebrates the marine research conducted by Mote Marine Laboratories. You will find the review by Anne on November 11th. Find it here. Besides, Glynis blogged about this fruit and herb tea in September, providing lots of details. (click here)
For instance, you may have noticed all the teas reviewed are part of the Celebrating Sarasota Collection of Teas. We are adding to this collection, and we hope to keep delighting our customers.
In conclusion, hopefully, Sorori TEA Sisters Review will keep spreading the word about our teas. We will keep updating this post as they do. Hint, Hint…Selby Select is amazing. Check it out, ladies.
Pioneer Tea – Historic Spanish Point
John Greene Webb and his family came to Spanish Point in 1867. They established a homestead on the shores of Little Sarasota Bay. They planted citrus, sugar cane, vegetables and built a packing house to prepare their produce for market.
John Greene Webb
All of us who enjoy living in beautiful Sarasota owe much to the hardship John and his family must have endured. We can think of no finer way to celebrate early settlers to Sarasota than with an amazing new herbal tea at Local Tea Company. We created Pioneer Tea to celebrate Historic Spanish Point.
Predominantly citrus, Pioneer Tea contains orange and tangerine pieces, blackberry and eucalyptus leaves, lemongrass, beetroot and carrot flakes, apple pieces, and hibiscus flowers. Perfect for our climate and caffeine-free. Pioneer Tea makes a stunning iced tea.
Besides, all you folks who have to brave cold weather for several months can enjoy sipping this tea hot too. (Think of us when you do!)
There are over 600 varieties of Orange (Sweet Orange is Citrus sinensis). Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata) is another variety of citrus, and both are certainly sweet, juicy, and delicious ingredients in this tea. The peel of citrus fruit is bitter and not very appetizing when raw. However, it adds great taste when dried and added to tea.
Suitable for everyone, oranges are rich in calcium, phosphorous, potassium, citric acid, and beta carotene. Vitamin A they contain gives us healthy skin and mucous membranes!
The other ingredients in Pioneer Tea are all equally as sweet and delicious…
(Rubus fructicosus) Steeped (sorry!) in ancient folklore, the people of Medieval England believed blackberry would protect them from rheumatism, boils, and blackheads! To do so meant creeping under the bush to gather fruit, but only at the right time of the moon! We do not suggest such extreme measures; drink the tea. Blackberry leaves bring flavor and harmony to this lovely tea.
(Eucalyptus globulus, folium being the leaf) A native of Australia, the Eucalyptus tree, is used to make the Digeridoo. Eucalyptus is known as the ‘Fever Tree’ because of antimicrobial and bacteria-fighting properties! The oil from the leaf is pungent and, when taken in tea, is recognized as very effective in de-clogging the nose, fighting throat infections, and washing out the mouth.
(Cymbopogen citratus) Native to tropical climates like Florida, lemongrass lends a lemony taste to our tea along with some Vitamin C for added zest. I like to think of Lemongrass as bringing both harmony and aroma. Native to India, Lemongrass is used in Ayurvedic medicine to help relieve coughs and nasal congestion. Another valuable addition to our tea!
(Beta vulgaris) I was delighted to include beetroot in this tea, as it is one of my favorites! Beetroot is full of anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant which supports healthy heart and liver function is good for blood pressure and cholesterol as well as containing lots of vitamins and minerals (vitamins A, C, manganese, potassium, and folic acid)
(Daucus carota) Another favorite, the carrot, gets its characteristic bright orange color from beta carotene, which our body can easily assimilate, store and convert to Vitamin A. Beta carotene is an antioxidant which fights damage caused by free radicals that can invade our bodies, causing disease, also helping regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and blood pressure. A bonus benefit is improved hair, skin, and nails!
I am sure you will agree that this is a delightful lineup of ingredients and perfectly captures the zest for life, which early pioneers must have possessed in plenty.
Bertha Palmer later acquired Spanish Point, and Pioneer Tea is a lovely balance to our Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea, as well as a wonderful addition to our Celebrating Sarasota collection of teas. I hope you will take time to sip all our collection, visit Historic Spanish Point, and celebrate the abundance of treasures we are so lucky to have here in Sarasota!
Mote Beach Tea
“Why beach tea?” we are asked when serving this delightful fruit infusion.
A quick sniff and a small sample of this tea will whisk you away to an exotic beach on a deserted island. Dreams of dolphins, manatee, and other tropical delights will soon follow. This is a tea you would definitely want to be stranded with on your imaginary beach paradise.
It is impossible to resist a tea with such wonderful dried fruits and flowers. Ingredients include pineapple, coconut, rosehips, and hibiscus blended with natural flavors of those fruits. There is no true tea, so Mote Beach Tea is caffeine-free, especially nice after dinner or before bed, and can be a “sweet tooth” substitute for dessert.
As we have done with our other fruit tisanes, let’s look in more detail at the ingredients of Mote Beach Tea.
(Cocus mucifera) A tropical fruit rich in protein and very rich in the taste department! I absolutely love all things coconut. The ‘tree of life’ in its various forms delivers lots of healthy fats and fiber. I found that coconut has all the benefits of other dietary fibers: –
It lowers the risk of heart disease, helps prevent cancer, improves digestive function, and helps regulate blood sugar. Coconut has 4 times the amount of fiber compared to oat bran. New research shows that coconut fats are absorbed directly by the liver.
(Ananas cosmosus) This ‘fruit of many blessings,’ good health, good fortune, and longevity. Pineapple tastes wonderful and has some outstanding health benefits. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which helps digest proteins, Vitamins C and B, and many essential daily minerals. The sugars in pineapple are easily digested, the fiber content is high, and your immune system will receive a boost in protecting you from illnesses. Pineapple also has anti-inflammatory properties.
(Malus domestica) Not quite as exotic as our first 2 ingredients. Never the less, Apple is an exceptional fruit that we perhaps take for granted due to the continuous abundance of choices year-round in our grocery store.
Apple contains anti-oxidants, flavonoids, and pectin. Pectin is a natural fiber (apples being the richest source) that has recently been shown to act against bad cholesterol, decrease colon cancer chances, and reduce high blood pressure. Quercetin, which is primarily found in Apples (and Black tea!), belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that help fight disease.
The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” still holds.
(Rosa canina) The beautiful hip is the fruit of the Wild Dog Rose and takes its name from its earliest use to remedy bites from ‘mad’ or ‘wild’ dogs.
There are more than 10,000 species of cultivated roses. However, the medicinal species are natives of Europe. The hips are the reddish colored coverings that grow around the real fruits for protection. For instance, this is the reason they are often called “false fruits.” The nutrient value is as rich as their color. Rose hips enhance the function of everything from your skin to your innermost being. After that, they contain an array of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.
(Hibiscus sabdariffa) If you have been following our blogs, by now, you will have become very familiar with this little gem, which is used as an enhancer in many teas now. If you have missed our previous descriptions of this healthy and colorful addition, check out Sabdariffa Spritzer.
Also, you can receive benefits in other ways. After brewing Mote Beach Tea, why not just add the steeped fruit to your morning cereal, yogurt, or smoothie for more exotic goodness!
Mote Beach Tea was created to celebrate and honor the work conducted at Mote Marine Laboratory. The tea is sold in distinctive, resealable blue bags to maintain freshness. On the back of each packet is an overview of the mission of Mote Marine Laboratory.
Mote is one of the treasures of Sarasota. This tea is a crowd-pleaser at our tea tent at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. Kids love it, though parents often enjoy it even more.
We launched this tea at the Night of Fish, Fun & Fright at Mote. Come this year, Friday, Oct. 22, from 6:30 to 9 pm.
Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea
We introduce a new tea called Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea. This tea is an herbal rooibos with licorice root, fennel, peppermint, and lemon verbena. Delicious hot or iced, this rooibos is naturally caffeine-free. We add this tea to the Celebrating Sarasota Collection of Teas.
For instance, when Mrs. Potter Palmer (Bertha Honoré Palmer) first set eyes on Sarasota in 1910, she proclaimed, ‘Here is heaven at last.’
She came to own more than 80,000 acres of what is now Sarasota County. Also, Palmer operated a successful ranch and made her winter home at The Oaks on Historic Spanish Point.
Sarasota County celebrates the 2010 centennial of her arrival. All are invited to honor the significant impact Mrs. Palmer made to our culturally rich community. Please raise a cuppa Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea to this incredible woman!
Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea joins Selby Select, Mote Beach Tea, Mable’s Rose Rooibos, and Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea in the Celebrating Sarasota Collection of Teas. In conclusion, all of these teas are available at www.LocalTeaCo.com
The Gift of Tea
At Local Tea Company, we have a great selection of tea to suit many different tastes. Some of our holiday favorites are listed at the end of this post with links to our online shop. Whatever your gift choice, I believe there are many extraordinary reasons to be excited about both giving and receiving TEA…
- The anticipation of opening the packet and discovering the appearance of the leaf,
- Inhaling the special aroma that loose tea releases,
- Watching the magic of leaves dancing in the pot,
- The delicious color and flavor in the cup,
- Sitting down, letting go of all the stress in your body (which we seem to create in great quantities, especially at this time of the year!),
- And finally, Life is too short to drink bad tea.
Making tea is an act to be shared with someone special, presented to a group of friends, or enjoyed completely alone. I cannot think of any other item that is so simple, yet so complex, cost-effective, and enjoyable. You are also giving the gift of health and well being to your loved ones. Here is a post with 5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea.
If you have no tea lovers in your life, then give yourself the gift of tea. YOU deserve it!
Some of our holiday favorites include Chocolate Honeybush, Organic Red Berries, and Cochin Masala Chai. For a more relaxing tea, perfect for evenings, there is Organic Honeybush. Also, check out the “Celebrate Sarasota” gift deal, 4 herbal teas inspired by Local Treasures: Selby Gardens, Van Wezel, Ringling Museum, and Siesta Key Beach.
On behalf of all at Local Tea Company, I would like to wish all our tea followers a Very Merry Christmas and a TEArrific New Year. We appreciate your business and hope you continue to enjoy our teas in 2010.
No matter where you are or what you are planning to do during this special season, please make time to drink some tea and feel the benefits. I drink to you and yours.
Cheers and all the best to everyone.