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Drink this tea every day and look like this?

Drink this tea every day and look like this?

On the label of Goji Green tea from Local Tea Company, after sharing the ingredients and describing the subtle sweetness of this glorious tea, the label states, “live a long healthy life drinking this tea.”

Li Qing Yuen

en Tea Local Tea Co

Recently someone asked me about the phrase.  I mentioned the story of the Chinese herbalist Li Qing Yuen who was said to have consumed goji berries daily and lived to 252.  I smiled after sharing these minor details and moved on with my day.  Later, I thought about the idea of living that long, and it got me thinking more about this story.  What would I look like at 250 years old?

And so, I dug a bit deeper into Li Qing Yuen and found this picture, along with more details.  I made myself a cuppa Goji Green and my smile returned as I read on.

His birth year was 1736 or 1677, though his true birth date has never been confirmed. Li Qing Yuen was born in the Sichuan province, in Qijiang County.  He was an apprentice to elders who gathered herbs in the mountains.  He went on to have a military career and then returned to life as an herbalist on Snow Mountain.

A New York Times article from 1930 mentions Imperial Chinese Government records from 1827 congratulating Li Qing Yuen on his 150th birthday.  And then again in 1877 on his 200th birthday!  An earlier correspondent reported many older men in his village claimed their grandfathers knew Li Qing Yuen as a grown man when they were boys.

The 1933 Time Magazine article asked for his secrets to a long life.  Li Qing Yuen is quoted as saying,

“Keep a quiet heart,

Sit like a tortoise,

Walk sprightly like a pigeon, and,

Sleep like a dog.”

Goji berries

Li Qing Yuen Local Tea Co Sarasota

He spent most of his life in the mountains collecting and selling ginseng, goji berries, and other herbs. Along with his diet, Li Qing Yuen mentions drinking rice wine as another secret.  He claimed to have survived 23 wives and had more than 150 children.  He died in Kai County in May of 1933.  His 24th wife said he died of natural causes.

No mention of a daily dose of goji berries could be found in the official reports, and I really don’t know what sitting like a tortoise might look like.

I will leave the story on our product page because I think our Goji Green tea is phenomenal.  As phenomenal as the legend of Li Qing Yuen.

Goji Green Tea

Enjoy Goji Green as a hot tea to start your day, or as a refreshing iced tea (or try it as a Cold-Brewed Tea) as it is served most days as Secret Garden Green Tea at the Selby House Café operated by Michael’s on East at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Goji Green Tea Local Tea Co Sarasota SRQ

While you are savoring a cuppa of this wonderful green tea, contemplate your secrets to a long life.  And then please share them with me 🙂

Here is a post about how green tea can make you happier.

Questions

  • What green tea good for?  How much Green Tea is too much?  Drink more green tea that is the best advice!
  • Which Green tea is Best?  Our Goji Green tea is our most popular green tea.  We have many other flavored green teas that people love.  There are many green tea benefits.
  • Is green tea good for you?  Or, why is Green tea good for you?  A combination of antioxidants and L-Theanine make green tea one of the healthiest beverages you can consume.
  • 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!

Valentine’s Day – A Time for Tea

Valentine’s Day – A Time for Tea

Tis the season of Love, which brings to mind Diamonds, Chocolates, and Roses for most people?

Well, I can guarantee one thing there will be no diamonds in my house for Valentine.  My husband would be quick to tell you that he does not need one special day in the year to reinforce his love for me – his excuse not to buy diamonds?  There may be a chance of chocolates or flowers, but it is more likely to be something simple, like sitting down together for a pot of tea.

Bet you didn’t know Yorkshire men were so romantic!  But I confess this is a man who knows the way to my heart for sure.

I cannot think of a nicer way to celebrate our love than the process of taking tea together.  Like most people these days, we have conflicting schedules, and taking time to sit together, slow down and enjoy a spot of tea is an extraordinary gift.

White Mischief

White Mischief

What will we drink?  My husband loves White tea, so perhaps we will start our celebration with a little White Mischief.  Mischievous by name and by nature, this tea will represent our diamonds!  If you have ever smelled guava, you know the skin has a chocolate-like aroma, so when you put the tea in a warm pot, the smell is tantalizing.  Use water that is not quite boiling and infuse for 2 minutes only, but make more infusions from the same tea infusing for 4 minutes, 6 minutes, etc., until no flavor is left.  Not only is the taste fantastic but such good value too!

Chocolate Honeybush

Next, we will drink Chocolate Honeybush, and this will represent Chocolates in our Valentine celebration!  Honeybush is one of our favorite herbal teas, and this tea is full of romance with hints of chocolate, roses, and a good dose of caramel.  Delightfully indulgent, the chocolate and caramel blend so well with Organic Honeybush for a delicate flavor and without the calories.  Drink away without having to worry, yummy.

Chocolate Honeybush

Sweet Sin Rooibos

For our finale, we will drink some Sweet Sin Rooibos, and this will represent our Roses!  You may have read in a previous blog what an impact Rooibos now has on my life, but it is also a tea we drink together throughout the year, so it is perfect for our celebration of love.

Sweet Sin Rooibos

A simple, yet stunning blend of rooibos, roses, vanilla, and dried raspberries, this tea blooms with a perky fruitiness, is not too sweet yet has a soft and romantic finish.

And the moral of my tale?  You really don’t need to have diamonds, chocolates, or flowers to show your love for each other.  Give each other the gift of time enjoying tea together.  May you continue to celebrate your love throughout the year, and as I often say, TAKE TIME FOR TEA.  Valentine’s Day – A Time for Tea

Cheers,
the TeaLady

Astringency in Tea

Astringency in Tea

When we offer samples of tea at Selby Gardens or the Sarasota Farmer’s Market, many people respond with, “I don’t like the taste of tea.”  Our standard cheeky response is, “Because you have never tasted our tea?”

After probing a bit, people describe the bitter taste of tea.  The root cause is typically oversteeping, which is why we are so specific with steep times at Local Tea Company.  Loose leaf tea offers so much flavor, and when prepared incorrectly, will become astringent.

What causes astringency in tea?

Astringency

Astringency is that dry, puckering sensation that follows a sip of strong tea, an assertive red wine, or a bite into not quite ripe fruit.  Tannins are responsible. They are polyphenols or natural defensive compounds that actually help deter bacteria and fungi growing on the tea leaf. The sensation of astringency is caused by the ‘tanning’ of the proteins in the mouth’s saliva and mucous membranes.  Besides, this causes the surface tissues actually to contract and reduce lubrication.

Tannins

Tannins tend to get some bad press because they are often confused with tannic acid.  However, tannic acid is derived from oak leaves and is used for tanning leather!  When I was young, I remember well the threats from Dad that I would “get a good tannin if I misbehaved.”   I guess this is the source of the phrase? In other words, and to set the record straight, I do not have a leathery bottom now.  The threat served its purpose, and I am always a good girl!

The Camellia sinensis tannins found in loose leaf tea are responsible for the wonderful flavor and color in tea.  After that, a little astringency is nice, giving your drink some body and briskness (I love that word!) and cleansing your palate after eating. That’s why a cuppa always tastes so good after dinner.  You will find tannins very evident in green tea and especially black tea if steeped too long.

I will let you on to a little secret, though you may already know about if you drink your tea like the Brits.  If you add milk to the tea, the tannins attack the milk’s proteins rather than those in your mouth, and you have a less astringent taste.

Last but not least, Tannins are said to keep bad bacteria out of your mouth and help impede dental cavities.  In conclusion, celebrate Hot Tea Month and make your Dentist happy by drinking lots of tea!

Cheers,
the TeaLady

Hot Tea Month

Hot Tea Month

Happy New Year and Happy Hot Tea Month!

January is National Hot Tea Month and also the height of the “cold and flu season.” So what can you do to help prevent coming down with the cold and flu?

Drinking hot tea is sure to help you stay healthy.

Research

There is plenty of research that indicates that theanine, an ingredient found naturally in tea, supports the immune system. A cup of tea contains an average of 20- 25 mg of theanine, and drinking at least five cups per day will boost your natural resistance to infections.

Tea also contains flavonoids, which are naturally occurring compounds known for their antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, which scientists believe damage elements in the body and contribute to many chronic diseases.

There is also a herbal tea with great properties in the war against cold and flu: Zingibar officinale, the tart, knotty spice we know as ginger. The oils in ginger will create warmth in your body, help fight infection, and ease nasal and chest congestion. Ginger root makes a tea with nice clean notes and, of course, the familiar hot finish! Anti-inflammatory properties also make ginger a good sore throat remedy. A touch of honey or lemon makes an even more soothing tea when you are feeling unwell.

Why not go for a double dose of prevention and combine ginger with your favorite black tea or green tea such as Nilgiri or Pinhead Gunpowder. This is an invigorating infusion. I like to infuse the ginger root first (it needs at least 10 minutes of steeping) and then add to the prepared tea. If you live in a warmer climate like Florida (where we hardly notice it is winter!) and really do not want to drink hot tea, try serving this combo iced. It really is delicious.

Local Tea Company offers a wonderful dried ginger root from Thailand and an Organic Fair Trade Chamomile from Egypt.

Hot Tea Month

While drinking tea may not keep you from getting sick this season, it can certainly help your odds of staying healthy. So do something good for your body and enjoy a hot cuppa every day! Have a Happy Hot Tea month and stay well.

Cheers,
the TeaLady

The Tea for me?

The Tea for me?

“What is your favorite tea?” and then, “What is the best tea for me to drink?”

These are two questions I am asked often when sampling tea at the market or Selby Gardens. I find it extremely fascinating to explore and chat about people’s different tastes and enjoyment when drinking a cuppa—some thoughts to share on this often complex pastime of drinking tea.What is your favorite tea, a question we get asked a lot at Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Fl.

My usual answer to the first question, “What is the best tea for me to drink?” is quite simple, the tea that you like the best!

Green Tea

For me, Green Tea is simply the best tea because of the powerful health benefits associated with drinking green tea. The truth of the matter is that if you really don’t like green tea, the chances are that you will not drink a sufficient quantity of green tea to achieve the promised healthy enhancements.

Rooibos Tea

If you prefer a Rooibos tea, then you should drink it because you are certain to drink much more of it. And you will benefit from the high antioxidant levels and the unique combination of vitamins and minerals found in Aspalathus linearis. You may prefer a combination of botanical tea and herbals or, indeed, all herbals. Each tea offers unique health benefits and unique flavors, and only you can decide the one you like the best.

Now the second question, my favorite tea, has become quite complicated. I have many favorites and drink different teas at different times of the day.

Loose Leaf tea

As an Orthodox tea lover, I almost exclusively drink loose leaf tea. I love the taste of Camellia sinensis in all its wonderful forms and natural flavors. I do not need the addition of fruits, flowers, or added flavors to make tea more palatable or enjoyable because, to me, they mask the true flavor. And I want to taste the true flavor of loose leaf tea. Why only loose leaf tea? See Think Out of the Bag.

That does not mean that I will not drink or appreciate a finely blended tea with quality ingredients such as our Goji Green or Earl Grey (thanks for snapping the fab pix, Alexis Z), both perfect for afternoon tea. Also, see my post on Early Grey. Are you Spellbound?

I am now much more sensitive to caffeine and find I must stop drinking true tea around 5.30 pm; otherwise, I find myself enjoying my tea all night long!

This has meant a shift to herbals for that time frame. Like Rooibos, Naturally, caffeine free Organic Honeybush fits that niche perfectly for me because of its soothing and calming qualities.

Since I have been sampling tea to so many tea lovers each week, I realized that no two people are alike regarding their taste in tea. Selby Select is by far our best selling tea, and people absolutely love it. However, some people do not care for these amazing Rooibos’ flavor, no matter how high praise.

MY POINT IS? There is a favorite tea out there for everybody. There is no good excuse for not drinking tea. As I have said before, please find what you like and drink lots of it.

Cheers,
The Tea Team