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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

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