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…
1. Caffeine or Herbal (caffeine-free)
Which tea has the most caffeine, or what tea has the most caffeine? We hear that all the time. 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.
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!
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?
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.
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!!!
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.
- Organic Sarasotan Breakfast Blend (Loose-leaf)
- Organic Earl Grey (Sachets)
- Island Mango Black (Loose-Leaf) … Cochin Masala Chai would have worked here as well.
- Organic Sencha Green Tea (Loose-Leaf)
- Goji Green (Sachets)
- Mote Beach Tea (Sachets)
- Selby Select Rooibos (Sachets)
- Organic Peppermint (Loose-Leaf) … Organic Egyptian Chamomile was considered!
- 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.
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!)
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
What tea has the most caffeine? Or, which tea has the most caffeine? 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.
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!!
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.
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.’
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
More Bertha Palmer
Bertha Honore Palmer. I hope you may already have taken advantage of the discount being offered this month on Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea at our redesigned web site, Local Tea Co. If not, perhaps I can convince you otherwise by sharing a few details of Bertha’s tea ingredients.
I love the taste of the herbs, perfectly blended with Rooibos tea. But until I really researched them all that, I realized what an amazing combination and marriage they are.
(Foeniculum vulgare) is a member of the carrot family. The plant is tall and statuesque (Bertha!) with large glossy stems and light, feathery leaves. It blooms small yellow flowers that yield greenish-brown seeds with a licorice flavor. Fennel is renowned for digestive disorders since it stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes, calms the digestive tract, prevents spasms, and improves the absorption of nutrients. That is just for starters! Some other benefits are fluid retention, gum disorders, diuretic properties, which help fight urinary tract infections, and strength. It contains calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, selenium, and Vitamins A, C, and E.
(Glycyrrhiza glabra) A woody perennial which has a bright green stem and dark green oval leaves. The flowers are shaped like peas. The big taproot with long branch roots can spread to 3 feet. Licorice is a tonic boost for the adrenal glands. It produces our ‘fight or flight’ hormones to help cope with stress. Glycyrrhizin has anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory value, so it eases and soothes the respiratory tract and arthritic pain. Licorice also helps in the stomach department, soothing indigestion and reducing acid secretions. It contains Iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, lecithin, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.
Lippia citriodora) is an aromatic shrub with pale green leaves and pale purple flowers. It eases spasms, settles the stomach, fights indigestion and flatulence, reduces fevers, and is a stimulant for the skin. Lemon Verbena is excellent for flavor and synergy.
(Cinnamon cassia) is a warm spice with a sweet, calming nature good for colds and chills, but antiseptic abilities will also help fight bacteria, viruses, fungal, and yeast infections. This is a powerful ingredient to have in any blend.
(Mentha piperita) There are more than 210 species of this aromatic plant, which will invigorate with one cut leaf. Menthol has an anesthetic effect on the stomach’s nerve endings, helping with nausea, seasickness, and pains in the abdomen. Peppermint will calm you all over!
All these beautiful herbs are blended with Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis), which is also an anti-spasmodic (and used in South Africa to soothe colic in children), along with essential daily minerals and vitamins too.
At Local Tea Company, we believe Rooibos is a cure to all ailments and feel that this formidable woman, Bertha Honore Palmer, would have been a huge fan of this perfectly blended, soothing tea.
Take a break and try some Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea and check out our Facebook page for more updated details of our Local Tea Journey activities. Here is a post about Five Reasons you will Love Rooibos Tea.
Cochin Masala Chai
January is National Hot Tea Month, and all over the country, we are experiencing some chilly weather, even here in Florida. As everyone is much more appreciative of the benefits of drinking a nice hot cuppa, I can think of no better way to celebrate hot tea month than drinking the hottest of teas, Masala Chai. Here is a post Time of the Year 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 variations of preparation today (some not too good either!), there are four components that remain true to chai tea’s original idea.
- Strong black tea, usually Assam, but can be Ceylon. The loose leaf tea is strong, so spices and sweeteners do not overpower the flavor.
- 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.
- Milk, usually whole milk for richness, but alternatives like Soy can be used. 1/4 to 1/2 parts are required.
- 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, licorices root, almond, and saffron.
Cochin Masala Chai
At Local Tea Company, we offer an outstanding Cochin Masala Chai, authentic and gives a 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 and have been sampling our chai in the Tea Room at Selby Gardens, and probably one of these Saturdays at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market. Go ahead and try the 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 Hot Tea month!
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.
We completed our collection of teas celebrating the crown jewels of Sarasota. Check out our Celebrating Sarasota Collection of Teas. The line up includes Selby Select, Mable’s Rose Rooibos Tea, Mote Beach Tea, and Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea. >> We have since replaced the Mote with Siesta Tea.
All four teas are naturally caffeine-free, packed in distinctively colored resealable bags to maximize freshness, and most importantly, they are DELICIOUS. Here is a post about Five Reasons you will Love Rooibos Tea.
Here are the details, along with slogans. We laughed at writing them. The overall idea is – Sarasota, That’s My Cuppa Tea.
Selby Select – Juicy orange peels and yogurt pieces blended with rooibos for a dreamsicle finish. Created to honor Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, a tropical oasis of orchids and other epiphytes. “Selby Select, because you can’t steep an orchid.”
Mable’s Rose Rooibos Tea – Rose petals and cherry blossoms infused in rooibos bursting with flavor. Mable Ringling created her beloved rose garden before starting on Ca d’Zan, the one of a kind estate at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. We pay tribute with this tea to this mysterious woman. “Mable’s Rose Rooibos Tea, if you liked John’s house, you’ll love Mable’s tea.”
Mote Beach Tea – an exotic mix of fruits and herbs including rosehips, apple, hibiscus, pineapple, and coconut for a tropical infusion. Created in honor of the research conducted at the Mote Marine Laboratory. “Mote Beach Tea, so delicious you’ll be jumping with our dolphins.”
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea – a rooibos with red and black currants for an amethyst inspired brew. This season marks the 40th year of fabulous performances at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, our gem by the bay. “Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea is one hot act that’s also great iced.”
At Local Tea Company, our motto is ‘Sip Locally.’ We are committed to three core principles; promoting local businesses, protecting local environments, and celebrating local treasures. In conclusion, visit Local Coffee + Tea at Siesta Key Village, Selby Gardens, and every Saturday at the Downtown Farmer’s Market in Sarasota.
Support your local treasures and celebrate Sarasota, one cup at a time.
Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea
On Wednesday evening, the lineup of this season’s performers was announced. In addition to a signature dessert by Michael’s On East and our stunning Rooibos blend with black and red currants. Tony Bennett is the big star headlining the 40th Anniversary party on January 5th.
Local Tea Company samples and sells this tea at performances this season. We will serve the caffeine-free tea at selected events for sponsors and patrons. This tea is available at our shops in Siesta Key Village and Selby Gardens, on Saturday mornings at the Downtown Farmer’s Market, and online at www.LocalTeaCo.com
The Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea is the second in our “Celebrating Sarasota” series. The other tea is also a rooibos, our best selling Selby Select and honors Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Here is a post about Five Reasons you will Love Rooibos Tea.
The response to the iced version is very positive. However, it’s hard to compete with cold pinot grigio on a gorgeous summer evening at the bayfront. Special thanks to Julia Mays for spreading the word all evening long. In conclusion, thanks to the entire team at the Van Wezel, who quickly put the details together.