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5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea

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…

A script of Thank you used in the Sip Locally Tea Blog by Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida.

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.

When in doubt, go with a caffeine-free herbal, rooibos, or fruit tea. You can’t go wrong with our Organic Peppermint, Selby Select Rooibos, or Siesta Tea (fruit tea).

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!Close up picture of the Green Tea Sampler from Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida

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?

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 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.

4. Accessories

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!!!

5. Overthinking

Clever image of people hugging and regifting used by Local Tea Company in their Sip Locally Tea Blog about giving the Gift of Tea.Most important is not to overthink your gift. The person you are gifting will appreciate the gesture you are making.  Remember, it’s the thought that counts.

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.

    1. Organic Sarasotan Breakfast Blend (Loose-leaf)
    2. Organic Earl Grey (Sachets)
    3. Island Mango Black (Loose-Leaf) … Cochin Masala Chai would have worked here as well.
    4. Organic Sencha Green Tea (Loose-Leaf)
    5. Goji Green (Sachets)
    6. Mote Beach Tea (Sachets)
    7. Selby Select Rooibos (Sachets)
    8. Organic Peppermint (Loose-Leaf) … Organic Egyptian Chamomile was considered!
    9.  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.

More about Mote

More about Mote Beach Tea

Yes, Mote Beach Tea is a delicious caffeine-free herbal fruit infusion.  One of our bestselling teas.

As a hot tea, you get a bit of tropical sweetness that can transport you to a hammock near the sea.  As an iced tea, Mote is both incredibly refreshing and wonderfully healthy.  No sugar added, powerfully hydrating, and with hibiscus being one of the ingredients, the tea is packed with vitamins and minerals.  And the red color is gorgeous.  You can learn more about Mote Beach tea from an earlier post here.

Mote Beach Tea is an herbal fruit infusion from Local Tea Company in Sarasota, florida and celebrates Mote Marine Laboratory

I want to share some details very dear to my heart about Mote Marine Laboratory.  You may know or suspect that we contribute a portion of sales of Mote Beach Tea as a charitable donation back to Mote.  Each quarter, I send a report detailing each of the forms we sell the tea in; Biodegradeable sachets, loose-leaf and 1 gallon Ice Tea bullets, and our two channels, online purchases, and sales to our Serving Partners.

Along with this report, I send a check.  And every quarter, about a week later, I get a letter from Mote thanking me for the donation and letting me know how much they appreciate our partnership.  I also get a sticker, the round blue logo with a shark in the middle.  I love getting those stickers, I love getting those letters, and I love working with Mote.  To a person, Mote is a group of the highest quality people, all passionate and committed to the world undersea. Read More

Cuppa Tea in SRQ #8 – The Overton Rosemary District Sarasota

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Cuppa Tea at The Overton

For this episode of “Cuppa Tea in SRQ,” now available from our YouTube Channel, we visit The Overton in the Rosemary District of Sarasota to chat with owner Christian Hershman.

When we visited this week, the MTV reality show “Siesta Key” was wrapping up filming. And, per usual, The Overton had a buzz about it. The Overton is Americano, fast-casual at its finest. Christian is a groundbreaker, and The Overton does it again.

The food is “On Trend” and eclectic, but more important, Delicious!!! They do things the Overton Way from the ‘Avo Toast,’ thick-cut bacon, and porridge, along with many other brekkie favorites.

For later in the day, The Roadside Burger is probably the most popular with fresh ground beef by the Butcher Block. The Fries are available in beef tallow or olive oil, and the list goes on…

Also, The Overton makes two styles of cold-brewed iced teas, a Nitro and a Sparkling.  The Nitro is frothy with a thick foam.  The Sparkling is a bit bubbly but not overwhelming.  Try them and let us know which one you like better!

 

For each episode of ‘Cuppa Tea in SRQ,’ we do a ‘Video Visit’ with one of our Serving Partners.  It’s short, it’s light and above all, tries to be funny.

Please subscribe and after that, let us know what you think.

Cheers,

Episode #8 The Overton in the Rosemary District Sarasota

The Overton Logo

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

High Tea or Afternoon Tea?

High Tea or Afternoon Tea?

Our sister company, Local Catering, has seen an increased interest in tea parties at Selby Gardens.  There was an intimate wedding last month.  I hear the term “High Tea” used as a reference, when, in fact, “Afternoon Tea” is a more accurate description.

Tea Party

Tea Service

I will attempt to explain the differences between “High Tea” and “Afternoon Tea.”   I will share a bit of history on how these very different meals got their specific titles.

“High Tea” does not refer to fancy sandwiches and small cakes served with elegant table settings.  Rather, a meal served in working-class households as the main meal of the day, usually early evening.

Similarly, at the height of Victorian times, lower and middle-class families could only afford one meal per day.  Served at the end of the working day, the meal typically consisted of bread and cheese, potatoes, vegetables, maybe cold meat and pickles, for the more affluent, fish.  Black tea would be served along with the food. This is the meal most families would now refer to as dinner.

Tea

For instance, growing up, this was the main meal at the house and was called “tea.”  Today, I still refer to our evening meal as tea.  Often asking myself, “What are we having for tea today?” As I am more sensitive to caffeine, we will drink Rooibos or Honeybush or other herbal tea.

Why is this meal known as “High Tea”?  Above all, the meal is served on a dining table, in contrast to the much lower table on which “Afternoon Tea” is served.

Anna, Duchess of Bedford

Anna, Duchess of Bedford

Credit goes to Anna, Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861) for creating “Afternoon Tea.” The evening meal was often served after 8 pm, and the Duchess would get a ‘sinking feeling’ (low blood sugar levels associated with hunger!) in the afternoon hours.  She instructed her staff at Belvoir Castle to make up small sandwiches and cakes.  Anna invited friends for tea and conversation. The meal was served on lower tables in the drawing-room, allowing for intimate conversation. The tradition of “Afternoon Tea” is still prevalent.

There are many variations of “Afternoon Tea” with small sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream.  Typically, a huge variety of teas are available.  “Tea” can be a sophisticated, dressy, and special occasion or a simple, casual, and relaxed meal at the end of the day.

In conclusion, whichever “Tea” you choose, the idea remains a wonderful way to spend quality time with friends or loved ones, enjoying some food and conversation. We should all do this more often!

Cheers,
The TeaLady

Cami to Chamomile

Cami to Chamomile

Someone asked me about Chamomile tea.  This herbal blend is not one of my favorite teas; however, I wanted to find out why it is such a popular beverage.

Well, I found some information that has really piqued my interest.  I might even be contemplating adding it to the pot!

The Chamomile plant (Matricaria recutita) is native to Europe, North Africa, and the Mediterranean region.  I found a long history of use for this mild botanical.  Most interesting, it’s safe to use for long periods of time without any adverse effects.  Be sure to consult your doctor.

Close up picture of Organic Egyptian Chamomile from Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida

Science Daily cites a study where researchers found over a 2 week period; chamomile tea drinkers experienced increased anti-bacterial activity in their urine.  In simple terms, this means that chamomile can boost your immune system and fight illness.  The study also found an increase in amino acids helping to alleviate muscle spasms and relax nerves.

Chamomile can help people suffering from stress, spasms, and cramps.  Others found relief from intestinal discomfort and the reduction of gas.  Therefore, drink chamomile tea after meals to alleviate these symptoms.

Will I convert to drink Chamomile tea?  Perhaps, now that I know more about this lovely herbal tea.

The Tea Lady