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
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?
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.”
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.
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.
- 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!
Who was Earl Grey?
This week one of our glorious customers ordered some Garden Grey Black Tea. This is a tea we blend ourselves with organic lavender grown in the wilds of Tibet. What an aroma! While this is not one of our more popular teas, it did get me thinking about Earl Grey in general.
Most tea lovers are familiar with this black tea. One whiff of this tea reveals the distinctive aroma on the nose and in the cup. This is a very traditional black tea with the addition of oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange, a very fragrant citrus fruit.
What about the man behind the tea?
Charles Grey (1764-1845) descended from a long-established Northumbrian family seated at Howick Hall. Educated at Eton, Trinity College, and Cambridge. He became the 2nd Earl of Grey and was a politician in the Whig party (Democrats), and became Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 22! His first parliamentary address as PM was in 1787 and concerned a recent free trade agreement made with France. He was involved in four years of political reform and the author of the Reform Bill of 1832 (which saw the reform of the House of Commons). Grey had an enormous impact on the development of democracy in Britain, abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire in 1833.
The Whig historian T.B. Macauly wrote in 1841,
‘At an age when most of those who distinguish themselves in life are still contending for prizes and fellowships at college, he had won for himself a conspicuous place in Parliament. No advantage of fortune or connection was wanting that could set off to the height his splendid talents and his unblemished honour.’
Outside of his political achievements Earl Grey enjoyed life! He was said to be tall, slim, and strikingly handsome, had 10 sons and 6 daughters with his wife. He also fathered at least one illegitimate child! Earl Grey enjoyed gallivanting around the country, breeding dogs, playing cribbage, and also found time to have an affair with the Duchess of Devonshire.
Earl Grey the Tea
There are several tales as to how the tea was named after such a noble and colorful figure! According to the most popular legend, a grateful Chinese Mandarin is partially responsible. His son was rescued from drowning by one of the Earl’s men. So, the Mandarin first presented the blend to the Earl in 1803. This legend seems to have little basis in truth! The Earl apparently did not set foot in China and the use of bergamot to scent tea was then unknown in China. Jackson’s of Piccadilly claim they were the originators of the recipe, which was given to them by the Earl himself.
While the truth is not known, like the very popular Earl himself, this tea is one of the most well known flavored teas in the world. Many people who I chat with over the years claim not to care for the very distinct flavor of Earl Grey. However, I have found by offering samples of Earl Grey, that most people have never experienced a good quality, loose leaf tea. The quality of both the tea and the bergamot is paramount! Any deviation can result in an unpleasant tea with a residual taste on your palate.
When brewing a hot cuppa Earl Grey, we infuse for only 2 minutes or so. We then enjoy multiple infusions from the same leaves. It is the perfect accompaniment to tea sandwiches and cakes (Mmmm!) but just drinking alone is fine too. ‘Gallivant’ with your Earl, and find your favorite way to enjoy. Very different from Rooibos.
Along with the Garden Grey, we offer two versions of Earl Grey Black tea. One is our premium blend Earl Grey and we also offer an Organic Earl Grey. Our Organic Earl Grey is the tea we offer in the silk tea sachets and can be found served from nearly all of our serving partners.
You may be surprised to find you like Earl Grey tea, now that you know a bit about the man behind the tea.
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.’
Honeybush Tea or Cyclopia intermedia is indigenous to the cape of South Africa. I like to think of it as a sort of cousin to Rooibos!
Like Rooibos, we make an herbal tea with a pleasant, mildly sweet taste. Honeybush Tea is very popular at the Local Tea Company Carriagehouse at Selby Gardens. We offer 2 varieties; Organic Honeybush and Chocolate Honeybush. You should try both, especially if you are looking for a caffeine-free substitute for ‘true tea’ (Camellia sinensis). For instance, I drink honeybush as a complement to my tea drinking habits!
Like most teas, honeybush history can be traced back to Dutch and British trading. Established in 1652, Cape Town was a supply base for the Dutch East India Company. They traded in Indian tea and Southeast Asian spices.
Botanists began cataloging the Cape region’s rich flora, and the honeybush plant was noted in botanical literature. The native Khoisan or Bushmen treated coughs and other upper respiratory symptoms associated with infections with honeybush tea.
The honeybush plant is a shrub of the Fabaceae family and grows in the fynbos botanical zone. Bound by mountains, this narrow region is along the coast. Fynbos is Dutch for ‘fine-leaved plants’ and is characterized by woody plants with small, leathery leaves. The honeybush plant is easily recognized from the sweetly scented, bright yellow flowers and needle-like leaves.
Besides great taste, a sort of woodsy, cedar-like flavor, Honeybush has some extraordinary health benefits. Pinitol is a modified sugar present in the leaves of some legume plants. This is an expectorant and helps with coughs and phlegm. Pinitol can also lower blood sugar levels and may increase the effects of insulin.
Honeybush is under consideration as a treatment for diabetes! It would be good to have something so natural to help with such a prevalent disease. I have read Pinitol helps with acid reflux. We have a few customers who have reported relief drinking honeybush. The flavones and isoflavones of honeybush are similar to those in soy, another leguminous plant. And used to treat menopausal symptoms. That covers quite a lot of the population who should be drinking this tea!
Prepare Honeybush tea like you prepare all other teas or herbal infusions. Use boiling water and infuse for as long as you want, though at least several minutes. The lack of caffeine makes honeybush especially suited for nighttime consumption. The tea has a reputation as a calming beverage. However, I love drinking honeybush at Local Tea Company, too! The tannin content is very low, so that you will find honeybush, a mild, soft, and very drinkable tea.
And did I mention there is a chocolate version? Chocoholics love our Chocolate Honeybush. Please do not expect a cup of hot chocolate. Rather a delicate aroma of chocolate with a definite caramel aftertaste along with a bit of floral balance from the added rose petals. Desert without the calories, SPECTACULAR!
Some customers drink both versions of honeybush with milk. I find a bit of local honey (from the Sarasota Farmer’s Market) brings out a natural sweetness in Organic Honeybush, and when iced is very thirst-quenching. The Chocolate Honeybush seems to be more popular as a hot drink.
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!
Tea Rubbed Pulled Pork
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about a video? Check this one out titled, “The Making of Tea Rubbed Pulled Pork.”
This Fall, Selby Botanical Gardens hosted the Garden Music Series under the banyans. Our pulled pork sandwich may have stolen the show, selling out each week as we doubled the batch. We may not wait until the Spring Music Series, so visit Selby Gardens and ask for the next chance to try this unique blend of tea and porcine.
Some interesting tales about Lapsang Souchong can be found on our product page. We have also tried this smoky tea iced with very positive results. This is not an everyday tea, but on a chilly afternoon with a good book and a comfy chair near a fireplace, Lapsang Souchong is your tea.
Lapsang Souchong Black Loose Leaf Tea from the Fujian Province in China. This tea is a large, bold, full-bodied whole leaf with a smoky flavor from drying over pinewood fires.
After that, this special smoked black tea from Fujian Province in China has a very distinctive flavor and aroma. The term “souchong” means sub-variety. This is a sub-variety of black tea from the Wuyi Mountains, where thick pine forests and heavy mists provide ideal environments for growing top-quality tea.
In conclusion, legend claims that the smoking process was discovered by accident. An army unit (during the Qing dynasty!) camped in a tea factory filled with leaves waiting to be processed. When the workers returned, it was too late to follow the usual procedures. So, they dried the leaves over open pinewood fires to hasten the process and created the sensational tea we know as Lapsang.
Healthy Living Tea
I subscribe to a healthy living magazine each month and look forward to reading wellness articles. Over recent months, I have noticed how the features of tea and the benefits of drinking tea have started to increase, which is great to see. This month, two Local Tea Company favorite herbs mentioned, which prompted me to share a bot more detail about both here.
The first is Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa), which makes an amazing iced tea with lovely red color and unique, bright, tart taste. Research tells us that this tea is said to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin C but is best know for the cooling effect drinking this tea has on your body.
Imagine that, a natural body refrigerant which came in very handy this summer at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market! It is perfect when garnished with a sprig of fresh mint. I have written a lot about Hibiscus in this blog, including last summer, but we have a picture!!
Boil four cups of water and infuse with ½ cup of leaves. Leave to infuse for at least 10 minutes. If you leave for longer, the liquor becomes darker and more flavorful. Leave to cool before pouring over ice. (Be careful when working with Hibiscus as it may stain).
The second herb is Organic Egyptian Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), known for its gentle caressing nature. We offer a Fair Trade Chamomile grown in the Nile River Valley. I had written about Chamomile in an earlier post (Cami to Chamomile) when I was not a fan. I have really grown to not only appreciate but truly enjoy my “cami,” and I hope you do as well.
A warm tea of chamomile flowers is floral and rich. Chamomile calms, cools, and tranquilizes to help you fall asleep naturally. Not only can you drink as a tea, but you can also use it as a gentle spritzer on your skin or in your bath water as Chamomile relaxes tension in your muscles and softens the skin. For you blondes out there, Chamomile will highlight your hair when used as a rinse!
For the spritzer, use a tablespoon of dried flowers per 8 ounces of water. Cool before pouring into a spray bottle or soak a clean cloth in the liquor and use it as a cooling compress.
These are two beautiful tea treats for your body and soul. Stay well with Hibiscus and Chamomile. Healthy Living Tea
Tea and Relaxation
It seems that stress has become a major part of every day in all of our lives, and we have forgotten how to relax. Stress is also leading to more obesity, heart problems, and blood pressure, to name a few.
I have a niece visiting from England, and it is apparent even in the young, she is 15 years old! It may not manifest in the same way as in adults. However, never the less, they seem to HAVE TO fill their day with one thing after another and no longer know how to ‘live in and enjoy the moment’ or RELAX.
For me, there is no better way to help mind and body cope than to enjoy a cup of tea (or several in my case!). That is exactly what I am doing at this moment whilst said niece and husband visit Busch Gardens.
There are excellent reasons why tea has such good stress-relieving properties. All teas made from Camellia sinensis, black, oolong, green, and white tea contain a unique and special amino acid called L-Theanine. Researchers have found that L-Theanine appears to play a role in the formation of gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. This blocks the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, promoting a state of calm relaxation.
Here is how it works! L-Theanine enters your body through the bloodstream but will also trigger the alpha brain waves, relaxation brain waves. This gives us a sense of well-being and improved mood. This combines with the caffeine to release sustained energy, focus, and mental clarity. It was this amazing phenomenon that first attracted Buddhist monks to drinking the beverage thousands of years ago. They were able to remain alert but felt relaxed enough to meditate for very long periods of time.
L- Theanine’s chemical effect on our brain and body is not the only reason tea is one of the best-known remedies for relaxation. The whole process of preparing the water, warming the pot, the tantalizing aroma from the fresh leaves, the anticipation of the first sip, and the flavor in the mouth all relax our senses. Even if you are an iced tea drinker, you have involved those senses in preparing your tea. You may decide to enjoy your tea alone or share it with loved ones or friends.
Whichever tea or whatever way you choose to take your tea is not really important, take time to do it! Tea and Relaxation
Peach Paradise Tea
Let’s continue with our iced tea series and look at another very popular tisane here at Local Tea Company. The same format is used to break down the featured ingredients. I hope you will appreciate the delicious blend of flavors and the health benefits provided with Peach Paradise.
I hope you will enjoy finding out these details and stories.
A beautiful all-natural fruit blended Tisane or fruit infusion made from peach and apple pieces, hibiscus blossoms, elderberries, rosehip peel, passion fruit, and sunflower.
This tree is native to China but grown in the Mediterranean states as well as the USA. The three largest producers are California, South Carolina, and Georgia. The peach blossoms are highly prized in Chinese culture, and the fruit is symbolic of long life. Due to its delicious taste and soft texture in ancient China, ‘peach’ was also slang for ‘young bride.’ It has remained in many cultures a way to define pretty young women, peachy or peachy keen. Low in calories and a good source of healthy carbohydrates, the peach contains important nutrients, antioxidants, flavonoids, and carotenoids (good for eye health).
Containing anti-oxidants, flavonoids, and pectin, a natural fiber, Apples are the richest source. Recently, Apples have 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 pigment flavonoids that help fight disease.
The term ‘The Big Apple’ was coined by the touring jazz musicians of the 1930s. They used the slang expression ‘apple’ for any town or city; therefore, playing New York City was to play the big time.
The peel of citrus fruit is bitter and not very appetizing when raw. But, adds great taste and health benefits when dried and added to tea. The citrus peel contains vitamins, minerals, fiber, and powerful antioxidants. It belongs to a group of plant chemicals called flavonoids, which can lower LDL cholesterol levels.
A member of the mallow family, Hibiscus, brings a sweet mellow taste and harmony to this blend. Hibiscus is very popular to blend with other fruits and flowers because of the beautiful color of the infused sepals. It has a cooling effect on the body. Hibiscus is high in Vitamin C, also with calcium, niacin, riboflavin, and iron. In Folklore medicine, Hibiscus is said to reduce cholesterol and act as a mild diuretic.
Rose Hip Peel
From the Wild Dog Rose, which takes its name from its earliest use as a remedy for bites from ‘mad’ or ‘wild’ dogs. Estimated to be more than 10,000 cultivated roses, the medicinal species are natives of Europe. Rose hips are reddish colored coverings that grow around the real fruits for protection, and for this reason, they are often called “false fruits.” The nutrient value is as rich. Their color enhances the function of everything from your skin to your innermost being, containing an array of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.
Prepare Peach Paradise using one teaspoon per 8 oz of water. Fruit tisanes release quite a lot of flavor, so experiment until you find your personal preference. Use boiling water and an infusion time of up to 12 minutes. Infuse the tea longer for more depth of flavor and color. Add the spent bits to yogurt for a bit a flavor and texture.
Try blending with our Nilgiri black tea for delicious iced tea. Don’t forget if you are placing over ice, increasing the amount of tea, or reducing the amount of water. Add a slice of succulent peach to finish and enjoy!
Organic Red Berries
I just returned from a holiday in Bermuda (which was really fantastic!. The heat and humidity greeting me on arriving back in Florida were hard to believe! For those of you who are struggling with some high temps right now, and probably for the rest of summer here in Florida, let’s cool off with some refreshing iced tea!
When we talk of iced tea, most people immediately think of black tea, but some great herbals or tisanes make refreshing, healthy beverages for all the family. We have some favorites at Local Tea Company, and I would like to share them with you during the coming weeks.
Organic Red Berries
Organic Red Berries is an all-natural blended Tisane or fruit infusion made from hibiscus flowers, elderberries, bilberries, grapes, and citrus peel. This tea has a distinct refreshing berry flavor and bright cherry liquor, which is perfect iced. Let’s break down the list of ingredients and look at the benefits they can provide us.
A member of the mallow family, Hibiscus, brings a sweet mellow taste and harmony to this blend. Hibiscus has become very popular to blend with other fruits and flowers because of the beautiful color of the infused sepals. It has a cooling effect on the body and is high in Vitamin C, also having some calcium, niacin, riboflavin, and iron. In Folklore medicine, Hibiscus is said to reduce cholesterol and act as a mild diuretic.
This is a wonderful fruit that strengthens your respiratory tract. Elderberry helps to remove phlegm and mucous from the lungs and fights and reduces inflammation. A strong respiratory system is your best defense against allergic reactions in the future. Elderberry contains high amounts of Vitamin C, and A can be used as a gargle for throat and tonsil infections or soothing coughs and colds. I collected Elderberries from the hedgerows as they make superb wine, and in fact, hot elderberry wine is actually an old English cold remedy.
(Ribes nigrum or ‘black ribes’)
The berry of this shrub, which is mainly found in Northern/Central Europe and Asia, is used for the astringent flavor. It has very high antioxidant levels, especially Vitamin C. It also features a rare nutrient called GMA or gammo linoleic acid. This is the Omega 6 essential fatty acid.
This is a favorite flavor of mine. Black currant juice was a very popular cordial during my childhood. The bush thrived in the English climate and became a huge Vitamin C source during World War 2. Oranges were impossible to find. The popularity continued, and the sweet-tart taste is still enjoyed in jams, jellies, and desserts to this day.
Not as well known in the USA, this fruit was banned in early 1900 as the plant co-hosted a fungus attacking the pines. Therefore potentially threatening the logging industry. The Federal ban was lifted in 2003, and black currants are now making a comeback in NY, Vermont, Connecticut, and Oregon.
The peel of citrus fruit is bitter and not very appetizing when raw. But adds a great taste and health benefits when dried and added to tea. The citrus peel contains vitamins, minerals, fiber, and powerful antioxidants that belong to a group of plant chemicals called flavonoids. They have the potential to lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Rose Hip Peel
From the Wild Dog Rose, which takes its name from its earliest use as a remedy for bites from ‘mad’ or ‘wild’ dogs. Estimated to be more than 10,000 cultivated roses, the medicinal species are natives of Europe. The Rosehips are reddish colored coverings that grow around the real fruits for protection, and for this reason, they are often called “false fruits.” The nutrient value is as rich as their color. They enhance the function of everything from your skin to your innermost being, containing an array of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.
When preparing Organic Red Berries, use 1 teaspoon per 8oz serving. Heat the water until boiling and steep for anything up to 12 minutes. You may find that 3 minutes is as long as you require this tea to infuse. The longer the tea infuses, the darker and stronger the liquor will become. It will never have the bitterness you associate with over infused tea leaves; remember this is a Tisane. You can double the quantity of tea or half the water and pour over ice to serve iced.
At Local Tea Company, we serve this tea hot around the Christmas holidays. It is really is delicious with a cinnamon stick added too.
Organic Red Berries is naturally caffeine-free and suitable for all ages. This tea makes a great healthy, colorful drink for children and will make great ice pops too! Try adding seltzer water and a slice of lime for a different twist, Hibiscus Spritzer. Let me know if you have a special creation using this blend.
Stay cool AND healthy with this amazing tea.