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Celebrating Sarasota

Celebrating Sarasota

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.

Celebrating Sarasota

Here are the details, along with slogans.  We laughed at writing them.  The overall idea is – Sarasota, That’s My Cuppa Tea.

Selby Gardens

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.”

Ringling Museum

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 Aquarium

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.

md

Multi-Steeping

Multi-Steeping

We have broken down the details of brewing a fine cuppa with our post “Infusion Confusion” now, let’s put the record straight on ‘Multi Steeping’ your tea.

Steep Loose Leaf tea multiple times, we call if Multi-Steeping at Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida

We are talking about loose leaf tea rather than tea bags designed for one use only. See “Think Out of the Bag” post. Depending on the type and quality of loose tea, you should expect to make several steeps or infusions.

Loose Leaf Tea

Follow your usual procedure to make the first cup of tea. If your preference is a strong tea, I suggest increasing the amount of tea rather than the time you allow the tea to infuse. Make only the amount you require or decant into another pot to preserve your leaves and stop them from over infusing or tasting astringent.

This is an important step. It’s not the fault of the leaves as they carry on doing what YOU put them there to do!

Add more water to start the second infusion, releasing another round of flavor. Allow more time; I usually double my original infusion time. You may enjoy this cup more than the first; it has a roundness or smoothness, most pleasing.

At Local Tea Company, we add the first and second infusion together, making what we believe is the perfect cuppa. We call this multifusion!

Steep Again

Go ahead and infuse your leaves once again. You can continue this process until the leaves offer you no more surprises. If you are infusing a rolled leaf, you will certainly be rewarded with many infusions, a cut leaf not so many. Our oolongs offer at least 4 steeps, and my personal favorite for beautiful multifusion flavors is Goji Green.

Multi-steeping is also one reason we love using tea makers with pressure release bottoms to brew loose leaf tea. The lid keeps the leaves moist and fresh if you are away from your tea-making duties. You can also place the tea maker in the refrigerator if not using till later in the day or even the next day.

Experiment, play around with each tea. After the first steep, you will notice it is hard to overstep the tea, and you should not experience any astringency. This is one of the reasons some people prefer the second or third steeps to the first. And remember, it is suggested that oolongs are washed, basically discarding the short first steep or rinse. If you read our “Oooolongs” post, you will note that I drink this batch and love it!!

Enjoy multi infusions as you drink loose leaf tea, and keep in mind the great value loose leaf tea offers long after a tea bag is discarded.

Cheers,
the tea lady

Think out of the Bag

Think out of the Bag

You may have noticed our new mantra, “THINK OUT OF THE BAG.” We have tried it on for a few weeks and think it may be time to provide some details about what we are trying to do at Local Tea Company.

During the course of a typical week, we sample teas to many visitors at Selby Gardens and the Downtown Farmer’s Market here in Sarasota. We talk tea and find many tea drinkers thrilled to engage us with their favorite tea tales. Yes, we love our job.

Basking in the glow of loose leaf teas from Local Tea Company in Sarasota Floridaour teas

It comes as no surprise that many people use teabags. But shocking is how many people have never tasted loose leaf tea. Sad to think so many people are missing out on the wonderfully unique experience of loose leaf tea.

And so, “THINK OUT OF THE BAG” our campaign to encourage people to choose loose leaf tea in place of tea in tired old bags. The subheading is, “Loose leaf tea is fresher, hipper, and just darn better for you.” We intend to convert teabag users to loose leaf tea drinkers through tasting, educating, and advocating loose leaf tea one sip at a time.

There are several reasons to choose loose leaf over tea bag tea, and we offer them here. If you, our fellow tea lovers, have other reasons we failed to mention, please share…

TASTE

There is absolutely no comparison. Most bag tea is the lowest tea grade (dust or fannings) that comes out of the production area. There are some exceptions, but generally, the tea is very small particles and holds little flavor. Every step in the processing of loose leaf tea is designed to enhance the flavor and taste.

QUALITY

There are also some exceptions, and just because you buy loose leaf tea does not mean it will be of excellent quality. We and all of our fellow tea enthusiasts search for teas with exceptional freshness, quality, and taste, and you should too. We call this our “tea journey.” Loose leaf tea allows you to examine, smell, listen, and sample for maximum quality.

VALUE

Despite what you may assume when first exploring the loose versus teabag conundrum, loose is more economical. Teabags are created for one-time use! Nearly all loose leaf tea varieties should be steeped at least twice, and some loose leaf teas can be steeped many more times. Work out the math, and you will be surprised how little loose-leaf costs you per cup.

SOCIAL

Loose leaf tea is perfect for brewing a pot of tea to share with others, the starting point for a meaningful conversation. Offering a cup of properly steeped loose leaf tea is a wonderfully kind gesture, hard for anyone to refuse.

ECO FRIENDLY

Just think how much packaging and bits of string you would save!

HEALTH BENEFITS

Whilst you may still gain some health benefits from tea bags, you will gain many more from loose leaf tea. My theory is that you will like the taste better and want to DRINK MORE, giving yourself the gift of good health.

Lastly, and for us, one of the most important reasons to drink loose leaf tea is the sheer enjoyment it brings into your life. Brewing a pot of tea for one is relaxing and contemplative, watching such majesty. Sharing a pot of tea with a friend is a nod to a more civilised era. The leaves gracefully dance in your pot and tantalize your taste buds with their fresh and fragrant bouquet.

Make time in your life for loose leaf tea and join Local Tea Company in helping all tea lovers to “THINK OUT OF THE BAG.”

Cheers,
the tea lady

Infusion Confusion

Infusion Confusion

I like the way this sounds, so I am going to blab about brewing. So many visitors to the CarriageHouse Tea Room at Selby Gardens are confused about how to brew tea. I hope this helps with Infusion Confusion.

Tea Tools

Let’s start with the Kettle, used only to heat water. There are some great models on the market which switch off when the boiling point is reached. There is even one with a thermometer to catch the water before the boiling point is reached.  Great for making green or white tea.

A Teapot is a vessel in which the tea is made. You may brew directly in a cup or mug, but I love my teapots. I always warm the pot with boiling water before adding the tea.  After I pour out the heating water, I add the tea to the wet pot.  After a minute or so, I inhale deeply. As the leaves start to open, the aroma from these warm environs is fantastic and hints at the pleasure soon to come.

Use a teaspoon for each cup of tea you want to prepare. My mum used to say, “and one for the pot,” and my husband and I still always add an extra teaspoon of tea when we brew a pot.  A teaspoon is different for each kind of tea, as teas come in many shapes and sizes.  Not to fret; you will soon get accustomed to the amount of tea you prefer as you brew more tea.  Experiment, though it is not an exact science, have fun.

Tea

Steep your tea for the recommended time.  White and green teas are 2 to 3 minutes.  Black tea is 4 to 6 minutes.  Herbals and tisanes are 8 to 10 minutes.  Above all, personal preference is the rule.  While I use a timer in the tasting room to bring garden visitors the perfect taste, at home, I just look at the color of the liquor and guess!

Many teapots have Infusers, mesh baskets to hold the loose tea.  Other pots have Strainers to keep the leaves in the pot and out of your cup.  I like to let the leaves move around in the pot, and with glass pots, it can be quite a show.

Loose leaf tea holds a lot of flavors, and I always recommend multiple steeping. Add more boiling water to the leaves and double the steeping time. Your second cuppa will not be as strong as your first, but I cannot bear the thought of throwing away tea leaves with even a bit of flavor. If you don’t plan to drink multiple cups, put the teapot in your fridge, and enjoy the tea over ice.

This afternoon I am brewing my favorite Oolong and will infuse the leaves at least four times before the leaves are laid to rest in my garden, but that’s another posting.

Sit back and enjoy the perfect cup of tea. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. I hope this helps.

Cheers,
The tea lady