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Selva Grill Tea Menu with Mote Beach Tea

Selva Grill will soon be opening their second location at the University Town Center, after nearly 20 years on Main Street in downtown Sarasota.  They opened in 2004. 

The new space will be larger with indoor and outdoor seating.  We have only seen pictures of the interior, a warm and inviting environment similar to the Main Street location.  The many favorite Peruvian-inspired dishes and craft cocktails will be offered at the new spot, along with their eclectic tea menu. Selva Grill logo opening a seconf location at University Town Center and serving Mote Bech Tea.

One change we are happy to report is the addition of Mote Beach Tea.  We are thrilled to share the fantastic news.   It seems like a good time to share a bit of the history between Local Tea Company and the Selva Grill not covered in our history.    And we are long overdue for a fresh Sip Locally Tea Journey blog post!

Selva Grill was our first wholesale client.  They helped Local Tea to start selling our loose leaf teas to restaurants and cafes in the Sarasota area.  

Siesta Key

It all started back in 2010 or maybe 2009 when a bright young woman came into our Siesta Key Shop (now the Bean Coffeehouse.)  She mentioned that she wanted to improve the tea experience where she worked.  I remember her telling me, “Just like in the kitchen, we are always trying to improve every aspect of the dining experience.”  She was a hostess at Selva Grill and a Tea Lover!

Her thought was that after an exceptional meal at one of the best restaurants in Sarasota, “why not offer quality loose leaf teas rather than common tea bags that anyone could find at Publix?”

She went on to say that guests order from an extensive wine list and then ports or sherries, but they did not have anything comparable for kids or those not drinking alcohol.  She believed that diners at Selva Grill expected a better tea experience.  Adding, “We want the last experience to be memorable, and if that is tea, it should be exceptional.”

Without any formal program in place, we discussed options for herbal and caffeinated teas.  We created a Tea Menu with a balanced selection to match the breadth of the Selva Grill menu.  The Tea Menu was printed and laminated at Blue Line and delivered a few days later.

And, “¡eso!” Local Tea Company had a wholesale customer.  There have been a few changes over the years as Selva Grill continues to evolve.    

Mote Beach Tea

Adding Mote Beach Tea to their Tea Menu is one example.  Especially since the new Mote Aquarium broke ground nearby at Nathan Benderson Park. Logo for Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, the inspiration for Mote Beach Tea from Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida.    And with every purchase of Mote Beach Tea, a portion is donated to the operating budget for Mote Laboratory and Aquarium.   

Our Mote Beach Tea is a beautiful caffeine-free tropical tea for those not familiar with this fabulous herbal tea.  Five ingredients blended to perfection include rosehips, hibiscus, apple, coconut, and pineapple. You can learn more about our partnership with Mote in the post More about Mote.

So, check out the NEW Selva Grill when it opens in May.  Be sure to linger over a fine cuppa tea.  And thank you for supporting all of our Serving Partners and the many local, independent restaurants in Sarasota. 

Logo for Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida

Tea to Ease your Mind and Body

Sarasota Magazine included Local Tea Company in a recent ’round up’ of things you can do to Ease your Mind and Body as part of their ‘Self Care’ series.

Logo for Sarasota Magazine in Sarasota Florida

The author, Heather Dunhill, picked our Bertha Palmer Rooibos and the category of Green Teas.  We suggest any of our green teas for the combined effect of calming alertness. She references Buddhist monks who drink tea all day long, striving to balance a relaxed, calm mind.

Here is a post about Green Tea Makes you Happier and a post about a research study on Green Tea fighting Covid.  More reasons to drink Green Tea in addition to a tea to ease your mind.

A tea to ease the mind and body, a close up image of Bertha Palmer Rooibos tea from Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida

Similarly, for Rooibos, we offer nine (9) varieties with a range of flavors.  Rooibos offers many health benefits and is caffeine-free so that it can be enjoyed at any time of your day.  Here is a recent post, Five  Reasons you will Love Rooibos, by Tim Agnew.  The article also tackles How to pronounce Rooibos.  Or, what is the proper pronunciation for Rooibos?  We say ROY – BOSS.

Other parts to the pieces include DogStreet Cookies from DogStreet Photo, a CBD Balm from the Skin and Body Bar,  Lavender bath salts from Blue Mercury, and a Weighted Blanket from Ravi.  With a Cuppa, a wonderful collection for your ‘Self Care’ Sunday or any day of the week.

Thank you, Sarasota Magazine and Heather Dunhill.

Bertha Palmer Rooibos tea picture from the side and very close by Local Tea Company
Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day with Tea

“That’s one of the things I look forward to about an evening like this.  Someone to drink tea with at the end of it.  For all I know, the whole point of civilization is to provide one with someone to drink tea with at the end of an evening”.

Aurora Greenway

Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  We hope you plan on drinking tea with someone this evening, Valentine’s Day with Tea!  At Local Tea Company, we have two exceptional teas with which we celebrate our loved ones – Sweet Sin Rooibos and Chocolate Honeybush.  Both are packed full of romantic flavors, and both are naturally caffeine-free herbal infusions.  Perfect for drinking in the evening.  You may recall an earlier Valentine’s Day post, “A Time for Tea,” that Glynis made a few years back.  What tea has the most caffeine?

Sweet Sin Rooibos

Sweet Sin is a South African Rooibos tea blended with raspberry and rose petals. Rooibos is becoming more and more popular as tea drinkers discover the unique taste, excellent health benefits, and versatility.

How to pronounce Rooibos?  Or, what is the proper pronunciation for Rooibos?  We say ROY – BOSS.

Image of Sweet Sin Rooibos tea from Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida

Sweet Sin is fantastic served as a hot tea but equally useful as an iced tea.  Maybe garnish with a rose today?  We have a previous post about Rooibos tea and a more recent guest post titled “5 reasons you will LOVE Rooibos Tea” if you want to refresh your memory on where this herb is grown, how it is produced, and the tea’s excellent health benefits.

If you have not yet read any of Alexander McCall Smith’s books about the No.1 Ladies Detective, then do look them up and enjoy tales of Mme Ramwotse solving cases whilst drinking Rooibos tea. I am sure she would drink this tea with her husband to celebrate Valentine’s day with Tea.  What tea has the most caffeine?

Chocolate Honeybush

Chocolate Honeybush is also from South Africa, and although Honeybush is a ‘bush’ tea, the plant is a different species. This tea is blended with rose petals, chocolate flakes, and caramel pieces.

Close up image of Chocolate Honeybush from Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida.Above all, this tea is perfect for ‘Chocoholics’ and ‘Romantaholics,’ and is very yummy served hot and very able to satisfy a sweet tooth without all the calories!  Not quite as healthy as the original Organic Honeybush, but Valentine’s Day is a good excuse to indulge.

Whatever you do today, wherever you are, I hope you have someone special to share tea with at the end of the day. Therefore, taking tea together is very civilized, especially with ‘love’ in the air. Enjoy.

Tea Newsletter #6 – Green Tea vs Covid 19

Green Tea v Covid

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Happy 2021 Tea Lovers

Tea always seems to be in the news, especially in the first part of the year.  After all, January is National Hot Tea Month, so we have been…drinking a lot of hot tea.  How about you?  What’s in your cuppa?

Green Tea v Covid

Also, in the news, Green Tea fights Covid?  Really??  A research study from North Carolina State University says maybe.   While you are waiting for your vaccination, why not put some green tea in a teapot?  For an added boost, matcha!  We wrote about the many benefits of Matcha powdered green tea here, and Glynis shared a recipe for Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream here.  What tea is good for a sore throat?

Places

Chef Tony at the grill in the Suncoast Cafe at the Venice Airport in a tea blog post from Local Tea Company.This is not news, but if you are ever near the Venice Airport, be sure to visit the SunCoast Cafe in the terminal.  Chef Tony braises his pork for 13 hours and then compiles the best Cuban sandwich in my world.  They serve our teas, but you really have to go for the Cuban with rice and beans.

The cafe is busy and always has reggae music playing in the open kitchen.  There is a Bob Marley quote on the grill hood, and people really do fly in from all over for lunch at the SunCoast Cafe.  You should too.

Tea Quotes

At the end of Dr. Doolittle, I found this quote and thought it was of special ‘tea’ interest.  The last line in the book reads…

“You know, there’s always something rather attractive in the bad weather in England-
when you’ve got a kitchen-fire to look forward to…
Four o’clock!
Come along-we’ll just in nice time for tea.”

Hugh Lofting

Books

While we are on quotes, I loved ‘Steal Like an Artist’ by Austin Kleon, filled with quotes and inspirations.  Here is one I liked from Salvatore Dali, and if you are ever near Tampa, be sure to visit The Dali Museum.

“Those who do not imitate anything produce nothing.”
Salvator Dali

Next on my list for 2021 is the Queen’s Gambit novella by Walter Tevis.
Tea Pairing – I suggest Roasted Mate; all of our yerba mates bring out the cleverness in me and gives me a boost in the afternoon.

Sip Locally Tea Blog

Green Tea Fights Covid? – Green Tea v Covid 19.  What tea is good for a sore throat?

Cremesh Coffee & Bakery – New Serving Partner in Bradenton

Green will Make you Happier (Guest Post by Tim Agnew)

Lights in Bloom at Selby Gardens 

Watching 

I did NOT know there was a remake of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ when I mentioned James Herriot’s book in my last Newsletter.  And, yes, I am enjoying the show very much!  The accent reminds me of another Yorkshire lass:):)  I’ll let Glynis pair a tea in the next newsletter.

Listening – Podcast

The podcast LBJ‘s War is a bit dry but a welcome escape.  The last trip I took before the Pandemic was to Austin, Texas.  An unexpected connection to Austin Kleon, who also lives in Austin!  Anyway, we visited the LBJ Presidential Library, my only visit to any Presidential library.  Very cool.
Tea Pairing – Something sweet, probably Sweet Sin Rooibos (also ideal for Valentine’s Day!) and probably iced tea or ice tea.

Listening – Music

I found Lloyd Cole on Twitter and have been listening to his Spotify Channel.  A blast from the past, I hadn’t really thought about him or The Commotions in many years. East Lansing’s most important musical duo, Kwi-J, introduced me to Lloyd Cole’s music in the ’80s.  Cole is now a golfer and maybe the next subscriber to GolfToons?  He sells his handwritten lyrics. I think?
Tea Pairing – I’m going with Pioneer Tea, a blend of citrus, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and sweetened with beetroot and carrot flakes.  Very unique, and so, also, a nod to Dali.

As always, your comments are welcomed, and thanks for your support.

Your Local Tea Team

New Order Confirmation Email from Local Tea Company

We are always trying to find new ways to stand out in a crowd at the Local Tea Company.  Our loose leaf teas speak for themselves, so the idea is to stand out with our customer service.  Hence, our new Confirmation Email from Local Tea Co.

If you have ever ordered from Local Tea Company, you will have unpacked your order, Your Glorious Tea Order, and found a little something extra.  Usually a tea we think you might enjoy, or in the case of our long-term customers, a bit added to the packet.

We add a full packet rather than a sampler for a few reasons; if you like it, you will want more than a few cups, and sometimes it takes more than a few cuppas to decide if you like a tea.  We call it a ‘gift’ and not a sample, and no reason to take shortcuts with a gift.

Dianne introduced me to the word Lagniappe, which I think means “a little surprise” in cajun.  But our gifts go back to the very first order we shipped in 2009.  Every order gets a little lagniappe to go with the handwritten note.

Yes, Michael does get a lot of grief about his handwriting.  More comments were shared when we had retail shops (The CarriageHouse Tea Room at Selby Gardens and our Tea Tent at the Downtown Sarasota Farmer’s Market).  The feedback is welcomed and deserved…his handwriting is horrible!!!  Michael insists on writing a note with every order and has since we started selling tea online.

Confirmation Email – Local Tea Co. Style

Another customer service element is the emails that go out to our customers when they order online.  We have had that same boring confirmation order until now.  With inspiration from Derek Sivers and CD Baby, we came up with our  Confirmation Email Local Tea Co.  I hope you enjoy our attempt at a bit of hyperbole!

 

We have a 4-ton gong that dates back to the Han Dynasty. There are older gongs, but few more beautiful.

Nearby hangs a carved wooden mallet about 4 feet long. One end is tightly wound using a soft fabric.

When your Glorious Tea Order was announced to our team, our Employee of the Day struck the gong once. All heads bowed for a moment of silence in your honor.

Then, the entire team leaped into action. Your Glorious Tea Order was sorted, packed, and sealed into custom packets with hand-painted labels meant to look like printed labels.

As the ink was drying, the team paused to brew a pot of the Glorious Tea you ordered. This is our last quality check, and Your Glorious Tea Order needed no adjustments.

Your Glorious Tea Order was then gently placed into a hand-cut package meant to look like a Priority Mail pouch from the US Postal Service.

We then walked single file from our Tea Lair to the post office. We first gave the postmaster a list of delivery instructions for Your Glorious Tea Order. Once all the details were reviewed and confirmed, then and only then did we release Your Glorious Tea Order.

Your Glorious Tea Order

 

Finally, we left the postmaster a wrapped gift to show our appreciation of his concern and care for Your Glorious Tea Order.

Exhausted but satisfied, we returned to our Tea Lair, where your name was stitched onto a banner that we now hang from our rafters.

Only our strict privacy policy keeps us from sending you a complete video of our activity. Even a picture might violate our rules. Please accept my apologies.

Yes, we are tired. We will now rest as we await your next Glorious Tea Order.

Thank you for supporting the Local Tea Company. I do hope you enjoyed our little story.

Respectfully,
Michael Duranko

5 Reasons Why You Will Love Rooibos Tea

This article by Timothy Agnew was posted to his Health & Wellness blog and reposted here with permission.  Love Rooibos Tea

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!)

Consumed in southern Africa for centuries, rooibos tea has a growing fan base and enormous health benefits to go along with the eclectic flavor. Also known as a red or bush tea, rooibos tea uses leaves from a shrub called aspalathus linearis, often grown on the western coast of South Africa. While it uses the “tea” moniker, The South African Rooibos Council considers rooibos an herb, not a true tea. But don’t let that dissuade you from trying this marvelous beverage.

Love Rooibos Tea

How to pronounce Rooibos?  Or, what is the proper pronunciation for Rooibos?  We say ROY – BOSS.
Like most tea, prepare rooibos tea by steeping the fermented leaves. In addition, the beauty of rooibos is the longer the steep, the more delicious the flavor in your cup (unlike black teas, which tend to get more bitter). Rooibos tea offers something for everyone. Let’s take a look at the health benefits of drinking this unique tea.  You will 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.

Teapotty!

Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company

Author unknown

Recently, we brought to your attention the Tea Cozy, and now we turn to the  TEAPOT!

Origins 

The teapot is a vessel for steeping loose tea leaves or herbal infusions.  Although the pot does not have as long a history as the leaf, its humble beginnings were also in China.

At first, tea was boiled in open pans.  Not until the Ming Dynasty did the idea of a covered pot became popular.  Those pots were small, and the tea was taken directly from the spout.  But they served their purpose well, keeping the flavor and allowing the steeping process to be repeated several times.  More about this later!

Towards the end of the 16th century, the Dutch started shipping cargoes of tea to Europe, and the teapot came along. The designs were mostly blue and white stoneware. Dutch potters started re-creating these designs, and by 1710, Germany began production in the Meissen factory, followed shortly after by production in France and England.

At that time in Colonial America, Boston became a center of silver production, which included the making of elaborate teapots. Two Dutch potters who settled in England established the pottery industry in Staffordshire, and it was some hundred years before they discovered the secret of making fine translucent pottery called porcelain. The teapot journey had begun!

In the eighteenth century, Josiah Spode is credited for creating the distinctive look of English China and famous names as Wedgewood, Worcester, Minton, and Derby.  All created such beautiful and elegant designs. Maybe you are lucky enough to have one in your collection!

Shapes and Sizes

Over the years, the size and shape of teapots have changed to suit tastes and fashions.  Now, of course, we can get any size or shape or material imaginable. From the finest china to stoneware to glass, basically, anything goes!  But which is the best style of the teapot?

I urge my customers to think carefully about their tea-drinking habits, as bigger is not necessarily better. The early Chinese method rings true for a reason. It seems that the majority of people, if they have a 6 cup pot, then they cannot resist making a full pot and maybe only take 1 serving!  You can stash the leftovers in the fridge for some Iced Tea (or Ice Tea.)

Whilst drinking that 1 serving, the remaining tea is becoming quite undrinkable unless you like major astringency! My advice is to make 1 serving and reinfuse the leaves for a second helping when you are ready, continuing till you have no flavor in your leaves…Multi-Steeping, not to be confused with Infusion Confusion.

If you were to decant the 6 cups of tea into another vessel upon completion of brewing, that would also be acceptable. The key is to gauge how much you will be drinking and brew accordingly. Choose a pot to match your drinking habits; life is too short to waste good tea!  Along with Life is too Short to Drink Bad Tea!

How to use a Teapot

How to make a nice pot of tea? In Yorkshire, they would say ‘take the pot to the kettle and not t’other way round.’   Warming the pot is so important!  Place the leaves in this inviting environment and they start to release their aroma. Stick your nose in the pot and inhale deeply.

All teas vary slightly in weight.  The general rule is one teaspoon per cup, and I add ‘one for the pot’ because my mum always did!  Steep for the recommended time or your preference and TAKE TIME TO ENJOY YOUR TEA.  Enjoy the first cup, and when you are ready, re-infuse your leaves, and don’t forget your tea cozy to keep the tea warm this time!

So, what’s your favorite teapot look like, or what would you like it to look like? I invite you to have some fun with us on Pinterest.

Here is my favorite teapot from the Yorkshire Dales!  And we have a wonderful Pinterest Board, TeaPotty, with heaps of Teapots.  Enjoy!

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

Ice Tea or Iced Tea?

Ice Tea or Iced Tea?

“Iced tea may not have as much wisdom as hot tea,

but in summer better a cool and refreshed dullard

than a steamy sweat drenched sage –leave sagacity to the autumn”

Linda Solegato

 

One of our Serving Partners was revising their menu and asked me, “is it Iced or Ice Tea?”

Good question!  So I thought I would look into the matter.  This leads me to the quote above from Linda Solegato, which, in turn, lead me on a slight detour.

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

Hot Tea

First, the quote.  Hot tea does evoke a sense of contemplation.  We are often gifted a few moments as the kettle boils water or the tea is steeping.  How many great ideas or other inspirations have come from these ‘Tea Times.’  Or what do you call these between times?

I know the time between the honk from the cab’s horn behind you and the light turning green is a New York minute.  Maybe I’ll get to that term in a future post, and until then, I’m going with Tea Time.

I expect many will respond with the same moments of reflection as we refresh ourselves with a tall glass of cold tea.  Yes, I am waiting to introduce the title term of this post for a bit of drama and SEO benefits.  So, is there wisdom in a cold cuppa?  I’ll leave that for yet another possible post.

Linda Solegato

The tangent I mentioned earlier came after a quick search about the author, Linda Solegato.  Who is Linda Solegato, and what other gems has she to share?  Linda is also credited with a few other non-tea blurbs,

“Plants give us oxygen for the lungs and for the soul.”

“When one of my plants dies, I die a little inside, too.”

“It’s so hot even my fake plants are wilting.”

But, who is this sage?  My search leads me to the QuoteGarden website and Terri Guillemets.  For some reason, unknown to my sleuthing, Linda Solegato is a pseudonym for Terri Guillemets.  She is a lifelong collector of quotes, and her site is fabulous.  I plan to return often for more tea quotes for future Sip Locally posts.

Ice Tea or Iced Tea?

But what about refreshing, cold tea.  Is it Ice Tea or Iced Tea?  That is the question.

I thought a simple search would determine the correct use.   And here is a fine time to admit my guilt in using both versions at Local Tea Company along the way. However,  I never thought to get to the bottom of this mild mystery.  Until now!

Grammarist and Merriam Webster both offer detailed and similar explanations.  Elocution.  Both cite ice cream, previously known as iced cream but adjusted for ease of pronunciation.  Merriam Webster goes a bit further (or farther)  with nods to Waxed Paper, Skimmed Milk, and Boxed Sets.  The tea world has not committed just yet.  So, both Ice Tea and Iced Tea are both acceptable and interchangeable.

History of Cold Tea

The world of iced tea is not that old.  The widely accepted story is of Richard Blechyden at the 1904 World’s Fair in St Louis.

Crowd at the 1904 World's Fair at St Louis for Local Tea Company

The tale goes, the tea merchant Blechyden had planned on promoting
his fine Indian loose leaf tea. The day was scorching hot, and nobody was
interested in his hot tea.  He took some ice from the iced cream
vendor next door and added it to all the drinks.  This idea proved to be a massive hit, and ice(d) tea was born.

French’s Mustard was also introduced at the same 1904 event, handy trivia knowledge put to good use a few weeks ago.  French’s Mustard was founded in my home town of Rochester, NY.  Throw in Long Island Iced Tea, which sounds better, and elocution rules again.

Statistics show 85% of Americans drink iced tea.  And in 2010, ice tea actually overtook the Brits in the tea-drinking stakes by consuming so much of the iced beverage!

Health Benefits of Ice(d) Tea

There is plenty of evidence about the great benefits of drinking tea. Tea contains high
levels of antioxidants called polyphenols, which attack the free radicals in our
bodies and stop them from harming our healthy cells.

Do we get more of those antioxidants from hot tea or iced tea? The overwhelming
evidence indicates that higher quality loose leaf tea provides the
most antioxidants (and much better flavor) whichever way you serve them. If you
are among the 65% that use tea bags, you might want to introduce loose tea
into your life and “think out of the bag.”

We think it is worth the small amount of time and effort to brew your iced tea with loose leaf at Local Tea Company.

Many of our Serving Partner clients use large tea sacs to make a gallon of ice(d) tea.  We call them bullets and use the large T-sac to contain the tea and one ounce of black or green tea to make a gallon.  A little more is required for fruit and herbal tisanes.

Cold Brew(ed) Ice(d) Tea

We have always liked the cold brew method.  That is, add cold water to loose leaf tea and leaving in the fridge overnight.   Try this method with some of the old tea bags you have in a drawer.  You will be amazed at the flavor, and a better idea than tossing them the next time you clean out your cupboard.

Ice Tea or Iced Tea?  It doesn’t matter according to the grammar gods.  It all comes back to our very own adage that I’ll turn into a quote here…

Find the tea you like and drink it. 

And drink it often. 

Tea is an incredibly healthy beverage and if you like the taste,

you will drink more of it.

Sign up for our Newsletter here, and please share this post on social media.  In our Newsletter #4 ‘Why Loose Leaf Tea is Better,’ we share a story from a customer who steeps her tea three times, two times using this Cold Brew method, and then she uses hot water for the last steep.

Tea Newsletter #2 – New Teas and Old Teas and Glynis

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Thanks for the wonderful response to our first newsletter.  Your comments and kind wishes are always welcome.  Thank you. 

Many of you asked after Glynis.  She is well and has been working at Selby Gardens in the Welcome Center.  She still helps with all adjustments to our tea line up, and she still drinks a lot of tea.  Lately, though, Glynis has been drinking ice tea.  Yes, Ice Tea!!  I can hear the collective gasp from those who have heard her opine about Hot Tea.  It is hot here in Sarasota, so she is making pitchers of Bertha Palmer Rooibos Iced.  

Also, our next blog post… Is it Ice Tea or Iced Tea?  Does anyone want to guess???

Others asked about some of our discontinued teas.  I’ll start with our new teas and then list our excuses:):)

New Teas

Island Mango Black – Created for the Gaugin exhibit at Selby.  So popular that we kept it. Black tea with mango and lime. 

Black Lemon Ginger – We needed a black tea with ginger and lemon, and we found it!  This is an excellent quality black tea, an OP (Orange Pekoe) from Sri Lanka.

Old Teas

* Black Coconut – We still get a bunch of requests each month for this tea. And we are still working on a replacement.

* Sparkling Pineapple White Tea – I liked this one too, but we did not sell enough to keep it.  Sorry!

* Flowers in the Factory – This was a tea created for the Warhol exhibit at Selby.  We used our Organic Red Berries tea, so the cool packet is not available, but the tea is!

Otherwise, our line up is the same, with  Goji Green Tea leading the way.  Our selection of Rooibos is going strong at 9, and that is not counting Chocolate Honeybush, our perennial best seller. 

Our other best seller is Mote Beach Tea, and we do contribute a portion of all sales of this caffeine-free gem back to Mote Marine Laboratory.  Here is a blog post, More about Mote, with details about the volunteer programs Michael is active with; Sea Turtles and Dolphins.  

Our Serving Partners offering Mote Beach Tea include;  Bean Coffeehouse, Cafe in the Park, Burns Court Cafe, Morton’s Bakery, Blue Dolphin Cafe, Breakfast House, Mojo Risin, AJ’s Kitchen, Mountain Comfort Coffee, Pastry Arts, Serving Spoon, State Street Eating House, Sunnyside Cafe, and The Reserve.  Please support these and any other local businesses you can.  Thank you.

We are always looking for tea connections out in the world.  Here are a few recent favorites…

Watching

Poldark – We binged this Masterpiece Classic on Amazon Prime.  Set in the 1790s in Cornwall.  Great drama and even more fabulous images of the Cornwall coastline.  Demelza and Ross don’t drink as much tea as port and sherry, but the 5 seasons was a great escape!

Listening

Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou is an Ethiopian piano-playing nun, and she will be 97 in December.  I don’t recall how I came across her mellow sounds, but she is easy to listen to on Sunday mornings with a cuppa Yerba Mate.  Sweet Orange Mate is my favorite.  Her music is fantastic, and her story is even better.

Coverville is one of my favorite podcasts, offering themed cover songs & stories. Loved a recent Blondie Episode, especially ‘The Tide is High’ covered by Dakota Blonde – a country cover of a new wave song originally recorded as a reggae song!  No tea connection, but a great listen.

Reading

Summer thriller Camino Winds by John Grisham.  Not much tea involved, mostly cold beer and wine, but I look forward to a Grisham book every summer. 

As ever, we welcome your comments and thanks for your support.  

Your Local Tea Team