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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

Cuppa Tea in SRQ #6 – Bean Coffeehouse in Siesta Key Village

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Cuppa Tea at Bean Coffeehouse

For this episode of “Cuppa Tea in Sarasota,” now available from our YouTube Channel, we go back to the very beginning to where it all began.  The first location of Local Tea Company, and Local Coffee + Tea in the heart of Siesta Key Village for a cuppa tea at the Bean Coffeehouse

The shop, now known as the Bean Coffeehouse, was opened in 2007, and you can read more about it in the history section of the Local Tea Co. website.  The interior is wildly colorful with many works by local artist Ron Genta.

For this Holiday episode, we visit the Bean late in the day, just before closing, to chat with Zach and his massive tea menu. They only serve loose leaf teas, AND they have a great selection of retail tea packets available.

Where else can you find so many #Rooibos teas to pick from?

Each episode of Cuppa Tea in Sarasota, 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 #6 – Bean Coffeehouse in Siesta Key Village

Logo for Bean Coffeehouse in Siesta Key Village Florida

Cuppa Tea in SRQ #3 – Cafe in the Park

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Cuppa Tea at Cafe in the Park

Our latest episode of “Cuppa Tea in SRQ” is now available from our YouTube Channel.  We visit Cafe in the Park in downtown Sarasota in Payne Park.  Each episode, 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 #3 – Cafe in the Park

 

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.

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

5 Things to Consider when Giving the Gift of 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, as 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 just 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 to the novice or the beginning tea drinker, caffeine can create problems. 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 teabags

We are quite partial to loose leaf tea at Local Tea Co, tea lovers and experienced tea drinkers tend to prefer a loose leaf tea. The tea typically will be of a better quality, fresher and a much better value. It cost money for the convenience of bagging tea! Loose leaf teas also provides 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 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 in 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 the oil of Bergamot), this may be the easiest comparison. Though 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!!

4. Accessories

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 options for tea lovers, and for the newbie just starting their tea journey, a box of tea bags or a few mesh balls of different sizes or tea spoons 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 a wonderful gifts, honey or jams are always welcome.

5. Overthinking

Most important is not to overthink your gift. The person you are gifting is going to appreciate the gesture you are making, and the thought behind this gift. They will love it as much 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 that has some meaning, or to be realistic, something that can easily be ‘Regifted’.

Please visit www.LocalTeaCo.com or send us a note in the comments section and we will help you select a tea.
Thank you,
the tea team

Sorori TEA Sisters Tea Review

Sorori TEA Sisters Review

A few of our teas have recently been reviewed by Sorori TEA Sisters Tea Review, a blog dedicated to reviewing teas.  We are sharing the reviews with you.  See what the tea professional and others are saying about teas from Local Tea Company.

Mable’s Rose Rooibos celebrates Mable Ringling and her rose garden at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Also, it is reviewed by Anne on October 20th.  Find it here.

Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea celebrates the arrival of Bertha Palmer in Sarasota 100 years ago was reviewed on October 22nd.  Find it here.

Mote Beach Tea celebrates the marine research conducted by Mote Marine Laboratories.  You will find the review by Anne on November 11th.  Find it here.   Besides, Glynis blogged about this fruit and herb tea in September, providing lots of details.  (click here)

Mote Beach Tea

For instance, you may have noticed all the teas reviewed are part of the Celebrating Sarasota Collection of Teas.  We are adding to this collection, and we hope to keep delighting our customers.

In conclusion, hopefully, Sorori TEA Sisters Review will keep spreading the word about our teas.  We will keep updating this post as they do.  Hint, Hint…Selby Select is amazing.  Check it out, ladies.

Cheers,
md

Pioneer Tea – Historic Spanish Point

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.

 

Citrus

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…

Blackberry leaves

(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 leaves

(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.

Lemongrass

(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!

Beetroot

(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)

Carrot flakes

(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!

Apple and Hibiscus have been covered in previous posts for Peach Paradise and Mote Beach Tea.

Spanish Point

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

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!

Cheers,
The TeaLady

Mote Beach Tea

Mote Beach Tea

“Why beach tea?” we are asked when serving this delightful fruit infusion.

A quick sniff and a small sample of this tea will whisk you away to an exotic beach on a deserted island.  Dreams of dolphins, manatee, and other tropical delights will soon follow.  This is a tea you would definitely want to be stranded with on your imaginary beach paradise.

Fruit Tea

Mote Beach Tea

It is impossible to resist a tea with such wonderful dried fruits and flowers.  Ingredients include pineapple, coconut, rosehips, and hibiscus blended with natural flavors of those fruits.  There is no true tea, so Mote Beach Tea is caffeine-free, especially nice after dinner or before bed, and can be a “sweet tooth” substitute for dessert.

As we have done with our other fruit tisanes, let’s look in more detail at the ingredients of Mote Beach Tea.

Coconut

(Cocus muciferaA tropical fruit rich in protein and very rich in the taste department! I absolutely love all things coconut.  The ‘tree of life’ in its various forms delivers lots of healthy fats and fiber. I found that coconut has all the benefits of other dietary fibers: –

It lowers the risk of heart disease, helps prevent cancer, improves digestive function, and helps regulate blood sugar.  Coconut has 4 times the amount of fiber compared to oat bran.  New research shows that coconut fats are absorbed directly by the liver.

Pineapple

(Ananas cosmosusThis ‘fruit of many blessings,’ good health, good fortune, and longevity.  Pineapple tastes wonderful and has some outstanding health benefits. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which helps digest proteins, Vitamins C and B, and many essential daily minerals. The sugars in pineapple are easily digested, the fiber content is high, and your immune system will receive a boost in protecting you from illnesses.  Pineapple also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Apple

(Malus domesticaNot quite as exotic as our first 2 ingredients.  Never the less, Apple is an exceptional fruit that we perhaps take for granted due to the continuous abundance of choices year-round in our grocery store.

Apple contains anti-oxidants, flavonoids, and pectin.  Pectin is a natural fiber (apples being the richest source) that has recently 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 pigments called flavonoids that help fight disease.

The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” still holds.

Rose Hip

(Rosa caninaThe beautiful hip is the fruit of the Wild Dog Rose and takes its name from its earliest use to remedy bites from ‘mad’ or ‘wild’ dogs.

There are more than 10,000 species of cultivated roses.  However, the medicinal species are natives of Europe. The hips are the reddish colored coverings that grow around the real fruits for protection.  For instance, this is the reason they are often called “false fruits.” The nutrient value is as rich as their color.  Rose hips enhance the function of everything from your skin to your innermost being.  After that, they contain an array of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.

Hibiscus Blossoms

(Hibiscus sabdariffaIf you have been following our blogs, by now, you will have become very familiar with this little gem, which is used as an enhancer in many teas now. If you have missed our previous descriptions of this healthy and colorful addition, check out  Sabdariffa Spritzer.

Also, you can receive benefits in other ways.  After brewing Mote Beach Tea, why not just add the steeped fruit to your morning cereal, yogurt, or smoothie for more exotic goodness!

Mote Marine Laboratory

Mote Beach Tea was created to celebrate and honor the work conducted at Mote Marine Laboratory.  The tea is sold in distinctive, resealable blue bags to maintain freshness.  On the back of each packet is an overview of the mission of Mote Marine Laboratory.

Mote is one of the treasures of Sarasota.  This tea is a crowd-pleaser at our tea tent at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings.  Kids love it, though parents often enjoy it even more.

We launched this tea at the Night of Fish, Fun & Fright at Mote.  Come this year, Friday, Oct. 22, from 6:30 to 9 pm.

Cheers,
the TeaLady

Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea

Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea

We introduce a new tea called Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea.  This tea is an herbal rooibos with licorice root, fennel, peppermint, and lemon verbena.  Delicious hot or iced, this rooibos is naturally caffeine-free.  We add this tea to the Celebrating Sarasota Collection of Teas.

For instance, when Mrs. Potter Palmer (Bertha Honoré Palmer) first set eyes on Sarasota in 1910, she proclaimed, ‘Here is heaven at last.’

She came to own more than 80,000 acres of what is now Sarasota County.  Also, Palmer operated a successful ranch and made her winter home at The Oaks on Historic Spanish Point.

Sarasota County celebrates the 2010 centennial of her arrival.  All are invited to honor the significant impact Mrs. Palmer made to our culturally rich community.  Please raise a cuppa Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea to this incredible woman!

After that, a birthday celebration is planned for Mrs. Palmer on the weekend of May 22nd.   Her tea will be served at various events.

Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea joins Selby Select, Mote Beach Tea, Mable’s Rose Rooibos, and Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea in the Celebrating Sarasota Collection of Teas.  In conclusion, all of these teas are available at www.LocalTeaCo.com

Caffeine-Free Tisanes or Infusions

Caffeine-Free Tisanes or Infusions

In our last blog post (Caffeine in Tea), we talk about caffeine and my opinion regarding the benefits of drinking tea with caffeine. I have learned from listening and talking to many visitors at Selby Gardens and the Sarasota Farmer’s Market.  Some people can’t drink caffeine, perhaps because of medications (therefore doctor’s instructions) or just a simple intolerance in the body.

So, where does that leave us?

Decaf or caffeine-free tisanes

At Local Tea Company, we have many fruit and/or herbal infusions or Tisanes to choose from. There is no excuse for not drinking great caffeine-free tea these days.

Selby Select Rooibos from Local Coffee + Tea

Notice I said CAFFEINE-FREE, not de-caffeinated. Because there is no ‘true tea’ made from Camellia sinensis, there is no caffeine to be removed.  De-caffeinated tea must go through a process to remove the caffeine that naturally occurs in tea leaves.   And no method removes 100% of the caffeine, so the beverage still has up to 5% caffeine content.

I try to stay away from the process of removing caffeine from tea for two reasons.  The flavor suffers, and the health benefits are reduced.

The two traditional methods to decaffeinate tea use either ethyl acetate or carbon dioxide.  Both are a ‘wet process,’ so the dry leaves are moistened.  The wet leaves are then rinsed with ethyl acetate and dried, or under high pressure with carbon dioxide and evaporated.  Upon drying, the flavor is reabsorbed into the leaves.

Rooibos

There is still uncertainty about how these methods alter the polyphenols and the antioxidant properties in tea.  Above all, the health benefits have been compromised, and I seek teas with maximum health advantages.  So, I turn to botanicals, herbal or fruit infusions, also referred to as tisanes.

Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) is a bush from the Western Cape province of South Africa.  Rooibos has an impressive list of vitamins and minerals and is therefore packed with anti-oxidants.  I like to say Rooibos works against ATB or ‘all things bad.’  Great hot or iced, I enjoy Rooibos in the late afternoon or evenings.

Local Tea Company carries 8 unique Rooibos teas and is our most popular category.  Selby Select is our ‘home tea’, and we have added an Organic Red Rooibos and an herbal Rooibos to celebrate Bertha Palmer, a pioneering Sarasota woman.

Chocolate Honeybush from Local Coffee + Tea

Honeybush (Cyclopia intermedia) is a definite favorite at Local Tea Co., especially for evening time. This tea is very soothing and calming with a unique cedar or sandalwood flavor.  Also, Chocolate Honeybush is a great option to satisfy the after-meal cravings for something sweet.

After that, there are the fruit infusions or caffeine-free tisanes like Peach ParadiseOrganic Red Berries, or Mote Beach Tea (created to honor Mote Laboratories here in Sarasota), Vibrant and refreshing beverages all, especially iced.  Excellent alternatives to sodas or other sweet beverages, especially for children.

Herbs like Egyptian Chamomile, the best-loved sleepy tea, Ginger Root, the world’s most used spice, or my personal favorite, Hibiscus.  See why in a blog post from last summer.

Herbals

In conclusion, there really is a tea for all occasions and personal tastes. Try blending your very own caffeine-free tisanes with some of these amazing teas. If you discover a winner be sure to let us know so we can share!

Cheers,
The TeaLady

Also, follow us on Facebook at Local Tea Journey