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Peach Paradise Tea

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.

PEACH PARADISE

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.

Peach Paradise

Peach

(Prunus persica)
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).

Apple

(Malus domestica)
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.

Citrus Peel

(C. medica)
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.

Hibiscus Petals

(Hibiscus sabdariffa)
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

(Rosa canina)
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!

Cheers,
the TeaLady

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

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

Margaret Thatcher comes to tea

Margaret Thatcher comes to tea.

Margaret Thatcher Tea.  What a lovely week!   In the Carriagehouse Tea Room, I enjoyed conversations with many visitors from the States and beyond.  Besides, a few fellow Brits.  Everyone is interested in my story and how I started working with tea.  What a great life, making conversation, and drinking tea.

Talking of Brits, I served tea to the ‘Iron Lady’ herself!   However, in case you thought I was serious, the lady was an actor.  Margaret Thatcher Tea was the theme for the afternoon tea benefiting the Women’s Resource Center.  Our gracious hostess has a magnificent penthouse overlooking Sarasota Bay.  The tea and food service was on a collection of exquisite china.

Margaret Thatcher Tea, the Iron Lady herself from Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida

Iced Peach Paradise in wine goblets looked beautiful.  When the ladies ate sandwiches, our Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling was served.  With dessert, I served Goji Green tea.  Above all, both teas were very well received.  Why do I sound so surprised? All of the loose leaf teas offered at Local Tea Company are delicious!

There followed some discussion about Margaret Thatcher’s time in office.  How different it would be if she were in office today.

If I had been invited, I could have told a few home truths about my experiences during her ministry.  However, I was there to talk tea, so I did my short presentation about tea and ended with a Thatcher quote…

“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”

In conclusion, Sip Locally with your very own Tea Lady at the gardens. Stay Cool.

Glynis