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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.  Here is a post with 5 Things to remember when Gifting Tea.

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, 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!!

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 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.

5. Overthinking

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.’

Please visit www.LocalTeaCo.com or send us a note in the comments section, and we will help you select a tea.  And here is a post with 5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea.
Thank you,
the tea team

Pear Mu Tan

Pear Mu Tan

Pear Mu Tan.  I am glad to announce that we have added another tea to our Organic cultivation varieties here at Local Tea Company.

Pear Mu Tan is a White tea grown in Fujian Province, China.  White teas are surrounded by folklore and mystique heralded from ancient China. Emperors proclaimed this delicate tea as “the culmination of all that is elegant.”

White Teas

The least processed of all tea categories, white is is natural.  The newest leaves are carefully picked when they have a silvery appearance from the hair or ‘hao.’  They are lightly withered, which turns them into an artist’s palette of hues.  From silver to green to brown, the results are a light, fluffy mixture of leaf pieces that yield a subtle and delicate flavor.

Pear Mu Tan White Tea

I had been asked several times about Pear tea.  After using this tea for several days in my travel mug, I knew we had to have it!  This type of White tea is known as Pai Mu Tan, which means “white peony.”   The tea is produced from various tea bush called chaicha, so it seemed natural to name this tea Pear Mu Tan.

There is evidence that Pear has been used as a food since prehistoric times.  In other words, a perfect partner for White tea.  To complement the pear, there are dried apple pieces, mango cubes, and marigold blossoms.  Besides, the shimmering golden liquor has a lingering fragrance and sweet, fresh mellow taste.  This is a lovely tea, both dry and infused.

Organic

Please note, this tea is organically cultivated but has not pursued the requirements to be designated ORGANIC.

White teas are becoming very popular.  They are considered to be the most beneficial of all teas for their health benefits.  With more antioxidants than black or green tea, white tea has anti-cancer properties.  We have read that the tea is heart-healthy, has a calming (anti-sagging!) and detoxifying effect on the skin, and the ability to strengthen our immune system.  A bonus is that it tastes so good!

There are debates aplenty about the amount of caffeine in white teas.  Could it be that as the tea is made from young leaves, they contain the most concentrated amount of caffeine?  The fact that we infuse for less time and at a lower temperature may mean less caffeine is released…and so on.  We may never know the exact reason, and it really does not seem to matter too much!

In my experience, I have found White tea VERY agreeable to my body function.  I do not seem to get as overheated or troubled with the caffeine content.  Therefore, I have been able to drink later into the day.   See how it works for you!

In conclusion, Pear Mu Tan is a tea that really keeps on giving and certainly wears the title ‘the culmination of all that is elegant’ very well.

Cheers,
the TeaLady

Questions

  • 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.
  • What green tea good for?  How much Green Tea is too much?  Drink more green tea, that is the best advice!
  • 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!

Valentine’s Day – A Time for Tea

Valentine’s Day – A Time for Tea

Tis the season of Love, which brings to mind Diamonds, Chocolates, and Roses for most people?

Well, I can guarantee one thing there will be no diamonds in my house for Valentine.  My husband would be quick to tell you that he does not need one special day in the year to reinforce his love for me – his excuse not to buy diamonds?  There may be a chance of chocolates or flowers, but it is more likely to be something simple, like sitting down together for a pot of tea.

Bet you didn’t know Yorkshire men were so romantic!  But I confess this is a man who knows the way to my heart for sure.

I cannot think of a nicer way to celebrate our love than the process of taking tea together.  Like most people these days, we have conflicting schedules, and taking time to sit together, slow down and enjoy a spot of tea is an extraordinary gift.

White Mischief

White Mischief

What will we drink?  My husband loves White tea, so perhaps we will start our celebration with a little White Mischief.  Mischievous by name and by nature, this tea will represent our diamonds!  If you have ever smelled guava, you know the skin has a chocolate-like aroma, so when you put the tea in a warm pot, the smell is tantalizing.  Use water that is not quite boiling and infuse for 2 minutes only, but make more infusions from the same tea infusing for 4 minutes, 6 minutes, etc., until no flavor is left.  Not only is the taste fantastic but such good value too!

Chocolate Honeybush

Next, we will drink Chocolate Honeybush, and this will represent Chocolates in our Valentine celebration!  Honeybush is one of our favorite herbal teas, and this tea is full of romance with hints of chocolate, roses, and a good dose of caramel.  Delightfully indulgent, the chocolate and caramel blend so well with Organic Honeybush for a delicate flavor and without the calories.  Drink away without having to worry, yummy.

Chocolate Honeybush

Sweet Sin Rooibos

For our finale, we will drink some Sweet Sin Rooibos, and this will represent our Roses!  You may have read in a previous blog what an impact Rooibos now has on my life, but it is also a tea we drink together throughout the year, so it is perfect for our celebration of love.

Sweet Sin Rooibos

A simple, yet stunning blend of rooibos, roses, vanilla, and dried raspberries, this tea blooms with a perky fruitiness, is not too sweet yet has a soft and romantic finish.

And the moral of my tale?  You really don’t need to have diamonds, chocolates, or flowers to show your love for each other.  Give each other the gift of time enjoying tea together.  May you continue to celebrate your love throughout the year, and as I often say, TAKE TIME FOR TEA.  Valentine’s Day – A Time for Tea

Cheers,
the TeaLady

Honeybush Tea

Honeybush Tea

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!

Organic Honeybush

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.

Organic Honeybush

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.

Honeybush

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.

Chocolate Honeybush

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!

Chocolate Honeybush

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.

Cheers,
the TeaLady

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos Tea

I cannot believe it has taken me so long to write about Rooibos tea.  Maybe that is a good thing, though, as I have now reached a stage where my love of this tea is such that I cannot imagine life without it!

Rooibos

As an orthodox tea drinker, black teas, and mostly unflavored green teas, you will have heard me say many times that I love the taste of tea.  However, like many women before me, I seem to have reached an age where too much caffeine (even in my beloved tea!!) seems to be disruptive for my body.

Rooibos

Enter ROOIBOS (Aspalathus linearis), a broom-like shrub and member of the legume family found in a small area of the Western Cape Province of South Africa.  The word rooibos (pronounced Roy-boss) is Afrikaans for red bush and has been popular in South Africa for generations.

Rooibos has a huge following all over the world due to the many health benefits and Mama Ramotswe, a certain lady detective. Suppose you are one of the few people not to have seen or read the No 1 Ladies Detective series by Alexander McCall Smith then do so soon.  Like the tea, these books are compelling, very relaxing, and worthy of your time.

Bush Tea

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

So, what does Rooibos have to offer?  Rooibos has very high antioxidant levels (aspalathin). In fact, some claim that Rooibos has more antioxidants than green tea.  And I advise anyone not caring for green tea to drink Rooibos.  The tannin levels are low (responsible for causing astringency in true tea), and there is NO oxalic acid, which makes this tea good for anyone suffering from kidney stones.  Relaxing and restful, rooibos can assist with nervous tension, allergies, dermatological issues, and anti-spasmodic properties, making rooibos helpful for digestive problems.

In South Africa, rooibos is used to aid infants suffering from colic and is added to the baby’s bathwater (and yours) to soften the skin.  Research continues on possible anti-cancer properties, and I think we will hear more about the benefits of drinking Rooibos for some time to come.  Perhaps most important, you will find NOTHING about rooibos’ adverse effects, which is quite amazing!

Caffeine-Free

Rooibos is an herb and is NATURALLY caffeine-free, making it the perfect tea for my sleeping predicament.  This tea quite simply tastes and feels so good, and I have become a huge fan.  I have found many tea lovers dislike pure rooibos, though it blends so well with fruits and flowers.

At Local Tea Company, we have a wonderful collection of Rooibos teas.  Our best selling (of all our teas) is Selby Select, an orange peel and yogurt blend we created for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The list continues with Van Wezel with black and red currants (see post), Lemon Sunset with lemongrass and lemon peel, Bertha Palmer with licorice, peppermint, verbena, and fennel, and finally Mable’s Rose with cherry and rose.  I hope you agree that it is quite a line-up, and if you are an iced tea drinker, do not despair. All are beautiful iced!

One of our rooibos teas is especially nice to share with a loved one.  Sweet Sin combines raspberry with vanilla and is always popular around Valentine’s Day.

Sweet Sin Rooibos Tea

What a versatile and special tea this is, and if you haven’t discovered Rooibos already then, I hope you do so soon.  Here is a post about Five Reasons you will Love Rooibos Tea.

Cheers,
the TeaLady

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

High Tea or Afternoon Tea?

High Tea or Afternoon Tea?

Our sister company, Local Catering, has seen an increased interest in tea parties at Selby Gardens.  There was an intimate wedding last month.  I hear the term “High Tea” used as a reference, when, in fact, “Afternoon Tea” is a more accurate description.

Tea Party

Tea Service

I will attempt to explain the differences between “High Tea” and “Afternoon Tea.”   I will share a bit of history on how these very different meals got their specific titles.

“High Tea” does not refer to fancy sandwiches and small cakes served with elegant table settings.  Rather, a meal served in working-class households as the main meal of the day, usually early evening.

Similarly, at the height of Victorian times, lower and middle-class families could only afford one meal per day.  Served at the end of the working day, the meal typically consisted of bread and cheese, potatoes, vegetables, maybe cold meat and pickles, for the more affluent, fish.  Black tea would be served along with the food. This is the meal most families would now refer to as dinner.

Tea

For instance, growing up, this was the main meal at the house and was called “tea.”  Today, I still refer to our evening meal as tea.  Often asking myself, “What are we having for tea today?” As I am more sensitive to caffeine, we will drink Rooibos or Honeybush or other herbal tea.

Why is this meal known as “High Tea”?  Above all, the meal is served on a dining table, in contrast to the much lower table on which “Afternoon Tea” is served.

Anna, Duchess of Bedford

Anna, Duchess of Bedford

Credit goes to Anna, Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861) for creating “Afternoon Tea.” The evening meal was often served after 8 pm, and the Duchess would get a ‘sinking feeling’ (low blood sugar levels associated with hunger!) in the afternoon hours.  She instructed her staff at Belvoir Castle to make up small sandwiches and cakes.  Anna invited friends for tea and conversation. The meal was served on lower tables in the drawing-room, allowing for intimate conversation. The tradition of “Afternoon Tea” is still prevalent.

There are many variations of “Afternoon Tea” with small sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream.  Typically, a huge variety of teas are available.  “Tea” can be a sophisticated, dressy, and special occasion or a simple, casual, and relaxed meal at the end of the day.

In conclusion, whichever “Tea” you choose, the idea remains a wonderful way to spend quality time with friends or loved ones, enjoying some food and conversation. We should all do this more often!

Cheers,
The TeaLady

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream for July, National Ice Cream Month.  With the help of Chef Maryna of Local Catering, we used some of our new Matcha Green Tea to make Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream.  We are still working on bulk sales packaging, so our Matcha is only available in drinks at our shops.  But there are many culinary options Maryna and I will be exploring with Matcha Green Tea, and ice cream seemed like a good place to start.

Home-Made Ice Cream

Once you discover the wonderful world of home-made ice cream, your life as you once knew it would change forever.  Since starting Local Catering, an extension of Local Tea Company, Chef Maryna’s culinary world has continued to expand.  I have introduced her to our menu of teas and the magic of camellia sinensis.

Chef Maryna grew up in South Africa, so she has leaned towards our selection of Rooibos.  She explores ways to integrate tea into her dishes, and ice cream sounded like a great place to start.

Recipe

Here is the recipe we followed for Matcha Green Tea ice cream.
Ingredients:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbs Matcha tea powder
6 Egg yolks

Directions

 

 

  1. Separate the egg yolk from whites in a large bowl.  Add sugar and Matcha, then whisk until incorporated.
  2. Heat cream and milk in a saucepan until it comes to a boil.
  3. Remove milk from heat, then slowly add 1 cup of hot milk mixture to the sugar-egg mix, whisking vigorously to prevent curdling eggs.
  4. Add mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and whisk to combine.
  5. On low heat (do not boil or cook the eggs and you will end up with Macha scrambled eggs!) continue stirring until the temperature reaches 170 degrees.
  6. Pour mixture into a clean bowl and let it cool on an ice bath in the refrigerator until completely cold (about 30 minutes).
  7. Follow your ice cream machine directions and spin ice cream for about 20 minutes.
    Pour into a container and freeze until set (about an hour).  Scoop and…..yum!

So what makes Matcha so special?  The vibrant, emerald green color of the powder is attributed to some meticulous cultivation. The Gyokuro Japanese tea plant variety is shaded by bamboo mats several weeks before plucking, forcing the tea bush to produce more chlorophyll, creating a supple, rich green leaf. The youngest, tender shoots are then hand-plucked, steamed, and dried. All stems and veins are removed before the leaves are stone-ground into a fine powder.

Matcha Green Tea

No tea is as celebrated or as famous as Matcha. The tea first appeared in Japanese tea manuals sometime during the 12th century, making it one of the country’s most ancient varieties used in the Japanese tea ceremony for centuries. It was believed tea was a gift of the heavens and held great restorative and spiritual power on earth. The development of the tea ceremony or Chanoyu began as a way for people to show reverence to this power. It was practiced by the Buddhist monks who drank the tea for meditative properties during long religious ceremonies. See blog post on Chanoyu – Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Drinking this greenest of green teas or enjoying Matcha Green Tea ice cream, you are consuming the whole leaf and will drink 100% of the polyphenol nutrients contained in tea leaves.  This gives Matcha the label of healthiest natural beverage in the world today. Along with the nutrients, you will receive a good dose of energy for wakefulness combined with lots of amino acids for relaxation. A truly great combination of ingredients that we can all benefit from today.

Visit our Siesta Key shop or the cafe at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens for a Matcha Latte, also excellent with soy milk and a bit of honey.  Or celebrate the summer by making some Matcha Green Tea ice cream at home.

More Bertha Palmer

More Bertha Palmer

Bertha Honore Palmer.  I hope you may already have taken advantage of the discount being offered this month on Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea at our redesigned web site, Local Tea Co.  If not, perhaps I can convince you otherwise by sharing a few details of Bertha’s tea ingredients.

Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea

I love the taste of the herbs, perfectly blended with Rooibos tea.  But until I really researched them all that, I realized what an amazing combination and marriage they are.

Fennel

(Foeniculum vulgare) is a member of the carrot family.  The plant is tall and statuesque (Bertha!) with large glossy stems and light, feathery leaves. It blooms small yellow flowers that yield greenish-brown seeds with a licorice flavor.  Fennel is renowned for digestive disorders since it stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes, calms the digestive tract, prevents spasms, and improves the absorption of nutrients. That is just for starters! Some other benefits are fluid retention, gum disorders, diuretic properties, which help fight urinary tract infections, and strength. It contains calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, selenium, and Vitamins A, C, and E.

Licorice

(Glycyrrhiza glabra) A woody perennial which has a bright green stem and dark green oval leaves.  The flowers are shaped like peas.  The big taproot with long branch roots can spread to 3 feet.  Licorice is a tonic boost for the adrenal glands.  It produces our ‘fight or flight’ hormones to help cope with stress. Glycyrrhizin has anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory value, so it eases and soothes the respiratory tract and arthritic pain.  Licorice also helps in the stomach department, soothing indigestion and reducing acid secretions.  It contains Iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, lecithin, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.

Lemon Verbena

Lippia citriodora) is an aromatic shrub with pale green leaves and pale purple flowers. It eases spasms, settles the stomach, fights indigestion and flatulence, reduces fevers, and is a stimulant for the skin. Lemon Verbena is excellent for flavor and synergy.

Cinnamon

(Cinnamon cassia) is a warm spice with a sweet, calming nature good for colds and chills, but antiseptic abilities will also help fight bacteria, viruses, fungal, and yeast infections. This is a powerful ingredient to have in any blend.

Peppermint

(Mentha piperita) There are more than 210 species of this aromatic plant, which will invigorate with one cut leaf. Menthol has an anesthetic effect on the stomach’s nerve endings, helping with nausea, seasickness, and pains in the abdomen.  Peppermint will calm you all over!

All these beautiful herbs are blended with Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis), which is also an anti-spasmodic (and used in South Africa to soothe colic in children), along with essential daily minerals and vitamins too.

At Local Tea Company, we believe Rooibos is a cure to all ailments and feel that this formidable woman, Bertha Honore Palmer, would have been a huge fan of this perfectly blended, soothing tea.

Take a break and try some Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea and check out our Facebook page for more updated details of our Local Tea Journey activities.  Here is a post about Five Reasons you will Love Rooibos Tea.

Cheers,
the TeaLady