Tomorrow is the opening day for Cremesh Coffee and Bakery. Find Cremesh Bakery in the plaza next to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida.
I have known Chef Pavel for over 10 years. I believe he was put on this earth to bake. He has finally created the bakery he has been dreaming about for a very long time.
Pavel and his wife Tracy add to their popular and authentic Cremesh European Restaurant nearby. Pavel Hasenohrl is a Master Baker, and his bread and desserts will go fast, so go early.
You will find locally roasted coffee from Banyan Coffee Co. And, made-from-scratch muffins, pies, brownies, and scones will be available fresh from the oven. For lunch, they will offer a selection of sandwiches and soups. And, of course, you can expect other secrets from the Chef Pavel archives!
Supporting Local, Thank you
If someone forwarded this email to you, you need your own!
Happy Holidays Tea Lovers
Last week was Small Business Saturday and then Cyber Monday. We had record sales at our online shop. I am massively grateful and sincerely appreciate all the support AND the many kind notes received with your orders.
This year more than ever, supporting local businesses is vital. And it’s wonderful to see so many people finding clever ways of support.
Before we opened in 2007, we established our three operating tenets…
- Buy local products and services,
- Celebrate local treasures,
- Protect local environments.
We still use these ideals for how we operate today. And, while no tea is grown in Sarasota, we consider our teas ‘locally inspired.’
Thank you for supporting our Serving Partners. This month I am thrilled to add three new locations offering our teas; Cheesecake Cutie, Cremesh Coffee & Bakery, and Vernona Gourmet. While you have every reason to doubt my neutrality, all of our Serving Partners are the BEST!
Onto the Holidays in Sarasota…
Lights in Bloom starts on December 12th when Selby Gardens is transformed into a holiday celebration. The Bromeliad Tree is lit, so grab a cuppa and enjoy the splendor!
Tea Pairing – Selby Select Rooibos was our first locally inspired tea and still our best seller.
Sip Locally Tea Blog – recent posts
GIY – Grow it yourself
I found this article about creating your own Herbal Tea Garden filled with great tea details, and the wonderful quote below.
Tea Pairing – Organic Egyptian Chamomile
“We often think that drinking anything without caffeine is innocuous,
but herbal tea has power.” Timothy d’Offay
Recently, Dianne and I visited The Ringling Museum to check out the Kabuki exhibit. Fantastic.
Every visit to Ringling is special. The Gallery with the enormous Rubens is my favorite spot in Sarasota, absolutely transportive. It feels like Firenze!
We revisited the Japanese Tea Room, then walked to and along the waterfront near the Ca d’Zan, back past the newly filled wading pool and the Mable’s Rose Garden. We are lucky to have this treasure in Sarasota.
Tea Pairing – I’m going with the Big Top Tea, and next time we’ll go into the Circus exhibits.
Every version of Fargo is a blend of suspense and odd humor. Always a twist and filled with surprises.
Tea Pairing – Pinhead Gunpowder Green Tea a dangerous-sounding tea!
It is a short one, but I started ‘The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle’ this week. Growing up, I wanted to be a veterinarian because of both Dr. Doolittle and James Herriot’s books. And now I sell tea!
Tea Pairing – Little Monkey or DragonFruit Green Tea! Both good choices:):)
As always, your comments are welcomed, and thanks for your support.
Your Local Tea Team
5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea is a repost with updates and additions.
After spending Thanksgiving at my Aunt’s home, I found a neglected tea cabinet that I immediately corrected. The details are irrelevant, other than to say I started from Square 1.
As I put together a list of teas, I realized it might help others thinking about gifting tea for the holidays. You can find the actual list at the bottom of ‘5 Things to remember when Gifting Tea.’
5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea
As a gift, tea is a wonderful way to show your love, appreciation, respect, and that you are thinking about someone. That is the point of any gift. While the gift of tea can be personal, everybody has a tea they love. Some just don’t know it yet!!!
Here are a few thoughts to consider when giving the gift of tea…
1. Caffeine or Herbal (caffeine-free)
Which tea has the most caffeine, or what tea has the most caffeine? We hear that all the time. Caffeine is an important consideration. 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 at a restaurant, so if I am awake at 2:30 AM, I know who to call.
For my ‘Thank You’ gift, I went with a mixture of both—a few blacks, a few greens, and then an equal number of caffeine-free teas. And here is a post about how green tea can make you happier.
2. Loose leaf tea or tea bags
We are quite partial to loose-leaf tea at Local Tea Company. 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 it, the tea can always be served to guests.
I noticed a box of tea sacs during my visit, so I’ll send both loose-leaf teas and teas in sachets.
3. Flavored tea or pure blends
Would you rather a gift of Organic Sarasotan Breakfast blend (an unflavored, blended tea) or our Organic Earl Grey (flavored with Oil of Bergamot)? This may be the easiest comparison. Flavored tea or pure?
What is better than a strong cup of pinhead gunpowder green tea or a pure Organic Sencha on the pure side of the discussion? Maybe a pot of our 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!!
For my gift, I erred on the side of abundance and included both.
Is your gift for a serious tea drinker, someone loaded with tea accessories? Do they really need another tea ball with an elf fob?
There are ‘heaps’ of options. For the newbie just starting their tea journey, a box of tea sacs or a few mesh balls of different sizes 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 wonderful gifts; honey or jams are always welcome.
Another void during my visit was honey? So, I included a bottle from Sarasota Honey Company. Yes, this is quite a gift!!!
Find a clever and creative tea. Find a tea with some meaning, or be realistic, something that can easily be ‘Regifted.’
I will be back for another visit in February and plan to take a tea inventory! Here is my complete list of the gift I sent yesterday. The total cost before shipping was $99.
- Organic Sarasotan Breakfast Blend (Loose-leaf)
- Organic Earl Grey (Sachets)
- Island Mango Black (Loose-Leaf) … Cochin Masala Chai would have worked here as well.
- Organic Sencha Green Tea (Loose-Leaf)
- Goji Green (Sachets)
- Mote Beach Tea (Sachets)
- Selby Select Rooibos (Sachets)
- Organic Peppermint (Loose-Leaf) … Organic Egyptian Chamomile was considered!
- Raw Wildflower Honey from Sarasota Honey Company
***I threw in some printed GolfToons for their cartoon-littered fridge!
Please visit www.LocalTeaCo.com or send us a note in the comments section of 5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea, and we will help you select tea gifts.
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!)
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.
“And I want a tea cozy. I don’t know what a tea cozy is, but I want one!”
Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I don’t think Buffy is alone. Many Local Tea Company customers and tea drinkers, in general, do not know about tea cozies. Or, they may have heard about Tea cozies but have never seen or used one! They are a straightforward yet amazing invention to keep your tea warm in the POT.
It would seem their popularity has waned since the invention of the teabag, which in turn meant fewer people used a teapot. So, let’s try and get back on track, get the teapots back out, add some good loose tea, and bring back the popularity of tea cozy!
The tea cozy history is not too well documented, though It seems unlikely that they were used when teapots first originated as the pots were small and tea was costly. When William Pitt the Younger was Prime Minister in 1783 at the tender age of 24, he passed the Commutation Act, which lowered the tea tax, making tea more affordable and, no doubt, the teapots bigger!
Sign up for our Newsletter here, and please share this post on social media.
Gladwell Tea Party Podcast
I listen to podcasts. A lot of podcasts, but most current events, politics, comedy, and golf. Gladwell Tea Party Podcast.
The first podcast I ever listened to was Malcolm Gladwell’s “Revisionist History” in 2015. My friend, Matt Turck, turned me on to podcasts, actually taking my phone from me while we were at the Corner Bistro in NYC, and downloading Gladwell’s first episode that had launched that very day. Thanks, Matt.
My preference is the long-form interviews, especially while driving my Tea Wagon around Sarasota. Always on the lookout for new podcasts, though I don’t usually listen to podcasts about Tea. There are a bunch. I don’t find them as interesting as the ones I like. And I read a lot of Tea Blogs, as well.
I’ve moved on from Revisionist History. I still subscribe but don’t really listen. That is until I noticed ‘Tempest in a Teacup.’ I read the overview and then listened. Fantastic!
Gladwell tells his tale, in this case revisiting the Boston Tea Party. The episode was released on July 4, and while I am a bit behind, I learned a few things…
The ‘Tea Party’ was actually the culmination of a colonial drug war. And the colonial drug of choice was tea. Really?? I always thought the Patriots dumped tea into Boston Harbor to take a stand against taxation without representation. Not so, says Gladwell.
The Patriots were smuggling tea from China into the colonies. This ‘Bohea Tea’ was cheaper and turned into a profitable business by undercutting the British taxed tea.
Great Britain found out about the smuggling and passed the Tea Act of 1773, lowering tea prices. This was not good for biz. So, the Patriots dressed up as Mohawk Indians and dumped the British taxed tea into the harbor. As the Canadian Gladwell points out, our Founding Fathers were a criminal enterprise, drug dealers defending their turf. Cool!
Apparently, lapsang has become popular with guys, and the smokier, the better. As a result, tea companies have been upping the smokiness of lapsang souchongs. And, in the opinion of Tony Gebely of Tea Epicure, ruining lapsangs by over smoking them.
Gladwell, also a lapsang drinker and unaware of the scandal, was deemed part of the problem by Gebely. Thanks, Malcolm. Tea Epicure is a wonderful tea blog that rates “the world’s most exciting teas” and goes deep into the tea world. Thanks, Tony.
Our lapsang souchong has a subtle smokiness and not nearly as smoky-tasting as it smells in the tin. And there is a great story about the origin of lapsang or caravan tea posted in our Lapsang Souchong product description.
More disclosure, I thought I might like a smokier version for my morning lapsang. This podcast stopped me in my tracks. I don’t. I believe our lapsang has gotten any smokier over time? But please tell me if you think it has.
Anyway, an interesting podcast having to do with tea as the colonial drug of choice and over smoked lapsang souchong that I thought I would share here.
Gladwell Tea Party Podcast
And the Sip Locally Tea Journey continues. Since this Gladwell Tea Party Podcast post, I have started drinking Lapsang Souchong most mornings with honey and steamed oat milk. And Revisionist History is out with Season Five!
Cuppa Tea at Selby House Cafe
For this episode of “Cuppa Tea in Sarasota,” now available from our YouTube Channel, we go back to our roots. We visit the Selby House Cafe at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. for a cuppa tea at the Selby House Cafe.
The cafe is now operated by Michael’s on East, and they do a fantastic job and serve an incredible cuppa tea!!! Selby Select Rooibos, Secret Garden Green, and Little Monkey fruit tea, to name a few, and we are always creating new tea for the annual garden exhibitions. Previously art from Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol, and Paul Gauguin has been on display at Selby Gardens.
The annual holiday Lights in Bloom celebration starts December 14, and when we visited, the gardens were humming in anticipation. Millions of lights in the trees, Santa Claus, reindeer games, live music, and much more.
Local Tea Company previously operated a tea shop, the Carriagehouse Tea Room at Selby Gardens, and the cafe. It is always nice to come home for a visit.
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. Here is a post from Lights in Bloom 2020 at Selby Gardens.
Please subscribe and after that, let us know what you think.
Episode #5 – Selby House Cafe by Michael’s On East
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.
Episode #3 – Cafe in the Park
YouTube for Local Tea Co.
We are having fun with our new “Cuppa Tea in SRQ” YouTube Channel. Check out this series visiting our wholesale Serving Partners in and around Sarasota. We find the owner and have a ‘video visit’ with them.
It’s short, it’s light and above all, tries to be funny.
Episode #1 – Oasis Cafe & Bakery
Episode #2 – Lila
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
Serve 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.
Local Tea Company