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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

Detoxifying Green Teas

Detoxifying Green Teas

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope your year has gotten off to a good start.  If not, and you were feeling bunged up and burned out after a few weeks of 2011, then it’s time to get the kettle on and brew yourself some tea!  Detoxifying Green Teas.

Where to start?  There are many teas at Local Tea Company that we can recommend you drink at this time of year to restore your energy and vitality.  Today, I will concentrate on Green Tea.   Again, we have many varieties to choose from, and the key is finding one that suits you.  If you like the taste of a particular tea, the chances are you will drink more, so experiment till you find the tea for you.

Matcha Green Tea

You should note that Matcha is finely ground powdered green tea and is one of the healthiest beverages you can ingest.  When you drink matcha, you are ingesting the whole leaf rather than an infusion of the tea leaf.

Matcha Green Tea

Most green tea benefits are gained from 2 components, a family of antioxidants called catechins, including EGCG (or epigallocatechin- 3 gallate), and an amino acid called L-Theanine.   EGCG protects against cell damage that can result in disease.   Several medical reports indicate that green tea has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.   L-Theanine boosts the brain’s alpha wave levels, leading to greater mental focus and a feeling of relaxation.  There is evidence that theanine also counteracts any negative behavior of caffeine.

Matcha is said to contain 10 times the antioxidants of regular green tea, and the same goes for L-Theanine content.  If you cannot manage between 4 and 9 cups of regular green tea, then have 1 or 2 cups of matcha every day.

Matcha can be served in many ways; again, find what works for you.  I am a juicer so blend right into my daily serving of fresh juice.  You can add to your water bottle, make an iced or hot latte with soy, almond, rice milk, or drink a shot straight up.  We offer a ceremonial grade of Matcha.

Green Tea Ice Cream

Green Tea Ice Cream

You can make ice cream too.  Check out a previous post along with a recipe for green tea ice cream.  Also, I have had customers tell me that they add matcha to their regular cuppa tea.  Matcha is all good, so you need to start drinking matcha NOW.

There are some other traditional green teas you should know about.  Goji Green contains the ‘superfruit’ goji berry, which also has powerful anti-oxidants.

We offer unflavored green teas, including  Pinhead Gunpowder, and our classic Jasmine green tea is very delicate.  Our very popular Organic Strawberry Smile make those cups of tea go down really easy!

Look out for my next blog, which will include some of our herbal teas, which also have healing properties.  Time to put the kettle on; hope you are doing the same!  Good health and happiness for 2011, and make sure you ‘take time for tea.’  Detoxifying Green Teas

Cheers,
the TeaLady

Questions

  • There are many green tea benefits.  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.
  • 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!

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

Healthy Living Tea

Healthy Living Tea

I subscribe to a healthy living magazine each month and look forward to reading wellness articles. Over recent months, I have noticed how the features of tea and the benefits of drinking tea have started to increase, which is great to see. This month, two Local Tea Company favorite herbs mentioned, which prompted me to share a bot more detail about both here.

The first is Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa), which makes an amazing iced tea with lovely red color and unique, bright, tart taste. Research tells us that this tea is said to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin C but is best know for the cooling effect drinking this tea has on your body.

Hibiscus

Imagine that, a natural body refrigerant which came in very handy this summer at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market! It is perfect when garnished with a sprig of fresh mint.  I have written a lot about Hibiscus in this blog, including last summer, but we have a picture!!

Boil four cups of water and infuse with ½ cup of leaves. Leave to infuse for at least 10 minutes. If you leave for longer, the liquor becomes darker and more flavorful. Leave to cool before pouring over ice. (Be careful when working with Hibiscus as it may stain).

The second herb is Organic Egyptian Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), known for its gentle caressing nature.  We offer a Fair Trade Chamomile grown in the Nile River Valley.  I had written about Chamomile in an earlier post (Cami to Chamomile) when I was not a fan.  I have really grown to not only appreciate but truly enjoy my “cami,” and I hope you do as well.

Egyptian Chamomile

A warm tea of chamomile flowers is floral and rich. Chamomile calms, cools, and tranquilizes to help you fall asleep naturally. Not only can you drink as a tea, but you can also use it as a gentle spritzer on your skin or in your bath water as Chamomile relaxes tension in your muscles and softens the skin. For you blondes out there, Chamomile will highlight your hair when used as a rinse!

For the spritzer, use a tablespoon of dried flowers per 8 ounces of water. Cool before pouring into a spray bottle or soak a clean cloth in the liquor and use it as a cooling compress.

These are two beautiful tea treats for your body and soul.  Stay well with Hibiscus and Chamomile.  Healthy Living Tea

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

Kombucha with Yorkshire Tea

Kombucha Yorkshire Tea

Thank you to those following my Kombucha side trip on my Tea Journey.  And for enduring me when I get carried away with Kombucha enthusiasm! Since my earlier Kombucha posts, #1 and #2, I have been busy brewing.  I continue to learn about the variations, the good, bad, and the ugly about this fascinating beverage.

Kombucha Yorkshire Tea

Kombucha Tea

I am not very disciplined about drinking my kombucha when at home.  However, during my working days at the Carriagehouse Tea Room at Selby Gardens, I sip during lunch and the afternoon hours. During the ‘dog days of summer, ’ kombucha gives me a boost of energy.

Michael and Tray continue to make excuses for why they no longer brew kombucha.  Tray drinks as much of my supply as available. I must be doing something right. So, what’s new?

Black Tea

I have found that black tea seems to work best, especially our Harrogate Yorkshire tea.   This is not really surprising; this tea has such strength and character as the people of Yorkshire!!  Brewing the tea for 14 days was too astringent for my taste, so I reduced to 7 days.  Less fermentation time results in a slightly sweeter taste and more fizz.   I also started adding new tea on top of the same SCOBY instead of washing out containers each time.  I no longer split the mother and baby as often.  The SCOBY has grown really fast, improving my results.

kombucha SCOBY

After reading that more fizz is achieved if you leave bottles out for 4 days before refrigeration, I tried this routine.   I found the bottles started to grow ‘mini’ SCOBYs (ew!), so I now refrigerate immediately.

I am very much enjoying where this journey is taking me.  New converts or fellow ‘Kombuchans’ are found in all sorts of spots. You may have heard of retailers removing the commercially bottled Kombucha from their shelves, so there has been growing interest in home brewing. I have been giving away SCOBYs to anyone who wants to try making their own and hope to have more success stories to share.  Stop by Local Tea Company to talk about tea.  .Kombucha Yorkshire Tea

Cheers,
The TeaLady

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

Tea and Relaxation

Tea and Relaxation

August 15th is National Relaxation Day, and we are celebrating at Local Tea Company!

It seems that stress has become a major part of every day in all of our lives, and we have forgotten how to relax. Stress is also leading to more obesity, heart problems, and blood pressure, to name a few.

Stress

I have a niece visiting from England, and it is apparent even in the young, she is 15 years old! It may not manifest in the same way as in adults.  However, never the less, they seem to HAVE TO fill their day with one thing after another and no longer know how to ‘live in and enjoy the moment’ or RELAX.

For me, there is no better way to help mind and body cope than to enjoy a cup of tea (or several in my case!). That is exactly what I am doing at this moment whilst said niece and husband visit Busch Gardens.

Tea

There are excellent reasons why tea has such good stress-relieving properties. All teas made from Camellia sinensis, black, oolong, green, and white tea contain a unique and special amino acid called L-Theanine. Researchers have found that L-Theanine appears to play a role in the formation of gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA.  This blocks the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, promoting a state of calm relaxation.

Here is how it works! L-Theanine enters your body through the bloodstream but will also trigger the alpha brain waves, relaxation brain waves.  This gives us a sense of well-being and improved mood. This combines with the caffeine to release sustained energy, focus, and mental clarity. It was this amazing phenomenon that first attracted Buddhist monks to drinking the beverage thousands of years ago. They were able to remain alert but felt relaxed enough to meditate for very long periods of time.

L-Theanine

L- Theanine’s chemical effect on our brain and body is not the only reason tea is one of the best-known remedies for relaxation. The whole process of preparing the water, warming the pot, the tantalizing aroma from the fresh leaves, the anticipation of the first sip, and the flavor in the mouth all relax our senses. Even if you are an iced tea drinker, you have involved those senses in preparing your tea. You may decide to enjoy your tea alone or share it with loved ones or friends.

Whichever tea or whatever way you choose to take your tea is not really important, take time to do it!  Tea and Relaxation

Cheers,
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.

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