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Easter Wishes with Chocolate Honeybush

Easter Wishes with Chocolate Honeybush

“The Spirit of Easter is all about Hope, Love and Joyful living.”

-Anonymous

Easter celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead.  This is the most important holiday in all of Christianity.  As with Christmas, various folk customs and pagan traditions have become a standard part of this holy holiday over the centuries.  Some include Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, Easter baskets of candy, and CHOCOLATE.  There are many stories about the connection of eggs (re-birth) and bunnies (originally hares actually and a symbol of new life in ancient times).  Above all, I am not sure how the chocolate connection came about.

Most of us have no problem with chocolate being included, reason or not!  We cannot offer chocolate eggs or bunnies at Local Tea Company, but we call Chocolate Honeybush an exceptional tea.

Chocolate Honeybush

Honeybush is an herbal infusion or ‘tisane’ grown in the Langkloof Mountains of South Africa.  Read more from a previous post on Honeybush to learn all about this lovely tea.

Some might say that Honeybush is not complete without the addition of those chocolate and caramel pieces.  Similarly, if you smell and taste this version of honeybush, you might agree!

This weekend, you will find us serving and delighting our customers with Chocolate Honeybush in the Carriage House Tea Room at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.  And on Saturday morning at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market.  We can guarantee plenty of love and joy too.

Please join us if you can for a chocolate celebration (without the calories!).  If you are not local, then visit our online shop to stock up on your Easter supplies.  Be sure to share your Easter Chocolate Honeybush with all of your friends.

With good wishes to you all for the Easter holiday.

Cheers,
the TeaLady

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!

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

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

White Tea – White Mischief

White Mischief

White Tea is surrounded by folklore and mystique heralded from ancient China. I am talking really ancient here, as in Tang dynasty 618-907 AD. The Emperor proclaimed this delicate tea as “the culmination of all that is elegant” and reserved for members of the Imperial Court. The leaves were picked in early spring when young tea shoots abound, and legend has it that the picking was done by virgins wearing white gloves. Well, it is a pure story at any rate!

White Tea

Tang Dynasty of China

White tea is thankfully no longer solely the property of Emperors and Kings! Although originally grown only in the Fujian Province in China, it is now grown in other regions such as Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and India due to its increasing popularity. What has remained the same is the process of making this tea!

White teas are the least processed of all the teas. Leaves are delivered to the factory by hand, where they are naturally withered and sun-dried; no oxidation occurs.

The new buds are picked before they open when they have a white, silvery appearance (hence the name!). This white appearance is the ‘hao” or hair on the bud or baby leaf.

White Mischief

White teas are subtle, delicate, and flavorful and are considered by some to have the most health benefits. The appearance of white teas can vary in color, depending on the style of tea. Still, all have a very natural fresh look, which is also very pure and natural in the cup, devoid of any astringency or grassiness.

With more antioxidants than black tea or green tea, research shows that white tea has anticancer properties, is strengthening the immune and cardiovascular systems, reduces high blood pressure, and calms and detoxifies the skin(anti-sagging!).

White Mischief

So, what about our White Mischief from Local Tea Company? I thought this a very appropriate name on first tasting this tea with a mischievous play on the taste buds. Please take a moment to smell this tea when it also plays mischief with your senses!
White Mischief is a type of tea known as Pai Mu Tan, which means “white peony” and is produced in Fujian Province from a variety of tea bush called Narcissus or chaicha where only the “two leaves and a bud” are used.  The tea is mostly green with silver tips and is quite light and fluffy.  The mischievousness is created by blending with a healthy dose of tart pomegranate and juicy guava!

When brewing White Mischief uses one heaped teaspoon per cup with water heated to 180-190 degrees (or just under boiling), I find this produces a mellow flavor without scalding the leaves, which may cause astringency.  The tea can be infused for 2 minutes with plenty of flavor.  The second infusion of 4 minutes and a third of 6 minutes will yield great cooling and refreshing character. See our earlier post on multi-steeping tea.

I have infused this tea as many as 6 times, but leave you to experiment with this stimulating and actually quite mischievous tea. Sorry I couldn’t resist it one more time!

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