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Harrogate Yorkshire Tea

Harrogate Yorkshire Tea

You may be familiar with or have heard about Yorkshire Pudding, even Yorkshire Terriers, but did you know Yorkshire has a TEA?

Harrogate

It is immensely fitting that Harrogate, a small town in Yorkshire, North England, should have a tea named after. It would help if you now wondered why that might be so, and of course, I will tell you.

First, Harrogate is known for the quality of its water. Good water is, of course, the main ingredient in a good cuppa tea! Harrogate is home to many ancient wells, the

Tewit Well Harrogate

most famous being Tewit Well, discovered by Sir William Slingsby during the 1700s. Slingsby believed the water had powerful healing properties, able to cure just about anything.

The Wells

The wells became an attraction, and visitors flocked to ‘take the waters’ at Harrogate, turning the small town into a Spa destination. This, in turn, created a proliferation of tea shops, the most famous being Betty’s. To this day, a town visit is not complete without stopping at Betty’s for tea and some exceedingly good cakes. Tea served in Harrogate certainly has a delicious taste.

Bettys Cafe Harrogate

Second, and the most fitting reason Harrogate has a tea named after it is because this is my home town! This is where my love of tea and my tea journey first began. My mum could ‘sup some tea’ as they say in Yorkshire and as a family, we did plenty of tea drinking. There was not a single occasion that did not call for a cuppa, and all visitors to our home were welcomed with a good cup of tea and some homemade cake or biscuits.

I learned my tea-making skills at an early age, and my passion for tea has never wavered. In fact, it continues to grow. My life is very different now, but each new day starts with a cup of Harrogate tea, taking me back to those times in the Yorkshire town. Thanks, mum. This is certainly a special tea from a special town. Be sure to share Harrogate Yorkshire tea with all your visitors.

Yorkshire

At Local Coffee + Tea, our Harrogate Yorkshire Tea is a blend of Orange pekoe and Broken Orange pekoe tea from 3 growing regions in China, Kenya, and India. The style of this tea is blended to make a good strong brew with some astringency. You may like to steep your tea for 3 minutes or much longer. Of course, I drink the traditional Yorkshire way with milk. I also use some agave nectar, but it tastes great without—what a great way to start your day refreshed and full of Yorkshire energy.

Cheers,
the TeaLady

Astringency in Tea

Astringency in Tea

When we offer samples of tea at Selby Gardens or the Sarasota Farmer’s Market, many people respond with, “I don’t like the taste of tea.”  Our standard cheeky response is, “Because you have never tasted our tea?”

After probing a bit, people describe the bitter taste of tea.  The root cause is typically oversteeping, which is why we are so specific with steep times at Local Tea Company.  Loose leaf tea offers so much flavor, and when prepared incorrectly, will become astringent.

What causes astringency in tea?

Astringency

Astringency is that dry, puckering sensation that follows a sip of strong tea, an assertive red wine, or a bite into not quite ripe fruit.  Tannins are responsible. They are polyphenols or natural defensive compounds that actually help deter bacteria and fungi growing on the tea leaf. The sensation of astringency is caused by the ‘tanning’ of the proteins in the mouth’s saliva and mucous membranes.  Besides, this causes the surface tissues actually to contract and reduce lubrication.

Tannins

Tannins tend to get some bad press because they are often confused with tannic acid.  However, tannic acid is derived from oak leaves and is used for tanning leather!  When I was young, I remember well the threats from Dad that I would “get a good tannin if I misbehaved.”   I guess this is the source of the phrase? In other words, and to set the record straight, I do not have a leathery bottom now.  The threat served its purpose, and I am always a good girl!

The Camellia sinensis tannins found in loose leaf tea are responsible for the wonderful flavor and color in tea.  After that, a little astringency is nice, giving your drink some body and briskness (I love that word!) and cleansing your palate after eating. That’s why a cuppa always tastes so good after dinner.  You will find tannins very evident in green tea and especially black tea if steeped too long.

I will let you on to a little secret, though you may already know about if you drink your tea like the Brits.  If you add milk to the tea, the tannins attack the milk’s proteins rather than those in your mouth, and you have a less astringent taste.

Last but not least, Tannins are said to keep bad bacteria out of your mouth and help impede dental cavities.  In conclusion, celebrate Hot Tea Month and make your Dentist happy by drinking lots of tea!

Cheers,
the TeaLady

Cochin Masala Chai

Cochin Masala Chai

January is National Hot Tea Month, and all over the country, we are experiencing some chilly weather, even here in Florida.  As everyone is much more appreciative of the benefits of drinking a nice hot cuppa, I can think of no better way to celebrate hot tea month than drinking the hottest of teas, Masala Chai.  Here is a post Time of the Year for Chai Tea.

Chai

Chai is the generic word for tea in much of the World. The British adopted the word as slang, and ‘cha’ or ‘char’ became the meaning of a teacup.   So what is true Masala Chai?

This beverage from the Indian subcontinent is made by brewing tea with a mixture of aromatic spices and herbs.  The traditional process of making chai involves actively boiling the tea leaves over sustained heat with spices.  While there are many variations of preparation today (some not too good either!), there are four components that remain true to chai tea’s original idea.

Chai starts with black loose leaf tea.
  1. Strong black tea, usually Assam, but can be Ceylon. The loose leaf tea is strong, so spices and sweeteners do not overpower the flavor.
  2. Sweetener, usually white sugar, palm, or coconut sugars. A large quantity is required to bring out the flavor of the spices. You can use honey or agave also. Condensed milk can be used, which also adds sweetness.
  3. Milk, usually whole milk for richness, but alternatives like Soy can be used. 1/4 to 1/2 parts are required.
  4. Spice, usually warm spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, peppercorn, and cloves, with cardamom being the predominant flavor. Other possible additions are nutmeg, rose, licorices root, almond, and saffron.

Cochin Masala Chai

At Local Tea Company, we offer an outstanding Cochin Masala Chai, authentic and gives a warm traditional flavor. It bears the name of a busy port, which also has a long history in trading spices. We like to drink it without anything added and have been sampling our chai in the Tea Room at Selby Gardens, and probably one of these Saturdays at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market.  Go ahead and try the different options and see which one you like the best.  Then put your feet up, stay warm with a cup of Cochin Masala Chai and celebrate Hot Tea month!

Cheers,
the TeaLady

Hot Tea Month

Hot Tea Month

Happy New Year and Happy Hot Tea Month!

January is National Hot Tea Month and also the height of the “cold and flu season.” So what can you do to help prevent coming down with the cold and flu?

Drinking hot tea is sure to help you stay healthy.

Research

There is plenty of research that indicates that theanine, an ingredient found naturally in tea, supports the immune system. A cup of tea contains an average of 20- 25 mg of theanine, and drinking at least five cups per day will boost your natural resistance to infections.

Tea also contains flavonoids, which are naturally occurring compounds known for their antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, which scientists believe damage elements in the body and contribute to many chronic diseases.

There is also a herbal tea with great properties in the war against cold and flu: Zingibar officinale, the tart, knotty spice we know as ginger. The oils in ginger will create warmth in your body, help fight infection, and ease nasal and chest congestion. Ginger root makes a tea with nice clean notes and, of course, the familiar hot finish! Anti-inflammatory properties also make ginger a good sore throat remedy. A touch of honey or lemon makes an even more soothing tea when you are feeling unwell.

Why not go for a double dose of prevention and combine ginger with your favorite black tea or green tea such as Nilgiri or Pinhead Gunpowder. This is an invigorating infusion. I like to infuse the ginger root first (it needs at least 10 minutes of steeping) and then add to the prepared tea. If you live in a warmer climate like Florida (where we hardly notice it is winter!) and really do not want to drink hot tea, try serving this combo iced. It really is delicious.

Local Tea Company offers a wonderful dried ginger root from Thailand and an Organic Fair Trade Chamomile from Egypt.

Hot Tea Month

While drinking tea may not keep you from getting sick this season, it can certainly help your odds of staying healthy. So do something good for your body and enjoy a hot cuppa every day! Have a Happy Hot Tea month and stay well.

Cheers,
the TeaLady

The Gift of Tea

The Gift of Tea

At Local Tea Company, we have a great selection of tea to suit many different tastes. Some of our holiday favorites are listed at the end of this post with links to our online shop. Whatever your gift choice, I believe there are many extraordinary reasons to be excited about both giving and receiving TEA

  • The anticipation of opening the packet and discovering the appearance of the leaf,
  • Inhaling the special aroma that loose tea releases,
  • Watching the magic of leaves dancing in the pot,
  • The delicious color and flavor in the cup,
  • Sitting down, letting go of all the stress in your body (which we seem to create in great quantities, especially at this time of the year!),
  • And finally, Life is too short to drink bad tea.

Gift Tea

Making tea is an act to be shared with someone special, presented to a group of friends, or enjoyed completely alone. I cannot think of any other item that is so simple, yet so complex, cost-effective, and enjoyable. You are also giving the gift of health and well being to your loved ones.  Here is a post with 5 Things to Remember when Gifting Tea.

If you have no tea lovers in your life, then give yourself the gift of tea. YOU deserve it!

Holiday Teas

Some of our holiday favorites include Chocolate Honeybush, Organic Red Berries, and Cochin Masala Chai. For a more relaxing tea, perfect for evenings, there is Organic Honeybush. Also, check out the “Celebrate Sarasota” gift deal, 4 herbal teas inspired by Local Treasures: Selby Gardens, Van Wezel, Ringling Museum, and Siesta Key Beach.

On behalf of all at Local Tea Company, I would like to wish all our tea followers a Very Merry Christmas and a TEArrific New Year. We appreciate your business and hope you continue to enjoy our teas in 2010.

No matter where you are or what you are planning to do during this special season, please make time to drink some tea and feel the benefits. I drink to you and yours.

Cheers and all the best to everyone.

Tea Lady

Celebrating Sarasota

Celebrating Sarasota

We completed our collection of teas celebrating the crown jewels of Sarasota. Check out our Celebrating Sarasota Collection of Teas. The line up includes Selby Select, Mable’s Rose Rooibos Tea, Mote Beach Tea, and Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea. >> We have since replaced the Mote with Siesta Tea.

All four teas are naturally caffeine-free, packed in distinctively colored resealable bags to maximize freshness, and most importantly, they are DELICIOUS.  Here is a post about Five Reasons you will Love Rooibos Tea.

Celebrating Sarasota

Here are the details, along with slogans.  We laughed at writing them.  The overall idea is – Sarasota, That’s My Cuppa Tea.

Selby Gardens

Selby Select – Juicy orange peels and yogurt pieces blended with rooibos for a dreamsicle finish. Created to honor Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, a tropical oasis of orchids and other epiphytes. “Selby Select, because you can’t steep an orchid.”

Ringling Museum

Mable’s Rose Rooibos Tea – Rose petals and cherry blossoms infused in rooibos bursting with flavor. Mable Ringling created her beloved rose garden before starting on Ca d’Zan, the one of a kind estate at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.  We pay tribute with this tea to this mysterious woman. “Mable’s Rose Rooibos Tea, if you liked John’s house, you’ll love Mable’s tea.”

Mote Aquarium

Mote Beach Tea – an exotic mix of fruits and herbs including rosehips, apple, hibiscus, pineapple, and coconut for a tropical infusion. Created in honor of the research conducted at the Mote Marine Laboratory. “Mote Beach Tea, so delicious you’ll be jumping with our dolphins.”

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea – a rooibos with red and black currants for an amethyst inspired brew. This season marks the 40th year of fabulous performances at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, our gem by the bay. “Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea is one hot act that’s also great iced.”

At Local Tea Company, our motto is ‘Sip Locally.’  We are committed to three core principles; promoting local businesses, protecting local environments, and celebrating local treasures.  In conclusion, visit Local Coffee + Tea at Siesta Key Village, Selby Gardens, and every Saturday at the Downtown Farmer’s Market in Sarasota.

Support your local treasures and celebrate Sarasota, one cup at a time.

md

Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea

Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea

This week we launched a signature rooibos tea for the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea celebrates 40 years of fabulous performances at the Sarasota landmark by the bay.

On Wednesday evening, the lineup of this season’s performers was announced.  In addition to a signature dessert by Michael’s On East and our stunning Rooibos blend with black and red currants. Tony Bennett is the big star headlining the 40th Anniversary party on January 5th.

Image of VanWezel Rooibos Tea from Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida.

Local Tea Company samples and sells this tea at performances this season.  We will serve the caffeine-free tea at selected events for sponsors and patrons. This tea is available at our shops in Siesta Key Village and Selby Gardens, on Saturday mornings at the Downtown Farmer’s Market, and online at www.LocalTeaCo.com

The Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea is the second in our “Celebrating Sarasota” series.  The other tea is also a rooibos, our best selling Selby Select and honors  Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Here is a post about Five Reasons you will Love Rooibos Tea.

The response to the iced version is very positive.  However, it’s hard to compete with cold pinot grigio on a gorgeous summer evening at the bayfront. Special thanks to Julia Mays for spreading the word all evening long.  In conclusion, thanks to the entire team at the Van Wezel, who quickly put the details together.

Cheers,
md

Van Wezel Purple Logo in sarasota florida