December 2009

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 very special reasons to be excited about both giving and receiving of 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, enjoying every sip.

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 which is so simple, yet so complex, so cost effective and so enjoyable. You are also giving the gift of health and well being to your loved ones.

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

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 which were 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 for drinking some tea and feel the benefits. I drink to you and yours.
Cheers and all the best to everyone.
Tea Lady


When I got to work this morning (if you call going to Selby Gardens, sipping, talking tea all day work!) I decided to crack open our Young Pu-erh. Pronounced Poo-Air, a special broad leaf tea that takes its name from the Pu’er county in the Province of Yunnan of China.

This is not a tea I reach for often. Maybe I should not call myself a dedicated tea drinker because of this, but I was given a newspaper article about an area called Menghai in China. NYTimes Jan 2009

Farmers and citizens got rich investing and selling the bricks of Pu-er tea produced in Menghai. Some buyers promoted it as liquid gold and when the value hit record levels they dumped their stock and disappeared. Now it is less than a 10th of the peak price and the tea traders are no longer buying, leaving the farmers and citizens broke.

Let’s talk about this tea that people are willing to pay huge amounts of money for. Pu Erh goes through an additional oxidation process much like composting where bacterial and fungal fermentation takes place. The tea can then be aged for many years. Pu Erh leaves are often compressed into cakes or bricks and then wrapped in tissue paper to absorb moisture. The bricks are then left to mature in dark, dry places enhancing the already earthy flavor.

Pu Erh is said to lower cholesterol, cure hangovers, help with digestive problems, aid metabolism and tends to be low in tannins. Our Young Pu Erh at Local Tea Company is loose rather than compressed. The flavor is very pungent and earthy, smells like a compost heap and looks like tar so I know it’s going to be good for me!

I finish the first steep and continue with four more steeps. I like the later steeps better than the initial steep and find a lovely sweet beet tasting dark golden liquor with the fourth and fifth steep.

By this time, late in the afternoon I am thinking Pu Erh should be brewed more often by me and shared with visitors to Selby Garden as well as the Sarasota Farmer’s Market. I’m not sure I would invest pots of money in Pu-erh but it is definitely worth experiencing. What a fascinating thing this drink called Tea!

the Tea Lady

This is something I got thinking about the other day when a customer hinted our tea might be a tad expensive!
I know everybody is feeling the pinch right now and may continue to do so for some time, but tea is such amazing value for money. At 25 cups per 2 oz that makes your cuppa 36 cents a pop!  And most loose leaf teas can be Multi-Steeped or infused multiple times which brings the cost down even more.
Just in case you were looking for further justification for splurging on tea, lets examine some more reasons why tea is such a fantastic beverage for our body and soul.
1.) Drinking tea reduces the effects of stress. A very special ingredient in Tea called L Theanine stimulates your Alpha brain waves creating relaxation and mental alertness.
2.) Drinking tea strengthens your immune system helping to prevent Colds and Flu during the winter months and beyond.
3.) Drinking tea helps metabolize fats (just in case you are making some bad food choices at this time) and helps keep cholesterol levels low and converts fats into energy, especially Oolongs.
4.) Drinking tea is good for the skin and helps you to keep looking radiant. Take a warm  bath in Rooibos tea for soothing your body and promoting deep relaxation.
5.) Drinking tea with a friend or your family is just the best thing for slowing down, being more mindful and taking time to appreciate how much we already have in our lives.
Take time for tea.
the Tea Lady