October 2010

As vibrant and diverse as the organization after which it is named, Patriot Tea perfectly captures the essence of the Sara DeSoto chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. This is the oldest non profit organization in the Sarasota and is located in historic Payne Park. 

By 1720 tea was a staple of the trading industry centered in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. As tea was heavily taxed, contraband tea was smuggled in by independent merchants. Early colonists had also learned about locally grown herbs from the Native Indians and these discoveries were to play an important role in the protest against taxes the British were placing on tea, protest which would eventually lead to the Boston Tea Party.

Daughters of the Revolution vowed to “drink tea made from weeds” instead of imported tea. Thankfully they chose herbs, fruits and flowers to make their tea and we now present them to you in this beautiful tea!

Patriot Tea

Fitting and appropriate to have Rooibos used as the base for Patriot Tea, as Aspalathis linearis was first cultivated in the early 1900’s by a Russian immigrant called Ginsberg. His ancestors are still involved in Rooibos production today, and one descendant is a regular at our tea tent at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. 

At Local Coffee + Tea, we carry 9 unique rooibos teas, though I have not written a genereal post on rooibos,  you can expect one soon.  Rooibos is naturally caffeine free and indigenous to the Cape Province area of South Africa. Rooibos is often referred to as bush tea. 

Lavender (Lavandula officinale) Lavender was used by the Romans in their bath water for rejuvenation and is derived from the Latin word lavare meaning ‘to wash’. This herb of harmony can calm your nerves; relieve stress and headaches whilst invigorating you. Early settlers used Lavender to reduce fevers, ease sickness and as a healing wash for wounds.

Elderberry (Sambuca nigra) Elder contains Vitamin C and A, strengthens your respiratory tract by helping to remove phlegm and mucous from the lungs and fights and reduces inflammation. A strong respiratory system is your best defense against any further allergic reactions. It can be used as a gargle for throat and tonsil infections and for soothing coughs and colds. Hot elderberry wine is an old English cold remedy; you will taste this distinctive berry when serving Patriot tea hot.

Rose Hip (Rosa canina) Rose hips are the fruit of the Wild Dog Rose which takes its name from its earliest use as a remedy for bites from ‘mad’ or ‘wild’ dogs. The 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 as their color; they enhance the function of everything from your skin to your innermost being, containing an array of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Vibrant and healing

Currants (Ribes rubrum and nigrum) These beautiful dried berries add a very pleasant and juicy punch to this blend, a great combination. High in vitamin C, iron, potassium many herbalists consider the currant to have fever reducing abilities as well as cleansing the blood and aiding digestion. One thing for sure is they are rich in anthocyanins, very powerful antioxidants which help us fight disease and illness. 

Rose petals (Rosa centiflora) Rose petals have a long history in folklore remedies especially for the skin but as we are infusing the petals they are purely for aesthetic appeal, soothing our heart and emotions, uplifting our nervous system, resulting in a feeling of sheer pleasure and well being. What a wonderful way to round off this blend of ingredients. Simply sweet!

Patriot Tea is truly a blend steeped in history which we hope will enrich the lives of the dynamic women we created it for.  We are thrilled to add Patriot Tea to our Celebrating Sarasota Collection of  Teas (see Nov 2009 post) along with Selby Select (see Aug 2009 post), Mote Beach Tea (see our Sept 2010 post), Mable’s Rose Rooibos, Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea and Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea (see our May 2010 post).


the TeaLady


I subscribe to a healthy living magazine each month and look forward to reading articles about wellness. I have noticed over recent months how the features on tea and the benefits of drinking tea have started to increase, which is great to see. This month there were two Local Coffee + Tea 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 a 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 a very good source of Vitamin C but is best know for the cooling effect drinking this tea has on your body.


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 this time 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 Egyptian Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) known for its gentle caressing nature.  We offer a Fair Trade Chamomile grown in the Nile River Valley.  I have 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, you can use 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 as a cooling compress.

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


the TeaLady