April 2011


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

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

Most of us have no problem with chocolate being included, reason or not!  At Local Coffee + Tea we cannot offer chocolate eggs or bunnies but a very special tea we call Chocolate Honeybush.

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 and if you smelled and tasted this version you might agree!

You will find us this weekend serving and delighting our customers with Chocolate Honeybush in the Carriage House Tea Room at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and 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!) but if you are not local then visit our online shop to stock up on your Easter supplies and be sure to share with all your friends too.

With good wishes to you all for the Easter holiday.

Cheers,

the TeaLady

I am glad to announce that here at Local Coffee + Tea we have added another tea to our Organic cultivation varieties.

Pear Mu Tan is a White tea grown in Fujian Province, China.  White teas are surrounded by folklore and mystique heralded from ancient China when this delicate tea was proclaimed by Emperors as “the culmination of all that is elegant”

White teas are the least processed of all the categories of tea.  The newest leaves are carefully picked when they have a silvery appearance which comes from the hair or ‘hao’.  They are lightly withered which turns them into an artists palate of hues, ranging from silver to green to brown and results in 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 a Pear tea and 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” and is produced from a variety of 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 so is a perfect partner for White tea.  To compliment the pear, there are dried apple pieces, mango cubes and marigold blossoms which results in shimmering golden liquor with a lingering fragrance and sweet, fresh mellow taste.  This is a truly beautiful tea both dry and infused.

Please note, this tea is organically cultivated but has not pursued the requirements to be designated ORGANIC.

White teas are becoming very popular now as 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 anticancer properties, is heart healthy, has a calming (anti-sagging!) and detoxifying effect on the skin and the ability to strengthen our immune system.  An added bonus is that it tastes so good!

Travel Tea Mug

As I mentioned, I have been using my travel mug (see earlier post on Traveling Tea Makers) to brew Pear Mu Tan and used water at only 190 degrees.  Be careful not to have the water too hot as it tends to make the tea more astringent on the first infusion.  I have continued to infuse this tea many times (Multi-Steeping) during the day and found it very thirst quenching and so easy to drink.

There are debates aplenty about the amount of caffeine in White teas; could it be that as the tea is made from young leaves that 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 and therefore have been able to drink later into the day.   See how it works for you!

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

How could you not be excited about the prospect of a Royal Wedding?  They don’t come around that often and  we pin all our hopes for a lasting and loving relationship for this lovely young couple.

I plan to lose myself for a day of pomp and circumstance surrounding Prince William (Wills to some!) and the beautiful Kate Middleton (only a middle class girl!)  We could not resist jumping on the Royal bandwagon at Local Coffee + Tea and have created a tea to celebrate the occasion aptly named Royal-Tea.

If you are already sick of all the hoopla (like my husband!) then sit and make yourself a cup of this stately and sophisticated tea, a perfect marriage between green sencha and bancha, orange pieces, slivers of almonds and cream caramel. Tea and fruits fit for a Royal table I think.

The tea, like the Royal couple brings together two different backgrounds.

Chinese sencha (‘Sen’ meaning green and ‘cha’ meaning tea or ‘infused tea’) is a style of green tea normally produced in Japan but here we have a perfect unison between Chinese leaf and Japanese style.

After harvest, the leaves are heated in a wok to prevent oxidation giving the leaves a slightly mellower ‘roasted’ flavor and characteristic thin, cylindrical shape which results in a very light, refreshing and uplifting tea less vegetal in flavor than those produced in Japan.

Bancha or the ‘common’ green tea in Japan is harvested from the second flush of leaves in late summer/autumn. The larger leaf gives a very mellow flavor and contains less caffeine.

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, and it tastes delicious.

Cream caramel is a tasty ‘concoction’ of sugar and fats which are dried and added to enhance this tea.  I try to bring you teas with only all natural ingredients, but sometimes Royal exceptions must be made!

Almonds are something I try to eat all year round for their healthy heart benefits (they contain monounsaturated fats which are good fats responsible for lowering LDL cholesterol).

In Ayurvedic medicine, almonds are considered a nutrient for the brain and nervous system and said to induce high intellectual level and longevity. I knew there was a reason I liked them so much! They pair very well with oranges too.  and Walnut adds to the ‘nuttiness’ of our tea.

Back by popular demand!

If you are reading this description and thinking this all sounds familiar, you may have enjoyed this tea over the holidays.  Festivi-Tea was created to celebrate Lights in Bloom at Selby Gardens.  And we have brought it back to celebrate another holiday, a Royal Wedding!

Whatever the name of this tea, enjoy April 29th and celebrate in true Royal fashion with a good cuppa Royal-Tea.

Please join me in wishing Prince William and Kate a long and happy life together.

Cheers,

The Tea Lady