August 2011


We typically use this space to write about tea, but Local Coffee + Tea has created three new coffees we are very proud of and want to share with you.  Also, Glynis is on holiday in the UK (see post from Harrogate Yorkshire), and so she is not around to protect this sanctuary of tea from coffee contamination.  If you are a tea purist, please do not read any further.

We love Sarasota and have been searching for coffees that might capture the essence of this very special place.  We have found three and they make up our SRQ Collection of Coffees.  We have been brewing all three coffees at the Selby House Cafe at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and our Siesta Key shop with great results.  The collection includes Bee Ridge Blend, Siesta Decaf and Fruitville Flavored Coffee.  Here is a bit more about each of our new coffees…

Bee Ridge Blend

Bee Ridge Blend – Named after one of the main thoroughfares in Sarasota, Bee Ridge is a bold, breakfast style coffee with a bright, natural sweetness.  A very drinkable coffee and especially delicious with a drop of honey.  Medium city roast.

Siesta Decaf – Siesta Decaf is a decaffeinated Colombian coffee and will not interfere with those afternoon naps in a hammock on Siesta Key.  Medium acidity for a rich, balanced and smooth taste.

Siesta Key Decaf Coffee

Fruitville Flavored – A perfect blend of fruit and nut flavors for a slightly sweet treat.  Named after an important street in Sarasota running from near the bay to the bush, and was formerly lined with citrus orchards.

Fruitville Flavored Coffee

All three coffees are locally roasted by Java Dawg Coffee and available every Saturday at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market from the Java Dawg Coffee bus as well as their shop at 4615 Tamiami Trail  in Sarasota.

You can purchase any or all of the SRQ Collection of Coffees from our online shop, www.SipLocally.com.  And now back to the tea!

md

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Whenever we sample Selby Select at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market it is a good day.  Selby Select is our best selling tea and was created to celebrate Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.  Orange peel and trace yogurt blended with rooibos, Selby Select is a bit of sunshine in your cup.  Caffeine free sunshine!

We also sampled iced Earl Grey and a green tea from Kenya, Kosabei Plantation FAIR TRADE.  We posted Who is Earl Grey? earlier this week and here is a link to a earlier post about rooibos.   This week we will offer $1 off packet of all three teas; Selby Select, Earl Grey and Kosabei Plantation FAIR TRADE green tea for online purchases.  And all orders over $40 ship at no charge.

Picture of the day is Papa Peperonata, Adrian with his son Nico.  See our Facebook page for the entire album.

Papa Peperonata and Nico

We are off next Saturday so see you in September.  Sip Locally.

md

Most tea lovers are familiar with Earl Grey.  One whiff of this tea reveals the distinctive aroma on the nose and in the cup.  This is a very traditional black tea with the addition of oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange, a very fragrant citrus fruit.

What about the man behind the tea?

Earl Grey

Charles Grey (1764-1845) descended from a long established Northumbrian family seated at Howick Hall and was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge.  He became the 2nd Earl Grey, was a politician in the Whig party (Democrats) and he became Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 22!  His first parliamentary address as PM was in 1787 and concerned a recent free trade agreement made with France, to which he was very opposed.  He was involved in four years of political reform, the author of the Reform Bill of 1832 (which saw the reform of the House of Commons) and had an enormous impact on the development of democracy in Britain, abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire in 1833.

The Whig historian T.B. Macauly wrote in 1841,

‘At an age when most of those who distinguish themselves in life are still contending for prizes and fellowships at college, he had won for himself a conspicuous place in Parliament. No advantage of fortune or connection was wanting that could set off to the height his splendid talents and his unblemished honour.’

Outside of his political achievements Earl Grey enjoyed the life!  He was said to be tall, slim and strikingly handsome, had 10 sons and 6 daughters with his wife and fathered at least one illegitimate child!  Earl Grey enjoyed gallivanting around the country, breeding dogs, playing cribbage and also found time to have an affair with the Duchess of Devonshire.

There are several tales as to how the tea was named after such a noble and colorful figure!  According to the most popular legend a grateful Chinese mandarin whose son was rescued from drowning by one of the Earl’s men, first presented the blend to the Earl in 1803.  This legend seems to have little basis as the Earl apparently did not set foot in China and the use of bergamot to scent tea was then unknown in China.  Jackson’s of Piccadilly claim they were the originators of the recipe, which was given to them by the Earl himself.

While the truth is not known, like the very popular Earl himself, this tea is one of the most well known flavored teas in the world.  Many people who I chat with in the Carriage House Tea Room at Selby Gardens do not care for the very distinct flavor of Earl Grey. I have found by offering samples of Earl Grey, that most people have never experienced a good quality, loose leaf tea and the quality of both the tea and the bergamot is paramount! Any deviation can result in an unpleasant tea with a residual taste on your palate.

Loose Leaf Earl Grey

Contrary to my British tea drinking habits, I have become a fan of Iced Earl (Me thinks the Earl would not approve!)  Delicious, so be sure to try for yourself.  When brewing Earl Grey hot, I actually infuse for only 2 minutes and then enjoy multiple infusions from the same leaves.  It is the perfect accompaniment to tea sandwiches and cakes (Mmmm!) but just drinking alone is fine too.  ‘Gallivant’ with your Earl, and find your favorite way to enjoy.

Try our premium blend of Earl Grey from Local Coffee + Tea.  You may be surprised to find you like the Earl, now that you know a bit about the man behind the tea.

Cheers,

the TeaLady

Our Tea.WIZ was a big hit at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market on Saturday.  Subtly sweet, with a touch of tartness, kids love it and Tea.WIZ is incredibly refreshing on a hot summer morning.  We created this fruit and herb tisane for G.WIZ – The Science Museum and it is fast becoming one of our best sellers.

We also sampled our Bertha Palmer rooibos, and our Orange Blossom Oolong.  Here are a links to earlier posts about these wonderful teas; Oooolongs, Tea.WIZ and Bertha Palmer.  For those not able to join us at the market, we are offering $1 off each packet for online purchases of Tea.WIZ, Bertha Palmer and Orange Blossom Oolong this week.  All orders over $40 ship at no charge.

Picture of the day is Kalee from Wet Noses with a cuppa Tea.WIZ.  She did share with her sister Ava and enjoyed a few refills.  See our Facebook page for the entire album.

 

See you next Saturday and Sip Locally.

md

Three great teas at the Local Coffee + Tea tent at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market on Saturday and lotsa great pictures.  The best seller was our Flowering Pomegranate green tea, though our Red Berries (caffeine free) herbal tisane cooled a lot of people down this morning.  For those not able to join us at the market, we are offering $1 off each packet for online purchases of Flowering Pomegranate, Red Berries and Mable’s Rose Rooibos this week.  All orders over $40 ship at no charge.

Picture of the day has to be Glynis and her three tea tasting sweeties.  They are all tea lovers and one may become a tea master one day. See our Facebook page for the entire album.

Tea lovers in a line

Also, today was the market debut of one of our tea queens!  Carol was smiling and sampling this morning, and so it won’t be long before our Goji Green (Carol’s favorite) ends up on the Saturday menu.  And a great concert by the Fatum Brothers Jazz Orchestra of New York entertained a huge crowd with Jimi Gee warming up in the early hours.  Another great event by Market Manager Phil Pagano and a cast of many.

Here are links to earlier posts about Red Berries, and Rooibos in general.

See you next Saturday and Sip Locally.

md

 

A favourite book of mine offers an interesting quote or excerpt about tea, and I would like to share it with you.  Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome was first published in 1889, and was intended as a serious travel guide about a boating holiday on the Thames between Kingston and Oxford.  However, it turned out to be a very humorous account detailing the adventures of the three friends Jerome, George Wingrave and Carl Hentschel along with a fictional dog called Montmorency!

When I read this excerpt today, it seemed so clever and witty, evoking powerful thoughts about the beverage I so love…. tea.  Enjoy.

‘It is very strange, this domination of our intellect by our digestive organs.  We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomach wills so. It dictates to us our emotions, our passions.  After eggs and bacon, it says “Work!” After beefsteak and porter , it says “Sleep!”  After a cup of tea (two spoonfuls for each cup and don’t let it stand for more  than three minutes), it says to the brain, “Now rise, and show your strength. Be eloquent, and deep, and tender; see, with a clear eye, into Nature, and into life: spread your white wings of quivering thought, and soar, a god-like spirit, over the whirling world beneath you, up through long lanes of flaming starts to the gates of eternity!”

Jerome K. Jerome, Three men in a Boat.

What type of tea does it take for you to rise and show your strength, be eloquent and deep or indeed spread your white wings of quivering thought?  It would have to be a good strong cup of Yorkshire Harrogate for me!  Here is a earlier post about Yorkshire.  Please share your comments and take time for tea.

Cheers,

the Tealady