October 2011


A rainy Saturday turned into a sunny Saturday at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market. We offered our world famous Goji Green, our Earl Grey and Patriot Tea (rooibos) for sampling.  We offer these three teas at a discount this week from our online shop and all orders over $40 ship FREE.

This week’s picture is of Market Manager Phil Pagano swapping hats with Eve Worden of  Worden Farms.  See the entire album at our Facebook page, Local Coffee + Tea – Tea Journey.

Phil swapping hats with Eve Worden

Sip Locally

md

Advertisements

In 18th century England Tea was an expensive commodity, heavily taxed and a luxury for the rich. At that time coffehouses were popular meeting places for social interaction where news and views were exchanged, though women were banned!  Because of escalating drunkenness of the working classes (gin and ale being their drinking options) it was decided to start serving tea to ‘persons of inferior rank’. Many new cafes and coffee houses opened as alternatives to pubs and inns leading to the Temperance movement.

The Preston Temperance Society of 1823 was started in the north of England by Joseph Livesey to promote abstinence from alcoholic beverages.  The movement quickly spread throughout England and to the States. In the village where I was raised in Yorkshire, there was a  hotel called the Temperance Hotel.  The picture above depicts Christian women in the New York promoting the movement .

It is not clear where the term ‘Teetotaler” originated and why someone who never drinks alcohol is referred to as such, but it has nothing to do with tea.  However, the movement laid the foundation to something that would change the world.

In 1864 the Aerated Bread Company opened what would become known as the ABC Teashop. The manageress of this London based company had been serving tea and snacks gratis to customers of all classes, and received permission to open a commercial tea room on the premises.  This created a place where women of the Victorian era could take a meal ‘unescorted’ without sullying her reputation!

Soon other companies followed and from the 1880’s onwards, fine hotels began to offer tea service. Going out to tea became a fashion reaching its heyday in the Edwardian era (1901-1914).  By 1913, tea was an elaborate and stylish affair served in palm courts with string quartets playing, leading to the even more fashionable tea dances.  How I would have loved to have been part of the era!

Changes in social patterns and lifestyle came about and fashions change.  Cocktails once again became popular, though tea continued as the choice of drink at home and the workplace.

Thankfully there is a new surge of interest in tea drinking and going out for tea.  I have enjoyed some recent outings myself as you can see in previous posts.  Tea dances are enjoying a revival and tea parties are becoming a popular option to celebrate weddings, family events and gatherings as our sister company, Local Catering offers.

Whether you are a Teetotaler or totally into to tea, please join Local Coffee + Tea in this fascinating journey of TEA through the centuries.  Maybe the best is yet to come!

Cheers, the TeaLady

Back at the Market after a week off.  The perfect morning to start offering a hot tea among our samples at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market. Perhaps most exciting was the addition of Caroline and Marissa to our tea team at the tea tent.  Both are very tea savvy so say hello to them next Saturday.

We offered three great teas for sampling including our Bertha Palmer rooibos (hot), Flowering Pomegranate green tea and Yorkshire Harrogate black tea.  An earlier post shared an essay from George Orwell titled “A nice cup of tea” and so we selected our wonderful Yorkshire Harrogate to celebrate.  And for all of our teas we suggest multiple steeping, and our Flowering Pomegranate is a great example of a tea that holds up to 3 or 4 or more steeps.

This week’s picture is of Caroline and Marissa on their first day.  See the entire album at our Facebook page, Local Coffee + Tea – Tea Journey.

Caroline and Marissa

We offer these 3 teas at a discount from our online shop and as always all orders over $40 ship at no charge.

Sip Locally

md


George Orwell taking time for tea

“All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little
stronger with each year that passes”.

We answer a lot of tea questions at Local Coffee + Tea, and the most popular inquiry is about what makes for a good cup of tea?  This tea quote is taken from an essay published in the Evening Standard in 1946 by the English author George Orwell.  He directed his keen wit and passion for clarity in language to the topic of the perfect cup of tea.

Orwell identified 11 points which he regarded as ‘golden’ and whilst I risk an overly lengthy post, it would not seem right to leave any one of them out when each is so witty and so relevant to the last detail, though I have risked a touch of editing.  Enjoy…

  • First of all, one should use Indian or Ceylonese tea.  China tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowadays — it is economical, and one can drink it without milk — but there is not much stimulation in it.  One does not feel wiser, braver or more optimistic after drinking it.  Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’, invariably means Indian tea.
  • Secondly, tea should be made in small quantities — that is, in a teapot. Tea out of an urn is always tasteless, while army tea, made in a cauldron, tastes of grease and whitewash. The teapot should be made of china or earthenware.
  • Thirdly, the pot should be warmed beforehand. This is better done by placing it on the hob than by the usual method of swilling it out with hot water.
  • Fourthly, the tea should be strong. For a pot holding a quart, if you are going to fill it nearly to the brim, six heaped teaspoons would be about right. In a time of rationing, this is not an idea that can be realized on every day of the week, but I maintain that one strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones.  All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes — a fact which is recognized in the extra ration issued to old-age pensioners.
  • Fifthly, the tea should be put straight into the pot.  No strainers, muslin bags or other devices to imprison the tea. In some countries teapots are fitted with little dangling baskets under the spout to catch the stray leaves, which are supposed to be harmful.  Actually one can swallow tea-leaves in considerable quantities without ill effect, and if the tea is not loose in the pot it never infuses properly.
  • Sixthly, one should take the teapot to the kettle and not the other way about.  The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact, which means that one should keep it on the flame while one pours.  Some people add that one should only use water
    that has been freshly brought to the boil, but I have never noticed that it makes any difference.
  • Seventhly, after making the tea, one should stir it, or better, give the pot a good shake, afterwards allowing the leaves to settle.
  • Eighthly, one should drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type.  The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind one’s tea is always half cold before one has well started on it.
  • Ninthly, one should pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea. Milk that is too creamy always gives tea a sickly taste.
  • Tenthly, one should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all; indeed in every family in Britain
    there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable.  This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.
  • Lastly, tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should be drunk without sugar.  I know very well that I am in a minority here.  But still, how can you call yourself a true tea lover if you destroy the flavor of your tea by putting sugar in it?  It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt.  Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter.  If you sweeten
    it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.  Some people would answer that they don’t like tea in itself, that they only drink it in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need sugar to take the taste away.  To those misguided people I would say: Try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again.

(The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell)

Cheers, the TeaLady

Lovely morning at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market on Saturday.  We are very comfortable in our new spot in front of the Java Dawg Coffee Bus, sort of their hood ornament.  We will not be at the market this Sat (10/15), but back the following Saturday (10/22)

We offered three superb teas for sampling including our best selling Selby Select Rooibos, our Assam black tea and white tea we call Pear Mu Tan. (link to earlier post on Pear Mu Tan)  We created Selby Select to celebrate Marie Selby Gardens and the GartenFest Music Series that kicked off on Sunday.  Each Sunday Selby presents a performance under the majestic banyan trees.  Our sister company, Local Catering serves OktoberFest inspired foods and beers, along with lots of Selby Select tea.

This week’s picture is of a few ladies basking in the glow of our teas.  See the entire album at our Facebook page, Local Coffee + Tea – Tea Journey.

Basking in the glow of our tea

We offer these 3 teas at a discount from our online shop and as always all orders over $40 ship at no charge.

Sip Locally

md

Perfect weather, autumn in the air and a happy crowd at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market on Saturday.  But just as Jesse White and daughter Amelia salute all the tea drinkers of the world by raising a cuppa our White Mischief, little Amelia loses the grip on her tea. Disaster caught in this picture below.  After tears and wailing cries, we finally calmed Jesse down and believe he will be okay.  Amelia promised to keep us updated.  See the entire album at our Local Coffee + Tea – Tea Journey Facebook page.

Jesse and Amelia saluting tea drinkers of the world

The big winner on Saturday was the iced chai, our Cochin Masala Chai with a strong tea flavor blended with cardamom, coriander, cinnamon and black pepper with a spicy ginger finish.  Our White Mischief was also popular and our Organic Honeybush is always a crowd-pleaser.  We offer these 3 teas at a discount from our online shop and as always all orders over $40 ship at no charge.

Sip Locally

md