Saturday morning at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market allowed us to introduce one of our new holiday teas, Festivi-Tea, with more to come in the next few weeks.  We also served our Organic Honeybush hot or iced and the crowd favorite Selby Select.

Our Cyber Monday deal goes all week as we offer all three of these market teas at a discount for the rest of November from our online shop.  All orders over $40 ship FREE.

We created Festivi-Tea last year to celebrate Lights in Bloom, the annual holiday tropical light show at Selby Gardens.  Back by popular demand, Festivi-Tea green tea will be featured during Lights in Bloom starting December 16th.  We hope to see you at Selby.

Our photo this week features ‘Team Bowman’ visiting our tea tent to visit our very own Tea Queen (or Tea Teen) Caroline.  See the entire album at our Facebook page, Local Coffee + Tea – Tea Journey.

Sip Locally

Team Bowman


November 5th is the perfect time to talk about our Pinhead Gunpowder.  For me, this tea conjures up images of Guy Fawkes, a very celebrated and notorious fellow in Great Britain.  Born in Yorkshire, I am sure you have seen the mask below on Halloween or in the “V for Vendetta” movies or comic books, but do you know what Guy Fawkes was notorious for besides drinking Yorkshire tea?

Guy Fawkes

“Remember, remember the Fifth of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.”

In 1605 a group of conspirators including Guy Fawkes attempted to destroy the House of Parliament by filling the cellar with explosives.  Known as the “Gunpowder Plot”, the conspirators wanted a Catholic King rather than the protestant King James I.  The plan did not work and Guy Fawkes was captured, hung, drawn and quartered for his part in the plot, but his name lives on.  Guy Fawkes Night is a festival in Britain remembering the Gunpowder Plot and the King’s survival.

Every year on 5 November Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated with open air fires or bonfires in towns across England.  Dummies, or “guys” are burnt atop the fires.  A great tradition we children anticipated with excitement was making the “guy” dummies a few days before the 5th. We carried the dummies around the village shouting “penny for the guy.”  The quality of our ‘guy’ was determined by the number of pennies we collected.

Today, the Guy Fawkes mask is worn by protesters to demonstrate their commitment to a shared cause against the establishment as was the intent of Mr. Fawkes.

Pinhead Gunpowder

And so to our pinhead gunpowder, a classic green tea from Zhejiang province in China, made from leaves rolled into small pellets which look like actual gunpowder.  It never ceases to amaze me how many people visiting the Carriagehouse Tea Room at Selby Gardens comment on this fascinating tea.  The tiny pellets transform, unfurling into graceful, dancing leaves.  If you have a glass teapot, enjoy the performance.

Gunpowder green tea is harvested in the month of April, as this is the absolute best time of year for quality leaves.  The leaves are withered to reduce moisture content making them more pliable, then steamed, rolled and dried.  Although the individual leaves were formerly rolled by hand, today most gunpowder tea is rolled by machines, though the highest grades are still rolled by hand.   This rolling process also renders the leaves less susceptible to any breakage and allows them to retain more of their flavor and aroma. You can determine the freshness of gunpowder green tea by the sheen of the pellets.  And the smaller the better, as size is associated with quality, hence the name pinhead.

Our Pinhead Gunpowder green tea brews darker than most green teas with a rich flavor and a slight smokey finish.  I have enjoyed Pinhead staright up, infusing multiple times but it can be brewed very succesfully with both ginger or mint and used as an iced tea.

I hope you enjoyed the gunpowder plot and please do enjoy many infusions of this classic tea.


the TeaLady

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.


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.


A hot morning at the Local Coffee + Tea tent at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market, we went through a lot of samples and sold lotsa cups of tea.  We sampled our Pinhead Gunpowder green tea, Black Rose and our new SereniTea.  This new rooibos, SereniTea with raspberry, rose petals and vanilla was hugely popular and was created for the Cancer Support Community.  Here are links to previous blog posts on SereniTea and Rooibos.

For those not able to join us at the market, we are going to again offer a promotion on our market teas this week for online purchases. Our Pinhead Gunpowder, Black Rose and SereniTea will be $1 off until next Saturday. And all online orders over $40 always ship at no charge.

Picture of the day is Peter Acker with Winston at heel celebrating his cover shot for Edible Sarasota.

Peter Acker & Winston

Visit our Facebook page to see the Tea Tent album with other pictures from the Market.

See you next Saturday and Sip Locally.


Great Saturday at the Local Coffee + Tea tent at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market.  We sampled our Assam black tea, our Royal-Tea green tea and our Peach Paradise herbal blend.  Our Royal-Tea green was most popular for cups of tea and our Peach Paradise was the bestseller for packets of loose leaf tea.  Here are links to previous blog posts on Peach Paradise and Royal-Tea.

For those not able to join us at the market, we are going to offer a promotion on our market teas this week for online purchases.  Our Assam, Royal-Tea and Peach Paradise are $1 off until next Saturday.  And all online orders over $40 always ship at no charge.

Picture of the day is Phil Pagano, the Manager of the Market with Suzanne Atwell, Mayor of Sarasota.

Phil and Mayor Atwell

Visit our Facebook page to see the Tea Tent album with other pictures from the Market.

See you next Saturday and Sip Locally.


This is a lovely quote (author unknown) that came to mind this morning.  I was actually making some Lemon Curd at the time but I also had a visitor in the Carriagehouse Tea Room at Selby Gardens that told me he would not drink tea because his mother always made him have toast and tea when he was sick!  Of course she would, mothers know what is good for you.

I also felt sorry for him!  Toast and Tea is a custom most of us have such good feelings about and I for one can sample this pairing at any time of day.  There is nothing as simple or as tasty as toast and tea, unless you add a little lemon curd that is!

Lemons are in abundance here at the moment and as they keep arriving by the bagful at my house I just keep churning out the Lemon Curd!  I got myself a cup of jasmine tea and Lemons at the ready.  Want to have a go too?

This is a very easy recipe and method to follow.  You will need preserving jars which have been sterilized in boiling water.  I put the lemons in same water as it makes the juice release easier.  I usually double up the recipe, but to make one batch you will need:

Juice and Rind of 1 lemon (I have been adding rind of an extra lemon too!), 2 eggs, 2oz unsalted butter, and 3oz sugar.

  1. Place sugar and rind in large bowl.
  2. Whisk eggs and lemon juice together.  Add to bowl.
  3. Cut butter into small chunks.  Add to bowl.
  4. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until butter melts and whisk lightly over heat until mixture thickens.  (It may seem like mixture is never going to thicken but it will.)

Place in jar and refrigerate.

It tastes delicious and is so worth the effort.  I love giving to friends and of course, the suppliers of all my Lemons!  Lemon Curd is also the perfect accompaniment to scones, so maybe next time we will make scones.

I recommend putting on the kettle and making a pot of Yorkshire tea and sit down to enjoy some toast and tea.  Mmmm!


The TeaLady