I am very excited to introduce the latest creation from Local Coffee + Tea, and a very special tea we created for the Junior League of Sarasota called ‘Simply Sarasota Tea’.  With this tea we celebrate the 2nd Annual Simply Sarasota Kitchen and Garden Festival April 13th through 15th.  The Kitchen and Garden Festival offers a variety of events including a Kitchen Tour, a Marketplace, a Celebrity Luncheon with the Royal Chef Darren McGrady, a Gourmet Beer Dinner and a Garden Tea Party featuring ‘Simply Sarasota Tea’.  Also part of the festivities is a tea class I will be teaching on both Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.  More details can be found from the Junior League of Sarasota web site.

The Junior League of Sarasota does so many wonderful projects for our community and at least $2 of every packet sold will go to the Junior League, so I thank you in advance for your support.

Simply Sarasota Tea

Now let me tell you a bit more about ‘Simply Sarasota Tea’, a caffeine free and sugar free blend of fruits and herbs such as strawberry, orange peel, apple, hibiscus petals and calendula.  Simply Sarasota Tea’ is excellent both hot or iced, and as we like to say about many of the teas from Local Coffee + Tea, puts a little bit of Sarasota in your cuppa.

This is the perfect time of year for this tisane, as one of the main flavors is Strawberry!  The abundance of this very Florida berry (Fragaria ananassa) is such a joy to see at the Sarasota Farmers Market where the tables are laden with punnets and the fragrance tantalizes us!  We celebrate the great strawberry flavor in this tea along with our very popular green tea, Strawberry Smile.

Another Florida favorite and a prodominant feature in ‘Simply Sarasota Tea’ is the flavor of Citrus limon or lemon. The lemon is world famous for its culinary uses and certainly adds character to this tea.

Apple (Malus domestica) is found in many of our fruit teas but we make no excuse as the fruit adds such great flavor and benefits. Containing anti-oxidants, flavonoids and pectin, a natural fiber of which apples are the richest source, and has recently been shown to act against bad cholesterol, decrease the chances of colon cancer and reduce high blood pressure. Quercetin, is also found in apples (and Black tea!), and belongs to a group of plant pigment flavonoids that help fight disease.

Another Florida fruit included in ‘Simply Sarasota Tea’ is Orange Citrus Peel. The peel of citrus fruit is bitter and not very appetizing when raw, though adds great taste and health benefits when dried and added to tea. Citrus peel contains vitamins, minerals, fiber and powerful antioxidants that belong to a group of plant chemicals called flavonoids, which have the potential to lower LDLcholesterol levels.

Hibiscus Flowers (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a member of the mallow family and it brings a sweet mellow taste, harmony and wonderful color from the infused sepals. It has a cooling effect on the body and is high in Vitamin C also having some calcium, niacin, riboflavin and iron. In Folklore medicine Hibiscus is said to reduce cholesterol and act as a mild diuretic. We know Dr Oz is a big fan of Hibiscus, so it has to be good. Right?  We offer hibiscus petals and love to blend them with our ginger root, but that is another post.

We have another amazing fruit, the Rosehip peel (Rosa canina) from the Wild Dog Rose which takes its name from its earliest use as a remedy for bites from ‘mad’ or ‘wild’ dogs. Rosehips 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 and they enhance the function of everything from your skin to your innermost being, containing an array of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.

2nd Annual Simply Sarasota Kitchen & Garden Festival

Lastly we have the flower Calendula officinalis or pot marigold included in ‘Simply Sarasota Tea’. The petals of ‘Pot Marigold’ will raise your spirit and cheer your heart adding splendid golden color to this caffeine free fruit blend.

I suspect the most popular way to serve this tea will be iced, and while I am not a fan of adding sugar to any teas, I must tell you a pinch certainly boosts the exotic flavor!  Like our Tea Wiz and Mote Beach Tea, ‘Simply Sarasota Tea’ will certainly raise your spirit but most importantly cool you and quench your thirst before, during and long after the 2nd Annual Kitchen and Garden Festival presented by the Junior League of Sarasota.

Cheers,

the TeaLady

Many people had tea on their minds at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market on Saturday, including these two from Ohio.  HAHAHAHA

Tea on their Minds

Three spectacular teas this week, our Strawberry Smile, Mable’s Rose Rooibos and our soon-to-be World Famous Tea. WIZ.  Most people found it impossible NOT to smile after a sippa our Strawberry Smile.  And Tea. WIZ, also made people smile, because it is such a refreshing blend of mango and pineapple.  Our Mote Beach tea is also making people happy at Maggie’s Fish stand, along with Doug’s seafood creations

Once again, we found our Market Manager Phil, swapping hats with head Keesecker and top coffee dawg, Chris of Java Dawg Coffee.  See our Facebook page for the entire album.  And please subscribe to this blog by adding your email address on the top of the column to your right.

Phil and Chris swap hats

Again, this week we offer our 3 market teas at $1 off from our online shop this week for those not able to join us on Saturday…packets of Strawberry Smile, Mable’s Rose Rooibos and Tea.WIZ ship at no charge if your order is over $40.

Sip Locally!

md

Lots of people at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market on Saturday and most of you found us next to the Java Dawg Coffee Bus.  We like this spot because Java Dawg carries 6 of our teas available steaming hot, as well as our SRQ Collection of Coffees.  And Glynis returned after a few weeks in the UK, part of her ‘Tea Travels’.

Three great teas this week, our Red Hat Rooibos, Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling black tea and our Peach Paradise.  Local Coffee + Tea also brews Mote Beach Tea for Maggie’s Seafood every week for you to enjoy with one of Chef Doug’s creations.

Our Mote Beach Tea at Maggie's Seafood

Again, this week we offer $1 off packets of Red Hat Rooibos, Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling and Peach Paradise when purchased from our online shop.  And all orders over $40 ship at no charge.

Our picture of the day is a group of ladies, including Rebecca Morgan one of the Daughters of the American Revolution having fun at the market.  See our Facebook page for the entire album.

Sip Locally!

md

John Greene Webb and his family came to Spanish Point in 1867 where they established a homestead on the shores of Little Sarasota Bay. They planted citrus, sugar cane, vegetables and built a packing house to prepare their produce for market. 

John Webb

All of us who enjoy living in beautiful Sarasota owe much to the hardship John and his family must have endured.  At Local Coffee + Tea, we can think of no finer way to celebrate early settlers to Sarasota than with an amazing new herbal tea we have named Pioneer Tea and created for Historic Spanish Point

Predominantly citrus, Pioneer Tea contains orange and tangerine pieces, blackberry and eucalyptus leaves, lemongrass, beetroot and carrot flakes, apple pieces and hibiscus flowers.  Perfect for our climate and caffeine-free, Pioneer Tea makes a stunning iced tea but all you folks who have to brave cold weather for several months can enjoy sipping this tea hot too. (Think of us when you do!)

There are over 600 varieties of Orange (Sweet Orange is Citrus sinensis).   Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata) is another variety of citrus and both are certainly sweet, juicy and delicious ingredients in this tea. The peel of citrus fruit is bitter and not very appetizing when raw but adds great taste when dried and added to tea.

Suitable for everyone, oranges are rich in calcium, phosphorous, potassium, citric acid and beta carotene. The Vitamin A they contain gives us healthy skin and mucous membranes!

The other ingredients in Pioneer Tea are all equally as sweet and delicious…

Blackberry leaves. (Rubus fructicosus)  Steeped (sorry!) in ancient folklore the people of Medieval England believed blackberry would protect them from rheumatism, boils and blackheads! To do so meant creeping under the bush to gather fruit, but only at the right time of the moon! We do not suggest such extreme measures, simply drink the tea. Blackberry leaves bring flavor and harmony to this lovely tea.

Eucalyptus leaves. (Eucalyptus globulus, folium being the leaf)  A native of Australia, the Eucalyptus tree is used to make the Digeridoo and is known as the ‘Fever Tree’ because of antimicrobial and bacteria fighting properties! The oil from the leaf is pungent and when taken in tea is recognized as being very effective in de-clogging the nose, fighting throat infections and washing out the mouth.

Lemongrass. (Cymbopogen citratus)  Native to tropical climates like Florida, lemongrass lends a lemony taste to our tea along with some Vitamin C for added zest. I like to think of Lemongrass as bringing both harmony and aroma. Native to India, Lemongrass is used in Ayurvedic medicine to help relieve coughs and nasal congestion. Another valuable addition to our tea!

Beetroot. (Beta vulgaris)  I was delighted to include beetroot in this tea as it is one of my favorites! Beetroot is full of anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant which supports healthy heart and liver function, is good for blood pressure and cholesterol as well as containing lots of vitamins and minerals (vitamins A, C, manganese, potassium and folic acid)

Carrot flakes. (Daucus carota)  Another favorite, the carrot gets its characteristic bright orange color from beta carotene which our body can easily assimilate, store and convert to Vitamin A. Beta carotene is an antioxidant which fights damage caused by free radicals that can invade our bodies causing disease, also helping regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and blood pressure. A bonus benefit is improved hair, skin and nails!

Apple and Hibiscus have been covered in previous posts for Peach Paradise and Mote Beach Tea

I am sure you will agree that this is a delightful line up of ingredients and perfectly captures the zest for life which early pioneers must have possessed in plenty.

Bertha Palmer

Spanish Point was later acquired by Bertha Palmer and Pioneer Tea is a lovely balance to our Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea, as well as a wonderful addition to our Celebrating Sarasota collection of teas.  I hope you will take time to sip all our collection, visit Historic Spanish Point and celebrate the abundance of treasures we are so lucky to have here in Sarasota!

Cheers,

The TeaLady

“Why beach tea?” we are asked when serving this delightful fruit infusion.

A quick sniff and a small sample of this tea will whisk you away to an exotic beach on a deserted island, with dolphins, manatee and other tropical delights.  This is a tea you would definitely want to be stranded with on your imaginary beach paradise or while visiting our shop on Siesta Key

Mote Beach Tea

It is impossible to resist a tea with such wonderful dried fruits and flowers: – pineapple, coconut, rosehips and hibiscus blended with natural flavors of those fruits.  There is no true tea, so Mote Beach Tea is caffeine free, especially nice after dinner or before bed and can be a “sweet tooth” substitute for dessert.

As we have done with our other fruit tisanes lets look in more detail at the ingredients of Mote Beach Tea.

Coconut (Cocus muciferaA tropical fruit rich in protein and very rich in the taste department! I absolutely love all things coconut and the ‘tree of life’ in its various forms delivers lots of healthy fats and fiber. I found that coconut has all the benefits of other dietary fibers: –

Lower risk of heart disease, helps prevent cancer, improves digestive function and helps regulate blood sugar all with 4 times the amount of fiber compared to oat bran.  New research shows that coconut fats are absorbed directly by the liver and not stored in fat cells thus producing energy and raising the body’s metabolism.

Pineapple (Ananas cosmosusThis ‘fruit of many blessings’, good health, good fortune and longevity.  Pineapple also has a wonderful taste along with some outstanding health benefits. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain which helps in the digestion of proteins, Vitamins C and B and many essential daily minerals. The sugars in pineapple are easily digested, the fiber content is high and your immune system will receive a boost protecting you from illnesses.  Pineapple also has anti inflammatory properties.

Apple (Malus domesticaNot quite as exotic as our first 2 ingredients but never the less a very special fruit which we perhaps take for granted due to the continuous abundance of choices year round in our grocery store.

Apple contains anti-oxidants, flavonoids and pectin which is a natural fiber (apples being the richest source) that has recently been shown to act against bad cholesterol, decrease the chances of colon cancer and reduce high blood pressure.  Quercetin which is primarily found in Apples (and Black tea!) belongs to a group of plant pigment called flavonoids that help fight disease.

The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” was certainly established with good reason.

Rose Hip (Rosa caninaThe beautiful hip is the fruit of the Wild Dog Rose and takes its name from its earliest use as a remedy for bites from ‘mad’ or ‘wild’ dogs.

It is estimated that there are more than 10,000 species of cultivated roses but the medicinal species are natives of Europe. The hips are the 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.

Hibiscus Blossoms (Hibiscus sabdariffaIf you have been following our blogs, by now you will have become very familiar with this little gem which is used as an enhancer in many teas now. If you have missed our previous descriptions on this healthy and colorful addition check out  Sabdariffa Spritzer.

 You may not receive quite the list of benefits just drinking the tea so after brewing why not just add the steeped fruit to your morning cereal, yoghurt or smoothie for more exotic goodness!

Mote Marine Laboratory

Mote Beach Tea was created to celebrate and honor the work conducted at Mote Marine Laboratory.  Available in distinctive, resealable blue bags to maintain freshness, on the back of each package is an overview of the mission of Mote Marine Laboratory.  

Mote is one of the treasures of Sarasota, and a part of the Local Coffee + Tea Celebrating Sarasota collection of teas.  Mote Beach Tea is a crowd pleaser at our tea tent at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. Kids love it, though parents often enjoy it even more. 

We launched this tea last year at the Night of Fish, Fun & Fright at Mote.  Come this year Friday Oct. 22 from 6:30 to 9pm.  

Cheers,

the TeaLady

We are excited to introduce a new tea from Local Coffee + Tea, Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea honoring a pioneering Sarasota woman.  A soothing herbal rooibos with licorice root, fennel, peppermint and lemon verbena, Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea is delicious hot or iced, and naturally caffeine-free.  This tea is the newest addition to the Celebrating Sarasota Collection of Tea introduced in November of last year.  

When Mrs. Potter Palmer (Bertha Honoré Palmer), the well-traveled and powerful Chicago socialite, first set eyes on Sarasota in 1910, she proclaimed ‘Here is heaven at last’.

She soon owned 80,000 acres of what is now Sarasota County, operated a successful ranch, and made her graceful winter home and gardens at The Oaks on Historic Spanish Point.

Sarasota County celebrates the 2010 centennial of her arrival and honors the significant impact Mrs. Palmer made on our culturally rich and prosperous community. Please join us in raising a cuppa Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea to this incredible woman!

A birthday celebration is planned for Bertha Palmer the weekend of May 22nd with Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea served at various events.  For more information about events throughout the year, visit www.BerthaPalmerAlive.com or the Facebook Fan Page for the Local Coffee + Tea – Tea Journey.

Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea

Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea joins Selby Select, Mote Beach Tea, Mable’s Rose Rooibos and Van Wezel Anniversa-Tea in the Celebrating Sarasota Collection of Teas available at all Local Coffee + Tea locations; Siesta Village, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Saturday at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market, and online at www.localcoffee.com

In our last blog post (Caffeine in Tea) we talked about caffeine and my stand on the benefits of drinking tea with caffeine. I have come to learn from listening and talking to many visitors at Selby Gardens and at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market that for some people it is impossible to drink caffeine, perhaps because of medications (therefore doctor’s instructions) or just a simple intolerance in the body. 

So, where does that leave us? 

At Local Coffee + Tea we have many fruit and/or herbal infusions or Tisanes to choose from. There is simply no excuse not to drink great caffeine free tea these days. 

Selby Select Rooibos from Local Coffee + Tea

Notice I said CAFFEINE FREE not de-caffeinated. Whilst not ‘true teas’ made from Camellia sinensis, there is no caffeine to be removed.  De-caffeinated tea must go through a process to remove the caffeine that naturally occurs in tea leaves.   And no method removes 100% of the caffeine, so the beverage still has up to 5% caffeine content. 

I try to stay away from the process of removing caffeine from tea for two reasons, flavor and reduced health benefits.  The two traditional methods to decaffeinated tea use either ethyl acetate or carbon dioxide.  Both are wet processes, so the dry leaves are moistened and then either rinsed with ethyl acetate and then drained, or under high pressure with carbon dioxide and evaporated.  Upon drying, the flavor is reabsorbed into the leaves.  

There is still uncertainty about how these methods alter the polyphenols and the antioxidant properties in tea.  In my opinion, the health benefits have been compromised and I seek teas with maximum health advantages.  So, I turn to botanicals, that is herbal or fruit infusions also referred to as tisanes.  

Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) is a bush originating from the Western Cape province of South Africa.  Rooibos has an impressive list of vitamins and minerals and is therefore packed with anti-oxidants.  I like to say Rooibos works against ATB or ‘all things bad’.  Great hot or iced, I enjoy Rooibos in the late afternoon or evenings.  

Local Coffee + Tea carries 8 unique Rooibos teas and is our most popular category.  Selby Select is our ‘home tea’, and we have added an Organic Green Rooibos as well as an herbal Rooibos to celebrate Bertha Palmer, pioneering Sarasota woman. 

Chocolate Honeybush from Local Coffee + Tea

Honeybush (Cyclopia intermedia) is a definite favorite at Local Coffee + Tea especially for evening time. This is a very soothing and calming tea with a unique cedar or sandalwood flavor.  Also, Chocolate Honeybush is a great option to satisfy the after meal cravings for something sweet.    

Then there are the fruit infusions like Peach Paradise Red Berries or Mote Beach Tea (created to honor Mote Laboratories here in Sarasota)  Vibrant and refreshing beverages all, especially iced.  Excellent alternatives to sodas or other sweet beverages, especially for children.  

Herbs like Egyptian Chamomile, the best loved sleepy tea and Ginger Root, the world’s most used spice or my personal favorite, Hibiscus.  See why in a post from last summer.  

There really is a tea for all occasions and personal tastes. Try blending your very own caffeine free beverage with some of these amazing teas. If you discover a winner be sure to let us know so we can share! 

Cheers, 

The TeaLady 

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