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

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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

Honeybush or Cyclopia intermedia is indigenous to the cape of South Africa and I like to think of it as a sort of cousin to Rooibos!  Like Rooibos, we make an herbal tea with a pleasant, mildly sweet taste.  Honeybush is very popular here at the Local Coffee + Tea Carriagehouse at Selby Gardens, and we are pleased to offer 2 varieties; Organic Honeybush and Chocolate Honeybush.  I urge you to try them if you are looking for a substitute for ‘true’ tea (Camellia sinensis), though I use honeybush as a compliment to my tea drinking habits!

Organic Honeybush

Like most of the teas, honeybush has a history traced back to the trading of the Dutch and British. Cape Town was established in 1652 as a supply base for the Dutch East India Company trading in Indian tea and Southeast Asian spices. Botanists were soon cataloging the rich flora of the Cape region and the honeybush plant was noted in botanical literature. The native KhoiSan or Bushmen used a tea made from honeybush to treat coughs and other upper respiratory symptoms associated with infections.

The honeybush plant is a shrub of the Fabaceae family and grows in the fynbos botanical zone, a narrow region along the coast bound by mountains. Fynbos is Dutch for ‘fine leaved plantsis’ and is a vegetation type characterized by woody plants with small leathery leaves. The honeybush plant is easily recognized by its sweetly scented, bright yellow flowers and needle-like leaves.

Honeybush

Besides great taste, a sort of woodsy, cedar-like flavor, Honeybush has some very special health benefits.  Pinitol is a modified sugar found in the leaves of several legume plants and as an expectorant, it helps with coughs and phlegm. Pinitol can also lower blood sugar levels, and may increase the effects of insulin.  I have read honeybush is being considered as a drug for diabetes! It would be good to have something so natural to help with such a prevalent disease. I have also read that Pinitol helps with acid reflux and we have a few customers who have reported relief drinking honeybush.  The flavones and isoflavones of honeybush are similar to those in soy, another leguminous plant, and have been used in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. That covers quite a lot of the population who should be drinking this tea!

Honeybush tea is prepared like all other teas or herbal infusions. Use boiling water and infuse for as long as you want, though at least several minutes. The lack of caffeine makes honeybush especially suited for nighttime consumption and has a reputation as a calming beverage, but I love drinking honeybush while at Local Coffee + Tea, too!   The tannin content is very low, so you will find honeybush a mild, soft, and very drinkable tea.

And did I mention there is a chocolate version? Chocoholics love our Chocolate Honeybush.  Please do not expect a cup of hot chocolate, rather a delicate aroma of chocolate with a definite caramel aftertaste along with a bit of floral balance from the added rose petals.  Desert without the calories, SPECTACULAR!

Chocolate Honeybush

Some customers drink both versions of honeybush with milk.  I find a bit of local honey (from the Sarasota Farmer’s Market) brings out a natural sweetness in Organic Honeybush and when iced is very thirst quenching.  The Chocolate Honeybush seems to be more popular as a hot drink.

Cheers, the TeaLady

At Local Coffee + Tea we have a great selection of tea to suit many different tastes. Some of our holiday favorites are listed at the end of this post with links to our online shop. Whatever your gift choice, I believe there are many very special reasons to be excited about both giving and receiving of TEA…

-The anticipation of opening the packet and discovering the appearance of the leaf,
-Inhaling the special aroma that loose tea releases,
-Watching the magic of leaves dancing in the pot,
-The delicious color and flavor in the cup,
-Sitting down, letting go of all the stress in your body (which we seem to create in great quantities especially at this time of the year!),
-And finally, enjoying every sip.

Making tea is an act to be shared with someone special, presented to a group of friends or enjoyed completely alone. I cannot think of any other item which is so simple, yet so complex, so cost effective and so enjoyable. You are also giving the gift of health and well being to your loved ones.

If you have no tea lovers in your life, then give yourself the gift of tea. YOU deserve it!

Some of our holiday favorites include Chocolate Honeybush, Red Berries and Cochin Masala Chai. For a more relaxing tea, perfect for evenings there is Organic Honeybush or Patriot Tea. Also, check out the “Celebrate Sarasota” gift deal, 4 herbal teas which were inspired by Local Treasures: Selby Gardens, Van Wezel, Ringling Museum and Mote Aquarium.

On behalf of all at Local Coffee + Tea, I would like to wish all our tea followers a Very Merry Christmas and a TEArrific New Year. We appreciate your business and hope you continue to enjoy our teas in 2010.

No matter where you are or what you are planning to do during this special season, please make time for drinking some tea and feel the benefits. I drink to you and yours.
Cheers and all the best to everyone.
Tea Lady