Wishing for a White Christmas

I miss the snow. It makes the holidays so much cheerful. The ground was covered for about a day and it was so beautiful. Now it is all gone and it looks so dreary outside. So don’t mind me while I sit here and wish for a nice big pile of snow before Christmas.

I have been enjoying our new holiday teas. I am currently sipping a giant mug of Cherry Cordial Tea. I need to take a bag of Candy Cane Tea home because my children are all coming down with colds and I think they would enjoy this tea. The mix of peppermint and cherry blend makes this tea a yummy holiday treat.

There is a coupon available for the store so go and check it out.

Happy Holidays!


Monday Mistakes

I must have been in a Monday morning fog yesterday. Instead of featuring our brand new Cream Earl Grey White Tea I featured our old tried and true black Cream Earl Grey. Because I have teased all of you with it, I will leave the black Cream Earl Grey on sale this week along side the new Cream Earl Grey White Tea. This fabulous new white tea has a very light cream earl grey flavor to it that does not overpower the subtle white tea flavor.

Monday mornings can be a haze of calls and flurry notes. Yesterday was no exception so I am surprised it was my only mistake. I am going to go get another cup of hot tea and see if I can get caught up with my pile of work.



No Tea for Me but Specials for You

I am not allowed to drink tea for the next couple of days. I turned up with a bladder infection and of course the doctors want me to avoid caffeine. Worse yet he suggested I drink some cranberry juice. I hate cranberry juice – Ewww. I think I am going to take home some Rooibos so I can drink something hot and soothing without the irritating caffeine.  I wish I would have thought about Rooibos when the bladder was in high gear because it might have been able to help calm it down. Rooibos has anti-inflammatory properties that sure would have been welcome at about 3 am.

If you noticed that you didn’t receive your weekly specials letter this week it is because I was to tired and sick to get it done. Today I am feeling much better so I am changing the specials but I won’t put out a newsletter until next week. This week we have Peach Apricot White Tea and all our Ceramic Teapots on sale for 20% off.


Seasonal Tea Drinking

It amazes me every year that as soon as the temperatures cool even the littlest bit people suddenly start buying more tea. I know that tea drinkers don’t just stop drinking tea but usually switch to iced during the warmer months and we do see an increase in sales for the teas that makes great iced teas but not enough to make up for the lack of sales on the normal winter teas. Do we just not drink as much tea in the summer? Or do we fall back on our grocery store teas? I for one, drink as much if not more tea as iced tea in the summer than I do hot tea in the winter. I haven’t found a tea available on the store shelf that makes even a half decent cup so it makes me wonder if people really migrate from our teas to these in the summer. Can any of you tell me how your tea drinking habits change with the seasons?



New products

Wow...it's been quite a while since I posted. I'm always so involved in what I call "grunt work" to keep things going here. I know excuses, excuses!

Anyways I just put the new Tea Cozies online that came in today! I love the way they do the bottom of these, they are flat! I used to make the tea cozies we sold, mine did not have the flat bottom...so I know how much extra work goes into making these. Also I used to make a one size fits all, these fit our 3 and 6 cup teapots perfectly! The material is gorgeous, go take a peak.

We again have new tea and goodies for this week, but I'll let Candie tell you about them. I'm still working on price increases, so you still have time to order before I'm done.

What's in your cup.......Denise


UPS Faux Paux & Pricing Changes

Every year at this time we have what I like to call “pre-holiday shipping service” from UPS. About this time each year we have all kinds of lost and damaged packages. It always makes me worry about how smoothly the holiday season will go. So far the holidays always go much smoother than we expect. Well any way UPS just managed to loose a rather large shipment to us that was supposed to have arrived last week. So if you have been contacted about a backorder within the last week your order will not be able to be filled until the end of this week at the earliest. They just lost an out going order for us not more than 2 weeks ago so we will be crossing our fingers that UPS gets thing under control soon.  

I had planned to turn on all our fall specials and add our new fall teas this week but now we don’t have those teas ready to ship so look for those next week. The site theme will be changing to Autumn this week so look for the leaves to start falling.

Another big news item is that we just found out that we our biggest supplier has just implemented a price increase so we will be implementing a price increase of around 3% over next few days. I suggest you order right away to beat the rising prices.



A Delicious Mistake

Have you ever made a mistake and ended up glad that it happened? That is how we feel about the accidental creation of our Fruit Jumble Green Tea. Some of our supplier’s bags are not labeled the best and we thought we had a bag of Pear Sencha and instead had a bag of our new Watermelon Kiwi Green tea and about 2 lbs worth got mixed together. We immediately recognized the mistake by the wonderful new smell and decided to split the batch and take it home. I iced a pitcher of this new blend for some of my family and everyone was complimenting the flavor and asking what it was. Everyone who took the tea home had the same wonderful response so I decided we should name it and offer it to our customers. Fruit Jumble was born.



White Chocolate Rooibos & Red Vs. Green

Either I am finally learning to like rooibos or our new White Chocolate Rooibos is just that good. I have been struggling to like rooibos for a very long time but I think I may have finally turned the corner. Now there are two different types of rooibos red and green. Red was the first type of rooibos that become available here in the US so most of us just know it as regular rooibos. A couple of years back Green Rooibos became available and it can still be hard to find. The difference between the two is just like regular tea. The Red rooibos is left to sit and oxidize after it is chopped. The green is immediately heated and dried. I must admit that even the green has a good bit of red color to it and is not completely green colored. The red is a dark rust color. The flavor of the green rooibos is a bit like green tea but the red has a unique flavor.



Matcha & Pear Rooibos Musings

Can you believe that Matcha is our best selling tea? “What is matcha”, you say? Matcha is green tea powder. Our matcha is Gyokuro ground to a cornstarch consistency. When brewed it makes a bright green colored beverage, with a slightly sweet and tart flavor. The key is that it can be used in so many different ways. You can brew it hot or cold, add it to smoothies, desserts, baking and used in spice blends for cooking. And with all of this it is almost impossible to get accessories for it but we will introduce a matcha whisk and spoon, sometime next month.

I am drinking our new Pear Rooibos today. I am not a big red rooibos fan but this tea has grown on me. I wouldn’t call it a favorite but it is very good for a red rooibos based herbal tea. Rooibos is a great caffeine free alternative to regular tea and it has a whole set of its own beneficial properties. It has been known to help migraine, acid reflux and arthritis sufferers.



Autumn in the Air

Can you smell it? I can already smell that sweet smell of autumn in the air. The smell is like ripe fruit and ripe leaves. It has been unusually cool for the last week and it feels like the leaves are going to start changing color any day now. I sure hope it doesn’t because I don’t want the summer to end just yet. The weather is just perfect for having the windows open and enjoying the cool breezes and that wonderful aroma in the air.

I must say that some of the teas we have gotten in to sample have just been delightful. I was shocked to try Pecan Pie Green and find that I enjoyed it tremendously. I just didn’t think green tea and pecan pie would pair well. Eventually this fall we will be adding this wonderful flavor in green and black tea and also rooibos. All I can say it that I am 100% sure these will be our best selling teas this fall.

I must admit that I am also enjoying our new Raspberry Green Tea. I thought I had a new favorite last week when we added Blackberry Green Tea but I must say that the raspberry has won the battle for my affection. Even my husband who is not all that fond of flavored greens has been won over by this one.



Finally Good Tasting Decaf Tea

There is a real dilemma for those of you who need to avoid caffeine because unlike coffee, the decaffeination process drastically changes the flavor of tea. The gentle earthy and spicy tones are missing from blacks and greens become mottled and almost muddy flavored. Now we have gone out of our way to find the best flavored decaffeinated teas but they still just don’t compare to pure unadulterated tea. But I have found the light at end of the tasteless decaf tunnel. There is a company called Decaf Co. who is developing a stirring stick which will remove the caffeine from your already brewed tea without harming the flavor. What is funny is that they are already marketing toward coffee and I think they will have a much large following in the tea market. I am going to get in contact with these folks so I can get in on some tests and hopefully we can be one of the first companies to carry these wonderful devices.



Blackberry Green tea and Sampling Fall Teas

I had a pleasant surprise the other day while tasting the pecan pie green tea that I had doubts about last week. I really didn’t think it would pair well but it was yummy. All I can say is that this tea may be our next best seller. And it should be even better paired with black tea and it is also available as a flavored rooibos, which is fabulous.

We had to make a tough decision to drop the Morish Treat scones from our product line. The prices went up dramatically and we have had some issues with them so we have discontinued them. We are going to expand the Rabbit Creek line and I am also eyeing another company that has some wonderful scones to offer.

Autumn is already my favorite time of the year but I am so looking forward to the new fall products.

Today I am enjoying a glass of our new Blackberry Green Tea which has such a light fruity flavor that still manages to be a thirst quencher.



Finally Cooling Down

What a relief the heat has finally dissipated. Of course I had a lousy nights sleep with all the lightning and thunder as that cool air pushed in but it was well worth it. At least the heat helped me to drink more iced green tea and I found that I like Genmaicha Extra Green iced. I would have never thought that Genamicha would taste good iced because it has a nutty, toasted rice flavor to it but when it is iced that flavor fades and you taste much more of the fresh green flavor. I need to take more Pear Sencha and Blackberry Green Tea home because these two have been my iced teas of choice. My guests have made numerous comments on how much they enjoy these teas and now expect some samples to take home. ;)

Also on the new teas front, we recently tried a Raspberry Green Tea that was very good. I think we will be adding this tea to our selection in the next two week. I have some great prospects for the new fall selections which include a Pecan Pie rooibos and black tea, this flavor is also available in green tea but I personally don’t feel that the flavors would meld well. There are rooibos flavors I have my eyes on, Pear, Cinnamon, Licorice and Raspberry.

I would love to hear your comments on these new flavors.



Planning for fall and Christmas Season

It is almost absurd how far ahead a retailer is encouraged to plan for a season or holiday. For instance we received a spring catalog from one of our suppliers late last October of last year. Most store switch to the next season or holiday the day after the last. Then again it takes most retailers much longer to plan ahead for marketing and store placement of the products. With us we can get in a new product, have it up on the site and announced in a newsletter on the same day. That is the nice thing about handling the web site control and marketing your self.

So today I sit here considering what we will want to add for the fall and Christmas season. Our two best selling chintz teapot sets from last season have both been discontinued so I am on the hunt for sets to replace them. I have my eye on this Vintage Christmas Set which I think has a very romantic old Christmas feel to it. The set has matching teapot, tea cups, tea bag holders and Christmas ornaments.

What do you all think? We are waiting for a list of new teas and samples from our favorite supplier. When we get that I will give you all a glimpse at our choices.



Friday update

I've got a new batch of Yixings online; what a cute bunch this is! Samples below.

Well, here it is Friday again…YAH! Remember the computer problems? Had to end up wiping my hard drive, took a couple of days to get up and running right.

Things back in stock:
Victorian Teapot Warmers

The Watermelon-Kiwi , Blackberry Green and small tea infuser baskets will be out of stock for another week, but you can still order them. Called to order some more infusers and they said they didn’t get my order from last week. I guess I should always call them in….instead of e-mailing or faxing.

One of these days I will get pictures of work on here. Have a great weekend!



Green Tea Musings

Green tea and more green tea…  I can’t seem to get my self to drink anything but green tea these days.  I do tend to stay on one trend for a season and summer is a good time to be hooked on green tea. Green Tea is refreshing and light and doesn’t weight you down in the heat. We now have so many wonderful flavors of green teas that I can just rotate thru them and never get bored.

I am still amazed that most companies are still resistant to tea and tea products. It is hard to find good tea products in the first place and then just when they are selling really well the company then discontinues the products. They don’t seem to believe that tea is an up and coming trend. We are seeing tea converts every day from soda or coffee. People taste good fresh tea and they realize that the grocery store tea they grew up on was stale and flavorless. I am always hearing from our customers that they just can’t go back to the tea, coffee, etc. that they had been drinking.

~ Sipping Vanilla Green Tea


Boy.... What a week!

Boy….What a week I’ve had here at Culinary Teas!  Last week my computer started acting up, and then went totally down to the blue screen of death. I called Dell and was connected with this guy from India (who I had a hard time understanding). He made me take the computer apart and look at things I’ve never seen before. Then after hours doing this and that, he had me run a diagnostic that ran two and a half hours and said he would call back. Well guess what…..he never called back arrgggg. I got two error codes from the diagnostic and being the resourceful one I went on the internet and looked them up. Segments in my hard drive were corrupted! Everything I read said the hard drive was fried, then I came upon a ladies site where she had fixed hers. I tried what she did and it worked, I’m jumping up and down with glee.

It worked fine when we came back to work this week….for a couple of hours. Then my Quick Books crashed it and guess what….blue screen again. I started to pull my hair out at this point. I called Dell again, this time I got to talk to a sweet lady from Alabama. After running some tests, she had me wipe my hard drive out. So the rest of the day was spent downloading programs and getting my computer useable again. So far it has worked fine today…fingers crossed!

On to better things…..things that are back in stock this week are:

I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July.


Tea and Food Pairing

I have a background as a chef so I love pairing tea with my food. Tea accompanies food so much better than wine does. Wine has the tendency to over power the flavor of the food and you cannot drink much without feeling tipsy by the end of your meal. Teas flavor can delicately pair with the food without over powering it and allows you to drink as much as you want without needing a designated driver.

Green teas pair well with foods that are normally paired with white wines like seafood, salads, fruit, and surprisingly deep fried food because cuts thru the fat and lessens your chance of indigestion. Japanese teas like Sencha or Genmaicha go perfectly with seafood and rice dishes. Chinese greens like Dragonwell and Jasmines are a little stronger in flavor and have a stronger aroma which pairs well with Salads and Chicken dishes.  Very lightly oxidized Oolongs (Wu-long or green Oolongs) also go well with these foods.

Oolong teas that are medium to dark oxidized are a perfect pairing for Chinese, Thai and grilled foods. The flavors of these oolongs have a pronounced toastiness and are very full flavored.

Black teas pair well with foods that are normally paired with red wines like meat, curries, and desserts. Black teas are rich and full bodied teas with pronounced tannins which hold up well with richly flavored foods. Black teas pair especially well with chocolates and desserts with chocolate.



Green Tea and Weight Lose

I have more than a few pounds to lose but I have been working on it slowly. Over the last two years I have gone down 3 clothing sizes and am getting close to another. I credit a lot of this to green tea and a good diet. I can easily maintain my weight without the green tea because of my healthy diet. My family has a history of diabetes so I avoid extra sugar in my family’s diet. I should get plenty of exercise because I am chasing my 3 small children every where all day long but other than that I have a time exercising. I have arthritis in my knees and I can easily over do it and have myself hobbling around for days. When I drink Green tea all day long instead of other teas (like Wu-long), the pounds just melt away. I don’t even have to cut out the small amounts of treats I allow myself. The green tea is definitely what does it because I can cut out the treats and not drink the green tea and the weight doesn’t come off the same. For me it is just a matter of finding green teas that I like enough to drink all day long. Right now I am rotating thru our Flavored Green teas so I don’t get bored and stop drinking it. Right now I am very fond of our new Blackberry Green and a blend of our Pear Green and Watermelon Kiwi Green Teas.

I am currently wearing the smallest size of clothes I own. My goal is to have to buy a whole new wardrobe for the upcoming New Year. I will keep you posted if I make that goal. I am sure I can if I can just stay focused on drinking the green tea.



Fireworks and Iced Tea

I haven’t taken a break from tea but I sure have taken a break from the blog. Summer is just one of those times when there is so much you can go and do that you forget what you were suppose to be doing. Has anyone else felt like they have been run over by their train of thought? I am trying hard to stay ahead of mine today.

This weekend we celebrate our countries Independence Day and I will never get to old to enjoy fireworks. We get a special treat here in Syracuse we get two fireworks shows but one is my favorite. Lake Wawasee shoots their fireworks from a barge in the middle of the lake. We all come out in our boats and surround the barge and enjoy the reflection from the water and the fireworks in the sky. The lake also acts as a natural air conditioner which makes it hard to go home some nights.  

I am currently tasting samples for possible new products. Today I tried a rooibos based herbal with lemon myrtle which has a delightful lemon flavor and a hint of sweetness. Everyone else agreed that this herbal blend will be a big hit. I think this one is a keeper. Then I got myself a big glass of Strawberry Shortcake Iced tea. This tea is a dessert in a glass with it’s ripe strawberry and creamy shortcake finish.  I will be taking home some of our new Blackberry Green Tea for brewing over the long weekend.



New Yixings are coming!

Well key words for the web site are all redone, we should be much easier to find. Hubby took me out to eat to celebrate...Yah! The ordering is done for the week and we have a bunch of boxes that came in late today, so all back orders should be sent out tomorrow.

I'm ready to start on another batch of yixing teapots, they should be up after the holiday. This latest batch is the best yet! Some are simply elegant while others are extremely intricate. I have a couple of pictures to give you a peek at what's coming.

It's 6 pm, time to call it a day. My hubby has started working longer hours this week and the puppy is not appreciating us being gone that long, so it's off to play with him.



Cloudy Iced Tea

Summer is iced tea season and I often get questions about cloudy iced tea. Why does tea cloud when it is cooled? Black teas will sometimes cloud when cooled. The cloudiness is caused by tannins in the tea which are released into the hot brew but can bind together when the brew cools and cause cloudy tea. Higher quality teas like Darjeeling’s and Assams tend to have more tannins and are more likely to cloud. Hard water can also cause tea to become cloudy. The cloudiness does not affect flavor just the appearance of the tea. To remove the cloudiness add a half cup of boiling water per gallon of tea and stir.



Sipping Rooibos

I have to admit that I am not a big Rooibos fan but there are some things that it is good for. Now I am the anti-hype queen and have to do in-depth research and find the cold hard facts about everything so I have to inform you that Rooibos does not in fact have more anti-oxidants then green tea (actually about 1/3) even though most vendors claim it has far more. It does however have anti-inflammatory properties which are very helpful for those with arthritis (me), migraines, some skin conditions and acid reflux. I also help that it does wonders when topically applied to a sunburn. There are two types of Rooibos, regular or Red and Green which is much like green tea. The red has a flavor all of its own with takes flavoring very well and that is why you will find so many different flavored Rooibos on the market today. I like the green Rooibos paired with fruit because it has a sweet greenness that is complimented well by fruit flavors. Red Rooibos pairs better with flavors like vanilla and chocolate. I really enjoy our Bourbon St. Vanilla Rooibos and our Caramel Cream Rooibos as hot teas in the winter but the vanilla also ices well.

Today I am drinking Peachy Green Rooibos which has a light fruity flavor with a highlight of peach. The color is a beautiful peachy color when brewed and takes to icing very well. I must say that I enjoy our Summer Punch Peachy Green Rooibos more than this one with its tones of strawberry, peach and orange.



I'm in computer......

I'm so glad Candie posts everyday! I've been working on keywords to get them up to Googles new standards. So my nose has been in the computer nonstop for about a week now. Hopefully another week will do it!

Our new Watermelon Kiwi Green is excellent, I've been drinking it all week. Looks like the weather will be in the 90's this weekend...YUK. Looks like it will be weekend full of work, iced tea and grandkids coming over to go swimming. I'm so glad I bought a small laptop for home so I can be outside and not miss all the fun while I'm working.

I have some new catalogs to go through when I'm done with the keywords. Hopefully that will mean some new products for everyone. I just love shopping....even if it's out of catalogs!

Have a great and safe weekend.


Wu-long, Wulong or Oolong?

I am sorry to be the harbinger of bad news but the Wu-long hype is just that hype. First of all I am more than willing to bet that you have all had Wu-long tea before it is called Oolong. Oolong tea is available from every tea vendor and is the tea most often served at Chinese restaurants. Wu-long is made from the same plant as Black, Green and White teas and they share many of the same health benefits. I can guarantee you that no one is an exclusive source for Wu-long and that you can pretty much discount all the claims. Every single claim that I have heard is either flat out wrong or hold true for all types of teas not just Oolong tea. Please don’t be taken in by the latest marketing scheme. Tea is good for you so please find a tea you love and drink it often but don’t pay these scam artists a single penny.



Watermelon Kiwi Green Tea

The Watermelon Kiwi green tea is here and it is good. I brewed up a batch for customers on Saturday and even the non flavored tea drinkers were enjoying it. The Sencha tea base gives this tea a nice sweetness that makes it great iced. I got a special batch by accident that has pear with the watermelon kiwi and it is a fabulous mix. No we aren’t planning on making this batch available to the public but if it sounds good you can always mix our Watermelon Kiwi and Pear at home. If your family is like mine the tea won’t last very long.

I got a good laugh this weekend when my neighbor suggested that she come over and join me for Yoga out in the yard. I told her I wasn’t doing Yoga I was picking strawberries. I have a good sized strawberry patch that has grown into one solid mass of strawberry plants. When you pick it you must carefully find bare areas where it is safe to step and bend in all kinds of awkward positions to get all the strawberries without stepping on plants or berries. I told her she was more than welcome to come over and join me and she can have all the strawberries she encounters during our session.



Iced Tea Favorites

I used to think that black tea made the best iced tea but now I have to admit that I have become quite attached to iced green tea. Flavored blacks make some of the best iced teas I have ever drunk. There are some flavors that just want to be iced like Blueberry, Raspberry, Mango and my favorite Wild Blackberry. There is something for every one because there are just so many different flavors. I think at last count we had over 150 different flavored black teas.

Recently I have been drinking much more green tea. Not only because it will help me to loose the weight have I struggled with but also because I have come to really enjoy the flavor of green teas. Flavored green teas are quickly becoming my favorite teas for iced tea. My current favorite flavored green teas are Blueberry, Passion Fruit, Lemon and Long Island Strawberry.  I am looking forward to our new Watermelon Kiwi Sencha. We should have it available to ship late next week so look for it to be on special in two weeks.



Herbal Tea Sunburn Soother

I got my first sunburn of the season on Sunday. I am an avid gardener and I was very determined that I was going to get everything planted and fed and watered yesterday. Unfortunately I wasn’t as determined to get my sun block on and now my back looks like I lit my self on fire. I have a few tricks to take out much of the burn. One is a product by Kiss my Face, After Sun Aloe Soother with Jewelweed & Yucca. This stuff takes the sting out of even the nastiest sunburn and if you apply if before it gets really red it will keep it from getting any worse. But when things get really bad I pull out the Rooibos, Chamomile & Lavender. Rooibos has anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile takes out the heat and Lavender is a natural antiseptic for blistering.

I continued to drink gallons of Crime of Passion green tea iced this weekend. I am going to grab a bag of Pear Sencha for a change this week. The pear has a very sweet aroma and a juicy pear flavor that is very popular.

Denise and I decided that one of our new flavored green teas would be Watermelon Kiwi Sencha. We always put new teas on sale so watch for that in about a week.



Review: Black Tea with Pomegranate

I enjoy trying every new tea product that I can get my hands on but I must admit I am the tea worlds Simon Cowell. I pull no punches when it come to reviews. I will not sell of back a product that I don't like and feel has value. I have tried to many horrendous tea products and haven't yet found a bottle tea product that I could even stand to drink, let alone enjoy.

I found a new bottled tea product this weekend. Black Tea and pomegranate from POM. I enjoy fresh pomegranate so I have tried the POM juices before but have always been put off by the lingering bitterness. I have a sensitive palate and bitterness is something that some people are much more sensitive to than others. I know where the bitterness comes from, the seeds when the pulp the juice. If they could find some way to separate the juice quickly from the seeds and not grind them into the juice it would be a totally different product. Well anyway that it the same thing I found with this black tea product. It not only had a bitter after bite but it was overly sweet. I am not a sweet tea drinker but I do like just a hint of sweetness but I have only found one product that doesn't cross that line into sugar water like this product.

The line of Teaology products that we carry are just lightly sweet, caffeine free and packed with ECGC so you just feel like getting up and moving. They are pre-measured for a bottle of water so I carry them in my purse and am ready for a cold bottle of tea anywhere.

Yes I am a tea snob. I very rarely drink ice tea at restaurants because I can't stand to drink it half the time. Vendors send hundreds of samples a year and there are some companies that I just refuse to taste any more because the tea is so bad. One company who continues to contend they use natural flavoring and that their tea is extremely high quality has tea that tastes so bad to me that I end up spitting it out. I do not know how they can stay in business.

~The Tea Snob


Ice Tea Time

I've finally got into ice tea mode! Todays flavor is Strawberry Green. Our big order for the week came in late today, so if you're waiting for something...it will ship tomorrow. The girls will be busy with backorders in the morining!

I just ordered a couple of new green teas (watermelon and blood orange), I will have them online in the flavored Green Tea section tomorrow. Will also post links to them here. I'm sure Candie will feature at least one in next weeks sales.

I'm off to Downtown Grounds (coffee shop...eeek), they have great chai......for a Syracuse Days meeting. Then going home and making some Vanilla Green tea for my fridge.

Never Tired of Tea

Someone just recently asked me, “Don’t you ever get tired of tea?”. That was easy, No. I may get tired of one type of tea for a short period of time but then I just switch to another. I have access to almost 450 teas on a daily basis so I never run out of choices. I do tend to stick with one tea for a month or two but then my taste will change slightly and I will try several different teas before I settle in to a daily tea again. Last fall I drank Scottish Breakfast daily until around Christmas. Then I suddenly started craving green teas and have been rotating thru them every since. I am still drinking the Genmaicha Extra Green today. I have always enjoyed Genmaicha which is Sencha with popped rice. The popped rice gives the tea a toasty flavor on top of the clean, green flavor of Sencha. The addition of the Matcha just strengthens the green flavor.

I enjoy pairing tea and food. I think tea pairs better with most foods than wine does because wine is so strongly flavored that it can mute the flavor of your meal. Also not everyone wants alcohol with their meal, which makes tea a great beverage. Green teas pair very well with fish and vegetables as well as fried items because it can cut thru the fat and help digest it. Oolongs go so well with oriental food, especially spice food like Curry and Thai. Black teas go well with beef, lamb & strongly flavored sauces. Black teas also pair very well with desserts, like chocolate cake. Give me a dish and I can give you a specific pairing.


Yawning and reaching for my cup of tea


Green Tea Power

I know I said it was hot tea weather but this is one of those mornings where I am fighting to keep my eyes open. I need a cup of hot liquid energy, AKA Extra Green Genmaicha. This bright green brew is contains about as much ECGC as you can get without just eating straight Matcha Green Tea powder. It is not everyone’s cup of tea because it has a strong green tea flavor but it is very nice once you get used to it.

The reason I am tired is because we took the kids to see the movie Over the Hedge last night. The kids are out of school for the summer and we are trying to treat them just a little bit for their good grades. It was a good movie but I had a hard time reconciling my hero Bruce Willis’s voice with a raccoon’s body. Even weirder for me was William Shatner’s voice with a possum’s body. I would rather they go with people who’s voices aren’t so recognizable because it kept distracting me from the movie.

Another great tea item that I carry with me in the summer is our Teaology products which have a decaffeinated green tea base with added flavors and just a hint of Splenda. This product proves that it is the ECGC and not the caffeine that gives you energy because I throw one of these in a bottle of water and drink it and in a few minutes I am full of energy. I haven’t found a bottled tea product that I can stand to drink so these are a great way to get my tea on the road. That reminds me I need to put more in my purse.


Iced Tea & Chinese Vs. Japanese Green Teas

Gallons of iced green tea passed my lips this weekend. More specifically, Crime of Passion Green Tea was consumed in mass quantities by me and my family. The extreme temperature swings that Indiana is known for happened over the weekend when we went from the mid to low 60’s to 90 degrees. So it is now officially Iced Tea Season for me.

Today is the day I change all the specials and send out a newsletter letting everyone know what the new specials are. This weeks Tea of the Week, is our Decaffeinated Sencha Green Tea, which is 20% off this week. This tea is great for those of you who can’t have the caffeine but still want the health benefits green tea provides.

Today we kick off our Summer Iced Tea Sale. One pound and half pound bags of all of our Flavored black & Green teas are on sale for 10% off the regular price.  

Today I have a cup of iced Strawberry Green Tea which I don’t enjoy as much as Long Island Strawberry Green Tea. I prefer the sencha tea base and the better strawberry flavor of the Long Island Strawberry. I was a die hard black tea fan but I have been won over by the Japanese green teas. They just have a better flavor to them and I think that has to do with the very low oxidization that occurs in the processing of these teas. It is not true that green teas are totally un-oxidized, a small level of oxidization occurs during processing. There is a big difference visually and flavor wise between the Chinese or rolled & formed green teas and Japanese green teas which are less physically processed. The cells in the tea leaves are broken when they roll or tie the leaves which cause a certain level of oxidization. The Japanese tea leaves are much greener and the resulting brew is light yellowish green to green which has a sweeter cleaner flavor. A rolled green tea will have a darker colored leaf, tending toward brown and the brew will be yellow to amber color and have a tinge of Oolong flavor to it. Another difference in the process for Chinese and Japanese teas is that almost all Japanese teas are steamed which I think is one of the keys to the clean flavor.


TGIF & Jasmine Dragon Tears

TGIF – Thank Goodness it’s Friday

Today is a Jasmine Dragon Tears day. This is a very light, sweet green tea with that wonderful Jasmine aroma and flavor. This is a great comfort tea. It is so dark, wet and dreary outside that I needed something to lighten my mood.

Today is a blending day for me. I have several herbal and one rooibos blend to create today. I enjoy creating new blends. A little of this and a little of that, tasting and blending, then tasting again. Making myself write down every thing I did and added is the hardest part but without it I wouldn’t be able to reproduce the same tea again.

One the blends I am working on is a Chocolate Orange Rooibos for a birthday gift. We really enjoy Rooibos around here. Many of us have arthritis in one form or another and Rooibos has anti-inflammatory properties that help with the creaky painful bones.

I need to buy a new Mr. Coffee Ice Tea Maker this weekend. My last one gave up the ghost last fall. It had been worked to death by my husband and I. We make multiple pots a day in the warm weather. This units are nice because they are very easy to make loose tea in with just a simple coffee filter. That reminds me that I need to remember to take home some tea for iced tea because I have used up all my tea at home.

My favorite teas for iced tea:
Wild Blackberry Tea
Key Lime Tea
Mango Tea
Blueberry Vanilla Cream Tea
Strawberry Shortcake Tea
Kiwi Melon Tea


Denise's Introduction

This was a really great idea by Candie. I'm Denise the other owner of Culinary Teas. Candie and I are related by marriage and became friends at family functions. The idea of starting Culinary Teas was all Candies and I came along for the ride and what a ride it has become!

I intend to write something about the goings on here everyday, but remember what they say about good intentions.

Today was order day, since I do the ordering at the end of the week: shipments are always coming in mid to late in the week. Today we got in books, Swiss Gold filters and some goodies from THT. I've been drinking the Maple Cream tea all week...yummy. I haven't graduated to cold teas yet but they say the temps will be in the 90's for the weekend....so that could change next week.

I'm off tomorrow, going to my first consultation for Bariatric Surgery in the morning. Will be working on Saturday though.




Candie's Introduction

Here we go! Let me start out by introducing my self. I am the co-owner of Culinary Teas and a master tea blender with a background as a Chef. Now I never have to worry about running out of tea. I have been studying the subject of tea for 6 years. I have enjoyed tea since I was a child growing up with my grandparents.

My favorite teas are our Wild Blackberry and Scottish Breakfast (I love my Scottish Heritage)

Currently I am enjoying a cup of Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose Festival which has a nice cherry flavor with just a hint of rose to compliment the Sencha. I am trying to drink more green tea to get my energy up and try to drop of more weight.

My co-owner is my aunt by marriage. We both married Yoders and that says a lot about us. I will let her and Jen introduce them selves.

Tea, Drink & Enjoy,