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