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July 18, 2016

Organic: What is the label telling you?

Filed under: Black Tea,Green Tea,Newsletter,Oolong Tea,Tea and Health — wbwingert @ 10:10 am

Much is written and said about the benefits of choosing organic! At the same time, the labeling of commercial products seems to get more and more confusing and it becomes difficult to sort through the various marketing promises and and make healthy choices. That is why I wanted to take the opportunity to take a closer look at what exactly “certified organic” means and to shed some light into the often confusing organic labeling practices

The organic label indicates that an agricultural product has been produced through approved methods. These methods consist of cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity. This means that synthetic fertilizer, sewage sludge, irradiation and genetic engineering may not be used!

The growing of organic tea is relatively new, dating back about ten years. The rules under which organic tea is produced are fairly complicated and tightly controlled. The tea crop must be grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. It relies only on natural organic matter such as compost, plants and trees to provide the necessary nutrients and ground cover.

There are two categories of organic tea production. In the first category, you will find teas that have been certified organic by one of several international agencies. The second category includes teas that are grown according to traditional methods, following the principals of organic growth, but are not validated by a certified agent. These are often teas from smaller tea gardens whose owners simply cannot afford the certification fees, but take pride in the superior quality of their teas.

When a tea is labeled “certified organic”, it has met the conditions by at least one of the regulatory agencies. That does not, however, mean that all non-organic teas contain chemicals and are unhealthy. Some teas have been grown organically for centuries, in spite of codes or set rules.

Tusda organicea consumption worldwide is growing and the demand for high quality, certified organic teas is increasing, yet the production is driven mainly by cost.

For the consumer it is not always easy to decipher which teas are organically grown. Here in the U.S., the certifying agency is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and certified organic products are clearly labeled.

On the other hand, a tea can be grown organically and certified by the appropriate agencies in Japan, England or Germany, yet the consumer here will not be aware of this due to the lack of labeling.

The better known certifying agencies whose logos might appear on products sold in the U.S. are Germany’s Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement, Switzerland’s Institute for Marketecology and Japan’s Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS).

With the increasing demand, a wide range of organic teas is now available, but even without organic production methods, tea is actually a very clean product whose cultivation and production is tightly controlled

Some tea growers work in harmony with nature and produce what is called “bio-dynamic” tea. This means that the seasons, the weather, the waxing and waning of the moon and the interaction and interdependency of different species of insects, birds and animals are all taken into consideration when planting. This approach of tea farming links with ancient agricultural practices.

Demeter International is one of the bodies that runs a biodynamic certification program and invests in raising awareness of ecological patterns and sustainable farming activities.

So while the USDA ORGANIC label reflects the quality of the agricultural product you are buying, it is by no means the only seal for organically grown products. If you have questions about the origin and production of the tea and agricultural products you are buying, ask your grocer or tea purveyor for information on its origin and production.

Cheers!

Olivia Wingert is the Owner of Souvia® Tea and holds the Specialty Tea Institute’s Level III  Certified Tea Education Accreditation

March 7, 2016

Tea Profile: Gyokuro

Filed under: Green Tea,Newsletter,Tea Culture,Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:00 am

 

March is all about the color green! Nature is dressing up in its bright spring green and St Patrick’s Day is also just around the corner!

So it makes only sense to focus our attention on everything green in the tea world.

One of the prized green teas is Gyokuro,  produced near Kyoto, Japan, around the famous tea-growing town of Uji. Literally translated, gyokuro means “pearl (or jade) dew and it is considered of  Japan’s highly revered teas.

 

Production

Gyokuro is a very high-quality tea that is processed in an unusual way. In early spring, as the first growth ofthe season is about to begin, Gyokuro is shaded under marsh-reed screens or cloth covers for three weeks.

The deprivation of sunlight increases the tea’s chlorophyll content while mellowing and sweetening the flavor of this steamed green tea. Only the precious top leaves are ultimately used in the making of Gyokuro.  Due to the special handling, Gyokuro tea is quite expensive but well worth the extra cost.

Taste

The dark green leaves of a Gyokuro brew up pale green with a surprisingly vibrant aroma anda smooth, sweetly vegetal note. This tea is less bitter than many of its green tea cousins.

Preparation

In order to obtain the best quality, it is recommended to use a water temperature of only 165 degrees and steep the leaves for a minute or less.  To get to the 165 degrees, simply allow the boiling water to cool for about 1-2 minutes before pouring it over the leaves.

A one-of-a-kind taste experience you should not miss!

January 22, 2016

National Hot Tea Month Part 2

Filed under: Black Tea,Newsletter,Phoenix,Tea and Health,Tea Culture,Tea Enjoyment — wbwingert @ 10:50 am

woman drinking teaTea deserves to be celebrated; after all it is the second most consumed beverage in the world next to water. Over the past decade tea has experienced a renaissance here in the U.S. largely due to the multitude of its health benefits. Research supports what the ancients in China have known all along – that drinking tea regularly may promote overall health and well being and potentially reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Tea may be medicine in a cup, but is also a wonderful drink, complex in taste and aroma and with a selection of over 3000 different varieties, there is much to be explored.

 

Whether you drink tea for health, to sooth you mind, or simply for pleasure, celebrate Hot Tea Month with these ideas:

  1. Try a winter flavor –

Ginger, Cinnamon and Cardamom are delicious and warming, or add orange and lemon peel to a black or green tea for a zesty note.

   2. Use good quality tea- Ask a Souvia Tea Consultant and find out why loose leave tea trumps tea bags! Learn    how to make the  “perfect cup of tea”  – water quality, temperature and steeping time are important factors      in preparing tea the right way.

  1. Expand your horizon

Always stuck with your good old favorite blend? This month, try something new- a silver needle white tea or a Darjeeling oolong. If you usually drink flavored teas, try something non-flavored and if you prefer iced tea, give hot a chance.

4. Create your own blends – be creative and try blend your favorite flavors for a new taste experience

  1. Cook with tea

Tea is not just for drinking. There are many ways you can incorporate tea in cooking or baking. Add a nice jasmine flavor to rice by boiling it in jasmine tea instead of water.

  1. Hold a tea tasting

Invite some friends and have them bring their favorite tea, then sample each other’s selections and maybe you’ll find a new favorite!

  1. .Nurture yourself

Take some time for yourself with a nice cup of herbal tea. Rejuvenate with peppermint or relax with a blend of chamomile and lavender

  1.  Read a tea book

With a cup of tea by your side, lose yourself in a good book

  1. Tea with a twist

Need something a little stronger, take your afternoon tea in a “Mar-tea-ni”.

  1. Take a tea class

Sign up for a class at Souvia and explore the world of tea during a fun and hands-on “infotainment” session.

No matter when and how you drink your tea, celebrate National Hot Tea Month with us at Souvia and be sure to make tea a constant companion during 2016!

September 11, 2014

We’re Back

Filed under: Green Tea,Newsletter — wbwingert @ 10:49 am
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We’re Back

Decoctions

Margarita – Souvia

Style

Featured Products

Want to learn more about

ways to reduce the

effects of stress naturally?

Lemon Balm is great to

soothe those stressed out

nerves

 

 

Astragulus helps your body

cope with everyday stress

Overdo it?  Try our

Tulsi Detox or Balance

herbal blends to set

things right

Want a light boost with

a little caffeine? Try

Souvia Sushi Tea

Latest Tea Menu

 

Please visit our

Newest partner

in Tea

32nd Shea

32ndShea is

a new bistro

in Phoenix

And we’re back…

Just like Schwarzenegger and Poltergeist – our news letter is back.  For a variety of reasons, we took a 3 month break from the Newsletter. Rest assured, all if fine in Tea-land.  Hope you enjoy this latest installment.  

 

A couple of tips as we head into summer –

 

In between newsletters, it is easy to stay informed by reading our blog.  New articles are also posted to our Facebook site. 

 

From Teas to Decoctions

 You may have heard herbalists talk about teas, infusions and decoctions and wondered what the difference was and when to chose one over the other to prepare your herbs.

TEA

Technically, only an infusion made with the leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis), that is white, green, oolong and black tea, can be called a “tea”. All other infusions made with botanicals are called infusions or tisanes. In the world of herbs,however, a tea is a particular method of preparing herbs. In order to prepare an herbal “tea”, you take about 1-2 tbs. of plant material per 8 oz of boiling water; pour the water over the herbs, cover and steep for 5-10 minutes. Because of the relatively short steeping time, a tea is much milder and not all beneficial constituents are extracted. It is great if you try a new herb to see how your body tolerates it or simply to enjoy the taste.

Infusion

An infusion is a stronger version of an herbal tea. They are generally made using the leaves, flowers and stems of a plant. The standard traditional recipe calls for 1/2-1oz of dried herb steeped in a pint of boiling water for 20-30 minutes (or even overnight). If you use fresh herbs, double the amount of plant material. Due to the longer steeping time, more of the healing constituents are extracted making the infusion more therapeutic than a tea. In order to get to the minerals in many nutritive herbs such as nettle, you have to steep the herbs for at least four hours. Of course the longer steeping effects the taste and most infusions tend to be quite bitter. To make them more palatable, use honey, sugar or lemon. Infusions are great when you are sick and need to get the maximum benefit from your herbs.

Decoction

Decoctions are used to extract the medicinal constituents from the harder parts of the plant, such as bark, roots, rhizomes, dried berries or seeds. In order to prepare a, use the same amount of herbs as with the infusion per pint of water. Place the herbs in a pot and add the water. Bring everything to a full, rolling boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 20-30 minutes. Make sure the pot is covered!

Finally, strain the decoction through a fine mesh strainer into a glass jar or cup.

Cheers!

Speaking of concoctions…

Who says you can’t have your tea and margarita at he same time?

We added some green tea with lots of antioxidants to the original recipe for this tangy, tasty “Green Tea Margarita”

In this Souvia recipe, a  Margarita with lemon juice is blended with “green chai’ ice cubes!

For one serving,  you will need:

1 lime or lemon wedge

Saucer of granulated sugar for coating rim of glass

1/2 to 2/3 cup strongly brewed Souvia Green Chai frozen into 6-8 small ice cubes

2 1/2 tbs premium tequila

1 tbs fresh lemon juice

1 tbs orange liqueur (Cointreau) and 2 tsp sugar

Rub the lime wedge around the rim of a margarita glass. Dip and rotate the rim in the saucer of sugar, making sure to keep the sugar on the outside. In a blender, combine the chai ice cubes, tequila, lemon juice, orange liqueur, and sugar. Blend on the pulse setting until slushy. Pour into the sugar-rimmed glasses.

Salute!

Thanks for Reading…

Thanks for reading this month.  Hope you found a nugget or two to take away.  Remember, slow down and enjoy a cup of tea or herbal infusion.  We hope you’ll visit us in the store, at one of our partners or online soon.  If you can’t get in, remember… we ship orders over $50 for free the same day and your tea will arrive quickly!

This email was sent to: rhm458@centurytel.net

This email was sent by: Souvia Tea
15414 N. 7th Street Suite 8
Phoenix, Arizona 85022

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September 10, 2014

Summer, Earl’s Sevret and Manly Teas

Filed under: Black Tea,Newsletter,Tea and Health — wbwingert @ 10:47 am


Souvia

Unable to view this newsletter?

Summer is Inbound

 

Earl’s Secret

 

Top Ten Manly Teas

Featured Products

 

 

 

See a video showing

the easy way to

make iced tea with loose

leaves

 

Traveling? – don’t settle

for bad tea on the road!

take it with you with our

Tea Survival Kit

 

 

Want to get started

making Iced tea with loose

leaves?  It’s Easy with

our Iced Tea Starter kit

Just add water!

 

Organic Rosebuds can

be brewed alone or blended

to make refreshing

concoctions

 

On the road?

Looking for Souvia tea?

Check out  some

of our Partners

Sparkroot is a great

place to sip some

tea and enjoy a great

selection of healthy

foods – Tucson

The Next Chapter

Is a book store cafe

featuring Souvia Tea

Northville, Michigan

 

 Arizona’s only 5 diamond

restaurant serves Souvia

Tea

Latest Tea Menu

 

Summer is Inbound

As school winds down, graduations celebrate new beginnings for many and we turn towards summer activities parties, travel, etc. it means that Summer is almost upon us.   While many people drink iced teas year round consumption definitely increases in the summer months.  An why not?  Tea is healthy, low in calories, and a good hydration source.  Iced tea is easy to prepare and a great way to liven up any gathering.  In other summer news:

  • Father’s Day is June 16th – Check out the manly tea list below for inspiration!
  • We rolled out our new summer tea selection at the start of April with some great new tastes to try.
  • We will be closed Monday, May 26th in observance of Memorial Day
  • While you’re online take a moment to “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  We post our specials, links to interesting articles, health news and more.

 

The Secret of Earl Grey

What sounds like the title of a suspense novel, is the story about the beginnings of a tea which can be considered one of the most popular among traditional black teas.

While there are numerous opinions about when and how this tea blend was created, they all center on a political figure of the 18th century – Earl Grey.  Earl Grey, the person, was born Charles Grey II in England in 1764. He spent most of his life in politics and in 1830, became Prime Minister of Britain.

One of the versions of how Earl Grey tea got its name tells that during his political career, the Earl was very taken with a diplomatic gift he received – a chest of flavored black tea. He liked the tea so much that he asked British tea merchant Richard Twining to match the flavor of this mysterious tea. Twining created a blend of Indian and Ceylon black tea and added a bit of smoky Chinese Lapsang Souchong. He also used a special and rare ingredient which lent this tea its unique citrus fragrance and flavor. Since Twining blended the tea especially for the Earl, it was only fitting to name it after him – Earl Grey!

More recently, Earl Grey tea has made a number of appearances in movies: It is the favorite tea of Captain Picard of Star Trek, The Next Generation. If you are familiar with Dan Brown’s book “The Davinci Code”, you know that one of his characters, Sir Leigh Teabing, also liked his cup of Earl Grey!

The secret of Earl Grey – the tea that is, – Keep reading in our blog

 

Top 10 manly Teas

While in many of the world’s cultures tea is consumed by men, in the United States, many men’s tea consumption is limited to ice tea at their favorite Mexican restaurant.

I must admit that I used to be non-tea drinker.  However, after three years in Japan and my experiences with the varieties of teas from around the world, I have a new view of tea.

In convincing non-tea drinking men to try tea I have compiled a list of those teas that seem to appeal to them.  This list is known as the “Manly Tea list”.

  1. Lapsong Souchong – This black tea has a smoky campfire-like flavor from the drying process.   Think single malt scotch or a fine cigar
  2. Green Menthos –  a mild green tea flavored with mint.  It is refreshing hot or cold and requires no sugar.  A great introduction to green teas
  3. Gen Mai Cha – a Japanese blend of green tea with toasted rice kernels.  It has a great full body and served as a coffee substitute for me while living in Japan
  4. Earl Grey – 3 words – Jean Luc Picard
  5. Gunpowder – A great way to try a straight green tea, named for its tightly rolled leaf.  Plus what manly man wouldn’t like something with the word “gun” in it!
  6. Mount Everest Breakfast – A black tea with Assam and Keemun – easier to drink then to climb it!
  7. Pu-Erh mini-Touchas – this tea comes in cake form.  It has an earthy smell, medium body, and a unique taste.  Not for the faint of heart!
  8. Morning After – detoxifying herbal blend with a touch of mint.  Cleanse and sooth your system after poker night!
  9. Tiramasu Marscapone – Ok, I know this does not sound manly but this Rooibos makes a great finish after a meal, it has no calories, caffeine and won’t add to your waistline
  10. Vithanakanda – A Sri Lankan tea that goes great with milk and sugar.  Dark in the cup like coffee… No one will know you have switched!  A stealth tea!

So, be a man and give tea a try!

Thanks for Reading…

Thanks for reading this month.  We hope you’ll visit us in the store, at one of our partners or online soon.  If you can’t get in, remember… we ship orders over $50 for free the same day and your tea will arrive quickly!

This email was sent to: info@souvia.com

This email was sent by: Souvia Tea
15414 N. 7th Street Suite 8
Phoenix, Arizona 85022

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September 9, 2014

August, Emerald Tea, Thirsaty?

Filed under: Newsletter,Oolong Tea,Tea and Health — wbwingert @ 10:43 am
Unable to view this newsletter?

August

Emerald Tea

Thirsty?

 

Matcha is made

from ground

Gyokuro.  The

leaves can also be

brewed

 

 

Learn how to make

green tea smoothies

with Matcha here

 Our Iced Tea Kit has

everything you need for

iced tea except the ice!

See it in action.

 

Our Sweet Matcha

powder is great alone

our in Smoothies

 

Latest Tea Menu

 

Please visit our

one of our partners

in Tea

 Phoenix

Tucson

Glendale

August

 

Thanks to everyone who supported Independent Businesses everywhere during Independent’s Week!  It’s monsoon season in Arizona which means lower temps, higher humidity, and more dust than rain!  It’s like winter in the North, but with fewer clothes and better driving conditions.

 

Coming up in August:

  • There is still time to enter our drawing for a Summer Fun Basket – get a chance for every $25 you spend in July
  • Our featured herb this Oat Straw and nourishing herb – so stop in to find out more
  • Watch for our new “Kid’s Cup” a special size for our smaller customers

 

Matcha: Emerald Green Drink from Japan

There really is quite a bit more to this drink than meets the eye:  Matcha, the finely milled, emerald green tea powder, has been used in the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony for centuries. In modern times, matcha has also been used to flavor and color foods such as soba noodles, green tea ice cream and a variety of Japanese sweets. In the west, matcha found its way into smoothies and lattes and is popular because of its rich taste and multitude of healthy nutrients.

How is it made?

While tea is produced in different countries throughout the world, matcha is unique to Japan. It is grown by local farmers using traditional methods from growing to milling.

The tea leaves used for matcha are shade grown and the preparation of this tea starts several weeks before the actual harvest, when the tea plants are covered with bamboo mats or tarp in order to reduce the exposure to sunlight and thereby increasing the chlorophyll content in the plant. It is the high chlorophyll content that gives matcha its distinctly green color. After plucking, the leaves are laid out flat to dry – the crumbled dried leaves make up the base product for matcha and are called tencha. Tencha is then de-veined, de-stemmed and stone milled into a fine, bright green powder, known as matcha. Only ground tencha can be called matcha, powered green teas made from other varietals, like sencha, are known as konacha –literally meaning “powder tea”.The most famous matcha producing tea regions in Japan are Uji in Kyoto, Nishio in Aichi, Shizuoka and northern Kyushu.

 

What is so good about matcha?

Matcha is renowned for many health benefits. It is rich in nutrients, anti-oxidants, fiber, amino acids and chlorophyll.  Drinking matcha exceeds the nutritional value of a regular cup of green tea since the whole leaf is consumed, and not just the tea-infused water. In 2003, researchers from the University of Colorado found that the concentration of the antioxidant ECGC is up to 137 times greater than the amount of ECGC in other commercially available green teas.

On the other hand, it is not only the nutritional value that is increased, the caffeine content is also higher than in a regular cup of green tea, making matcha a stimulating beverage that will get you going in the morning.

Matcha, like all shade grown teas contains the amino acid “L-theanine”. Besides giving the tea a sweeter taste, L-theanine also has a relaxing effect on the nervous system which seems to complement the stimulating effects of the caffeine, offering a sustained alertness over time without the jitters.

How do I make it? more on the blog

 

Thirsty?

We all know tea can be incorporated into food, tea smoked duck, green tea in oatmeal, etc.  But if you are looking for something with a little more punch consider cooling summer cocktails with tea.

 

Matcha Salty Dog

This Salty Dog with matcha combines great flavor, presentation and a bit of health-boosting antioxidants and is the perfect drink to ring in the weekend.

Ingredients:

 

  • juice of half a grapefruit
  • 2 tbsp vodka (or to taste)
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • 1/2 tsp matcha

 1. Squeeze the grapefruit to extract the juice. Moisten the rim of a glass with the rind and dip rim in salt. Fill the glass with ice cubes.

 

2. Place the grapefruit juice, vodka, and matcha in a cocktail shaker and shake until well mixed

 

3. Pour over the ice cubes and garnish with slice of grapefruit – serve immediately!

 

Consider these as well from our blog: Moroccan Mint Granita, Earl Grey Martini and more Ideas here

Thanks for Reading…

Thanks for reading this month.     Everyone who posts a picture of our teas on Facebook or Twitter (@souviatea) while on vacationgets 50g of any of or fruit flavored tea.   The best picture will get a $25 Souvia Gift card!   Runs through August 1st.

We hope you’ll visit us in the store, at one of our partners or online soon.  If you can’t get in, remember… we ship orders over $50 for free the same day and your tea will arrive quickly!

This email was sent to: info@souvia.com

This email was sent by: Souvia Tea
15414 N. 7th Street Suite 8
Phoenix, Arizona 85022

Guaranteed Unsubscribe if you would like not to receive future emails from Souvia Tea.

Report as Spam if this email has been sent to you without your permission.

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July 16, 2013

Matcha: The Emerald Drink from Japan

Filed under: Green Tea,Newsletter,Tea and Health — wbwingert @ 8:24 am

Matcha mill hand poweredThere really is quite a bit more to this drink than meets the eye:  Matcha, the finely milled, emerald green tea powder, has been used in the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony for centuries. In modern times, matcha has also been used to flavor and color foods such as soba noodles, green tea ice cream and a variety of Japanese sweets. In the west, matcha found its way into smoothies and lattes and is popular because of its rich taste and multitude of healthy nutrients.

How is it made?

While tea is produced in different countries throughout the world, matcha is unique to Japan. It is grown by local farmers using traditional methods from growing to milling.

The tea leaves used for matcha are shade grown and the preparation of this tea starts several weeks before the actual harvest, when the tea plants are covered with bamboo mats or tarp in order to reduce the exposure to sunlight and thereby increasing the chlorophyll content in the plant. It is the high chlorophyll content that gives matcha its distinctly green color. After plucking, the leaves are laid out flat to dry – the crumbled dried leaves make up the base product for matcha and are called tencha. Tencha is then de-veined, de-stemmed and stone milled into a fine, bright green powder, known as matcha. Only ground tencha can be called matcha, powered green teas made from other varietals, like sencha, are known as konacha –literally meaning “powder tea”.

The most famous matcha producing tea regions in Japan are Uji in Kyoto, Nishio in Aichi, Shizuoka and northern Kyushu.

What is so good about matcha?

Matcha is renowned for many health benefits. It is rich in nutrients, anti-oxidants, fiber, amino acids and chlorophyll.  Drinking matcha exceeds the nutritional value of a regular cup of green tea since the whole leaf is consumed, and not just the tea-infused water. In 2003, researchers from the University of Colorado found that the concentration of the antioxidant ECGC is up to 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG in other commercially available green teas.

On the other hand, it is not only the nutritional value that is increased, the caffeine content is also higher than in a regular cup of green tea, making matcha a stimulating beverage that will get you going in the morning.

Matcha, like all shade grown teas contains the amino acid “L-teanine”. Besides giving the tea a sweeter taste, L-theanine also has a relaxing effect on the nervous system which seems to complement the stimulating effects of the caffeine, offering a sustained alertness over time without the jitters.

How do I make it?

Use 1 tsp of matcha for each 8oz of water. Traditionally, the matcha is placed in a bowl and hot water is added. It is important to make sure that the water is not too hot; 175 F is just about the right temperature. Using a traditional bamboo whisk (chashaku), whisk the matcha until it all lumps are dissolved and a frothy foam starts to build on the surface. A silicone whisk will do it in a pinch, but may not produce a mixture as fine and smooth as the chashaku.  Aside from  the traditional preparation, matcha is pretty versatile and can be added to a smoothie, yoghurt or used in cooking and baking.

Ask our tea consultants for a sample of our sweet matcha iced at your next vist!

July 13, 2013

Independents, Iced Tea, Tea news

Filed under: Black Tea,Newsletter,Tea and Health — wbwingert @ 11:08 am

Souvia

 

Independents

 

Iced Tea

 

Tea News

 

 

Take your Tea

wherever you go

 Tea Survival Kit!

 

Like Iced Tea?

 Our Iced Tea Kit has

everything you need for

iced tea except the ice!

See it in action.

 Lavender is a soothing

beverage and can also

used is salves.  It is a

natural antimicrobial.

 

Latest Tea Menu

 

Please visit our

one of our partners

in Tea

 Phoenix

Tucson

Glendale

Independents


It’s almost Independence Day and that means it is time for Independent’s Week (June 30th – July 7th), now a national event celebrating unique, local businesses everywhere.  In Arizona, many local businesses offer special deals during this week.  Souvia is no exception.  Enjoy 20% off of your purchase during Independent’s week with your Golden Ticket.

So, pledge to support the local businesses that make our communities unique.

 

Coming up in July:

 

  • Take advantage of Independent’s Week online – use code Gold2013 for 20% off.
  • Our featured herb this month is lavender, so stop in to find out how to make a natural hand sanitizer!
  • We will be closed July 4th in observance of Independence day!

 

Iced Tea

June is National Iced Tea Month – and for a good reason! Triple digits for weeks and no end in sight! This is the time when we are all looking to find ways to stay cool and hydrated. What better way to accomplish this than poolside sipping iced tea!

 

Iced tea made from loose tea leaves is simpler than ever and may even have higher levels of antioxidants than bottled teas (a recent UCLA study found “no measurable catechins (an antioxidant) content at all” in two popular mass market bottled iced teas.   In addition, when you make the tea you control the sweetness and the freshness.

 

To make iced tea from loose tea, all you need is a pitcher, tea filters (“t-sac”) and, of course, a tea of your choice.  At Souvia®, we recommend two ways to make iced tea: the hot method and the cold method.  In both recipes you’ll need 1 teaspoon (about 2 grams) of loose tea for every 6 ounces of water.  To make 2 quarts you will need just over 10 teaspoons of tea.

  1. Cold brewing method– using room temperature water in a pitcher or our easy to use Iced Tea Maker, add the right amount of your selected tea.  Fill the container with water and allow to steep 2-8 hours (overnight works fine). 
  1. Hot Brewing method – bring water to the temperature appropriate for the tea you have selected (boiling is fine for black and Rooibos but allow the water to cool 1 minute for green tea brews).  Steep as directed by your tea.  Remove the leaves promptly and allow cooling. Enjoy over ice!

Many teas and herbals are great iced. Nilgiri from India is one of the best iced black teas, if you are a purist, and Rooibos (caffeine free) is rich in minerals and, therefore a great way to replenish electrolytes. Rooibos is also very low in tannin, which gives it a smooth flavor that especially children like. To add a little variety, try some of our special summer flavors like Lemon Soufflé, Cranberry Peach, Tropical Sunset or our June Special – Honey Do – a fruit blend with melon flavor”!

 

Regardless which tea, tools and technique you choose, preparing your own iced tea has never been easier.  More and more studies indicate that tea is a healthy drink and iced tea is a great way to enjoy tea.

Read the 4 steps on our blog

News from around the Tea World….

Some highlights in the news –

 

Sun Teas Tasty – but Risky – there is no need to stick your tea outside to brew, it will brew just fine in the fridge

 

Tea? There’s app for that – Tea 2.0 is a cool little app that has been updated with a ton of great info for the tea geek in all of us

 

Don’t Drink Bottled Green Tea for Antioxidants – another story on  why brewing fresh is best if you are looking for health benefits from tea

 

Coffee Vs. Tea?  No need to choose but this is an interesting infographic on some of the differences

 

 

 

Thanks for Reading…

Thanks for reading this month.  Our tea loves to travel –  Take Souvia Teas on vacation and send us a picture!   A picture of a bag of tea, travel mug, etc. will work.   Everyone who posts a picture of our teas on Facebook or Twitter (@souviatea) while on vacationgets 50g of any of or fruit flavored tea.   The best picture will get a $25 Souvia Gift card!   Runs through August 1st.

We hope you’ll visit us in the store, at one of our partners or online soon.  If you can’t get in, remember… we ship orders over $50 for free the same day and your tea will arrive quickly!

 

 


April 14, 2013

Spring Clean your Body!

Filed under: herbals and fruit blends,Newsletter,Tea and Health — wbwingert @ 2:43 pm

Spring Clean Your Body

 Spring is the time of renewal and even here in the desert, nature’s awakening does not go unnoticed.  The aroma of orange blossoms fills the air and a sea of wildflowers paints the desert in beautiful colors.

On the other hand, spring is also the time, when we clean house – thoroughly, get our backyards looking nice and are getting rid of the old to make room for the new!

After the holiday feasts and the comfort foods of winter, our bodies deserve a gentle cleansing too. The accumulation of toxins often leaves us feeling sluggish and tired. Digestive disorders, headaches, joint pain, allergies and unwanted weight are often the result of toxic overload as well.

While our body is designed to rid itself from waste, this process can break down because liver and gallbladder can’t keep up any longer. When this happens, the excess toxins are stored as fat deposits and add to unwanted weight or enter the blood stream.

Cleansing, however, does not mean you have to go on a fast, or very restricted diet. It can be accomplished much gentler and easier by incorporating specific herbs into a well-balanced diet. My favorites are Nettle , Milk Thistle and Burdock Root.

Nettle (Urtica dioica) has been used for centuries as a cleansing herb. Its diuretic action flushes the urinary tract of accumulated waste. It is rich in vitamins and minerals especially iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and chromium. It strengthens the kidneys and is excellent for allergies and hay fever!

Milk Thistle  – (Silybum marianum) is a powerful antioxidant, stimulates liver function and even heals damaged liver cells. The seeds are rich in a compound that stimulates the liver regeneration of liver cells. In fact it is so powerful that it is the only known substance to provide relief from poisoning by death cap mushroom. Milk Thistle also assists gallbladder and kidney function.

Burdock Root(Arctium lappa) is one of the superior tonic herbs. It alkalinizes and eliminates toxins in the blood stream and promotes kidney function. Its ability to expels uric acid from the body makes it perfect for treating gout and rheumatism. Like Nettle, Burdock Root is also rich in minerals and one of the best herbs for skin. It can be used internally and externally for exzema, psoriasis, acne and other skin imbalances that are the result of too many toxins in the body.

Whether it is to counteract a little overindulgence or to support your body’s cleansing functions on a regular basis, herbs can be a wonderful aid in this process.

In order to reap the most benefits, make sure to steep the herbs in boiling water for at least 20 minutes.

If you want to know more about how to use these and other herbs for health and well being, visit us or email us.

March 23, 2013

Post St. Pat’s. When a tea is not a tea, tea an health update

Filed under: Newsletter — wbwingert @ 8:47 am

Souvia

After St. Pat’s

 

When a Tea is not

 

Tea and Health

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After St. Pat’s

March is National Cafeine free month – this is a great time to try some herbals for their taste or medicinal properties.

 

We  say so long to Valentine’s day and look ahead to St Patrick’s Day and there’s lot’s going on in the next 5-6 weeks.  From Snows in the North to Sunny days in the South there are plenty of excuses to enjoy a cup of tea.

 

 

When a Tea is not a Tea!

 

While we tend to call any infusion prepared with hot water “TEA”, only those made with the leaves of the tea plant Camellia Sinensis” are truly teas.

Infusions made with other botanicals such as mint, hibiscus and chamomile are called Herbal Infusions or Tisanes.

 

Tea’s history spans over five thousand years and was in the beginning strictly a medicinal drink. Other botanicals, roots, leaves and flowers have been used for thousands of years as well and many legends surround the beginning of herbalism.

In China, Emperor Shen Nung, who is also credited with the discovery of the tea plant, was a passionate herbalist and very interested in the healing powers of plants. During his life time he studied and catalogued over 200 herbs and wrote about their benefits and medicinal use in the first herbal encyclopedia called “Pen Tsao Ching” (The Classic of Herbs).

 

Today, more than 3000 herbs and their healing properties have been studied and many drugs used in western medicine are derived from herbs. Did you know:

  • The active chemical in Aspirin (salicin) was first discovered in White Willow Bark and was later extracted as acetylsalicylic acid from Meadowsweet, an herb used in the 19th century to reduce fever and relieve pain?
  • The heart medicine “Digitalis”, from the herb Foxglove
  • the asthma-aid “Ephedrine”, from the herb ephedrea are all very good examples for the healing powers found in nature.

 

In everyday life, we are all herbalists to some extend or another. Who has not fixed a cup of peppermint tea (…oops…”tisane”) to soothe an upset stomach or relied on lavender and chamomile to bring relaxation to a busy mind.  

 

While many herbal remedies are safe, such as aloe for minor burns, or clove oil for fast, temporary toothache relief, they also have their limits and it is always wise to talk to your physician about the incorporation of specific herbals into your diet and lifestyle.

 

March is National Caffeine-free Month and the perfect time to incorporate tisanes into a healthy lifestyle! Unlike tea which has caffeine, most herbals are naturally caffeine free and therefore a great alternative for those who have to abstain from caffeine or simply want a relaxing cup in the evening.

Tea and Health

 

We get a lot of questions about tea and health.   While most agree tea is a very healthy beverage, there is a lot of hype.  We recommend drinking full leaf teas and brewing them yourself – not unlike vegetables!

Here are some recent articles about tea you may find informative –

From WebMD – not they call herbals “tea” – se above for the distinction – Types of Teas and Their Health Benefits

From the Dallas Morning News – Tea’s health benefits look promising

Of coruse Dr. Oz mentions the health benefits of tea frequently as well –


Rather than focusing on the differences between types of teas, we always recommend finding teas you like to drink and incorporating them into a regualr part of your diet.

Thanks for Reading…

Thanks for reading this month.  We hope you’ll visit us in the store, at one of our partners or online soon.  If you can’t get in, remember… we ship orders over $50 for free the same day and your tea will arrive quickly!

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