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August 18, 2010

Routines, Holy Basil and Harvest

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — wbwingert @ 4:50 pm

 

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New Routines

 

Tulsi Story

 

News

 

 

 

Featured Products

 

2 Liter Iced Tea Maker

makes brewing iced

tea a snap – see it “live”

 in action on 

 

 

 

 

Troical green tea blend

Hawaiian Breeze is

back for a limited time

 

 

 

 

Cordless SmartKettle

heats water fast to

just the right tea

temperature

 

 

Urban Beans in Phoenix

now offer Souvia Teas

brewed and loose

in the shop

 

 Got a college bound

student? – Set up them

up with the “Dorm Pack

 

Latest Tea Menu

 

 

 

 

 

New Routines

 

Back to school

 Students are returning to colleges and schools in many parts of the country including Arizona.   This leads to different routines – traffic, sleep, mealtimes all can shift.  We see different faces at different times in the store enjoying tea after dropping off the kids or students in the afternoon sipping tea with friends.  It’s not as dramatic as Fall colors but a sign that Fall is not too far away.

 

Here’s more of what’s coming:

  • Hawaiian Breeze, Organic Purple and Green Tulsi, and Green Nilgiri are all on the shelves 
  • Our loyalty program is adding some new features – for example, Friday afternoon purchases earn double loyalty points and we’ll have other specials as well
  • We continue to seek more re-usable options for tea – it’s better than recyclables!

Tulsi: What’s the Story?

 

Krishna Tulsi - purple holy basilIn Hindu mythology, Tulsi is a destitute woman, accused of infidelity and shunned by everybody. Finding no shelter in the world, she turns to the God Vishnu for help. Vishnu, however shuts the gates of Vaikuntha (heaven) and refuses to let her in. Helpless and humiliated, Tulsi stands in the courtyard of heaven when all of a sudden her arms sprout leaves and she turns into a delicate yet wild plant infusing the courtyard with her beautiful fragrance.

 

Lord Vishnu is touched by Tulsi’s devotion, takes her as his beloved wife and Tulsi is finally treated with dignity.

To this day, the Tulsi plant is nurtured in the courtyard of every Indian household and no worship of Vishnu is complete without an offering of Tulsi sprigs.

 

There are two types of Tulsi “Rama Tulsi” (green tulsi) has light green leaves, is larger in size. and produces a refreshing cup of tea with notes of mint, cinnamon and basil. “Krishna Tulsi” (purple tulsi) has dark green leaves and has more of a peppery, crisp taste.

 

Tulsi, which is Sanskrit for “the incomparable one”, has claimed a significant place in Ayurveda, an ancient holistic medical system where it is also known as “Holy Basil”. For more than 3000 years, Tulsi has been considered one of India’s most powerful herbs and it is believed that the daily use of this herb helps maintain the balance of the energy centers (chakras) of the body. Indian folk medicine uses the tulsi leaves to brew a tea which is given to treat congestion, stomach upsets, headaches, fevers and infections.

 

Today, there has been a significant amount of both animal and human clinical research  Read more on our blog

Quick and Current

  • Check out our new staff-inspired fusions like “peanut butter and jelly” – We can make them for you Apples flavor many teasor blend them on the spot to take home
  • September will be a “Harvest Time” Theme: – We have several apple flavored teas and many teas use dried apple as a flavoring. Search with “apple” on our website to see them all.
  • September will see Echinacea, a Mojito Rooibos, and a new Pouchong oolong arrive
  • Our Fall Class Schedule is online
  • In addition to the SmartKettle and Iced Tea maker we also carry a simple electric kettle now. The feedback has been very positive on these time savers
  • Got a college-bound student – How about the our “Dorm Pack?” – a Zojirushi water boiler , Tea Magic, and Mug with your choice of any 3 flavored teas – $189.99 (saves $25 off of regular price AND the Zoji’s work well with college staples like Ramen and Oatmeal – let us ship it for you!

Thanks for Reading…

Thanks for reading this month.  This month we are offering 50g of any teas with Apple in them.  The question is name 2 teas or herbals that contain Apple…  Send your answers to info@souvia.com .  We had 3 winners last month for the 50g of tulsi, Hawaiian Breeze, or Grren Nilgiri.  I will draw 3 winners 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 same day and your tea will arrive quickly!

 

 
   


August 17, 2010

Iced and Easy – Iced Tea at Home

Filed under: Tea and Health,Tea in Arizona,Tea preparation — wbwingert @ 8:44 am

Summer is here and the heat is on! Whether you’re at a family BBQ or lying out by the pool the perfect summer drink is a cool and refreshing glass of ice tea.

The unique flavors range from Lemon Soufflé to Tropical Sunset to Sencha Pina Colada, in green, black or white teas.

One of the most important things to do in the heat is stay hydrated and did you know tea can do just that?

A research study conducted at Kings College in London said drinking three or more cups of tea a day will actually rehydrate you.

Drinking this amount of tea a day could actually be as good for you as drinking water. Tea might even be better since it does not only hydrate the body, but also supplies healthy minerals and phytochemicals.

It is very easy to make iced tea at home with loose leaves.

The method that Wingert and Souvia recommend for making your own iced tea at home is Cold-steeping. For the cold steeping method you need 1 teaspoon (about 2 grams) of loose tea for every 6 ounces of water.

Use room temperature water in a pitcher or similar container; add the right amount of your selected tea. Fill the container with water and allow to steep 2-8 hours (overnight works fine). They also prefer using loose leaf tea rather than tea bags.

Wingert says, “Whole tea leaves unfurl slowly in water and can therefore be steeped more than once.” Loose leaf tea is easier, tastier and more economical than most people think!

Here’s some of the modern tea tools in action

August 13, 2010

“The Dirty Dozen of Dietary Supplement Ingredients”

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 11:44 am

herbal tea

Last week the  Consumer Report published  a report titled “The Dirty Dozen of Dangerous  Ingredients”. The report describes 12 dietary supplement ingredients which can be linked to serious health problems. The information was based on findings by the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, an independent research group which had identified these twelve ingredients as dangerous either by research study or case reports.

Consumer Report lists these 12 ingredients, their use, possible dangers and comments based on the publications research. Included in this list are herbals such as aconite, bitter orange, chaparral, coltsfoot, comfrey, country mallow (sida), greater celandine, kava, lobelia and yohimbe.

Reading the information makes you doubt the safety and efficacy of herbal remedies and dietary supplements, but the truth is that more people die each year or suffer severe side effects from over-the-counter and prescripton drugs.

On the other hand, herbals, while not regulated as medicine ARE  Nature’s medicine and need to be respected as such. Take foxglove, for example. It is a flower that is successfully used in homeopathic remedies as well as allopathic medicne. The plant’s main consituent, digitalin, is extracted and successfully used in the prescripton drugs  Lanoxin and Digoxin to treat heart conditions. If, however, dosed incorrectly by laymen, foxglove is  toxic and can cause death.

Dosage and application are extremely important factors when taking herbs as medicine. Treat them like you would regular drugs and always work with a health care professional who understands the actions of herbals and is trained to prescribe them. These professionals can help you identify indications or possible interactions with drugs you might be taking.

Don’t, however,  let the information in the consumer’s report deter you from using herbal remedies for health and wellness. Many herbals  we know and use have been valued for centuries and are considered safe by the FDA.

I certainly won’t give up my cup of nettle tea in the morning any time soon!

August 9, 2010

Cooking With Tea – Tea Soaked Chickenbreasts

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 9:51 am

Tea-licious Chicken

This morning at the gym I was peddling on the stationary bike while  flipping through the pages of the June/July issue of “EveryDay with Rachel Ray”. Why I thought that reading a magazine filled with glossy pictures of mouthwatering dishes on an empty stomach during an early morning workout was a great idea, I have no clue. I did, however come across this yummy recipe and wanted to share it with other tea enthusiasts. Cooking with tea is becoming more popular and even famous chefs incorporate jasmine green tea, lapsang souchong or matcha into their own creations.  This chicken recipe is quick and easy and ideal for the summer months when grilling is more popular then cooking on the stove!

Ingredients:                         3 tsp of black tea (my recommendation is a strong Assam)

                                          2 whole star anise

                                          1/4 soy sauce

                                          1 tbsp brown sugar

                                          2 tsp vegetable oil; 1tsp toasted sesame oil

                                          1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

                                          4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil, add star anise and tea and steep for 5 minutes. Strain the liquid and stir in the soy sauce, brown sugar, vegetable and sesame oils and cinnamon; let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Place the chicken breasts in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade; refrigerate for at least  1 hour or up to 8 hours.  Preheat a grill to medium. Position the chicken on an oilded cooking grate and then grill, uncovered and turning onto each side twice until cooked through, 10-12 minutes.

Serve it with a tossed salad and you have a quick, easy and“tea-licious” dinner !

August 4, 2010

Herb of the Week: Tulsi

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 12:58 pm

 

tulsi 08-2010

In Hindu mythology, Tulsi is a destitute woman, accused of infidelity and shunned by everybody. Finding no shelter in the world, she turns to the God Vishnu for help. Vishnu, however shuts the gates of Vaikuntha (heaven) and refuses to let her in. Helpless and humiliated, Tulsi stands in the courtyard of heaven when all of a sudden her arms sprout leaves and she turns into a delicate yet wild plant infusing the courtyard with her beautiful fragrance.

Lord Vishnu is touched by Tulsi’s unabiding devotion, takes her as his beloved wife and Tulsi is finally treated with diginity.

To this day, the Tulsi plant (Ocimum Sanctum)  is nurtured in the courtyard of every Indian household and no worship of Vishnu is complete without an offering of Tulsi sprigs.

There are two types of Tulsi, “Rama Tulsi” (green tulsi) has light green leaves, is larger in size. and produces a refreshing cup of tea with notes of mint, cinnamon and basil. “Krishna Tulsi” (purple tulsi) has dark green leaves and has more of a peppery, crisp taste.

Tulsi, which is Sanskrit for “the incomparable one”, has claimed a significant place in Ayurveda, an ancient holistic medical system where it is also known as “Holy Basil”. For more than 3000 years, Tulsi has been considered one of India’s most powerful herbs and it is believed that the daily use of this herb helps maintain the balance of the energy centers (chakras) of the body. Indian folk medicine uses the tulsi leaves to brew a tea which is given to treat congestion, stomach upsets, headaches, fevers and infections.

Today, there has been a significant amount of both animal and human clinical research studies on the benefits of tulsi and we now know that this versatile plant is an adaptogen (herbs which help the body cope and adapt to external/ internal stressors) with great restorative powers. The plant’s chemistry is very complex and contains hundreds of phyto-chemicals. These phyo-chemicals work synergistically (which is why extracts do not necessarily have the same effects as the whole plant) to support the body’s own healing system. Some of its benefits include:

  • Stress relief
  • Enhanced immunity and stamina
  • Support during cold season
  • Promotion of a healthy metabolism
  • Anti-oxidant activity

Tulsi is generally regarded as safe* and can be taken over extended periods of time. To make an herbal infusion, use 1tsp of dried leaf to 6oz of boiling water and steep covered for five to ten minutes. For best results, drink 2-3 cups daily.

If you would like to give this delicious and healthy drink a try, visit us at Souvia where we offer both varietals of the Tulsi leaf beginning in August!

(* always check with your health care provider if you are pregnant, nursing or taking any medication)