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November 17, 2010

November News and Matcha More

Filed under: Black Tea,Green Tea,Newsletter,Tea in Arizona — wbwingert @ 6:48 pm
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November News

 

Matcha

 

Coming Events

 

 

 

Featured Items

 

 

 

We have some new

gift items – like the

3 tin sampler

 

 

 

Sweet Matcha – great in

smoothies, baking, or

just by itself

 

 

Looking for a high quality

Organic Matcha – new

30g size tins!

 

 

Pieces of Citrus and

warming spices make

Holiday Delight

 

The 2011 class

schedule is now

posted

 

Other New Teas:

 

Nutcracker Suite

 

Orange Spice

 

Bamboo Pomegranate

 

Immuni-tea

 

 

 

Latest Tea Menu

 

 

 

November News

Thanks to the almost 1000 of you that assisted with our survey. 

 

 

Your input is being analyzed by the ASU team.  3 respondents won some great prizes for their time.

 

Here are some new items in the store and online:

 

  Lots of new teas in the store and online – Check out Vithanakanda STGFOP1, Matcha Premium, Sweet Matcha, Holiday Delight, Orange Spice, Nutcracker Suite

Matcha

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.

Matcha is made from shade-grown tea leaves used to make gyokuro. The preparation of matcha  starts several weeks before the 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. During the drying process the leaves will crumble somewhat and are known as tencha. Tencha is then de-veined, de-stemmed and stone milled into a fine, bright green matcha powder.  Only ground tenchacan 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 renown for its 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 handcontinued in our blog including how to make it

 

 

 

Coming Events

Here is the latest news:

  • Our annual Tea Sale is November 26th and 27th – We’ll have teas on sale 10-20% off
  • We’ll be at the Kerr Cultural Center for Tea Tuesdays  at 930am on November 16th and December 7th
  • It looks like the Corporate Empire has marshalled its army to take us out of the running but you can still VOTE for us for Best in the Valley from AZ Foothills Magazine – Just like Illinois you can vote more than once and it only takes a moment!
  • Just a reminder: We are open Monday through Friday 7am – 6pm and Saturdays 9am – 5pm
  • We will be open on Sundays December 3rd, 10th, and 17th, from 12 Noon to 5pm
  • Saturday, the 13th is the Local First Arizona Festival – we’ll be there, of course and it’s a lot of fun! Come on out for Local food, music and fun…

Thanks for Reading…

 

Thanks for reading this month.  Matcha powder is a tasty and versatile form of tea. Name two or more uses for Matcha Powder and send your answers to info@souvia.com.    We have a special prize this month!

 

Desert Designers has donated a 31” diameter wood burning tan fire wok for your yard to have tea by this season. Desert Designer will come out and deliver and set up a fire wok for your use. To see these in action please visit www.desertdesigner.com.  Delivery takes about 10 minutes of your time.

 

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!

 

 
   

 

November 10, 2010

Gotcha Matcha

Filed under: Green Tea,Tea Enjoyment,Tea preparation — wbwingert @ 9:46 am

powdered green teaMatcha, 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.

Matcha is made from shade-grown tea leaves used to make gyokuro. The preparation of matcha  starts several weeks before the 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 cholorphyll content  that gives matcha its distinctly green color. After plucking , the leaves are laid out flat to dry. During the drying process the leaves will crumble somewhat and are known as tencha. Tencha is then de-veined, destemmed and stone milled into a fine, bright green matcha powder.  Only ground tencha can be called matcha.  Powdered 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 exeeds 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-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 without the jitters over time

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 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 metal whisk will do it in a pinch, but may not produce as mixture as fine and smooth as with the chashaku.  Since matcha can have a slight bitterness, it is typically served with a Japanese sweet.

Instead of the traditional preparation, matcha can be added to any smoothie for a little kick, whisked into hot milk for a delicious latte or added to a milk shake and yogurt.

Try this great smoothie recipe that will have you wanting more or visit us at Souvia for a matcha sample.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of matcha powder
  • 1-2 cups of milk (can be substituted with soy, rice , almond milk)
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 banana
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Put everything into blender and blend at high speed until thick, creamy and smooth and sprinkle with dark chocolate !!

November 8, 2010

MYSTERY TEA TASTING GOES THE DISTANCE

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 9:19 am

 

As you all know , every Wednesday is Mystery Tea Day at Souvia!  This popular trivia game invites our customers to come in and sample an unidentified tea on our tasting table. Everybody can be a tea-detective and examine the evidence left behind:  the dry leaf which might reveal particularities that could give away the tea type, and a uprepared sample of the mystery tea. If guessed correctly, the winner gets a free tea to go!

Mystery Tea Wednesday has been a popular event for the past 4 years, and we have many customers that have become tea aficionados and pride themselves in guessing even the more challenging teas.

This past Wednesday, though, we had a tea-taster unlike any other before - David – guessed the tea remotely. His girlfriend and he are living in different cities. Christie lives in Phoenix and David in Chicago. It was David’s birthday on Wednesday and he wanted to play the Mystery Tea Trivia at Souvia. So he employed the help of Christie who became his remote assistant. The two were on the phone and Christie was describing the tea to David, even sending a photo via her phone (you have to love this technology!). She tasted the tea and tried to convey its characteristics as best as she could to David, who on the other end attempted to make sense of it all.  I have to say, that on that Wednesday, we had one of our challenging selections out and I had little confidence that David would guess it.  After much contemplation and a little hesitation, Christie told me that David had settled on the Organic Vanilla Rooibos – which indeed it was!!

I was actually thrilled at the outcome of this unusal tasting and since David could not get his reward, decided to send him a sample of the same so that he could make it at home.

Thank you Christie and David for showing us that tea enthusiasm knows no boundries! We hope you enjoyed the rest of your birthday and will come visit us the next time you are in town.

November 4, 2010

Take Yoga Off the Mat – Relax and Stretch at Home or Work

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:18 am

SOUVIA SATURDAY FORUM

November 6th –  10am-Noon

 “Chair Yoga –Anywhere!”

Just in time to get ready for the crazy holiday season, come join us here at Souvia where yoga teacher Sandi Greenberg will offer tools to find calm and peace of mind  throughout your busy day.

  •     Learn Breathing Techniques for immediate calm
  •    Find out how to respond rather than react
  •    Reduce physical & emotional stress
  •    Increase  energy & alertness
  •    Apply yoga principles to be happy now

Sandi Greenberg is a certified yoga teacher, has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in literature as well as certifications as a life coach and hypnotherapist. She has been an educator, counselor and mentor for several decades in the academic and fitness fields, both in Israel and the U.S.. Her mission is to help people attain peace of mind, clarity, direction and empowerment.