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March 25, 2011

Japanese Teas – Should We be Concerned?

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 9:18 am

After the recent recall of contaminated spinach and now the appearance of radioactivity in Tokyo’s water supplies, Japan’s exports have been scrutinized and tea drinkers are worried whether or not it is safe to drink Japanese teas.

There is a lot of information out in the media and sometimes it is difficult to separate the truth from hype and fiction. The suppliers I work with, and who are in direct contact with Japanese tea growers, assured that there was no reason to be concerned at the present time. Dan Bolton, editor for the World Tea News also explained in a recent article that only less than 1000 tons of tea are grown in these particular areas and that no contamination has been reported at this time. The major tea growing regions, like,  are beyond the 200 km zone where unacceptable levels of fallout have been reported.

As for right now there really is no need to worry. The spring tea harvest has not even started and the tea currently available in  retail stores here in the U.S. and other countries is part of the 2010 harvest.  

There is no doubt, though, that consumers will be more inquisitive and careful about Japanese food products – tea included.  included. Our advice is: know your tea vendor and be sure that he/she can answer your questions and address your concerns!

March 21, 2011

Caffeine Awareness Month

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 9:58 am

 

Yes there is such a thing – and March is the month when we draw our attention to the good, bad and ugly of caffeine.

In my previous blog, I wrote about the pros and cons of caffeine, where it is found , the level of caffeine in different tea varietals and how it is removed.

Today, I want to focus a bit more on the alternatives if you have to or want to abstain from caffeine completely. As mentioned before, decaffinated tea still contains about 5mg of caffeine per 6oz cup and might not be the best choice if you want to go completely “without”.

There are many options among herbals though and some are quite delicious and might make the transition easier. Most herbals (tisanes) are caffeine free, but rich in vitamins, minerals and polyphenols. They can be used individually, like peppermint, chamomile and lavender, or blended for a unique taste experience. They can be enjoyed hot or over ice on a summer day.

My favorite iced tea blends are

Hibiscus/Mint – A refreshing blend that keeps your mind alert and your blood pressure in  check. Take 1 part mint and 1/2 part hibiscus and steep in 210F water for 5-8 minutes.  Sweeten with stevia, agave syrup or honey since the hibiscus is  a bit tart and pour over ice.

Nettle, Lavender Chamomile – this is my favorite way to end the day! Nettle is a very nutritive herb, rich in calcium and also known for its cleansing properties.  Both, lavender and chamomile are herbs that have a soothing effect on your nervous system – just perfect to wind down after a busy day. If you feel especially experimental or like the floral note, throw in a few rose petals as well. It’s makes for a beautiful aroma and flavor. I use 1part nettle, 1/2 part chamomile, 1/2 part lavender and rose petals to your liking.

Celebrate Caffeine Awareness Month with us at Souvia!

March 19, 2011

Srping Cleaning and More

 

   
   
 

5 Years

 

Caffeine

 

Spring Time


 

 

 

 

 

 

Organic Rooibos

Caffeine Free and

natural sweetness

 

 

 

Organic Honeybush - 

Rooibos’ Cousin but 

sweeter taste  

 

Like the Caffeine?

 

Try Vithanakanda

I often serve to

hard core coffee

drinkers and they

love it!

 

Latest Tea Menu

 

Please visit our

newest partner

in Tea

 

 

Two locations

 

Our new Matcha

has been very

popular – See

matcha in Action

on

 

and

 

 

Springtime…

 

Hopefully, you got a chance to stop by during our 5th anniversary festivities.  We appreciated seeing so many of you and all the kind messages.

 

It’s Spring – in the tea universe that is the start of plucking season around the world.   From now through November, tea is being picked somewhere!

 

For many it’s a time to clean house or the yard.   At Souvia Tea, we bring in new teas, start the transition to our summer blends, and use a lot more ice!

 

What to look for this spring:

 

  • We’ll offer a class on ways to “spring clean” your body with herbals. 
  • Look for new green teas and summer teas to arrive – including your favorites
  • More focused tastings, new local pastries, and more!
  • In addition – the 5000th person to enroll in our customer loyalty program will receive a $50 Souvia Gift card! 

 

 

Hey! – What’s that caffeine doing in my cup?

There seems to be a month for EVERYTHING. February was the month for love and hearts, and this month, believe it or not is National Caffeine Awareness Month.

It is certainly an interesting topic and one that comes up frequently at the tea shop. Many customers seek to limit their caffeine intake or even completely avoid it altogether. Most consider it unhealthy but it seems there is no real consensus among experts on the answer to the question whether caffeine is friend or foe!

Fact is that caffeine is a bitter substance, naturally occurring in some plants as their protective measure against insects and microbes – a natural pesticide! In the human body, caffeine increases metabolism and stimulates the nervous system, which leaves us more alert, feeling less tired and a little more cheerful – nothing to complain about if you ask me! Negative effects such as heart palpitations, headaches and sleeplessness are typically the result of too much caffeine or sensitivity to it. For most people, though, the moderate consumption of caffeine is not harmful.

Truth is also, that the level of caffeine in your favorite drinks varies greatly and that not all caffeine is created equal.  Let’s take a closer look at the makeup and effects of caffeine in your cup of tea:

How much is in my cup?

This is one of the most asked questions we get. The answer is: “It depends”. A variety of factors determine the caffeine content in the dry tea leaf and in the steeped leaf.

  • Since caffeine is a pesticide, the younger shoots and leaves have more caffeine than the more mature tea leaves. The type of tea plant, soil texture, climate, and elevation all play a role in how much caffeine the tea leaf produces.
  • Processing methods also matter when it comes to the caffeine content in your cup. Green and black teas undergo different processing and the oxidation step of black tea production changes the cellular structure of the leaf in such a way that caffeine is more readily available to dissolve in water.
  • Steeping time and water temperature have a great impact on the caffeine level in your cup as well. Caffeine is water-soluble and the longer it is exposed to water, the more caffeine molecules are released – in short, the longer you steep your tea, the more caffeine you’ll end up with. This explains in part, why your green or white tea tends to have less caffeine than your black tea. The recommended steeping time for most green and white teas is 2-3 minutes, whereas black tea is typically steeped between 3-5 minutes.

How does tea compare with other sources of caffeine?

. .

……   Continued on our Blog

Coming up next….

Here’s what is coming up::

  • Herbal Detox class coming in April. All green teaware is 40% off all month long
  • On St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) – Wear green and get a free regular size Tea of the Day
  • Our new herbals on the shelves now - Milk Thistle, Rosehips, and Pau D’arco (Lapacho)
  • We are discontinuing the following tea, so get them while they last: Purple Tulsi, 2010 Gopaldhara 1st Flush, Hot Tamale, Caramel Apple, Lemon Balm
  • We’ll have a Rooibos promotion April 11th-16th in the store

Thanks for Reading…

Thanks for reading this month.  Now that you know more about caffeine, name two methods to decaffeinate tea.   I’ll draw two names for any of our decaf teas or caffeine-free herbals. 

 

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!

 

 
   


March 7, 2011

Get A Taste Of Spring With Souvia’s New Tea Selection!

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

 

By now everybody had their fill on Nutcracker Suite, Pumpkin Pie and even Holiday Delight did not sound too delightful any longer. With the sunshine and warmer temperatures, most taste buds crave something a bit lighter and more refreshing. I have spent many hours over cupping sets these past three months and tasted about 150 teas to find those that would WOW  our sophis-tea-cated Souvia  fans! The result: Sixteen wonderful new teas with flavors and characters that will entice just about any palate.

  • After only one week of rolling out our spring selection, Pacific Rim has already risen to the top – a blend of black and green tea with juicy pineapple, papaya and kiwi flavor it is an unforgettable taste sensation.
  • For those adventurous tea drinkers, I found a wonderful black tea from China, called Kublai Kahn. It combines the smokey flavor typical for yunnan teas with the brightness of  white teas since many silver tips have been added to the blend – a must try!
  • How about a little Spring Fling – oh no – this one is really harmless – doesn’t even have caffeine! Don’t let that fool you though – it bursts with flavors of orange and lemon and eucalyptus adds cooling note to the mix. Hot or cold, I promise this fling will quickly turn into an affair!

If reading these descriptions make your mouth water, then wait until you smell and taste these new teas…..don’t wait…come in for a taste of spring!

See you soon,

Kerstin