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July 22, 2013

Fresh Fruit in Tea-Infused Port

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:00 am

 

 

 

Tea-infused syrups are a great complement to a fresh fruit dessert and flavors can be adjusted seasonally to the different fruits available. The tea-infused port recipe, caught my eye when flipping through the pages of Cynthia Gold’s book “Culinary Tea”.

Ingredients:

1 bottle (750ml) sweet white port

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh or 1/4 cup dried rose petals

1/4 cup loose leaf black tea

1tbsp dried lavender.

Place the port in a large pitcher with rose petals. Steep covered for 30 minutes. Add the lavender and tea leaves. Steep covered for an additional 30 minutes – then taste. When the flavor is at a concentration you like, strain the mixture through double layers of cheesecloth, or through a coffee filter. Store in an airtight glass bottle and chill.

Prepare 6 cups of fresh fruit, such as peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines and blueberries, pour the port of the fruit and garnish with 1/4 tsp. grated lime.

Serve cold!

 

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 15, 2013

Tea Facts

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:05 am

 

Teas come in several varieties, but they are all from the
same plant, the camellia sinensis. They are processed differently, resulting in
distinct colors and tastes. The most common types are black, green, white and
oolong and pu-erh (an aged tea from the Yunnan province in China)

Other drinks prepared like teas include tisanes, or herbal
infusions, which are produced from a variety of plants; rooibos, sometimes
called red tea, which is made from a South African bush; and yerba mate, a South
American plant that is popularly served in a gourd.

Who drinks the most tea per capita?

Surprisingly it is neither Chinese nor  India – The Irish rank at the top of this list with 7lbs of tea per man/woman/child

Most consumed type of tea?

80% of all tea consumed worldwide is black tea.

Most consumed tea in the U.S.?

80% of the tea consumed in this country is iced!

 

 

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

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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!

 

 


July 5, 2013

Famous Green Teas – Dragonwell

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:00 am

There are about 3000 tea varietals, yet some teas rise to the top and gain status as well as popularity among tea aficionados worldwide. Dragonwell, also known as Lung Ching or Long Jing, is one of the top ten teas of China  – and not undeservedly!

Legend and History

Dragonwell comes from the Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province in China’s southern region. The stories behind Dragonwell are as colorful as its name implies. The most intriguing one involves a dragon inhabiting a spring near the heart of Hangzhou. Emperors and locals alike used the spring water to brew tea from the nearby tea bushes and named the tea Dragonwell.

Dragonwell has a unique leaf style that is easy to recognize. The leaves are pine-needle like and flat with a smooth feel. Tea makers create this leaf style by pan firing the leaves in a hot wok and flipping the leaves hundreds of times until the desired leaf shape is achieved.

Dragonwell holds a unique place in U.S. history since it was the tea Chairman Mao served to President Nixon during his groundbreaking trip to China in 1972!

Taste

Dragonwell’s distinctive vibrant jade-green leaves are broad and flat, producing a pale emerald color with a slightly sweet, chestnut-like and vegetal flavor. Steep at 175F for 203 minutes to enjoy the perfect cup!

In two month, during my trip through China and Japan, Bret and I  will have the pleasure of visiting Hangzhou and look forward to sipping a nice cup of 2013 Lung Ching – as fresh as can be!