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August 26, 2013

Feeling a Bit Frazzled – Try a Cup of Oatstraw!

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

oatstrawWe all know how good a bowl of oatmeal is for you in the morning – from maintaining a healthy cholesterol level to soothing an upset stomach. Did you know, however, that infusions made from the herb’s dried pale green stems, leaves and husks was and still is a common folk remedy for nervous exhaustion and sleeplessness. In the nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century America, oatstraw ranked among the best restoratives for exhaustion brought on by a fever and for headaches associated with overwork or depression.

Herbalists have used oatstraw to treat tension headaches, insomnia and nervous exhaustion with very good results. It is regarded as a tonic that can relieve both physical and emotional fatigue. Since it is rich in in calcium and silicic acid, it is also a wonderful tonic for hair, nails and bones.

Drinking a few cups of oatstraw tea a day may increase strength, energy and foster a feeling of calm.

Make a blend of

1 part chamomile

1 part lemon balm

1 part oatstraw

Use 1tbsp of the blend and add 6-8 oz of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10-15 minutes.



*Oatstraw is regarded as safe, however it contains gluten and is therefore contraindicated for people with celiac disease.




August 23, 2013

Tea Encyclopedia

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



At Souvia, it is our pleasure to not only educate our customer’s palate, but also shed some light into some of the expressions that make up the tea lingo.

Assam, for example, is a very well known and popular black tea -but what exactly does the name mean?

Assam is a state in Northeast India that produces more tea than any other region in the world. Despite being situated very close to sea level, Assam growers produce some of the globe’s top black teas. A the same time, Assam supplies the Indian and international markets with high quantities of lower-grade CTC leaf. In total, between 60 and 75 percent of India’s production comes out of Assam, thanks in part to a tropical climate that allows for nearly year round cultivation in the region. Assam is also the spot where India’s native tea plant, Camillia sinensis var. assamica, was first discovered. The best teas from the region are marked by compelling fruit, spice and especially malt notes.

August 5, 2013

A Wee Bit of Tea History…..

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:04 am

Zen Tea



Tea’s history is long and as complex and exciting as its many flavors. While discovered about five thousand years ago, tea was a well kept secret until 400AD. At that time, long caravans exported tea to the Turkic people via the northern land routes. It took, however another 1300 years before Europe was introduced to this marvelous beverage. In fact, tea became so popular that by the end of the 17th century that it made up to 90% of China’s exports to England.

Despite increasing exports, the Chinese still preserved the secret of tea manufacture. Foreigners had to stay in the port city of Macau and were not permitted to venture inland. Tea was transported  from Guangdong and Anhui and the coastal provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangxi.

Macau, which at the time was controlled by the Portuguese, became the first port to trade China teas. After 1843, four additional ports, Shanghai, Fuzhou, Amoy and Ningbo were opened – yet the secret of how tea grows and is produced was still unknown to  the exporters. It was not until the 1800, when England smuggled Robert Fortune, a botanist into China to lift the secret of tea farming. He was, in essence the first 007 and after many years successful in bringing tea plants to India where it took another ten years before tea was successfully cultivated.

Did you know that two-thirds of tea first imported into the U.S. was green tea?

If your are interested in learning more about tea, its history and production – attend one of our popular classes or tea tastings!






August 2, 2013

Stay Hydrated with Tea!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 9:26 am

Souvia in Mexico


I just came across an article I had kept since  we often get the question here in Arizona whether tea is as hydrating as water, or if the caffeine (a dieuretic) contributes to the loss of electrolytes.

While caffeine has a diuretic effect, it is incorrect to conclude that beverages containing caffeine dehydrate. Caffeine’s diuretic effect occurs when caffeine levels exceed 500-800 milligrams – the amount found in 5-7 cups of coffee according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic. A cup of tea, however contains only 30-60 mg of caffeine. This means that it would take 10-20 cups of tea to reach this threshold.

Dr. Carrie Ruxton, a health nutritionist at Kings College in London, reviewed published studies on the effect of tea consumption on health and concluded that drinking moderate amounts of tea (four cups per day) offered the same excellent hydration qualities as water. According to Ruxton, there was no statistical difference between regular tea and water when a wide range of blood and urine markers for hydration were tested among the volunteers. In addition, urine volume was similar after tea or water, confirming that we do not urinate more after drinking tea.

Dr. Ruxton also pointed out that drinking tea is better than drinking water since water essentially replaces fluids, yet tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants and minerals.

So don’t fret and keep on drinking tea (hot or cold) on those hot and humid monsoon days!