Tea of the Week: Hibiscus Ginger

My wishes for warm and sunny weather have come true, so this week’s tea is the delicious hibiscus ginger, that is perfect as an iced tea! This blend of hibiscus petals and dried ginger gives a  lovely sweet but also tart flavor and has a warm, spicy aftertaste. Not only is this tea delicious, it is also caffeine free so you can drink it throughout the day without worrying about not being able to go to sleep at night.

While this tea is delicious hot, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as iced hibiscus, so here’s a simple method to cold brew this (and any other) tea!  To start, you’re going to need some kind of container to house the tea. For this method we are going to use a half gallon jug, but you can use whatever container you so wish. After you fill up the jug with cool, filtered water, add a half an ounce of tea to the water (a general rule is an ounce of tea per every gallon of water). Then you can leave the tea to brew overnight in the fridge, strain and serve the next day! If you aren’t going to serve it all in one day, you may consider straining the tea into another container to prevent over-brewing, but this is less common in iced teas because the cold water does not extract as many tannins from the tea so it wont become bitter. All of this can be bypassed if you don’t want to wait overnight by just brewing it hot and adding a bunch of ice (but that’s not as fun in my opinion).

If you would like to try this beautiful tea, you can come on down to Incahoots and we would love to brew you some, hot or cold, or you can purchase it in bulk for $28 per pound!

 

Plant of the Week: African Violet

The weather seems to be getting consistently nicer and nicer and there’s no better way to bring the light inside than having a beautiful blooming plant, which is why the African Violet is this week’s plant of the week! African violets, or Saintpaulias, are native to Tanzania, southeastern Kenya and tropical Africa. This plant is a great beginner bloomer and is simple to own and grow in your very own home!

African violets prefer to be in a place in the house where they can get bright, indirect light. A western or southern facing window would do the best, a great way to tell if they’re getting enough light is to hold your hand over it and if you can just barely see the shadow of your hand, you’re in the clear! African violets need just enough water to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Over watering can lead t root and crown rot, among other issues. African violets are perfect because they like the same temperatures we do (so long as you like to keep your house around 70 degrees).

If you think that an African Violet would be the perfect plant for your home or office, you can come on down to Incahoots and pick up your of 4″ violet for $5.99!

Tea of the Week: Royal Phoenix Oolong

I was hoping that we would hold onto the nice sunny break so that I could pick a tea that does really well iced, but alas, the weather does not want to cooperate so this week’s tea is Royal Phoenix Oolong, which is perfect for a rainy day like the one we’re having now! This tea originates from the Phoenix Mountains in Guangdong, China. This tea grows from a single trunk which is unlike it’s more common relatives that grow from multiple.

This specific tea variety is also unique because it’s leaf grows very fast and turns into a full body leaf. This tea has a toasty and fragrant aroma and tastes similar to peaches and nectarines. If you would like a pot, you can come on down to the shop and we will happily brew you one, or you can buy it in bulk for $56 per pound.

Plant of the Week: Kalanchoe

It’s Thursday which means its time to pick another plant, and this week’s is the Kalanchoe! This succulent is known for it’s funky foliage and beautiful blooms. Native to Madagascar and tropical Africa, this plant is the perfect, low-maintenance plant for any home or office. While it wouldn’t fair well here in the Pacific Northwest, Kalanchoes can be planted outdoors in zones 10 and 11.

Because kalanchoes are considered succulents, it is important to not over water this plant. Make sure to let the soil dry a bit in between watering sessions and that it’s potted in something with proper drainage. While blooming, kalanchoes do well in brightly lit areas. After the blooms drop, if you want flowers again, you have to trick the plant into thinking that a winter has passed. Similar to poinsettias, kalanchoes require short day lengths to bloom again. During natural winter periods, keep the plant in a room where the lights are turned off when it begins to become dark. If it’s out of that time period, keeping it in a closet or dark room for 14 hours at night and then move it to a brightly lit room for the remaining 10 hours in the day. After about 6 weeks, the plant will have buds large enough to be seen above the foliage and can be moved back to it’s usual stop int he house for a new blooming season!

If you would like to pick up a kalanchoe of your very own, you can head on over to Incahoots and purchase a 4″ pot for $5.99!

If You Need Something To Do Next Tuesday

If you’re in the mood for a tasty meal and some tasty Jazz, come on down to McMenamins on Tuesday, March 13th. As a special fundraiser for music education in our schools, McMenamins will be donating 50% of the evenings’ proceeds to the Mac Band. This event runs from 5:00 p.m. until close with the McMinnville High School Jazz Band performing at 7:00 p.m.This group consists of 20 of the most talented young musicians around. You’re in for a real treat!

So bring everyone you know out for burgers, drinks, salads, tater tots, and help support this great cause. I hope to see you there!

Cards That Are More Than Just Paper and Ink

For those extra-special occasions when you really want to make a scene, Incahoots now carries a fun selection of Pop & Slot 3D Cards. The flat-packed sets contain all the parts to punch-out and easily build your very own 3D creations, with illustrations that will make both the sender and receiver smile.

You can send a petite potted succulent in sturdy paper form, create a volcanic dinosaur village to celebrate a child’s birthday, or even construct a dreamy fairy tale swan lake scene.

Each set contains a matching Greeting Card for your message, as well as a large envelope that holds the whole set for easy mailing. Our Pop & Slot 3D Occasion Cards truly make for an unexpected treat in the post! They make for fun cake toppers, brilliant table decorations and beyond!

Tea of the Week: Rose Melange

As another Tuesday comes around, so does another tea and this week’s is Rose Melange! This floral tea tastes as good as it smells. Originating from Assam, India this lovely black tea is perfect when you need to relax. This full bodied black tea has been mixed with fragrant and tasty rose petals to ensure a delicious and smooth drinking experience.

The strong rose taste makes a it a lovely drink for the flower lover in your life. Come on down to Incahoots and we would be happy to brew you a pot, or you can purchase this tea in bulk for $45 a pound!

Biophilia

FicusHere’s an interesting concept that seems to keep popping up: Plants improve the workplace. There’s even a catchy new term for it “Biophilia.”

Our brains crave a connection to nature, and corporations are beginning to favor plants and green spaces over sterile cubicle environments. According to one article, Amazon put 40,000 plants in its new Seattle headquarters. And Samsung put a garden on every other floor in its San Jose, California, office.

Because the wilderness is our natural habitat, biophilia advocates say, we feel more at ease there than in a sterile office. Research has found that offices outfitted to look more like the natural world lead to happier, healthier and more productive employees. “When you look at a tree, you’re smarter,” explained Daniel Skiffington, a senior associate at NBBJ.

Or to put it another way. “Smart people look at trees.”

We at Incahoots are fortunate to spend our days surrounded by plants, which would explain why we are so smart (or at least smart alecks.)

P.S. We have a new nominee for our crosswalk signal repertoire: “Singin’ in the Rain” – to be used when the weather is appropriate – which in this part of Oregon would be most of the time.

A Healthy Gut is a Happy Gut!

Daily Greens Smoothie Bowl Single Sips 850px-768x721Single Sips® make it easy to enjoy the benefits of healthy, organic teas and herbs on the go. Simply add a packet to hot or cold water and stir or shake. One of the new additions to the Single Sips teas is Daily Greens. Daily Greens Single Sips are a simple and refreshing way to get both prebiotics and probiotics which can support your digestive and immune systems.

There are also other ways to use these teas as you can see with this new recipe from the Republic of Tea. (You’ll feel healthier just reading it!)

Daily Greens Smoothie Bowl

Double down on your daily fix of cleansing and revitalizing greens with this nutrient packed Daily Greens Smoothie Bowl. Combined with the proteins and healthy fats from avocado and almond milk – these smoothie bowls will keep you going strong for hours. Your taste buds AND gut will love you!

Ingredients
1 Organic Daily Greens™ Single Sips®
1 banana, peeled and frozen
1 cup fresh spinach
½ avocado
½ cup almond milk
¼ ice cubes
Optional toppings

Directions
Blend everything together in a high-powered blender and pour in a bowl. Top with sliced fruit, granola, chia seeds or hemp seeds, nuts or sunflower seeds, dried berries, honey, coconut flakes, etc. Store covered in the fridge for up to one week.

(Although the recipe doesn’t come right out and say it, I assume that at some point within the week, you are supposed to consume this.)

Plant of the Week: Shamrock

With Saint Patrick’s Day quickly approaching,  we thought it would be a perfect time to introduce you to these beautiful lucky plants! The shamrock, or Oxalis is native primarily to southern Africa and tropical south America but with over 850 different species they can be traced all over the world. The Oxalis’ name is derived from the Greek word for acid because, when consumed, the leaves give off a bitter taste. Be careful though, because if consumed in large quantities, this plant can cause poisoning in in pets so make sure to keep them out of reach.

Lucky Shamrock (Oxalis regnellii)

Shamrocks are a relatively easy plant to care for, and is known to live through generations. This plant is a bulb plant, so it doesn’t like to sit in water. Watering around once a week should be sufficient and let is dry about halfway before giving it another dose. Oxalis do very well in an east facing window where they will receive high, indirect light. Under proper conditions, this plant will sprout beautiful little flowers that can vary from white to purple depending on the species.

Iron Cross Shamrock

If you plan  on growing your oxalis outdoors, these perennials are a perfect filler plant for rock gardens, shady borders and woodland gardens. They do best in shady areas or a place where they will get morning light. Many people believe that shamrocks are annuals, but this is a common misconception. Shamrocks go into a dormant phase over the winter where their watering can be decreased until they start sprouting again.

Purple Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis)

If you think that a shamrock would be a good fit for your home or garden, you can head on over to Incahoots where we have three different varieties of shamrock (triangularis, regnellii and iron cross) that come in 4″ pots for $4.99!