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Tea of the Week: Liquid Jade (Matcha)

If you’re up to date with trendy drinks and food, you’ve probably heard of Matcha, as it’s gotten so popular recently that even chain coffee shops have started serving matcha lattes and it’s this week’s tea of the week! This tea is a special kind of green tea. Instead of steeping the individual leaves, you actually consume the entire leaf (minus the steam of course) because they have been ground into a fine powder. The leaves are covered with bamboo mats during the last few weeks of their growth, then picked at a young age and ground up into the matcha powder that you see today. Traditionally it is prepared with about a teaspoon of matcha and a small amount of water, it is then mixed with a bamboo whisk and served. This however is not the only way it can be prepared. It can be used in lattes (my personal favorite), smoothies and even when cooking! Matcha has an almost grass-like flavor to it so it is usually sweetened and is commonly considered an acquired taste because of the umami flavor.

Because matcha isn’t your standard tea, it is much more expensive than regular leaf teas. While the price may be off putting, usually the more expensive matcha’s are the higher quality ones. When looking for matcha, look for one sourced from Japan (we’ll get into that), is a bright green and has a smooth powder (if it’s gritty the leaves are usually older and not as high quality). You’ll want a tea sourced from Japan because of the lead content. Now don’t let that scare you away, a little known fact is that all green teas have lead in them but when you steep it, 90% of the lead content remains in the leaves. With matcha though, you’re consuming the entire leaf which means you’re exposed to more lead. You really shouldn’t consume more than one cup a day and surely don’t give it to your children, but other than that, you should be fine. If you would like to try some matcha, we here at Incahoots would love to make you a Matcha latte or you can buy it in bulk for $100 per pound!

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Plant of the Week: Coffee Plant

Did you know that the same plants that grow coffee beans also make great houseplants? That’s right, which means that the coffee plant is this week’s plant of the week! This lovely tree is native to tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. While many wonder if they’ll be able to harvest coffee beans from their plant, it’s unlikely. The plants take 3-5 years to mature and will only bloom in the best of conditions, after they bloom, you would have hand pollinate the flowers for the berries containing the coffee beans to form. After all this you would likely only have a couple of beans, and probably not enough to brew a whole pot, so it’s better just to enjoy these plants for their beautiful green leaves and hardiness!

Compared to some of the plants we have featured, the coffee plant is very simple and easy for the average household to care for! Coffee plant prefer bright, indirect light so placing them near, but not in a window is ideal. They cannot stand temperatures below freezing and it’s not good for them to stay in areas that are consistently below 65 degrees. Try to avoid placing the plant in a drafty area. When it comes to watering, the coffee plant prefers to have moist, but not soggy soil with moderate-high humidity. This can be achieved by placing the plant on top of a tray filled with pebbles and a little bit of water. Keep in mind that coffee plants can grow up to 6ft in height, so it’s important to provide appropriate space as the plant grows. If you want your plant to stay small, pruning is an option, but it is best to do this in early spring.

If you would like to add a coffee plant to your household, you on come one down to Incahoots and pick up your very own in a 4in pot for $4.99!

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Annual Plants By The Flat Sale

Our annual Plants by the Flat Sale is kicking into high gear. This is your chance to get full flats of fresh-from-the-grower annuals that will brighten up your garden and make the neighbors jealous all summer long.

The information you need (with pictures) to decide on the best plants for your garden is now right here on our website. A couple of new sorting options have just been installed to make it easier to browse through the selection of over 100 choices. While you’re there, you can also place an order.

Already know what you want? Click here for the printable PDF form, fill in how many you need of each and return the form to Incahoots by whatever method you prefer.

Your flats will be available to pick up and plant at the end of April.

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Prayer Flags from Touch the Earth

“Handmade in Oregon by old hippies,” declares the card attached to each prayer flag made by Touch the Earth. These double-sided flags are lovingly crafted with beautiful designs and heartfelt prayers for healing, hand printed on organic silk and hung between brass bells. The messages are designed to blow in the wind and, as the Tibetan Buddhists say, carry our compassion to the four directions. Each flag is accompanied with a story from the artist who explains her inspiration and intention with each design.

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Tea of the Week: Apricot Arabesque

Because the weather can’t seem to make up it’s mind on whether or not it’s going to be sunny or rainy, this week’s tea is Apricot Arabesque, which is perfect hot or cold! Inspired by Chinese black tea, Xanadu teas made this delicious drink. The essence of apricots in this tasty black tea leaves a sweet and smooth taste on the tongue.

If you would like to try a pot, you can come on down to Incahoots and we would be happy to brew you some, or you can purchase it in bulk for $14 per pound!

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NEW, old, witty and wise – all at the same time

It’s not unusual to hear customers chuckling in the back of the store while browsing the spinning racks of Shannon Martin greetings. Her humor and use of vintage photographs makes for a winning combination in cards, and are now featured on magnets as well. Perfect for mailing to a friend in need of a laugh, or giving yourself a chuckle every time you pass the fridge. Grab a handful of your favorites next time you are in the shop.

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Annual Plants By the Flat Sale!

Imagine it’s a warm summer day, the birds are chirping, a gentle breeze is blowing, and you’re out strolling through the garden enjoying the endless display of colorful flowers you planted with your own hands. All it took was a little time in the spring, a few flats of annuals and the blooms just keep on coming.

April is almost here and that means it time for our annual Plants by the Flat Sale. This is your chance to get full flats of fresh-from-the-grower annuals that will brighten up your garden all summer long.

You’ll find all the information you need (with pictures) to decide on the best plants for your garden right here on our website. While you’re there, you can easily place your order.

Or, if you are a seasoned gardener who knows exactly what you want, click here for the printable PDF form. You can quickly fill in how many you need of each and drop off the form at Incahoots. (You can also email the form to contact@incahoots.biz, fax it to 1-503-434-1313, or call 503-472-4923).

Your plants will be available to pick up at the end of April.

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Plant of the Week: Prayer Plant

Its a spring break miracle, plant of the week is a day early! I (as in the one that writes tea/plant of the week) wont be in the shop tomorrow so instead of making you all wait until Friday, I decided to move this week’s Plant of the Week article to today! This week’s plant is the Prayer Plant, or the Maranta! This plant gets it’s common name for a funky thing that it does called nyctinastic movement. Nyctinastic movements, sleep movements, are plant movements that occur in response to darkness. In the case of the prayer plant, as night starts to fall, the plant will turn it’s leaves upwards to the sky as if it were hands coming together to pray. After reading this I would encourage you to look up “prayer plant time lapse” and watch a video or two of this fascinating plant closing up for the night!

One might think that a plant this cool would require more care and attention, but these guys are actually a relatively easy plant to keep around! While a prayer plant will be semi-tolerant of low lighting, they prefer bright, indirect light to really flourish. The soil should be kept moist, but not soggy and they prefer a higher humidity. If dry air is a problem in your household, there are a few ways you can fix this. Placing the plant on top (not in) a tray of pebbles with water can raise the humidity, or placing it around other houseplants and misting them daily can help with keeping the air moist. Ideal temperatures for this plant are around 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit which is usually around where humans like to live anyways so this usually isn’t a problem.

If you decide that you want to keep one of these beauties around your house, you can come on down to Incahoots and pick up a 4″ prayer plant for $4.99!

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Tea of the Week: Star of Persia

It seems as though this year’s spring break is shaping up to be on the chillier side of things which means that that this week’s Tea of the Week is another tea that is perfect for cozying up with a good blanket, book and a cup of Star of Persia tea from Xanadu! This beautiful full body black tea has a soft aroma and subtle taste of vanilla.

Not only do the Indian black and Chinese scented teas allow for a delicious drink, but it is also accented with ruby sugar crystals, so make sure that your tea is well mixed before brewing. This  tea is slightly sweet because of the sugar, and tastes delicious alone, or with a splash of milk! If you would like to try this tea for yourself, you can come on down to Incahoots and we would happily brew you a pot, or you can purchase it in bulk for $14 per pound.

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Plant of the Week: Croton

Since the blooming plants have been receiving so much attention, I decided it was time to give our pretty foliage plants a turn in the spotlight, so this week’s plant of the week is the beautiful croton. Now, crotons do bloom, but only under perfect conditions and they don’t produce what one would usually call a “flower”, it’s actually a lot closer to a puff ball. Crotons are native to Madagascar, where there are over 150 different varieties of croton.

If you’ve read through our plant of the week articles before, you’ll know that we always give you guys the basic care of the plant, but this time I want to start with a disclaimer. Crotons can be temperamental plants, as they really do not like to move. Moving the plant should be avoided unless needed (like a car ride from the store to your house). If after bringing your new addition home it drops some leaves, do not be alarmed, this is totally normal croton behavior just continue with normal care and the plant will spring back. This plant should receive moderate-bright indirect light, so an east or west facing window usually provides enough light for these guys. Croton’s soil should be kept moist due to it’s tropical nature, so when the top of the soil feels dry, it’s time to water again.

If you want to add a croton to your collection, you can come on buy Incahoots and pick up a 4in one for $4.99 or an extra large one for $59.99