Tea of the Week: Chai

Last night I was hanging out with a group of friends to celebrate a birthday and we went out to Indian food which made me realize that I still haven’t featured one of my favorite teas, Chai. Chai, which simply translates as “tea”, is the staple tea in Indian culture. Chai is a spiced milk tea usually made from a combination of rich black tea, milk, various spices, and a sweetener. The most common spices used in Chai are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper, however, it can vary from region to region and household to household. A way to drink Chai that has developed recently is the Chai Latte, which contains the same components as traditional Chai but with a more modern twist. We have three different kinds of Chai for sale in bulk here at the store: Chai, 500 Mile Chai, and Red Bush Chai.

Our Chai is the most traditional blend we have, incorporating many of the common spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and pepper. It is an all natural blend of lightly sweetened black tea and earthy spices. Milk can be added to achieve the traditional taste. You can buy this tea in bulk for $26 a pound.

Our 500 Mile Chai is a Tao of Tea blend, made from organic black tea, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. The name of this tea originates from the many late night truck drivers stopping at small Chai stands and asking for really strong, sweet Chai to help them drive long distances. You can buy this tea in bulk for $32 a pound

Finally, we have Red Bush Chai. This Chai strays a bit away from the traditional blend in that it uses caffeine free Rooibus ‘red bush tea’ from South Africa instead of the traditional black tea. This red bush tea is blended with cinnamon, spearmint, cloves and cardamom to create a full-bodied, slightly spicy flavor that is both cooling and sweet. You can buy this tea in bulk for $32 a pound.

If any of these variations of Chai have spiked your interest and you would like to give them a try, we will happily brew up a pot for you here at the store. We can also make you a Chai Latte if you are craving one of those (I know I always am). Hope to see you down here soon!

Fairy Festival!

Come on down and join the fun – it’s Fairy Festival time at Incahoots. Here’s what’s coming up over the next few days:

Starting Thursday morning, you can vote for your favorite Fairy Garden. As always, there are some amazingly creative gardens for you to see, the hard part is going to be choosing your favorite.

On Friday, there’s a Wand-making Workshop from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Every fairy needs a wand, and for $10 you’ll get the supplies and instruction to create your very own.

On Friday evening, please join us for a concert by some of your favorite local musicians. The concert starts at 7:00 p.m. and will feature our very own Leah Phillips on vocals and guitar, along with the bands Agnes, and Ponderosa. These bands are made up of musicians from the MHS Concert Band, the Jazz Band, and the Twilighters. The concert will be outside under the canopy. Some seating is available, but you might want to bring along a lawn chair just in case.

And the grand finale of the Fairy Festival, the Fairy Parade, sets out on Saturday morning. Fairies of all ages are invited to assemble at Incahoots at 11:30 a.m. to parade down to Hopscotch Toys and then over to the McMinnville library for Fairy Storytime!

P.S. There are just a couple seats left for the Fairy Teas on both Friday and Saturdaymorning. Give us a call soon for reservations. 503-472-4923

Plant of the Week: Fairy Garden Submissions!

Since this week is our Fairy Festival and we are having our annual Fairy Garden Contest, the Plant of the Week this week is all of our amazing submissions! You can come down to the store Thursday through Saturday to vote for your favorite. (One vote per day if you want to come in for the next three days.) When you vote for your favorite garden you are not only helping that garden win, but you could win as well, since every vote is put into a drawing to win a wonderful prize! Hope you stop by and vote soon! Here’s some photos of the submissions, but I highly recommend you come in and look at them for yourself.

Tea of the Week: Saffron Rose

Since this week is our annual Fairy Festival, I have picked a flower tea for this week’s Tea of the Week. Saffron Rose is a newer tea to us, and I actually tried it for the first time yesterday (which is unique in the Tea of the Week, since I grew up at Incahoots and most of the teas I feature I have been drinking my whole life).

Saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, has been used for thousands of years in European, Indian and Persian cuisine. It has a unique sweet-savory flavor and distinct aroma which elevates the flavor of anything it is blended with. This tea is a combination of the saffron flavor and the delicate, floral notes of fresh rose petals.

A fun fact about this specific tea from The Republic of Tea is that “The premium saffron in this tea comes from Rumi Spice, a company founded by former U.S. Army officers who served combat tours in Afghanistan. Sourced from local Afghan farms, they employ 2,000 women to hand-harvest the delicate crimson stigmas of the flowers. Committed to empowering Afghan women and its economy, Rumi reinvests back into agricultural and manufacturing infrastructure.”

Saffron Rose is an herbal tea and is caffeine free. It is delicious as a hot tea as well as iced. I tried it iced yesterday and it was very refreshing and sweet. If you would like, we can brew you a cup here at the store, or you can buy a tin for $16.75.

Hope to see you at the Fairy Festival this week! All the different events are listed on our Facebook if you would like the check it out. Maybe you can try some Saffron Rose while your here!

Plant of the Week: Datura

This week I have, thanks to a suggestion by Janet, selected the Datura as this week’s Plant of the Week. Datura, also commonly known as the Devil’s Trumpet, is a genus of nine species of flowering plants. The specific Datura that we carry here at the store is called Ballerina Purple (which is what is pictured in this post).

The Datura plant is native to the Americas, so it grows well here in Oregon. This plant often gets mistaken as its close relative, Brugmansia (or Angel’s Trumpet), however they are different in that the Brugmansia’s blooms point towards the ground whereas the Datura’s blooms point up, towards the sky.

Daturas require full sunlight and moist, rich soil to flourish. Since they are a tropical plant, they thrive in the warmer months and don’t do well in frost and winter. If left by themselves throughout the winter, the plant will most likely die. Most Daturas are hardy perennials, which can become annuals if you take good care of them. They are also resistant to most pests.

One thing to keep in mind if you are considering buying a Datura is that they are poisonous when consumed, so make sure you are keeping your plant somewhere safe from people and animals who may try to eat it. As long as you are safe with it, this plant can be a wonderful addition to your life, and it smells delicious!

We are happy to show you where we keep our Ballerina Purple Deturas here at the store for you to purchase next time you come in.

 

Tea of the Week: Maharajah’s Passion Fruit

For this week, I have selected a tea that is really fun to say: Maharajah’s Passion Fruit (If you tried saying it, it’s fun right?). This tea is a delicious blend of Chinese black tea from the island of Ceylon and the essence of passion fruit. With the passion fruit, this tea has a very sweet and juicy flavor to it.

If you like passion fruit, I would highly recommend this tea for you. It is very flavorful and delightful, and can be enjoyed both iced and hot. If you would like to give it a try, we will happily brew you a pot here at the store. You can also purchase the tea leaves in bulk for $14 a pound.

 

Never have to click “Forgot Password” again!

 

Passwords

New this week in the shop are these handy organizers that will keep your fingers clicking along as you bounce merrily from website to website. If you are like many of us, your mental memory card has a way of glitching when it comes to pesky password retrieval. Not surprisingly, old school solutions are sometimes the best — like these handy spiral notebooks in three fun designs. With 80 pages labeled alphabetically, this low-tech tool gives you space for 240 entries of login/password and notes for all of your go-to sites. Just think of all the fun trivia you can now fit in your brain once you have freed up all that memory space! You’re welcome.

Coming up next week:

Wednesday, August 8th is the day to bring in a Fairy Garden to enter in our yearly competition. Voting will happen Thursday morning through noon on Saturday. There’s a Wand-making Workshop on Friday from 12:30 to 1:30, a Concert on Friday evening featuring some talented local artists and the grand finale of the Fairy Festival, the Fairy Parade, sets out on the morning of Saturday, August 11th.

Call or drop by for more information or to sign-up for any of these activities.

Fairy Garden Planting Day!

Fairy Garden Planting

 

I hope you have the opportunity to come to our Fairy Garden Planting Day this Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. you can get expert help creating a one-of-a-kind fairy paradise. Feel free to call ahead to reserve a time slot (503-472-4923), or stop by any time during the four hours and we’ll try to fit you in. Prices range from $15- $35 depending on the size of the garden you make.

Shopping is all about asking yourself the right questions.

ShoppingSometimes we overhear customers agonizing over gift selections and because we love to be helpful – here are a few examples of how to make the most of your purchasing process:

Instead of asking, “Who really needs a chipmunk shaped door-stop?” Ask, “Who doesn’t need an adorable forest friend cast in iron, and how many should I get for my own home?”

Instead of questioning, “Where would they put that beautiful glass ball?” Wonder, “How many hours of calming meditative peace will this unique piece of art inspire?”

Instead of debating, “Which tin of tea should I choose?” Discover, “How many different samples of bulk tea can I fit in this fun basket?”

Instead of worrying, “Is it silly to buy this ridiculously soft, huggable giraffe?” Ponder, “Would this giraffe rather go home with the squishy hedgehog, floppy bunny, or fluffy Pekingese?”

And as always, if you are stuck on a question, our savvy staff is happy to assist you!