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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!

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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!

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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.

 

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Tea of the Week: Lavender’s Blue Blend

I featured the lavender plant as our Plant of the Week a little while ago, so this is a sort of continuation of that, with Lavender’s Blue Blend as our Tea of the Week this week. Lavender’s Blue Blend is a delicious lavender tea made from a blend of Earl Grey, lavender, and dried lemon peel. This tea was created by Terese Blanding for her Lavender’s Blue Tea Room.

This tea is very unique because it was made specifically for one lady’s Tea Room, so it is not a common tea blend with a long history like many of our other teas we have featured. However, it can be compared to a more common tea, Lady Grey, which is also a blend of Earl Grey and lavender, and some blends also incorporate the lemon peel. This is a very delicious tea and if you like Earl Grey and/or lavender, I would highly recommend you give it a try. We can brew you a cup or pot of Lavender’s Blue Blend if you would like to give it a try, or you can purchase the tea leaves in bulk for $30 a pound. Hope to see you here at the store soon!

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Tea of the Week: White Peony

White Peony, traditionally known as Bai Mu Dan, is this week’s Tea of the Week. This delicate white tea is made from young tea leaves and the silvery unopened leaf buds. It is processed through gentle and slow withering to create a brilliant amber infusion with a honey-like consistency and mild flavor that pairs well with food. This tea is distinguished by being plucked in sets of one or two leaves and a bud.

White Peony tea originated in the Fujian providence in China. Originally grown in Zhenghe and Fuding counties, this style of tea is nowadays grown all around China, but the flavors are vary due to differences in varieties, climates, and soils makeups. The classic White Peony tea is made in April, when the bud and leaf sets are at their most flavorful. If you would like to try some White Peony for yourself, stop by the store and we will gladly brew you a pot. You can also purchase the tea leaves in bulk for $45 a pound.

 

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Tea of the Week: Hibiscus Teas

For this week, as a continuation of last week’s Plant of the Week, we are featuring our variety of hibiscus teas. We have many different types of hibiscus teas here at Incahoots, ranging from pure hibiscus to wonderful mixes of hibiscus and fruits. Some of the hibiscus teas that are available for your purchase include natural hibiscus, vanilla apple hibiscus, strawberry hibiscus, raspberry rose hibiscus, and blueberry hibiscus. We also sell organic Hibiscus Ginger, which actually has already been featured as a Tea of the Week (which you can read about by clicking here).

 

Hibiscus tea is also known as Agua de Jamaica, and it has a ton of health benefits. It can help treat high blood pressure and cholesterol, help with digestion, and reduce the risk of cancer. It is also beneficial in weight loss, as it can speed up the metabolism. Furthermore, it is rich in Vitamin C, minerals, and antioxidants, and can help in the treatment of hypertension and anxiety.

 

This tea is described as having a sour taste, similar to that of a cranberry. It can be enjoyed both hot and cold. (I would recommend drinking it iced. It is very refreshing.) We will be happy to brew up some hibiscus tea for you down here at the store, and you can also buy most of the flavors in a tin, the exception being Hibiscus Ginger, which we sell in bulk for $28 a pound!

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Tea of the Week: Grand Qimen

Since I have picked a few of the more exciting and elaborate teas for the past couple weeks, I figured we should go back to basics with this Tea of the Week. Originating from the Yunnan Province, Grand Qimen (also known as Keemun) is a pure and unblended black tea that is often considered the premier black tea from China. This tea is made from the small leave tips of the tea leaf, and it has a full-bodied and sweet flavor. This tea is delicious both plain, and with a splash of milk of your choosing.

This tasty tea is not only good for your taste buds, but also for your health. Grand Qimen has many benefits due to the caffeine and other chemical components of black tea, such as being energizing, enhancing your memory and helping to eliminate fatigue. Black teas are also known to boost immunity.

If you would like to try some Grand Qimen for yourself you can stop by the store and have us brew you a cup, or buy the leaves for $36 a pound.

Fun Fact!: Grand Qimen is the most widely used black tea in English Breakfast blends.

 

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Tea of the Week: Genmaicha

This week’s tea of the week actually comes in two forms. We sell the delicious Genmaicha down here at Incahoots as both a traditional tea, as well as a powdered tea, prepared like Matcha. Genmaicha, if you haven’t had it before, is a blend of tea and toasted rice. It actually originated when Buddhist monks mixed the brown rice stuck on the bottom of their rice cauldrons with tea to help conservation. Since then, it has evolved into a very popular and delicious tea. If you would like to purchase some of this toasty tea, we sell it here at Incahoots for $40 a pound. We can also brew you a pot if you want to try the tea out.

There is an amazing new form of Genmaicha recently put out by the Tao of Tea that we offer here at the store, and it is the Genmaicha Tea Sticks. This is a powdered form of Genmaicha that is a wonderful cross over of the flavor of Genmaicha and the tea latte aspect of powdered teas like Matcha. You can purchase a bag of these tea sticks here at Incahoots for $12, or you can have us prepare you a wonderful Genmaicha tea latte if you just want to give it a try.

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Tea of the Week: Tropicana

As we go into the hot summer that has come very fast this year, ice tea can be a wonderful treat. One tea that works wonderfully iced is Tropicana. This refreshing tea is a blend of many fruit zests- kiwi, passion fruit, mango, and lime, black tea, and yellow and blue flower blossoms.

This fruity tea works great hot or iced. With the current very hot weather, we greatly recommend coming down and getting some of this wonderful tea iced. It is extremely refreshing on a hot day. You can have us make you an iced tea, or buy the leaves in bulk for $16 a pound.

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Tea of the Week: Yerba Maté

For this week’s Tea of the Week, we have the power packed Yerba Maté! Yerba Maté is a very special tea in that it naturally contains caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine, all of which are found commonly in coffee and chocolate.  Not only does it contain these natural stimulants, like caffeine, but it delivers nutrition as well.

This unique tea is made from the leaves of the South American rain forest holly tree (scientifically known as Ilex paraguariensis). These leaves are super-packed with nutrition, containing 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and an abundant amount of antioxidants. In these leaves are pretty much all of the vitamins needed to sustain human live.

Yerba Maté is also a delicious tea, described as having a woodsy, slightly bitter taste. It is a very earthy tea, and definitely an acquired taste because of the bitter aspect, but I personally think it is delicious, if that means anything to you. If you would like to try some out, or already have and want more, we sell Yerba Maté down here at Incahoots for $25 a pound bulk or $8.75 for the tea tin pictured to the right.