Brain Power Tea

Todays Tea Focuses on Brain Power

It’s almost the weekend and I am sure some of us feel absolutely exhausted both mentally and physically.  That is why our tea today has a focus on increasing our brain power and providing that little nudge to help make it to the weekend.  Did I mention it’s purple?

What goes into a Brain Power tea?

Some thought for starters.  There are recipes out there for brain tonics but we like to push the boundaries of our knowledge and ingredients.  My goal was to use ingredients that would be pleasing to the senses of sight, smell, and taste as well as helping the whole body and thus help the brain.

First Butterfly Pea

A little while back I wrote about our new arrival of Butterfly Pea tea which is used in Asian and Ayurvedic medicine to treat mental disorders, improve mental acuity, and lift the mood.  It also turns any clear liquid blue and reacts wonderfully with other herbs that alter color.

The flavor of this ingredient is very delicate so it needs to be balanced well with the other ingredients so it does not get lost.

Lemongrass

What doesn’t this herb do?  It has a wonderfully light citrus flavor and with it a list of benefits that doesn’t quit.  I chose lemongrass for this tea primarily for its antioxidants to add a boost to your immune system. This will help ensure you get through to the weekend without catching any nasty bugs along the way.

Hibiscus

The tea from this beautiful flower is tangy and adds a red hue to the tea.  Hibiscus has also been used to help cool the body and treat heart conditions.  As we transition into Summer our weather is playing some very tricky games and it certainly has my body confused as to whether I should be hot or cold.  Hibiscus is a wonderful way to help regulate your body temperature and keep your heart healthy.  A healthy heart is going to make sure your brain and body are getting the power they need to keep you energized and alert.

The red of the Hibiscus combined with the blue from the Butterfly Pea make this a splendid, and almost electric, purple.  Definitely a delight for your eyes.

Galangal

Galangal is of the ginger family and possesses much of the same properties as ginger but with a more unique flavor.  Gingers, like Galangal, are great for the digestive system and help stimulate the body.  This stimulant property helps the other herbs do their job more effectively.

Stevia Leaf

We have a lot of sour and spicy going on with some of the other herbs so we need to sweeten this up a bit and take the pucker out.  Stevia is a great sweetener as it is up to 30 times sweeter than sugar yet only has 1 calorie per 10 leaves.  As I only used 1/2 tsp. for this tea that is most likely about 1 1/2 to 2 calories.  Happy not breaking your diet to be healthy.

We have so much fun creating new combinations.  Be sure to come down and try out our tea of the day and perhaps even make your own.

Spicy, Zesty Rooibos Chai Tea

It’s Chai Tea Friday

We have a wonder Chai tea blend that we get from our vendor but every so often I decide to do something completely off the wall and make up a special blend of Chai that is spicy, sweet, tangy, and delicious.

When you want spicy use Thai chilies

Thai ChiliesThat is right I spiced up this blend with just a little part of a Thai chili pepper.  These peppers add wonderful heat and taste to Thai dishes and they don’t disappoint with our Chai.

Chili peppers, in general, have wonderful health benefits that we should all be taking advantage of, among them are blood pressure regulation, pain relief, clears sinuses, boosts the immune system, and more.

A Recipe for Flavor Explosion

Spicy, Zesty Rooibos Chai TeaOkay, enough of me going on about health benefits and the such as I am sure you are wondering what else we put in here besides peppers and Rooibos tea.  Here is the recipe which we brewed three times in our 16 oz French press:

  • 3 tsp. Rooibos tea
  • 1 tsp. Coriander
  • 1.5″ Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Star Anise seeds
  • 2 Cardamom pods
  • 1/4 Thai Chili pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. Stevia leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. Galangal root
  • 1/4 tsp. Cumin
  • 2 strips of fresh Lemon peel

Add the Rooibos, Thai chili, Stevia leaf, Galangal root, and Lemon peel to the French press.
Put the Coriander, Cinnamon, Star Anise seeds, Cardamom pods, and Cumin in your mortar and pestle and lightly mash them until they are broken up, then add them to the French press.
Add water that has been brought up to about 80 degrees Celsius, let this steep for about 5 minutes before pressing.

We hope you have a fantastic weekend and if you are coming out to the beach be sure to stop by Westport for their Weekend with the Fleet event.  We will be there with our lotions, sunscreen, essential oils, and more.

Gateway to the Olympics Expo – Day 2

We are open for the Gateway to the Olympics Expo

Normally we are not open on Sundays but today is special as it is the second day of the Gateway to the Olympics Expo.  There are a lot of really great vendors here along with other shops that are open today.

Sample tea of the day

Tea of the DayWe always love coming up with inventive combinations for our sample tea of the day.  Today we combined Darjeeling, Rosebuds, Galangal, and Stevia for a crisp and refreshing tea.

We have all the herbs and spices to make this and many more combinations.  We recently started carrying press and seal tea bags that you can fill up and seal with an iron, we use a mini hair straightener,  If you don’t want to assemble them yourself we would be happy to fill and seal the bags with your choice of teas, herbs, and spices.

Tippy the Owl

Tippy the OwlHave you read this great children’s book from Erica Corban?  This is a wonderful story with a great lesson and fantastiillustrationsns.

This book makes a great anytime gift for parents and little ones alike.  We only have four copies on our shelf but will definitely be ordering more once these are sold.

Beeswax candles from Gathered Sunlight

Gathered SunlightYesterday we lit one of the small votive candles from Gathered Sunlight that we carry.  This little candle provided such a wonderful atmosphere in our store and it burned for over seven hours, we were told that this is longer than most emergency candles that are full chemicals.

We have a wide variety of candles and you don’t have to light them if you don’t want to.

Bulk Lotions and Sunscreen

We have been moving our lotions and other products into bulk dispensing containers to help reduce the waste going into our landfills and allow you to bring in your own favorite container and fill it up, though we ask that you allow us to fill it for you.

Bulk Lotions

Bulk LotionWe have our Nude and Bay Breeze lotions available right now.  Nude is just our lotion base with no scents added but does have a slight chocolate note from the cocoa butter we use.  Bay Breeze harnesses tangerine and laurel bay essential oils for this brisk scent that is very reminiscent of the ocean.

All of our lotions are created from scratch by us using high-quality oils and additives.  We never use harsh synthetic chemicals, petroleum by-products, and toxic preservatives.

Sunscreen

Bulk SunscreenHave you seen the reports about chemical sunscreens and how they are killing off the coral reefs in Hawaii?  The toxic chemical laden sunscreens that you get off the shelf are the reason we created our own using oils that have natural SPF value as well as a touch of zinc oxide that provides a mineral sunblock as well.

We also have our sunscreen with bug repellent in it that we call Sunny Day Skeeter Salve.  We tested this at multiple locations to make sure it had great sun protection and repels insects.

Candles and Tea to Chase the Blues Away

Candles by Gathered Sunlight

Candle Forest FriendsThese pure beeswax candles from Gathered Sunlight use beeswax from the Pacific Northwest and when you light them they bring a nice warmth to your surroundings and help naturally ionize the air.
They come in many shapes and sizes and our favorites are the gnomes, fairies, and mushrooms as we can display them in all sorts of fun panoramas.

Blues Buster Tea

When I got up this morning my sinuses were going bonkers and no wonder with the crazy up and down weather we are having.  To help brighten things up a bit and get my body back under control I took to our shelves and came up with an herbal blend that hit the spot.
This tea has equal parts of Coriander, Galangal, Lemongrass, Nettle, Peppermint, and Stevia leaf which produces a wonderfully spicy, citrus, minty, and slightly sweet flavor and it is caffeine free.  The herbs are also a great combination to help clear the sinuses and bolster your immune system.

Made to Order Blends

Have you tasted one of our samples recently and just wanted to buy some tea bags with that blend in it?  Or perhaps you have a blend in mind but you don’t want to go through the hassle of measuring out the components into your bag or infuser, you just want to put the bag in some hot water and sit down with your cup of deliciousness.
We hear you and very soon we will be offering a service to bag up your tea.  Each bag will have just the right amount of the tea of your choice and will typically brew two to three cups.

Spice It Up!

Spices make your coffee better

When you go to a tea and spice shop it can be a little confusing sometimes, I mean aren’t herbs and spices just for cooking?

The simple answer is not at all, in fact, most herbs and spices have health benefits as well as making things tasty.
Take coriander for an example.  This spice is the seed of the cilantro plant but tastes nothing like cilantro.  Instead, it has a beautiful citrus flavor that aids digestion is a common ingredient in cold and flu remedies,  and has many other great health benefits.
Another favorite spice of ours is cardamom.  When you hear cardamom you probably think first of Indian food and then to Chai, as these are the most common places we encounter it.  What you may not know is that cardamom is a wonderful spice for controlling cholesterol and cancer, as well as improving blood circulation and relief from cardiovascular issues.

I have singled out the two spices above for a very specific reason.  For all you coffee drinkers out there if you add one cardamom pod and about a teaspoon of coriander to your beans and grind them all together you will wind up with an amazingly refreshing cup of coffee that will wake you up and start your day off on a healthy path.

Coriander and cardamom aren’t the only spices that can make coffee taste better and more healthy.  You can add cinnamon and clove, for instance, to get a spicy and festive cup.  Add some peppermint and vanilla next time you want a candy cane coffee instead of using chemical-laden creamers.
How about rosemary?  I haven’t tried this one but it could prove interesting.  My point is, break out of the normal cup and try something different and spice it up.

What about tea?

I know you are probably asking, aren’t you a tea shop?  Yes, we sell teas, herbs, and spices and specialize in healthy and tasty teas.  We have lots of posts about our sample tea of the day that we brew fresh each morning and the health benefits that go along with it.

Which brings me to:

Tea of the Day

Tea of the DayEvery day for the past few months I have seen another friend stating they have come down with the current crud, or have caught it again.  There are definitely some bugs making the rounds this season that are pretty harsh and one of the best ways to combat them is to bolster your immune system.
One way to help keep healthy is to increase your vitamin C and zinc levels which there are plenty of supplements, fruits, and veggies that can help with this, think blueberries and elderberries they are great on oatmeal or in a shake.
Another great way to keep healthy is to include immune boosting tea in your diet.  Today we took our Nilgiri tea and added coriander, echinacea leaf, galangal root, stevia leaf, and vervain.
You have seen us use most of these before but you might be wondering about vervain.  Vervain is a liver stimulator which helps detoxify the body, it also is a great anti-inflammatory which helps reduce pain and alleviates chest congestion.

 

Healthy Tea of the Day

Healthy Tea of the DayHow are you enjoying this fine Spring weather of ours?  If you are feeling a bit under the weather then come grab a sample, or even a full cup, of our Healthy Tea of the Day.

We combined our Bancha green tea with Echinacea and Galangal for a powerful healing combination and a little sweetness from the Stevia leaf.  All of the components have great Anti-oxidant properties, Echinacea and Galangal are powerful Anti-inflammatories and on top of everything, they taste really good together.

Please be sure to stop by each day and get a sample of our daily blend and check out the other great stores in Shoppes at Riverside.

Bags for Tea and Soap

At long last, we have finally restocked our supply of reusable muslin tea bags.  We were out for a time as we wanted to see if we could find a higher quality bag and we were successful.  These bags are great for brewing teas that have finer leaves like Rooibos and Chai, you can also use them to brew large batches of tea with just one bag.  When you are done brewing your tea you can dump the contents, rinse it off and let it dry for your next brew.

While we were searching for tea bags we also came across these great cotton textured bags for holding soap bars.  These bags are made of organic cotton, hold a 112 gram (that’s 4 ounces) bar of soap, and gives you a nice minor abrasive that can help exfoliate your skin while you wash.

Be sure to come in and sample our tea of the day, English Breakfast with Raspberry leaf and Stevia.  English Breakfast tea is a great mental stimulator with powerful antioxidants and Raspberry leaf is great for digestive issues, cramps as well as imparting a light berry flavor to the tea.

Allergy and Cold Relief

Did you wake up today with a scratchy throat or allergy symptoms that just won’t go away?  We had a combination of these so today we brewed up a tea to help soothe your throat and naturally treat your allergies.
We combined our Rooibos tea which has great anti-inflammatory and allergy relief properties with Slippery Elm which helps soothe scratchy throats, Peppermint which helps relieve coughing as well as headaches and digestive issues, and lastly a bit of Stevia leaf to help sweeten it all up.

This time of year is horrid for those of us that suffer from allergies, chronic headaches, and other ailments that are susceptible to changes in our weather.  For that reason, we have made sure to keep in stock herbs, teas, and other remedies that are effective in treating these without causing harmful side effects or simply masking the symptoms in hopes that they go away.

Foragers Wanted!

Good morning, I hope everyone got to work/school and the such safely.  Today’s tea is Darjeeling with Hibiscus, Galangal, and Stevia which will give you a little caffeine kick with a nice citrus and ginger finish.  We really like to use stevia leaf in our blends as it adds natural sweetness without calories and is very easy to control in its leaf form.

We are also looking for Foragers to help provide some local medicinal herbs to our store.  If you have access to land that you commonly forage and there are no pesticides or other contamination we would like to talk to you.  We are working on a verification system to ensure we are getting quality ingredients that were harvested in a sustainable manner and with proper permissions.

We Have Tippy the Owl on Our Shelves

We had a visit yesterday from the amazing Ericka Corban and she dropped off 15 copies of her book “Tippy the Owl”.  This book is a whimsical story about a little owl that just can’t stay in his bed and how he and his friend solved the problem.  Along with a fantastic story the illustrations are delightful and make the book an entire experience.  We are very happy to have this as our first book for sale in our store.

For our tea today we prepared Earl Grey with mandarin peel.  We found that the mandarin accents the bergamot in Earl Grey tea beautifully.  We can also serve you a 12oz cup of tea that you can customize by choosing any of our base teas and adding onto it using any of the herbs and spices on our shelves.

Have a great Saturday and be sure to visit the Shoppes at Riverside mall.