National Iced Tea Month

Cold_drink_large_thermosAlthough it may not be listed on everyone’s calendar, June is National Iced Tea Month and here at The Tea Smith, we can hardly contain our excitement!  According to the Tea Association of the USA, approximately 85% of tea consumed in America is iced. Another fun statistic- On any given day, over 154 million Americans are drinking tea.

 

Though tea has been around for nearly 5,000 years, iced tea is much younger. Iced tea began making an appearance in the 1860’s in the U.S., but became more prevalent in the 1870’s when recipes began to appear in print. At the 1904 St. Louis World Fair, Richard Blechynden, a tea merchant and director of the East India pavilion became frustrated as he tried to offer samples of his hot Assam tea under the sweltering Missouri sun. In order to save the day and generate interest in his samples, he circulated the tea through a series of lead pipes immersed in ice. The result was that the tea, now chilled, turned into a hit with the fair visitors.

 

Most of us think of a crisp tasting black tea over ice as the most popular way to enjoy iced tea. But recipes from the 1800s resembled a strong drink of cold green tea generously spiked with liquor and sometimes sweet cream. The earliest record of the more familiar iced sweet tea comes from a community cookbook by Marion Cabell Tyree, published in 1879: Housekeeping in Old Virginia.“Ice Tea-

 

After scalding the teapot, put into it one quart of boiling water and two teaspoonfuls green tea. If wanted for supper, do this at breakfast. At dinner time, strain, without stirring, through a tea strainer into a pitcher. Let it stand till tea time and pour into decanters, leaving the sediment in the bottom of the pitcher. Fill the goblets with ice, put two teaspoonfuls granulated sugar in each, and pour the tea over the ice and sugar. A squeeze of lemon will make this delicious and healthful, as it will correct the astringent tendency.”

 

We suggest these 4 recipes for the PERFECT ICED TEA

 

The Impatient Method

Can’t wait? Infuse two teaspoons of tea per 8 oz. water. After infusing, pour over a glass full of ice and enjoy! Serves one.

 

The Patient Method

Infuse one teaspoon of tea per 8 oz. water. After infusing, chill and serve. Serves one.

 

Cold Infusion

Grab size four T-sacs and add approximately one oz. of tea leaves inside T-sac. Fill a one gallon pitcher with cold water. Place T-sac in pitcher and let set in refrigerator for 6-8 hours.

 

The Party Method

Having company? Grab a size four T-sac and use the Impatient Method on a larger scale. Fill up a size four T-sac with one ounce of tea leaves and place in a one-gallon pitcher. Infuse tea using only ½ gallon of hot water. After tea is done infusing, pour over a one-gallon pitcher of ice.

 

Life is so busy, and we seem to be running from one place to the next at a rapid pace most of the time. We invite you to take some time to slow down and create memories that will last a lifetime during this summertime season. Celebrate National Iced Tea Month with some delicious iced tea, while watching baseball, smelling the flowers, splashing in the water, basking in the sun.

 

To celebrate National Iced Tea Month, The Tea Smith extends an invitation to come in and enjoy free iced tea samples on National Iced Tea Day: June 10th.

Add comment May 31st, 2016

Come one- come all- on the Caffeine Crawl!  

What better way to celebrate the Old Market than with a fun, social caffeinated walk visiting some of Omaha’s best roasters, coffee shops and of course, The Tea Smith.

If you love tea, coffee and a variety of other artisan caffeinated beverages as well as visiting new shops while meeting new friends, then this Crawl is for you.  Not only will you be sampling new and exciting liquid creations, but getting one-on-one time with the people who have perfected techniques that turn tea leaves and coffee beans into liquid love.

The Caffeine Crawl takes place on two dates this year; May 6th and 7th.  All crawls are just under 12 miles each and every stop will offer a drink sample with an enlightening and educational presentation.  This is truly a one-of-a-kind event that connects caffeine lovers with those who have perfected their craft.  Samples at each stop range in size from 3 to 6 ounces so you will not be as revved up as you might think.  You will be on tour with other caffeine fiends from Omaha as well as neighboring states and you know we are a friendly, happy lot! 

The Tea Smith has been a participant each year the Caffeine Crawl has been in Omaha. (Three years).  It’s a great day with parties of 25 or so coming in and being surprised at all The Tea Smith has to offer.  And we love it!  

The Tea Smith will present a few different types of popular loose leaf teas in a 15 to 20 minute time frame. And then come the samples when we create specialty teas just for the tour. Maybe there will the ever popular Matcha, a trending tea from Japan or Mate’ tea that comes from Argentina.  Whatever we come up with we guarantee it will be a delicious and flavorful concoction!

The goal for The Tea Smith is to put together fun drinks that appeal to caffeine addicts.  And each year we see more and more tea drinkers on the tour, so it’s not just us that know that specialty tea is getting attraction.   It’s no wonder that those on the tour return to The Tea Smith when the Caffeine Crawl is over.  

To get your tickets before they sell out go to www.caffeinecrawl.com/omaha-2016.html.

Add comment April 28th, 2016

Omaha Health Expo

The Tea Smith will be at the 9th Annual Omaha Health, Wellness, & Fitness Expo that runs from April 9th – 10th at the Baxter Arena Omaha.  Join us at the area’s largest health event where experts from many industries will have invaluable information on ways we can all improve our lives and live longer and happier!   

In addition to all of the great vendors that will be there, The Tea Smith will have a booth because, as you well know, tea can be a healthy part of a natural lifestyle.  There are so many health benefits of tea; it is so much more than a bag of brown leaves and this event gives people the chance to taste, sample teas.

Most people find surprising that tea is very healthy!  Tea is low in calories but is chock full of nutrition.  Many types of teas have vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and K as well as carotene and folic acid.  Very healthy indeed! 

Think coffee and sodas are the only way to get your caffeine boost?  Not so!  Tea is a healthy, better alternative (in our humble opinion) over sugary pops or that morning cup of Joe!  While the general rule is the tea has half the caffeine of tea, coffee and sodas are created to hit the body hard and fast. Tea, however, is slower in the release of caffeine which means that pick-me-up lasts longer.  So…I guess we can say that tea is both calming and energizing at the same time.  Also interesting is that the amino acids found in tea helps the brain focus and you do not have to add sugar or additional sweeteners to naturally flavored tea.  Now that’s a win-win for a healthy beverage.

Tea is healthy! That is why we are so excited about participating at the Omaha Health, Wellness, & Fitness Expo in April.  Stop by and visit, we would love to talk tea with you.  We will have several tea flavors to sample that we are sure visitors will find pleasant to drink.  We will have tea to sell as well as accessories and everything that a new tea drinker needs to get started. For more information visit:

www.showofficeonline.com/OmahaHealthWellnessFitnessExpo.html

Add comment March 31st, 2016

A Taste of Ireland: Brown Soda Bread

 

Try this hearty Irish-style soda bread alongside a strong brew of Irish Breakfast tea.  Don’t forget to add a healthy dose of cream to your tea as you enjoy it with a warm slice of fresh-made bread.  This recipe is comes from the Crabtree & Evelyn Cook Book.

36373650_ml2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 cups buttermilk (see Note)

3/4 cup raisins or currants (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a food processor and pulse with on/off motions to mix. Add butter and process for 15 seconds, or until a wet but manageable dough forms. [Or simply stir dry ingredients and cut cold butter in well.] Add raisins or currants if desired.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured board and shape lightly into an 8-inch round.  Cut a deep cross in the center of the loaf. Bake on a buttered cookie sheet in the center of the oven for 1 hour, or until the loaf sounds hollow when thumped lightly on the bottom.  Turn out onto a wire rack and let cool.

Serve warm in thick slices or cold and thinly sliced.

–Makes 10 to 12 thick slices–

Note:  If buttermilk is not available, in a bowl combine 2 tablespoons vinegar with 2 cups milk.

Add comment March 3rd, 2016

Adult Coloring Books: A New Twist on an Old Theme

tea_coloringWho among us doesn’t have a childhood memory of getting a brand new box of 64 Crayola Crayons complete with the Built-in Perfect-tip sharpener? I can still smell those never before used crayons as I could hardly wait to get to work on my masterpieces that usually came in the form of ponies, hearts & flowers or endless pages of coloring books. Over the years, sadly, my coloring has been limited to doodling on an office note pad or stealing a crayon from my kids as they colored in a restaurant kiddy menu.

 

So, imagine my surprise at finding an adult coloring book section at my favorite bookstore. Dozens of sophisticated art work masterpieces just waiting for splashes of color. A total resurgence of a childhood staple was right in front of me. If you were to Google adult coloring books, you might find many trending stories on the subject: 1. Adult coloring books are topping Amazon best-seller lists. Information about Johanna Basford, the Scottish illustrator, who is responsible for mega-popular titles like Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest. 3. How coloring books fit into the broader “Peter Pan market” of adult nostalgia for childlike pastimes. 4. How adults are drawn to the activity as a low-tech antidote to the stress of our frenzied, increasingly digital, lives.

 

Nonetheless, and at its core, coloring keeps us young and brings us back to a simpler time that doesn’t include balancing a check book, running late for work or running errands. And the creativity that crayons and coloring books once inspired in us is no longer reserved for those under the age of ten.

 

Starting this month, The Tea Smith will have complimentary coloring pages/pencils available for customers at both store locations. Stop by, grab your favorite cuppa and settle in for a session of total relaxation and fun!

 

1 comment February 29th, 2016

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