Happy Autumn Sipping!
The beautiful display of color on our hillsides is a visual hint that autumn has arrived. With that are crisp mornings and the return of our beloved rainy weather in the Pacific Northwest. For many, this is when tea becomes a more regular part of their day to day routine. As a year 'round tea drinker myself, it’s business as usual.
So, grab a cup of tea and read on for updates on our tea menu, a recap of our experience at the NW Tea Festival, tea brewing tips and more…
Northwest Tea Festival 2018
We were thrilled to participate once again in the Northwest Tea Festival just two weeks ago in Seattle. In its eleventh year, the Festival drew nearly 3,000 guests who came to enjoy myriad tastings, workshops and conversations focused on our favorite beverage. We were delighted to have so many of you visit our booth. Thanks for stopping by!
This past weekend, we had the opportunity to showcase some of our teas at the award-winning Umpqua Valley Farmer’s Market in Southern Oregon. This was our first experience showing at a farmer’s market setting and we found it to be quite satisfying given the warm reception we received from other market vendors as well the enthusiastic response shared by market patrons. We have sincerely appreciated the opportunity over the past year to participate in more community based and regional opportunities like this.
In other autumn news and with the upcoming holiday season in mind, we are revamping the labels on our large square gift tins and will introduce a new variety of round gift tins available for individual purchase in early November. The updated square gift tins will be online later this week. Here's to more ways to enjoy and gift tea!
Tea in New Places
Our wholesale tea program continues to expand! A couple of our newest partnerships include the lovely WILLOWTREE Market on Bainbridge Island (WA), New Seasons Market (Ballard), and the bakery at Hank & Sylvies in Ketchum, Idaho. To these and all of our wholesale clients, we offer our sincere thanks for their interest in serving our tea and hope that you’ll support them as you make your way around town.
There are numerous tools on the market for steeping tea including tea pots, infusers, tumblers, and so forth. Each vessel has its own set of benefits and potential draw backs. For some, the biggest drawback might be how easy (or difficult) it is to clean the leaves from the infuser after brewing. Whether you enjoy one steep or a series of re-steeps, it is easiest to clean your mesh infuser immediately following your final infusion while the leaves are still wet. If the leaves have been allowed to dry in your pot or infuser, simply soak it in warm water until the leaves soften up for easy removal. (BTW, tea makes great compost!)
Another option for easy steeping and clean-up is to use a tea press (aka French press). While the relatively large glass vessel is easy to rinse out, you still want to remove the leaves while they’re damp so that they do not dry onto the mesh plunger. Note that use of a tea press is best for one-and-done tea making rather than using the vessel as a tea pot to pour from later. Why? After steeping and pushing down the plunger, tea leaves are still sitting in hot water continuing to steep (and getting bitter). So, if using a tea press, be sure to steep only enough to drink at one time. When ready for a second or even third cup, simply pull up the plunger, add water and re-steep the leaves.
For years, people have come to us seeking tea as an alternative to coffee. For many, it was “doctor’s orders” as coffee tends to be high in acid and caffeine. While there are so many benefits and great tastes amongst the wide range of teas available, if you crave the aroma and tasting notes of coffee, you may still be searching for a suitable tea alternative. We may have the solution you seek!
Our custom blended Brewed Fusion is a rich and bold combination of dark pu-erh tea leaves blended with vanilla, marigold petals and, yes, even a few whole roasted coffee beans. The sparse addition of whole roasted beans provides that comforting aroma of coffee you might be craving while not revealing the higher level of acid into the cup as in traditionally ground and brewed coffee. A sample size of this and all our teas is available for just $2 when you place your next order.
Tea Menu Updates
We currently have over 140 teas on our menu. Whew. Over time, the teas we offer change based on a number of variables including the availability of quality ingredients, customer preferences and popularity of individual teas. Most recently, we had to list our Morning Rain blended white tea as “out of stock” for an indefinite period due to unavailability of an ingredient. However, we are currently in the process of tasting and approving new ingredient samples with hopes of returning this popular blend in the coming month or so.
Our extremely popular Blue Hawaii white tea blend is also currently labeled as being out of stock. In this case, we had to reject the white tea that came in as the base for this blend as it did not meet our high expectations. We expect a new batch of this tropical treat to be blended and ready to go in early November. While we hate putting teas like this on hold, it’s more important that the final blend live up to the standards we (and you) expect so that you can count on wonderful tea arriving at your door next time you need to stock up.
That’s it for now. Until next time, we wish you a lovely start to autumn and remind you to Sip Adventurously!
Peace, Love & Tea
Christopher @ Modern Steep