With summer season nearly at an end, we hope you’ve been able to enjoy time in the great outdoors, time with friends and family and the opportunity to taste new teas. We have certainly tasted our way around the world as we’ve tried literally dozens of teas this summer in our quest to keep you in supply of great options. As we promised last month, please read on to find some more “new” things to learn about and enjoy.
Modern Steep Goes West....Again
(Photo Credit: Andrew Mwangi)
In 2015, a sleek bar and café named Mr. West opened on Olive Street in downtown Seattle. This modern, all-day café was just the kind of place you want to have close by given their delicious foods, sophisticated ambiance, and the opportunity for some amazing craft beverages including tea, coffee, wine and cocktails.
This summer, Mr. West opened a second equally amazing location in Seattle’s quintessential open-air shopping complex, the University Village. Mr. West has been serving up Modern Steep tea from the beginning, offering up several brewed tea options in ceramic teapots or to-go cups. While there, you’ll have to try their famed matcha latte, a matcha soda, “Seattle Fog,” or their occasional tea-infused mixed drink. Stop by either location for a cup of brewed-to-order Modern Steep tea while enjoying one of their creative (and delicious) house made sandwiches, salads, brunch items or a tasty matcha affogato.
Tea Spotlight: Wuyi Rock
As we transition from summer to autumn, we’re going to focus on a beautiful tea that falls in the middle of the oxidation spectrum, Wuyi Rock. Neither green nor black, this full leaf medium oxidized oolong tea hails from the famed Wuyi Mountain in China's Fujian Province. Wuyi Mountain is known for its outstanding biodiversity and is identified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The large organically cultivated leaves of our Wuyi Rock tea are cultivated for their rich, full flavor.
Tea leaves from Wuyi Mountain are quite difficult to harvest given the steep and rocky terrain of the mountain. After plucking, the tea leaves are sun withered and then taken indoors for partial oxidation to a level of about 40-50%. The leaves are then pan fired (to prevent further oxidation), rolled and dried prior to being gently roasted over charcoal. The wiry, twisted leaf brews up an amber-colored liquor that reveals a complex, fruity, toasty flavor with hints of dark chocolate. While the mouth feel of this and other oolong teas is fairly silky, there is no shortage of flavors to draw you in, cup after cup. Another advantage of this full leaf oolong is the ability to steep the leaves multiple times, each offering subtle new flavors all the while adding more value for your tea purchase.
Kombucha: Latest Fad or Ancient Tonic?
If you’ve been to virtually any grocery store or farmer’s market in recent years, there’s no doubt you’ve come across a tea-based, fermented beverage called Kombucha. While the historical roots of kombucha are not 100% clear, this is no newfangled concoction by any means given strong evidence dating it back literally thousands of years.
Being in the tea business, we’re no strangers to brewing up kombucha, having partnered or consulted with individuals and professional brewers on tea selections for this most healthful, gut-nourishing tonic. While there are endless tea options for brewing up your own batch, we’re strong advocates for using organic teas in the process. We are happy to announce our newest item, Kombucha Blend #01 – a blend of organic green teas measured out to brew up a perfectly delicious one gallon batch of kombucha. The blend consists of teas combined to provide well balanced tannins, rich anti-oxidant power and great taste.
To further enrich your kombucha, add some of our custom blended Ginger TLCduring second fermentation for a crisp, refreshing and naturally effervescent tonic. You won’t be disappointed and your gut will thank you, too. Find out more about kombucha and how to brew your own by visiting the new Kombucha 101 section of our website.
Newsletter Subscriber Special
Add a green and healthy boost to your favorite recipe this month and save big! We think you’ll find our new Certified Organic Culinary Grade Matcha to out-taste virtually any other organic “cooking” grade matcha on the market. Direct to us from our master tea maker in Japan, we’re thrilled to offer you a chance to try it for 20% off our regular low price now through September 15, 2019. Coupon Code: BLOCKED ("Subscriber Specials" are sent out exclusively through our monthly email newsletter.)
More Matcha Recipe Idea
SAVORY MATCHA SALT - Enjoy a dash of color (and antioxidants) on your next savory dish using this simple matcha salt recipe.
2 Teaspoons Culinary Grade Organic Matcha
5 Teaspoons Himalayan Sea Salt (or your favorite course salt)
Combine matcha and salt; grind together using a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Sprinkle over your favorite appy or entrée from shrimp skewers to deviled eggs to roasted chic peas to roasted cauliflower and more!
GREEN VITALI-TEA SMOOTHIE (16 oz)
For an anti-oxidant rich boost for your day, blend up a smoothie using matcha and you’ll be ready for just about anything that comes your way. Here’s one example of how to use matcha in a smoothie.
1 Large Banana (for a cold smoothie with thick texture, pre-freeze bananas in 2” chunks)
½ Teaspoon Spirulina
1 Teaspoon Culinary Grade Organic Matcha
12 oz Organic Cashew, Soy, Oat or Flaxseed Milk
4-5 Medium Sized Pitted Dates
½ Cup Organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Add all ingredients to blender. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Drink to your health and heart’s desire!
Thank you for being part of our tea family. We always appreciate the little notes many of you send in with your orders. We'd also be sincerely grateful if you'd help spread the word about our teas to your friends and family. The cost of advertising is rather expensive and we'd rather keep our prices reasonable amidst so many other rising costs, new tariffs included. Plus, word-of-mouth is far more effective anyway!