Tea Blog

Iced Tea and The Cold Brew Contingent or Before Ice was cool..it was water

June is National Iced Tea month and in honor of this holiday we'll be offering some deep knowledge and deeper discounts to help keep you intellectually and actually insulated in the impending summer months. Starting on June 1st you can enjoy all our iced tea offerings at 20% off and while your sipping on that sweaty beverage we offer you some fodder from the pages of history.

The idea of icing this beverage is as old and celebrated as the union of this fair country.  However, the advent and origin are wildly debated.

Cookbooks and confederacies touted the incorporation of cold cubes and crisp flavors as early as the 1840's. The Kentucky Housewife was one of the first periodicals to preach the gospel of this lovely libation calling it "Cold-Tea" and even articulating a recipe calling for "scalding" your kettle and then adding 2 teaspoons of green tea to it. Hard to believe given we see so much black tea these days, but then Chinese and Japanese green dominated the market prior to World War I & II.

However, the most widely distributed tout of truth brings us nearly half a century later at the St. Louis fair where, Richard Blechynden, director of the East India pavilion, became frustrated as he tried to offer samples of the hot stuff in the midst of the sweltering Midwest summer. His idea had not yet inoculated this beverage with sub-zero cubed delight; instead he channeled his brewed benevolence through a series of lead pipes immersed in ice resulting in a cool, refreshing beverage that tamed the tongues of fair goers alike.

Today, the newest of iterations have begun to emerge in the way of something known as "cold brewing". This is an idea that incorporates steeping the leaves of the tea for longer periods of time and at much lower temperatures to abide a full-strength non-ice necessitating refreshment. The resulting infusion lends itself to a softer, silkier palate and at full strength. Zhi Tea is proud to have been an early originator providing cold brew at zhitea.com since 2011 and we are overjoyed to see the trend taking off with a swift "can't stop won't stop" attitude.

As the summer season opens up and we find a revitalization in the newness of our own lives, perhaps cleansing the palate with the crisp and fervent flavors of an icy libation becomes necessary; something that reminds us of backyard barbeques, new beginnings and better times to come.

Haute Tea! Fashionably Celebrate National Hot Tea Month

National Hot Tea MonthHow do you take your tea, my dear?

Black? Green? With sugar or honey?

This January, in the height of winter, we’ll take ours hot, with a sigh, a gluten free macaroon, and a steaming tea cup of decadence.

January is National Hot Tea Month. Last year, Dr. Oolong suggested many great ways to Pause, Reflect, Connect over this tea holiday. This year, the girls at Zhi Tea have their own ideas! Lady GABA and the Ginger Peach want to celebrate “Haute Tea Month.”

All January, we’ll be drinking hot tea, reading fashion magazines and gushing over the gourgeousness found on Tea and Fashion’s tumblr account.

In this elevated state of luxury, one wonders why we ever started to ice this drink at all.  Pinkies up!

Grilling with Tea

grilling with teaThis Labor Day weekend, let tea be your muse!

Not only is your favorite beverage a drink staple at any gathering, but tea can also be turned to as an innovate way to elevate your entrees.

Consider these great recipes and tips from our friends at Tea Mag. We love the many ideas for rubs, smoking, and sauces.

While you relax this weekend, find Zhi on Facebook and Twitter! We’re also on Pinterest and Instagram. Tag us in your teatime tweets and pictures so that we can share in your holiday weekend memories too. Use our handle @zhitea and hastag #zhitea so we can connect.  Have a great weekend! -ZT

Recipe Box: Strawberry Basil White Tea Smash

whitetea

Summer is in full swing!

Here at Zhi, we love the season’s fresh fruits and enjoy pairing them with our organic tea.

This beautiful berry infused tea will bliss out every summer get together. Once one sees how easy smashes are to make, they’ll quickly lead your menu planning for all your picnics and pool parties. Promise!

The recipe below makes a ½ gallon pitcher and can be enjoyed as a mocktail or cocktail.

 

Strawberry Basil White Tea Smash

5 minutes, makes 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons dry White Pomegranate  Zhi Tea

  • 4 cups hot water

  • 3 cups cold water

  • 1 pint strawberries

  • ¼ cup sugar or agave

  • basil leaves

  • ice

  • 8 oz vodka or gin*optional


Teaware:

  • wooden spoon

  • bowl

  • teapot or strainer

  • half gallon pitcher

  • cups


Directions:

  1. Fill half gallon pitcher with ice.

  2. Steep 4 tbs of dry White Pomegranate Tea in 4 cups of hot water for 3 minutes.

    • Be mindful of water temperature as to not scald the tea.

  3. Pour steeped tea into half gallon pitcher over ice.

  4. Add 3 cups of cold water to the pitcher.

  5. In a seperate bowl, use your wooden spoon to muddle sweetener, 1 cup strawberries, and 12 basil leaves.

  6. Pour strawberry smash into pitcher as well.

  7. Stir to mix.

  8. Taste. You can add more fruit, basil and sweeten further if you like.

  9. If you’d like to make it into a cocktail, add some vodka or gin.

  10. Now, your pitcher of iced tea is complete.

  11. Pour over cups filled with ice and enjoy!

  12. Garnish with strawberry fan.

Tea & Qi: a free event at Zhi Gallery

As you know, it’s about to get hot.
Did you know that tea can help you keep your cool?

Join Zhi for a free tea tasting & talk on the health benefits of tea from a Chinese medical perspective.

Tiffany Smith, L.Ac will speak on tea, its function as a Chinese herb, and common medical conditions that tea might address. Various teas will be served while we explore:

What is tea?
What tea is good for your skin?
What tea moves qi?
What tea is good for metabolism?

About Zhi Tea: Zhi Tea is an independent organic tea company based in Austin Tx that strives to elevate the American tea culture while celebrating ancient traditions. Founded in 2007, Zhi specializes in artisan oolongs and hand blended original signatures.

About Tiffany: Ms. Smith is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and a teacher of biomedical science at Texas Health & Science University. She maintains her own practice specializing in allergy treatment, pain and stress management, and wellness.

Note: Zhi is not trying to cure diseases, pretend we’re doctors, or tick off the FDA with this little event. We just love tea and are open to learning more and more about this miracle beverage. Consider this our full legal disclaimer xo

Many thanks to our friends at Tea Mag for including us on their calender.

See you soon, Austin!

Mother’s Day Tea Ideas

At Zhi,  we’re always looking for moments to connect.

Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to pause, reflect and celebrate ‘Mom.’  Isn’t she great?

When in a state of mindful appreciation, its almost impossible not to think about all the nurturing women in your life. We bet that creates many special moments for tea beyond the familial.

To show your thoughtfulness, give tea!

Zhi’s vast selection of organic tea from around the world can customize your gift and tea party. Choose from caffeine free herbals, energizing black teas, healthy greens, and antioxidant rich rooibos. Everyone loves Zhi’s hand blended original signatures like our Saigon Rose and Plumberry Black.

Can’t decide? Give them thoughtful and easy to use online gift certificate. They’ll love exploring the luxurious world of loose leaf tea on our picturesque and user-friendly website.  Available 24 hours a day and redeemable in minutes: great for busy families and tea loving moms.

Are you gifting the luxury of tea this Mother’s Day? If so, include us in your memories by tagging #zhitea in your Instagram, Facebook posts and tweets.

For more inspiration, please enjoy this Mother’s Day slide show from Tea Time Magazine.