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.

Tisane your mama's herbal tea

The first question some people ask, other than, "what is a tisane" is "what's the difference between this and an herbal tea?

Well, in an attempt to quell any consternation you may have about this lovely libation I'll give you the quick sip.

Tisane is simply a synonym for herbal tea, or rather a steeped beverage absent the traditional tea plant for which it is eponymously named.

Tisanes are not actually "Tea" however, they play a major role in the tea world.

Since these decoctions are devoid of the traditional tea leaf (Camelia Sinesis) they rarely, with a few notable exceptions, have caffeine.

Much as there is a long illustrious history behind traditional tea, tisanes revel in their own antiquity dating back to much of the same geographic locales as traditional tea. In ancient China, tisane was referred to as liang cha or "cooling tea". This definition refers to a Chinese medicine concept steeped in the wisdom that the body needs a balance between "cool" and "hot" much akin to yin and yang.

At times the body may become more inflamed or hot based on what we ingest or how we are impacted by our daily lives and so counterbalancing this, enter tisane. Some tisanes like Snow Chrysanthemum are good for cooling the throat and others for the lungs, circulation, blood pressure, and much more. I'm not a real doctor so I encourage you to simply google any relevant studies for more information.

Tisanes can be categorized by the constituent of the plant they utilize i.e. Leaf, Fruit, Flower, Seed/Spice, etc.

Most often we see tisanes as a blend of these components, thus creating an amalgam of dynamic aromas, flavors, and textures.

The dramatic expression of these teas walks hand-in-hand with its intrinsically medicinal qualities. Many times, these herbal concoctions are inundated with naturally occurring antioxidants, nutrients, and other compounds known to improve one's overall health.

Whatever the reason for your affinity, tisanes can be a wonderful addition to your tea repertoire and enjoyed anytime and for any occasion!

This week in lieu of all the free time we have on our hands let's treat ourselves

Lemon Blush! Cool down with Zhi

Fun in the sun!

Here in Texas, we know how to beat the heat. Organic iced tea, y’all!

This year, we are loving our new tea, Lemon Blush, in pretty pitchers with plenty of ice.

Our Lemon Blush can be considered a take on a pink lemonade. This new caffeine free herbal tea has tons of zesty lemon myrtle to give it a citrus zing. Then, we blended it with organic hibiscus flower to make a lovely crimson color. It’s slightly sweet on its own, or feel free to embellish with a splash of simple syrup or honey.

This summer, we’d be honored to see #zhitea at your picnics, potlucks, and pool parties. Please tag us in your tweets and Instagram pics! Always organic, always enjoyable over iced. What is your favorite iced Zhi Tea?

Yee haw! New Texas Yaupon Tea

Texas Yaupon Organic Zhi Tea

Have you ever heard of yaupon? You’re not alone.

This surprises many as this native plant is North America’s only indigenous source of caffeine and we all know how popular caffeine is!

Thanks to a neighboring harvester in Cat Springs, Texas, Zhi is able to bring you your new favorite tea, grown right here in Texas.

Pronounced “yo pawn,” this tea is well known to native North American Indians and had adapted perfectly to the dry environment in which it grows. This rare caffeinated herbal tea loves time and temperature: give it very hot water and steep it a little longer than average, about 5 minutes. It’s cup is a beautiful amber glow and the taste is superb! Notes of honey and almonds.

Like most tea, flavor is not your only reward. Yaupon has been studied and found to have tons of antioxidants, flavonoids and theobromine, the anxiety free caffeine also found in pure cacao.  This best kept secret is going to be your new favorite tea to share with your friends and family. Try some today!

Savor Summer with Zhi’s new Wilde Strawberry Green Rooibos

 

Wilde Strawberry Zhi TeaWhile we love our traditional hot tea, living in Austin has provided us with a keen appreciation for a satisfying cup of iced tea.

Our favorite iced tea blends are refreshing, decadent, and healthy as well.

This month, we’re happy to introduce our newest hand blended signature: Wilde Strawberry Green Rooibos.

Healthy, tasty, vibrant, this soothing blend came from our desire to provide some new and super healthy herbs to our line, along with the lusciousness of strawberry and raw, green rooibos.

The result? A uniquely savory, slightly sweet, mild and soothing cup that can be drunk any time of day or night.

Real strawberries, bilberry leaf, strawberry leaf, and copious amounts of green rooibos. This tea is a super antioxidant treat with zero caffeine!

As always, your cuppa Zhi Tea can be enjoyed ice & hot! Have you tried this blend? We’d love to read your review!