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.

A Time To Pause, Reflect, and Connect

Dear Zhi Tea Friends & Family,

We hope in this time of uncertainty you are finding a moment of stillness to pause, reflect and connect with those you love.

You are in our thoughts as we remain vigilant in these trying times and therefore wanted to give you an update of how we are addressing the coronavirus as well as allow you to share your thoughts.

We will remain open for business as long as it remains safe to do so and have begun working towards helping you, our greatest asset, to continue enjoying the comforts of better times.

Specifically, our retail store remains open (for now) M-F 11-4, with no table service or tea service. Our warehouse is fully operational and we are shipping around the clock. Our website is open 24/7!

Given the need for most of us to participate in social distancing we will begin offering special shipping and sales promotions, news updates, and forum opportunities to better serve the community and bring us together virtually.

Let's start a dialogue; show us how you are enjoying your tea at home #zhitea on Instagram.

Please be assured, our products are and will continue to be safe to consume. We continue to adhere to the highest standards of food manufacturing and have remained vigilant in daily CDC and FDA mandates for hygiene with our staff and our facility.

As a final note, we encourage you to do your part in supporting local and independent businesses, family and friends who are feeling the financial strain of these uncertain times and let us know how we can better serve you and those around you.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones and we wish you a healthy and prosperous future.



Sincerely,

The Zhi Team

Go Green! Choose Gyokuro green tea

Japanese Green Tea Gyokuro Organic

Green!

The color of spring. Have you caught a glimpse of the oncoming season? Here in Texas, we’ve seen hints of winter’s end earlier than most of our tea loving friends across the country.

To celebrate, we’re drinking even more green tea than before. Here, we’d like to invite you to enjoy one with us: Gyokuro.

Gyokuro is a rare green tea from Japan. Not to be confused with sencha, gyokoru has its own harvesting, processing, and steeping methods which yield a distinctly different cup. The name “gyokuro” means “jade dew,” referring to the pale, whispy green color of the infusion.

If you like the grassy notes of sencha, you’ll love gyokuro. Before being harvested, gyokuro tea leaves are shielded from the sun for at least two weeks. This step heightens the naturally occurring photosynthesis of the plant. Here, the levels of both l-theanine and caffeine increases and there’s plenty of reasons to celebrate that effect! Plus, it gives gyokuro a distinct aroma and a slightly sweeter flavor from this covering process too.

Steep this delicate green tea at a lower temperature than most, and for less time. Experiment to find your perfect steep. Get lucky!

 

 

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!