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.

Thank you! Zhi honored in ‘Best of Austin’ Awards

Best of Austin 2014Our tearoom is in a flurry of delight! Kettles are whistling, tea cups clinking, tea leaves curling and unfurling.

This is a usual state of affairs at Zhi Tea, but today, it’s in response to a very special gift. Zhi Tea has been named a “Best of Austin” establishment by the Austin Chronicle. Yee haw!

Every year, the Austin Chronicle allows their readers to vote on their favorite local icons ranging from ‘Best Boot Scuffed Dancefloor’ to ‘Best Barbecue.’ They also invite their team of critics to pick their ultimate finds in categories like ‘Arts & Culture’ and ‘Recreation.’ Being chosen in any category is a true honor as it is an opportunity to feel the local love.

This year, Zhi Tea was included in the Food Section of the Critics’ Picks. Our category: “Best Way to Take Back the Tea Party.” We love the clever nod to current events as yes, we do want to take back tea from any possible stigma. Zhi Tea was founded on the effort to elevate tea culture in America.  Tea is amazing! Tea parties rule! Our passion for ultra premium organic tea is an opportunity to ‘be’ the tea culture. We pledge to keep Austin weird by staying enthused and appreciative of all our tea-freaks and tea-nerds, and sourcing the very best tea from around the world for them.

Many congratulations to the Austin Chronicle as well. This was their ultra special 25th Anniversary edition of their “Best of Austin” awards. And again, many thanks to everyone in Austin who makes this city such a great place to work, eat, live. And of course, drink tea.

 

Rooibos Provence: Zhi’s new tea!

Hello, tea lovers!

Can you feel it?

That sense that something new and amazing is going to come into your life?

A certain whisper of intuition to let your spirit know that a new found joy is on the horizon?

If so, are you ready??

Say ‘yes!’ to our new organic signature: Rooibos Provence.

Smooth, sensual rooibos takes a fruity turn in this caffeine free herbal blend. Juicy black currants give this tea a burst of berry. Elderberries bring their signature taste to the table too, so if you love them in jellies, jams and pies, you’ll love them here as well.  Rose petals and lavender offer amazing floral aromatics but don’t spend too much time on the tongue.  Mmmm. Breathe deep!

We love all our teas here at Zhi, that is a fact; but it has been awhile since a rooibos blend of this calibur has graced our tea room. While rooibos has a tendency to be nutty and savory, in this blend, we experience this tea as sweeter and more fruity than usual. Sound like your cup of tea?

Our superstar rooibos has been Sweet Desert Delight up until this point, and we wonder: will Rooibos Provence take center stage? Only time will tell. Try some today and let us know!

 

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

Introducing, Violet Femme!

Pretty as a picture, Zhi’s new signature blend is a tea lover’s delight.

May we introduce you to our new hand blended original?

Please meet Violet Femme: a vanilla Earl Grey with notes of lavender.

Smooth, malty organic Assam tea is complimented with oil of bergamont, making this tea a ‘must’ for our Earl Grey fanatics.

Then, we compliment the citrus notes further with a floral blush of lavender. This makes the the tea even more aromatic without being overwhelming. To soften the bright notes common to bergamont and lavender, we round out the cup by adding vanilla. This creamy accent subdues the black tea blend and sweetens the cup by bringing in notes of carmalized brown sugar.

Balanced enough to be enjoyed on its own, Violet Femme is also great paired with cream and sugar. Bold, memorable, floral and flavorful, we hope you enjoy Zhi’s new signature blend.

Our ‘reviews’ feature on our website is open for your feedback and we’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please tell us what you think!

Introducing, Tropical Green Iced Tea Kits!

It’s hot. Cold steep!

Designed especially for pitcher-perfected iced tea, this innovative steeping method makes a flawless batch every time.

Haven’t cold steeped before? No worries!

Easy to follow directions are included on every kit. Plus, cold steeping automatically avoids over-steeping and temperature errors. With our easy to use Iced Tea kits, there’s no measuring or hot kettle needed either!

While every Zhi Tea can be enjoyed hot or iced, our cold steeping kits include our top six favorite iced teas. Our newest addition is a modification of our current top-selling Tropical Green. You’ll love this tea’s fruity, flavorful nature with tons of pineapple notes.

Catch the latest tea trend and get ready to cold steep all summer long. Available in six decadent teas, including our brand new Tropical Green!  Read more about Zhi’s summer line of seasonal iced tea here in the Austin Chronicle.

Have you cold steeped before?