Tea Love has two exciting announcements to make! First, on Saturday, November 8th, I will be traveling down to Voorhees, NJ to the Camden County Library, 203 Laurel Rd, Voorhees, 08043, to explain the process behind a Japanese tea ceremony! Of course, traditional matcha tea will be served. And we have a special treat – author Ovidia Yu will be attending as well to talk about her book Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials. Full of scandal, murder, and delicious traditional Singapore treats, Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials is a must-read for those mystery lovers. The event will start at 1:00 PM. For more information, make sure to visit the Tea Love blog or check the Facebook page.
Second, a bit closer to home, you will start seeing a new brand of tea popping up in some stores near you. Inca Tea is a privately owned company just starting to sprout up out of their home base in Cleveland, OH. Founder and owner Ryan Florio first discovered the majesty of purple corn tea when he and his friends traveled to a Peruvian mountain trail for a whole ten days, led through the dangers by their guide, Edgar.
Prior to the hike, Florio had multiple health issues and was advised not to go. “Of course, I went above and beyond my doctor’s wishes,” he said. The first day out, Edgar decided to brew a cup of tea. “is an old Incan tea. Very good. You must try,” Edgar said, brewing enough for the entire group.
Florio was struck by the deep red-purple color that the brew created and asked Edgar to brew a cuppa for each day of the hike. “I felt physically awesome,” he said. He eventually came back to the States, quit his job despite never having had coffee nor tea in his entire life prior to that trip, and started researching the tea, especially purple corn.
Purple corn has been studied extensively in the past 22 years and has shown great benefits. It is chocked full of antioxidants, even more than blueberries and açai berries combined. It is an anti-inflammatory, improves circulation, reduces cardiovascular disease, lowers blood pressure, and even aids in weight loss. Florio trusted this drink so much, that he created an advisory board with a purple corn researcher on the team.
The tea, Florio explains is “based off of a thousand-year-old recipe.” By September, loose teas should be served up along with the current four teas that are offered.
All teas are made with 100% biodegradable sachets and packaged in 100% recycled boxes. Needless to say, this company is most certainly Mother Earth friendly. The corn is also ground by hand, blended in Cleveland, bagged in Philly, and then Florio’s parents box it every night for sale.
Right now, Tea Love has four tea bags from Inca Teas, so I will be reviewing one bag of tea each month.
First, the Peruvian Spiced Berry. Their main brew, it is based off of that ancient Inca recipe. When you open the bag, the smell of the spices waft towards you, enticing you to take a sip. The blend consists of hibiscus petals, elderberries, currants, purple corn, apple pieces, pineapple pieces, cinnamon, cloves and natural flavors. It does not have a string on the bag, so you cannot really regulate the time as easily as pulling the bag out of your drink. I just threw my bag into the water and sipped away.
The spices give a small bite to the drink, negating the sweetness of the fruit but in a positive way. You can smell the cloves in particular when you smell the tea and the purple that is created is almost regal in appearance. It is a nice, smooth tea, good for a late night of writing or just to drink to keep relaxed.
Interested in getting a box for yourself? Order some at http://www.incatea.com/ or, if you live in the north New Jersey area, you can visit Bed, Bath, and Beyond in East Hanover or Woodbridge, where the drinks will be sold.
Next week? Stay tuned for some Pick Me Up Peach.
Until next time!