Category Archives: Freestylin’

Hugs, Kisses, and Tea!

Happy Valentine’s Day, tea lovers! Love is in the air and in our cup here at The Tea Spot! Valentine’s Day gets a bad rap for being a commercialized holiday, and while there aren’t any flowers floating around the office, we’re feeling cuddly and thankful for all of the delicious tea we adore. This year we came out with a new addition to the family just for the lovers, Love Potion No. 9! This decadent caramel black tea is spruced up with bits of toffee coated coconut. This tea is an improved rendition of our old staple, Creme Caramel, and is absolutely perfect for the loved one in your life… or treat yourself! 

 

Tea and chocolate, does life get any better?

Tea and chocolate, does life get any better?

Maybe caramel and toffee aren’t your thing… how about flowers and chocolate? You can’t go wrong with our amazing Steeping mug paired with two cute tins of Jasmine Petals and Chocolate O. Whatever your preferences are, we’re sure that tea is the best gift around. Nothing says I love you like a hot cup of tea for warmth and comfort, and if you’re feeling creative, a haiku!

Big cuppa steaming
Love potion work your magic
Come here, good looking!

Tea Lover's Do It Better- 600

 

This entry was posted in Black Tea, Freestylin', Tea Gifts, Tea Poetry on by .
About the Author

Elise Ridgway

Wholesale Manager, Elise Ridgway, brings her vast tea knowledge and food service experience to the table - bright, calm, and competent. A CU Boulder grad in Political Science, Elise hails from Idaho, where she loves to visit for quality family time, fishing and camping. She's also an avid reader and happy hour connoisseur.

Fireworks & Green Gunpowder Welcome the New Year of the Horse!

Have you ever been in a Chinese city, or in an American city’s Chinatown during a New Year’s celebration? The city literally bursts to life with firecrackers during the colorful and raucous multi-day party! Setting off excessive amounts of firecrackers and beating drums is a central tradition at Chinese New Year, and is intended to scare away all the evil spirits with the loud noises.

Gunpowder was first invented in China during the Tang Dynasty (628 – 905). During these ancient times, firecrackers (“Phow Chook” in Chinese) were just gunpowder wrapped in paper, lit with a paper or bamboo fuse. By the time of the Sung Dynasty (960-1279) fireworks had been invented in China, but firecrackers have remained the popular noisemaker of choice during the New Years celebration.

The leaves of gunpowder green tea are hand rolled into the shape of little pellets, and with their steely sheen, resemble gunpowder.  Gunpowder tea leaves stay fresh longer than any other green tea leaves, thanks to their compressed state. For a green tea, Gunpowder tastes strong and hearty. As its leaves unfurl, they release a smoky oak aroma, and a subtle vegetal flavor, with a hint of a sweet finish.

The process for making Chinese green tea was developed during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1628). Green tea is never allowed to wither and ferment – the oxidation is arrested as soon as possible, either by steaming, or firing in large pans or baskets. All the dampness is removed, and tea leaves harvested in the morning can be ready to be brewed the same night. The bypass of fermentation allows green tea to retain most of its natural (green) leaf color, antioxidants, V its min C, chlorophyll and minerals.

So to welcome this new year of the horse! We’re starting this year off with our own version of firecracker – Gunpowder green tea leaves bursting open in our cups! Many Healthy and Happy Returns to All :)

Below photos from Los Angeles Chinatown New Year of the Horse Parade, Saturday Feb 1, 2014

New Year of the Horse Parade

New Year of the Horse Parade

LA’s Chinese New Year celebration has a multicultural flavor!

LA’s Chinese New Year celebration has a multicultural flavor!

Chinese New Year Lanterns

Chinese New Year Lanterns

Colorful Firecracker Detritus

Colorful Firecracker Detritus

This entry was posted in Freestylin', Green Tea, Gunpowder Tea, Loose Leaf Tea on by .
About the Author

Maria Uspenski

CEO Maria Uspenski is the innovative force behind our Steepware® designs. A mechanical engineer by trade, her mind is always conjuring up delicious new ways to enjoy loose leaf tea. Also the inspiration for our 10% Pledge, Maria is a cancer survivor on a mission to spread wellness through tea.

A Different Kind of Rocky Mountain High

CO-Flag

The Boulder media’s roaring with news tidbits surrounding the progressive marijuana policy in our mile-high state of Colorado. Food pairings, cooking with weed, herbal infusion blends – are all topics which you can find daily in the headlines of our local papers. As a tea company, it almost sounds all too familiar to us. You could substitute “premium tea” as an alternative in many of the headlines, and come up with something pertinent to loose leaf tea. Camellia sinensis, aka the tea plant, has long been known to help with mood and performance, as well as relaxation and concentration.

“Tea Drunk” is even a recognized term amongst tea fanatics, referring to a mildly ecstatic light-headed condition after drinking a new, or super high-end tea. In reality, this one may be something that’s brought on by plummeting blood sugar levels, when we drink too much caffeine on an empty stomach… something that’s easy to do when you’re faced with an amazing new tea!

Caffeine, which has even been referred to as the worlds most widely used psychoactive drug, has a host of benefits that contribute to its widespread use. Aside from the possibility of creating a mild drug dependence, medical studies, including one published in the February 2010 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, have shown that one of these benefits is mood elevation. Another study, by D. Scott et al., ”The effect of drinking tea at high altitude on hydration status and mood” published in the April, 2004 European Journal of Applied Physiology studied climbers at Everest Base camp. They concluded that the men and women who drank hot brewed tea as a major part of fluid intake at 18,000 ft showed no evidence of increased dehydration from drinking the caffeinated beverage. In addition, the climbers reported feeling less fatigued when tea was included in their diets. Score one for the tea lovers!

Theobromine, also naturally occurring in tea, remains in the blood stream much longer than caffeine and is sometimes used as a mild antidepressant and aphrodisiac. A timely study by Suzanne Einother and Vanessa Martens released in the December 2013 issue of  the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, details the effects of “our” tea leaf, and its ingredients theanine and caffeine, on mood enhancement. Theanine, which occurs naturally only in the leaves of Camellia sinensis, is a mental and physical relaxant that does not induce drowsiness. Those of us who work will take that as a major benefit :) It is also is used for treating anxiety and high blood pressure.

So the next time you want to relax and let your imagination climb to new heights, there’s a new kind of “Rocky Mountain High” to get you soaring.

Rocky Mountain High teas

This entry was posted in Boulder Roots, Caffeine, Freestylin', Tea Health and tagged , on by .
About the Author

Maria Uspenski

CEO Maria Uspenski is the innovative force behind our Steepware® designs. A mechanical engineer by trade, her mind is always conjuring up delicious new ways to enjoy loose leaf tea. Also the inspiration for our 10% Pledge, Maria is a cancer survivor on a mission to spread wellness through tea.

We Gave Away Free Tea for a Year!

Gifting tea never felt so good! We recently ran a contest on Facebook that awarded one Tea Spot fan with Free Tea For a Year. We just announced the winner and are SO excited!

Congrats to Kim!

Congrats to Kim!

During this giveaway, there was a standard entry form on our Facebook contest page, along with the chance to win a double entry into the giveaway when you shared what your “biggest win” of the year was with us. We heard so many inspiring tales of big life changes, major health initiatives (and in many cases, major weight loss), just to name a few. If you ever find yourself in need of some inspiration, I’d highly recommend taking a few moments to read though the incredible wins that were shared with us here. We feel truly blessed to have such an incredible, open, loving communi-TEA! Cheers to all and warmest wishes for a Happy New Year!

This entry was posted in Freestylin' on by .
About the Author

Katie 

Customer Service Manager, Katie Young, will wow you with her smile and great customer care. She’s an out-of-the-box thinker and a graduate of the Honors Program from the Montfort School of Business at UNC Greeley. A native Coloradan, Katie loves hiking, baking, gardening, and thrift store thrill seeking.

Black Friday Tips from Tea Drinking Experts

black-friday-gear

If Black Friday shopping is your cup of tea, we’ve got some Pro Tips to help you WIN!
NOTE: These tactics can be applied to other urban jungle excursions and crowded holiday traveling.

PRE-GAME:
Strategize & Prioritize.

Cozy up with a cup of Meditative Mind at the end of Thanksgiving Day to plan your attack. The L-theanine in white tea creates a calm yet alert state of mind so you can strategize and prioritize for tomorrow’s adventure. Then unwind and relish in the Q.T. you spent with family and friends earlier in the day.

GAME DAY:
Caffeinate early & often.

Start your morning off with a cup of Bolder Breakfast – our customers’ all time favorite tea – the numbers don’t lie. It’s highly caffeinated and packs a secret punch with pu’erh.

Stay hydrated.

Cold brewing on-the-go is definitely the way to go here. Steep & Go and Keep Fit Cold Infusions tea makes it easy with a steady green tea energy boost. Simply refill your bottle with more water throughout the day to cold brew more fresh tea.

Pack your good stuff with you.

Pack a few of your favorite teas and a Tuffy Steeper in your water-resistant Travel Zipper Pouch. You never know when a mug of hot water is going to jump out in front of you for a mid-day break. And life’s too short to settle for dusty bags.

Unwind & rest easy.

Back at home at the end of the day, kick your feet up and celebrate your top scores of the day with some Sweet Lullaby herbal tea. But first, get cozy in your pajamas because this valerian root hibiscus blend will have you counting sheep in no time. Congrats, you’re winning!

This entry was posted in Caffeine, Cold brewing, Freestylin', Herbal Tea, Tea Travel on by .
About the Author

Jessica Kochik

CMO Jessica Kochik manages digital marketing and ecommerce at The Tea Spot. A scientist by training, she’s a keen analytical thinker, project manager, and our design eye. Jessica geeks out on spreadsheets, lives to travel, and is the proud parent of a baby girl. This queen of shavasana is also obsessed with yoga.

G and TEA: A happy hour, indeed!

Fall is officially here. There is frost in the morning and more leaves are on the ground than on the trees. I must admit that as much as I love fall weather I dread the winter and find myself trying to cling to summer. Fortunately, we are blessed in Boulder with warm sunshine, and our fall days can be simply perfect. I decided to embrace the lovely fall weather by putting a tea-infused twist on my favorite summer cocktail, a gin and tonic.

I started off by making 3 types of tea: cold-brewed Sweet Melody, iced Ginger Peach, and iced Lady Lavender. For the gin I used Spring 44, from a local Boulder distillery. I also had some mixers to add, including soda water, lemonade, and ginger beer.

My beautiful collection of iced tea and gin.

My beautiful collection of iced tea and gin.

Some different flavors to spice up our drinks!

Some different flavors to spice up our drinks! 

I had two lovely testers to help me out and together we tried 6 or 7 different combinations. We all decided on 3 clear winners:

Sweet Melody Spritzer: The tangy hibiscus and sweet licorice went perfectly with the floral gin, and the lemon soda water added a nice bubbly sensation. Here is the recipe:

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 3 oz Sweet Melody Iced Tea
  • 3 oz Lemon Soda Water
  • Ice

Gin-Ginger Arnold Palmer: We put a twist on the traditional iced tea and lemonade beverage by using Ginger Peach iced tea and making it a delicious cocktail… perfect for the golf course! Here’s how we made it:

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 3 oz Iced Ginger Peach
  • 3 oz Lemonade
  • Ice

Lady Lavender Twist: At first we just tried mixing the iced Lady Lavender with the gin, but it seemed watered down and needed a little sweetener. We added a splash of lemonade, and voila! A delightful floral combination! The bergamot and lavender mixed perfectly with the gin, and the lemonade added just the right amount of sugar and a dash of citrus! We used:

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 4 oz Lady Lavender
  • 2 oz Lemonade
  • Ice

These drinks hit the perfect spot between winter and summer, and we enjoyed them on the patio to soak up some of the last rays of golden sunshine!

Cheers to friends, Fall, and TEA!

Cheers to friends, Fall, and TEA!

This entry was posted in Boulder Roots, Cold brewing, Cooking with Tea | Tea Recipes, Freestylin', Iced Tea on by .
About the Author

Elise Ridgway

Wholesale Manager, Elise Ridgway, brings her vast tea knowledge and food service experience to the table - bright, calm, and competent. A CU Boulder grad in Political Science, Elise hails from Idaho, where she loves to visit for quality family time, fishing and camping. She's also an avid reader and happy hour connoisseur.

“Steep & Go” Action Shots

We recently launched a contest asking our tea friends to submit pictures of their cold infusing Steep & Go’s on-the-go. We had so much fun looking at these truly fantastic ”action shots” and wanted to share some of our favorite pics with you here. We hope you enjoy!

Tea Lovin BabiesPut baby Della and baby Ollie together and you have yourself an incredible cold-brew cuppa! Della prefers her Steep & Go’s violet, and Ollie is a big fan of our new Keep Fit Cold Infusions. Or perhaps he prefers chewing on the box? Either way, these babes have great taste! 

JadeLovely Jade with her Steep & Go at her local park.

Sprowls The Sprowls family! Look at that little cutie pie!

Longmont Trails Robert & Katie hitting the trails in Longmont, CO.

Elise hits Madrid ”Chilling out on our rooftop patio in Madrid!” Steep & Go made it to Spain with Elise!

JB 3Jean says- “Took mine along on my morning walk – beautiful scenery and delicious refreshment is just my cup of tea!”

JB 2

JB 1

ParisThis photo is from our CEO Maria- “Je vois la vie en rose avec Steep & Go!” C’est vrai!

Elise at ChataquaElise action shot! At Chautauqua Park in Boulder, CO.

Doushka

Our favorite Tea Spot pooch, Dushka, kicking back with a Steep & Go at The Tea Spot office.

DisneyGrizzly River Run wanted in on the action at Disneyland.

DinoOur Founder & CEO made a new friend abroad. Of course she offered him tea! We just can’t seem to help ourselves!

Bruce Fippinger Steep & go in ActionBruce says- “Blue Skies, Green Tea, Steep-n-Go = Healthy Living.” We couldn’t agree more! Photo at Waneka Lake Park.

 Amoda TeaAmoda Tea gettin down with Steep & Go and Keep Fit in Vancouver!
This entry was posted in Cold brewing, Freestylin', Loose Leaf Tea, Steepware®, Tea Travel on by .
About the Author

Katie 

Customer Service Manager, Katie Young, will wow you with her smile and great customer care. She’s an out-of-the-box thinker and a graduate of the Honors Program from the Montfort School of Business at UNC Greeley. A native Coloradan, Katie loves hiking, baking, gardening, and thrift store thrill seeking.

Warning: Don’t Try This At Home

How desperate to stay awake would you need to be to wash down two No-Doz tablets with a Red Bull?

On the road

On the road

This is in no way an endorsement (hence the title…) but recently, through dire necessity, I found myself steeping and sipping what I found to be the tastiest energy booster ever. Through a combination of circumstances, my younger daughter and I were driving from Boulder, CO to Boca Raton, FL. What we thought would be a leisurely5-day trip turned into a sprint-distance jaunt. Long story short, we made it there at 4:35 AM on the morning we needed to arrive.

But not without some serious help. My usual travel stash of organic Puerh tea bricks wasn’t doing the trick. It would make me feel relaxed and focused, but wasn’t I still didn’t feel like persisting, and wouldn’t have kept driving if I really thought I might doze off. Coffee hadn’t been doing the trick for me either. So I pulled into McDonalds, who brews what I think is the best fast-food coffee available. We got out our Brewlux tea filters and put them in the16 oz coffee cups, then steeped some Puerh tuochas in the McDonald’s drip coffee.

Mixing it up at McDonalds

Mixing it up at McDonalds

Perhaps it was my state at the time, but it actually tasted smooth and fantastic. With a total caffeine count of 280 mg – the equivalent of two No-Doz plus a Redbull – with the Florida night air breezing by and the radio singing at us, we shared the last few hours of driving and cruised on in with a smile.

Life is Good! Friday Tea Cup Affirmations!

Life is good. I have a great job, I have wonderful friends and family, and I get to enjoy beautiful Boulder, CO every day. Still, sometimes I need a little extra motivation in the morning to get going. I recently acquired a vintage coffee (or tea!) cup that gives me a few words of encouragement: “Something good is going to happen to you today.”

Encouraging words from my favorite trio!

Encouraging words from my favorite trio!

It’s a simple pleasure, but these few words make me realize how good life is, and more good things are sure to come. Paired with a Tuffy Tea Steeper and my favorite, Bolder Breakfast, caffeine combines with confidence and I’m ready to conquer my day and the weekend.  Raise your cuppa, it’s Friday!

This entry was posted in Black Tea, Caffeine, Freestylin' on by .
About the Author

Elise Ridgway

Wholesale Manager, Elise Ridgway, brings her vast tea knowledge and food service experience to the table - bright, calm, and competent. A CU Boulder grad in Political Science, Elise hails from Idaho, where she loves to visit for quality family time, fishing and camping. She's also an avid reader and happy hour connoisseur.

Displaying Tea & Teaware With Pride!

For Valentine’s Day this year, my guy surprised me with my very own “tea corner” in our apartment! Up until now, my teaware and teas were steadily spilling out of our kitchen cabinet(s). My collection/obsession started in one kitchen cabinet, but in no time, was spilling into other areas, cabinets, nooks, crannies, even the counters… it was chaos! But, one fine day I came home from work to find this masterpiece put together for me-

Katie's Tea Corner

Katie’s Tea Corner

This is a corner display shelf, which my brilliant boyfriend added some shower curtain hooks to so that I can hang our favorite mugs for added display area and utility. Here’s how each level breaks down:

  1. A beautiful vase I was gifted with some Asian-inspired flowers and mini tea cup candles
  2. My go-to teas in tins from IKEA. These are great for recommended tea storage because they are airtight and protect my teas from exposure to light
  3. Shower hooks allow easy access to our red mug set
  4. This is my favorite shelf, since some of my most treasured pieces can be seen and proudly displayed! Here I have a traditional Moroccan teapot, two tea sets from China, some beautiful vintage tea cups, a vintage teaspoon and a place mat from a co-worker’s honeymoon in South Korea
  5. Tea Towels (back) and more shower hooks allow easy access to our favorite mugs (front)
  6. Teaware central, inclding my best buddy for making iced tea, the Steep and Chill. There are also about four french presses on this level (really… can a girl ever have enough french presses?)

It’s so easy to get to my teaware and teas now. No more epic wrestling matches with the cabinets wondering where on earth my current tea craving made it to. I’d highly recommend working out a fun tea display for your home, if you find yourself in the same tea hurricane I did!

Cheers!

This entry was posted in Freestylin', Loose Leaf Tea, Steepware® and tagged , , on by .
About the Author

Katie 

Customer Service Manager, Katie Young, will wow you with her smile and great customer care. She’s an out-of-the-box thinker and a graduate of the Honors Program from the Montfort School of Business at UNC Greeley. A native Coloradan, Katie loves hiking, baking, gardening, and thrift store thrill seeking.