George Washington - Tea Drinker

The President’s Favorite Cup of Tea

Did you know that some of the founding fathers of the United States were tea drinkers? For example, George Washington possessed many tea wares in his Mt. Vernon home, including tea caddies, tea boards, tea chests, teacups, pewter tea ware, teapots, tea sets, silver teaspoons, tea tables and a silver-plated tea urn.

According to records from his estate, Washington purchased a variety of Chinese teas, both black and green. The rich malty breakfast teas from India and Sri Lanka were not cultivated until the 19th century, and so Chinese teas were the teas of the time.

In fact, during the infamous Boston Tea Party, it wasn’t English Breakfast that went overboard. The inventory amounted to three tea ships contained 240 chests of Bohea, 15 of Congou, 10 of Souchong (all black teas), 60 of Singlo, and 15 of Hyson (both green teas).

Thomas Jefferson, another founding father and early American president, had a passion for food and drink, including Chinese teas. In a letter to a Philadelphia tea merchant and grocer in 1794, Jefferson noted “Having occasion for about 20. lb. of good tea annually…”

Looking to stock your Larder during this Presidents’ Day? We’re offering 10% off all unflavored black and green teas to celebrate an early American tradition of having a good cuppa.

Use the following coupon code at checkout to get 10% off unflavored green and black teas:

PRESIDENTS-TEA

Want to read more about our founding fathers and tea? Here are some interesting reads from the Boston Tea Party Museum:

We hope you have an enjoyable President’s Day!

Divinitea

Organic Passion Fruit Tea

Beat The Winter Blues with Tea

It’s been a frigid winter so far in many parts of the country. Iguanas are falling from the trees in Florida, bomb cyclones are dropping snow on the east coast, and Mount Washington is making Mars looking like a balmy retreat.

Although winter takes on a different meaning for some. Our thoughts go out to  California in particular, where a record breaking fire season has resulted in destructive mudslides.

Whatever the weather, it’s a good time to take a break, take stock, and like a character out of a Hercule Poirot story, calm your nerves with a strong cuppa.

Beat The Blues

This weekend we’re running a website and in store promotion for 10% off the following teas. Plus earn rewards points when you shop online.

Use coupon code BEAT-THE-BLUES from now thru Monday (1/15) for the teas below:

  • Earl Grey’s Passion: An organic Earl Grey tea with a hint of passion fruit. Made with real organic orange and lemon peel. This tastes great hot or iced.
  • Persian Plum Rose: An exotic organic black tea blend with sultry notes of plum and rose petals, and a pleasant finish of cardamom spice.
  • Cranberry Raspberry: Addictive tart fruity notes of cranberry and raspberry with piquant flavors of hibiscus. Tasty hot or iced. Naturally caffeine free organic blend, full of antioxidants.
  • Organic Passion Fruit Tea: Rich, ripe flavors of passion fruit with an organic black tea base. Excellent hot or iced.
  • Ceylon Green: From the lush tropical tea estates of Sri Lanka, this organic Ceylon green tea has gentle floral notes and a brisk grassiness.

SHOP NOW

New Website?

Perhaps you have noticed our website has changed? We have undergone a major upgrade with a lot of new features. We will keep you posted in a separate newsletter.

Here are a few teasers in the meantime. First and most important, we have a new design for mobile devices, for a dramatic improvement in viewing on phones and tablets. We also rolled out a saved payment method feature that allows you to remember a credit card. The information is securely stored on our payment processor’s protected servers. We are also working on improvements to our tea of the month club and gift card program, with news upcoming on both fronts.

In the meantime, feel free to contact us with questions!

Have a great weekend!

Divinitea

Divinitea Website Updated

Divinitea has just completed a major website upgrade. As part of the update, we have changed the layout of our website. If you have any questions about the new website, feel free to contact us.

Do you have a customer account with us? If you have trouble logging in, you may have to reset your password. If you have any further difficulties, please reach out to us.

A special note to tea club subscribers and gift card purchasers:

Our system has received a big upgrade, so how you manage your tea club subscription and gift cards has changed. We will keep you posted about the new updates shortly.

Thank you!

Divinitea is Moving!

Divinitea is moving to Clifton Park NY

Great news, we are moving our retail location and blending facility to Clifton Park, NY! Our new location will have more space to accommodate our growing demands.

Timeline of Services

Wholesale Customers: If you have a wholesale account with us, you can continue to order over the phone during our normal business hours at 518.347.0689. There will be no interruption of services.

Web Sales Our website will be online 24/7 and we will still process web orders normally.

In-Store Purchases: Saturday, April 22nd will be our last day of services in Schenectady, NY! So stock up then. Starting the week of April 24th, both our Schenectady location and our Clifton Park location will be closed while we move. We won’t have the ability to sell tea or teaware in either store. If you like to buy from us in-store, you can purchase online instead, or wait until our location is up and running in Clifton Park on May 6th.

New Location Address

1604 Route 9
Clifton Park, NY 12065
518.347.0689

You can keep up to date on our website or check out our Facebook page.

Turmeric – The New Superfood?

Turmeric Tea

Turmeric is a spice commonly associated with Asian and Indian foods. It is traditionally used in curry, and is even used to lend a yellow color to mustards and cheeses. Recently, turmeric has gained attention for its myriad of purported health benefits due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Turmeric may be another example where science is catching up with ancient medicine. For thousands of years, turmeric was used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine to aid digestion and liver function, relieve arthritis pain, for topical applications to treat wounds, and regulate menstruation.

Recent research is focusing on curcumin, a compound produced in the rhizome of the turmeric plant. Curcumin gives turmeric its bright yellow color. It also has many purported health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and neuroprotective properties. Studies have focused on turmeric’s potential use in treatment of arthritis, high cholesterol, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, stomach ulcers, heart disease, and even depression.

However, the science is not firmly established yet when it comes to turmeric. According to Barbara Delage, a scientist with the Linus Pauling Institute’s Micronutrient Information Center, “claiming that [turmeric] can be useful for humans is premature, given the current evidence.” Delage notes that few good human clinical trials have been completed. In addition, curcumin has poor bioavailability, meaning that very little of the plant compound is actually absorbed by the body.

So while the science catches up with folk medicine, try adding a little turmeric to your diet.

Resources

New Harvest: Organic Silver Tips White Tea

We just received a fresh harvest of Organic Silver Tips White Tea from the Makaibari Estate in India’s Darjeeling district. Check it out, it was a great season this year. View Tea…

View Tea

Teas for Cold and Flu

what teas are good for cold and flu

Every year a nasty bug makes the rounds in schools, the office, and amongst friends and family. You wash your hands religiously, you wipe down your phone, door handles, and surfaces with disinfectant, and avoid your coughing companions like the plague. Despite your best efforts, you wake up one day with those terrible symptoms: cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue etc… You’re sick!

Aside from bedrest, medication, and other practical advice to get over your cold or flu, drinking certain teas may bring relief, and might even help you recover faster.

Green Tea

Green tea contains many beneficial compounds, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and l-theanine. These compounds have antioxidant, as well as antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking green tea throughout the day can not only help you stay hydrated and provide temporary relief to symptoms, it can also help fight the virus itself.

Keep in mind that green tea has caffeine, so don’t drink it too late in the day, or in too great a quantity.

Check out our green teas.

Elderberry Tea

While elderberry is a tasty addition to certain flavored tea blends, it has also been used for hundreds of years to treat respiratory infections.

Tea made from elderberries contains compounds that reduce inflammation in mucous membranes and has antiviral properties. Studies evaluating the effectiveness of elderberry found that participants were able to recover from flu days faster than those who did not consume elderberry.

There are several species of elder, but Sambucus nigra, AKA black elder, is the one used most often for medicinal purposes. Be careful if you are harvesting your own elder; not all elder is created equal. Some species, like dwarf elder, may be toxic. When you buy food with elderberries, it is usually the black elder variety.

Check out our elderberry teas.

Peppermint

Menthol and methyl salicylate, the active ingredients in peppermint, help thin mucous, making peppermint steam an effective decongestant and expectorant. A soothing infusion of peppermint tea may also help relieve a sore throat.

Resources:

Daylight Saving Ends – How To Adjust

Daylight Saving Ends

The clocks turn back one hour at 2am this Sunday, November 1st, 2015. Which means you’ll have an extra hour in bed! While easier to adjust to the end of Daylight Saving, it can still be a little disorienting. Here are some tips to get you adjusted to the change.

1. Control the light

Light is one of the most important biological cues. Melatonin, a sleep inducing substance in the body, is activated in the dark. As soon as you are awake, make sure to let the light in, or turn lights on. Conversely, when it is time to go to bed, make sure to reduce or remove all light sources entirely. Night lights are great for bathroom trips, instead of the full glare of room lighting.

2. Put the phone away

Bedtime seems like a great time to check out Facebook, browse email, or play games on your phone, but staring at that screen can delay your sleep by an hour or more. That’s because LED screens on phones, tablets, and computers emit a bright blue light to help make them more visible in daylight. This light can inhibit the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and disrupt circadian rhythms.

Consider putting all LED emitting devices away at least an hour before going to sleep.

3. Control your caffeine and alcohol intake

Caffeine is a stimulant that can interfere with sleep-inducing chemicals in the body. A general rule of thumb is to avoid caffeine intake four to six hours before bedtime. However, this depends on how caffeine affects you.

Consider a relaxing herbal tea before bed. Herbal blends like Nite Cap and Chamomile Lavender have a soothing and calming effect.

In the morning, have a strong breakfast tea to help jumpstart the body. Caffeine will help fight fatigue, but is not a substitute for a poor night’s rest.

Alcohol can have a deceptive effect on sleep. While it can allow people to fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply, it has a negative impact on rapid eye movement (REM) sleep: or dream sleep. REM sleep is important for restoring the mind.

Resources:

Best Teas for Travel Thermos

Best teas for travel thermos

As chilly autumn mornings remind us of the winter days ahead, it’s a great time to get outside and enjoy the good weather while it lasts. Whether you’re walking through the park or hiking the backcountry during peak foliage, nothing is more invigorating and refreshing than a hot cup of tea.

After all, hydration is important, right? It takes up nearly the same weight to carry tea as it does water, so why not bring some hot tea on your next outing?

What You’ll Need:

Ditch the bagged tea from the grocery store; get real loose leaf tea. That said, you’ll need an infuser to brew your loose leaf tea. Our Highwave Vacuum Travel Mug has a built-in infuser, so all you need is some hot water and loose leaf tea. Otherwise you can brew tea as you normally would and transfer your tea to a thermos or insulated Kleen Kanteen style bottle.

If you’re packing away your tea, keep it sealed tight to prevent leaking, and try to keep it further inside your pack to further insulate.

What Teas Perform Best in Vacuum Bottles

Tea is so flavorful because of the antioxidants found in the leaves. The problem is that tea begins to oxidize when introduced to hot water. The longer the water is left hot, the quicker the oxidation.

Basically, some teas can get bitter or otherwise have an unpleasant taste over time, as they are left hot inside a thermos. Some teas perform better than others over time.

The best performing teas are herbal teas and rooibos. Next up are scented black teas and unscented black teas. Black teas with chai spices are especially enjoyable in cold weather. Pu-erh teas also hold up well in a thermos. Certain amber oolongs also perform well.

Green teas and jade oolong teas are hit or miss. The type of antioxidants in green and jade oolong teas are susceptible to heat over long periods, so you may find your favorite green tea is not so nice after hours in the thermos. The only way to be sure is to test your tea.

White teas are poor performers in a thermos. Do to the delicate nature of their preparation, white teas oxidize very quickly, and can even become black in color over a period of hours in a thermos.

Why Does My Tea Get Cold Too Soon?

As you drink from your vacuum bottle, you have less tea inside, resulting in greater heat-loss. It’s better to drink all your tea in a short interval instead of spacing it out over hours. If you have only a little tea left in your thermos, it will cool very quickly

Also, if you keep the lid off, you lose heat a lot faster than when you have the lid on.

If it’s very cold out, consider packing your thermos away around anything that might insulate it further.

Notes on Cleaning

If you brew a flavored tea in your vacuum bottle, be sure to soak it in a baking soda solution afterwards to absorb any flavors. Also, scrub the interior with a bottle brush to minimize staining.

New Organic Fall Teas!

Check out our new organic fall teas!

Our new Organic Fall Teas are in for the 2015 season! Take the chill out of autumn with these exciting blends:

  • Organic Chocolate Chai: The pairing of chai spices, chocolate, and robust black tea creates a brew that makes everyday feel like a special occasion.
  • Organic Berry Scone: Sweet rooibos and bright fruits, folded in with maple and vanilla. The final product makes a caffeine-free treat reminiscent of teas most famous companion.
  • Organic Yoda Chai: Traditional Chai Spices, make for a caffeine free spicy blend, or pair with your favorite blend to create your own custom chai tea!