Saturday, May 2, 2015

Catch up

Its been a month and I'm well overdue to update you on the latest tea room activities!

Pat, Alan and I are getting very excited about our trip to the World Tea Expo in Long Beach, California next week. There will be over 200 tea vendors exhibiting as well as a huge selection of tea classes. I just wish we had more than 4 days to do everything! I'm looking forward to updating you on all the new tea developments out there!

On top of that, the tea room will be exhibiting at the very first Midwest tea festival in Kansas City on Saturday June 6th! It's going to be a fun day out to anyone who is a fan of tea. Everything from free samples, to classes, and teaware will be there. If you would like to see more details, please visit www.midwestteafest.com

We have recently expanded our retail section in the tea room. Some of you may have noticed that we have a larger selection of teapots and tea ware, as well as some fantastic candles. These make great gifts for mum! Yes, Mothers day is next week if you have forgotten!!

We are also getting ready to release our May tea of the month. This one is one of my favorites. Stay tuned to our facebook page for the details.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

The latest tea room happenings!

We have so many things happening, or about to happen at the tea room. Some of you may have noticed that we have increased our retail section in the tea room. We have had to give up one of our corner window tables and we just have nowhere else to put the large amount of product that we are receiving. Our retail has actually doubled since we move to Morgan Ford one year ago which is something we had been hoping for :)
Now that we have more space to set out our retail and loose leaf teas, we have been increasing the number of unusual and rare teas on the shelves. These are teas that we may only be able to get a very small amount of, due to the fact they are from small farms that only produce a very small amount of tea each year. 

I'm looking forward to the next tea class - Drink to your health, which is coming up at the end of the month on Friday March 27th. As I have been reading up on tea and health, I have been fascinated to learn more about rooibos. I'm wondering why everybody is not drinking this herbal antioxidant powerhouse! I'll be going in to much more detail the night of the class about health benefits of rooibos, as well as the camelia sinsensis (tea) plant and botanicals. You can purchase tickets on our website at www.thelondontearoom.com

(If you are interested in learning more about the basics of tea, I totally recommend coming to the tea 101 class at the end of April.)

I will also be teaching a 45 minute class on tea and health at the very first midwest tea fest in Kansas City on Saturday June 6th. The East coast and West coast hold tea festivals on a annual basis, so it was felt that we should definitely have a midwest one! Visit www.midwestteafest.com for more information or find them on facebook. We will be one of the vendors at this festival too!

On May 6th, Pat, Alan and myself fly off to Long Beach, CA to attend the World tea Expo. This will be a fantastic opportunity to meet with other tea vendors, as well as take advantage of the many classes that are being offered. I'm hoping to come home with a ton of new ideas and lots of great new contacts in the tea world!

I'll keep you updated and I'll be sure to get some pictures posted of both the World tea expo and the midwest tea fest.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

All about Matcha tea

After being made fun of that we do regularly update our blog - at least once a year! - I have determined that 2015 will be the year that I blog at least once a week (or maybe once a month)!
This past week has been a busy one. I got to speak twice at the working women's survival show and I was surprised at how enjoyable it was. I can't say that I ever thought I would speak in front of a bunch of people, let alone speak about tea. It's funny how life can take you down unexpected, and yet very fulfilling paths.

I thought I would focus this post on Matcha. What is that you say? Matcha - not matches as my daughter thought I was saying :-/

While Matcha is steeped (no pun intended) with cultural history, the main interest in matcha today is its incredible antioxidant content. One small cup of Matcha is said to have the equivalent of up to 10 cups of regular green tea! The reason for this is that the whole leaf is ground into a powder and digested as matcha, while as loose leaf green tea is infused with water, which you drink and then dispose of the leaves. You are literally digesting the whole leaf when you drink matcha.
Matcha green tea possesses antioxidant levels 6.2 times that of goji berries, 7 times that of dark chocolate, 17 times that of wild blueberries and 60.5 times that of spinach!
Green tea contains potent antioxidants called catechins, which scavenge for dangerous free radicals in the body. The most powerful catechin found in green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to be a powerful anti-carcinogen.

A 2003 University of Colorado study confirmed that drinking 1 cup of matcha green tea has 137 times the amount of antioxidant EGCG compared to a conventional cup of green tea.
A 2011 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that administration of green tea beverages or extracts significantly lowered serum total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentrations.

It is also said that matcha can induce clarity of mind and help alleviate stress due to its high level of L-theanine, an amino acid that can cross brain carrier waves and bring a sense of well being and calm.

How can you not go wrong with this? Don't answer that, as there is no other answer than - you can't.

Matcha is traditionally made in an earthenware bowl and whisked with a bamboo whisk. Nowadays many of us living in the West don't necessarily follow the traditional custom and will just scoop the powder into a cup and add hot water, whisking with a spoon. Either way is fine in my book, although the old ceremonial way is definitely a part of the whole experience.
Here is a link to wikihow to make it the quick way that we like things done in the west:
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Matcha-Tea

Matcha has a vegetal, almost spinachy taste. I'm not Matcha's biggest taste fan, but for the health benefits you are receiving, its most definitely worth it.

We are very much looking forward to receiving some high quality organic matcha that we will have on our retail shelves and our online store by mid March. Please check it out and maybe google some of the many health benefits that Matcha offers. Matcha is certainly the super power of green tea!




Sunday, February 15, 2015

A new year

Its hard to believe its mid February 2015 and with all my good intentions to blog on a regular basis, I completely and utterly failed in 2014. It will be interesting to see how this goes in 2015! If you are one of the very few that follow this blog, then thank you for your extreme patience and apologies that I am just so very bad at keeping up with it.
2015 is looking to be a very interesting and productive year for the tea room. Our online shop www.thelondonteamerchant.com has taken off very well and we are shipping all over the country! We hope to see this side of the business take off even more this year. Our wholesale is also growing and we now have accounts in Missouri, Illinois and Maui!
I have been increasing my tea education by taking classes with the World tea Academy and only have a couple more classes to complete before I become a Certified World Tea Specialist. It is just amazing how much there is to learn about tea. I hope to be able to post some of the interesting facts I come across on this blog, along with tea infused baking recipes, projects and tea room news.
In May, Alan, Pat and myself will be heading to Long Beach, California to attend the World tea Expo. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it! ;-)
I'm also booked to speak at the St. Louis Working Womens Survival show this month and again at the very first Midwest tea festival in Kansas City in June.
Working in the tea industry is proving to be so much fun. I'm looking forward to learning more about tea this year and bringing you an informative and fun blog for you to follow as we go!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Big changes are coming!

I find that change is always difficult. Then again, change is exciting! For a long time now, we have wanted to go back to our roots, the very thing that brings joy and excitement to who we are. And that ladies and gents is.....tea!
How do we bring you the passion we have for tea? That has proved to be difficult in the set up the business has been operating under. Whilst our lunches are wildly popular, we have pulled away from our first love, and functioned more as a restaurant than a tea merchant.
Combined with the fact that we very much needed to find an establishment where we had a secure lease (we have been operating on a month to month lease for the past year or two - not ideal), and that we were wanting to change our whole concept, we finally found a location that fit us to a tee! (pun intended!)
SO.....as of mid January 2014, we will be saying goodbye to our present location, and saying hello to our new location in Tower Grove South on February 1st!  Yikes! That's coming up very soon.
This new location will serve tea (and lots of it), coffee and pastries. Never fear, we will still serve afternoon teas, cream teas and our amazing pastries. But we will be saying goodbye to our lunch menu. I know, I know.....it will be devastating to some of you, and we sincerely apologize.
However, our vision from the beginning has always been tea, and that seems to have become a little lost in our business as we run it now.
Our other exciting news, is that there is a large event space in the rear part of the property. And it is going to be one classy looking space! This space will be available for groups of up to 40 people, where we can serve our full afternoon teas. Perfect for bridal and baby showers, birthday parties, childrens tea parties and more.
Keep an eye open for the many tea classes we will provide too. Tea education will hold a large focus for us as a business.
There are simply so many exciting and fantastic things to come, and we are so excited to become part of the Tower Grove community. That being said though, we will never forget our roots and the love we have had for the downtown Washington Avenue community.
We hope that we get to see all of you in our new home. We are looking forward to welcoming you! :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

It's time to blog again!!

How does three years go by so fast?! We were quite shocked to see that it has been that long since we last wrote the last blog!
The past three years have been busy, as we have moved forward with the business and you may well have noticed the many changes we have made as we continue to strive to make the business even better.
One of our biggest changes in the cafe, was to change over from counter service to full service. This was met with a majority of happy people, but with a wee bit of resistance from some. It wasn't without its hiccups, but in the long run, it has worked out very well for both our customers and our staff. The long, long lines that would sometimes work their way out the front door have been elimated, and we can provide a much more comfortable, quiet environment with much more of an effiecient and personal service.

We have also enjoyed putting a much heavier emphasis on the very thing we love the most......tea! We have added many more loose leaf tea's over the past year, offering the consumer more options of amazing, high quality tea. We are working on increasing our teaware and our retail gifts as well, so we can offer you a chance to sit back and enjoy food and a cuppa, and also experience our teas and gifts.

So keep checking out the blog, as we update you on tea room happenings, and tea information! We promise we won't leave it for 3 years this time! :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Independence day!

Wishing you all a very happy Independence day weekend! Not that we really want you to celebrate your independence from us Brits.
To help you celebrate, we are offering 10 percent off loose leaf tea (1/8th pound or more) through the end of the day today - Saturday July 3rd.

We are so excited about the new teas that we have recently received and we have more on the way. We will be offering free tea tastings in the tea room every Tuesday and Thursday from noon until 2pm. Two teas will be featured each day. We thought that would be a great way for you to experience our new teas as well as some of the teas we have had for a while!

We will keep you updated with the new tea arrivals as well as an upcoming tea cupping that we will be offering this month on green teas.

Please not that we will be closed Sunday July 4th so that we can join in the festivities with our friends and family. In the meantime, have a wonderful, safe holiday and we'll look forward to seeing you in the tea room very soon!