March 28, 2024

A Tea Taster’s Glossary

Have you ever wondered what some of the terms mean that are used to describe the taste of your favorite teas?  Below is a glossary to help you navigate the world of tea tasting. AROMA The odor of the tea liquor and the infused leaf, is also called nose or fragrance. A complex aroma is often described as a bouquet. ASTRINGENT The dry, puckering quality of the liquor caused by tannins in the tea. This feeling is refreshing and invigorating. BITE A taste that is lively and brisk. BODY The tactile sensation of weight and substance of the liquor experienced in the mouth. The impression of viscosity is not due solely to the amount of soluble solids, but is accentuated by flavor and pungency. In black teas, full […]
March 28, 2024

Basic Tea Information & Brewing Times

TEA BASICS Everything you need to know to begin your journey into the wonderful world of tea! The word tea comes from the Chinese local Amoy dialect word t’e (pronounced “tay”). In Cantonese it became ch’a (pronounced “chah”)  Legend places the introduction of tea drinking to the reign of Emperor Shen Nung about 2737 BC. The first history book (and handbook) of tea was written in 780 AD, called The Ch’a Ching, by Lu Yu. The most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, tea can be served hot or iced at any time and for any occasion. In the late 1700’s the United States protested high taxes and staged many protests (like the Boston Tea Party). This resulted in tea losing popularity in the US […]
March 27, 2024
Coffee Love

Coffee Tips for Brewing the Perfect Cup

Enjoying a perfectly brewing the perfect cup of coffee at home is easy and affordable. So don’t worry about getting dressed and jumping in the car for a cup, we’ve got you covered with easy tips for brewing the perfect cup of your favorite brew. Simple Tips for Brewing the Perfect Cup Avoid Reheating Coffee in the Microwave We all like to drink our coffee hot, but this is one tip you can easily understand. There are a couple reasons reheating your coffee in the microwave is not recommended. Microwaves do not evenly heat items. It is best to drink your coffee as soon as it’s ready. The longer you let coffee sit out, the more bitter it becomes. And re-heating coffee also results in a bitter taste. […]
March 27, 2024
Coffee Lover's Information

Information for Coffee Lovers

The word coffee is derived from the Arabic word “qahwah”, meaning “that which gives strength”. The coffee tree was first discovered centuries ago in Ethiopia, although it’s use has now spread to every country in the world. Coffee is the fruit, or berry, of an evergreen bush. Each bush yields about 2,000 berries a year, enough for a pound of roasted coffee. Initially coffee was prepared as a food by tribes who would crush the cherries and mix them with animal fat to give them energy. Coffee was also used in Africa as a wine made from the fermenting coffee cherries mixed with water. By 1000AD the Arabs began mixing crushed coffee with boiling water, which would soon evolve into the beverage we are most familiar with these […]
May 10, 2022

Sip Birthday Tea Blend to celebrate your day!

Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! – Dr. Seuss We are quite excited to announce the addition of a new Birthday Cake Tea Blend to our line of delicious, hand-crafted flavored teas. Made on a base of caffeine-free organic green Rooibos, Birthday Cake tea is simple and scrumptious! This tea resembles a classic vanilla birthday cake mix. With the aroma of sweet buttercream frosting and the taste of creamy vanilla cake, it will bring back favorite birthday memories and hopefully create new ones! This tea tin even comes with a special, colorful label that makes it even more festive. This new blend joins our list of over 375 tea & botanical blends. All blends are […]
February 23, 2022
Joan & Jim Harron

The Life of Jim Harron Sr. – and the Legacy of a Four Decade Long Tea Connoisseur

As many of you know we lost our patriarch, Jim Harron Sr., on January 18th. Through the many hundreds of emails, posts, and cards that you sent us we know what an influence Jim had on your lives. He had an insatiable curiosity about people, places, art, food, and life experiences that allowed him to connect with so many different people. He was a truly wonderful and special man. In the 15 or so years I’ve been coming to S&V every interaction with Jim was such a pleasant experience. From his stories, to just his general demeanor, the occasions I got to interact with Jim are great memories. Just last month or so I brought a friend to S&V for the first time and we got to chat […]
September 10, 2021

Change up your Teas with the changing seasons

How did I know Summer was ending? I went for a cup of tea this afternoon and instinctively put on the kettle; I didn’t reach in the fridge for the iced tea. This inadvertent action made be realize that Summer is fading away and Fall is right around the corner. I took a look outside in surprise and it confirmed this notion; the trees are ever so slowly fading from vibrant green, the weather has a little cold snappiness in the early morning and evenings, and my gardens have changed from lupines, peonies and monarda to sedum, black eyed susans and goldenrod. Fall is coming people, so put on the kettle for Teas for Changing Seasons – the pumpkin, the chai, the apple teas. I went looking in […]
May 7, 2021

S&V’s Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble tea wins a 2021 Gold sofi™ award!

Simpson & Vail, is thrilled to announce that their popular Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble Dessert Tea has won a Gold award as part of the Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) 2021 sofi™ Awards, a top honor in the $158 billion specialty food industry. Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble Dessert Tea was one of 130 winners selected from nearly 1,500 entries across 49 product categories. This dessert tea was sampled in a blind taste test, against competitors in the Tea category, by a panel of judges consisting of food professionals such as chefs, specialty food buyers, food journalists and culinary instructors. Teas were judged based on flavor, appearance, texture and aroma as well as ingredients used in the blend. “This dessert tea has been a winner with our customers and we are honored […]
April 29, 2021

Tea in the time of COVID

Tea in the Time of COVID – From teas and coffee beans to paper products and packaging, importers are reporting on the various reasons that COVID-19 is slowing international logistics to a crawl. Covid-19 is making the imports of products from international markets more difficult, and our products are no exception. Increased demand for tea over the last year has been a blessing to mail order companies such as ourselves.  At the same time, the disruption in the supply chain, causing shortages and an increase in the time it is taking to secure and receive products, has increased our workload and our anxiety (hence our new Calm herbal blend!).  All supplies from teas, herbs, bags, tins etc. are increasing in cost and are decreasing in availability.  These shortages have […]
August 22, 2020

Tips for Brewing the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Enjoying a perfectly brewing the perfect cup of coffee at home is easy and affordable. So don’t worry about getting dressed and jumping in the car for a cup, we’ve got you covered with easy tips for brewing the perfect cup of your favorite brew. Simple Tips for Brewing the Perfect Cup Avoid Reheating Coffee in the Microwave We all like to drink our coffee hot, but this is one tip you can easily understand. There are a couple reasons reheating your coffee in the microwave is not recommended. Microwaves do not evenly heat items. It is best to drink your coffee as soon as it’s ready. The longer you let coffee sit out, the more bitter it becomes. And re-heating coffee also results in a bitter taste. […]