April 2, 2018

New Literary Tea: Maya Angelou!

Creating a tea blend to honor an inspiring and influential woman Poet, Author, Dancer, Actor, Singer, Activist, Teacher … Maya Angelou was a true Renaissance Woman.  Born Marguerite Johnson, Dr. Maya Angelou has inspired millions around the globe.  Her honest, witty, insightful books and her uplifting poetry and prose give us a fresh way to look at the world around us. Her numerous speeches, writings and interviews offer us the gift of her intelligence and grace to carry with us throughout our years.  In a May 28, 2014 interview Dr. Angelou said “What I really want to do is be a representative of my race.  The human race.  I have a chance to show how kind we can be.  How intelligent and generous we can be.  I have […]
March 13, 2018

New Teas from around the Globe

Great news from the tea sippers at Simpson & Vail. We’re thrilled to offer you 16 new teas from around the world! We had a very enjoyable time sipping samples of various teas before settling on the selection below. Colombia: Read our blog post here about seven new Colombian teas: black, green and blended. China: Cangyuan Yunnan Organic Black Tea This exquisite organic tea is grown in Cangyuan county, a remote location in western Yunnan.  It is comprised of long black and tippy leaves interspersed with ample golden buds.  It brews to an amber colored cup with the slight aroma of pipe tobacco and a smooth, creamy, slightly sweet full-bodied taste.   Da Hong Pao Organic Oolong Tea This exquisite Oolong tea comes from the Song Meng Garden […]
March 7, 2018

Seven New Teas from Bitaco Tea in Colombia

Freshly picked and blended in Colombia In October 2017 we were pleased to have Santiago and Andres from Bitaco Tea visit us in Brookfield.  Besides putting a face to the voice on the phone, it was fantastic to hear more about their history and operations.  Bitaco Tea is an offshoot of a very well known branded teabag tea Te Hindu.  After many years, and much success, in the teabag market they decided to cultivate a new market with orthodox teas.  Knowing much about teabag production but not enough about orthodox processing and organic growing methods, they set out to hire some of the best in the tea world to consult with them on their new venture.  The results have been outstanding and every tea shipment we get from […]
January 7, 2017

Matcha Tea – The Tea that’s on everyone’s lips

  It’s National Hot Tea Month and I don’t think we can have a discussion about tea without highlighting the hottest tea trend right now  Matcha green tea. Matcha is a powdered green tea grown in Japan and used in the famous Japanese tea ceremony.  It is also made in small quantities in other countries such as China and Vietnam, although tea producers in these countries use a different leaf than in Japan. Today this lovely tea is consumed in a variety of ways.  It is prepared in the traditional manner, made into lattes and other beverages and is added to smoothies, cakes, cookies and more as an ingredient in baking. Production Matcha is grown in the same way as Gyokuro tea.  When new shoots on the tea bush […]
June 20, 2016

The Eight Limbs of Yoga – An Introduction

  In honor of International Yoga Day (June 21st) we offer this brief introduction to the practice of yoga, the eight limbs of yoga. When people think of yoga, they associate the practice with the physical movement of the body in a variety of poses.  This, however, is only one aspect of yoga.  Yoga is about a way of life, a road-map (if you will) of how to live your life.  In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali details the steps one should take to enrich their lives and reach enlightenment.  He describes the eight limbs of yoga.  The physical movement of the body in postures is actually called Asanas and is the 3rd limb.     The first two limbs are Yama and Niyama and correspond to our approach […]
June 6, 2016

Test your knowledge of Iced Teas!

How much do you know about Iced Tea?  June is National Iced Tea Month so we’re celebrating with specials on a variety of iced tea blends throughout the month.  Test your iced tea knowledge below!   1) Iced tea became popular in: 1904, 1875, 1776, 1935 1904 at the Louisiana Exposition (St. Louis Fair) click here to read our blog on the origins of Iced Tea. 2) Iced tea was introduced to the masses by: Sir Thomas Lipton, Martha Washington, Richard Blechynden, Betsy Ross Richard Blechynden – click here to read our blog about Iced Teas 3) Of the tea drunk in the US, iced tea accounts for: 25%, 50%, 73%, 85% Currently 85% of all tea consumed in the US is Iced Tea according to the Tea […]
January 6, 2016

Enjoy National Hot Tea Month

January is recognized as national hot tea month – so let’s celebrate! You can start new habits and make new plans any time of the year, however, January is generally regarded as the month of re-birth and re-discovery.  The New Year is our opportunity to meditate on the previous year and make plans for the coming year.  It’s a time to assess the aspects of our life that are going well and work on the areas that need improvement.  While you contemplate the direction your life will take this year don’t forget to put on the kettle!     With 31 days to delve into the tea world we’ve listed a few suggestions below to help you make the most of National Tea Month this year.     […]
November 20, 2015

Literary Tea Line: Bronte Sisters, Potter, Carroll

This is the final blog of our Literary Tea Line introduction series. We only have three authors left and, as you can see in the title, they are some big names. This week, we’ll go through the life of the Bronte sisters, Beatrix Potter, and Lewis Carroll and explain why we chose the blends we did for each of them. First off, we have the the Bronte sisters. We decided to make one tea blend for all three so we didn’t have to choose between them. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne lived and wrote in Yorkshire, England. Born in 1816, 1818 and 1820, respectively, the sisters lived very short lives, with Charlotte living the longest at 38. During their tragically truncated lifetimes, each sister produced novels that would become […]
November 14, 2015

Literary Tea Line: Dostoyevsky, Joyce, Dickinson, Whitman

To continue our series of Literary Tea introduction blogs, we move on to some authors who are less well-known. You may have heard their names before or be familiar with their work, but these four don’t command the same immediate recognition that Shakespeare, Austen, and Dickens enjoy. Some of the greatest works of literature require a knowledge of multiple languages or a great translator to be enjoyed by English readers. Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote many such novels. He was born in Moscow in 1821 and spent the first sixteen years of his life among the orphans, criminals, and asylum patients with whom his father worked. The 1846 publication of his novel Poor Folk gave the young Dostoyevsky his first taste of literary fame, but it is Crime & Punishment […]
November 6, 2015

Literary Tea Line: Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens

The Literary Tea Line is here! To introduce this brand new collection of tins, we’ve written a series of blogs that will provide both a short biography for each of the authors we’ve been inspired by and an explanation for how we decided what goes into their blend. Each of these authors provided unique challenges and we did our best to make sure that our tea blends captured their individuality. The scents and flavors of these blends will transport you to the cities and countries that your favorite characters knew and loved. Curl up with your favorite book and enjoy a cup of tea inspired by the life and works of its author. This week, our blog will focus on an introductory set of authors with whom everyone’s […]