March 28, 2024
Tea pickers

Tea Processing

The following information is a quick overview of the intricate process that creates high quality teas. Tea plantings begin from propagation (cutting or transplanted root branches) and clonal leaf cuttings. The new plants are raised in a nursery and are transplanted when they reach an average height of 6-8 inches, which takes roughly 6 months. These new tea bushes remain untouched for 2 years and obtain a height of 5-6 feet. At that time they are sheared down to a foot and pruned weekly to keep them at waist height (perfect for picking). These new bushes will not produce a commercial yield for 3-5 years depending on the growing conditions. Once the bushes have reached maturity tea processing begins. The process of creating teas depends exclusively on the […]
March 28, 2024

Caffeine & Decaf Tea Information

Decaffeinated Tea Information Co2 process: Super critical carbon dioxide (co2) uses highly pressurized carbon dioxide, the gas that adds bubbles to mineral water, to dissolve caffeine from tea leaves. At pressure of 250-350 times atmospheric pressure, co2 takes on the density of a liquid and the viscosity of a gas, which makes an efficient solvent. In its pressurized state, co2 is pumped into a sealed chamber containing tea, where it is allowed to circulate to remove the caffeine. From there it is pumped into a washing vessel where water or activated charcoal is used to separate the caffeine from the co2. The purified co2 is recirculated into the pressurized chamber. This process is repeated until the appropriate amount of caffeine has been removed. The major advantages are that […]
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 […]
April 20, 2022

Gifts for Mother’s Day – 2022

Our Mother’s Day Gift Guide shows you top gifts for Mom from the 2022 S&V catalog! For Mom 3 Tin Gift Box Our top pick for the Mother’s Day Gift Guide is our For Mom Tea Giftbox! This box contains 3 1oz tins of tea (enough to make 10-12 cups of tea) and contains a decorative card with tea descriptions, ingredients and brewing information. The clear top tins allow you to see each of the beautiful teas before making your selection. Packaged in a lovely black gift box and secured with a colorful band, these boxes make fabulous gifts! Teas included are: Victorian Earl Grey, Mother’s Day Blend & Women’s Tonic. Unit Price: $26.95 Come For Tea Book This glorious 134-page hardcover book will become your “go to” […]
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 […]
November 4, 2021

Simpson & Vail’s Holiday Gift Guide – 2021

Simpson & Vail’s Holiday Sampler Gift Box Our Holiday tea sampler is the top pick for the 2021 Holiday Gift Guide! This sampler offers all 10 of our holiday teas in an elegant black gift box. This box features: Candy Cane Organic Rooibos, Figgy Pudding green, Gingerbread black, Holiday Blend, Nutcracker black, Roasted Chestnut Rooibos, St. Nick’s black, Sugar Plum Fairy Rooibos, White Chocolate Peppermint, & Winter Wonderland. Unit Price: $29.95 Christmas Teatime Book: Celebrating the Holiday with Afternoon Tea If you’re thinking of hosting a special tea celebration over the holidays then this colorful 134-page hardcover book will be a wonderful asset. More than 90 delectable recipes, (from scones, to savories, to sweets) along with 10 beautiful table settings, will serve as an inspiration in planning your […]