Teaki Bars

September 25, 2012 | 0

Now that we’ve released our brand new exciting ice pop line “Teaki Bars”, its time to take a moment and look into the essence of a Popsicle.

Ice pops were first invented in the early 1900′s when a boy left out his jug of soda with a stick in it outside while how was playing. Overnight, the temperature reached below zero and the soda froze in its container. When the boy came out the next day, he realized he couldn’t drink the soda anymore. Throughout the course of the day, it got hotter and the ice melted just enough for him to pull the stick and the soda out and start licking his frozen soda. Thus, the ice pop was born. He patented this brand new frozen treat but then sold it later on to a company in New York called Popsicle. Just like a Band- Aid, the brand name has become the term we all use to generically call the product. Popsicle has hundreds of concoctions on a stick that they have sold over the years.

None of these are as healthy or as delicious as our Teaki Pops. Made with fresh ingredients and hand crafted, they are one of a kind. Not only that, but we are looking forward to experimenting with new flavors and trying new combinations that are both interesting and tasty. Our Mango Habanero is the newest, with only one habanero per ten pops, it was difficult for us to pair our fresh peppers with a fruit sweet enough not to set your mouth on fire. The Caramel Apple, our fall seasonal pop, with fresh slices of apple in it will give you those fresh notes that the fall season brings. Other classic flavors are Strawberry Pineapple, where the juicy pineapple breaks off so smoothly, classic Strawberry Banana, Honey Vanilla Chai, Acai Banana, Mango Smoothie, Peach Pear Apricot, Raspberry Mint, and Strawberry Mojito. We look forward to coming up with new combinations and will always be mixing flavors to bring you the most delicious pops possible but for now, stop in and try one.

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Açai Bowls Are Here

July 28, 2012 | 0

            

          Açai. It’s known as the “superfruit”. This powerful berry gets its nickname because of all the wonderful health benefits it has for us humans. In fact the açai berry is known for having a very high antioxidant, vitamin, mineral, and fiber count. Found in South and Central America deep in the Amazon rainforest, the açai berry is a deep purple one inch berry that scientists don’t really know about. What they do know is that it’s rich in anthocyanins and flavonoids which prevent us from going crazy when life throws us something we don’t expect. They are used as anti-stressors and antioxidants and can be found in any berries that range from a dark blue to a deep purple in color. The açai berry, being almost black is very rich and anthocyanins and flavonoids. These chemicals prevent free radicals from roaming around in your body which can leave you feeling more energized and regulates your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Açai also helps with weight loss because the high fiber levels act as an appetite suppressant. It has become a staple in most restaurants that feature healthy diets and nutritional wellness.

 

           We here at Tea Largo act as kind of a power plant that harvests energy from the açai berry and brings it to you for fuel for your everyday life. Packed with punching flavor our açai bowls are something definitely worth trying. With the ability to add toppings such as sliced bananas, granola, and strawberries, it’s a great kick start your busy day. other healthy toppings include goji berries, cacao nibs, and chia seeds. Chia seeds are more digestible than flax seeds and other nutritional substances. They are the richest plant source in Omega-3′s, they lower your blood pressure, and they are used as hydration for athletes. Cacao nibs are crunchy mood lifters derived from cacao, what we used to make chocolate. Goji berries pack the same exact punch as açai with all of the same amazing health benefits. So come in and try our new açai bowls. Your taste buds, and your body, will thank you.

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The Mysteries of Dragonwell

June 21, 2012 | 0

Did you know that our Dragonwell tea has magical healing powers? It gets it’s name from a special well in Hangzhou.

This tea is harvested and then pan fried in a wok to stop fermentation when put in water. Its loaded with amazing health benefits including Vitamin C, but also has a huge dose of catechin which is found in most high end green teas. in During antiquity, this well would have water in it when other wells had dried out. The Chinese thought that there was a dragon at the bottom of the well because the dragon was in charge of rain and water.
The magic doesn’t stop there. When the emperor was on an inspection, touring China. He stopped in Hangzhou to help the tea harvesters pick leaves. While there, his messenger gave him a letter saying that his mother was fatally ill. He stuffed some of the Dragonwell leaves in his pocket and hurried back to Beijing. When he arrived, she asked what the wonderful aroma was when he walked in. The Dragonwell leaves that he carried in his pockets not only made her happy, but also healed her when he brewed her a cup.
So whether it be watered by a dragon or used as a healing power, this tea has a strong reputation in Chinese proverb and is definitely worth giving a try.

Dragonwell Tea

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Tea Largo joins Perkville loyalty program

May 5, 2012 | 0

A fabulous loyalty program for our customers was very high on the shopping list while we were researching a new point-of-sale system for Tea Largo.   It was harder than it sounds.   After much much much consideration, I’m very excited to announce PERKVILLE.

We were thrilled to discover “Perkville“, a social media friendly rewards program that makes earning your rewards fun, and very beneficial to us.  In fact, its not all about what you spend in our store…because as we all know, there is tremendous value in word-of-mouth sharing.  Perkville rewards you for spreading the word about our unique store, as well as every time you stop in for your favorite healthy drink…a “win-win”!

Your social media support makes a difference.  Known to be more valuable than traditional advertising, and these “perks” are our way of saying that we REALLY appreciate you!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Enter your email into our ipad during your next store visit or join here.
  2. Look in your email inbox and accept the initial points we offer just for joining.
  3. Enter your email during each Tea Largo visit, like a Perkville “check in”.
  4. Look for all the interesting ways you can earn extra points, from each store visit to following us on Twitter.
  5. You can watch your points accrue on your Perkville account, or print out a voucher for the perk you want to redeem and bring it in.
  6. Look for occasional Perkville-only deals in your inbox also.  We dont spam, but we do will offer “thank yous” from time to time.
  7. Chill with us on Facebook…you may be picked as our “Fan of the Week” who receives 100 Perkville points!   (One winner each Monday, one PicassoZ winner each Friday, by random drawing).
  8. Have fun!   Support local business, drink healthy, and enjoy!
  9. Enter your email on PicassoZ Perkville ipad whenever you paint, pick up, or grab a gift card!  They have a different rewards structure but use your same Perkville account.
  10. Watch for other area stores to join Perkville…it’s all the buzz.

So you know, Perkville is intentionally not synced with what you purchase.  There is no need to give us your name or email in our register unless you want us to just email your receipt instead of printing.  We want to encourage you to take care of our “order ahead” program and not feel cheated out of extra points because you dont have time to wait in line.  We WILL have a way you can get credit for dollars you spend, so next week, I’ll explain it when it’s ready.

But wait!   There’s more!    I’ll detail additional new savings programs and awesome convenience features.

Thank you for supporting Tea Largo!

Sincerely,

Kristin Miller, owner

 

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Cooking with Rooibos

April 21, 2012 | 0

One of the few cooking ingredients that are indigenous to the Western Cape, South Africa is Rooibos tea. Yes, Rooibos tea is not just a tea but is a versatile cooking ingredient that’s uses go far beyond any other tea.

Introducing Rooibos tea to any dish will not only enhance the flavor and appearance of the food but at the same time it will increase its nutritional value. To add a little Rooibos tea to your favorite recipe replace the water with Rooibos tea or use some of the Rooibos cooking powder. This finely ground power can slip easily into your recipe.

Just like trying to sneak some veggies into your breads and desserts, adding rooibos to your cooking is a great way to increase it’s nutrition factor.

What’s so great about it?

Rooibos tea has no additives, preservatives or colorants. This means that it is both pure and natural. It is low in tannin so it does’t interfere with the body’s absorption of iron and protein and can be safely consumed in unlimited quantities. The strong antioxidants present in Rooibos tea fight the free radicals which are known to cause ageing and the breaking down of the immunity system. The soothing effect of Rooibos as well as it’s caffeine free properties, make it ideal for people suffering from irritability, insomnia and mild hypertension or depression. It is an excellent source of manganese, fluoride and calcium which are essential for strong bones and teeth. It also contains potassium, copper and iron which are vital for various metabolic functions. Rooibos also promotes a healthy nervous system as it contains magnesium. Oh, it also has zinc and alpha hydroxy acid which promote healthy skin.

Wow, what a tea! We have several Rooibos recipes on our pinterest board, but my mom is willing to share her Sweet Potato Bread recipe with you. Try it, it is out of this world.

So brew yourself a cup and bake yourself a loaf. it is TEAlicios!

Rooibos Sweet Potato Bread

1 3/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3/4 cup canola oil

3 eggs

1/2 cup maraschino cherries (cut in half)

1/2 cup milk

1 15oz can sweet potatoes (drained and mashed)

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped nuts

1 Tbs rooibos powder (for cooking)

Mix oil, eggs milk, sugar, vanilla, add drained and mashed sweet potatoes and cherries. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients. Blend together with oil mix, add remaining ingredients.

Spray your loaf pans with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes

Makes 4 small loaves

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Watt’s all the Fuss about Earth Hour?

March 21, 2012 | 0

Tea Largo and PicassoZ Art Cafe are so excited about going dark(er) for Earth Hour this year!

It all began as a simple idea. A positive act to join us in climate change awareness.  Sydney, Australia began the movement in 2007. I first heard about it in 2008 when Google flipped their screen to black to participate in the 2nd year of the event. My, how it has grown. As of the 2011 count there are 135 countries participating along with over 5,200 international cities and iconic landmarks all over the world. In every time zone between 8:30-9:30pm, we will watch as some of the world’s largest cities, from New York to Berlin, Sydney to Toronto go dark. Some of the world’s most recognized landmarks like Buckingham Palace, Golden Gate Bridge,Table Mountain, Christ the Redeemer statue, The Pyramids, The Forbidden City, Sydney Opera House and The Coliseum and so on, will shut off their lights for Earth Hour. The momentum continues,  just 2 days ago, the Empire State building committed to Earth Hour’s 2012 event. It is a universal message of hope and action to protect the one thing that unites us all – the planet.  More than just trying to put a dent in your city’s energy consumption, Earth Hour to me is about showing that together our simple actions add up.  Go beyond Earth Hour. Do those little “greener” things every day. They add up!

This year we at Tea Largo, will be participating in Earth Hour by going dark and powering down on our non-essential lighting for 60 minutes. Between 8:30 and 9:30pm while all of our tables have candles we will also be sampling a few of our organic teas, offering discounts on some of our favorite reuseable items. Our popular Lug-A-Mug promo will be back for Earth Hour too. Lug a reuseable tumbler in for your favorite tea or hand-crafted beverage and we will give you 50% off !   (Remember, our sizes only go up to 24 oz, so the big gulp bladder busters won’t work!)

Whether you come up for some tea by candlelight or stay home for the evening, we encourage you to go dark for Earth Hour and join the world in this amazing event. It is overwhelming to feel that you have added to this amazing event by flipping the switch. It is, pardon the pun, EMPOWERING.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FovYv8vf5_E

-Shelly Grogan

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What is Matcha Green Tea?

March 18, 2012 | 0

We think it's the world's healthiest drink

Tea Largo is all about being “green”.   Eco-friendly?  Amphibious?  Actually more herbivorous.  Our “green” is matcha.  Let’s find out what is so special about matcha, which Dr. Oz even touts for weight loss in this article.

Normally, tea is “infused”.   Tea leaves and some hot water for a few minutes.  Remove leaves and you have the world’s most consumed beverage, after water.   But nfusing tea can “water down” (for lack of a better term) some of health benefits of the leaves. But matcha IS special.   You’ve certainly heard of the health benefits of green tea (an “infusion”).   How about consuming the leaves themselves!?  That’s matcha!   Stone-ground bright green tea leaves full of antioxidant goodness…all of it is in your cup.

Japanese Tea Ceremonies as far back as 800 years, used matcha leaves and prepared them “Koicha” which means thick, almost to a syrupy consistency. All of the veins and the stems were removed and then the leaves were steamed and dried. The dried leaves were ground to a fine powder, almost like talc.

Uji Tawara is the region responsible for this health phenomenon. These mountains produce matcha leaves, gyokuro leaves, sencha leaves, and shincha leaves. This region is ideal for growing high quality tea leaves because of its sloping hills and year round misty climate.

Thankfully, you can shop local!  Tea Largo has been Central Florida’s matcha mecca since owner Kristin Miller “discovered” it at a tea trade show in 2007.

Visit our Facebook menu app to see our variations of matcha beverages, hot, iced and frozen, in smoothies and lattes, as well as “traditional” matcha.  The taste of traditional matcha has been described as “vegetal” or “grassy”, but most of our customers have come to LOVE the exotic, healthful flavor of matcha since matcha is known to give an energy boost without jitters.

We also offer a variety of premium matchas for you to prepare at home.  (Matcha preparation is another whole article!)  If you’d like to purchase matcha online, we’d love for you to order through our loose tea Amazon affiliate, Tealargo.net.  For baking and smoothie recipes, visit Tea Largo’s Pinterest Board of Matcha Green Tea.

Yeah, it's healthy.

Health Benefits & Reports

 

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Why Monkey-Picked Oolong Makes Us Go Bananas

February 27, 2012 | 0

Looking on the shelf at Tea Largo and trying to pick out a new tea to try can be very frustrating. This may be because there’s an entire wall of options, but if you have a budget, especially for loose leaf tea, the price point may be deterring. Take our most expensive tea, the Monkey Picked Oolong at a whopping $19.50 per 2 ounces. HOW CAN SILLY TEA BE THIS EXPENSIVE?!?! Well, I’ll tell you. I have tried the Monkey Picked Oolong and it is honestly worth every penny. It’s smooth and refreshing, just like our other oolongs, my personal favorite being the Coconut Pouchong. But let’s keep that for another article.  Monkey Picked Oolong? Seriously, it’s just leaves from some place in China. What is so gosh darn special? Two key factors go into the pricing and tea: time and accessibility.

Some tea leaves have a very small window to be harvested, sometimes as little as one month out of the entire year. That gives everybody a small chance to pick enough leaves to satisfy the world until the next season. We try to get our hands on the finest of the finest to bring to our store for you to take to your home. With all precious and scarce resources, the price goes up.

Also, how easy to reach are these leaves? Have you ever been out to pick blackberries? They are a pain to harvest. Take it from me, who has gone out in the middle of summer in long clothes and overalls to brave the briar filled bushes to possible find a morsel of a berry that hasn’t been gnawed on by and animal or that doesn’t have thorns surrounding it. After an exhausting time of what I thought was being productive picking berries, we looked at our gallon bucked and realized it was only half full. That was depressing. What did my cute little anecdote have to do with tea? Products that are more accessible and less labor intensive cost less money. This rule applies especially to tea.  As legend has it, Monkey-Picked Oolong got its name because the Buddhist monks deep in the Southern Chinese forests actually trained primates to climb tall trees and gather leaves for them. The leaves on the tops of these trees are the youngest, therefore, the freshest, and thus gives it the light ethereal taste I so love. Some harvesters may still ask these monkeys politely every year if they will help in retrieving these leaves to share with the world. Others have ditched this method and use a different technique to reach these high leaves (I’m thinking a very, very long fork).

So, when you’re making the decision to try something new, don’t nix the Monkey Picked Oolong or any of our more pricey teas right off the bat. High up on the rigid sides of the Fijian Province, atop one of the Ti Kuan Yin trees, there’s a wonderful, young leave waiting to be infused and enjoyed.  When you order this tea, you can be assured you are in store for one of finest handcrafted teas on Earth, and it’s an experience like no other.

By Audrey Worboys

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Tea Largo’s Boba Tea Love…from “I’m just not into you” to Unquenchable Desire.

February 18, 2012 | 0

I did alot of experimenting at our first pottery painting studio on S. Florida Ave back in 2002.    Our coffee bar served lattes and blended drinks, mostly to satisfy our own espresso needs, since we had no Sbux.   I’ve always been a big fan of specialty drinks…remember Santa’s White Christmas Coffee Cooler?   I ordered samples of exotic colorful beverages from a trade mag, certain my trend-loving staff of high school and college students would freak out.

Ok, I didnt get the mutually enthusiastic response at the unveiling…in fact, they thought I’d lost my mind and NO WAY were they going to suggestive sell this thing to customers.  Uh, cooked tapioca pearls?   You know this is Lakeland, right, Kristin?    Yea, yea, ok I get it.  I think of the Friend’s episode when Jennifer Aniston got “caught” in her lingerie then tried to say her “dress” was the latest thing from France, had to wear it out in public…then notes “…America noooooot reeeady”.

Well, little did I realize that boba tea shops were actually sprouted up all over the country.   I still believed in the “boba tea” concept and we continued to enjoy it whenever we were in the big cities…visiting Kaleisia Tea Lounge in Tampa, or the Asian market area of downtown Orlando. We would try again when we opened  Tea Largo in 2007.

Word spread.  They fell in love. When tapioca pearls are cooked fresh, they are AMA-ZING.  Yummy.  Gooey.  Sweet.  Perfect. Crave-able.

Let me just say…making boba is a bit of a pain for my staff.   It takes over an hour, so it’s an art to judge movie traffic, closing time, and whether the Mutz family will be in.   If it cooks a minute too long, it can take an extra 5 to clean the pot.  We make several batches on a busy Saturday!  But it’s worth it. By FAR, our most popular item!   Iced AND frozen!

You’ll love adding boba to loose leaf iced teas, when you want something “lighter”.  Add a creamer, and you’ve got a milk tea.  What’s my favorite, you ask?   A “large nonfat iced matcha latte with extra matcha & boba”, but Bavarian Roasted Almond iced tea with creamer & boba is a close second.

Yummo, boba goodness in little ole Lakeland, FL.  Thank you, Polk County, for your support, and affirmation.  I just KNEW you’d love boba drinks!  Here’s a gift:  Have a boba tea “on the house”! Print this voucher for a .

Cheers,

Kristin

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Enter our “FREE drinks for a month” Sweepstakes

February 13, 2012 | 1
Enter to win free drinks for a month

Enter to win 31 drink passes! A month of free drinks!

Enter for a change to win Tea Largo drinks for a month! 31drinks actually! Yes, we are giving away 31 complimentary beverages to one lucky winner who won’t go thirsty in the month of March. We will draw a random entry on Leap Day. You’ll want to tell your friends about this…because if THEY win, they may not be able to use all those drink passes! These 31 drink passes are valid for ANY drink, ANY size!

Iced Matcha Lattes, Bubble Teas, Blended Coffees, Fruit Smoothies, Chai Lattes, Iced Teas, Black Tea Lattes, Mayan Spiced Cocoa…ok, ready to enter? Enter on our Facebook page.

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