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January 30, 2012

Tea and Chocolate – A Perfect Match!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:42 am





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January 23, 2012


Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 9:59 am


This week we are celebrating Chinese New Year – the year of the  Dragon!  You are a Dragon, if you are born in one of the following years: 1904, 1916, 1928, 1940,1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000 and 2012.

The Dragon Personality:

Occupying the 5th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Dragon is the mightiest of the signs. Dragons symbolize such character traits as dominance and ambition. Dragons prefer to live by their own rules and if left on their own, are usually successful. They’re driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. They’re passionate in all they do and they do things in grand fashion. Unfortunately, this passion and enthusiasm can leave Dragons feeling exhausted and interestingly, unfulfilled.

While Dragons frequently help others, rarely will they ask for help. Others are attracted to Dragons, especially their colorful personalities, but deep down, Dragons prefer to be alone. Perhaps that is because they’re most successful when working alone. Their preference to be alone can come across as arrogance or conceitedness, but these qualities aren’t applicable. Dragons have tempers that can flare fast!

Celebrate the Year of the Dragon with Souvia:


(100g or larger)


….and if you are a Dragon, come in this week, show us your drivers’s license and get a FREE custom brewed tea!


(Happy New Year!)

January 19, 2012

Tea creates Community!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 9:51 am

Adam, a member of our Souvia family stocked up on tea before heading off to what was supposed to be a surprise visit to Wisconsin where he wanted to spend the holidays with his family. When we saw him at the store again after he had returned, he told us about his adventurous journey and how he and Souvia tea kept many stranded holiday travelers warm. His story shows how a small gesture can go a long way, and therefore I wanted to share it with all of you! It is truly a Christmas story:

December 22 I headed on the road to Minnesota to surprise my family for Christmas. Within 30 minutes north of Fountain hills, I hit snow. When I got to Grant, New Mexico, , NM before the roads closedown…ALL the rced closed by the state! There was no way
out…all we could do is wait out the storm. At our exit, there was a trucker stop with a small  restaurant and gas station. There was 3 persons managing the restaurant and one  the gas station. Organizing 1,000 stranded travelers was not their cup of tea.

 The called the cops, and eventually around midnight the local police organized  with the red cross to set up 3 shelters for everyone to spend the night. We  were told the roads won’t open up till 7am.

We get to my shelter (a church cafeteria)…as you can see, it  is FULL. People are laying down in the hallway, under the stairs, and even 2
men camped out in the bathroom (it was warmer in there). The gentleman in the  white vest and red shirt was the ONLY red cross worker at our shelter, and  there was one gentleman who was a member of the church trying to organize  everyone, plus attempt to answer millions of questions. They had hot coffee,  hot water, and FROZEN bottles of water that they were quickly trying to thaw in  the kitchen sink.

Right away I noticed 2 Hispanic families, 12 folks, standing  to the side looking confused and lost on what to do. I guess no one was able or
maybe willing to speak Spanish to them in order to give them a heads up one what was going on. I started chatting with them, got their info for the red  cross and got them 4 cots to sleep on. One of the little girls asked if she could have some water; and unfortunately all the water is frozen, or hot. So  then I asked her if she would like some tea that tastes like apple cider. I ran  to my car, grabbed my collection of Souvia teas and brewed her a cup of harvest  moon. I then brewed 8 more cups for the family.

While brewing the cups, several other travelers were staring  at me. Eventually I yelled out, “Would anyone else like a cup of hot tea?” A
  line started to form up and I made about 40 more cups of tea. In the middle of  a brew, I ran to my car to grab a pumpkin pie, apple pie, and coffee cake that  I was saving for my family in MN. I brought it in and cut them up into small  pieces for everyone to snack on.

Sometime during this time, the red cross volunteer stood up  on a table and asked for everyone’s attention. A family had run out of formula
for their baby, and he was asking if anyone else in the room had formula  available, two people said yes, and went to their car to grab it. Then he mentioned, “this young gentleman back in the kitchen is brewing hot tea for everyone, and he has brought in pies and goodies from his car if anyone needs  that midnight snack.” About 10 people stood, and didn’t come to the kitchen,  but left the building. The soon came back from their cars with more snacks,  chips, cookies, and non-frozen bottles of water! We had a nice little selection  of a feast for everyone, and I continued to make more teas.

The best part of the whole experience was hearing the  stories of the other stranded people. I personally was 20ish hours away from
 Minnesota, but would still make it in time for Christmas. Some were just trying to get to Albuquerque, just 40 minutes away. Other travelers were headed to  Alabama, Mississippi and other southern states, where they would not make it  for Christmas. It pulled at our hearts, that they would be spending the holiday  on the road because of the delays caused by the storm. We were all very happy  to at least spread a little spirit and joy by providing the comfort of some  good snacks and a great hot cup of  (SOUVIA) tea.



January 17, 2012

Beat the Flu with Echinacea

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am


Echinacea is your first defense against cold and flu viruses. Don’t waste time, though! When I notice a tickle in my throat or feel achy and weak, I immediately take 40 drops of Echinacea tincture every three hours.

Echinacea is an immune system stimulant and if taken immediately at the onset of a cold/flu, can prevent a full blown break out.  I always keep a batch of Echinacea tincture on hand. Combined with rest and vitamin-rich food, you are likely to make a quick recovery!

Instead of buying expensive herbal extracts/tinctures, you can easily make these at home. For the Echinacea tincture, you need the following:

–  Dried Echinacea (Echinacea Pururea, Echinacea Angustofolia) cut and sifted

-A clean glass jar (mason jar )

–  Solvent of choice (grain alcohol such as Vodka, vegetable glycerin)

–  Funnel, Labels, small tincture bottles


Place 1 part of the herb to 5 parts liquid in the jar. Liquid needs to cover the herb well. Label the  jar (name of herb and date)  and place the jar in a warm, dark place for at least 4 weeks. The longer the herb sits in the solvent, the more potent the tincture will be. Shake the jar daily and add more liquid if necessary.

Strain the tincture through a fine wire-mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth or coffee filter, in to a measuring cup.

Pour the liquid carefully into dark bottles, using a funnel and label these with the name of the herbal and date of preparation.

Your Echinacea tincture will keep for 3 years!

Don’t know where to get the herb Echinacea?

Try Souvia – we just got certified organic, cut and sifted Echinacea Angustofolia in!

January 9, 2012

Yixing Teapots – A Work of Art!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 9:13 am


They may be small, but what they lack in size they make up in originality and creative design. Yixing pots (yee-shing), named after the town where they are crafted, are prized by collectors all over the world. What makes these tea pots so special? It is the clay (zisha) they are made out of. The clay, which can only be found in the southern portion of Jiangsu province, about 120 miles northwest of Shanghai in China, has three characteristic colors: light buff, cinnabar red and purplish brown. The blue and dusty black also found with Yixing pots is achieved by mixing certain minerals into the clay.


Tea aficionados consider Yixing pots superior vessels for tea brewing because the purple clay is porous and absorbs small amounts of tea with every brewing. The patina which develops over time retains some of the flavor and scent of the tea brewed in the pot which explains why it is best to chose one particular (your favorite) tea for brewing in this pot. Some tea drinkers will swear that after repeated use, you can fill the pot with hot water and still get a good cup of tea out of it.

Typically used for Oolong teas, these pots only hold a small amount of water.  But this allows for maximum tea/water contact, producing a great cup of tea.  Most oolong teas can be infused 3 or more times in these pots making them as functional as larger pots despite their size.

Yixing pots are hand crafted and often multiple colors are applied and inlaid to achieve the unique and fascinating designs. There are hundreds of styles, shapes, and designs available from simple to intricate.

Visit us at Souvia to see these unique tea pots and to take a look at our recent selection of “dragon designs” in celebration of Chinese New Year.



January 6, 2012

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 9:11 am


The holiday decorations are taken down and packed away, the last may have been cookies have been eaten, but the celebration continues. This month, we are celebrating tea – hot tea that is! Did you know that 80% of all tea consumed in the United States is iced tea? Time to change that and give the “hot stuff” a chance to catch up. Truth is, that iced tea may be refreshing, but just like wine, tea needs to be served at the right temperature in order to unfold its complex flavors.  During the month of January be an adventurous tea drinker and you just may discover your taste for something “hot”!



Nilgiri teas come from the mountains of the same name in southern India. Translated, it means “blue mountains”. Tea estates in this area are located at elevations of 3,000 to 6,000 feet.  Much of the tea produced here remains in the domestic market or is exported to Russia. Domestically, the tea is a popular base for the traditional masala chai. Fortunately,  this tea has found its way to the United States and has become quite popular.

Nilgiri is harvested from December until March which is the dry season for that particular region.


Nilgiri teas offer the discerning tea drinker the medium body of north Indian teas with the aromatic characteristics of some of the best Ceylon teas. They brew up a copper color and are less astringents than a Ceylon or Darjeeling. Nilgiri can be enjoyed by themselves (called “self drinker”) or with a little milk and sugar.

A nice cup for any time of day!