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January 30, 2015

Take Good Care of Your Throat!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:00 am



Flu season is still in full swing and  living in the arid climate of Arizona often leaves you with a dry and scratchy throat. There is an easy and tasty way to help bring relief: Sage!

Aside from using it in an herbal infusion, use your dried sage leaves and turn them into a delicious syrup that even your kids will like.

For the syrup you will need

3/4 cup honey

1/4 cup water

1tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp dried sage

Place the sage into the water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture and add the honey and lemon juice to the infusion.

Fill into a glass jar and keep in the refigerator for up to 3 months.




January 26, 2015

Happy Birthday Souvia!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:14 am




9th birthdayIt has been NINE years since Souvia opened its doors! The very first specialty tea store in the valley….and while we received a lot of disencouraging advice, here we are…..NINE  years later and still going strong!

We don’t want to miss the opportunity to celebrate this occasion with our wonderful customers and invite you to stop by on


SATURDAY, January 31st 


for a cake and a taste of tea!


January 23, 2015

Tea May Lower Diabetes Risk

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

German researchers at Heinrich Heine University found that tea drinkers consuming at least four cups daily are 20 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. Author Christian Herder of the Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich Heine University, said benefits are most obvious among heavy tea drinkers who do not add milk and sugar. Light tea drinkers, consuming one to three cups daily, did not appear to receive the same benefit.

“Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of Type 2 diabetes, but dietary factors may also play a role. One dietary factor of interest is tea consumption,” writes Herder. The study examined tea-drinking habits of more than 12,000 Type 2 diabetes sufferers across Europe. Drinking excessive tea prepared with milk and sugar could be quite harmful to health, according to experts.

Source: 07 Jun 2012, World Tea News LONDON, U.K.

January 19, 2015

What is Assam Tea?

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


One of the questions we frequently hear at Souvia, so I thought I’d address here in the blog and tell you a little about this famous tea growing region.

Assam is a state in the Noertheastern part of India and produces more tea than any other region in the world!!! Tea, here, is grown at sea level with the focus on premium black teas – but recently we also see green and white teas coming out of the Assam valley. While tea estates in Assam produce a fair amount of specialty teas, they are also known for the lower grade CTC leaf teas. CTC stands for “Cut, Tear, Cur” – a process in which the tea leaves are shredded into small pieces to accelerate oxidation. These teas are mostly used for the tea bag production.

The tropical climate in this area makes cultivation possible year-round which is the reason why between 60-75 percent of India’s tea production comes out of Assam. It is also the origin of the teaplant species Camellia Assamica was first discovered.

Assam teas are well liked by those who like a stronger, full-bodied brew that can handle a touch of milk and sugar. I love a cup of Assam in the morning -it’s the perfect way to get the day started.

Our best Assam comes from the Konghea Estate and is imported directly, guaranteeying you the freshest cup!

During National Hot Tea Month, come visit us and give it a try……



January 18, 2015

Tea and Chocolate – A Perfect Match!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — wbwingert @ 10:44 am

Can you imagine a chocolate chip cookie without a glass of milk, a peanut butter sandwich without jelly, vanilla ice cream without hot fudge? There are certain food combinations that take the taste from just good to simply delicious!

Wine, for example is often paired with foods and desserts to enhance the flavor in both. Tea shares many of wine’s complexities and pairing it with food can take the taste experience to another level.

Since February highlights chocolates and sweets as the perfect gift for your Valentine, why not experiment and create tea and chocolate pairings for that romantic Valentine’s dinner that will surprise and delight!

If you are asking yourself, how to get started, that is easy to answer. You want to find the characteristics in chocolate and tea that lead to the perfect match.

One way to look at tea and chocolate is as “friends” where similarity in characteristics enhance the flavor, or as “lovers”, where contrasting characteristics will complement each other through their differences.

Since tea and chocolate share the same flavor profiles such as floral qualities or astringency from tannin, they practically invite you to create fun and tasty combinations. While you should always trust your taste buds to find the right combinations, there are some general guidelines that might help you in the process:

  • White teas, have a very delicate flavor and pair well with mild chocolates and fruit. Try a Silver Needle or Pai Mu Tan with chocolate covered strawberries or a white chocolate cheese cake.
  • Green teas have vegetal flavors and aromas and pair well with creamier tastes such as berry flavors and milk chocolate. A Japanese Sencha with its savory profile, for example, is a good match for white or milk chocolate. The smooth and silky texture of Matcha (green tea powder) complements the equally smooth texture of chocolate truffles and will

delight any chocolate lover’s palate.


  • Oolong, a partially oxidized tea, is very complex in flavor. The lightly oxidized, greener oolongs, such as a Chinese Pouchong or Taiwanese Tung Ting, go well with rich sweet desserts like caramel filled pralines and milk chocolate. The more oxidized oolongs, and those that were roasted, such as Ti Kuan Yin, or Formosa Oolong, complement the stronger flavors of darker chocolate.
  • Black Teas tend to have a more robust flavor profile, more body and their tannin content matches up well with rich and full flavored dark chocolate. Indulge your taste buds with dark chocolate flavors that include berries, citrus or nuts!

I, personally, like rich and creamy desserts and therefore my choice for a perfect Valentine’s dessert would be a lightly oxidized Tung Ting with its floral notes and match it up with a slice (or two) of creamy chocolate, caramel cake. Just writing this makes my mouth water…..



January 16, 2015

Tea of the Month: Glenburn Autumn Oolong!

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







To start the year of on a tasty note, we are introducing this exquisite tea from the family-owned Glenburn Estate in the Darjeeling district of India.

While oolong teas are traditionally produced in China and Taiwan, the increasing demand has prompted other tea regions to follow suit and create new oolong varieties with special flavor profiles.

Glenburn’s Autumn Oolong is made in small quantities as it is extremely labor intensive. Only the finest leaves are  hand-picked from the estate’s  best tea fields. For this oolong, the manufacturing technique has been modified to make use of the gentle rays of autumn sunlight to “sun wither” these delicate leaves before exposing them to some finely-controlled oxidation to bring out this year’s exquisite flavor and floral character!

Take a journey to this beautiful tea estate and watch how this tea is processed from fresh leaf to cup!

For a taste, visit us at Souvia!





January 12, 2015

Are you a M.I.F or are you a T.I.F?

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




My husband and I devout Downton Abbey fans and even had a chance to visit Highclere Castle where the series is filmed. Next to scandal, love affairs and family feuds, tea has a not so unimportant role in the series! It calms the frayed nerves of the Dowager and it brings the family together every afternoon in the  drawing room to chat about the day.

Downstairs, tea time is a welcome break from the hard work and an opportunity to gossip about those “upstairs”!

In the days of Downton Abbey, tea drinkers were categorized  as either “M.I.F’s or T.I.F.’s”. j

Let’s shed some light into those mysterious sounding acronyms:

Tea was at first very expensive and only the wealthy could afford it.  As tea became a little cheaper, the middle class and eventually the working class could enjoy it as well.

Social class was indicated by

  • which tea you drank,
  • whether you had milk or lemon
  • and wether you drank your tea TIF= Tea in First or MIF= milk in first.

The upper classes (having more delicate palates) drank more delicate teas from China or the plantations of Ceylon.

The working class, on the other hand drank more thick, black teas.

The upper class did not use milk at all -maybe a slice of lemon to accentuate the taste of the tea. (working class could not afford lemon)

The working class used milk – in part because the tea they drink was very strong and could stand a bit of creaming

To ensure a good mix the working class would put the milk in first.

The Mitfords (an infamous aristocratic family) also  started referring to unsuitable young men (potential suitors) as MIFs, meaning they put milk in their tea first displaying their lack of breeding and their lowly origins.

Now… which category do you belong in?


January 9, 2015

What Tea Can Do For You This Season….

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:01 am

Green tea with leaves


Who could resist that extra cookie or second glass of wine during the holidays? Unfortunately these little overindulgences have left evidence on the bathroom scale.

Did you know, though, that sipping a cup of green tea after a meal may curb the urge to go back for seconds and may help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions!

A study published in Nutrition Journal found that participants who drank 10 ounces of green tea after a meal felt more satisfied and full than those who drank an equal amount of water. According to researchers, tea may provide food-like properties that are satisfying and filling.

So why not finish your lunch or dinner with a light green tea like Fog Tea or indulge in the nutty finish of a Dragonwell – and watch that scale tip in your favor!

January 5, 2015

Did you know…?

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:27 am

Rooibos in the cup



  • 3 billion cups of tea are consumed worldwide
  • 1.4 million pounds of tea are drunk every  day here in the U.S.
  • 5 out of 6 Americans are tea drinkers
  • 84% of tea consumed is black
  • India and China are the largest producers of tea
  • Kenya is the largest exporter of tea
  • Russia is the largest importer of tea
  • Caffeine is a natural pesticide and therefore
  • makes the tea plant resistant to most insects.

January 3, 2015

January is National Hot Tea Month!

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

woman drinking tea

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”!


Origin: Nilgiri/India

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!