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The Women of Tan Huong Cooperative, Vietnam

Just north of Hanoi lies the little city of Thai Nguyen and just a few kilometers away, the Tan Huong Tea Cooperative.  The Co-op is made up of 41 members with gardens, 80% women and is directed by a board of all women. (Isn't it wonderful?)

The Board of Tan Huong

In 2000, the cooperative formed with the help of The Canadian Tea Alliance, a group that helped to empower areas of economic hardship through tea production, and by 2010 these women were producing a superior green tea, a green tea that met the rigid guidelines in place for Canadian import.  While they are one of four cooperatives supported by Canada, they are the only ones to meet strict regulations for export to North America. Logistically, in the early 2000s it was hard to reach this tea garden because of the poor infrastructure, but today these women have put money back into their homes, their town and their roads.  These once struggling cattle farmers and noodle makers, have found their success in high quality tea, and for over a year and a half now we have been proudly carrying their tea.

The Tea Ceremony

The Whole Tea Group

When we drove up to their tea factory and saw a large group of people waving outside, emotions took over.  We were welcomed with such enthusiasm and ceremony.  Their gratitude to sell tea in the west was overflowing.  They greeted our little group with a formal tea reception, followed by a visit to a tea garden and factory, and a beautiful generous lunch with flowing rice wine and many toasts and handshakes. We drank tea and ate sweets and the women proudly displayed their new harvested buds.  The Director held my hand as we explored the garden and the Finance Director showed me her little tea production shack, that must have been 9'x10' large.  When we stepped outside, she told us this that the little room was her family's house, before they made tea. 

Hayley and Director of Finance in Her Garden

Visiting the Tea Garden

 

Lunch at Tan Huong

This visit was so emotional, that when we said goodbye and I thanked them for producing such beautiful tea and for welcoming us so graciously, we all began to cry.  I felt in this moment, the impact of our choices. More directly than I ever imagined, I realized that by buying Tan Huong green tea, I am making an immediate impact on these families and this village. That is a choice we make with all things, when could buy commercial and support an industry or we could buy artisanal and support a family.

Saying Goodbye at Tan Huong

Gift Guide for the Tea & Honey Lover

Gift Guide Tea & Honey Lover

We've curated a list of gifts for the Tea & Honey gourmand that will help you quickly navigate our gift options.  Enjoy!

1. Antique Tea Cups & Tea Sets: In-Store only

2. Honey & Tea Variety Pack - Sold out! May we suggest our Honey Variety Packs instead?

3. Clay Concepts

4. Pu Er 2015 Bada Shan Mini Bingcha 

5. Mr. Shao Yixing Teapot

6. Small Gift Basket

7. Mango Infused Honey

8. Dew Individual Tea Sets

9. Tranquilité

10. Kelli Cain Tea & Honey Pottery

2018 Gift Guide Under $30

Gift Guide Under $30

Whether you’re shopping for stocking stuffers or need that perfect little present for a co-worker or friend, these affordable gift ideas are brilliant for someone who loves tea & honey!

1. A Little Tea Book:  If you are looking for a sweet, concise, and creatively informative book about tea production, culture, and travels, here it is written by our good friend Sebastian Beckwith of In Pursuit of Tea.
 
2. Perfect Tea Spoon: This stainless steel teaspoon will measure enough tea for one perfect 8oz cup of tea.
 
3. Honey Bee Rich Body Care - Give the gift of luxurious skin care made with beeswax and extra virgin olive oil from our good friends at Saratoga Olive Oil.
 
4. Lavender Infused Honey: A floral infusion at its best. A light mid-western prairie honey produced in an area surrounded by certified organic farming, is used in this infusion and is steeped with the aromatics of the purple lavender flower to make this gorgeous concoction. 
 
5. Beeswax Candles: 100% pure beeswax produced locally and in our neighboring state, Massachusetts.
 
6. Kinmokusei: Our Featured Tea Tins offer 0.5 ounces of a very special Japanese black tea that we are very excited, and have very little of, but we want to share it with you!  
 
7. Moonspoon Honey Dipper: These beautiful and unique honey dippers are laser cut from cherry wood in Pennsylvania. Available in nine different patterns, you are sure to find one that fits your style.
 
8. Chestnut Honey:  This smoky, leathery honey is a perfect addition to your cheese board, especially with pecorino and fresh pears or drizzle it over rustic bread with good butter for a breakfast like no other!
 
9.  Moonspoon Tea StrainerThese beautiful and unique cup-top tea infusers are laser cut from cherry wood in Pennsylvania. With a selection of 4 different patterns, you are sure to find one that fits your style. Available with or without stand and cover.
 
10. Honey Candy: These delectable, organically made, all-natural candies are a favorite of both employees and customers here at Saratoga Tea & Honey Co. 

Masala Chai Muffins with Cranberry Blossom Honey Butter (GF & DF)

Hello, Honey Butter Chai Muffins!

Monette of @thesecretgf created the perfect breakfast muffin for any morning where there might be a little chill in the air.  This recipe proves that baking with tea is as simple as infusing it into a liquid and/or a fat component to transfer its complex flavors. We love to consider tea as not only a beverage, but as an ingredient to enhance cookies, muffins or cakes!  And, as the pièce de resistance, our Cranberry Blossom Honey from the cranberry bogs of Wisconsin is simply whipped with butter for an extra treat. Enjoy!

 

Masala Chai Spiced Muffins

 

Ingredients:

½ c almond milk

½ c coconut oil

1 T Masala Chai Tea

1 c all-purpose GF flour blend

1 c oat flour

2 t xanthan gum (reduce to 1 tsp if your flour blend lists this as an ingredient)

½ t salt

1 t baking soda

1 c agave

3 eggs

¼ c butter (Use Earth Balance to make it dairy free)

3 T Cranberry Blossom Honey

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350⁰F. Line a muffin tin with muffin wrappers.
  2. In a small saucepan, add the almond milk, coconut oil and tea. Keep at a low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes to infuse the tea into the milk and oil.
  3. While the tea is infusing, combine the dry ingredients (flours, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda) in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Once the tea has infused for 20 minutes, pour the almond milk and oil mixture into your mixing bowl through a fine mesh strainer to catch the tea leaves. Discard the leaves.
  5. Add the agave and eggs to the mixing bowl and whisk until everything is combined and you have a smooth batter.
  6. Divide the batter in the muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. When done, take out of the oven and wait until the muffins are cool enough to handle, then remove them from the muffin tin to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the honey butter by using an electric beater to whip together the honey and butter.

Blueberry Jasmine Tea Cocktail

Blueberry Jasmine Cocktail

Its hard to believe our little shop has been part of Saratoga's food community now for just over 3 years! One of our joys has been collaborating with local restaurants and bars to create craft drinks using our products and here we are bringing a craft cocktail home. We are really excited about this simple and oh so refreshing cocktail that @thesecretgf created for us.  Proving we can be our own best bar tenders and happy hour at home should always be an option!  

3 Servings

Ingredients:

1 c Blueberry Jasmine iced tea (2 tsp of tea brewed in 1 cup water)

1 lemon

1 T agave

3 shots Tito’s vodka

Ice

Steps:

  1. First, cold brew the tea the night before. To do this, simply mix 2 tsp tea with 1 cup of water and set in the fridge until ready to use. When pouring, pour through a strainer to catch the leaves.
  2. When ready to make the cocktails, add the tea, juice from half the lemon, agave, and vodka to a cocktail shaker with some ice.
  3. Shake it all up, pour into 3 cocktail glasses and garnish with lemon peel.

The Perfect Pumpkin Spice Latté

Our Pumpkin Spice Latté serves 2-3 people.  We love this easy stove-top preparation of chai because it fills the air with the fragrant scent of fall!

Pumpkin Spice Chai Latté

Ingredients:

5 t Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea

3 c water 

c milk of your choice

2 T Cinnamon Infused Honey, or more to taste!

Procedure:

1.  Heat water in a small saucepan until in reaches a boil.  Add in the tea and simmer at low heat for 5-10 minutes.

2. Add in the milk on low heat until it has warmed with the tea, about 5 minutes. Stir in honey and then gently strain into mugs or strain and store in the fridge for later reheating!

5 Ways to Use Bee's Wrap

Bee's Wrap is a sustainable alternative to plastic wrap for food storage! So keep that leftover lemon half, a wedge of cheese, or bowl of salad fresh. Simply mold the reusable sheets, made from cotton muslin coated in beeswax, with the heat of your hands.  

Here are our top 5 ways to use Bee's Wrap

1. Specifically sized wraps make it easy to take your lunch on the go! We love wrapping peanut butter & honey sandwich for school lunches, picnics or a day out in the Adirondacks. Bee's Wrap Sandwich Wrap

 

2. Rolling out the dough, Bee's Wrap makes for a great counter cover while making your favorite pie crust.

 Bee's Wrap for Baking

3. Nothing is worse than having a half eaten fruit or vegetable that you know shouldn't go to waste. The variety pack allows for different size items to be covered such as a lemon, squash, or avocado! 

 

 Bee's Wrap for Storage

4. Summer get-togethers call for BBQ's filled with pasta salads and fruit bowls. We love keeping them fresh by molding the Bee's Wrap tightly over the edges. Just make sure you remember to bring it home! 

 

Bee's Wrap for Parties

5. Bee's Wrap is reusable and washable! So any way you can think to use it, you can multiple times! We are proud to carry this composable product in our honey room.

 

Shop it in-store or online! 

6 Recipe-Free Snacks w/ Honey 🐝

We've compiled a fall inspired list of easy snacks for kids & adults that requires no recipe, simply look at the photo, find your local ingredients and recreate!  Tag us on Instagram or Facebook to share with us your favorite snack ideas using our honey!  

Apple with Cinnamon Honey

1. Crisp Local Apples with Cinnamon Infused Honey

Greek Yogurt with Orange Blossom Honey

2. Greek Yogurt with Orange Blossom Honey & Walnuts

 Pumpkin Spice Honey with Roasted Squash

3.  Roasted Squash & Carrots with Pumpkin Spice Honey & Sage

4. Almond Butter, Buckwheat Honey, & Ricotta Salata Cheese on Wasa Crackers

Chestnut Honey on Toast

5. Warm Baguette with Chestnut Honey, Local Butter & Sea Salt 

Banana Bites with Chocolate Honey

6.  Banana Bites with Chocolate Honey & Peanut Butter

Strawberry Shortcake with Local Honey

Strawberry Shortcake with Local Honey

Fresh fruit over buttery biscuits doesn't sound like it could get any better, but when Darien Rozell of @darienleigh added our Local Wildflower honey to the macerated berry topping- it became a celebration of summer!  Darien incorporated some of our Local Raw Honey Comb, which only comes once every summer, as a gorgeous garnish of sweetness and texture.  Check out this simple recipe as we hold on to the last month of summer and, by all means, serve it with our white Strawberry Fields tea, and maybe even make an afternoon of it, like Darien did!

Strawberry Shortcake with Local Honey

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 1/4 c Bisquick
4 T butter, melted
2/3 c milk
1 lb. fresh, ripe strawberries, washed & diced
1/4 c Saratoga Wildflower Honey + extra for drizzling
Vanilla ice cream 
Raw Honey Comb for garnish

 

Berries:

Wash and dice strawberries. Gently mix with 1/4 cup of

Saratoga Wildflower Honey. Cover and let sit for 20-30 minutes until juices begin to run.

Biscuits:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Stir Bisquick, milk and melted butter until a soft dough forms. Drop dough by large spoonfuls onto cookie sheet or baking stone. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

To serve:
Spoon berry mixture over warm biscuits. Add a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle with extra Saratoga Wildflower Honey or a chunk of  Raw Honey Comb. Enjoy! (Can also be made with raspberries and blackberries!)

How to Cold Brew Tea

Cold brewing your tea leaves is the easiest method for consistent, delicious results. All it takes is a bit of foresight to plan an eight hour brew!  We love to start our pitcher in the evening so by morning we have a ready to drink tea that will last up to 5 days, if kept refrigerated.

 

Cold Brew Iced Tea at Home

 

From glass to BPA free plastic, shop our pitchers with brew baskets, here!

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