Seasonal News - Autumn 2024

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Seasonal News - Autumn 2024

Autumn Seasonal News 
Autumn Newsletter

Welcome to our autumn newsletter. In this edition we learn what makes white tea truly exceptional as we delve into its unique characteristics.

Our lifestyle section focuses on the relationship between tea and salt from two perspectives.  We explore why you might want to add salt to your cup of tea plus we offer a recipe for Culinary Tea Salts, a delicious seasoning to use in your cooking or gift to foodie friends.  

We offer stock updates, Stir news and my parting thought reflects on how the simple act of preparing a cup of tea engages all the senses.

I hope you can settle in with your favourite cup of Stir and enjoy a read.

With our very best wishes,
Michelle and the Stir Tea Team.
Michelle signature


White Tea - what makes it so special 

Adding Salt to Tea

Tea Inspired Recipe - Culinary Tea Salts

What's Brewing at Stir

Stir Tips & Parting Thoughts

Contact Us

White Tea - what makes it so special?

Silver needle
Harvested in the early weeks of spring, white teas derive their name from the soft, downy white hairs covering the buds.

With minimal processing - no heating or rolling - the leaves are simply plucked, withered, and dried.

The two main styles are the prized silver needle, crafted from delicate downy buds, and white peony, a blend of two leaves and a bud.
The taste of the brewed liquor varies markedly between the two styles. The silver needle is very subtle, while the white peony has a more full and broader flavour, making it an ideal starting point for exploring white teas.
white peony
Both styles are considered meditating teas, with their delicate flavour drawing your attention and focus. If you did wish to pair them with food they would complement the flavours of white fish or a light vegetable dish.

Read more detail at our white tea blog or choose a white tea discovery bag as your complimentary tea when you next order.

Adding Salt To Tea

Earlier this year chemist Michelle Francl, authored a book called Steeped - The Chemistry of Tea. It makes a great read and it hit the headlines worldwide with her recommendation to add a pinch of salt to tea.

Salt has been shown to reduce the perception of any bitterness in the tea and is a practice adopted by many cultures for centuries.  
Read our blog on this topic and why you might wish to add salt.

Tea Inspired Recipe - Culinary Tea Salts

salt tea
Tea and salt marry together outside the teacup in this recipe.   

Easy to prepare, culinary tea salts make for a great seasoning to have on hand when you are cooking or a delicious gift for foodie friends. Read our recipe hints and suggestions here.

Two Tea Salt combinations we enjoy (and pictured) are: 
  • Earl Grey Supreme black tea, salt, orange zest
  • Sencha green tea, salt, lemon zest and sesame seeds

What's Brewing at Stir

The main news that has our team jumping up and down with delight is the arrival of some of our long-awaited tea shipments.

New Stock Arrivals - Now available online:

Tea Arrivals in Transit (including English Breakfast) - Update
  • We expect most stock to be available in all sizes by the end of June.  We apologise if your first choice is not available when you go to purchase and thank you for your ongoing patience over the freight delays.  
If you would like us to be in touch when stock is available, please select the "Notify me when back in stock" listed on each product page of our website, alternatively simply email us with your request.

Stir out and about this Winter - You'll find us at these Saturday Events:

  • June 1st - Remarkables Market, Queenstown (10.00am to 2.00pm)
  • June 29th - Remarkables Market, Queenstown (10.00am to 2.00pm)
  • July 13th - Gather Market, Wanaka

Stir Tips and Thoughts

1. Milk First, Milk Second - can you taste the difference?

We explored this topic in our blog, outlining an experiment conducted in 1935 and our own experiment observations.

We found from our testing that there was a difference in mouth feel between adding milk first rather than second. Read more here, and perhaps test this yourself.

2. Hot Tip - Warm your brewing vessel (teapot or mug).

This step in your tea making ritual is even more important now we are in the cooler months. As you wait for your kettle to boil, add some hot water to your teapot to warm it up, or, if you are brewing directly into your mug using one of the spring mesh infusers then warm your cup first.

Parting Message from Michelle

Michelle in Queenstown NZ
Recently an interesting article appeared in the Otago Daily Times newspaper exploring whether the way in which we spend time interacting with the world online via technology is sidelining our sense of smell and taste.

As I read the article I reflected on the sensory journey we each take when preparing a cup of tea. 

The sound of the kettle boiling, the sight of the dry leaf, the aroma of the liquor, the feeling  of a warm vessel in your hands and ultimately the taste of the liquor in the mouth.

And then there is the sense of connection that tea offers - with our breath and surroundings or maybe tea shared with others.

I am constantly in awe of the power of tea and it is our privilege to be able to share this with you.  I wish you an autumn ahead full of warming tea moments.

Happy Tea Times Folks.

Posted: Thursday 16 May 2024