Posts Tagged ‘Tea’

Gail Chiovari, owner of the Vintage Rose Tea Room and Gift Shop, warms up with a quick Q and A for Simplici~Tea. Vintage Rose Tea Room is a quaint little tea room located on High Street in Millville’s Glass Town Arts District. The shop offers a variety of tea related gifts, from teapots to cups and saucers, and seating for 40 guests to sit and enjoy a delicious and cozy afternoon cup of tea.  

Why did you chose to open a tea room?

I began going to tea rooms and always wanted to have a business. I enjoy the atmosphere and setting. I collected teacups and saucers. Collected, Collected, Collected. I don’t regret one day. It’s a lot of work, and I’m not going to say it’s not, but no regrets.

I like the purity and choices that tea offers. It’s soothing, much better than coffee. We don’t say the “c” word in the tea room. There are also health benefits.

Some people are intimidated to come into a tea room because they don’t know what to expect. I decorated this way (referring to the teapots, teacups, and cozy decor that adorn the shop) because I wanted people to walk in, take a deep breath and relax. More and more men and young people are also turning to the world of tea. I like meeting new people. They are coming here for a reason. It’s nice to see three and fours generations of people sitting together at a table, enjoying the relaxing atmosphere.

So why Millville’s Arts District?

I chose Millville because I am a destination for Millville. There are no other tea rooms in this area. Some of my customers travel an hour or more to get here. I also chose Millville because it is close to home. I live in Vineland. I would have liked to open in Vineland but Vineland isn’t quite there yet. (Chiovari is referring to the Vineland’s  reconstruction project to revitalize Landis Avenue. Millville has been working to revitalize High Street for many years and offers a variety of shops, eateries and art galleries. High Street offers a variety of events every 3rd Friday of the month.) 

So what does the Tea Room offer? 

Well, we offer over 40 varieties of premimum, loose leaf tea. We also offer some teas thats are seasonal, and these teas do change. We also offer traditional tea sandwiches and have enlarged our menu to include lunch selections. Everything is made fresh on premises.

We also offer a variety of hats, boas and beads for children who would like to dress up for tea. We encourage children to dress up.

Menu?  Check out the entire menu!!!

A delicious assortment of sandwiches, sweet treats and of course TEA!!!!

Events? Check out some of the events that Vintage Rose Tea room offers!!!

Past events have included Themed Tea for children and adults~including Princess Tea, where children dress up as their favorite princess and receive a free book at the end of the day, courtesy of Bogarts Book Store (located just a few doors down from the tea room).

Murder Mystery Tea was also an event that was held at the tea room with much success!

Special events, such as baby showers and bridal showers, can also be booked at the tea room.

Last words?

I’m proud to say that we were ranked #9 out of 48 tea rooms in New Jersey by TeaMap.com.

Chiovari has a lot to be proud of. The Vintage Rose Tea Room is a beautiful establishment with a lot of character. She strives to reach out to the locals by hosting events and having a quiet, relaxing place to offer those who want to take a deep breath, relax and enjoy a premium cup of tea.



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The flavor of black tea ranges from fruity and flowery to spicy and nutty. So what is so different about black tea?

Black Tea is more oxidized than other forms of tea. According to a Book Rags article, it also has more caffeine content and generally has a stronger flavor. “Black” generally refers to the dark color of the leaves after tea processing. Black tea is generally named after the region from which it is produced.

Also according to the Book Rags article, black tea goes through every process. Black tea is fired in 200 degree ovens until almost completely dry. The leaves are then further dried over wood fires.

Some varieties of Black Tea include:

  • Assam Tea-from Assam, India (malty, fruity flavor)
  • Darjeeling-from the Darjeeling region of India (spicy favor)
  • Earl Grey-black tea infused with Bergamot oil

A full list of varieties of black tea can be found at Tea Infusion.

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Some studies show, according to Health Benefits of Tea, an article siting the benefits of tea drinking, polyphenols have anti-cancer properties. Polyphenols may reduce the risk of gastric, esophageal and skin cancers if an individual drinks 4-6 cups per day. Tea may also reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by only drinking 2 cups per day.

According to another article, which offers an array of health benefits, polyphenols, flavonoids and catechins take on “free radicals” in our bodies.

The Daily Mind’s article states that tea can:

  • boost your brain-helping with concentration and focus
  • fight illness
  • beat stress

But also according to The Daily Mind article tea can also have an adverse affects on health.

  • sleep problems
  • kidney disease

According to Problems wih Green Tea, a health article, some tea contains large amounts of fluoride and pesticides and may cause:

  • hyperthyroidism
  • breast cancer
  • stomach cancer
  • arthritis

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According to Bella Online’s tea tannins article, tea tannins are usually confused with tannic acid. They are not the same. Tannic acid is from the extraction of Oak leaves and is used in the tanning process of animal hides. Tea tannins are not ever used for this purpose. Tea tannins are the things that leave that bitter taste in your mouth after drinking. Those tannins can be described by the chemical content of tea. Those chemicals include minerals, vitamins, caffeine, polyphones, flavonoids and catechins. Polyphenals, flavonoids and catechins are naturally occurring and contain antioxidant qualities.

Tea does have health benefits but also has down sides.

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Tea Types

Black. Green. Oolong. Loose or bagged. Hot or cold. With all the types of tea and different ways to have it, it’s a wonder any of us can choose. Soo many choices…what the hell…I have plenty of time.

Let’s start out slow…

Again, all tea leaves come from the Camellia sinensis. Generally there are four main types of tea:

  • Black
  • Green
  • Oolong (pronounced either “oo” or “wu” and sometimes referred to as Brown tea)
  • White

During the drying phase, some tea leaves are infused with essential oils or dried with fruit  or spices to add extra flavor. 

There are four main countries that produce the world’s tea:

  • India
  • China
  • Kenya
  • Sri Lanka

According to an article by Tetley, a tea company, many other places also produce tea.  

Many people would like to think that herbal teas are tea…but they’re NOT. Herbal teas are made with dried herbs, flowers and even fruit. Most do not have tea in them unless specified so on the box. Sorry for any confusion.

Each individual tea will be discussed in depth in later posts. Keep coming back.

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Bagged v. Loose

This morning I made my morning cup of organic Earl Gray and it occurred to me, I often use bagged tea when I’m in a hurry. Other times I use loose tea.  A question presented itself to me, is there a difference between bagged and loose tea?

The answer  is a resounding YES.

I have been researching this question all morning. I came acrosss this incredible article about exactly this. Loose tea and bagged tea, although both tea, are quite different.

Tea leaves contain oils and chemicals which gives tea flavor. The smaller the tea leaf the less of the chemicals and oils are present. The larger the leaf the more flavor it may have. Bagged is small, loose is big. Simple. Maybe.

Loose tea, indeed, does have a better flavor but it is not for the on-the-go kind of person. The tea has to be measured out, a special tea pot or cup must be used so one does not drink the tea leaves, and then the clean up. It sounds like a pain, but it truly is the best way to get the full flavor of tea. I own a special pot with a strainer that I love to use, but mainly at night when I don’t have to worry about rushing out the door.

For this reason, I prefer my morning tea to be bagged. Tea bag in cup, hot water on top, snap lid on travel mug and out the door. Much easier, but still not the same.

After further research, I found that there are grades of tea. Grades? I thought the same thing. I knew that loose tea was better, but now I understand why. 

The grades of tea vary by size and appearance. It does not necessarily relate to taste. The larger tea leaves are reserved for loose tea, while the remaining pieces are reserved for the infamous tea bag. Many regions that produce tea also have varying grades of tea. This article  gives an entire run down of varying grades of tea.

Whether you prefer loose or bagged tea is really a personal choice. I prefer both, although if I had to choose I would go with the loose. It’s fun to watch the tea leaves rehydrate in water!

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Tea in Time

Tea is nothing new. Legend states, according to World Book, that the use of tea was discovered by Emperor Shennong of China about 2737 B.C. That’s almost 5000 years of tea history! Considering that it would be almost impossible to recount 5000 years of history in a single post, only the most significant events will be recounted. (All info provided is either attributed to a source or is knowledge I have gained throughout my many years in school and as an enthusiastic tea drinker.)

Ancient China

  • The earliest mention of tea in Chinese literature dates back to 350 A.D., according to World Book.

Ancient Japan

  • The Japanese developed the ceremony now known as the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Tea Comes to Europe

  • By 1610, Dutch traders began importing tea to Europe, according to World Book.
  • Tea was a rich man’s commodity, as the price for tea was so high that only the wealthy could afford such a luxury.

Tea Meets the States (or at least what becomes the states)

  • In 1767, Britain placed a tax on tea that was being shipped to the colonies. By 1773, colonists had enough of British taxes (especially on tea) and held what is now known as the Boston Tea Party. This act added to the independence movement which ultimately led to the American Revolution.

Tea Today

  • Tea has become a symbol of tranquility and gives a sense of peace of mind. Tea is still used in ceremonies but more importantly, it can now be enjoyed by everyone, not just the wealthy. Drink up!

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