The start of Cozy Leaf is something I’m asked about all the time. Why did I choose tea? What made me want to start a tea company? Here's the story and how it all came to be!
Cozy Leaf tea - Designed for "Wellness", Delicious to Sip ... I have people ask "But what exactly does wellness mean anyway!?" I use the word very intentionally as it means so much more than just "a healthy option" or "good for you". So let me explain what "Wellness" means and what it stands for here at Cozy Leaf.
When formulating herbal tea blends, the exact formulas are crucial. I spend months and some times years when creating a new blend. There is extreme attention to the details of each and every ingredient that goes into my blends.
How do you wind down at the end of a long day? In the winter, the perfect way for me is with a nice warm cup of Kansas Sunset Chai. However, in the blazing hot summer it is not high on my list! I still crave the delicious and rich chai spice as well as the huge list of health benefits! So I started working with ice cream! I could not be more excited about this creation! And to add to the health benefits and rich flavor, I used date syrup instead of sugar! So whether you are making a treat for yourself, or a big dinner party, grab a bag of Kansas Sunset Chai so you are prepared for the next summertime special event!
Soothing Lemon Wellness is one of my go-to blends for a party! It is refreshing and healthy and is the perfect evening iced tea for these hot summer dinners because it has no caffeine! And a lot of studies show how rooibos is 5 times higher in antioxidants than green tea! Not to mention the amazing digestive benefits of lemons! My kids absolutely love this iced tea and I feel an "epic mom win" moment when they are chugging down glass after glass of antioxidant packed wellness!!!
Cascara also known as Coffee Cherry Tea, makes an amazing tea with a very soft and natural taste. The term Cascara comes from the Spanish word "cáscara" which means "husk". The outside skin or husk of the coffee bean (pictures below) starts off as a beautiful crimson protector to the coffee bean that is growing inside. The coffee bean will easily pop out of the fresh husk leaving two separate and wonderful parts to this glorious plant!
I strongly believe in making tea that is both healing for the body and delicious to the palate! The best way to start that is to source the absolutely best ingredients that I can find. It has taken me on many adventures since 2009! This past year has been a passion for sourcing the best US grown ingredients for a blend of the powerhouse duo of Ginger and Turmeric! I could not be happier with the outcome!! Let me take you through my journey!
I feel like I have tried every possible organic ginger and turmeric on the market. But there was always something that help me back from making the best blend. Tea blending is far more than just throwing together ingredients, it is focusing on the flavor of different processes as well as how different grades and cuts of herbs and teas work together. Sometimes the best of one ingredient just does not pair well with the best of another ingredient. Its crazy how it works, but when its your passion you do not stop searching!!
My quest took me to finding the best possible ginger and turmeric from the Islands of Hawaii!!!!
These plants need plenty of rainfall and a nice warm climate which makes Hawaii and ideal location for this plant!
Straight from the earth in all its beautiful glory!!! Ginger and Turmeric have long long lists of health benefits!
In fact, Hawaiian Red Turmeric (Olena, native to the Hawaiian Islands) is very different from yellow turmeric found in most health food stores. Curcumin is the most active constituent in turmeric and extensive research has come out about the many many health benefits of curcumin! I HAD to get my hands on some!!! Here is one study from the University of Hawaii and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture about the curcuminoid content in Hawaiian Turmeric.
And let me tell you, not only is the Hawaiian varieties exceptional in testing labs, but it is highly superior in flavor!!! The freshness, OOOOHHH the freshness!! Seriously, sipping a cup of goldenmilk right now and I feel like I'm back on the beautiful islands of Hawaii, but Toto I am still in Kansas! Stay tuned for another post about how to make a great Goldenmilk!!
To seal in the freshness and beauty of these Hawaiian healing roots, local lime juice is squeezed onto the cut roots to lock in the island!
The hardworking hands and hearts that bring Cozy Leaf the best possible ginger and turmeric!!!
Try the Cozy Leaf powerhouse duo of Hawaiian Turmeric and Ginger and be fully convinced of the superior flavor and benefit of our blend! One week only we are putting this amazing blend ON SALE!!! There is a limited stock and we wont be able to blend and package more until next January so dont wait, stock up now! Only available HERE on our website and for a limited time!
Want more of these superior plants?!? Head over to Lani Sweets and Treats and pick up a few bags of their amazing ginger and turmeric snacks! They are phenomenal!!! It will leave you giggling with excitement that you are tasting delicious snacks that are so extremely good for you!!
Malig & Livya are passionate and dedicated to spreading the word about these amazing roots and it is truly because of them that I am able to bring this tea blend to you today! Thank you both so much!!! Read their story here and fall in love with their journey!
You'll be hearing much more about these Hawaiian ingredients (and many more) as we are working hard to bring you a line of Cozy Leaf teas that are blended from 100% US grown herbs and teas! It is a passion of mine to source my herbs from farmers who have a passion for growing the best organic products!
Thank you all for your love and commitment to health!
The highlight of the week is Fit & Active!! This is the perfect time of year to have gallons in the fridge ready to go because at any moment you may need a boost of energy to go on an adventure!
In fact, it was this time of year about 7 years ago that I created the Fit & Active blend. At that time I was a stay at home mom to a two year old and a 3 year old...yes, give me the caffeine, give me ALL the caffeine! I did alot of study on the benefits of Oolong tea and how it can boost metabolism and give you extra energy to tackle the day. So I started working with Oolongs and loved what I found! And to this day it is one of my favorite after lunch grabs from the refrigerator!
I love how it has a delicious nutty flavor that is so refreshing iced! And I particularly love the boost of energy that I get without the caffeine shakes I found from other beverages.
To brew Fit & Active it is important to remember that it is an Oolong tea and boiling water should not be used! Boiling water scorches the delicate leaves and will result in a bitter taste. So start with steaming water about 160 degrees and brew for a short 2 minutes. Another aspect to Oolong tea is that it has large beautiful leaves that open up slowly and will give you many steepings per serving. Meaning you can use those same tea leaves three or more times!
This blend also works great as a sun tea!! Simply fill a glass container with room temp water, toss in your tea leaves, and place in the sun for 3-4 hours! Pour the delicious brew over ice or pop it in the refrigerator to have on hand at a later emergency!
I'd love to hear your favorite uses for our delicious Fit & Active blend! If you are not sure, then now is the time to stock up on this delicious blend because it is our Highlight of the Week and is on SALE in our online shop!
Happy tea time my tea family!
National Iced Tea day is TODAY!!!
Whats better on a scorching hot summer day than a crisp refreshing cup of iced tea! Well, here at Cozy Leaf we believe the best way to quench your thirst is with high quality organic teas! So let me walk you through how to brew a half gallon of Cozy Leaf iced tea.
Some of our favs for iced is Subtle Citrus Fusion (a touch of sweet from the dried stevia leaf that is in the blend), Berry Bliss (also stevia awesomness), Soothing Lemon Wellness (antioxidant packed rooibos), Fit & Active, and who could forget Hibiscus Twist! That's just to mention a few!
What you'll need:
- Pitcher with Ice
- Two Tablespoons of your favorite Cozy Leaf tea
- 1 Quart Mason Jar
- Mason Jar Straining Lid
- Boiling water
- Room temp water
- Place tea leaves in the bottom of your Mason jar
- Fill 1/3 of the way with boiling water (for herbals and black teas) or steaming water (for greens and oolongs)
- Wait 1 minute
- Fill the remaining 2/3 with room temp water
- Wait 5 minutes, or pop the brew in the fridge and let it set up to 4 hours.
- After the steep time, put on your mason jar straining lid and pour the yummy goodness over your pitcher of ice! But the fun doesnt stop there because with high grade loose leaf teas you can double and even triple brew. Meaning, start back with step 2 using the same tea leaves!
Now go ahead and make 2-3 different blends so they are in the refrigerator and ready for any and every guest who pops in throughout the day!
Happy tea time my tea family,
PS: We are working up some yummy videos and pictures of the loose leaf brewing process...stay tuned for the excitement!
Have you ever wanted to experience a premium cup of tea, but just don't know how? So many people say that they just don't like tea, but once they make the switch to a brewing loose leaf tea they realize it's not that hard and it tastes fantastic!!
I've been brewing loose leaf tea for myself every day for about 15 years and I have made a simple guide to help make your tea experience simple and delicious!
What you'll need:
Your favorite cozy mug.
One teaspoon of your favorite loose leaf tea per 8oz of water. So basically if you are using a 16oz travel mug, then you will need 2 teaspoons of loose leaf tea. Of course, Cozy Leaf tea is always recommended
Tea strainer, tea ball, tea filter, or just a plain ol' fine mesh strainer. There are plenty of fancy gadgets on the market these days for brewing loose leaf tea, find what works best for you and it is well worth the investment. Click Here to see my favorite infuser.
Hot water (boiling for blacks and herbals, steaming for greens and oolongs). Whether you have a fancy stove top kettle, an electric kettle, or even just a saucepan to heat the water on the stove, it doesn't matter as long as you bring it to the proper temperature.
A cozy spot to enjoy your brew! This is the most important thing right? Because everyone needs a quiet spot to savor your premium sips of tea!
Glance over the BREW GUIDE in the picture above because it will make tea brewing SUPER simple!
Now that you have your supplies all set, you are ready to get going on brewing loose leaf tea! Here are the basic steps I have mapped out for you to enjoy this premium tea experience you keep hearing people talk about!
Heat your water. Check the back of your Cozy Leaf bag for the instructions of what temperature water to use for that particular tea, or follow my BREW GUIDE that I provided in the picture above. Basically, you can use boiling temp water for black teas and herbal teas, but you want to use steaming water (around 160-180 max) for green, white and oolong teas. The lower temperature of water is necessary for these more delicate tea leaves because they will get bitter if they are brewed in too hot of water. Have you ever tried a cup of green tea and thought "Why does anyone like drinking this?", well that is probably partially due to it being brewed with boiling water. It can definitely alter the flavor profile of a tea! So stick with the correct temperature and you will thank me later!
Place tea leaves in your infuser. Follow the BREW GUIDE for the amount of tea leaves to use. The standard recommendation would be to use 1 teaspoon per 8oz of water. This way you can adjust it fairly easily for brewing large quantities! Make a whole 24 ounce tea pot to enjoy with friends and all you need to do is use 4 teaspoons. It's that easy... and imagine how impressed your friends will be!
Pour your hot water over the tea leaves and let it steep. Follow the BREW GUIDE for the amount of time to let the tea leaves set in the water. Basically, for green, black, white, and oolongs you need to be careful to not over-steep and let it go too long or it will get bitter. But with herbals, the sky is the limit! You can let herbal tea blends go as long as you want and they do not get bitter. The flavor profile will change the longer the herbal teas brew, but ultimately it is better to let herbals brew longer because it extracts more of the medicinal properties out of the herbs and into the water.
Remove the infuser. This step is definitely the easiest!
Enjoy the premium flavor! Nope, this step is the easiest! All you have left to do is to sit back, relax, and enjoy your delicious cup of tea!! But the fun doesn't stop there because with high grade loose leaf teas you can double and even triple brew. WHAT!?! Oh ya! Meaning, start back with step 2 using the same tea leaves! I remember when I first discovered that high grade loose leaf teas can be double or triple brewed! I felt like I won the lottery!
So there you have it, a simple step by step guide to brewing loose leaf tea.
Now the adventure begins with narrowing down your favorites! And as always, you can shop my tea blends of DELICIOUS wellness right here online! Or you can join the Cozy Leaf Subscription Box Family and receive 2 teas delivered to your door every single month! This is a great option to get some variety in your kitchen without the hassle of running to the store or regularly ordering online. This is also perfect for offices or for a unique gift to send a loved one!
Happy Tea Time,
Abby (Cozy Leaf founder & owner)
The beginning of summer has brought a influx of new babies to the Cozy Leaf Farm!
I'm of the belief that nothing is quite cuter or capable of cheering you up than a baby animal, so here are a few pictures of the recent additions plus a few I just couldn't pass up!
baby chick story (as you may have seen on Instagram)
Oh kittens! Every farm has to have em!
bunny story: The jokes about how often bunnies breed is TRUE. You may have seen my saga on how we found 21 baby bunnies
I'm all about terms folks! It is important for everyone to be on the same page and this is a great page to be on! This is definitely not an all inclusive list, but it is something I am working on and building continually for myself as well as my awesome tea drinking fans so we can all refer back to this page. I love research, particularly herbal research, so this is something that has been and will be such a joy to build. I will also do my best to link back to each Herbal Highlight beside each property so you can see the details about each herb as well.
When I first started my journey down the road of researching herbs and herbal medicine in the early 2000's, I began compiling research. Over many years it has evolved into a more organized format and I am eager to share my personal research with you all! This is definitely not the extent of my research, but I hope to expand my blog posts into very detailed information about the herbs I have studied.
Mary Poppins sung it best: A spoonful of sugar DOES help the medicine go down.
But, at Cozy Leaf tea, we think dousing table sugar into tea designed to make you well feels a bit counter intuitive. In fact, that's the whole reason we got into the tea-making business in the first place (read our story here).
But, without a little sweetener, tea can taste like listless water. So, how do we brighten up the flavor without reversing the wellness effects with too much sugar?
We've asked the team and here are our four favorite, healthy ways to sweeten our tea!
1. Raw Honey - It may be our love of bees talking (our #cozyleaffarm bees will be on the blog soon!), but we find raw honey to be superior to all other sweeteners. Raw honey offers subtle sweetness backed by natural antioxidants, enzymes and minerals that add an additional wellness impact to our herbal and medicinal tea blends.
2. Maple Syrup - Maple Sugar is one of our go-to choices not not just because it adds sweetness, but because it adds flavor and depth. It is a great addition to a rich Kansas Sunset Chai latte!
3. Stevia Leaf - A pinch of dried green stevia leaf is a low calorie, natural sweetener. We love it so much, we've included it in several of our blends for a natural sweetness straight out of the tea pot. Want to give it a shot? Stevia is in our Berry Bliss, Subtle Citrus Fusion, and Mint Meadow blends!
4. . Date Sugar or Date Syrup - We LOVE Date Lady organic date syrups. We're all about real food around here and her syrups are just that - natural sweetening from California dates. Check her out!
Trying to lower your sugar intake?
Recent studies show that taking a sip of your tea or coffee (gasp) BEFORE sweetening it makes it less likely you'll OVER sweeten it. Once you've taken that initial sugarless sip, your taste buds will be keenly aware to the sweet change. Simply put incrementally less sweetener in until at your desired level of intake.
This serves as a comprehensive list of all the resources referenced throughout the blog. I will be growing this list as time goes by, but wanted to have one location to reference for all the books, blogs, magazines, articles, websites, speeches, etc etc. I never limit my research to one platform because if someone is going to talk about herbs, I am going to listen and double check everything I hear or read! Any recommendations are always welcome! I love to research and learn more!
Please note that all of these references are what I personally use and are not any paid endorsements.
Some of these books are not in print anymore and it took me years to track down a copy for myself constantly calling or searching used book stores or regularly checking Amazon. So it is with great love that I want to share excerpts of wisdom from these great writings!
Grieve, M., Mrs. A Modern Herbal. Vol. 1. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1971. Print.
Grieve, M., Mrs. A Modern Herbal. Vol. 2. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1971. Print.
Kloss, Jethro. Back to Eden: A Human Interest Story of Health and Restoration to Be Found in Herb, Root, and Bark. Loma Linda, CA: Back to Eden Pub., 1994. Print.
Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Remedies for Children's Health. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, 1999. Print.
Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, 2008. Print.
Weed, Susan S. Herbal for the Childbearing Years. Woodstock, NY: Ash Tree Publishing, 1986. Print.
Keith, Velma J and Gordon, Monteen. The How to Herb Book. Pleasant Grove, UT: Mayfield Publications, 1994. Print.
Gladstar, Rosemary. Medicinal Herbs, A Beginners Guide. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, 2012. Print.
Carpenter, Jeff and Carpenter, Melanie: The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer, The Ultimate Guide to Producing Quality Herbs on a Market Scale. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2015. Print.