In 2016, we had an AMAZING year expanding our tea horizons, making new tea friends, and Living Loose! A new year means new resolutions, new goals & new dreams just waiting to unfold and boy, do we have a lot of them.

This National Hot Tea Month, after reflecting on the past year while we sipped on lots of tea, we have decided that this year, we have one simple goal…

OUR 2017 GOAL:

“Live In The Wow with every cup of tea.”

We will continue to expand on our mission of creating understandable, affordable and accessible quality loose leaf tea blends that help make every moment count.

We will continue to support our Chicago community, Extra Special Teas and use our passion and resources to make a difference.

We will make WOW moments happen. Will you join us?

We have some incredible new teas, events and milestones coming up this year and we are extremely excited to share them with all of you. Thank you to everyone who has supported us, from those of you who have been with us from the very beginning to those of you who are just starting to Live Loose with us; we couldn’t do it without you.

Live Loose and create WOW moments this year.

Cheers! Here’s to an amazing 2017!

It’s that time of year again. Resolution time. Chances are, there’s one bouncing around in your head. Well, we’re two weeks in. How you doin’?

One of my favorite mantras is: “A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.” Whoever originally said that, kudos to them. So in the spirit of not giving up, of starting now, and of Living Loose, here I am with my take on 5 New Year’s Resolutions That Tea Will Help With.

Lose Weight/Exercise More – Green tea’s your go-to!
– Looking to lose a few? Green tea naturally increases your metabolism and helps speed up how your body breaks down and uses fat.
– Going for those 10,000 steps? Tea hydrates. Toss a pitcher of iced tea in your fridge, so you can hydrate before and after the gym. Healthy & Refreshing.

Eat Healthy – Means drinking healthy too. With tea, there’s no sugar, no calories, no sodium, no carbs. Just health benefits.
– Replace one 150 calorie drink with zero calorie tea every day for a year, and you’ll kick over 54,000 calories (aka 15 pounds)
– Replace one sugary drink (avg 46g sugar) with sugar free tea every day for a year, and you’ll kick over 40 pounds of sugar from your diet
– Replace on medium soft drink with tea every day for a year, and you’ll eliminate 6,935mg of sodium from your diet

Spend Less, Save More. – Tea can save your wallet.
Loose Life tea = $.30 per cup.
Fancy cafe coffee = $4.
Make the switch to tea every day for a year? Yep, you just saved over $1,300.

Give Back – We’ve all got something (time, talent, etc) that we can give.
Including us at Tiesta Tea. Through our Loose Change initiative, we partner with 4 non-profits throughout the year. With every cup of tea, you’re helping give back!

Spend More Time With Family/Loved Ones – This one is my favorite.
– Invite them over for a cup! It’s a perfect excuse to get comfy and chat.
– Make tea an after school routine in place of (or alongside) an after-school snack.
Got a kiddo out of the nest? Have a mug ready when they come home. This is my favorite way to catch up with my parents (shout out to Burl and Christy!).
– “Let’s grab tea sometime!” Since when did “grabbing a coffee” become code for a not-too-intimidating first date? Offering to grab tea shows more of your personality and gives you an excuse for that I-don’t-know-if-this-is-a-date date.
– Take someone tea when they’re sick. Personal example: my bf came down with a cold and wasn’t feeling up for a date. So, I brought over my tea and brewmaster. We were still able to spend time together while brewing and while sipping our tea on the couch.

So, pick one, pick all five, or create your own. Part of Living Loose is being the best version of yourself you can be. And tea can help.

Cheers To Living Loose In 2016,

One of the most frequent questions I hear is, “What’s the difference between loose life and bagged?” Excellent question! There is a difference, and I’m so glad you asked!

With Loose Life Tea, you get a lot more of the good stuff.
Health Benefits

Here’s why. Bagged tea is processed differently than loose life tea. That dust in a bag? How do you think it fits in the bag? It has to be chopped up very finely (more elegantly called the Cut, Tear, Curl process). When it’s chopped into tiny pieces, it creates more surface area per life. Think back to your science class days. More surface area means more space for the life to release all the health benefits and flavor. On the other hand, loose life tea hasn’t gone through that same chopping process. Instead, the life stays in tact, so it holds onto all the wonderful health benefits and flavor until it unfurls in your brewmaster.

Your tea’s freshness is also affected. We already know you’re not going to get the same flavor and health benefits in bagged tea, but to top things off, the lesser flavor won’t hang on as long either. The typical shelf life for bagged tea is around 6 months. Meanwhile, as long as you keep your loose life tea in an airtight container, it’s shelf life lasts over a year and a half.

So if you’re someone who likes flavor, health benefits, and fresh tea, (and something tells me you are) loose life tea is the only way to go. After all, once you go loose, you never go bagged!

Drink Loose, Live Loose,

Master Your Brew

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No more excuses. Brewing loose leaf tea doesn’t have to be hard, messy or time consuming. All you need is a Brewmaster. Check out how easy brewing can be and save those excuses for your homework or your boss.

1. Barbecues
What could make that fresh-off-the-grill burger taste even better? You guessed it!
2. Beach
Complete the scene: sand, waves, sunglasses, flip flops, and ICED TEA!
3. Hikes
Beautiful nature requires a taste of some delicious drinks
4. Parties
Iced tea makes the PERFECT mixer. Just sayin’.
5. Picnics
That blanket will look extra fine with some iced tea laid out on it!

Rooibos to the rescue! Regardless of if you can pronounce it correctly (no one really can), rooibos tea fights for you against those pesky allergens, viruses and achy muscles. It’s so helpful, we’re creating a petition to change the saying to, “A Rooibos a day, keeps the doctor away!”

Anti – Allergic:
One sneeze and you get, “Gazuntite”. Two or more sneezes and you get, “Alright, that’s enough”. If allergies punch you in the face while trying to enjoy nature, send them reeling with Rooibos. Rooibos helps your body produce more enzymes that metabolize allergens. It also contains two flavonoids that help combat your body’s natural reaction to allergens.

Polyphenols in Rooibos tea fight off free radicals while it’s antioxidants help boost your immune system making your body a fortress against various viral infections and diseases.

Nutrients found in Rooibos are on your team to keep your blood circulation going smoothly and polyphenols are there to reduce inflammation. Not only is that good for achy joints, but it also makes Rooibos tea one heck of a workout recovery drink!

Feel free to sign that petition now.

Need your caffeine? Don’t worry, this will be quick and you’ll have your cup of tea in no time! Grab your favorite black tea blend and lets get started.

Turn up the Heat – Black tea requires a higher steeping temperature than white and green teas so heat your water up to a toasty 195°F.

Scoop up Some Energy – Measure out 1.5 tsp for your 8oz. of tea and get ready to infuse!

Patience, My Friend – Let your black tea steep for 3-5 min. Keep your eyes open, you’re almost there!

Ding! – We’ll spare you from reliving the trauma that was your alarm waking you up this morning and quietly let you know that your tea is ready to serve. Now go out there and take on the day!

So you need some help waking up in the morning but don’t know what to drink? We’ve got your back. Here’s the quick breakdown of the differences between the energy rich drinks, maté tea and coffee. Let’s get started!

What is maté, exactly? Maté is a delicious, South American herb that has long been used in it’s native countries for its energy and health benefits. Called “The Drink of the Gods,” this drink is still widely used by many South American people.

How does it compare to coffee? The maté plant has a higher nutritional content than coffee beans, is rich in antioxidants and provides an energy boost without the jittery side effects of caffeine. You can also say good-bye to that dreaded 3 pm crash.

But, does it have caffeine? Technically, yes. But the caffeine in maté is balanced by the nutrients it contains, waking you up without any negative effects and prompting the caffeine found in maté to have its own name: mateine.

So really, how would you rather start your day, with a cup of coffee or “The Drink of the Gods?”

Aside from Caffeine, tea contains 3 natural stimulants that do much more than wake you up. These 3 stimulants improve respiratory and circulatory functions that increase mental clarity and longevity, which provides a much better result than just tricking your sensory nerves into thinking you’re not tired (basically what caffeine does on its own).

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Green tea has loads of health benefits, and is slimming, nonetheless. Brew your Fruity Pebbles (or the green blend or your choice) right for the very best flavor.

Just like we’re picky about the ingredients that go into our blends, green tea is picky about the way it is brewed, so here’s a quick how-to:

Some Like it Hot – Green tea? Not so much. These blends are best brewed at about 180o F. What? You can’t tell water’s temperature just by looking at it? Toss an ice cube into your boiling water to bring that temperature down and brew your tea right.

Need a Babysitter? – Probably not, but green tea likes attention. It brews quickly, just 1-3 minutes. Give it too much attention however, aka letting it brew past 3 minutes, and it gets bitter. Treat green tea like an angsty teen, keep an eye out, but don’t be a helicopter parent.

Take Home the Trophy – Hey, look at that! You’ve made Green tea! Enjoy it, and reap the rewards of a job well done.