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Podcast Episode Two: Dracula



Hello Tea and Book Lovers,

We've launched a special spooky episode to our podcast just in time for Halloween! We've paired the classic, Bram Stroker's Dracula with Hibiscus Tea.  In this episode we discuss the books take on the classic folklore of the Vampire and create two tea blends inspired by Vampire Bloodlust.

Here is a link to our Bloodlust Hibiscus Recipes

You can listen to the episode at the link below:


For the two Hibiscus Recipes in detail please check out the detailed post by clicking here.
Happy Halloween!
Stef

Bloodlust: Vampire Inspired Hibiscus Tea Recipes


Happy Halloween Tea and Book Lovers!
You're probably following this post from our second episode of the podcast. There we spoke about Bram Stroker's Dracula and how it added to the legend of the Vampire. We decided to pair the classic Gothic Horror novel with Hibiscus Tea. 

Why Hibiscus? Because of it's beautiful blood rich color when infused. The tartiness adds to that extra 'bite' to any blend giving it a little something extra. (yes, pun intended) Hibiscus is a flower that is dried and used as an herb many countries. It makes a popular tea that can be prepared in a variety of ways. Be it hot, cold, sweetened or straight; this is one tea ingredient I make sure that my tea pantry is never without. 

In this post we are giving you two recipes for this wonderful intoxicating drink. One is a show stopping liqueur that will that perfect eerie element to a Halloween bash. The other is a tea blend that is great cold or hot to adjust with whatever the weather may be outside. Both are our favorite ways to prepare Hibiscus here at Biblio Sinensis. 


Here is a favorite alcoholic tea infusion that we have regularly. Candice, our house mixologist, usually brings this over in mason jars that she stores and ages for weeks (or months)in her pantry. It's perfect for this time of year as the weather changes. The tartness of the Hibiscus blends with the spicy notes from the clove and ginger. It would be safe to say that this is the harder cousin of mulled wine. Here is a better photo of the deep red that it becomes. The honey simple syrup mixture in it gives it a really thick 'blood' like consistency.

We had these as shots this past Saturday, which really but they go great with some Ginger Ale or some Club Soda as spritzers. Try using it in replacement of drinks that need Grenadine for a surprising extra kick. I could see this heated and blended as a beautiful modified version of a Hot Toddy. 


Blood (Spiced Hibiscus Liqueur)

Ingredients:

  • 3 quart-sized discs of unpeeled fresh ginger
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 liter blended lightly aged rum 
  • 3/4c dried Hibiscus flowers
  • simple syrup (Made with 1 part sugar, 1 part honey, and 2 parts water. Boiled together and cooled.)
Directions:

  1. In a large glass jar with lid, combine ginger, cloves, and rum. Let sit covered at room temperature fir at least 24 hours. 
  2. Strain out cloves and ginger and discard. 
  3. Add dried hibiscus to rum. Let sit, covered at room temperature for 48 hours. Strain flowers and discard. 
  4. Transfer rum into glass bottles and seal well. The infusion will keep at room temperature for at least 6 months. 
  5. To sweeten the mixture, add your preferred amount of simple syrup mixture according to taste. 


For those of you that are looking for an alcoholic free version. Look no further than here for our 'Virgin Blood' recipe. This simple blend is something that I like to have on almost all occasions. I usually let this tea boil on the stove and infuse on low for hours. Not only does it give me that beautiful blood rich color, but it also makes my house smell heavenly! This is a great tea to serve for simple get togethers when your in a pinch for time. I like to serve mine chilled in a carafe (Like the 'unicorn' one I have in the top photo) with clear goblets. 

I also like to add a little bit of sweetness with rose syrup. If you don't have any available some simple syrup like the one made for the liqueur will work as well. If I know that I'll be drinking plenty of this through the day, I like to add a Stevia as my sweetener of choice. 

You can use any type of dried rose petals, but I prefer the crimson red petals as they add to the darkness in the drinks color. They are also usually sold at a much cheaper price since they darken blends unlike the much more popular pink rose petals. 

Virgin Blood (Hibiscus & Rose Tisane)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup dried rose petals
  • 1/4 cup dried hibiscus
  • rose syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 8-10 cups of water
Directions:

  1. In a large pot, add your rose petals, hibiscus, and water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Once mixture comes to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer. Simmer the tea for a minimum of 10 minutes. 
  3. Turn off heat and let it set for 10 minutes before straining mixture into a tea pot. Cool to room temperature if you are planing to server chilled. Transfer to carafe and add ice to preference. 
  4. To sweeten the mixture, add your preferred amount of rose syrup according to taste
If you find yourself making this in the warmer months, try chilling it and garnishing it with some fresh mint. 

I hope that you give these Hibiscus Recipes a try! Have a wonderful spooky Halloween Everyone!
Cheers!
Stef




The Challenges of Business and Charity

 

It's not fair to everyone donating to a charity that's not doing its job to plan a sustainable business. We get it, you put money into a cause, so that the cause can grow. But what happens when it isn't growing? Doesn't that just feel like a waste? The trifle us in this challenge is the question of how. We sympathize with the concern, in fact, Red Cross and a number of Churches are being criticized for their "abuse" of tax exemptions, and allocating a high percentage of donations, meant for aiding a disaster, into the nonprofit's own pockets. Sadly, that's been a common practice for decades. It's survival for many of us in the charity business. But even Grantors are starting to demand actual business from these 501c3 Titans, and Azure Lorica couldn't agree more.

Biblio Sinensis is our answer to this complicated development. Azure Lorica, the nonprofit corporation our program is owned by, has never earned a grant in the entirety of its existence. The company had always relied heavily on community contribution, including from its own Board Members and Officers. We thank them for their generosity, but if Grantors are demanding for sustainability business-wise, then we thought it was high time that we produced one, at last.

For years, Stefanie and I have been readers and tea lovers - hopping from one shop to the next, conversation after conversation, perpetually adding more flavors and stories to our insatiable pallet. Innocently, we took this love for culture as a hobby, disputing any notion to use this for business purposes with jolly rendezvous with friends for Anglophile trivia. Getting certificates from America's Tea Sage, and shaking hands with Sun Gardens' CEO were meant to be just our version of having a bucket list, geekgasm for our own fandom. It should've clicked sooner to us when we invited Frank Beddor to our own event, as a Guest of Honor, that this was a sustainable business to begin with. I suppose "impossible" was just a word for us to play with? But I'm getting off track...

We've always toyed with the idea of doing a Podcast, and with Stefanie's knowledge in tea blending, Azure Lorica has, at last, built a source of sustainability that we can all enjoy. Starting with our Estore, you'll find our series of Teas, ready to order, and easily brewed for your enjoyment. Coinciding with this is what made us love tea even more: the conversation. Not everyone's a conversationalist, but that's not to say that no one understands the practice. A college professor of mine once said "A person who doesn't read has nothing to say", and I handsomely agree. Too many are shy to speak about themselves, though Facebook begs to differ, but place a book between people, and the stories goes beyond sharing. It breaks the ice, it creates intimacy, and sometimes change. Sip a few cups of tea, and the conversation never ends.

It might just be the caffeine talking, but, dear reader, if you're anything like our friends, the tea community, and the Bibliophiles out there, you'll know how powerful a good conversation is. I should know, I got married thanks to just one. And, trust me, it's kept us sustained for over fifteen years.

Podcasting and Estore!

Happy first day of Autumn Everyone!

We could think of no better way to celebrate than launching our first episode of the Biblio Sinensis Podcast. As the weather cools and the hot beverages are a' brewing, we hope that you'll sit back and enjoy a conversation with us.



We have also opened our estore! In celebration of Autumn and the Podcast, we are offering free shipping for a limited time!


You can get these teas at shop.bibliosinensis.com 

And don't forget to use the code HELLOAUTUMN to receive free shipping. 


Tea And Books, The Perfect Match

There is something truly magical about the art of conversation.  The way it gathers friends, and how it draws them together is almost serendipitous. You act, then they react, and suddenly, you both find yourselves in a totally different situation from when you began. Some call it a journey, others take it as a new moment, but however you recall the words, the time, and place, you learn to relish a memory. This is a value we cannot cherish enough.

We're here today, to give you, our listeners, the conversation we miss due to our daily routine. Forget your worries, relax exactly where you are, and let's take a tour to the discussions you may, or have wished you had, about books and tea, tea and books, and everything between. 

Welcome to Biblio Sinensis.