Asheville Tea Company Begins Brewing

Asheville Tea Company Begins Brewing

Asheville is not only brewing beer and and coffee, but we are also a city full of many teas. The culture here lends itself to this and we are excited about the craft tea scene! Read the press release below:

Jessie Dean is on a mission to turn Asheville into a town of craft tea drinkers.

The West Asheville mom and lifetime outdoor enthusiast launched Asheville Tea Company in September – craft teas blended with locally sourced ingredients and chock full of Asheville flavor.

 “Asheville has such a strong craft beverage and farm-to-table culture, but it has always been hard to find any locally sourced teas on menus or in shops,” said Dean, who has lived in Asheville with her husband Barney Caulfield and their two children Sam and Emma since 2006.

Steeped by her desire to bring “everyday tea culture” to Western North Carolina, Dean, who has a professional background in health and wellness, began her vision for Asheville Tea Company in 2015.

“I have been greatly inspired by our travels in places where tea is part of nearly every occasion, every day,” said Dean, who with husband, a native of England, have traveled extensively throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South America. “Once I began blending my own teas at home, I realized how many amazing and unique ingredients we have right at our doorstep.”

Asheville Tea Company currently sources from about a dozen local and regional farms including Rayburn Farm, Epling Farm, Franny’s Farm, Pangea Plants, ASI Yaupon Tea, Table Rock Tea Company, Hoopers Creek Botanicals, Gentle Harmony Farm, Way of Life Farm and more partnerships are in the works.

“Local business owners and farmers have been so very supportive of this new endeavor and I am so grateful for everyone who has believed in making locally-sourced, locally crafted teas a part of our everyday Asheville life,” said Dean.   

Her flagship blends include “Wild Earl,” a classic Earl Grey blended with wild bergamot flower, “Mountain Mint,” a blend of three types of Asheville-grown mint leaves, relaxing and wellness herbal blends, which feature an array of health-conscious locally grown herbs, and a funky seasonal gin and tonic inspired blend, “G & Tea,” made with juniper berries and local lime basil from Rayburn Farms.

The flagship line will also include two Yaupon blends – America’s only native “tea” plant and the only edible caffeinated plant indigenous to the Southeast.

“Yaupon has a storied history, and has been used by Native Americans for thousands of years. It is high in antioxidants and theobromine, which is the same substance in dark chocolate that brings about that euphoric feeling.”

Asheville Tea Company will produce two blends – a traditional Lemon Yaupon tea and Yaupon with local Elderberry.

Fall will bring more flavors as the local ginger and other late summer season herbs and spices are ready for harvest.

“We will also highlight beautiful local Echinacea flower and leaf, chamomile, lavender, anise hyssop and tulsi, and soon we will start to work with local dried fruits and zests for fall blends,” said Dean.

Want to taste “the other craft brew?”

Asheville Tea Company blends are currently available every Tuesday in September at the West Asheville Tailgate Market. Dean said she hopes expand soon to other farmers markets and local shops. Like them on to find the latest on where to grab a cuppa.

Fill My Cup Cafe Opening This Fall In South Asheville

Fill My Cup Cafe in south Asheville

Among the many titles that Asheville carries, coffee has to fit in there somewhere. While driving around town today, we noticed that Fill My Cup Cafe is about to open in the same shopping center as Abeja’s House Cafe. This means that there will now be two great places to eat here! After talking to Joe, the owner of Fill My Cup Cafe, they will have lots of coffee, food including house-made sandwiches, and also beer & wine. Cheers to another great addition to the Asheville foodie community!

Survivor Contestant Jeff Varner Moving To Asheville, Launching Project Xplore

Jeff Varner Survivor TV Show
I’m Jeff Varner, former television news anchor and two-time contestant on the CBS reality show Survivor. I’m on a midlife quest. My goal is to make sure the next half of my life is more exciting than the first half has been. I’m a UNC Chapel Hill graduate and North Carolina native.
Jeff Varner Lazoom Asheville
I am launching an experience travel company called Project Xplore. It will be North Carolina’s first and only dedicated adventure travel group that’ll specialize in local adventures branching out to international trips in 2017.  We kick off our first experiences this spring/summer.
Jeff Varner Asheville Waterfalls
I grew up playing in the NC mountains. My best friends all live here. I’m an avid camper and hiker and try to hit Asheville as often as possible. I knew this town before the world fell in love with it. I show it off as often as I can.
Jeff Varner on an Asheville Food Tour
On this trip, I tested our upcoming Asheville/Blue Ridge experience itinerary. I tried to do as much as I possibly could. I introduced friends to downtown with the Eat Asheville and Lazoom tours. We spent a day on waterfall hunts finding some amazing spots. We hit every inch of the Biltmore estate and spent time soaking in the mineral tubs of Hot Springs. We spent time on the parkway. And we did it all while staying in a cabin not far from downtown. I feel like we barely touched all there is to do here. My guest is from Colorado and loved it.  A couple months ago I brought a fellow Survivor cast member here from San Francisco.  She insists I make entertaining guests in Asheville a priority.  She’s traveled the world, so that means a lot in terms of Asheville as a destination.
Jeff Varner Touring Asheville
The plan is to be here by summer.  I’ve launched my travel team from the triad but always with the goal of headquartering it in Asheville.  When I’m here, I feel uplifted, creative and free. It’s an amazing place I hope to share with the world. I love how Asheville and its people make me feel. I can’t wait to find myself waking every day as a resident of Asheville. The people, places and things to do here show me me what it means to be alive. I hope people will follow me on Twitter: @jeffvarner as well as our company @pxadventure. You can learn more at The site will be ready soon. We will be looking for tour guides and exciting things to offer our guests. Feel free to pass any and all our way.

The Tour De Asheville December 2015 Experience

Just this month we started the Tour De Asheville. This is a monthly event where our inside media team and some guests get together to go cruising around WNC in the private van, eating, drinking, meeting folks, taking photos, taking videos, interviewing business owners, chefs and more. Kind of like a reality show, but no show, just us. So exciting. All of us have heard and experienced Asheville in one form or another, but the half has not been told. We are going after that other half!

Anne's Custom Catering Asheville

Our first stop was to the event room at Moment’s Cafe in Swannanoa where we met up with Chef Anne of Anne’s Custom Catering. We got to try so many great foods, coffees, and also interview Anne and her husband Joseph as a group. We learned about how they got started, the many styles of food she has mastered, and how her catering company is now growing by leaps and bounds; with even a brand new website being developed as you read this!

Barley's Taproom Asheville NC

The next stop was Barley’s Taproom & Pizza in Downtown Asheville. Now there are many brewery stops that you can go to in Asheville, but we wanted a wide variety of craft brews from all around the USA to taste, making this the perfect spot. We talked to Jimi, who is one of, if not the pillar that craft beer in Asheville was formed on. As a matter of fact, the great Highland Brewing started out in the basement of this building, and then eventually outgrew it. A must stop if you are brew touring in Asheville North Carolina.

Hop West Asheville NC

Then we shot over to The Hop West ice cream shop to try a few samples and talk to Ashley, one of the owners. The brownie delight with cold mountain ice cream was incredible. Then that peppermint stick ice cream was so delish! Ashley talked to us about how The Hop Ice Cream got started and their growth including The Hop West opening, and then The Hop Ice Creamery. Who ever knew that ice cream could build so much community? But this is the case every day with The Hop, and ever since Greg and Ashley took it over.

Post 70 Asheville Restaurant & Cocktails

The last stop? Post 70 Indulgence Bar in East Asheville, and this place was WOW!! Talk about amazing craft cocktails, small plates of cuisine, and desserts that will leave you satisfied yet craving more. The building was packed inside and out with an oyster roast just ending, plus a dining room and bar full of folks having a great time. Emilios was delivering the food to our table while Courtney was shaking and serving cocktails. I saw her double fisting the shakers several times throughout the evening. We will be back. Like every week!

Asheville Premier Transportation

Asheville Premier Transportation supplied the van for the Tour De Asheville and did such an amazing job. We are planning on going on one of her private beer and food tours real soon as Dana’s company is expanding as well. In the meantime, if you are in the Asheville, Hendersonville, or WNC area and want to host us when we are out on your end of town, contact us and let us know. We just may drop in with our media team to paparazzi you and your business. Thank you to all of the businesses that hosted us this time!

20 Things to Consider When Planning for Your Financial Future

Jamison Financial Group Asheville

We recently spoke to the Jamison Financial Group in Asheville North Carolina about finances, investments, savings and planning for the future. Here are 20 things they gave us to consider:

  1. Get a credit card to establish credit. You don’t have to use it much, just buy a few things and pay them off on time to establish your credit.
  2. Save a little money often. Even if it’s not much (just a few dollars per paycheck will help!), it will grow quickly if you start early and keep at it because of the power of compounding. Read JFG Insights to learn more.
  3. Pay off student debt. Keep in mind, if you ever have to file for bankruptcy, student loans are NOT forgiven (unlike credit card debt). Read more about the challenges Millennials face.
  4. Figure out your budget…before you really need to. Take time to balance your income and expenses so you don’t have to scramble at the end of the month with your bills. This is called Financial Planning.
  5. Pay your bills ON TIME! Pay your credit card bills, car payments, student loans, rent, and utilities on time to avoid late payment fees or accrued interest.
  6. Invest in Yourself! Spend time learning about investing, taxes, and finances, you’ll save money because you understand how to save money! Here is more on financial fitness.
  7. Don’t over-extend your money. It’s great to be able to go out to eat every night, but you also don’t want to be scrambling to figure out how to pay your rent or make it to your next paycheck.
  8. If you must eat out often, downscale a bit. There are some fine restaurants that don’t cost the proverbial “arm and a leg.”
  9. Read the fine print on everything you sign. Ten minutes of reading small type could save you years of headaches.
  10. Take care of your credit score. You’re entitled to one free credit report per year from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, the 3 main credit reporting agencies.
  11. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts on services! You never know what kind of money you’ll save just by asking for a cheaper rate.
  12. Sign up for health insurance. If you are too old to be covered by your parents’ policy, it’s worth spending a few hundred dollars a year to prevent a whopping hospital bill.
  13. Learn how to cook! This will save you tons of money, and it’s generally a good skill to have.
  14. Start saving for retirement NOW! Even if you think it is too early to think about retirement, save anyway. You can never start too soon! Visit our article on the Retirement Crisis.
  15. Wonder if you are behind on retirement savings? Most people who are already well into their financial lives are behind on their retirement plans. Contact us to get a check-up on yours.
  16. If you are behind on retirement savings, catch up! It doesn’t matter if you are 25 or 55, your retirement funds will not heal themselves. Learn how to get moving here!
  17. Learn about social security. About 75% of retirees count on Social Security for a main source of income. Learn about how it works to maximize your benefits. (see link on #19)
  18. Increase your social security payments. Your monthly Social Security check can be as much as 76% higher by waiting to start your benefits. (see link on #19)
  19. DO THE MATH! Despite #18, 73% of all beneficiaries claim early at age 62. This diminishes your income by claiming early because life expectancies have improved! Make sure you understand how much money you are leaving on the table by claiming at age 62 versus age 66 or 70! To learn more, read: What Social Security will do for you.
  20. May 1, 2016 is the deadline for File & Suspend. For those within the right date range, act now to beat the loss of the File & Suspend benefit.