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Spice of Life

Hemisphere offers discriminating foodies a dining experience sure to satisfy.

Freshness is a big part of the reason The Spice and Tea Exchange is enjoying a booming business at their fourth store, this one in Winter Garden. Bill and Linda Files opened their first store eight years ago in Winter Park. Fernandina Beach followed in May, 2021. Cape Cod in March, 2023. The Winter Garden Spice and Tea Exchange opened last September.

“Freshness makes all the difference in spices and teas,” Linda Files says. “People don’t know how important it is to have fresh spices and teas. We stock eighty-five different spice blends, six different paprikas, five cinnamons, all from their countries of origin. And we constantly rotate them to keep them fresh.”

“Go to your pantry” Bill says, “open your spice jars, and sniff. Smell is 97% of taste. If you get a strong smell of what the label says you should, you’re good. If not, replace it. We cleaned out my mother’s pantry and found spices she’d kept from when I was a boy! If you’re a professional cook or a home cook, freshness makes all the difference. We had a chef come in for the first time and he couldn’t believe how bright green our parsley spice was. Now he’s one of our best customers.”

Fresh tea? Same story. “We sell only loose-leaf teas. Tea bags are filled with the scraps, and twigs, and leaves that fall off the plant. You’ll taste the difference right away. Every one of our teas comes with brewing directions for that specific tea. Tea is very sensitive to time, temperature, variety, and the amount of tea. Black and herbal teas steep higher. But over-steep and they’ll get bitter.”

Bill and Linda say, “Come in, browse. Open some jars and smell. Want to try a new tea? We’d love to make you a cup.”

4 East Plant Street
Winter Garden, FL

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