Beginning today we are carrying a new line of small batch teas by Steven Smith Teamaker of Portland, Oregon.
“I was searching for a tea that was in keeping with our philosophy,” Hedy explained on the phone to me this morning. “I found them two summers ago when I was in Portland at the Pinot Noir Festival. I fell in love with Steven and how everything is so design oriented, from the tea bags and the colors he’s chosen. Everything aside from the tea is a amazing. And then the tea is amazing! If Michael Schwartz made tea, it would be Smith.”
Smith teas come immaculately packaged down to the tea bag itself (Steven also founded a small company you may have heard of called Tazo,) and paramount in the experience is bringing the customer into as close proximity to the origin of the ingredients as possible.
“I brought his teas back to Miami and couldn’t find them here,” Hedy continued. “Then one day I went into Black Trumpet deli when I was in Cayman. With the large British population of tea lovers down there, they carried it! I went to the website and contacted them and spoke to Steven himself… Of course he answers the phone… We had a great conversation, and he put me in touch with Amy their salesperson and the rest is history. I think we’re the only restaurant carrying them in Miami.”
Meadow is Hedy’s favorite, a decaffeinated herbal with Egyptian chamomile, South African rooibos, fragrant hyssop, linden flowers, lemon myrtle, rose petals, safflower, cyani flowers and natural flavors. “You may need a sun hat” advises the website.
MGFD in Miami will start by carrying two blacks, two greens and two herbals. Hedy is looking forward to working the tea into her pastry program in the spring, perhaps with the Lord Bergamot steeped in custard for french toast. Drool.
Read more about Steven in this past Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, The All-Star Alchemist of Top-Shelf Tea.