If there’s something I love more than tea its organic, small-batch tea, blended by someone who knows what they’re doing. If you caught my last recipe post on Tea Sandwich Bread from this past Thursday, the name Teri Gelber might sound familiar. That’s because Teri isn’t only the author of a phenomenal cookbook, but she’s taken her talents into the realm of tea this year by opening up her own business in Portland, simply called the T Project.
When I met Teri at the Tea Expo a few years ago, what immediately drew us together was our mutual love of food and drink. It’s that same appreciation of the culinary that sets Teri’s tea company apart from the usual tea company. Her blends are artistic, inspired, flavorful, and out-of-the-ordinary in the best possible way.
T Project’s I’ll Take You There blend is a smooth Darjeeling made up of not fully oxidized black tea, vanilla, and peppercorns. The tea’s peach pit-like warm fruit notes along with vanilla bean and white and pink peppercorns create a decadent, bold blend with a mildly spicy tinge at the end of each sip.
The champagne of teas…it’s a name reserved for a brew that’s as unique as a wine is, the result of the land it’s grown in (in Darjeeling, of course!) and its Chinese origins. T Project’s I’ll Take You There blend will seriously take you to the highest mountain tops in North East India…nothing like a bold yet delicate whiff (and sip) of Himalayan mountain essence to get your day started!
Many thanks to my friend Teri for the opportunity to try some of her delicious teas!
BREWING TIPS: 200 degrees F for 3 minutes. Please be careful not to overbrew…too long of a steeping will cause the blend to become bitter and too astringent. Steep it right and you’ll be in heaven!
THE BLEND: Dark brown and grayish twisted black leaves with white and pink peppercorns and dried flower petals.
THE SCENT: Like a freshly baked vanilla cookie, mildly floral with a hint of lemon-like brightness.
THE STEEP: A brilliant golden sunset in your cup. The coppery brew has a creamy natural vanilla taste. If you look closely you’ll see little vanilla beans floating atop your tea. This blend is balanced and bold and yet it still has a lightness about it. Slightly floral and vegetal, it tastes of peach pit and roasted pears. You should notice a very slight astringency at the end of a sip which is complemented by a slight kick from the peppercorns. It’s flavor is complex, just as a good Darjeeling should taste!
GET IT: At the beautiful T Project website, or in certain gourmet food stores in and around Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. If you don’t happen to like black tea, please check out Teri’s other artisan blends, all packaged to be eco-friendly. Can’t go wrong with teas named Diamonds and Rust, Marrakesh Express, and Voilà! Her Wild is the Wind blend would be perfect as a Christmas gift…you’ll find Oregon-foraged cedar tips in it!
FOOD PAIRING: Hands down, you should enjoy this blend with a simple, humble slice of Teri’s Tea Sandwich Bread Loaf. Tea, toast, and a dab of butter…nothing could be better. This tea would also be fabulous in a tea-based affogato (tea with ice cream), where you substitute the coffee for this elegant blend…more to come on this soon!