Earlier this month a Georgian Caravan from Smith Teamaker arrived. I was going to write about this sooner but having bronchitis has put me down and out for a bit. So rectifying that now.
Second in their Maker's Series this was a limited run of tea created by Head Teamaker Tony Tellin and Chef Vitaly Paley. The first of the series was the wonderful green tea created by Top Chef Mei Lin. I really like the Mei Lin tea so I decided to order this new creation.
Inside this box was not only the sachets of tea but also a special wild huckleberry jam made to go with this tea.
One of Chef Paley's creations is the monthly DaNet dinners which I wrote about here. Tea is served at the end so I was excited to try what Smith Teamaker and he had created.
From Smith Teamaker this tea is a blend of "Ceylon Dimbulla black tea, house-smoked with hickory wood and blended with Assam, Keemun and Darjeeling black teas and hibiscus." The idea was to create a tea with the taste and smell of a tea has traveled in a Russian caravan. I've never experienced being in a Russian caravan but this tea has a nice balance and taste. Not too bitter there is a bit of smokiness and roundness with the floral and fruit. Very good on it's own, I was looking forward to how the flavor would change with the jam.
The color of the wild huckleberry jam is amazing. The taste is great too. Smith Teamaker created this jam at their facilities. Smith Teamaker does a better job explaining how the tea and jam were created on their website here.
I added a spoonful of the jam to my first cup. It darkened the color and added fruitiness to the scent. Sipping it I noted while it didn't make the tea too sweet it added a nice tart taste reminiscent of a thin slice of lemon yet not as sour as that. I don't usually add things to my tea so this was a special treat for me. I enjoyed the tea both with and without the jam. I need to try this again and make sure to get a few of the wild huckleberries in my cup.
For me it was definitely worth getting a box. At the time I am writing this there are still a few available at the Smith Teamaker website here.
As for Smith Teamaker, looks like their next Maker's Tea will be in conjunction with another popular Portland Chef, Gregory Gourdet. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with.