We are thrilled to feature SerendipiTea as part of our February (Valentine’s Edition!) tea box. SerendipiTea was founded in New York City in 1995 and has been importing and selling high quality loose leaf teas (and putting together some amazing blends) ever since. The February box from Tea Box Express contains two wonderful blends: Once Upon a Tea and Roses Plenty.
Jennifer Villano of SerendipiTea was kind enough to share more with by answering some questions.
Once Upon a Tea (Source: serendipitea.com)
Tea Box Express: You have an impressive variety of blended teas and tisanes. Who comes up with these combinations and where does the inspiration come from?
Jennifer Villano: Linda, the co-founder, creates the SerendipiTea recipes. Her inspiration comes from so many different sources - literature, poetry, spins on culinary recipes (savory & sweet). By reading through the names and descriptions you'll see many different references.
TBE: With a tea blend, is the visual component as important as the taste?
JV: We always say that in the end it's the flavor that's most important but visuals are certainly key as tea is a multi-sensory experience. We choose with our eyes, nose and finally taste.
TBE: Who gets to do the tasting?
JV: Linda and Sonam do the cupping for straight tea but everyone tastes when a blend is in development.
TBE: Which SerendipiTea tea is your favorite?
JV: I have a few favorites as it is hard to narrow down:
Guatemala Black - medium-bodied and very smooth. Not to mention exciting as it is the first tea in the United States from Guatemala.
Moroccan Mint - a robust blend of gunpowder, peppermint and spearmint
Koh Samet Sun - a delicious, lemony combination of ginger, orange peel and lemon grass
Crème a ‘la Orange - a silky balance of orange, Rooibos, vanilla, licorice, lemon balm and sunflower and cornflower petals.
TBE: From where do you source your teas and other ingredients?
JV: All countries of origin are identified in our catalog: the tea (camellia sinensis) comes from places such as China, India, Sri Lanka, Japan & Taiwan as well as Thailand, Kenya, Guatemala, Tanzania, etc. Tisanes (botanicals that are not tea) come from many places including Europe, China & Egypt to name a few origins.
TBE: Does anyone from SerendipiTea ever travel to the origin countries?
JV: Yes, Linda the owner an co-founder travels extensively to meet and work with the various families and owners of the tea gardens and estates from which we source our tea. She has been all over the world from India to Taiwan to Gautemala and writes about her travels and tea in general for various trade and tea-focused publications.
Thanks Jennifer! To learn more and look through the many, many teas and tisanes check out the SerendipiTea website.