We are a product of our surroundings. Much like a tea plant or a flower, we as individuals bloom wherever we’re planted, enriched by the cultures in which we find ourselves. We may find our speech sprouting neologisms from other languages, or our playlists pulsating with rhythms reminiscent of vacations past. Each of us, then, becomes a mélange of our experiences and memories. In similar fashion, P & T Blends are just what their name implies – a masterfully crafted blend of premium teas and other organic ingredients, each one an homage to the culture it represents. Every tea blend contains within it a story, much like any one of us.
The practice of blending teas has roots in China, when flowers were mixed with tea leaves to bolster inadequate harvests. In the many years since, blended tea has become an art unto itself. What was once a simple practice has come to elicit a number of other unconventional additions such as citrus peel, rice, and spices – resulting in modern day earl grey, genmaicha, and masala chai, respectively. Blended teas have since gained popularity around the world, giving rise to novel creations reflective of the cultures from which they hail.
Deep in the American South, the sun radiates a sultry heat from its perch high in the sky. Far down below, bystanders don wide, ornate hats and revel in their woven shade. As a thunderous noise grows in the distance, a cursory glance towards the footfalls reveals a team of horses barreling towards a far-off finish line. This is the Kentucky Derby, a yearly horse race which crowned the mint julep its official drink. The age-old relationship between the mint julep and the Kentucky Derby began long before the first race, however. Prior to the Civil War, self-sufficient horse farms often operated small distilleries on the side. Thus, when horse-racing gained popularity, the mint julep did as well. A refreshing combination of sugar, crushed ice, and fresh mint leaves, the bourbon-based drink soon became a southern staple. Our take on the mint julep evokes that same summery refreshment, trading bourbon for a smoky green tea. To complement the tea’s complexity, we added in zesty lemon myrtle and citrus peels, rounding out the flavor with a whisper of peppermint. The contrasting flavors deliver a characteristic depth befitting of its southern roots.
Thousands of kilometers away in India is the birthplace of Ayurveda. A Sanskrit loanword denoting “the science of life”, Ayurveda is a form of alternative medicine which emphasizes a holistic approach to wellness. With a goal of both treating and integrating an individual’s mind, body, and spirit, Ayurvedic medicine employs methods like meditation, yoga, and herbal remedies to prevent or alleviate bodily illness. One of the main tenets of Ayurveda is that the five elements of nature – space, air, fire, water and earth – manifest trifold in the body as three components. These doshas as they’re known, are Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. Each one bears close resemblance to specific bodily functions and to the aforementioned five elements, so a balance of all three doshas is necessary for optimal health. Our Deep Asana blend embodies this attention to mind-body alignment and herbal medicine with a warming blend of organic spices that helps maintain a serene state of body and mind. By incorporating Indian spices like ginger, cloves, and green cardamom, this energizing, yet grounding infusion reifies self-care one sip at a time.
Our final blend takes us home to the heart of Europe, Germany. It’s only fitting that here’s where you’ll find the heart-shaped leaves of native tree species Tilia cordata, or the linden tree. According to Germanic mythology, the linden tree was thought sacred because it could grant one fertility and prosperity. The tree’s cultural significance evolved as the years passed, and it became a symbol of Berlin’s beauty when Frederick the Great chose it to adorn what’s now the oldest boulevard in Berlin. Under Den Linden boulevard runs through the center of Berlin, flanked on either side by landmarks such as the Staatsoper and Zeughaus. On a balmy spring or summer day, one might walk from the Brandenburg Gate at one end to the Berliner Dom on the other, drinking in the sights and the sunshine. Thereof comes the inspiration for our eponymous Unter Den Linden P & T Blend, an artful mixture of honey-like linden blossoms, fruity notes of elderflower, and sweet-sour apple reminiscent of that idyllic sunny day.
The key to blending teas is balance. Although we draw inspiration from multiple places, each blend we make comes from the thoughtful combination of different flavors and yields a delicious harmony. Our goal is for each cup to tell a story, in hopes that our story enriches yours.