Three Steps: A New Leaf
Think outside the bag with master tea blender Gerry Vandergrift’s tips and twists on the traditional cuppa
~ by Renée Morrison
Personalize your cup with your favorite herbs and spices. “Egyptians often add fresh mint leaves to black tea and Indians add spices to make masala chai,” says Gerry Vandergrift, founder of The Metropolitan Tea Company. “Try adding cardamom, ginger, coriander, cinnamon or even black pepper to your brew. It generally works best with black tea, like Fairmont Breakfast, but you could use green tea as well.”
Take advantage of tea’s health benefits with powdered maccha – no hot water required. “Our research shows that Kenyan white maccha has almost three times the antioxidant levels of steeped green tea. Many people find it too strong to brew, but it’s easy to sprinkle on yogurt or a smoothie.”
Chilled tea makes a great substitute for syrups and juices in many cocktails. “Prepare a fruity tea, like the Fairmont Berry Berry, then blend it with vodka, ice and sugar,” suggests Vandergrift. “Another great drink is the Fairmont Breakfast tea with lemon slices and coconut rum.”
Gerry Vandergrift’s wholesale retailer provides more than 700 types of tea to companies around the world, including Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Each leaf and ingredient is harvested at its peak season (and often vacuum- packed at the source) to ensure optimal flavor.