You sometimes don’t know where the best teas will come from. I could go on some long winded rant about how the best teas could be loose, or in bags, or from other source. And I might also say the best of the best may find you. When you aren’t looking it just comes your way. I’ve gone on and on about the metaphysical and spiritual aspects of tea drinking. It’s a subconscious and conscious experience all at the same time.
The team I’m going to write about here is from a company I’ve never heard of, and it was sipped at a place I’ve never been to before, and in a place I would least expect. Actually it wouldn’t be near the last place I’d expect, but it’s fun to say that for dramatic purposes. But it was at a place where it only seems fitting.
What makes this even all the more special is this was after appetizers, after wine, and after a fantastic dinner at Vin 909 in gorgeous Annapolis, MD. And this location is as cozy, charming, and welcoming as it gets. But more on this awesome restaurant later in the week.
But this tea oh my goodness. Maybe it was the setting, maybe it was the ambiance, the location, the meal, the energy, and the everything. It doesn’t matter. Good tea is good tea and great tea is even better. This was on another level.
I don’t talk about white tea enough. I’m grateful I got to write about a expertly crafted one here. The white with natural peach, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean flavors makes this a unique medley of flavors that I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of having altogether before. Throw in orange peel and rose hips (which I couldn’t taste since I was mesmerized by everything else) and this is a tea I strongly recommend, but only wish was available at a store near me.
To me, this tea is a throwback to so many I’ve had in the past. It felt like a culmination of something. No, not the culmination, or else that’s even more over-the-top, and I’m just getting warmed up.
The majority of restaurants we go to do have tea. But not like this. And the tea offerings are usually along the lines of the most standard label, which usually means a black tea, and anything but herbal. And there’s nothing right or wrong about that. Higher end (which is what I consider Vin 909 to be) restaurants don’t (and for good reason) consider their after dinner menus as well thought out as I’ve seen Vin 909’s. And this is part of what I forgot to mention earlier.
You usually get this presentation at tea shops and cafes, so this gave me that warm and happy feeling. Anytime I see a teapot with infuser, I’m super excited. Yet, I try to keep that enthusiasm to myself or I may be asked to leave the premises.
The tea paired with a heavily rich Chocolate pot de creme. It was comfort food for a time of comfort. It’s January, we’re still in a bit of the holiday hangover. This is the time to be practicing healthy eating and drinking habits. Apparently this was the last thing on my mind.
The dessert was an interesting counterbalance to the tea. I split it with company, and still could barely eat any. But the joyous tea was one I was thrilled to split 50/50.
I’m craving a pot all to myself right about now. But I would be a fool to say that everything else leading up to this was tremendous, that it made the after dinner experience that much better.
Where is this going? I go to a farm-to-table restaurant/wine bar and all I write about is the tea? I keep my universes separate, but this will all make sense as the week progresses.
In all honesty, depending on where the next posts go, the tea one might have been the easiest or most difficult to right. How about that for a bold prediction?
If you are in or around the Annapolis area, I cannot recommend Vin 909 enough.
I was happy to learn that owner and general manager, Alex Manfredonia is a big supporter of my dear friend’s organization, Anne Arundel County CASA.
It makes me happy to support a great restaurant that supports a greater cause.
This will all be elaborated on later.
It’s a Vin 909 kind of week.
To be continued…