Edible Flowers and Tea: A Magical Match

At its simplest, imagine a cup of tea being poured into a delicate china cup. Hear the gentle rattle as the cup is placed on a matching saucer. You enjoy the scented air and how, on top of the liquid floats one single, vibrant lemon meringue viola—or perhaps a stunning cherry blossom.

That bloom can take the cup of tea to a whole new level, so now imagine a world-class tea where a variety of regeneratively grown edible flowers are dried and incorporated into an original Earl Grey blend.

That’s exactly what mothers and grandmothers around the country will be enjoying in their Mother’s Day Gift Boxes. More specifically, the wrapped basket contained a bouquet of petite mixed root vegetables and aromatic flowering herbs, a fresh selection of carrots, spinach and cucumber, eye-catching mixed edible flowers, a special tea blend from Rare Tea Cellar, tea ball infuser, a jar of honey, and package of wildflower seeds designed to attract bees.

What an incredible way to celebrate.

“The Culinary Vegetable institute has enjoyed a long relationship with Rare Tea Cellar,” explains CVI Chef Jamie Simpson. “I did a James Beard event there and I’ve always ordered their teas for our Christmas tea, Mother’s Day tea and so forth.”

For the special tea blend in the Mother’s Day basket, Jamie dried marigolds, violas, florets, and microgreens from The Chef’s Garden, and then Rodrick Markus from Rare Tea Cellars created a unique Earl Grey blend with those dried beauties. “It is floral, it is aromatic,” Jamie explains, “with incredible notes of citrus and bergamot.”

Jamie always looks forward to a chance to work with Roderick, appreciating how he focuses on quality ingredients, top-notch processes—and marvelous flavor.

“This company brings in exotic ingredients from all around the world to make these incredible teas,” Jamie says, “and then supplies them to chefs and other tea lovers. He is a real explorer, seeking the most original ingredients possible for tea. I’d even call him the Indiana Jones of unique teas.”

Women who were fortunate enough to receive a Mother’s Day Gift Box (yes, it did sell out) with this tea could brew a bag twice, as long as they added an extra minute for the second brew. “Roderick said they could, and it’s true,” Jamie says. “I did a test drive and discovered that, although the second round is more delicate in flavor, less aromatic, these tea bags were so amazing that you could definitely use the same leaves twice.”

Jamie has always been well known for his desire for and ability to creatively use ingredients to prevent food waste—and, with all of the changes and restrictions during these challenging times in 2020, he’s continuing on that same pathway.

“I’m looking for creative outlets to use the farm’s products,” he says. “Right now, the entire floor of CVI is dedicated to drying herbs, making our place incredibly aromatic.”

Ladies—we hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!