The Musket Room opened on Elizabeth Street earlier this summer and the in-house tea program run by Erin Scala (the head sommelier) makes me so happy. I wish more restaurants would give this much thought and consideration to their tea selection. The menu is ever changing with tea from several great sources and tisanes from herbs grown in the restaurant’s backyard garden. I went in the other morning for a tea tasting (best way to start the day). Shall we begin?
Round One. White teas. Silver Needle on the left and Drum Mountain White Cloud on the right…
…here’s a look at the leaves. For silver needle, just the two top buds are plucked. Super delicate, smooth, and sweet.
Round Two, tisanes from the garden.
Lemon-Verbena on the left, and Mint and Black Mint (also known as Chocolate Mint) on the right.
Round Three. Yaupon! This was my first time tasting Yaupon, such a treat. It’s related to Yerba Mate and Guayusa and is the only plant native to North America that has caffeine. Just two people grow Yaupon commercially, one in North Carolina and another in Florida. And get this, no tannins in the tea.
Erin blends both green (piney notes) and black (raisin notes) yaupon for the tea.
This is Musket Tea, the signature house blend. I’d buy this by the quarter pound if it was packaged for retail sale :). Made from black tea with lavender, cacao, thyme, and mint, it drinks like an extra dark, earthy chai.
Round Four. High Mountain Oolong (left), Thyme and Lemon Peel (right). Good match, both savory and complex.
The lemon peels are extra from the fresh lemon juice used for cocktails at the bar…nothing to waste.
Round Five. On the left is a 1997 Pu’erh from the Vietnam border (would be so perfect with a rib-eye steak or venison!) On the right is a tea that translates directly to Large Leaf Tea from Old Trees.
Then we went out to take a look at the garden (cross your fingers for a grape leaf tisane in the future) and…
…a glass of Lavender-Vanilla iced tea. Divine!
Thank you, Erin for a lovely morning ^_^