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Unique holiday tea celebration: here’s how to order your box

Unique Holiday Tea Celebration

Imagine a delicious black tea blend that’s flavored with dried and crushed apple peels, raw cranberries, and hibiscus flowers, one that’s a collaboration between the Culinary Vegetable Institute and Rare Tea Cellar—and you’ve got the centerpiece item in our holiday tea box.

“For the past several years,” Chef Jamie Simpson says, “the CVI has put on two annual high tea events. One was for Mother’s Day and the other is a holiday themed tea. Our dining rooms have been full, sometimes with three generations of a family at a table. We would serve tea sandwiches and a light soup among our courses, making it a light lunch.”

By doing so, the CVI celebrated in a way that has been a tradition in the United States and United Kingdom for nearly two centuries. As NPR puts it, “massive tea parties” have often taken place during the holidays, “in halls festooned with pine tree boughs and fruit.”

Then, over the past few decades on “both sides of the pond,” the holiday tea has “been resurrected” with a “focus on holiday flavors.”

In 2020, of course, events haven’t been held in traditional ways, at the CVI and elsewhere around the country and world. For Mother’s Day this year, to honor traditions in a family-friendly way, the CVI team created and shipped out 200 boxes of tea and more. “We’re doing something similar for this winter season tea,” Jamie says.

As with the blended teas made so far as a CVI/Rare Tea Cellar collaboration, the blended tea made for this holiday box is “unique to us, very seasonal.” Just as the fields have ingredients that peak in freshness and flavor during a particular micro-season, those used to flavor teas will also be included when at their very best.

Besides the tea, the box will contain the vegetables for two unique sandwiches. One will feature steamed and sliced beets on rye, while the other will be an homage to the French use of radishes—paired with butter and salt and otherwise allowing the flavor to shine.

“There will be a dry carrot cake mix that we’ve made, including the leavening ingredients,” Jamie says, “along with fresh carrots that you grate and add, along with eggs—and then bake. It can’t get simpler, or more delicious.”

Also included are salad ingredients and a recipe for an apple reduction dressing, a crudité plate of petite raw root vegetables, loose honey from the bees on our grounds, two gorgeous handmade teacups from our friends at Robert Gordon Pottery and tea infuser.

Really simple. Very delicious. A great gift.

Limited quantities. Order your holiday tea box today!

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