I took a sharp left turn in my drinking this week. I’ll bring you along for the ride with a post that doesn’t just break down what I drank (one beer, a Hill Farmstead side project), but also shares one of my favorite drinks (David’s Tea Teapop) and how to make it for yourself.
Sometimes you Gotta Just Pour a Teapop
I’m not a fan of tea. I don’t know what it is about it but most tea nauseates me. That said, I have found herbal teas that I love over the years. Most came in that shrinkwrapped box with the colorful tarot-esque artwork. Don’t judge. I’m just not a tea drinker. Or I wasn’t.
A few years ago, while in New York, there was a long wait for a table at kesté (surprise, surprise). A few doors down a tea shop had samples of iced and hot tea. We’d walked past and I’d immediately noticed the color (a gorgeous, rich red) and catchy name: Queen of Tarts. We are never ones for sitting and waiting so we decided to take a little walk. At the time, Bleecker St. Records (home of two impressively huge cats) was a few doors down and always a favorite spot. We followed a whim and picked up a sample of the iced tea to share. And that was it. Tart and delicious I was sold from the first sip. After that, any time we were in the city we popped to buy a cup of tea and peruse the shelves.
David’s is a great, modern space with gorgeous, monochromatic labels that turn the walls into rainbows. In addition to loose teas in tins they also sell a wide (and expensive, but worth it) variety of tea related tools. Steepers, iced tea pitchers, travel cups in which you can make your tea hot or iced, combo packs… there’s a lot but the store is always beautifully organized and stocked. It’s never messy. Tea is made at the counter to go and they also have a little lounge area at the back of the Bleecker St. location where you can enjoy your tea.
Why do I Like David’s Tea?
Why is someone who is so obviously a coffee-drinker going on for paragraphs about tea? Because this tea is incredible. It’s loose leaf but it’s not your grandma’s tea. You can see the actual ingredients, like herbs and dried fruits along with more interesting bits like pumpkin candy in one of the fall teas. This not only makes for a gorgeous Insta stream (is there one dedicated just to David’s Tea? There should be) but also adds to the flavor because you’re getting actual ingredients… zero artificial flavoring. But more than the gorgeous, ingredient bursting teas, it’s Teapop that has my heart.
What is Teapop?
In the heat of the summer, NYC can be nothing short of oppressive. This is when I most enjoy teapop. It’s perfect in spring, summer and fall, especially because David’s is unrivaled in their ability to craft seasonal flavors. But it’s the added fix of carbonation that makes me… God, I hate saying this but obsessed with the refresher.
It’s simple to make, and yet no one was making it before David’s and I’d never thought to throw it together at home despite the fact that Teapop combines two things I enjoy greatly: good herbal tea, and seltzer. Yup. That’s it. Here’s how to make it.
- Brew up iced tea for the required number of servings using 4x the normal amount of tea. Each David’s Tea comes with instructions and not all are brewed with the same amount. Also note the steeping time.
- Fill serving glass(es) with ice and pour tea over ice until halfway point.
- Top off glass with seltzer. You can use store bought or, if you have a Sodastream, you’ll never use syrup again. Believe me. I don’t.
Seriously, that’s it! It’s easy to make and enjoy quickly. I used my big iced tea pitcher a week ago to brew up a large batch of tea and have enjoyed it all week. I’m already looking forward to making more today. David’s is available in the U.S. and Canada and through their easy to use website. If you’re not sure where to start, I recommend the following flavors:
- Queen of Tarts
- Pink Lemonade
- Forever Nuts
- Cotton Candy
Obviously, you don’t have to order David’s to enjoy a tea pop. Feel free to break out any herbal tea, even the shrink-wrapped box with the funky artwork. I won’t judge.
The only thing I drank this week besides water, coffee and Teapop was a delicious beer enjoyed with dinner at Williamsville Eatery last night. This is officially my new favorite restaurant well worth the hour plus drive through nowhere.
I’ve probably complained before that despite living in Vermont, I don’t have access to good Vermont beer. We can’t get Heady Topper or other Alchemist beers in Southern Vermont, and forget getting Hill Farmstead. Unless you go to Williamsville Eatery, that is. Where they always have incredible VT beer on tap. Beer that doesn’t make its way to Bennington.
Last night we noticed a sour saison on the menu. Swabian Spelt is a spelt beer from Wunderkammer Bier, a side project of Hill Farmstead. This label makes about 80 cases of speciality beers once a month. I hadn’t heard of this until last night but am excited to start tracking their releases (along with where I can find them).
The beer is crisp, tart with a slight floral note of damask rose. It’s perfectly balanced, not too tart. I had two instead of trying other beers available. For dinner I had burrata and just-picked heirloom tomatoes followed by a med-rare steak with paprika potatoes, broccoli rabe, raw red cabbage and picked onions. Kris got the pork tacos (I wrote about those a few weeks ago).