Stinging nettles, sweet peppers and heirloom chiles — in tea?
Last year, Baia Nicchia, the 9 1/2-acre farm in Sunol known for its impeccable tomatoes, started selling unique blends of teas, made from its organic herbs, fruits and vegetables that have been dried.
The teas proved so popular that farm owner Fred Hempel has now launched his own tea company, Grey Dog Tea, named for his pet Greyhound.
The teas are available in loose-leaf or bag form. The blends include ones with caffeine, as well as ones without. The actual tea leaves used come from San Francisco’s Five Mountains, which specializes in heirloom organic teas.
The four beguiling blends include: “Dragon Mint Tea Blend” (heirloom teas, mints, chile pepper flakes and herbs), “Chile Mint Herb Tea” (heirloom chile pepper flakes, mints and herbs), “Citrus Stinger Herb Tea” (yuzu leaf, lemon grass, stinging nettles, sweet peppers, chile peppers, Persian spearmint, nasturtiums and citrus peel), and “Citrus Morning Blend” (heirloom oolong teas, herbs, stinging nettles, sweet peppers, yuzu leaf, heirloom chile peppers and citrus peel).
All of the blends have a purity of flavor to them, as if you were drinking something straight from the garden. The chiles in the blends won’t make you break into a sweat. They’re quite subtle, lending fruitiness and a delicate warmth.
I’m especially partial to the “Dragon Mint Tea Blend” because of how the gentle tannin of the tea leaves is lifted by the profusion of mint.
The teas sell for $9.99 to $16.99.
CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a tin of Grey Dog Tea’s signature “Chile Mint Herb Tea,” plus a refill. You get your choice of loose-leaf or bags, too.
Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Dec. 22. Winner will be announced Dec. 24.
How to win?