Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Light of Day - "Green" Tea in Northern Michigan
Hello TEA Friends,
Another adventure in "serendipi-tea" brought us to Light of Day, a true "green" tea business that is dedicated to providing organic products that are high quality, healthy and, I'll readily add, simply delicious.
Two weeks ago, BTS took a trip to Traverse City for the annual Cherry Festival. This area has long been known for its scenic bay views, resort living and, of course, cherries. In recent years, however, entrepreneurs have embraced this region's natural resources and the northwest sector of the lower peninsula has seen the proliferation of wineries and gourmet restaurants. This little city, where years ago we brought our kids every summer for putt-putt, water slides and parasailing, is now attracting the nobility of the haute cuisine, including celebrity chef Mario Batali, who has a summer home just northwest of this cherry capital.
So, we started our adventure at Trattoria Stella, a charming, brick-walled and arched ceiling restaurant whose menu, filled with dishes prepared with ingredients supplied by local farms, will meet any epicurean's expectations. Their daily lunch menu offerings include local cheeses and fruits, salads and tramezzinis (sandwiches) on crunchy homemade bread and, something new to us, "Light of Day" teas. Sampling one of their exciting black teas, we knew we needed to know more about them. Who knew it be in less than an hour?
From Trattoria Stella, we made our way through wine country and stopped at what have become some of our favorites: L.Mawby, Chateau Chantal and Blackstar Farms. At Blackstar, outside their retail store, we were met with quite literally, another sign, that pointed to Light of Day. Was this fate?
I was convinced it had to be at our next and final destination: the Cherry Festival in downtown Traverse City. We had ordered tickets to the first ever "Global Wine Pavilion" at the festival and, while this was supposed to be our reason for being there, we found we were pleasantly sidetracked.
On the way to pick up our tickets at the hospitality tent, we again saw the Light of Day sign inside the Sleeping Bear Gourmet booth! Here we met Bob and he allowed us to sample a variety of Light of Day teas including Honu Chai and Creamy Earl Grey. All of the teas were amazing and, because it was an usually hot day in northern Michigan, he'd alternate serving the teas hot and cold. Tasted great either way.
Bob explained that Light of Day was the creation of Angela Macke who is both a registered nurse and a horticulturist. Her farm practices Biodynamic agriculture and supports Free Trade tea. Everything is quality, right down to the packaging which features polished tin containers (which boast the "Made in USA" stamp) and labels that are designed and printed locally. Imagine drinking a delicious cup of tea and feeling so gosh darned good about it!
So, I'm getting ready to place another order with Light of Day. My newest addiction is Creamy Earl Grey. It really delivers on what it advertises - this is a silky smooth black tea that needs nothing added to it. In my unscientific dining room test market, both my daughter and husband, who ALWAYS add milk to any tea, were happily satisfied drinking this one au natural.
Enjoy the rest of your (Light of) day and this beautiful, summer weekend.
Yours in TEA and Friendship,