EDIBLE NOTABLES TERROIR OF TEA e farm-to-teapot tisanes of San Benito Tea Co. BY ROSIE PARKER PHOTOGRAPHY BY PATRICE WARD 8 edible monterey bay summer 2016 Sara Steiner, owner of San Benito Tea Co., believes in the terroir of tea. When she started her business in 2012, Steiner, a winemaker at Gabilan Wine Co. with more than 30 years of experience, chose to approach tea like she approached wine. “My first focus is on the plants— the growing—on where I am,” she says. At ree Horse Farms, her property in the beautiful wine-centric Cienega Valley of Hollister, Steiner grows more than 50 herbs for her custom-blended herbal teas, properly known as tisanes. Her cultivars range from the familiar, like chamomile, to the more exotic, like jiaogulan, which is similar to ginseng. Each year there is a-trial-and-error process to find what herbs, both native and imported, thrive best with her growing conditions. “Terroir— that’s what this is about. at’s the focus and that’s the discovery.” e results are extremely fresh, vibrant, unadulterated teas. Steiner says each offers a taste, smell and sensation that is “a pure and honest expression” of the plants they come from.
edible Monterey Bay Summer 2016
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