Tea Time With Lemon City and Sprout
We can't resist a nice tea party and there's no such thing as a tea party without flowers (and booze...) - so the girls at Lemon City Tea have all the good things figured out. We had a quick chat with the girls behind the city's latest artisanal tea brand. Just think, a few years ago, Miami didn't have much of a tea scene at all and now we have more than one right here on MIAMI NICE.
We're not sure if that speaks more to my caffeine problem, or a legitimate trend, but we're happy to dive into the world of Miami-inspired teas that is Lemon City Tea - especially because they urge you to experiement with alcoholic infusions...
Can you tell me a bit about who you are and what Lemon City Tea is?
Lemon City was started by four Miami ladies with a passion for awesome, delicious teas. We've lived all over – China, Thailand, Paris – and wanted to bring great teas home to Miami. Our teas are made with premium ingredients and are inspired by Miami and all of its beauties and idiosyncrasies. We've incorporated Caribbean and South American flavors into our blends and used this city and its people as inspiration.
Tell me about the name. That's an old name for Miami, right?
The name "Lemon City" is older than the City of Miami itself. North of Downtown, in what is now Little Haiti, Buena Vista, and Little River, a small farming community emerged in the 1850s. The area was named for the abundant lemon groves in the area, some of which still grow in the area. We loved the idea of incorporating old Miami into our name but also having a name that is referential to tea itself.
Give me the details of your ideal tea party...
We'd have to make a spiked tea punch – the Pomegranate Punch with Granada Green is always a crowd-pleaser. We're also big Arnold Palmer fans so definitely would be mixing some Santeria iced tea with lemonade. Cucumber sandwiches, Jamaican patties, and Croquetas would be the passed hors d'oeuvres. The playlist would be jam packed with Spam AllStars, Gloria Estefan, Rick Ross, and Pitbull. And our tea party would go past midnight!
Which of your teas is the most "Summer in Miami" - meaning what will keep you cool when you're melting?
Our teas are very refreshing but the tea with the most "summer in Miami" feel would have to be Limonada. It's a green tea with meyer lemon and lemongrass (very Lemon City). We work on creating a story for our teas (they even have playlists!). For Limonada, we imagine you in your car, windows down, beach bound with some Limonada in the cooler. We recommend coldbrewing the tea – simply leave the tea in cold water overnight and in the morning, you have incredibly refreshing iced tea that can be drank alone or whipped into a refreshing cocktail by adding cava and St. Germain.
Tell me more about the iced tea. I think a lot of people are used to something that comes pre-made or a hot tea bag, but you guys are providing tea leaves just for iced tea...
Iced tea doesn't have to be very complicated. You can make iced tea two ways: coldbrewing or traditional. Traditional iced tea making is simply taking the hot tea you've just steeped and pouring it over ice, which will leave you with a strong, brisk brew. Coldbrewing, mentioned earlier, takes a longer time and is a slower steep which creates a lighter, naturally sweeter flavor. You can use looseleaf to make iced tea (for coldbrewing, you want to use 1/3-1/2 cup of looseleaf per gallon) or we also sell 2 quart iced tea sachets to take the guesswork out of the process.
There are lots of places around the city that are jumping on board with Lemon City Tea, where can we get it?
We're in 20+ places and growing all the time. For a great cup of tea, you can head to Blackbrick, R House, The Daily, Lokal, or Lou's Beer Garden, among others. Andiamo is making our El Mango Next Door iced and it goes great with a slice of pizza. For a stellar tea cocktail, Taurus in the Grove is whipping up a tea Manhattan that's really delicious. Bubble Café in Doral is making our blends into bubble teas. You can even get a cup of tea next time you're at the movies – we're at O Cinema as well!
IT'S A TRILLION DEGREES OUTSIDE