A Cup of Sea? Is that a typo Heidi? Why, no it’s not. One of my Instagram friends, photographer @tea_on_the_trail touted a strong, earthy tea using seaweed. My interest was peaked.
Upon investigation, I was shocked and a little embarrassed to discover the tea she was reviewing is from right here in Maine! I should have known that. Nicole lives in land-locked Kentucky and had tried a Maine tea before I have. I needed to remedy that.
So, I jumped right to the Cup of Tea website and ordered up a 1.5 oz. bag of Sea Smoke made with lapsang souchong and dulse seaweed harvested right here on the beautiful coast of Maine.
Those who know me, know I am not the healthiest of eaters. And tasting seaweed is not high on my list of things to do. But I have seen television and online programs about the healthy benefits of seaweed and knew people eat it on a regular basis. Having seaweed added to the already earthy, salty lapsang souchong tea, one of my favorites by the way, did not deter me from trying it. In fact it increased my curiosity.
Of course, my bag of tea arrived in the mail very quickly. We are in the same state after all, but during this pandemic you can never be sure. The foil-line packet of tea was beautifully covered with custom labels and the package included a lovely personalized note from the owner, Josh. I found this to be a wonderful touch and the note also included an outline of their building surrounded by seaweed to use as a color page for children or adults alike indicating: “We hope it sparks a bit of joy!”.
The leaves of the tea, combined with the dried seaweed created a wonderful purple, blue, and gray mix before brewing. The dried scent was most certainly of the tea alone. It’s a campfire in a cup. So much so that my husband once thought something was on fire in our kitchen after I had brewed a pot and he smelled it.
My one concern about this tea was that the lapsang would completely overpower any kind of seaweed flavor. Lapsang souchong is a very, very strong tea in both taste AND smell. I most certainly tasted the lapsang, but then found an almost sweet undertone to it, which must be the seaweed. Upon further investigation online, it was also said that dulse seaweed tastes like bacon. I’m not sure I tasted bacon, but there WAS another earthy element to the tea and I truly enjoyed it.
I’ll leave the experts to tout the benefits and risks of eating and using seaweed. The Cup of Sea website explains the benefits of seaweed in general because of the additional minerals and vitamins they contain. But it’s also about a highly renewable resource and promoting and supporting local business.
I’m all about the tea though, and this particular brew is a wonderful cuppa on this chilly, cloudy Memorial Day. As their package front says, “Like camping by the ocean”. This tea took me there, if not physically, then by my other senses of taste and smell. Well done, you!