Smith Teamaker (Smith), a national line of handcrafted full-leaf, premium teas, today unveils its Maker’s Series collaboration blends. The first blend, Oolong Ice Cream, was created by Tony Tellin, Smith’s head teamaker and Tyler Malek, head ice cream maker for Salt & Straw. A limited run of 200 signed boxes of Oolong Ice Cream is available on July 1 exclusively at the Smith Tea Tasting Room in Portland or online at smithtea.com.
Oolong Ice Cream is the first in a series that showcases Tellin’s innovative approach to
creating unusual blends. Smith teamakers have always sought inspiration outside the
tearoom; the Maker’s Series turns the table by inviting chefs, mixologists and tastemakers
into the Smith blending room to work with Tellin. Together, the flavor artists turn inspiration
into a unique tea or herbal infusion that delivers a new tea experience.
Smith’s Maker’s Series blends deliver surprising flavor mashups in a cup and will delight tea
wonks and casual sippers alike. The Oolong Ice Cream blend rests on a seldom seen, buttery
cream oolong and swirls in Salt & Straw sugar candy, hand-cut almonds, jasmine blossoms,
Madagascar vanilla and just the right touch of sea salt.
“Most people think of vanilla ice cream as basic, but it has a complex profile. Tyler is the only
person who could help me pull off the challenge,” Tellin explained. “We have a similar
culinary approach to pushing the envelope on ingredients that is one part art, one part mad
science. Working together to deconstruct the flavor of vanilla ice cream and reconstruct it
into a tea was a real meeting of the minds and we had a good time working together.
Considering we both have experience coming up with unexpected flavors, it’s safe to say this
tea blew our minds.”
The relationship between Smith’s and Salt & Straw began in 2011 when the ice cream maker,
known for disruptive and delicious flavors, began using Smith’s unique tea blends to create
ice creams including Big Hibiscicle, Matcha Matcha Man and Strawberry Meadow
Learn more about Smith Teamaker
Founded in 2009 by the late legendary teamaker, Steven Smith and his partner Kim DeMent-
Smith, Smith Teamaker is a line of more than 25 highly curated teas that showcase Smith’s
artful talent for creating unexpected combinations with complex flavors and aromas. Smith
was the craftsman behind two of the nation’s biggest and best tea brands, Stash and Tazo.
Today, Smith’s team creates magic in their headquarters an old blacksmith shop in
Northwest Portland. Blends such as Big Hibiscus combining hibiscus, Indian sarsaparilla, and
ginger showcase the Smith teamakers’ artful talent for creating combinations with complex
flavors and aroma. Smith Teas are available online at www.smithtea.com and at specialty
retail stores across the nation.