Holliday and Dawda travelled to many estates, personally tasting and selecting the finest teas of each region that comprise the collection. Such teas include an extremely rare Omotesenke Matcha Green Tea. Sourced from the garden owned by the Omotesenke house, direct descendents of Sen Rikyu who established the art of the Japanese tea ceremony in the sixteenth century, the tea contains ten times the antioxidants found in one cup of regular green tea. Additional teas featured in the collection include an extremely rare and exquisitely delicate Darjeeling White, created from the youngest un-oxidized buds, and the Keemun Hoa Ya, an exquisite black tea known as the burgundy of teas for its unique and intensive fermenting process.
Holliday’s creativity and passion is evident in the original tea blends she has developed for the line, including a fruity vanilla Earl Grey with blue cornflowers; Assam and Cocoa Rooibos with toasted coconut; and the naturally caffeine-free, roasted Yerba Mate Chai.
“We were driven by sourcing the very finest teas from around the world for l’Âge de Thé, and are confident that we have succeeded in our goal,” states Kiley Holliday. “While the United States is a nation of coffee drinkers, we hope to showcase the art and ceremony of tea, as well as the health benefits.”
Kiley brings a strong passion for health and education to her vocation as Tea Master. Holliday’s passion for tea began in 2003, when she started to research the health benefits of green tea. Instead of her morning espresso, Holliday began drinking Matcha Tea, which is known for its unparalleled antioxidant properties. Quickly, she came to prefer the slow release energizing effect of tea over the caffeine jolt associated with coffee.
Holliday and her then yoga student Nicky Dawda, who also owns restaurants across Manhattan, realized a mutual dream to create an artisanal tea line that would herald the art of sourcing and hand-blending the purest leaves.
“With l’Âge de Thé we wanted to showcase the variety of sophisticated flavors that are part and parcel of the resurgent tea culture,” said Dawda. “Our customers can be confident that they are receiving a very high quality product from us, one that offers them a wide range of creative blends and rare and premium teas.”
The product launch will be followed with a Parisian style café in New York’s West Village, which will open in late summer 2009 and is set to exemplify the epicurean and educational elements of Kiley and Dawda’s vision.