Detroit Tea Company Reshapping the Way We Experience Tea

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Sometimes the versatility of an food product is what makes it so special.  Eli Tea’s owner Elijas Majid thinks that what tea is, versatile.  Tea isn’t just a “drink” it’s a culinary paintbrush that you can use to change the profile of many different food items.  Granted the old standby of brewing tea to be enjoyed is always going to be it’s primary utility, using it in adventurous ways is akin to a painter painting of anything paint sticks to instead of just a taut canvas.  Honestly Eli, you had me at “green tea infused gin” and “white tea and citrus rubbed seafood”.  We’ve included the Traverse City Cherry Festival Tea this month.  After reading the how and why Elijas started Eli Teas, please get creative and make something with tea, even if it is just a plain old cup of tea. (also check out the info-chart at the bottom for ideas!!)

What is your location and when did you start/how long has the company been in business

Eli Tea is an all natural loose leaf tea company featuring teas from around the world, but most importantly, herbal teas grown here in the United States.  I moved back to Detroit from Chicago and launched Eli Tea in 2012 at the age of 23 as a compliment to my past studies and research in botany.  All the tea is processed and packaged in a Food Lab: Detroit Kitchen Connect commercial kitchen.

I named the company Eli Tea as a means of creating transparency and accountability to my customers. Premium tea is a growing market but still requires a great deal of product education.  I write all the product descriptions myself and in the first person as a means to better connect with my customers.

I also am continually researching in the field and am back in school for a second degree in Nutrition and Food Science.  I want to elevate the American tea industry by learning all that I can.

What makes your products special/unique

Tea embodies the earth, people, and culture of where it came from.  In wine terminology this known as terroir (French: teh-whar).  Capturing this righteous essence of tea in my American-sourced tea products is especially important, I want to tell the tea-story of the land that I live in.  I sell cherry tea with cherries from Traverse City and mint tea with mint from Oregon. The land, people and culture is instantly identifiable from the first sip!

What’s the favorite part about your job

Everything!  I am a business man, botanist, and tea mountain adventurer.  In one way or another I am able to explore my interests in nature, health, science, people and culture in the daily workings of the company.

Where can we buy more of your products

Eli Tea is served at a handful of local cafes and gift shops.  A listing of the locations are available on the Eli Tea web store at www.elitea.co.  I am also aiming to open a tea bar later this year.

What’s the best way to enjoy/eat/prepare/utilize your product

ICED! The Traverse City Cherry Festival is best served iced and makes for a great cocktail base (try with gin + rum + lime).  I also recommend a cold brew of the tea

Traverse City Cherry Tea Cocktail

  • – 1 part tea
  • – 1 part gin
  • – 1 part rum
  • – Garnish with a lime and cherry

Cold Brew:

  1. – Add 3-4 table spoons of tea to a pitcher
  2. – 1 part hot water to instigate the brew
  3.  – 3 parts iced water
  4. Allow the tea to steep overnight in a refrigerator.  Strain when serving and dilute with water if the tea is to strong

Follow Eli on Facebook and learn more at Tea Education

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