DRINKS ON YOU
Davidson's Teas Barkeep's Blends provides a pick-me-up.
WRITTEN BY MICHAEL C. MOBERLY
PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVIDSON'S ORGANICS
Photo of Micahel C. Moberly by Candice Vivien
Last February, while making a cocktail with a Davidson’s Organics tea for the edible Reno-Tahoe Good Spirits event, I had a question: Why are there no wellness teas for bartenders? I took this question to the Internet and could find no energy supplement for the service industry. I then sat down with Kunall Patel, the third-generation organic tea farmer who owns Davidson’s in Sparks, to discuss my vision. My idea was not so simple: to create a natural, sustainable energy tea that has fortifying herbs to help with recovery. It would be something for bartenders to put into their bodies, something made with care, as a healthy alternative to fuel long nights filled with joy, hard work, and passion. And we would call it The Handshake: Barkeep’s Blends.
Part of the reason I wanted to work with Davidson’s is that the company’s philosophy is to create blends that are true reflections of their names while being committed to sourcing healthy ingredients grown by generations of skilled small farmers. The standard of excellence to which Patel and his team hold themselves reminds me of those found at the generations-old distilleries I have visited. On a visit to the Davidson’s facility, I learned that each and every ingredient for every blend is individually cupped and evaluated for quality factors and consistency by Patel himself. This level of commitment to flavor and quality was something I had only seen in my world of bartending.
We also wanted to make sure the tea gave back to the hospitality industry in more ways than one. CORE, or Children Of Restaurant Employees, grants support to the children and families of food and beverage professionals navigating life-altering circumstances. Davidson’s has pledged that 10 percent of all proceeds from The Handshake will go to CORE. Davidson’s mission to support the skilled, small-family farmers engaging in sustainable, socially responsible agricultural practices made CORE an easy fit for this project.
The design for the box was created by local artist Haleigh Hoff to give it a signature feel, a look that could convey the handmade qualities of a good cocktail. Now this is my first box with my face on it, and needless to say I could not be more proud to have it on something that so many amazing people collaborated on. This tea is a reflection of how I feel about this industry; it’s bold and fills you with energy, but it is at its best when it gives back. When we give back to the people we love and work alongside, we are reminded of the true nature of hospitality, to take care of each other.
Michael C. Moberly is the spirits program director for Whispering Vine Wine Co. in Reno and a local spirits educator. His 10 years in the industry have been spent learning, loving, and imbibing with some of its best minds, both locally and nationally. He also is good at wearing hats.