Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Man Behind High-End Tea Scene

(Photo: Rodrick Markus)

Last week during an epic tasting party at the Elysian, as some of the city's top chefs handed off signature bites to guests, one guy was off to the side doing something we've never seen before at one of these events.

Rodrick Markus, founder of Cicero-based Rare Tea Cellar, was pushing a collection of unique, high-end loose teas. Seriously, tea at a party where guests typically go straight for the open bar?!

It's actually becoming a bit of a trend, thanks to Markus, and detailed here in an article in Crain's Chicago Business.

At Spiaggia, the 1949 vintage pu-erh tea goes for $195 per single-serve pot (they've sold about six thus far), plus multi-course, tea-focused dinners at L2O and Naha have ranged from $125 to $250 a person.

Yeah, we know that's a bit steep, so look forward to Thursday's opening of Bakin’ & Eggs, a breakfast/brunch/lunch spot that will sell Rare Tea Cellar products at more affordable prices.