A Leaf from America’s Tea Heritage with Oliver Pluff

I *love* tea. Like Arthur Dent says (sort of) a cup of tea can restore my normality. It’s comforting. It’s delicious. I love it hot and iced. If you read here, you probably noticed I also love history. So when I discovered the company Oliver Pluff & Co., a historical tea company, I was thrilled! I’ve actually made another post/video about my tea collection, but this post is just about Oliver Pluff, who make the bulk of my tea!

In 2016, I visited the Morris-Jumel Mansion in New York City for the first time. This is the oldest house in Manhattan, a gorgeous piece of property that served as George Washington’s headquarters in 1776 and where Aaron Burr lived for a time after marrying Eliza Jumel. And, there in their gift shop, I saw it. A specialty earl grey tea, brewed exclusively for the house, packaged beautifully. I grabbed it and didn’t let go, and then didn’t think much else about it.

Until later that year, when visiting the Ben Franklin Museum in Philadelphia, I found another tin of tea. Similar packaging. Again, brewed for the museum. Same brand as the tea I already owned and knew I loved. So I instantly bought it again! The Ben Franklin Museum brew was a Darjeeling blend, a style of black tea that became available to Americans via trade with the British East India Company.

What I love about these specialty packages for historic sites and National Parks is that they include information about the person or place on the front of the tins, with decorative imagery that matches. It’s such a unique keepsake that you can pick up at these gift shops, and once the tea is gone you still have these gorgeous little 3 ounce tins! When visiting Valley Forge, former encampment site from the American Revolution and now a National Park site, I picked up the Oliver Pluff “Pinhead Gunpowder” – a tightly rolled green tea that genuinely looks like gunpowder!

Then, I treated myself to even more Oliver Pluff tea via their website. Around the holidays they had some bundles available, so I ordered a three-pack of teas including: Oolong (a blend that is sort of between green and black teas), ‘Gunpowder’ (another tightly rolled green tea), and ‘Young Hyson’ (a light and sweet green tea). I also sprung for a Hot Toddy kit, because hot toddies are delicious! This came with muslin spice bags (cinnamon sticks, orange peel, chicory, cloves) and directions on how to make the perfect cup: with honey and whiskey.

Oliver Pluff & Co. “tells the story of historic American beverages — including teas, spiced-drinks, cacao, and coffee — for historical sites, National Parks, gourmet markets, and consumers looking for a great beverage… (they) connect people around the country to the early American experience through these historic beverages” (per their website). I’ve loved these drinks of theirs I’ve tried so far, and hope to explore their other offerings – be it tea bricks, cacao, coffee, or other cocktail recipes! I love just being able to brew a cup, remember a great trip by looking at the tins, and imagine drinking similar things back in the founding era.

You can learn more about Oliver Pluff & Co., and shop their delicious collections, at their website. This post is not sponsored, I bought everything myself and genuinely really enjoy their drinks! Have you tried one of their blends? Let me know!

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