Sebastian Beckwith | Tea Detective

FoodandWine Recipe

Sebastian Beckwith has carried Warhols down the street as an arthandler and flown above glaciers looking for a perfect patch of snow as a movie-location scout. For adventure, though, nothing measures up to his current project, In Pursuit of Tea, the company he and Alexander Scott started in 1998. On treks in India and China (countries Beckwith first explored during yet another career, leading travel expeditions), the two seek out rare teas like Oriental Beauty, a strong oolong that's great iced, and Drum Mountain Clouds & Mist, a coveted green variety. They also offer Green Sea Anemone, green tea leaves that "blossom" in hot water, and Camel Breath, a favorite hangover remedy of Tibetan nomads. Becoming a connoisseur can take a lifetime. "Growers in Taiwan will taste a tea and say, 'Oh, it was raining the day the leaves were picked,'" Beckwith notes. But you don't have to be an expert to appreciate these teas. To purchase them, call 718-302-0780, or visit, which offers all the tea information you'll ever need.

PUBLISHED April 2000