Ruiz calls tea “the everyman beverage.” “It’s the second-most-consumed drink in the world behind water,” he says. For the past three years, he’s been running the tea program at New York City’s Atera. The $65 tea progression, served with the restaurant’s tasting menu, involves 24 different brews, including herbal teas made from lemon balm or anise hyssop, which Ruiz clips straight off the plants. All are prepared tableside, with various methods and vessels.
THE TEA-WINE CONTINUUM
TEA: A Pinglin bao zhong, from northern Taiwan, has delicate floral aromas and a brioche-y quality, notes also found in Champagne. $8 for .8 oz. camellia-sinensis.com.