Friday, May 20, 2011

Operation Grassroots Alaska: Summit Spice and Tea Company

 In today's edition of Operation:  Grassroots Alaska, we're going to be focusing on a company called "Summit Spice and Tea Company" located in Anchorage.

I actually stumbled on Summit Spice and Tea Company quite by accident through the 10.00 Allen and Peterson giftcard deal.  I went looking for what I could find and found that Allen and Peterson sold spice blends.  I was THRILLED to say the least because I really wanted to use my 10.00 giftcard on something I really wanted and new spice blends were at the top of my list of things to get to "shake things up" when it came to dinner.  I *ahem* actually forgot my 10.00 giftcard that day (grabbed page two of the e-mail instead of page one) so I just bought one thing of spices for myself to try that day, the "Chickaloon Chicken" blend.  I went home that night and tried the blend out and was really impressed!

Curious as to where Allen and Peterson got the spices from I looked at the jar like a smart person and saw it was through an outfit called "Summit Spice and Tea Company".  Curious as to what they made I went online and looked them up that night.

And did you know that we had a full service spice house here in our great state?!?  Yeah, I didn't either.

I was blown away as I perused their Website.  They carry, no joke, like every single spice you could imagine and/or want.  I LOVE that!  I know there has been many times when a recipe would call for a certain spice and I'd look at our stores only to find that no one carried it at the box stores and I'd just get frustrated and try to substitute the best I could with recipes.  I was so impressed with a "Good Eats" episode on fresh spices once that I went online and just looked up spice houses to see how much shipping would be to Alaska.  I couldn't even FIND one that shipped up here!

Well no more my friend!  "Summit Spice and Tea Company" is not only local, but they ship everywhere so we can finally get good quality fresh spices like the Lower 48 people do and we don't even have to ship it up here!  How very awesome IS that???

I wrote to "Summit Spice and Tea Company" to get their opinion on what some of their customized blends were best to try and if they offered a sample package I could purchase.  Instead of making me buy a whole bunch of spices to try they were nice enough to send me little individual baggies (above) of what they considered to be some of their best stuff.  Now mind you these are just the spice blends they do in-house, they still offer like every single other thing you could possibly want in the spice world (even saffron), so keep that in mind as you read this review.

My opinions of their products? 

I tried their herb blends first and I really liked those.  The BBQ blends were not bad at all.  I'm not sure if I really like the "Moose Massage" and some of the other rubs, though, because they tend to go toward smoky flavored, which isn't really my cup of tea.  They were not bad though and beat anything in the way of pre-mixed blends I'd gotten at the store from a lot of other outfits.

Speaking of cups of tea, though, where this company truly shines (in my humble opinion) is in their custom teas!  They sent me three to try:  Green Tea Mango, Nirvana Chai, and Sunny Mountain teas.  First off, the teas smelled so darn good I didn't want to drink them.  I was trying to figure out how to drink them, but still have enough left over to stick in my drawers to help scent my clothes.  Seriously they smelled THAT good!

And they tasted even better.  I am pretty picky about Chai (I consider it like a special occasion treat) and I have to say that theirs was awesome.  And the Mango tea...I LOVE mango so that one was extra special awesome to try.  And no, I'm not normally a "tea drinker" as it were.  I do hope to buy some more of the blends they sent me though (and yes, some of those will go into sachets to help scent my clothes too ;).

If you'd ever like to try some of their spices and teas you can get some of them at Allen and Peterson, but you can also Order them Online, although my advice is to wait until you have a decent amount of things you'd like to order as it's a flat shipping rate (no handling fees!) and starts at 5.00 and something from the look of it.  Remember when you see the price list though that it is price per ounce.  I am definitely hoping to get up some money here soon to order some spices from them.  It's just going to be so nice to order spices and teas and know that I'm getting them fresh instead of them having sat on a store shelf for who knows how long.

And I'll be supporting a local business too.  Which is a great bonus!

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EDIT:  A Couple of things the business wanted me to pass along...

"We do have a retail location in south Anchorage (1120 Huffman Suite #1) and are opening a midtown location (3030 Denali Suite #2) in June with a tea room as well as aretail shop. You should visit us when you have a chance. Also, for future reference, we just charge priority shipping (no extra handling fees) and use flat rate boxes if cheaper when possible."

 So, there you have it folks!  If you live in Anchorage you might very well want to stop by sometime :).  Enjoy!

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