MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Lady Gaga is bringing her artRAVE tour to the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday, May 20, and as is the practice of a good host, she will be receiving gifts.
It’s a tradition the Xcel does with all acts.
In the past they have given Gaga shoes and Minnesota-made clothing.
This time around, she is getting tea.
WCCO decided to take a closer look at the growing popularity of tea, plus the custom blend Gaga herself will receive.
American’s love their coffee, with an estimated 400 million cups sipped per day on U.S. soil.
But overseas tea is often the beverage of choice, and that’s starting to catch on in the United States.
“Tea is coming back, and it’s been a big topic of conversation this year. People are starting to take notice of tea. And I think a lot of that has to do with the craft movement. You see it in beer. You see it in chocolate and wine. People are demanding to know where things come from,” David Duckler of Verdant Tea and Tasting Room in Minneapolis said.
Unlike coffee, Duckler says, there’s a bit more mystery with tea.
“When they recognize that tea has as much integrity, has as much depth in its sourcing as coffee and other things that they love, there’s a lot more interest,” Duckler said.
Plus there are plenty of health benefits of tea.
It’s packed with antioxidants and it has less caffeine than coffee, generally about a third of the amount.
“Tea has a really different effect on the body. Really, really fresh tea, it’s got a lot of caffeine. It will wake you up. But it also has L-Theanine, which kind of balances the effects of caffeine. Sometimes people will say when they drink tea they feel more calm, even though they are also more awake. That’s that interaction, L-Theanine and caffeine, and only tea can deliver that. So, it’s becoming more of the morning drug of choice,” Duckler said.
And reportedly Lady Gaga’s beverage of choice.
That’s why the Xcel Energy Center approached Verdant Tea to make a special blend just for Gaga.
“So, we use Minnesota wild rice and we use juniper berries, and then we round it out and make it a lot more luscious, I guess, with saffron and whole vanilla bean,” Duckler said.
The Lady Gaga tea is not available yet at Verdant Tea and Tasting Room, but Duckler said that he thinks the proper thing would be to let Lady Gaga try the tea first and then maybe feature it on the menu.