The earthiness of sea lettuce and sweetness of honeybush give Emerald Honeybush tea a honey–truffle character, Cup of Sea owner Josh Rogers says. Photograph by Derek Bissonnette.
[dropcap letter=”J”]osh Rogers’ grandmother, like many maritime Canadians, loved to snack on dried dulse, a reddish seaweed. When she immigrated to Auburn, she brought her sea-veggie habit. “I can’t remember a time we didn’t eat seaweed,” Rogers recalls. “Even as a kid, I loved it.” Then, in college, tea became his preferred pick-me-up, and later, he worked in a tea shop in England. A couple of years ago, after a decade-plus of other jobs, he started mixing flakes of Maine seaweeds with various tea leaves and created his Cup of Sea beverage line. And last summer, he opened Heritage Seaweed, a seaweed-products shop in Portland. Bladderwrack, dulse, sea lettuce, and kelp all contain boatloads of vitamins and minerals. “Everyone seems interested in seaweed these days,” Rogers says, “but nobody knows what to do with it. Tea is a really easy way to get it into people’s diets.”