Every week until Christmas I'll be featuring unique gifts you can find all around uptown. This week's theme? The tasty sips and bites made or sold exclusively north of 100th Street. Here are just some of the items I think make the perfect gift for foodies this holiday season.
Usambara Earl Grey black tea from Serengeti tea & Spices
Serengeti Tea and Spices, a shopable oasis in Central Harlem, sells a whole range of teas, from rare African varieties to classic Earl Grey, plus blends like jasmine lemongrass green tea, antioxidant-rich rooibos, coffee, and hot chocolate. What's more, the canisters double as pretty storage containers when you've used up your tea.
New York Bread Box from Hot bread kitchen
Hot Bread Kitchen is an East Harlem non-profit that helps economically disadvantaged women learn bread-making skills. Support its fantastic cause by stocking up on some of its goodies (which are also sold individually in Whole Foods stores around the city), like the New York Bread Box sampler containing 6 bialys, one challah, one New York rye, and one chocolate babka.
single origin coffee from lenox coffee
One of the first micro roasters in Upper Manhattan, Lenox Coffee only sells its single origin coffee in its shop, so you'll have to stop by the cozy cafe in Central Harlem to get your beans. You can always grab a delicious latte and a pastry while you're at it.
Cookie assortment from Levain Bakery
Skip the lines at Levain's Harlem outpost and go online to order an assortment of the cult bakery's giant cookies–chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and dark chocolate peanut butter chip–to be delivered straight to your favorite cookie monster.
craft chocolate from Sol Cacao
Sol Cacao single-origin chocolate bars–made of two ingredients: cacao from Ecuador, Peru or Madagascar and raw cane sugar–are the brainchild of three brothers from Trinidad and Tobago. Today they manufacture their treats in the South Bronx, but you can find their chocolate online or in Harlem shops like Nilu and the Whole Foods on 125th Street.
Wine Spices Wassail Kit from Oliver Pluff & Co
Built in 1765 and rich in revolutionary New York history, the Morris-Jumel Mansion has a small-but-unique gift shop stocked with an assortment of early-American tea and coffee blends made especially for the mansion by Oliver Pluff & Co. The store also sells the Charleston, South Carolina company's wine spices–the perfect ingredient for a wintry holiday drink.