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In this age of cupcakes, distinguishing yourself can be a challenge. Some bakers turn to gimmicks to get the word out, but Jennifer Akina-Roche, co-owner of Leaf & Crumb, took a different course: she specializes in tea-infused confections. As a pharmacology student-turned-pastry chef, Akina-Rocha uniquely understands the alchemy of science, sugar, and tea leaves.
“I love the precision that, just like in chemistry, is really the key behind a great product,” she says. After 11 years of schooling, Akina-Roche left her doctorate program to cook. She enrolled in culinary school at Johnson and Wales and began to turn her scientific bent into culinary works of art.
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Now, along with partner Lisa Klodnicki, she creates innovative combinations of tea-infused cupcakes, cakes, and other baked goods. Open since October, Leaf & Crumb’s pastry cases beckon with scrumptious flavors such as raspberry-Earl Grey with mixed berry buttercream; berry hibiscus streusel; blood-orange Rooibos with vanilla buttercream, and my personal favorite, sweet Asian pear (pictured) with Moscato buttercream.
Tip: If the intersection of tea and cooking interests you, check out these recipes from Bon Appétit.
4416 Eighth Ave., 303-355-0022