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Featured Reblend for January 2019: Candy Shoppe v.2!

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 Candy Shoppe v.2 (Honeybush/Herbal/Fruit Blend)

Tea Description: When I first decided to call January 2019 "Retro Candy Shop" month (I did a bit of a poll on social media to determine the theme for the month) - my first thought was to include this tea as the featured reblend. For a while, I decided against it for a couple of reasons: first, it's not really based on a British old fashioned candy (which was to be my original focus for my Retro Candy Shop" theme); & second, my tastes have changed quite a bit since I last blended this tea (it's a throwback from my LiberTEAS days). Back then, my palate was a lot more accepting of hibiscus & rosehips. Now, not so much & since they were BOTH key components of this blend, I thought maybe I shouldn't include them in my Retro Candy Shop box. 

But - this is Candy Shoppe! How could I not include it? After all, I had a few customers from my LiberTEAS days actually request the blend & it seemed kind of ... well ... just WRONG to not include it in on a Retro Candy Shop Box since that's what inspired this blend in the first place. It was inspired by the sweetness & even the tart-y-ness of a trip to the candy shop. Not really designed to taste like any one candy in particular but just a celebration of candy in general: a little bit fruity, a little bit sweet and caramel-y, a touch of vanilla undertones, a kiss of honey and even a bit of tart. Like getting a mouthful of different candy shop flavors in one sip.

As you can see in the title, this is a 'v.2' blend - which means it is different from the original. First, I knew that I'd have a hard time handling a hibiscus AND rosehip blend so I chose one and opted out of the other. In this case, I chose to keep the hibiscus - but to cut the amount that I used in the original recipe to half - and to eliminate the rosehips. The other ingredients in the blend remained the same: apples (although this time around, I'm using freeze-dried apples ... back then, freeze-dried fruits were not as readily available as they are now!), oranges, elderberries (again, freeze-dried rather than air-dried), currants (also freeze-dried), and assorted petals (rose, calendula & cornflower). 

But do these differences mean a difference in taste? Well, yeah. Definitely. This is less thickly, sickly viscous than the original because it has less hibiscus and no rosehips. I happen to like that! I like it a lot!

This is an organic, caffeine free blend that is also VEGAN, gluten free and allergen free.

organic ingredients: honeybush, hibiscus, apples, oranges, currants, elderberries, rose, calendula, cornflower, vanilla bean & natural flavors

I was a little worried about how this would turn out - you see, it's been quite some time since I've last had a cup of Candy Shoppe. It was a tea that I retired along with the rest of my LiberTEAS line and I wasn't sure if I would add it to the 52Teas collection or not. As I mentioned in the above description, my appreciation for hibiscus/rosehip blends have diminished significantly since I last blended this and I didn't think I wanted to add ANY hibiscus and/or rosehips to any of my blend and this particular blend kinda needs at least one or the other - it just does. 

But since I did a Retro Candy Shop theme, I figured I needed to bring this one back because I felt sure that at least one of my dear customers from the LiberTEAS days would ask me why I didn't bring it back for this themed month. So - as I indicated above - I decided to bring it back with modifications to the recipe - eliminating the rosehips and reducing the amount of hibiscus in the blend. It makes for a thinner consistency - but it's much more palatable to me this way. It's smoother and less syrupy and tart. The tart of the hibiscus is smoother. I taste more of the fruity elements because it's less hibiscus-berry-like tart. 

The fruitiness here is more of a fruit medley rather than specific apple, orange, currant or elderberry flavors. The vanilla is more of a background of creamy than a distinct vanilla. It's like the taste that might linger on your palate after leaving a candy shop after a tour of sampling. 

I love this one all over again!

to brew: this one is a MUST SHAKE blend - because the honeybush will filter down to the bottom of the pouch if you don't - and you'll just get a bunch of the fruits & flowers and this won't result in a very flavorful cup. Shake the pouch well - and be sure to get an equitable distribution of honeybush, fruit & flower in each measurement. I recommend about 5g of leaf to 12 ounces of hot water (195°F). Steep for 6 - 8 minutes. I don't recommend a longer steep here. Oh, it won't get bitter, but the hibiscus, if left to steep, can (and in most cases will) go on to get very syrupy and thick and just ... rather unpleasant. Don't give it the opportunity to ruin a perfectly good cuppa!

strain and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. enjoy!

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