Featured Reblend for May 2018: Pineapple Angel Food Cake White Tea!
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Pineapple Angel Food Cake White Tea!
Tea Description: I considered calling this "Pineapple Angel food Cake White Tea v.2" or something like that, but technically, my previous reblend of this tea would be v.2 because I used a different base than the original - and since I didn't call that one v.2, I don't think I should call this one v.2, nor would it be correct to call it v.3 since I didn't call that one v.2 . . . so I guess it's just like the continuing evolution of Pineapple Angel Food Cake White Tea!
Frank blended the The very first (original) batch of this tea. That batch utilized Shou Mei White Tea for it's base. While I did enjoy that blend quite a bit, I've never been a big fan of Shou Mei (although in the last couple of years, I've found good use for it as a companion to Houjicha and I've liked the blending of Shou Mei and Houjicha quite a bit) - so when it came time for me reblend it shortly after the takeover, I used Bai Mu Dan instead of Shou Mei. I absolutely loved that batch!
So I was a little bit - unsure - about reblending it with a slightly different base (using a combination of Bai Mu Dan & Yue Guang Bai) but since I've utilized this base a couple of times recently with success, I decided to give it a go. And you know what? I think I might like this blend the best! The Moonlight White (Yue Guang Bai) seems to add just a little more depth to the flavor - allowing the notes of angel food cake and pineapple to play on the palate. Here, I taste angel food cake prominently with pineapple serving as more of an accent flavor - which is how it should be when you're having a slice of angel food cake topped with pineapple. The pineapple shouldn't dominate.
As I continue to sip, the pineapple becomes a little more assertive but still does not attempt to overpower the cup. This is so good!
Frank's original description of this tea went like this:
I blended our premium shou mei white tea with freeze-dried pineapple and organic flavors to create a soothing cuppa yummy. The pineapple is a very strong scent when you smell the dry tea, but tasting it, you definitely get the flavor of soft, vanilla, spongy angel food cake underlying the sweet pineapple. All it’s missing is the ability to chew it, and for me, the flavor is so spot on, it makes me want to start chewing to feel that soft, chewy, spongy cake. I have a feeling this one is going to be very popular.
And here's my description of the reblend:
As a subscriber to 52Teas back when this tea was first intruduced (I think it was either September or October 2013!) I had the opportunity to try that first batch and I quite enjoyed it. But when a couple of our Kickstarter campaign backers purchased the "You Choose The Reblend" incentive and selected this tea as their reblend choice, I decided I could try to make this tea even better!
I was originally planning to keep the shou mei base but to be honest, I just haven't found many shou mei teas that make me all that excited. So instead, I changed the base to an organic White Peony. Other than that, I stuck pretty close to the recipe except that I decided to add a couple of minced up vanilla beans to enhance the vanilla notes in the cake-like flavors of this tea.
And with these changes, I do think that I achieved my goal and made a yummy tea even yummier!
I like to think that with the slight changes I've made to this recipe (I didn't use candied pineapple this go around, just freeze-dried pineapple) - I may have actually perfected the recipe. Try it and see what you think!
ingredients: white teas
organic ingredients: freeze dried pineapple, vanilla beans & natural flavors
Oh wow! I'm so loving this!
When it came to deciding what tea to reblend this month, I wanted to find something "cake-ish" because both Amethyst's and my birthdays are at the end of the month - so I thought a cake-ish tea was appropriate. I wasn't sure which tea I'd choose though, but my mind kept coming back to this one. Perhaps because it reminds me a lot of my gramma who would bake me an angel food cake every year for my birthday. She frosted it with this insanely good milk chocolate frosting that back then I thought was made of just melted milk chocolate bars because every once in a while, I'd come across a chunk of chocolate and it was like I got my own little Hershey bar. It was an incredibly decadent treat.
Now that I'm grown and have done some baking, I realize that the frosting wasn't just melted Hershey bars - but I still have not been able to recreate that amazing frosting. Nor have I been able to successfully bake an angel food cake. Thank goodness that we have a really good bakery not too far from here that makes good angel food cakes - even without the chocolate frosting, they make amazing bases for strawberry shortcake.
But I digress . . .
I don't think I've actually ever had angel food cake topped with pineapple before. I would imagine that the topping would be somewhat of a candied pineapple glaze of sorts, hopefully tasting more of pineapple than of candy. Hopefully made of fresh pineapple that's been 'candied' by cooking it to bring out the natural sweetness of the pineapple and adding very little sugar and hopefully not that weird, chewy pineapple that they sell around the holidays to add to fruitcake. That stuff is weird.
And if I were to taste one, this is how I would hope it would taste - like a sweet, fluffy angel food cake that's topped with fresh, golden pineapple that's been cooked until it's caramelized by its own natural sugars - because that's what I'm tasting right now. That - plus some notes of fresh white tea.
to brew: use 3g of tea to 12 ounces of hot water (about 170°F) and let steep for 3 1/2 - 4 minutes. My steep time actually fell somewhere in between - and the cup came out perfect.
No sugar is needed for this blend - it's so delightful on it's own - so if you're one who generally sweetens every cuppa, you should first taste this before you do so to avoid over-sweetening.
OH! And this one resteeps well too! Just add another 30 seconds on the resteep time - and another 30 seconds onto each subsequent resteep. I resteeped it 3 times, the flavor changed a bit each time, but each was still quite lovely!