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Tea of the Week for April 15, 2019: Mother of Dragons Black Tea!

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Mother of Dragons Black Tea!

Tea Description: For our third Game of Thrones tea, I decided to pay tribute to another favorite character of mine: Daenerys Targaryen! But I must confess, she's mainly one of my faves because of the dragons. I love the dragons!  

Another confession: it was the dragons that got me to actually sit down and watch the show. I watched the full first season with Mat, and after the first season when Ned lost his head and after witnessing the horrible Joffrey, I just couldn't deal. As a mother, I wanted to go and do something about that terrible kid. So Mat continued to watch the show and I'd ignore his pleas to sit down and watch with him and give the show another chance, until I started seeing the dragons. 

Another confession: I want a dragon. Yes, I know they're not real. That doesn't do anything to diminish my desire for a dragon.

If you're like me, you gotta love Daenerys and her dragons. So I decided to not just play tribute to Daenerys with this tea, but also her dragons - or the fact that she is the mother of dragons. 

I started with a base of black teas (Assam, Ceylon & Yunnan) and then added a wee bit of Lapsang Souchong to it for smokiness (because - dragons). Then I added some smoked chili flakes and some cayenne pepper (because - dragons breathe fire). Finally, I added some freeze-dried mango & pineapple bits for just a bit of sweetness (because - Daenerys's love for her dragons shows the sweet side of her). I didn't want this to be too smoky (because, quite frankly, I'm not a huge fan of strong smoky notes). I didn't want this to be too spicy. I wanted a balance between the sweet and smoky notes, with the heat to be subtle but strong enough to remind you that it's there. Something that starts as a gentle warmth in the back of the throat but builds - gradually - as you continue to sip.

I think I managed to achieve what I set out to achieve with this tea. I'm really happy with it. 

And in case you're wondering, it IS organic, gluten-free, allergen free and of course - VEGAN!

organic ingredients: black teas, mangos, pineapples, smoked chili flakes, cayenne pepper & natural flavors

I'm really loving this tea - a whole lot more than I anticipated! I figured I'd like it - but I wouldn't have thought - before tasting it - that it would turn out to be one of my favorites from this month (my other favorite being Dragonglass). I'm really enjoying the balance between the smoke and the fruit notes. The heat starts out a little subtle but there is a gentle 'tickle' from the spice toward the end of the first few sips. As I continue to sip, I start to pick up on more and more spice, but it never grows to a really strong heat. I really didn't want that - I was looking for a warm but not uncomfortable heat. 

Also nice here is the solid black tea base. It's strong and well-rounded and provides a really good base for the other flavors. 

to brew: give the pouch a gentle but thorough shake because the bits of cayenne and smoked chili peppers will probably sift to the bottom and you want some of those to show up in the sip! use 3g of tea to 12 ounces of nearly boiling water 205°F and steep for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. (my steep time for my taste tests were somewhere between the two times, about 2 minutes and 45 seconds and I was very pleased with the results with that steep time.) strain and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. enjoy!

Without the sweetener, I noticed more smoke flavors - a bit of sugar brought out more of the fruity notes as well as a little bit more spice.