Tea of the Week for August 12, 2019: Lilith's Birthday Cake!
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Lilith's Birthday Cake! (White Tea)
Tea Description: Lilith (my youngest daughter) celebrates her 18th birthday this month - and after I ordered her birthday cake from her favorite bakery, I decided I should make a tea inspired by her cake. Her favorite cake is a white cake with lemon curd filling and a chantilly cream frosting.
Side note: the chantilly cream from the bakery at Chuck's Produce is ah-maz-ing! Seriously, I think I could just eat a huge dollop of the chantilly cream and be happy - no cake necessary. Not to say that the cake isn't itself delicious. It's quite delightful too. But the chantilly cream makes the cake.
Anyway: to interpret her cake in tea, I started with a Bai Mu Dan base & added lemons. Then I added some cake & cream flavors. Then I added just a bit more cream flavor because - Chantilly Cream. I finished it off with rainbow sprinkles because it's a birthday cake tea inspired by the rainbow of my life, my Lilith Natalie.
After my first sip of this tea, I brought it to Lilith to test and she gave it a thumbs up. She said it was a really good representation of her cake. If I'm being honest, I'd have to admit that the lemon flavor of the actual cake is a bit stronger than what you experience with this tea (the lemon flavor DOES develop though, so give it some time) but really, what I wanted to accomplish with this tea, more than any other flavor - was the Chantilly Cream. And this tea does that - really well! - if I do say so myself. It's sweet, it's creamy, it's delightful chantilly cream goodness. Even the texture reminds me a bit of the light, fluffy, indulgent DREAM that is chantilly cream.
Oh, and this is gluten & allergen free and of course, VEGAN!
ingredients: sprinkles (Sugar, Potato Starch, Vegetable Fat (coconut), Maltodextrin, Spirulina Extract, Colours (E163-Anthocyanins, E162-Beetroot Red, E160c-Paprika, E100-Turmeric), Carnauba Wax.)
organic ingredients: white tea, lemons & natural flavors
YUM! I am loving this tea.
I'm about halfway through my second cup now, so I can say that it definitely IS more cream than lemon, but since a) most of the lemon/cream type teas I've done in the past have been more about the lemon than the cream, and; b) this tea is inspired by our favorite cake - and more specifically, the chantilly cream on that cake - I think that this being more about the cream than the lemon is the way it should be.
That said, the lemon comes forward more as the tea cools slightly - and it develops more as you continue to sip, but it never becomes a puckery lemon. It's more like a sweet little hint of lemon. And that works for us!
to brew: the sprinkles in this will probably shift to the bottom of the pouch - they don't really impact the flavor much when they're sparsely distributed throughout the blend, but I think that last cup would be impacted if it's mostly sprinkles so try to shift some of those sprinkles to the rest of the pouch by holding the pouch upside down (Yeah, I know it's really, really full - so before you tear open the pouch, hold the pouch upside down) and shake it gently for a few moments to try to get some of those sprinkles redistributed.
White tea is hard to measure with the conventional method (ie: using a teaspoon) because the leaves are very large and fluffy and don't really fit onto the teaspoon the same way a smaller, more compact leaf would. So, instead, I recommend using a tablespoon to measure these tea leaves. The result is the same - you still get the same weight of tea as you would with a tablespoon of white tea versus a teaspoon of say, a black tea - because the leaves are really light and 'airy' and voluminous . . . which is why the pouch of white tea is so full.
So I recommend using a tablespoon of leaves - or approximately 3g of tea leaves - to 12 ounces of hot water, heated to 165°F - and let the leaves steep for 3 1/2 minutes. Strain and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. enjoy!
This tea is exceptional iced too - and because it's a white tea, the leaves can be resteeped several times.