Tea of the Week for August 27, 2018: Blackberry Dumpling Black Tea!
Posted by on
Tea Description: I live in the Pacific Northwest and blackberries are abundant out here. So abundant, in fact, that you can find them growing just about everywhere and they're definitely a favorite fruit in my house. Because they are a favorite and it's been a while since my last blackberry tea - I wanted to celebrate summer (as I hope it's coming to a close soon!!!) with another blackberry tea.
Now, I must confess, I've never actually had a blackberry dumpling but one day while browsing the web I found a recipe for blackberry dumplings and I thought they sounded amazing - so I decided that I should make a tea. Normally, I'd find someplace to try the thing I was trying to recreate in tea form - or at least make the thing - but this time, I decided to try the tea first. They don't call me the *mad* tea artist for nothing!
I started with a blend of rich black teas - Yunnan, Ceylon & Assam - and then I added a bunch of blackberries, a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg and a buttery, dough-like essence to complete the dumpling.
YUM! This tea is really delightful. The spice is just enough to enhance the berries without overwhelming the blend. The background has an almost 'cookie dough' kind of taste to it. And of course the tea is robust and completes the overall experience (because if I were to make blackberry dumplings, I'd of course make a pot of tea to go with, right?
organic ingredients: black teas, blackberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, calendula petals & natural flavors
To be honest, I wasn't too sure what to expect when I first tasted this blend - and it sort of evolved from another idea that I had. I had another plan for this tea but as I started the taste tests, I realized that while it tasted amazing, it didn't taste quite like what I had originally envisioned. As I mentioned in the above description, I haven't ever had a blackberry dumpling - but I have had apple dumplings and the pastry notes here remind me a lot of the pastry from an apple dumpling - only there's no apple, there's blackberry. So, I did a browse on the internet to make sure that blackberry dumplings were actually a thing - and after a couple of taste tests and minor tweaks to the original recipe, this blend transformed into a blackberry dumpling ... or at least what I think a blackberry dumpling would be if I were to try my hand and making them!
The black tea base is solid. The blackberry flavor comes forward nicely and the spices are gently warm and offer just enough flavor to give that 'fresh baked' kind of feel to this cuppa - and that is further emphasized by the note of pastry that is present throughout the sip. Really, really nice!
to brew: don't overleaf this one - I recommend a rounded teaspoon (or perfect teaspoon) and then a gentle shake of the spoon to knock off just a few leaves so it's just shy of a rounded teaspoon ... or precisely 3g to 12 ounces of near boiling (205°F) water. Allow it to steep for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. I went with 3 minutes and I wouldn't recommend going beyond that because this is strong - not bitter but I feel like a little longer steep would have produced a bitter cuppa. So be careful with that. Strain and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. I prefer this one hot - because it lends something to the freshly baked dessert feel of this cuppa - but it does make a delicious, refreshing iced tea as well.