Tea of the Week for January 1, 2018: A Toast to 2018 - Ring In The New Year White Tea!
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Tea Description: Confession time - I've never actually tasted a "Champagne Dream" Cocktail. I happened upon the recipe for it while browsing the web and the ingredients sounded like it would make for an interesting tea flavor - especially since this year New Year's Day actually falls on a Monday. So I thought I'd give it a try . . .
And it's really tasty!
I started with Moonlight White tea (Yue Guang Bai) and added some champagne essence. Then I added dried orange wedges and freeze-dried pomegranate arils. The result is a tasty tea! The three components play very nicely together - there's a pleasant balance of orange, pomegranate and grape-y notes from the champagne. It's been years since I've actually had a glass of champagne - so I don't know that I'm qualified to say that this tastes like 'champagne' - but I do get a grape-like note which I attribute the champagne essence. The white tea is a delightful base for these flavors - it's light and crisp.
The overall flavor is sweet - but that doesn't surprise me. I may not have had a champagne dream cocktail before, but I have had a mimosa before (with champagne and orange juice) and what I remember from that experience is that the drink was quite sweet - and this does taste remarkably similar to how I recall the mimosa tasting - although I think that this has a tad more tartness to it thanks to the pomegranate.
It's quite a nice tea! Here's to a lovely 2018!
ingredients: white tea, organic oranges, freeze-dried pomegranate arils, amaranth petals & organic natural flavors
Before my first sip, I was a little worried about this tea - it smelled abundantly fruity - to the point of reminding me of a piece of fruity bubble gum. I was afraid it was going to be a bit sickly sweet and that's not at all what I intended when I blended it!
So, instead of waiting the usual 5 minutes to allow the tea to cool and the flavors to settle, I took a sip as soon as the brewing process was complete. The flavors hadn't yet developed fully but I was relieved that it wasn't too sweet. After the 5 minutes, the flavors had developed - and I could taste the orange, the pomegranate and the notes of sweet grape from the champagne. The more it cools, the more the champagne flavor starts to express itself - which lead me to brew some more to put in the chill box for later.
And yes - this tea SHINES as an iced tea. It's spectacular!
But it's also rather nice as a hot tea. The orange is bright - and I get a slight pucker-y sensation on the insides of my cheeks from the pomegranate. Not enough of a pucker-y to proclaim this as a sour or too-tart tea - but enough to add a contrast to the sweetness of the grape-y flavors of the champagne and the notes of orange. It's a very interesting but pleasantly balanced set of flavors.
to brew: for my 12 ounce cup, I used 3 grams of well-integrated tea (that is to say, a tea that's been shaken a bit to make sure that there's a dried orange wedge and a couple of pomegranate arils in your measurement) and let it steep for 3 1/2 minutes in 12 ounces of hot water (heated to 170°F). Strain and let the tea cool for about 5 minutes. Don't sweeten this one until you've tasted it - you may find that it has enough sweetness to it without additions.