Tea of the Week for July 2, 2018: Tomato, Basil & Black Pepper Green Tea!
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Tomato, Basil & Black Pepper Green Tea!
Tea Description: For those of you who have been fans of 52Teas for several years now, you may remember the Tomato, Basil & Black Pepper Black Tea that I reblended about two years ago. It was a reblend of Frank's version, which he called LiberTEAS Tomato Basil & Black Pepper Black Tea - because I was the one who inspired the tea.
Back when I was originally pestering Frank to create the blend, I had envisioned a green tea - not a black tea. He convinced me to try it as a black tea instead, and I really loved that tea - but I still wanted to try a green tea version of it. Now that I'm the one doing this Mad Tea Artist thing, I decided it was time to try it!
I started with a base of organic Chinese Green teas: Gunpowder, Chun Mee and Yun Wu. To this I added freeze-dried tomatoes, basil, and black peppercorns (as well as some Indian long pepper).
If you enjoyed the black tea version, I think you'll appreciate this lighter green tea version of the tea. It offers a very pleasing balance between sweet and savory and I find it to be a perfect tea for summer.
organic ingredients: green teas, tomatoes, basil, black peppercorns, long pepper & natural flavors
Confession time: I was a little afraid to create this tea. I mean, I absolutely adored the black tea version of this flavor combination. LOVED it! But - even though I had originally envisioned the flavor combination as a green tea rather than a black tea, I wasn't sure how these flavors would translate to a green tea base.
But I'm really happy with this. It's definitely lighter - but there's something refreshing about that that makes it a perfect choice for summer. The black tea version was a bit strong with the more robust tasting base, and I think that made for a more 'wintertime' soup-y type of savory tea.
With the green tea, though, it's still 'soup'-ish, still quite savory, but it's lighter on the palate - much more summertime.
And it's not just the green tea base that is lighter here, the lighter notes of the green tea seem to communicate with the tomato, basil and black pepper to go subtle too. The green tea is smooth and slightly sweet with faint notes of bitterness and just a hint of smoke. The tomato note is delicate, sweet and just a bit savory. Adding to the savory note is the basil and the black pepper - which isn't peppery, exactly, but distinctly pepper - adding just a touch of warmth to the overall cup.
The flavors are mild and enjoyable - it doesn't feel too hot or overwhelming for the palate on these hot summer days. It's something that will satisfy while the weather is warm and I think it will also do nicely when the air turns crisp and cool.
to brew: give the pouch a gentle shake to redistribute the ingredients. The basil leaves are a bit lighter than the green tea leaves, so they can sift to the bottom of the pouch rather quickly - as can the bits of crushed black peppercorn. Those ingredients are necessary for a well-balanced cuppa!
measure 2 1/2 - 3 g of leaf to 12 ounces of hot water (175°F) and steep for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. strain and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes, but not much longer than that because I find that I prefer this to be hot (although you might like it cold-brewed too!) I find that this tastes best with just a pinch of salt (because hey! tomato!) Enjoy!