Tea of the Week for June 10, 2019: Plum Zabaglione Assamica Black Tea!
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Plum Zabaglione Assamica Black Tea!
Tea Description: I've been envisioning myself creating a Plum Zabaglione Assam for at least a year, possibly more. I wasn't sure when I'd actually get around to blending it, but I knew that I wanted to do it . . . eventually. When my latest shipment of Chinese teas arrived a few weeks ago - and I sampled this new harvest of Wild Arbor Assamica from the JIngmai mountain in the Yunnan Province, it revived my interest in the Plum Zabaglione because the big fruity notes of this tea are quite plum-ish and I knew that it would play really well with my plans for a yummy plum zabaglione.
Mmm! This is really very nice. The black tea is bold - as you might expect from the leaves of an Assamica - but not quite as astringent as you might find the teas grown in Assam. Some maltiness that works nicely with the rich, creamy custard-y flavors of the Zabaglione.
And as for the two flavors of plum and zabaglione - I just love this combination! The plum seems to draw the wine-ish tones within the layers of the zabaglione. Everything is beautifully harmonious.
This is pure Assamica, blended with slivers of dried organic Angelino plums (processed with no preservatives!) & a hint of freshly shaved nutmeg along with just the right touch of zabaglione essence. I also added some calendula and amaranth petals for a little pizzazz. It's gluten-free, allergen-free & VEGAN! But one thing it isn't is plentiful! I didn't make a bunch of this because I have a limited quantity of the Wild Arbor Assamica and I had other plans for the tea as well - so grab some while it's here because it will be a while before I'm able to reblend this one!
ingredients: black tea, organic plums, organic nutmeg, organic petals (calendula & amaranth) & organic natural flavors
A day or two after I received my shipment of Chinese teas, I tried a sampling of this Wild Arbor Assamica. It was love at first sip - not surprising, I've loved every harvest I've received of this Wild Arbor Assamica - but what was surprising is just how evocative the flavor of the tea would be for me.
You see, at least a couple times a month, I'll come up with flavor ideas for tea. They can happen in ways you might think: browsing the web, or trying a new soft drink, trying a tasty new dish or watching television. Other times, people will email me with some inspiring ideas. I usually log these ideas in a 'Word' document to save for the times when I'm in need of those ideas. That's the way I've been doing this thing for the last few years since we took over.
I'm not sure how the idea for a Plum Zabaglione Assam came about, but I remember thinking at the time that the sweet flavors of the plum would work nicely with the wine notes of the Zabaglione. I'm sure I'm not the first to come up with that idea - I'm sure a quick google search would prove that. But I did know that it was something I had to try. So I put it on my list and carried on. I didn't really think much of the flavor again until after I received this batch of Wild Arbor Assamica - after the first couple of sips, I noticed how "plummy" it tasted. Right away, I knew that one of the teas I had to craft with this tea was the Plum Zabaglione.
And I'm so happy that things happened the way they did because THIS. IS. AWESOME!
I'm in love with this tea.
Within moments of taking a sip, your palate is met with the boldness of the tea, and then a hit of plum, and soon after, the creaminess of the zabaglione washes over the palate, followed by the lingering kiss of wine. A beautiful composition - if I do say so myself.
to brew: this is a little trickier than some other teas - simply because the leaf is a bit 'bulkier' - it's long and curly and twisty and so you'll get fewer leaves on your spoon, if that's what you're using to measure it. if you have a scale, that would be better or you could measure it into the palm of your hand and use the "eyeball" method. (the eyeball method is my preferred method when brewing teas for my personal enjoyment - and not brewing for the purposes of these suggested brewing parameters - so my next pot of this will be brewed via eyeballing it.)
anyway - use 3g of tea - and make sure there's not too much heavy fruit in the measurement as this will throw off the amount of tea that you're brewing. I recommend taking out those little slivers while you're measuring and add them back in after you reach 2.5 - 2.8 grams of tea. steep the tea in 12 ounces of freshly filtered water heated to 205°F for 3 minutes. strain and allow to cool about 10 minutes. enjoy!
This also makes a fabulous iced tea. The leaves are good for a second steep too!