Tea of the Week for March 1, 2021: Honeyed Lemon Black Tea!
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Honeyed Lemon Black Tea!
Tea Description: This flavor combination may seem rather ordinary, at least when compared to some of the blends we're known for like Pancake Breakfast, Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish & who could forget our Tomato, Basil & Black Pepper tea?
So, yeah, compared to those flavors, this does seem rather ordinary. However, my mother asked me for some tea for a friend who liked honey & lemon black tea, so I decided, hey, why not? If I can make really extraordinary tea blends like Ginger Cola black tea, then why not make an ordinary tea flavor like the classic lemon & honey combination - extraordinary?
Perhaps it's just my ego talking here, but I do find this blend to be rather extraordinary, indeed. Sure, it's honey. It's lemon. It's black tea. But I think I did this classic flavor combination justice in this blend!
I started with a blend of Pettiagalla Ceylon & Thiashola Nilgiri black teas. To this unique blend of organic, black teas, I added lots of dried lemon wedges & some vegan honey essence. Finally, I added some lemon verbena to enhance the lemon-y character of the blend.
The result is a blend that brings together the classic tea flavors of honey & lemon to create a spectacularly delicious blend that's bright & lemon-y, sweet with just a hint of tart. This is a perfectly delightful sipper when served hot & a smooth, refreshing thirst-quencher when served iced. Oh, & it's VEGAN, gluten-free, allergen-free & organic!
organic ingredients: black teas, lemon verbena, lemon wedges & natural flavors
Oh - yeah! I'm loving this!
As I mentioned in the description above, this is a flavor combination that I would usually overlook in favor of the more flashy, unique flavors. But, my mom asked me for a blend for her friend's birthday - so why not take this ordinary flavor combination that you can find just about anywhere & make it something special? I can do that, right?
As it turns out, yes I can! I'm really loving how this tea came out. There's a nice, bright lemon-y note here - but it's not too tart. The honey-ish notes soften the tartier notes of the lemon just enough to offer a smoother, sweeter lemon note that reminds me a bit of lemon curd. The honey has a really nice tone to it that tastes - well, it tastes like honey. But - worry not, it's VEGAN - so those of you who love honey teas but choose a vegan diet can now enjoy the delightful taste of a honey tea without the honey!
to brew: this is a black tea & I ordinarily suggest a temperature of 205°F for my black teas but because of the Nilgiri in this blend, I recommend dropping the temperature slightly to a still very hot but not quite "nearly boiling" temperature of 195°F. You can go with the higher temperature if you please, but using a slightly lower temperature will help curb the bitter tones that may result from a hotter temperature.
shake the pouch before you measure to ensure that the ingredients are all well-incorporated. use 2 1/2 grams of leaf to 12 ounces of very hot water (195°F) & allow to steep for 3 minutes. strain & allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
this tastes nice straight, without sweetener - but please note that there isn't actually HONEY in this blend, but a honey essence - which isn't - in & of itself - sweet. It tastes like honey, but it doesn't add sweetener of any type to the blend - & to enhance the flavors of the cup, you may find that a wee bit of sugar brings out the honey notes & the lemon-y tones of the cup to make it taste a bit more like honey & lemon. Don't over do it, though, I usually add a little less than half a teaspoon for a really flavorful cuppa.