Tea of the Week for October 31, 2016 - Retro Monday: Butter Beer Black Tea!
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These last two weeks of October are a Harry Potter Celebration!
Tea Description: I was really excited when this tea was voted to be the tea of the week for October's Retro Monday because 1) I loved the original blend of this tea, and; 2) I was the one (or at least, one of the ones) who bugged Frank to create a Butter Beer tea! So I was excited to try blending this one myself.
This is how Frank described the original blend:
I got my recipe directly from The Three Broomsticks: Premium black teas blended with a bit of essence of rootbeer, a bit of butter vapors, some licorice root, chichory root and a touch of magic. Our Butterbeer tea is the beverage of choice for wizards of all ages, and if you have no idea what I’m referring to, please go on about your muggle life, this blend is for Harry Potter fans only. Well, okay, I guess muggles could enjoy it too. It is truly unique and delicious. A blend worthy of the 52teas brand of creative flavored teas. Enjoy!
I started with a base of organic black teas from China and India and added roasted chicory, licorice root, sarsaparilla root and vanilla bean (the original didn't have sarsaparilla or vanilla bean but I decided that it should have it). Then I added some calendula petals (to make it pretty) and some special magic ingredients (aka organic, natural flavors).
The result is absolute tea drinker bliss!
organic ingredients: black teas, licorice root, chicory root, sarsaparilla root, vanilla bean, calendula petals and natural flavors.
Oh yeah! Seriously yummy stuff!
So, I want to say right off the bat that I really wanted to change this up more than I did. When I first suggested the flavor to Frank a few years ago, I suggested he add sarsaparilla root and star anise to it, as well as possibly some ginger because Hermione likes to drink her butter beer with some ginger in it. So when Frank did blend it - and it was without the sarsaparilla, star anise and ginger, I was a little bummed. After I tasted it, I was less bummed because it was a totally yummy tea - and if you'd like to read my review of the original blend, you can check it out here - but I still found myself wondering how it might have been with the other ingredients.
I start with top quality blend of organic black teas - a malty Assam, a smooth Assam and a rich Yunnan - and because my teas are different than the ones Frank used, you'll immediately recognize that the base is different. It's more robust - it's good and strong and holds its own with the flavors of this blend.
Then I added the flavors - root beer and butter and then I added some butterscotch because - really, does anyone need a reason to add butterscotch? I added some licorice root and chicory root which adds a nice roasted element to the cup. I then decided to stray from the original recipe some more and add some sarsaparilla and vanilla bean - thinking that the sarsaparilla would enhance the root beer notes of the blend and the vanilla bean would enhance the creamy factor.
I'm really pleased with the result. It's a rich, bold cuppa - strong enough for a morning cup if you want butter beer in the morning - and would even work really nicely as a latte. The flavor is root beer with a touch of buttery butterscotch. Hints of licorice and the coffee-like note of chicory. I don't taste a strong presence of vanilla but I didn't expect I would - it's merely there to add to the creaminess of the cup.
To brew: Don't overleaf this one, please! I found that when I went heavy on the leaves, it came out a bit more aggressive than I wanted. I suggest going with a slightly rounded perfect teaspoon of tea leaves to 12 ounces of boiling water and steep it for 2 1/2 minutes. This tea does have Assam in it so it'll go bitter on you if you over-steep. Strain and let cool for 10 minutes to allow those flavors to develop - and ENJOY!