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52Teas

Tea of the Week for September 14, 2015: Smoky Spice

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 Smoky Spice

Product Description:  This tea actually began as my Masterpiece Chai.  While I was blending the spices, I toasted my cumin and I think either the cumin was especially fresh (not a bad thing at all) or I used too much cumin (much more likely) but the resulting blend ended up tasting strongly of smoky cumin.  So I decided to add some Lapsang Souchong to amplify the smoky notes and create a Smoky Spice blend.  This is a chai with a pleasant smoky tone - it's not overly smoky - which is fine with me because I'm not a huge fan of a strong smoky essence.  This has just the right level of smoke with a pleasant spicy note that isn't too spicy, and it's a little sweet and a little savory.  It's really nice.

All Organic Ingredients:Black Teas, Honeybush, Secret Blend of Spices, Vanilla Bean & All-Natural Flavors.

As I mentioned above, this started out as my Masterpiece Chai - but I went a little heavy on the toasted cumin which created a lovely, savory smoky element to the cup that was delicious, certainly!  But the smoky note was a little heavier than I want for my Masterpiece Chai!

I actually LOVE the strong flavor of cumin.  It adds a delightful savory spice to the sweetness of this tea.  

So I thought, what this blend needs is some Lapsang Souchong!  So, I added a little bit of it to enhance those smoky tones.  Then I added a touch of honey flavor accentuate the sweetness.  So this is a little savory, a little spicy, a little sweet and a little smoky!  I really like how it turned out.  It's not too smoky - for those of you who are a bit smoky shy (like I am!) I think you'll still really enjoy this because while it has lovely notes of smoke, it's not a dominant profile.

It really is as I say:  A little savory, a little spicy, a little sweet and a little smoky!  It's quite lovely!

To brew:  I started out by measuring out a heaping bamboo scoop of tea into the basket of my Kati tumbler and then I did an "awakening" infusion - a quick 15 second rinse - by adding nearly boiling water and letting it infuse for 15 seconds and then discarding that liquid.  Then I added another 12 ounces of nearly boiling water (205°F) and let it steep for 2 1/2 minutes.  Be careful not to oversteep this as you might have a bitter brew (I added extra Assam to this blend).  Allow the tea to cool about 10 minutes after steeping for the best flavor.  I also found that a little pinch of sugar will enhance those spices but it's quite good served straight up too.  

To go latte (and it's really good as a latte too!):  Brew it stronger (this means adding a little more leaf - not infusing for a longer period of time!), I find that 2 bamboo scoops works well for a latte (as the milk will dilute a little bit) and then steep for the same 2 1/2 minutes in near boiling water.  Then sweeten if you like it like that and add a splash of your favorite milk product.  If you have a frothing tool, you can instead warm up a little bit of milk and then froth it and add to the brewed tea.  Yummy!

So, while this tea didn't end up being the masterpiece I envisioned, I'm still quite satisfied with the result.  It's warm and soothing and delightfully, deliciously smoky - a really perfect autumnal tea!  I guess you're just going to have to wait for the Masterpiece Chai. Masterpieces can't be rushed.

  • Masterpiece
  • Chai
  • Smoky
  • Spice
  • Lapsang Souchong
  • Black
  • Tea
  • Blend
  • blended
  • flavor
  • flavored
  • spiced
  • spices
  • cumin
  • food
  • beverage
  • drink
  • hot
  • iced
  • latte
  • sweet
  • savory
  • 52Teas