Tea of the Week for February 8, 2021!
I realized after I had blended this that it sounds very holiday-ish (as well as "autumn-like"). I actually had slightly different plans for this tea - but the pandemic struck at the Mad Tea Artist again & I realized that I didn't have the ingredients I needed to fulfill my original recipe idea - so rather than returning to my office to come up with a new recipe - I gathered together the ingredients that I knew would taste good together & just went for it.
The base is our naturally caffeine-free honeybush - it has a naturally sweet yet slightly spicy note to it so I knew that the warm spices I chose to add next (cinnamon, clove, ginger & nutmeg) would express themselves nicely with the honeybush. For a bit of brightness, I added some dried orange wedges. Finally, to give it a sweet, cake-y flavor, I added some cake & maple essence.
So, yeah, it does taste a little like fall & the holidays. But - hey, this blend includes some of my favorite flavor profiles in a tea (maple, ginger & other spices, citrus & a little cake never hurt!) so - so what? I'm loving every sip of this autumn-like, holiday-ish cuppa! It's organic, VEGAN, gluten-free, allergen-free & naturally caffeine-free as well!
Taster size is approximately 15g
organic ingredients: honeybush, cinnamon, ginger, clove, oranges, nutmeg & natural ingredients
As I was blending this - something that was on my mind was this: I've read a fair few tea reviews of my blends (I like to know what the people think of the teas I create) & one comment I read frequently among my customers is that the honeybush blends come off a bit peppery. So this time around, I decided to work with that profile rather than try to blend over it. You know, if I can't overpower it, I might as well work with it.
So I decided to go with a spice profile - especially ginger - because the zing of the ginger should meld nicely with the pepper-y notes of the Honeybush. Then I added cinnamon, clove & just a touch of nutmeg to work with the ginger to add a really nice, warming flavor to the overall cup - so that the honeybush becomes part of the flavor profile I'm trying to create rather than being just a base.
I'm really pleased with the result. This has that warming flavor you'd taste in a chai - but not as spicy as a chai. The cake & maple notes give it a lovely sweet bakery note - while the orange adds a touch of brightness that pleases the palate.
It wasn't until later - while preparing my February menu that I include in the subscription box - that I realized that this has a similar profile to January's Sharon's Specialty Honeybush/Rooibos blend. Sorry - but not sorry, because I think both of these teas are different - while Sharon's Specialty has the date and nutty flavors - this one focuses on a maple and honey sweet cake-y flavors. Both are delicious!
to brew: be sure to give the pouch a shake - there are a few ingredients in this blend that may try to settle to the bottom & you'll want some of those ingredients in your measurement. use 3 1/2 grams of leaf, spice & fruit to 12 ounces of very hot water (heated to 190°F) & steep for 10 minutes (or longer if you like - this blend won't get bitter) - strain & allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Enjoy!
I like this one with just a teensy bit of sugar - because it helps bring out the spice notes a tad - as well as the lovely bakery notes - but go easy on the sweetener as the honeybush does have a bit of natural sweetness to it. Tasty hot or iced - but I prefer it hot.