elleth: a ship sailing away from the Return of the King, with the text "To Sail Beyond the Sunset" (Doctor Who: 11 - Dalek Teatime)
[personal profile] elleth posting in [community profile] tea_party
Recently, prompted by a recommendation from [personal profile] wood_elf, I started experimenting with different blends of tea, flowers, and herbs (rose, lavender, mint, vervain), and thought I'd share the results:

DO'S

Jasmine Tea Chung Feng and Lavender. Surprisingly tasty, not something I had expected to work as well as it did. Chung Feng is a very full-bodied Jasmine Tea, which probably helps it blend evenly with the lavender; this might not work as well with a lower grade Jaz. I used 1 tbsp of lavender on one tsp of Jasmine.

China-Ceylon Earl Grey and Lavender. I love Earl Grey but find it rather 'heavy' after more than a cup. The lavender adds a lighter, more flowery note that makes it much more drinkable and harmonizes perfectly with the bergamot. Blend to taste, though remember it's easier to add more lavender during brewing instead of overdoing it from the beginning.

Lemon Verbena and Lavender. A tisane, this time - again the theme of lavender and citrus, which works excellently and allows for a much more fruity taste now that there is no real tea involved. Refreshing and excellent for waking up in the morning.

Honeybush and Lavender. This is a wonderful comfort tea. A slight, almost chocolatey sweetness from the honeybush with a refreshing lavender note makes it a perfect mix for autumn. Lavender in general has relaxing, soothing properties, while Honeybush is energizing and full of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. This blend has constantly had an uplifting effect on me.

Bai Mu Dan White Tea and Mint. I used two stalks of fresh spearmint from the garden, though could imagine it might also work with dried mint. Remindful of Touareg Tea, but less intense and astringent, with the Bai Mu Dan aroma showing through nicely.

Bai Mu Dan White Tea and Rose. Recommended within limits. I used one teaspoon of rose petals on two tablespoons of Bai Mu Dan, 1,7l of 75°C water, and let it infuse for 7 minutes (my usual time for Bai Mu Dan), but got a somewhat overpowering rose flavour and could taste very little of the tea. After leaving it alone until 13 minutes it tasted more strongly of tea and had the very soft, light rose flavour I had hoped for, if with a slight astringency and bitterness from the rose petals that wasn't entirely pleasant. This idea might work better with Shou Mei and if prepared like Rose Congou (that is, mixed with rose petals while oxidizing, or even just left in a tin with rose petals until the fragrances are nicely blended, and then removing the petals), for a stronger tea taste and less bitterness. Might also work with a tsp of rose water and Bai Mu Dan.

DON'TS

Bai Mu Dan White Tea and Lavender. The lavender is overpowering no matter what dosage is used. It turns rather bitter as well.

Bai Mu Dan White Tea and Lemon Verbena. Similarly bitter, which made me wonder, as verbena is not nearly as strong as lavender. It might be the citral compounds reacting badly with white tea, as Bai Mu Dan with just a tsp of lemon juice on 1,7l water (which is the size of my teapot, hence keeps cropping up) is equally unpleasant. Lemongrass might be a valid solution here; I once had a blend of Bai Mu Dan, thyme and lemongrass which had none of the abovementioned bitterness.

Whew, this turned out rather longer than expected. x-posted to my personal journal (locked).

So... if anyone is still reading, what are your own favourite tea/herbal blends?

Date: 2010-10-12 04:23 pm (UTC)
gypsy: (dw: gypsy @ dreamwidth)
From: [personal profile] gypsy
Thanks for sharing your experiments :) My favorite tea blend is still Teavana's jasmine dragon phoenix pearls + rooibos tropica.

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