Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tea blending!

It's no secret that I love tea. A good portion of my doodles revolve around tea, and I consume tea daily on the British schedule: an Earl Grey in the morning, then tea at 10, 12, 2, and 4. I don't really mean to, it kind of just happens. I drink all kinds of tea: black, oolong, green, herbal, you name it. My favorites, though, are the vanilla-infused black teas. It's surprisingly hard to find a good vanilla tea, especially given how many people love vanilla. A friend and I have an ongoing obsession with the lovingly-deemed "crack lemur tea," which is a Trader Joe's seasonal tea sold around the holidays (don't laugh, it's awesome). I recently realized in horror that I only had a couple of bags left and the tea had already fled store shelves for the season. Unable to find an acceptable substitute, it suddenly dawned on me that making your own tea blends at home is an option. If I can cure bacon, I can probably blend tea, right? So I did. I found this recipe and decided to do this plus half a stick of cinnamon. I headed over to the bulk section of my favorite market and picked up some ingredients, threw them in a tin, and have been shaking vigorously every day for a week. I'm not sure if the vigorous shaking part is wholly necessary, but it makes me feel like I'm doing something. I'm pretty psyched about it! It smells INCREDIBLE, even through the tin. I can't wait to try it!

UPDATE!! Ok, so the tea has been in the tin for six days. I couldn't wait any longer, so I tried it. The verdict: it smells phenomenal. It tastes like...English breakfast tea. Either I need to use more oil and less actual things or it hasn't been in there long enough. One thing I did do differently was that, instead of putting vanilla extract directly into the leaves, I put it on a cotton ball and threw that in. A tea forum I read suggested it, but I'm questioning it now. I'll let you know if my tea is salvageable!

ANOTHER UPDATE! About two weeks later, the tea was pretty damn good. The verdict: Leave it in for longer than the recommended week.