This week I did something rare for me: I made my own tea blend. It’s the result of a confluence of vectors ~ some ancient (but still perfectly usable, & very tasty) Teavana Winterberry, found at the back of shelves, when I reorganised the tea shelves; an abundance of one of my favourite fruit teas (Harney’s peach tea); and a small order of a mango tea blend.
Teavana’s Winterberry — a blend of apple pieces, hibiscus flowers, rose hip peels, lemongrass, orange peel, strawberry pieces, green tea, orange slices, and marigold petals — was one of my all-time faves for drinking low caffeine iced tea. The demise of Teavana almost four years ago was a sad day for me — I always enjoyed their tea and tea wares. The Winterberry was especially versatile — good hot or cold. The complex fruit flavours intensify with heating.
Finding the almost half-full canister of tea was such a gift! Really — I felt like the tea goddesses were smiling on me…😉. So I made myself a few afternoon mugs during the week, drinking from my largest mug. And decided it was worth attempting a copy, however flawed.
First I ordered some mango tea, another favourite flavour. Tiesta Tea’s Maui Madness — pineapple, orange slices, mango, safflowers, hibiscus, strawberries, & marigolds) — was my choice. I’d ordered it earlier, before I found the Winterberry stash, tryinlg to emulate what I remembered of a fruit-forward tea. It’s a good tea, but lacks the complexity of the Winterberry.
After finding the Winterberry, I mixed the two together — about two or three parts Winterberry to one part Maui Madness. That was better, since the Winterberry dominated. But I’m not going to be able to replace the Winterberry, so I need something to mimic at least portions of that mix. Looking mindlessly at my tea shelves (you won’t believe how much tea I have in tins, bags, canisters, et al!), I saw two tins of Harney’s Peach Tea, another favourite for summer iced tea. TWO TINS! It was a sign!
I mixed an entire tin of peach tea (actually a blend of rose-hips, hibiscus, peach pieces, orange peel, apple pieces, & safflower petals) into the large canister of the Winterberry/ Maui Madness mix. Putting my glass kettle on (set — I so love variable temp kettles! — to ‘black tea,’ since herbals are brewed in water that’s come to a boil, for 5-7 minutes), I took a happy inhale of the fruity blend in my mug’s strainer.
Just a quarter hour later, I was comfortably settled in the rocker, mug in one hand & shortbread in the other. The tea’s flavour was lovely: ripe fruit — peach & mango, obviously — against the tart backdrop of apple & hibiscus. The green tea undernote was a nice counterpoint. When this is gone, I’ll have to find something w/ the Winterberry’s green tea, rose hip, orange, lemongrass, & strawberry. Or at least the green tea/ rose hip/ strawberry — these seem fairly pronounced, even w/ the additions of the mango & peach blends.
For now? I’m pretty impressed w/ my first foray into an intentional blending! It drinks well, and I’d be happy to brew a pot for a visitor to share over cookies. What more can I ask? I recommend the experience. 😏
Until next time, enjoy a nice hot cup of your favourite — or get adventurous, and try something completely new! Tea is rarely a losing proposition.