Tea and the Pioneer Spirit II

"Waste not, want not!"
"Waste not, want not!"

In January of 2010, I wrote about tea and the pioneer spirit, where that sense of frugality which comes from people living off the land day by day carries through to my desire to get the most from my teas. Time to add to that story. My first sequel.

Don’t you just hate sequels? They never seem as good as the original, or at least not most of the time. Case in point: I recently saw Nanny McPhee Returns, which lacked the charm, as well as the dashing Colin Firth, of the original. However, there have been exceptions, such as each of the Harry Potter movies, the Indiana Jones series, and Toy Story 2. I promise this will rank among those sequels/series. Honest!

The first thing to know is that I hang on to stuff — glass jars that have an interesting shape; pieces of cardboard, especially the thicker kind; and even those oft vilified plastic grocery bags (they make great packing material, among other things). In short, anything that seems like it can be repurposed in some way.

One such glass jar really caught my eye. It was small but six-sided and therefore a bit unusual. It seemed perfect for something, but I wasn’t quite sure what. As I was mulling the possibilities, hubby said that the teapot was empty. While he was filling the kettle and setting it on the stove to heat, I stood in front of the tea pantry and noticed a bunch of mostly empty tea packages. Then, it struck me — no, not the packages, which have better manners than to engage in physical assaults, but an inspiration! I could take a bunch of those leftover teas where there wasn’t quite enough for a potful and make up a nice blend, perhaps incorporating some of the many spices I have on hand.

The jar, thoroughly cleaned, rinsed and dried, would serve as the flavor “cocoon” to ensure that the teas and spices had a good chance to mix, sort of like those pickled beets that absorb all those pickling spices over time in their jars. (I wonder if some of the tea vendors out there who specialize in flavored teas started out this way.) As small as it was, this jar would be perfect for my initial attempt at tea blending and wouldn’t mean too much tea getting thrown out if things went awry.

The ingredients of my “pioneering” tea blend:

  • A bit of Scottish Breakfast (Keemun and Assam)
  • Some black Kenilworth Ceylon
  • Cardamom
  • Coriander
The magic ingredients!
The magic ingredients!

You’ll notice there are no flower petals in this. I tend to find that they add a bitterness or an overly floral character to the tea liquid. The tea will have to sit in the jar a bit before I try it so that the flavors can thoroughly blend with the teas. That means the results of my blend will have to wait for another article. So, my sequel has turned into a “cliffhanger.” Sigh!

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3 thoughts on “Tea and the Pioneer Spirit II

  1. Pingback: Ad Hoc Tea Blending « Tea Blog

  2. Pingback: Tea and the Pioneer Spirit II — Follow-up « Tea Blog

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