Taking a hand, in true “pioneer spirit” fashion, at blending my own flavored tea proved to be a very interesting experience. The most important ingredient in my little mélange of teas and spices was Time!
Ever made pickles, relish, piccalilli, pickled beets, or anything similar? If so, you know that Time is an important ingredient in each of these so that the various ingredients have a chance to blend their flavors together. Well, as you read in the previous article on this topic, I mixed some leftover teas with some coriander and cardamom in a cute little jar I had saved as part of my penchant for hanging on to anything that might have some use later on. Then, I let the blend sit for awhile to give Time a chance to do its part. I would open the jar and take a quick sniff to see if it was ready and then close up the jar again.
The process only took a day or two.
Time to try the blend. The cardamom aroma is strong, a bit overwhelming, in fact, but still delightful. We’ll see if that carries through to the flavor in the cup. I heated 2 cups of water to boiling, added 2 teaspoons of the tea mixture, and steeped for 5 minutes. More Time comes into play here as part of the flavor process.
This leads me to wonder if those blended, flavored teas, with their spices and flower petals and pieces of dried fruits, don’t get a bit “overdone” when they sit around too long in the pantry. I do revisit some of these flavored teas over time and find that some have “turned,” mainly because of what is in them. Cinnamon is so strong that any flavored tea containing it needs to be set apart so the aroma does not “invade” its neighbors. Pieces of dried fruit can go bad after awhile. Flower petals can get a bit too pungent.
Well, the result of this experiment was a wonderful cup of black tea with a pleasant cardamom flavor. The coriander (the other spice used) wasn’t really evident. Overall, it was quite pleasing. Then, I added a little milk and sweetener to a cupful. It tasted even better. There is a pudding-like dessert called Kheer served at Indian restaurants that has a lot of cardamom in it. That’s what this tea tasted like.
Darn, now I need to order more of those leftover teas and mix up another batch. I may also have to use a bigger jar!
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