What is it that drives so many of us into the world of 'Wild and Wonderful Tea Blends' - Could it be Nature?
Don't panic! Nature is my answer to everything. And, yes, you can drink tea without taking a walk out into Nature, although there is something about Nature and what immersing ourselves in it can do for us. It opens us up to new and different things. The leaves whisper to us, the birds talk and sing to us, the big trees towering over us begin to sough. The world around us is alive, just like us. When that realization comes about, there is no stopping the opening up to what all exists in life. So different than the way most of us live. We need to get out into Nature more. Do I dare say this alone will lead each of you to try these 'Wild and Wonderful' Tea Blends? No, BUT, one thing leads to another, and this may lead you to trying different things, and if you come across a bag of my Wild and Wonderful Tea Blends from Thunder Mountain Tea, you might well say, "Why not? Sure I will try that." That's all it takes and you are off and running, sending me emails wondering what the newest and most off-the-wall blend is.
Until I started selling in Boise, I was truly a tea snob. I had blended a lot of teas by then, but even those blends were very traditional. I never gave it a thought that I could blend some delicious hot chili peppers with rose petals and some of my Assam. And, even after I blended it, I didn't think anyone would buy it. But, they did and they loved it.
I do have to admit here, the first several test batches were so hot that it took my breath away when I took a sip. The fragrance of the chilies was very deceiving. It was so heavenly, I just knew it had to be just perfect. OMG! It took awhile to reach that balance of the fabulous fragrance and taste, and have it calmed down enough that I could enjoy a whole cup or two of it.
I bought dried fruits. It wasn't long before it became painfully obvious there are dried fruits and then there are DRIED FRUITS. After trying different suppliers, I finally found some really good dried fruits. I found strawberries, and raspberries, berries of all kinds, and then the peaches. I discovered peaches blended with a delicious black tea makes the best Iced Peach Tea I have ever tasted. I remember when I put it out at the market last year, a guy came by, tasted it, picked up a bag of it and asked, "Does this have real peaches in it?"
I was thrilled to be able to tell him it certainly did.
As you can well imagine, not all I try works. I drink them anyway, and Dad, at 91, has become quite the tea taster for me. All but the hot pepper one, he passes on that. Here are some of the 'blended' teas I have: Phoenix Rising, which is a blend of Green and Black teas, with almonds and almond flavoring. Raspberry Oolong, a fabulous oolong with fruit and Raspberry flavor. A Cherry Green with a wonderful Chinese Green Tea with Cherries and a touch of Cherry flavoring. Strawberry Dawn has Strawberries and Hazelnuts blended with a rich Pu'erh, with a touch of flavor added. Ancient one is the same Pu'erh with Belgium Chocolate, and then the Chocolate Mint, is the same as above, only with Spearmint added to it.
And the list goes on and on. During the holidays I added some fabulous ones, and they will be back. I had one bag left of the Pumpkin Spice, so I opened it and drank it recently. Who said Pumpkin is only for fall? The trick to the Pumpkin Spice tea is I make my own Country Pumpkin Spice blend, so when it came time to flavor the tea, I already had a 'tried and true' blend, and it is heavenly.
And just a side note: I make and sell my own Border Blend, and I can almost bet you have never tasted a Southwest Spice blend so delicious! If you are interested in trying this, just send me an email and I will get it out to you. I also blend a Habanero Lemon Pepper.
The Herbal Teas are a lot of fun as well. I ordered in all the possible ingredients and started playing. Sweet Surrender has become everyone's favorite with Lavender and Chamomile, Lemon and a few other wonderful ingredients.
I have a new Lemon Ginger, all organic and Herbal. It is delicious and again, so many more. Too many to list.
Playing around now with a Cowboy Tea, can't wait for the final recipe for this one. In the meantime, I'm heading back out in nature. It is like getting my batteries recharged. I hope you all find time to get out and explore, then come home and have a cup of tea. It can change the way you think about your day. Wishing you peace, Susan