Featured Reblend for March 2018: Wake Me Up, Scotty! (Black Tea)
Posted by on
Wake Me Up, Scotty!
Tea Description: This tea was in the top 3 as far as votes go for last year's 12 Teas of Christmas poll, however, I wasn't able to get more of the Scottish Breakfast Blend that I use as the base for this blend in time to blend for the holiday box so I had to put off blending it until now.
This was last year's "May Day" tea that I blended (mind you, I probably won't blend a 'May Day' blend every year, I just did last year because May Day happened to fall on a Monday and well, I felt like doing a blend for May Day. To be honest, I don't really know what May Day is all about - I seem to recall wrapping a pole with a ribbon when I was a kid with my classmates as a kid, but that's about all there is for May Day experiences for me. So I decided to look it up.
So it would seem that May Day is big in Scotland and other parts of the UK. Which would be why I decided to keep this blend as a May Day blend because of the Scottish Breakfast Blend. Kinda lame, I know.
But this tea is definitely NOT lame - it's delicious!
Here's my original description for this tea:
Happy May Day!
So this tea comes with a story - please bear with me . . .
I don't usually go for teas that have already been blended. I usually want to do the blending myself. I also usually don't go for CTC teas. But this tea presents us with an exception to that - because on a whim, I happened to sample an organic Scottish Breakfast Blend from a would-be supplier and I absolutely loved it. It was rich, rugged and malty and I immediately began to imagine what I might do with this tea.
So I ordered some of the tea to play around with it a bit and while playing around, I thought - hey, it's a Scottish Breakfast Blend, I should try blending it with butterscotch. Not real creative, I know. But after my initial taste test of the blend flavored with butterscotch - I was hooked. I decided to lighten things up with some soft, creamy marshmallow. And my "Scotty Breakfast Blend" was born. Again - not a really creative name, right?
As I was sitting around with Mat and updating him with my tea studio happenings, he asked me why I called this one "Scotty Breakfast Blend." And I told him something like: because it was made with a Scottish Breakfast Blend and I used ButterSCOTCH as the primary flavor component.
He mentioned I should call it "McBreakfast Blend" or something like that. Then I thought, what if McDonalds decides to slap a Cease and Desist on me for using their Mc. He told me that he didn't think they could actually do that and they probably don't lay claim to the prefix Mc. However, I wasn't too keen on McBreakfast Blend ... what about O'Scotty Breakfast Blend? During this exchange, I'm not sure who threw in "Beam Me Up, Scotty" into the mix . . . but I liked it. Not because I'm a big Star Trek fan because really, I'm not. I'm much more Harry Potter than Star Trek although I really liked Ricardo Montalbán's portrayal as Khan.
But I digress.
I liked the idea that - for those of us who like to see different meanings in words - the "Beam Me Up" could be thought of as waking someone up or inspiring a sense of alertness which is what black tea (especially a rich CTC blend like this) does for me. At the end of my exchange with Mat, he said, just call it "Wake Me Up, Scotty!" because those who are Star Trek fans will appreciate the alluding to "Beam Me Up" without actually saying that - and those who wouldn't get what I'm alluding to might still appreciate that this is a wake-me-up kind of tea with a Scottish Breakfast Blend base and a butterscotch flavor.
This a well-rounded black tea that on it's own is pretty robust and stimulating - a fantastic first tea of the morning! The butterscotch and hint of marshmallow offer a pleasant sweetness to the cup. A delightful cuppa!
I stuck true to my recipe for this one because as far as I'm concerned, it was absolutely delicious and didn't need tweaking. And the fact that this sold out in record time the first go around and received so many votes to be brought back suggests to me that I'm not the only one with that opinion.
organic ingredients: black teas (ctc), marshmallow root, calendula petals and natural flavors
I absolutely adore this blend so I was so thrilled last year when this one did so well in the poll for the 12 Teas of Christmas box - and I really wanted to include this in the box - unfortunately, my supplier wasn't expecting more of this tea in stock until well after I was to ship out the boxes so I had to change my plan a little.
But it's so nice to be sipping on this one now! This is hefty and strong - so you want to be careful how you choose to brew it. I found that even with the parameters I used (see 'to brew' below) - I still got a pretty strong cup but it wasn't nearly as strong as I remember this tea being - so I think the way to go with this tea is start out light and then go from there. My next cup will probably be just a little more tea (maybe 2.5g) and maybe 2 minutes 15 seconds. As I mentioned below, be sure not to oversteep this one because it will get bitter because this is a finely chopped CTC blend.
But on to the tasting notes of this tea: The tea is a strong one, so that's what I notice right up front - even the aroma suggests a nice, malty cuppa. The aroma also gives off a lovely butterscotch-y note. The sip starts out strong - strong black tea - and almost immediately after tasting the black tea, the butterscotch and the subtle hint of marshmallow come through. It's sweet and smooth and so lovely.
My favorite thing about this blend is that the strength of the black tea curbs the sweet, sometimes cloying notes of butterscotch enough so that it's not cloying. The marshmallow is light and fluffy in the background. And the butterscotch smooths out this black tea blend that is - on it's own - rather edgy.
to brew: I highly recommend that you use a little less leaf with this one - because the CTC makes for a really strong brew. I used 2g to 12 ounces of near boiling water (205°F). Let steep for 2 - 2 1/2 minutes. Again, I'm going with less time for this because the tea offers a really strong flavor. These parameters will offer up a slightly weaker flavor than you might be bracing yourself for - and the reason I recommend it is so that you can then play with the parameters a bit and find your own sweet spot because everyone has a unique palate.
I like it brewed to these parameters - I get a nice flavor from the butterscotch essence and the marshmallow root - and the black tea is still there but certainly not in your face as it would be if you were to go with a heavier hand when measuring or a longer steep time.
A word of caution when you're setting out on your own to experiment with the parameters, because this is a CTC, you don't want to steep it too long or you will get bitterness!