Tea of the Week for May 1, 2017: Wake Me Up, Scotty! (Black Tea)
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Tea Description: 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!
organic ingredients: black teas (ctc), marshmallow root, calendula petals and natural flavors
This is yummy!
The black tea base is remarkably bold (not surprising, since it is a CTC). Because of it's strong, rugged flavor, I thought that something sweet was in order to soften the edge. The butterscotch and marshmallow combination does this nicely - it's definitely sweet but the strength of the black tea contrasts enough with the sweetness to keep it from being too sweet - the sweeter components soften the edge, making the tea smoother and easier to drink while the bold roughness of the tea curtails the sweetness so that the cup doesn't become cloying.
to brew: don't overleaf this one - a CTC is a strong tea as it is because there's more surface area exposed. I recommend measuring out a level teaspoon and then perhaps shake a little of the tea off the measurement to make for a little less than a level teaspoon of tea to 12 ounces of boiling water (or just shy of boiling - I actually went with water heated to 205°F) and let steep for not longer than 2 1/2 minutes. You're welcome to experiment with the time, of course, but I do recommend stopping at 2 1/2 minutes to start with and then go from there. You might find that you attain a perfect cuppa at 2 minutes (I did) or you might find you want a little more time for your steep. Because this is a CTC, though, it will become bitter quickly if left to steep too long!
Strain and allow to cool for 10 minutes. I find that a pinch of sugar will bring out the butterscotch which is really nice - try this one latte (a splash of milk!) because it's absolutely sublime!