Tea of the Week for May 8, 2017: Cucumber Mint Limeade White Tea
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Tea Description: I went back and forth about what I should name this tea. My first thought was - how about Cucumber Mojito? I mean, it has most of the main flavors that a cucumber mojito would: cucumber, lime and mint. It's just missing the rum. But trust me, you won't miss the rum because the balance of flavors here is really nice.
But then I thought back to my tea reviewing days and I seem to recall having reviewed (or at least wanting to review) a Cucumber Mojito blend so I decided against that. Besides, I wasn't really looking to create a cucumber mojito blend here because I didn't add rum to it. I was looking to create a cucumber blend and I wanted a nice contrasting flavor to the mellow savory-sweet flavor of the cucumber. I didn't want to add melon to the mix because I've done a couple of cucumber melon flavored teas. So I decided on lime. Lime would offer a slightly tart contrast to the cucumber and to balance things out, I added just a hint of cool, crisp mint to the blend (peppermint and spearmint, heavier on the spearmint than the peppermint).
For the base, I chose a gorgeous Bai Mu Dan which has a light fruity flavor to complement the flavors of cucumber and lime. I thought that the delicate notes of the cucumber would work nicely with the delicate flavor of Bai Mu Dan. I went really light with both the mint and the lime here as I didn't want either to overpower the whole thing.
And as I said in the first paragraph - I believe the balance here is really nice. It's sweet but there's enough savory to it to keep it from being cloying. The lime is more like a squeeze of lime rather than a prominent tone - it adds just a touch of brightness to the cup without taking over. The mint is light and refreshing.
This is springtime in a teacup!
ingredients: white tea
organic ingredients: cucumber, lime, spearmint, peppermint & natural flavors
I know I've said this before, but I'm going to say it again: I LOVE my job.
I get to create lots of fantastic tea blends and then I get to test them. The testing is the best part. I enjoy the blending part too, it evokes thoughts of the days when I was little and playing with my chemistry set. At one point in my life, I fancied the idea of becoming a chemist but I soon learned that they have to be very proficient at math and I just - am not proficient at math nor do I have any intention of ever becoming proficient at math. Math is evil.
But I digress.
The point I was trying to make without going into my evil math diatribe was this: I enjoyed thoroughly mixing the liquids in the little amber bottles - pouring one into a test tube and then another . . . really rendering no results except for weird and often foul smelling liquids in said test tube. No kabooms or kersplats or even any smoke or fascinating color change in liquid. I'm pretty sure that I would have made a horrible chemist.
But what I do now is even better. I get to mix different flavors together with one of my favorite things on earth: tea. And these experiments - unlike my chemistry experiments - render amazing results (usually!) Results that are delicious and delightful. Results that render me positively giddy with tea joy.
Like this blend. The flavor is so smooth and sweet - but there's just enough of the tart lime and savory cucumber notes to keep it from being too sweet. It's light and pleasant to sip. It's crisp and cool but not overly minty - I think those that tend to avoid mint teas would even find this enjoyable. Calming and relaxing. Joyful. I love this!
It's a blend that focuses primarily on the delicate tones of the cucumber and white tea with secondary notes of bright lime and a hint of mint. It is a medley of all these flavors - and it is rather brilliant.
to brew: this tea needs a good shake because the big, fluffy leaves of the bai mu dan do nothing to keep the smaller mint leaves and small chunks of cucumber well-integrated into the blend. Measure 2 teaspoons of leaf - making sure that there is at least *some* mint and cucumber in the measurement - and steep in hot water (heated to 170°F) and allow to steep for 3 1/2 minutes. Strain and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy. This tea offers multiple steeps!