Tea of the Week for October 16, 2017: Candied Pear White Tea!
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Tea Description: When I was young, I used to love the candied apples that would come out this time of year. Not the caramel apples - oh, sure, I love caramel apples too - but the apples I'm referring to are the apples that had been dredged in a sticky, unnaturally red, gooey substance and would often be topped with chopped nuts (although I preferred them without the nuts). I would find these candied apples in the produce section of my local grocery store.
These days, I don't find myself as enthralled by those candied apples as I once was. Perhaps adulthood has changed my palate and made me a little less of a sweet tooth - although I do still have a sweet tooth - but I'd rather have apple slices drizzled with salted caramel than one of those weird, alien-red-colored, candied apples.
I'm not exactly sure why I told you all that, except to say that while I do love apples, I prefer pears. (Although my weekly shopping cart wouldn't reveal that because usually what I'm buying are apples.) And I remember as a sweet-loving kid wondering why they didn't dip pears into that red goo and make candied pears? I would have used every penny from my paper route to buy up all of them if they made such a thing.
This week's tea is a tribute of sorts to my idea of a candied pear. Sweet, succulent pear dipped in a sweet candy syrup-y concoction that would create a sticky, gooey shell over the pear. No nuts - just pear and sweet sticky goodness.
I started with a lovely Bai Mu Dan base and added pears and a sweet candy essence to create this tea - and it tastes just as I imagined a candied pear would taste! The pear flavor is well-defined and that pear tastes as though it's been candied. YUM!
Hey - after I typed all this out, I did a google search to see if such a thing as a red, candied pear existed. Check out this recipe from Rachel Ray! I had no idea that the red stuff was pomegranate!
ingredients: white tea
organic ingredients: pear, calendula petals & natural flavors
I wasn't so sure how this one would turn out, to be honest. I had originally thought - oh, maybe it'll be like toffee pear and that was my original 'plan' but when I tasted it, my mind went straight to the memories of childhood as I mentioned in the above description.
So, sometimes the teas don't go exactly the way I plan them to, but that's alright because they still turn out quite delicious!
And this is oh-so-yummy! I love how the sweet candy flavor accentuates the pear. It tastes a bit like pear Jelly Bellys to me - which is quite alright with me because I love pear Jelly Bellys!
The white tea is soft and mellow, and the light fruitiness to the Bai Mu Dan complements the pear notes perfectly. The sweetness is definitely there but it doesn't get cloying. It lingers into the aftertaste - leaving my palate with a softly sweet taste that is quite lovely!
to brew: if you're using that bamboo scoop that I sent out with orders a couple of months ago, that's ideal for this tea. Measure out two scoops of this tea using that scoop. If you don't have one of those scoops, take a teaspoon out of your cutlery drawer (you know, the spoon you'd use to eat cereal or stir your cup of tea? Yeah, that spoon) and use it to measure out two scoops of tea to 12 ounces of hot water (I heated the water to 170°F) and steep for 3 1/2 minutes. Strain and allow to cool for 5 minutes or so. Enjoy!
I found that a small amount of sugar really does make a difference with this tea - maybe about a 1/2 a teaspoon or so? That will enhance the 'candied' notes of the tea without adding too much sweetness to the cup. Still pleasant without the sugar, the small amount of sugar does bring the candied part of this tea into focus.