Accidental “Holiday” Tea

So I managed to create a blend I find alright, very drinkable, if imperfect compared to professional blends. Recording the results here so that Twitter won’t scroll off the research results.

Experiment #1

2 tsp Queen Mary Vanilla Cream Rooibos
1 tsp dried orange peel bits
2 whole cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 star anise

14oz boiling water. Brew for 10+ minutes.

This turned out quite alright, if not spectacular; star anise has a very strong licorice taste, and it overwhelmed the cup somewhat.

Experiment #2

2 tsp rooibos
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 tsp dried orange peel bits
2 whole cloves
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Repeat water/temp/brewing.

That was really stupid. It should have been 1/8 tsp of each of the extracts. As it was, I had to throw it out. Yuck pthbb it burns

Experiment #3

2 tsp Queen Mary Vanilla Honeybush
1.5 inch cinnamon stick
1 tsp dried orange peel bits
3 whole cloves
1/2 star anise

Repeat water/temp, 8 minutes brewing.

This smelled much nicer than the other experiments, and was mellow as honeybush is, compared to rooibos. Star anise “petals” can be broken off to halve a single “flower”, and this turned out to add the holiday-like spice without overwhelming the cup. Very nice, and I want to try this with rooibos soon. However…

Experiment #4

Experiment #3, switching out the Vanilla Honeybush for Queen Mary Earl Grey Rooibos and omitting the orange peel due to the redundancy it would have combined with the bergamot. This did not work out well; the amount of bergamot, while pleasant alone or combined into a London Fog-style blend, obliterated all the other flavors. You can’t get to a Kusmi-style complex tea easily, as it turns out.

Oh Kusmi, can you make some complex rooibos blends?

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