I went to a tea tasting a few weeks ago. It was a three hour course led by a master tea blender and covered everything from farming to brewing. I bought the tickets as a Christmas present for my girlfriend, who enjoyed it despite claiming just before Christmas that she didn’t like tea at all. That was lucky.
Anyway, after the initial lessons we were able to design our own tea. No ingredients were off the table and we were encouraged to be adventurous. Most people seemed to interpret that as adding chilli to existing blends, while Nicola decided to instead develop a zero-calorie alternative to Starbucks’ chai.
I decided to do something a little different.
I wanted a tea I could ice and use in cocktails. That meant I’d want it to be brightly coloured and strong-flavoured, so I settled on using Hibiscus as the base. We’d tried that earlier and I really liked how sour it was.
At the tutor’s recommendation I added Lemongrass to temper the hibiscus, then threw in some Silver Needle white tea because it sounded cool. I just had to name it after that, which was easy given the bright red colour and medicinal flavour I anticipated the tea would have. I imagined serving it in long, test-tube-like glasses, but a good set has been hard to find.
Sadly, the tea is actually more pale and weak than I anticipated, so if I get some more mixed up I’ll likely up the Hibiscus percentages and cut out the Lemongrass altogether (a slice of fresh lemon would work better). It still tastes good, however – especially served with ice and gin. It’s a G & Tea!
I doubt they’d drink it at The Hound Pits though, no matter how alcoholic it is.
For best results, serve with Apricot Tartlets.