Roses et Chocolat Tea Blend, Version #4

As I set to finally re-launched the missing blends for my tea collection (Roses et Chocolat and Immortelle l'Amour) I encounter some technical difficulties resulting from shortage of Rose Congou to blend with. I've decided to experiment with blending without that key ingredient. Today I was working with two exceptional black teas I have at my disposal: Darjeeling and Ghorka. While the two are extremely different from the ashy and rose-scented Keemun black tea (which is what Rose Congou is); they possess desirable qualities that inspired me to step up to the challenge.

Darjeeling is considered the "champagne of black teas" and is most favoured by the French, who incorporate it into tea-infused desserts. It has floral qualities, as well as an astringent aftertaste that make it light and refreshing, yet full of depth.

Ghorka is the name of a tea estate in Nepal, that is situated at 1951m on the Himalaya mountains. The particular tea I have was cask-aged in oak barrels where Cabarnet Franc and Merlot wines were previously stored. It has depth and roundness that reminds me of chocolate, and is also reminiscent of baked apples. It has become my mainstay breakfast tea, usually taken with a tad of whole milk.

While the teas are wonderful, it takes just a hint too much of this spice or another, too little or too much rose petals, to bring an imbalance to the blend. The result simply paled in comparison to what I had in mind, the roses were taking over and not in a good way, with the spices giving them a very sharp edge that was unpleasant to me.

Roses et Chocolat Tea Blending

My Roses et Chocolat tea blending adventures continue with another pot of tea - or a gaiwan, actually... This time with different proportion of the same elements. It's going to take a lot of fine tuning to get the flavour balanced and full bodied yet have that spicy pizzazz of the Roses et Chocolat perfume.

I'm learning how tea blending is so similar to perfume composition - it's all about proportions and balance. I want the surprising elements (i.e.: the spices) to be present, but not jump at you. I think it's getting there... But might need an additional tea leaf to go with the rose congou.

Looking forward to another pot of tea tomorrow morning!

Reworking Roses et Chocolat Tea

Roses et Chocolat tea by Ayala Moriel
Roses et Chocolat tea, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.

This morning, I brewed a trial version of my new Roses et Chocolat tea. The formula is going to be completely changed around, and have more of the perfume's spicy personality. So I'll be using piquiant spices such as pink peppercorns and mace blades in the blend.
Although the ingredients are few and simple in this tea, it will be a long journey before I learn how to reach the balance between the elements. How the tea smells in the dry state is only a small part of the experience. It must taste just right when brewed, and have the correct balance between roses, chocolate, spices and tannins.
I'm off to brewing another version this afternoon, as I really want to see it coming closer to where I want it to be.

Aphro-tea-siacs in Fresh Cup Magazine Featuring Ayala Moriel's Aphrodisiac Tera Party

The April issue of Fresh Cup Magazine features an article titled APHRO-TEA-SIACS: Exploring the sexy side of infusions by Steven Krolak includes an extensive interview with me and Dawna (the wonderful lady who makes my tea line), about aphrodisiacs in perfume and tea, and my last Aphrodisiac Tea Party I hosted for my customers for Valentine's Day.
Click here to visit the online edition of the current issue (p. 46-51).
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