This is a tea that I was very excited to work on. I love love love fresh maple syrup but when I was young I never liked it. I would always use fresh fruit or butter (before being vegan) or ice cream or whipped cream but I could not stand maple syrup. It wasn’t until my 20s that I was coerced into giving maple syrup another chance. Before that I had only ever tried Aunt Jemimas or some other artificial syrup that doesn’t even contain maple syrup. Now I buy my syrup from a farmers markets or Whole Foods. I’m still making up for lost maple syrup time.
I decided on using the Nilgiri Frost Oolong as a base for a number of reasons. The tea had some similar characteristics to the flavor of maple and pecan and I knew the notes of the tea would mesh well with the flavoring. Also, it had a nice weighty body. A thin body would not seem right for a maple blend. The leaves are long and strong enough to carry some heavier chunks of pecans. I love to use high quality bases that work with the flavorings and not just simply cover them.
The base tea is a Nilgiri Frost Oolong grown at a high altitude that exposes the tea leaves to a light frost during some of the winter nights. This tea is grown in limited quantities because of the special conditions that must exist. It is a sweet tasting tea that has citrus, pecan, peach, and oak notes.
The leaves of Maple Pecan Oolong are long, thin, and wiry, ranging from chocolate to charcoal in color. Large chunks of pecans are present. The leaves produce an intoxicatingly sweet aroma. Without sugar, the tea is naturally lightly sweet with a light maple and pecan flavor. Citrus and oaky notes are also presenet. Reducing the tea to 1 teaspoon for 8oz of water will reduce some of the citrus and oaky notes. With some sugar the maple and pecan notes are intensified and the citrus and oaky notes are lighter but produce an almost crust like flavor. It tastes just like a pecan maple pie. The maple lasts long after the sip and I can taste it on my lips.