Organic Elder Flowers c/s grade ~ Sambucus Nigra (Bulgaria)
Dry: mustard seed, lemon zest, musk, sesame seed ~ trisket crackers!
Wet: floral, fennel, musky, mustard greens
Leaf: pale tan yellow fine chopped flowers with brown hints the color of fennel seed. Some stems and pale green, yellow branch material mingles in.
Cup: Rich lemony-yellow hued extraction with strong herbal fragrance hinting at chamomile and lemongrass. Surprisingly full bodied and juicy with flavors that are deep, resonate and distinct, boasting with citrus, grassy voices, rich with hints of grapefruit pith and chamomile-floral flavors and a drawn out finish of brash rye and barley. The flavor hangs at the front of the tongue and teases the throat and it is sour, sweet and spicy.
Directions: used 1 tbsp (2.5grams) of flowers to 8oz of 200 degree water and steeped for 5 minutes in a glass graduated pitcher.
Notes: I totally hem’d and haw’d trying to figure out the nature of the aroma, searching my memories for the link that lit up the minute I drew in the aroma and after much mental searching through my spice cabinet, it dawned on me “Trisket crackers”! Wow, what a random connection and one that leads me back to being 14 and working on a fishing boat in Alaska, where snacking was constant to stave off the cold, wet, windy conditions and we would plow through box after box of anything we could quickly devour for calories (and that would mean we wouldn’t have to go through the process of taking off all the bloody raingear to eat).
It’s a very complex cup and flavor profile and I was surprised and pleased by how it is powerful and invigorating, in a way not so common in herbal teas. The sea-saw of citrus, spice, and floral is dynamic and interesting. I can see why many companies mix this with verbena or lemon balm, mint, or Echinacea as they would all amplify and merge with each other.
There is also an immediate effect on the nasal passages, a feeling not unlike drawing in a spicy, woodsy scent that seems to penetrate the nose and makes me think of the woods in Ohio in the late summer and early autumn. You can also taste a hint of the dark fruit long after the cup is done and you can ‘find’ the berry in the ‘flower’, so to speak.