Time for a new blend! Sort of…
Today’s blend is an Organic Shou Mei white tea and a Lapsang Souchong black tea, both from Red Blossom Tea Company, and some freshly dried mint leaves from Nob Hill Grocery Store.
First, let me say two things:
1. I have tried the Shou Mei/Lapsang blend before and liked it a lot. The super smokey feel and taste of the Lapsang works really well with the simple, solid, woodsy flavor of the Shou Mei. For my 32 ounce Bodum Assam I found that 3 tablespoons of Shou Mei to 1 teaspoon of Lapsang is a good mix, but you have to add a bit more Lapsang for additional steepings.
2. The mint leaves were an experiment a couple weeks ago. I went to the local grocery store and bought the only fresh mint leaves they had and dried them hanging in my room. In the future I would go to a farmer’s market or natural food store like Sprouts or Whole Foods and get a more specific mint leaf. After I research, of course.
Now, on to todays blend. First, the mix:
32 ounce Bodum Assam teapot
3 tablespoons Organic Shou Mei
1 teaspoon Lapsang Souchong
4 dried mint leaves
Quick rinse, about 15 seconds
Pulled the water off the stove at first boil
2 minute steeping time (recommended by Red Blossom for Organic Shou Mei base)
Here we go!
I could tell when I poured the water over the leaves this would be a good one. The first whiff I got from it made me smile. The Shou Mei base is a great, solid, white tea base for a blend like this due to it’s light, gentle, fragile taste with strong hints of wood, nuts, and Earth. Mix a bit of that uber campfire smoke taste of the Lapsang Souchong, and the two blend very well.
Now add the mint. Here is where I didn’t know what would happen. I don’t notice much of the mint in the aroma, the Lapsang pretty much owns the nose. But when I taste it, there it is. The mint is right there, present and accounted for. It works really well with the base Shou Mei and the smoky Lapsang, adding just a bit more depth and flavor.
Basically, I get a lightish, woodsy tea with a strong feel of smoked mint. Very interesting.
I would certainly try this again, but maybe with slightly less Lapsang, maybe ¾ of a teaspoon instead of a whole one, and 3 mint leaves instead of 4.
But yeah, today’s blend is a damn good one! I can already picture myself sipping this while reading on a cool, rainy Winter’s day.