As many of you know, Campfire Blend has gone through TONS of versions (107 counting this one), and each version has been tweaked a little bit to match the memory it was inspired by. So far, they have all been slightly drying, a tad harsh, and had a little hint of citrus. This has been the hardest memory for me to match — a wolf howl and a campfire aren’t exactly easy to create in a cup. =)
Lapsang souchong is a necessity as the base tea in this blend. We have tested tea after tea and finally came to the ideal lapsang for this blend. The new version will be shipping with a very good, high grade lapsang with the perfect smoke and sweetness balance.
The orange peel was always necessary in the tea before. We needed a lingering sweetness that was from more than just the tea. My only issue with the orange peel was that, despite doing its job…it didn’t exactly fit the memory. The discovery of roasted cedar leaves opened a whole new world of possibilities. In the new version of campfire, the orange peel was replaced by caramelly-sweet cedar leaves, slow roasted for 12 hours at WPTC headquarters. Looking back on the memory, cedar trees were present in the forest as well as the fire.
Another change we decided to make was to remove the peppercorn, which seeming contributed nothing much at all to the blend. This opened up the space for something to darken the blend even more and round out the depth of the lapsang, pull the earthyness of the rooibos, and generally complete the blend – roasted chicory root.
The final product is much cleaner, smoother, deeper, and more complex than previous versions. It is so much closer to perfection, so very reminiscent of my memory…but hey, who doesn’t want to leave a challenge for the future? :)
It was late autumn in the upper peninsula of Northern Michigan. I had the campfire going steady with pinewood and maple leaves. A slight breeze off of the lake brought me closer to the embers while the call of a Barred Owl and crickets echoed through the empty lakeshore. The wind pushed the smoke towards the full moon. The smoky haze in the air played like the moonlight across the water, giving life to an empty sky. Then, as if rehearsed a hundred times, the entire landscape went silent. All I could hear was the crackling of the fire and my own steady breath. The wind had stopped, the owl and crickets wouldn’t dare make a sound. Even the haunting call of a loon was cut short, echoing across the silvery glasslike waters for what felt like forever. There was only the popping of a fire and the lonely breath of a woodsman. At that moment, sending chills down my spine not even the hottest fire could have warmed, the cry of a lone wolf sang out from the pine forest behind me. The silence was broken and, moments later, the orchestra of nature began singing once again.
Campfire Blend uses the finest lapsang souchong as the base, cradling the embers of rooibos, roasted chicory, cloves, and wildcrafted roasted cedar leaves to create a taste and aroma unlike anything you could ever imagine…except for maybe the whisper of an ancient campfire and the cry of a lone wolf on a cool Autumn night.
Sweet, Warm Cedar
Flavors: Cedar, Pine