Tomorrow is the day that my camera goes into the mail on its journey to be fixed. I really should have put it in the mail sooner, but I have to go to the library to print out forms and between you and me, I had no desire to go outside during all that freezing rain. There is a great amount of nervousness here, not so much over them not fixing it since there is the option to replace it if necessary, but mainly over how long it will take. Granted not having a flash is not the best option, though the double use of my phone’s flashlight and my painting light has made for an interesting effect. Another piece of camera news, I got a different flash diffuser since my other one was complicated. It worked wonderfully, but the listing was full of it when it said it would fit my camera, so to use it I have to hold it steady, which made taking photos interesting. The new one I am getting fits over the flash like a sock, so more mobility incoming.
Today we are looking at a tea that is near and dear to my heart, Blendbee’s Save the Bees, a blend that donates 20% of its sales to saving the bees! See, I love bees, some of my fondest memories involve my grandparents taking me to Ashcombe’s (A HUGE nursery in PA) where I would watch the honeybees in the hive window and then stock up on honey. I will admit to having a lot of loathing towards Yellow Jackets, but I have been in more fights with those nasty wasps than I would like to remember, they are the only bug I am actually afraid of, but bees and even a lot of other wasps, we cool. This tea is thematically apropriate for bees as well, since it is a LOT of flowers, specifically it is a blend of Hibiscus Flowers, Rosehips, Rosebuds, Marigold Flowers, Chamomile Flowers, Jasmine Flowers, Lavender Flowers, Orange Peel, Stevia Leaves, Sweet Orange Extract, and Honey Extract. This is a flower lover’s dream, and it just so happens that my favorite kind of herbal blends are heavily floral, so I am excited. The aroma is very sweet and floral, strong notes of jasmine, roses, and lavender dance with sweet oranges and honey. It smells vaguely of dessert, the blend of creamy oranges and honey with the flowers remind me of some really fancy flower ice-cream I have indulged in.
I decided to be a bit old fashioned with my brewing this time, standard big ol’ mug and a steeping basket. True, this way I won’t be able to see the full glory of the steeping hibiscus, but my steeping apparatus is really only sized for a teacup rather than a mug. The aroma of the wet flowery pile is sweet and tart, blending oranges and lavender, honey and hibiscus, jasmine and roses, it is heady while also being light. The pink liquid is a perfect balance of oranges and flowers, it is sweet and heady, with the lavender being the dominant flower and chamomile, jasmine, and rose following behind.
So, as you probably know, I used to be a staunch hater of hibiscus, but in my old age it seems I am growing fond-ish of it. However it has to be light, it has to be in a sweet blend, and it cannot be just straight…I like a little bit of tart with the sweet, it is an interesting balance. Conveniently for me, this is the perfect amount of hibiscus, just enough to add that tiny bit of tart at the start of the sip, but it is quickly overwhelmed by the other flowers and oranges. Strong notes of oranges and lavender, followed by roses and jasmine, at the finish is a delicate straw and apple note of chamomile and a stevia sweetness that lingers. I love stevia leaves, not a fan of stevia based sweeteners, but the leaves themselves are delicious, I am tempted to grow some come spring time. And speaking of warmer weather, I will have to try this tea cold-brewed and sip it while visiting Kauffman Gardens, see if the bees like it as much as I do.