Welcome back, fellow tea fans! This month my tea theme is May Flowers, and I will be featuring blends with a floral touch!
This week also happens to be May the Fourth Be With You, and as someone who takes much pride in being a bonified geek, I simply could not let such a great geek holiday pass by without a little bit of recognition and celebration! So I have a special Star Wars-themed tea just for the occassion!
If you remember my Khaleesi in the Library review, I mentioned Adagio Teas and their large Fandom Blends section. As someone well embedded in geek culture, I found this not only fascinating, but a great idea: Adagio has pretty much set up a system in which users can use their account on the website to pick up to three of Adagio’s tea blends to blend together, add a few accent ingredients if they wish, supply some custom cover art and a name for their new “custom blend,” and then market this blend with a particular fandom in mind. The tea could represent the personality of a character — are they delicate and sweet, strong and dark, dark with a hint of a sweeter side? — or some other place, common object, or even concept that is meaningful within the fandom. It’s… really philosophical, in a way, how tea is used to represent these fandoms. They even allow users to set up “ship” discounts between their own fandom blends, and you can mark a fandom blend you’ve previously purchased as your “One True Pairing” which makes its rating go up. The thought that was put into this was really remarkable. Not to mention it got me thinking about my own story characters… if they were a tea blend, what would they be? (I do believe Rose would be a relaxing, comforting tea, perhaps with a chamomile base, but with floral accents and herbs that would remind me of her garden… Shadow would be a black tea with spices, something more adventurous!)
Even fairly obscure fandoms can be found there, so a large fandom like Star Wars has tons of teas to choose from on Adagio’s Fandom Blends. So for me, my selection process became finding one that would fit my May Flowers theme, and only one was a floral tea: Padme Amidala, blended by Ash S of Mad Scientist Tea Blends. They have a full Star Wars character blend set, and I’ll admit, Padme is pretty low on my list of favorite Star Wars characters, but… ya know. The tea fit the theme. This floral blend is described as, “A delicate but not weak blend for the senator and former queen of Naboo. Floral inspired with a smooth finish.”
I purchased the sampler size, which is $5 and comes in a small tin with a slide-away top.
I love how easily these little sampler tins are to open (oh, the story I have to tell about opening a tea tin on a future Teatime Tuesday! You can check it out on the Sims forums if you don’t want to wait!) but I will say that the size and shape makes scooping the tea out a little messy and awkward. The teas are also available in a 3 oz. pouch for $12 and a 5 oz. tin for $24, which is quite reasonable pricing compared to many of the tea websites I frequently visit.
This particular blend features Adagio Teas Summer Rose, Rooibos Jasmine, and Cream Black teas, and has been accented with lavenders and cornflowers. The full ingredient list is ceylon black tea, rose petals, rose flavor, rooibos tea, natural jasmine flavor, natural creme flavor, lavenders, and cornflowers. The tea smells like a lovely floral bouquet, and I could really pick out the scents of roses and creme! Oddly enough, I couldn’t see any big, large rose petals like I was expecting from the image on their website, but my nose could certainly smell it… I’m not sure if the petals were simply broken up and quite small, or if it was coming from the liquid rose extract flavoring used in the blend.
Of course a tea that smells like a floral bouquet can only be enjoyed in my Vincent Van Gogh Irises mug, right?
I steeped the tea at 212 degrees F for five minutes, and true to the rooibos in the blend, it turned out a bit redder in color than your typical black tea, brewing into a bright red-orange that smelled just like walking through a summer garden! I just wanted to sit there and sniff my cup as it was steaming, it smelled so lovely!
The last time I got a custom blend, Khaleesi in the Library, I wasn’t too crazy about it — I still believe it had more to do with Adagio’s Vanilla Rooibos Chai which was used in the blend just being too strong on the spices (the cinnamon and clove pieces in it were huge!) rather than any fault of the fan who selected the teas for the blend — so I’ll admit I had a bit of skepticism going into this on how it would turn out. It smelled great, but would it taste great?
Yes! I normally sweeten my tea (especially blacks) but this tea was naturally sweet and I found myself not needing any additional sugar. It had a lovely floral taste, but the tastes were well grounded in the black tea and not too overpowering, though I have found that there is a little variance from cup to cup. I was pleasantly surprised that the creme flavor is still noticeable! Of the floral accents, the rose flavor is definitely the most powerful, and it is hard to make out the lavender or jasmine because it is just so distinct… but it is definitely sweet and tasty!
And how did it hold up to the resteep test? Well, it is a black tea (the rooibos was added mostly to give it the notes of the jasmine flavoring), and blacks do noticeably lose a lot of flavor on that second steep. Still, I found this blend had enough of a sweet floral kick left in it to enjoy it for at least a second cup.
I have to say, I was impressed with this tea… not bad Amidala, not bad at all. Maybe something good can come from the Prequels after all… Aside from the great additional scenes of this guy, that is… (Who just happens to be my favorite Star Wars character!)
And to think, Palpatine, I loved you even before you made fantastic tea puns!
Hmm… there is a disturbing lack of Palpatine blends on Adagio Tea… maybe I should make one and simply name it “Brew It!” with that as the cover art… mwahahahaha! Is it any surprise I’m on the Dark Side? …No? I should’ve listened to that Sorting Hat when he stuck me in Slitherin.
I hope you all have a happy May the Fourth Be With You this Thursday! Put on the kettle and rewatch the timeless sci-fi classic… what better way is there to celebrate?