Make your own special brew. No I’m not talking about deadly nightshade or eye of newt. I’m talking about making your own tea blend! Have you ever had just ‘a little bit of this’ and ‘a little bit of that’ but nothing that amounted to enough for one cup of tea and thought, “Hmmm, what if I just threw it all in together and see what happens!” No? Just me? Well, I have had many surprise successes and a few ‘don’t ever do that agains’, but I’ve always had fun. One of the best blends I made recently was combining the remains of a Bai Hao Oolong with some loose herbal peach thing my friend had that was getting old-ish. The combo was so good that all three of us loved it and I had to make another pot. A success!
Another reason to take a hand at blending: have you ever had a tea blend and thought it would be perfect if it had ‘a little more of this’ or ‘a little less of that’ or just didn’t have that one thing in it all? I know I have. I love rose and I love lavender but I’m not fond of raspberry leaf or raspberry flavouring in tea. I only ever found the rose and lavender with the raspberry and I hated it. Solution: getting a black base tea of my choice, rose petals and lavender. Then I could tweak the amounts at will.
For fall time pumpkin spice lattes are everywhere. For that matter pumpkin is everywhere. It’s gotten obnoxious. Once I see pumpkin spice toilet paper I’ll know we have hit the wall with it. But for those who prefer tea there are many such blends out there. I came across a tea shop sampling their version of the pumpkin spice latte and I thought why not try one at home. I used the same style I would with a homemade chai. If you like pumpkin spice and you like tea why not give it a go! Here is what I did:
- Bring 1 ¼ c filtered water to a slow boil
- Add 1 TB loose leaf Ceylon tea (or your tea of choice but if it is a very broken leaf tea you may want to use a smaller amount) and 1 tsp pumpkin spice powder
- Simmer for 5 min or so – liquid will reduce
- Add 1 cup milk (or milk substitute)
- Heat thoroughly (Optional: bring it just about to a boil then take it off the heat – I’ve done this up to 3 times and it intensifies the flavor and makes it a bit thicker feeling)
- Add sweetener of choice (I used maple syrup for extra fall-ness. Nice!)
If you want to get decadent here you can add whipped cream and a piece of candy or if you have a frothing tool you can put a layer of frothed milk on top and sprinkle with the spice of your choice or drizzle some caramel or float a ghost marshmallow in it. The choices are endless!
Making your own delicious concoctions isn’t limited to holiday time of course. This is just dipping a toe in the deep pool of tea blending possibilities. So get your cauldron and start experimenting! Happy Halloween!