Black Pearls/Rosella Hibiscus Tea Blend
A “Siam Summer Dream”
I need to admit, since I am personally rather a fan of pure Camellia Sinensis tea and its numerous green, Oolong and black tea variations, I usually rather don’t pay much attention to efforts of “impurifying“ the same by adding herbs, fruit or spices to them in order to create hybrid infusion beverages. In fact, I even feel enticed at times to belittle the thousands of existing „tea“ blends with their notedly imaginative names with an attitude that might be not too far away from arrogance.
Not that I wouldn’t appreciate the involved herbs and ingredients themselves: one the one hand, herbs native to Thailand, such as Jiaogulan, Safflower, Mulberry leaves, Roselle Hibiscus or Chrysanthemums all have their surely justified place in traditional Chinese medicine, on the other many of them generally please the human palate, without anything being wrong with this.
When I recently, in the context of a project to add a range of new herbs (in their pure form) to our offer at Siam Tea Shop, engaged myself in the degustation of Rosella Hibiscus infusions, my first thought was “Summer Ice Tea”, and the second thought that came to me was “this would surely taste great mixed with black tea”. That second thought just kept lingering around, and so one day I found myself sitting in my garden, surrounded by some kilos of Hibiscus flowers, a 200g bag of DMS Jin Xuan Black Pearls, a precision scale, a set of small (aroma) cups for parallel degustation, a mixing bowl, three large tea cups to prepare the different samples, and my beloved little glass tea pot, and eagerly took on the task of creating a blend of DMS Jin Xuan Black Pearls and Roselle Hibiscus blossoms, not without being driven by a good measure of curiosity after all.
Well, the individual steps of my base experiment can be reconstructed on the basis of this article’s picture illustrations without the need for many words. It may be mentioned that as my end result, a preparation of 5g Jin Xuan Black Pearls mixed with 2g of Roselle Hibiscus leaves on 250 ml of water after an infusion period of 5 minutes does not only produce my best result so far, but also an extremely delicious one that can optionally be enjoyed hot or as ice tea, with or without sugar.
In the mix, each of the two ingredients gives up a good part of ist individual identity in favor oft he new creation. Tart and bitter components of the black tea taste fall by the wayside. What is left of the Black Pearls is the wonderful „median”, sweet range of tastes that is typical with the enjoyment of this tea in its pure form, which combines and unites perfectly with the slightly sour taste of the Roselle Hibiscus, reminiscent of dog rose and lemon, in the blend, now named “Siam Summer Dream” because of my perceptional associations during the stages of experimenting and degustation. The resulting tea beverage is refreshing and invigorates the human senses, making it a perfect iced refreshment drink for hot summer days out in the garden, daily enjoyment from the home fridge, or as a pleasant hot tea beverage at any time of the day.
Admittedly, busying myself with tea in this new and so far unfamiliar way has really been fun, while at the same time providing me with valuable insights in the old, often underrated art of creating tea blends. And though, at the end of a long day of sampling numbers of different blend variations (mixing proportions, blend/water ratio, infusion period) of Jin Xuan Black Pearls with our Rosella Hibiscus, I do look forward to a good pot of regular pure Oolong tea, I am still convinced that I will not only get back to this new tea creation of mine at numerous occasions in the future myself, but that „Siam Summer Dream” tea will also find its good friends in the Siam Tea Shop customer and fan community.
Herbal/Black Tea Blend
DMS Jin Xuan Black Pearls / Rosella Hibiscus petals