Series Note: If you haven’t noticed by now, I’ve decided to write a self-indulgent series that covers all our blends and what inspired them. Never mind, I’ll be back to ranting in week or so. This is Part IV.
Flowers in tea can be a wonderful combination.
Now I know that some people will disagree. Well, let them. People have disagreed with me before. There are even technical terms for it.*
We have a variety of blends that offer flowers along with tea.
Our philosophy is always to blend with teas that are excellent to drink by themselves, so we don’t use florals as an attempt to cover up bad tea.
It came about when a High Tea venue decided to replace their current tea range with ours. They loved everything we had to offer, but their most popular tea at the time was a “Lady Grey”.
We started with the name. Ours was always going to be ‘Lady Devotea’. I have been referring to my better half as that ever since she was promoted from “Mrs Devotea” a year earlier on this very blog.
We knew it needed to be based on our Special Earl Grey, but it needed to be more feminine. After all, the venue had a 95% female clientele.
Lady Devotea suggested that we use produce from our own garden initially, and we have a large and somewhat odd orange tree. It seems to offer several varieties at once, twice a year. So, with a lot of experimentation and drying orange peel in our oven (to say nothing of gallons of marmalade as a by-product), we had an ingredient.
In addition, we have a lot of lavender in our garden, so we dried some of that.
I was concerned that the overall effect would be too intense, so I tasted it in my head with a little white tea. And that’s what we went with.
I say “tasted it in my head” as I have never drunk this tea. I am allergic to both oranges and bergamot.
It’s a little ironic that our second most popular tea has never been drunk by me. In fact, I rarely take part in the blending of this one. It’s true of the Australian offering that Lady Devotea is nearly always blended by Lady Devotea herself, sometimes in conjunction with one of our talented offspring.
I must say that the bouquet of this tea is exquisite. I may never drink it, but I often drive a van that is entirely redolent of it.
The Australian version still uses our own oranges and lavender.
Rose Blush was born when we were approached by a specialist tea outlet that runs children’s parties – nearly always for little girls. It was a practical combination of some black tea we had bought a huge container of, some white tea to lower the caffeine, some vanilla pods because kids love vanilla and pink rose petals because, er, they are pink. Girls like pink. Don’t they?
That might sound a fairly boring way to come up with a blend, but we couldn’t believe how good it tastes. Sensationally savoury without milk or sugar, smooth with either and like a superbly warn hot milkshake .
After the people we had blended it for proved unsuitable as an outlet, we released it under our own banner and it’s remained popular. It’s a personal favourite!
At this time it is available in Australia only.
Fleurs de Provence came about as we were taking part in a fortnightly French market. We had lavender, we had vanilla, and we thought “why not add some blue cornflowers?”.
The result was a very perfumed tea on the nose but considerably less so on the palate.
It’s also beautiful to look at. The Devoteamobile – our delivery van – features a picture of this tea across its back window.
Our final floral is a classic, our jasmine tea All That Jasmine.
Only available in Australia for now, this came about when a supplier offered us a Vietnamese green tea. We liked it, but felt its true value was as a counterfoil to sweet jasmine.
So we added some pre-scented Chinese jasmine tea and some lovely dried jasmine blossoms.
It worked a treat and it is a big favourite on the tasting bench when we do public tastings. It has to compete with a lot of variety but it is very well accepted.
So, that’s a wrap of our florals.
A very mixed bouquet, but we’re proud of all of them.
*The technical terms are ‘Misguided’ if I like the person. “Idiot” if I don’t.