The Luck Of The Irish: Leprechaun Botanical Tea
3 years ago we had just upgraded our blending facility into a sizable warehouse space. At the time we had just finished our first holiday where we had made “Holiday Blends” for the season. As we neared the end of February, I had the idea that maybe we should create a St. Paddy’s day blend. One of the strongest reasons i wanted to do this was the intense feeling that our partner Dylan had for the season. Though Scottish, he loved all things Celtic, and thus usually enjoyed a long season of revelry when March began.
He also loved our Lapsang Souchon tea, a pine smoked tea leaf with a strong smoky aroma and sweet lingering quality in the cup. With this in mind, I started by adding something a little zippy, to counterpoint the smoke and body of the tea- Peppermint. After some tasting, it appeared that we needed more body, but not necessarily more smoke, so we added some of our lovely Ceylon OP- a big, robust leaf with a great sweetness.
We shared our new production facility with a coffee roaster, and knowing how great their palates are from constant cupping of rare and exquisite beans, I sought their palates to help. After several tasting, one person came back with a real pot of gold- he described the infusion as reminding him of scotch whiskey. Wow- what a perfect thing in relation to a St. paddy’s blend!
I made a special label too- and we offered the blend as a special for the weekend before and during the holiday (we were only at the Fremont Market back then). Well- the sales were not that great. But what we found is that those people who love Lapsang really appreciated another way to enjoy the tea. And over the years it has gained a little following, with both people who love mint tisanes, and those who love smoky flavors.