Steven Smith Teamaker takes on a bespoke small batch blending project and hits a blend of Oolong and spices for a unique palate experience.
|Company||Steven Smith Teamaker|
|Blend Name||Oolong Ice Cream|
|Blend Base||Oolong Tea|
|Country of Origin||USA|
|Price per Package||$15.99 USD|
|*Flavor, Aroma, Boldness|
At the end of June, Steven Smith Teamaker stepped outside of the box. Working with a local Portland ice cream chef, they blended the first in their bespoke “Maker’s Series” teas. These wonderfully packaged products come with several premade sachets you can brew, but also with ingredients enough to make a couple more on your own. It’s an interesting take on the trend sweeping the tea enthusiast world where we all fashion ourselves “Maker’s” of tea.
I’m not going to review the blending experience here today, that’s for a future post where I’ll cover the efficacy of letting customers blend teas on their own using provided ingredients, and will require more time and study than I have for today.
The scent of this Oolong Ice Cream blend is creamy, with hints of spice and nuts. As aromas go, this one is not very effusive or bold, but it is inviting, like a Hojicha used in Japanese shops to draw in visitors.
As this tea is in a sachet I won’t spend much time on appearance, but the leaves themselves are tightly rolled balls, some with notable stems. I can see plenty of mix-ins including almonds and what look like chunks of salt.
The flavor gives the sense it is going to dry the tongue, but doesn’t a curious occurrence. It is light, with good body but little weight. I detected hints of nuts cream, something floral and vanilla. While the blend contains sea salt, I did not particularly note its presence on the palate.
The finish is light, reminding me of a milk oolong given insufficient time to steep. Some drying at the sides of the tongue. Perhaps from the salt?
If you’re a fan of blended oolongs, roasted or creamy teas, or enjoy inventive blends, I’d recommned giving this one a try.
If you’re a purist who prefers their teas unaltered and unblended, or if you prefer the grassy or vegetal touch of green teas this one may not be for you.