Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
When our good friend, LiberTEAs asked us to create this blend, I have to admit that I tabled the idea for a few days, thinking she would forget about it. We’ve created some unusual blends, but tomato, basil and black pepper? Really?
Well, she didn’t forget about it and though it took me a while, here we are.
We’ve blended our premium Indian black teas with just a tiny touch of lapsang souchoung, sun-dried tomatoes, black peppercorns, basil and natural flavors.
How cool is this? Frank (the Chief Zoomdweebie at 52Teas) created this blend for me. And, as weird as the combination may sound to you, it actually tastes amazing.
When I originally requested this blend, I requested it as a green tea. My thought was “tomato salad in a teacup” – but then, when Frank contacted me, he suggested making it a black tea and adding just a touch of Lapsang Souchong (which is NOT a favorite tea of mine) to the blend for a smoky note. My first reaction was “eww, no” because that is my reaction when it comes to Lapsang Souchong. But, after thinking about it for a few minutes, I thought that as long as the Lapsang Souchong was added at just the right amount, the smoky note would be very complimentary to the flavors of tomato, basil and black pepper. So, I decided that the black tea would be a better choice… and now I have the most delicious “tomato soup in a teacup.”
The black tea base does not overwhelm here. One taster of this tea stated that the Lapsang Souchong overpowers the flavors of black pepper and basil, but, I don’t think this is true. I steeped my cup for just 2 1/2 minutes, added a pinch of sea salt (because you’ve gotta salt your tomatoes!) and the flavors are all represented well in the taste. And I must admit that the Lapsang Souchong does add a pleasing smoky note to the cup.
But you’re probably still thinking to yourself … what on earth possessed this person to request a tomato flavored tea? Am I right? Well, tomato is my favorite fruit. Yes, I know that it is used more like a vegetable than a fruit, but it is still – technically – a fruit. And I love tomatoes. Especially those just picked, sun-ripened, grown in the backyard tomatoes. YUM!
The tomato here is the strongest flavor. It doesn’t taste quite like the aforementioned fresh tomato, instead, it tastes like a cross between a fire-roasted tomato and a sun-dried tomato. But that’s OK, because I happen to love them too. And the flavor is so vibrant! The basil is quite a bit softer, but it lends a fresh note to the cup, and the pepper adds a kick of spice.
Together these flavors make up a delicious tea that, when paired with some crackers, make for a light and yummy lunch! THIS is the way tomato soup should taste!