From time to time I pick up a new ingredient somewhat randomly. Our suppliers sometimes offer free shipping for over a certain amount, that kind of thing.
Cranberries were one of these “I bet I could work with this” choices.
The first test for strength of taste from the cranberries was… uninspiring. The resulting tisane was far weaker than I had expected, given my mental assessment of the taste of cranberries, and I was uncertain as to whether they would stand up in a tea in any sane amount.
So I went into research mode. Read a lot about the sort of flavour cranberries impart, and the kinds of things that will intensify that. (I perused more varieties of cranberry sauce than I really want to think about, among other things.)
The result of this was deciding that a cranberry tea should have citrus, and that a hint of nutmeg or cinnamon or allspice would mesh well with the rest.
I chose green tea for the first experimental cranberry blend because it is lighter than most black teas, and the leaves are smaller than the oolong we utilize. (Using oolong with the cranberries would take a very precise approach to how much to break them up and I don’t know the ingredient well enough yet to be certain of how to go about it.) I went with genmaicha rather than a simpler green tea because I had a theory that the rice would marry well with the other flavours.
Mister Tea and I were both very happy with the test cup, and I was pleasantly surprised. As with all our greens, we tested it without sugar first – and the fruit flavours were present, but the green tea was the strongest part. Just a touch of sugar intensifies those fruit flavours nicely.
The name came out of our stack of “these would be neat tea names, we just have to figure out a tea for them” – having come up as a suggestion for the naming of a tea we created around Christmas last year.
‘Merry and Bright’ suited this tea quite nicely. Seasonal flavours, green and red, and the taste could actually be described as ‘bright.’
Batch Size: 2.25 ounces, approximately 25-30 servings of tea
Options: Loose Tea (Sample, Bag, Tin), Teabags (Single, Sample, Bag)