Bad Wolf combines Smokey Russian Caravan with Cinnamon and Rosehips, with a hint of vanilla to tie it all together.
The idea for the tea was born while watching Doctor Who with our godson. The words "Bad Wolf," had been scattered across space and time, and it really seemed as if they should have landed in our teas. The concept for the taste came almost immediately, but it took us time to find an organic version of the black tea we felt was most suitable.
Prior to Bad Wolf, my partner was not a fan of either Cinnamon in tea, or the smokier teas. This tea converted him to both.
Baker Street is a blend of 3 black teas: Russian Caravan, Keemun, and Earl Grey.
It was born our of a request and gift from a friend. I love a challenge, and I love creating new teas. There is something incredibly zen about the process, and I get a fair amount of enjoyment and peace out of the blending, whether we are speaking to the initial experimentation, or putting together a batch for an order.
My friend had mentioned a particular tea blend that she loved, and she ended up sending my some bags of it to taste. She had also been curious to see if I could make something similar, just clean and organic, with no oils or artificial flavours.
We taste tested the tea she sent, and realized that creating our own version was going to more complicated than our prior tea-for-taste work, because the foundation of it was a blend of different black teas. Mister Tea and I decided to begin by creating a blend of black teas, and work from there.
That blend of black teas made us fall in love. It has become our first choice for simple black drinking tea.
When we thought about the flavour of the tea, and the types of tea that had gone into the blending of it, we decided a nod to Holmes was in order. The combination of the darker smokey Caravan tea and the dash of bergamot from the oh-so-British Earl Grey... and our Baker Street Blend was born.
Beauxbaton's starts with a wonderful blend of three black teas: Russian Caravan, Earl Grey, and Keemun. We then add enough Elderberries and Vanilla to turn it into a rich and decadent treat of a tea.
Beauxbaton's was my first blend where I was working from a tea I had been sent by a friend. She had a tea she loved and wanted me to try, and had expressed curiosity as to whether or not I could make something similar - just clean and organic with nothing artificial added.
Mister Tea and I shared the first cup of the gifted tea, and came to the conclusion that we'd have to start with a specific mix of blacks before we could even begin to make our version. The foundational tea blend was amazing, and became a tea in its own right. (Baker Street Blend). After we'd gotten that settled, I played around with how much Elderberry and Vanilla to add to add the truly decadent element of the inspirational tea.
The name for the tea had to have a nod to France, and with our habit of combining tea and geekery - the answer seemed obvious. Beauxbaton's Blend has a bergamot and smokey black base, with the elderberry adding a lovely rich darker fruit taste, and the vanilla.... well, doing all the things that vanilla does.
This tea combines Genmaicha Green Tea with Cinnamon and Nutmeg into a wonderful tea.
Believe Impossible Things came about because I wanted to expand my tea knowledge. So with one of our restocking orders, I added a few new things to try.
Genmaicha I was a bit skeptical of. Why would you put roasted brown rice in a tea?
My first cup surprised me, but in a good way. However, the primary thought in my imind was, "Yay, this is really tasty, but it would be soooo much better if it had spices in it to make it taste kinda like a green tea rice pudding."
So I experimented a bit with ratios and amounts, and "Believe Impossible Things" was born. It is one of the only green teas I sweeten, and it is the only green tea I add dairy to.
Black Lemon Frost came about, in part, because of a sense of self preservation and comfort.
It gets really hot in New Mexico. Summer can be an amazingly brutal season. I will still drink hot things, but I want something I can ice during the day, especially if I'm doing anything outisde.
I decided I wanted a black tea with lemon and mint for that particular season. It tastes lovely hot, and amazing iced, and is a wonderful refresher for mid-summer and the kind of heat that makes you think of a Shel Sivlerstein poem.
Boo's Just Ducky was born out of a combnation of two things. The first was that once we started working with chocolate, I knew I would want to have a chocolate coconut tea. The second was knowing that if we had a chocolate coconut tea, we would have to have a chocolate coconut almond tea.
Once I had both of them made, I started pondering various geeky pairings, and a video game I used to play quite frequently came to mind. If you've experienced Baldur's Gate, you will remember Minsc and Boo... and will understand why Boo gave the name to the tea without nuts.
This tea was a natural progression from the combination our love of Firefly/Serenity and starting to use chocolate in our teas.
It is an anytime of the day tea, including the capacity to replace coffee in the morning. It energizes, but the chocolate takes the edge off. It is close to perfect for when you've been burning the candle at both ends, are considering lighting it in the middle, and aren't going to be able to take a break anytime soon.
Caprican Monk starts with a Ceylon Black tea, and then we add freeze-dried Pomegranate, Cornflowers, and Vanilla Powder. It makes a lovely and relaxing tea, stated as being a perfect tea for combining with a good book.
This tea grew out of a random conversation about tea. We were comparing likes and dislikes, and talking about teas we had known and loved. A small tea company had been eaten by a larger tea company, and the woman I was speaking with had lost one of her favorite teas in the fallout of the acquisition.
I discussed the tea with her at length, and did some research to find out more, and Caprican Monk was created to fill the void. She was more than satisfied with the result.
Chaimonade was blended because I was working on two other teas one day, and what I was doing to make them combined in the middle and sparked the idea for Chaimonade. It is a refreshing lemon chai, and is one of my standard summertime teas.
Chapel's Chai takes chai spices, and balances them into a blend that accents the Vanilla in a truly lovely fashion.
We blended the chocolate chai first, and then had to have a vanilla to pair with it. The salute to two strong female characters in the original Star Trek fit the pairing perfectly.
Chocolate Cauldron is a Chocolate Chili tea that was created by request to replace a much-missed tea flavour that was no longer available.
To read the full story of the tea, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/1lDxIUB
Cinnamon Rolls are one of my semi-guilty pleasures, and the taste is deeply attached to some very pleasant memories for me.
Cinn-ful is our answer to the cinnamon roll, as a cup of tea.
For more information, please visit >a href="http://www.desertsagenatural.com/2014/10/13/cinn-ful-inspired-by-cinnamon-rolls/>this link.
Dark City Mint is Roasted Cacao Nibs with enough Peppermint to turn it into a flavour balance that many will find very familiar. It has been accused of being a Thin Mint or York Peppermint Patty in a cup. It has also been accused of being addictive.
Dark City Mint was a natural result of starting to use chocolate in teas. Mister Tea has a passion for almost all things that involve Chocolate and Mint, and a friend who suggests tea ideas from time to time had made it part of a list of chocolate suggestions.
Gamma Roast: Prime Directive is the first of our coffee substitute teas. The idea had been floating around for some time, but we received a custom request for an anniversary gift for a Trek fan who had just started watching Voyager, and the pieces all fell into place. The herbs used in this tea blend together in a very pleasant way, giving it a full and rich body, and a far darker colour than most teas.
Green Standard came out of one part training and one part having gotten too used to having our teas.
Training from various restaurants we have frequented means that we tend to want a Jasmine Green tea when we are eating Asian food. I'd experimented with some tofu in a stirfry, and when it was coming close to done, we went to the tea cabinet to make tea..... and discovered that I hadn't yet blended what we were looking for.
So, we ate dinner, which was tasty, lamenting the lack of proper tea to go with it... and the next day I worked up a Jasmine Green so we would not be so bereft the next time.
'Gysahl Green' is a refreshing green tea blend, with lemongrass, lemon peel, and calendula added in for additional beat-the-heat taste.
It was inspired by a game series that we have both loved for years, triggered by starting to play the most recent in the sequence.
The community in the game was supportive and encouraging, and made us realize that we had not yet saluted this particular geek influence with a tea.
Heart of the Blue Box was inspired by our love of Doctor Who. It is a wonderful combination of green tea, rose, and blueberries.
For the full story of the tea, please visit this link.
Hello Sweetie is a Chocolate Chili Chai that was inspired by a particular character from the Whovian universe.
River Song and her story are a long running thread in the current Who, and one that fascinated me. Upon considering the character, I decided she most certainly would not be vanilla, and a good dose of spice would also be appropriate. This combined with an email from an old friend mourning a tea she could no longer have... and we started experimenting with using Cacao Nibs (chocolate) in tea.
This tea has become so popular among friends and family that when we have company it is an effort to keep it in our personal stock. It has been enjoyed alongside dessert, as a morning wakeup, and has been accused of being addictive.
Inara's Evening Blend is a chai that adds the exotic taste of pomegranate to the mix.
Pomegranate has always been a love of mine, and Chai has been right there with it. We had wanted to salute Inara, as we had the Browncoats and the Hero of Canton, and we thought this particular chai suited her rather well. Amusingly enough, to date, this was our most complicated tea to blend.
Jayne's Cocoa Kickback has a foundation of Roasted Cocoa Nibs, with Ginger and Hops added for taste, and Marshmallow Root to soothe.
When we started working with Cacao Nibs, the ideas came fairly swiftly. Chocolate is such a wonderful taste, it lends itself to a number of different ideas. The idea for Browncoat's Desperation came almost immediately, and fast on its heels was this one, inspired by the Hero of Canton.
Chocolate seemed a good base, and Hops were added because we thought he would need a familiar taste to be willing to try an herbal tea. The Marshmallow and Ginger followed as soothing and relaxing elements, because a life lived the way Jayne lives his would need both.
While this was blended as a flavour tea, and as one of our geeky homage teas, it would work well as a medicinal, too. It would assist in finding sleep when ill, and the Marshmallow and Ginger ease stomach and throat irritation.
Jenny's Jasmine Green is the green version of our tea salute to Jenny, of the Whovian universe. It starts with a green tea with roasted rice, and adds a touch of nutmeg, enough jasmine to deserve the name, and some cornflowers for colour and a hint of sweet.
Jenny's Jasmine Grey starts with Earl Grey, and then adds Jasmine and Cornflower for a relaxing floral addition with a hint of sweetness.
Tea ideas come for a variety of different reasons. This particular one came about because there was a character from the most recent iteration of the Whovian universe who I felt we needed to pay homage too.
This tea, as the character, is truly British in its foundation, but the elegance and complexity the flowers add hint at the depth of the character.
'Jerry Cordial' was born out of a couple of different concepts.
The first is that cherry cordials are something of a tradition in Mister Tea's family.
The second is that we love our 'ChariTea' concept, and love the idea of being able to make a tea for someone and have it assist with a worthy cause. (A sort of mutual gift from the buyer and from us.
After a certain amount of experience and practice with blending dessert teas and with working with cacao nibs, we decided that we could make a cherry cordial inspired tea. Mister Tea discussed it with he-who-enjoys-cherry-cordials, and a charity was chosen.
Each purchase of 'Jerry Cordial' will secure a donation to the Roadrunner Food Bank, a local charity with a really good track record.
Katie's Consolation was created in response to discovering that a friend had to be cautious with what sorts of tea she drank, due to medical issues.
After some experimentation, we managed to create a white jasmine tea for her that still had a "green" taste.
If you want to read the full story of the tea, please visit: http://bit.ly/1mCnpUG
Leaf on the Wind is a delicate combination of White Peony Tea and Jasmine Flowers. In fragrance and taste it is soothing, and near meditative.
In our habitual tribute to geekdoms, we decided this would be an excellant match for Wash's mantra, making it the fifth of our Browncoat teas.
Lucy in the Sky with Almonds is a stimulating blend of Roasted Mate, Ginseng, Cinnamon, Almonds, Oatstraw, and Hawthorn Berries.
Blended to be energizing, but with the Oatstraw and Hawthorn to balance the physical effects.
For the full story of the tea, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/1ld5LZk
Meditation Mint takes High Mountain Green Tea, adds soothing lemongrass, and refreshing peppermint for a cup of tea that is tasty hot or iced, and soothes without putting you to sleep.
Occasionally I come across a tea that I think is "almost" good. Lovely concept, not so great on the execution? Meditation Mint was born from one of these teas. This tea is one of my favorites for the height of summer.
Melody Green is a blend of High Mountain Green Tea, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, and Cornflowers.
Over time I have realized that some people prefer Green tea, some prefer Black... others are limited in their choices of tea by health conditions. Sometimes we come across an additional flavour set that is nifty enough, we want it to be accesible to all comers.
Melody Grey is based around an Organic Earl Grey, then we add Orange and Lemon Peel for added zing, and Cornflower for a touch of sweetness and beauty.
I have a long-standing love of Earl Grey. I also held dear to my heart one of the classic variations on it. However, as my chemical sensitivities worsened, I was confronted with a problem. My favorite type of Earl Grey tea was full of chemicals, and it made me sick. I missed the taste so much I decided to blend my own version of the classic tea. Unsurprisingly, the organic version that used actual fruit and flowers made me far happier than the tea it had been based on.
Minsc Chocolate is a chocolate coconut almond tea. The tastes mix far better in this tea than they ever did in a particular candy bar. (For me, at least.)
It was born out of a fairly random train of thought.
It began with, "I'm making chocolate teas, I need to have a chocolate coconut tea..... and if I have a chocolate coconut tea... I need a chocolate coconut almond tea." From there I knew the teas had to be paired in name, as well.
There's a lot of geekery in this household. Some books, some shows, some types of knowledge, some games... but when I was thinking about character pairings with some nutty involved, I was reminded most strongly of a video game I used to play. Minsc and Boo of Baldur's Gate fame. Of the two, Minsc was definitely the nuttier.
Minty Frog is a Chocolate MInt Black tea.
We've had our Dark City Mint as an option for quite some time, but we realized that there are people who would actually like some caffeine with their chocolate mint. A little testing, and some very tasty test cups later, and Minty Frog was born.
Orange Chaibiscus came about because I was working on a different blend, and one of the taste tests made me want to add chai spices. I did so, and the orange and hisbiscus work wonderfully accented by the cinnamon and cardamom.
Pearl's Pizzelle is a fairly decadent tea based off of the happy memories of an Italian pastry. It was created because a wonderful custom tea experience made us realize that we could create teas that echoed the taste of baked goods, only in a tea.
You can read the full story of the tea here: http://bit.ly/1st4E6x
'Ravendane Chai' is the happy result of my first experiment with creating a more "standard" chai for our shop. I made it to my tastes. This means it is heavy on cardamom.
Mister Tea pointed out that this would not qualify as a standard chai for most people. So I kept the recipe for that version aside, knowing there was an individual I needed to consult on the flavour. If she liked it as well, I figured we'd keep the tea. We went on to create our 'Straight Up Chai' to fill the initial intent.
A good friend of mine has a similar yen for cardamom, and concurred with me on the delightfulness of this taste. We discussed names for a bit, and for reasons both personal and based on referencing our friendship decided on "Ravendane Chai."
It helped that it sounds like a town where you would find a quest or have to go to on a quest, in any of a number of games and mythos'.
Rebecca's Rose is a Keemun Black with Rose Petals and Rosehips. Delicately flavoured with the barest touch of smoke to bring the taste of the Rose and tea into balance.
2013 was a rough year for many of the people we know, including my partner and I. However, it was also the year Desert Sage Natural was born as an active company, rather than a random perk for friends an family.
During our first six months, my life was touched by two women named Rebecca.
One of them I met during a time of loss, and her strength and integrity as she dealt with her personal tragedy impressed me greatly. She also kept her sense of humour and joy in life, and her compassion caused her to give comfort and care and encouragement to us.
The second woman I did not meet, I merely saw the echos of her presence on her family. The love that was help for her, and the hope, was brilliant and inspiring and honest.
These two women reminded me of a number of important truths regarding life and family, both the joyous side and the grief. Roses have always had a personal significance for me in what they symbolize about life. They are beautiful, in all stages of their growth - from jagged leaves and thorned stems to the first buds full of promise to the full blooms with their scent and dew-catching beauty... and even when they die, the shapes of the flowers are still a reminder. Life is beautiful. Life has pain. It takes understanding both sides of it to truly live.
'Red, White, and Roo' came out of a suggestion made by my little brother, who has far more experience with the teas that are not black.
The idea worked spectacularly well, and has ensured that we will be working more with Rooibos tea in the future.
'Sansa's Solace' came out of the set of busy days where we were making our Fall & Winter teas.
I was making so many 'inspired by baked goods' teas that I had sort of fallen into a rhythm with the process. Additionally, Mister Tea had stated that my first test blend of our 'standard' chai had too much cardamom. The final piece of the puzzle was a friend tweeting about these glorious-sounding Lemon Cardamom cookies she was making.
I know that cardamom isn't technically an ingredients in lemon cakes - but if I was baking them, it would be.
'Smoke in the Water' was a tea inspired during the blending of another tea.
I love elderberries, and I love chai, and discovering that elderberries and black tea went together quite well, I wanted to make an elderberry chai.
We took our current darkest smokliest tea, added a touch of vanilla, an array of chai spices, and the desired elderberries, and this tea was the delightful result.