Lately my blends have been selling out which means that if I want to continue to see my creations enjoyed, I’ve got to blend more up! Liquid Proust Teas is still a hobby as it is my artistic outlet to provide a way for others to have a new enjoyable experience. I recently decided to take on blending three different teas that will resemble a particular place within three different stories: The Lord of The Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Percy Jackson & The Olympians.
The easiest of these blends was going to be Mordor, a blend meant to take on a unique take on one the most terrifying places in Middle Earth (Lord of The Rings). Instead of blending a tea that tasked like the area, I decided to blend something up that tasted like the thought of Mordor. By that, I do not mean the taste of fear or desecrated land by means of volcano eruptions. Mordor is a dark place, but it’s quite complex as well as being needed for the story.
The way I went about this was going to a blend that was already done that already gave me those thoughts: Black Sunshine from Andrews & Dunham. Completely Yunnan black teas blended to create a more balanced cup; it appeals to a wide range of people. Unfortunately, when I’m drinking black teas (which I am known to dislike) I look for sweet notes to offset the bitterness. And so the challenge was born: I must blend up straight teas that give off the thoughts that vibe well when thinking about Mordor yet not having any bitterness or astringency.
Since I’ve been drinking a large selection of straight teas already, I felt incredibly confident.
There had to be a ripe puerh to give that dead ground that was trampled on, but the leaf size had to match the other material.
There had to be something smoky to add to that trampled ground to make it more ruined than trampled, but I wanted it to have more to it than smoke.
There had to be something shiny because for whatever reason I feel like Mordor would have aspects to it that just draw attention, but whatever that shiny stuff was had to also be sweet.
Playing around with the idea of the golden needle puerh I’ve used before, some lapsang, and a roasted oolong… I used none of those because roasted notes didn’t match and the material had to be smaller for what I was aiming for. Trying out different stuff and then it just hit me: Use a dark chocolate black tea and a ripe puerh to offset the bitterness with an earthy taste. From there it was trying to figure out what to do about the sweetness…. and then the sweet potato, caramel, and slight malty black tea jumped out at me as being the perfect choice.
Look at the choices : )
I ended up with a slightly smoked Fujian black tea and a Jin Jun Mei that was sweet. The ripe pu’erh is about to hit 10 years here shortly which makes it subtle while having the characteristics I wanted. It might not be the tea people imagine when they think of Mordor, but that’s the beauty of art as we try to express our own perspective on something.
Next post will have more pictures as they include more elements.
-Andrew / Liquid Proust