I am full of joy to announce that Swann’s Way, the blend, did indeed sell out. With that being said: It is time for the second blend in the series of Remembrance of Things Past or better known as In Search of Lost Time.
In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower
Just like last time, I went into this tea with the same goal: create a taste and feeling that is artistically aligned with the book itself. Flipping through the pages of this book and looking for what I underlined to give me a clue, I found it and it was right in front of me!
LP Reads some Proust
This comes from page 50 in the Penguin Deluxe Classics edition if you are looking for any context to it. However, that is what this tea will do: a journey of time in which you must contemplate the paste in relation to the present while understanding that the future is ahead. There’s a sentence hard to put into a legal drink right? Well, I’ve got the solution: amacha, or is it dancong(oolong)?
Neither amacha or dancong is the correct answer, but if read ahead or figured I’d do this, it is both together! I wanted something that started out very sweet as does the normal flow of Proust, but then hits a deep pit of depth before leveling off and leaving the reader with a more comforting ending; like another cup of tea! The book ends with something that was once there and is no longer there, within the tea it is this:
Amacha is this crazy Japanese herbal tea that is made from fermented hydrangea leaves. This stuff is incredibly sweet, but a unique type of sweetness that doesn’t play well with everything. I’m still not sure if this has been used in a blend, but it is a somewhat hard to find herbal tea so I’m excited that I figured it out as well as obtained enough for the blend.
I was ahead of the game when it came to what is next because I knew this tea was going to need this medium roast that dissipates over time that hits the drinkers memory when the sip the next steep. It couldn’t just be any roasted tea though, this is a special blend here. As stated above, it’s dancong! I actually already found my favorite dancong which was a milan varietal but it wasn’t roasted. I ended up finding this dancong to work out quite well:
Mild roast, nowhere near medium as I wanted but it had this character to it that was expressing “I’m a 3.5 out of 5, but with some help I can hang out with the best and nobody would ever know!”. It was that aspect of this tea that sold me, a slight dryness from the mild roast and the offsetting look of sticks in with the leaf.
Now the best part of this blend was my favorite crop of milan this year, which wasn’t as expensive as you’d think the best of 12 different tasting would end up being. Words, words, words… show us the tea:
I don’t have the words to offer, this is simply my favorite dancong of all 2016; 37 tasted, 12 of which were milan.
Three things. It seems pretty simple and in theory it is, there’s just a lot of time that goes into balancing out taste as well as isolating each part for testing when it comes to longevity, forgiveness, and compatibility. An enjoyable journey with a tea that may just be tested against time itself.
Out of context quote for no reason… besides me being random:
“Habit may weaken all things, but it also stabilizes them; it brings about a dislocation, but then makes it last indefinitely.” Marcel Proust, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower pg. 223
Thank you everyone. This tea was created because of your support.
-Andrew Richardson, Liquid Proust