Domerin Gets His Own Tea!

Domerin Gets His Own Tea!

Did you know Adagio Teas allows you to make your own fandom-based blends and share them with other tea lovers? When I first found out about their site, they actually pitched it to me this way; you can make teas based on your books and characters and your fans can purchase them. Isn’t that cool? Yes. It’s very cool!

That was about two years ago now (wow, time flies!) and I’ve finally gotten around to perfecting my first character-based blend. The biggest reason it took so long was that I wanted to get a sense of Adagio’s base ingredients before I started blending them together. Much as I love tea, I’ve never actually made my own before. I wanted to know what I was working with before I started cramming tastes together and ordering a whole bag full. Luckily, most of the things I had in mind for my characters were based on teas I already like to drink, and luckily Adagio has some very affordable sample packs that allow you to try a wide range of their products at a reasonable price. (I’ve written a bit about them before.)

Domerin’s Dream

Of course, I started with Domerin. Which is ironic, because he doesn’t particularly like tea. He prefers coffee, which he drinks black as midnight. But because Domerin is so vocal about the kinds of tastes he prefers, I also happen to know he’s fond of Orange Creamsicles. In the space universe, Domerin’s daughter buys a stockpile of Orange Creamsicles every time they make planet fall so she can slowly surprise her father with them whenever she feels he needs a bit of comfort.

While not all the Domerins are interested in comfort food or drink, there are a few who do drink tea on a regular basis. And what type of tea do they drink? Orange tea. Specifically, blood orange tea (one of the first teas I tried when I started ordering from Adagio). So I set out to make the perfect tea for Domerin, a tea he would be willing to drink as well as a tea that would evoke the essence of him when I drank it. Which was no easy feat. I like my fruit teas sweet, and Domerin most certainly would not. Domerin is a pure-hot-drink drinker. He wouldn’t put milk or honey in his tea the way I do.

I set out to create an orange cream tea that was rich and spicy enough it wouldn’t need anything added to it. I started with a Vanilla Rooibos base to give it the creamy foundation. Then I added a blood orange blend, thinking this would serve as the core of the tea. But would it be enough? I couldn’t help feeling the tea needed something to bring it all together. Fiddling with the mixing tool Adagio provides, I decided to toss a sprinkle of spiced mate into the mix. First because this would give the tea a little hit of caffeine (something I think Domerin would want in his tea) and because I hoped it would provide that richness the blend seemed to lack.

How did it all work out? I’ll admit, after my first few cups, I thought I had failed. I couldn’t seem to get the cream taste to shine, even when I added a bit of milk. I fiddled around with milk and honey but couldn’t get the taste just right. Then I started fiddling with the steep time; bingo! I was steeping the tea too long and the sweetness of the orange and vanilla were getting lost in the spice. As soon as I nailed the steep time, I ended up with the perfect cup. And best of all, it doesn’t need anything added to it to taste great! You can find that tea here.

In addition to creating my own tea blends, I’ve been trying lots of other teas from elsewhere.

David’s Ginger Pear

David’s Tea has a rewards program called frequent steepers (clever, huh?). When I talked my husband into actually drinking tea with me, we signed up. Every time you spend $100 at David’s Tea (in store or online), you can take home a free pouch of loose leaf tea. Unfortunately, the points expire every year, so you really have to be into tea to get the max benefit. Luckily for us, I went a bit crazy on my tea purchases last year. In November, I realized we were only one tin away from our freebie. After a brief discussion with the husband about what we should try, I popped in to grab a tin of their Organic Ginger Pear.

Can I just say, I love pear tea. It might be my favorite flavor to have in tea (for all that I rave about orange). But, I don’t think it’s a flavor that gets used in tea often. It could be that pear is a difficult flavor to present and easy to overwhelm. It certainly seems like one of the more delicate fruit flavors, especially if you want to present it organically. So I will jump at any chance to taste a pear tea and this one didn’t disappoint. In this case the cool delicate taste of pear is mixed with the warm spice of ginger. And boy do they make a great pair!

The scent of this tea in its tin is somewhat pungent, dominated by the scent of ginger. But the two tastes blend perfectly once the tea is steeped. And a small scoop of honey is all it takes to really make the pear flavor shine. I haven’t had a chance to try this tea iced yet, but I bet it will be spectacular!

David’s Chocolate Chili Chai

True to my prediction, the Organic Ginger Pear tipped us over the limit for our freebie and in February we decided to cash it in for a taste of David’s Chocolate Chili Chai. My husband had his eye on this tea for some time because he’s particularly fond of the mix between chili and chocolate. As soon as I read the description, I knew he would love it. This tea includes red peppercorns, aleppo and ancho chilis to add a bit of kick to its chocolate and black tea base.

This tea is better than hot chocolate. No seriously. If it was cost-effective, I would stop drinking hot chocolate all together and just drink this forever. Especially if you add a splash of milk after the tea has steeped. Divine! I worried I wouldn’t be fond of the spice added by the chili, but it really just makes for the smoothest, richest chocolaty taste I’ve ever experienced in a hot drink. We are definitely planning to pick up more of this one.

Dodger’s Coconut Ginger Green Tea

I figured I’d round out this post with a quick review of Dodger Coffee’s new tea line. I was supremely excited that I could give it a try when I stocked up on Dodger Coffee during my last visit to the states. Especially since coconut is one of my favorite flavors. I’m still on the prowl for the perfect coconut coffee. But I digress!

I actually have two other teas in the house that include coconut: David’s Stormy Night and Desert Sage’s Nayru’s Knowledge (which I haven’t reviewed yet). I love both of these teas, but in both cases the coconut seems to be present to highlight other flavors, usually chocolate. Which is fine, because I love chocolate coconut. But Dodger Coffee’s Coconut Ginger Green tea is clearly meant to highlight the taste of the coconut. The tea smells like roasted coconut in its package and tastes like roasted coconut after its steeped. I imagine this would be the perfect tea to drink alongside your favorite pastry. It doesn’t need anything added to it to be delicious (and, in fact, adding a scoop of honey doesn’t seem to make any discernible difference to the taste).

My only real complaint is that there’s no steep time included on the package, so I’m sort of guesstimating the ideal steep time based on other green teas. It’s not a big deal, but it might take me a few tries to get an ideal cup.

What teas have you been drinking lately? Let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for new tastes!

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