Viewing blog posts for the category Behind the Scenes

One of the more difficult aspects of reviving old recipes from our Blend Book, is that styles of tea production have changed over the years. For the particularly old blends, sometimes there's not a perfect analogue in available teas today. This leaves recipes open to interpretation, and can result in a lot of variation.

There's definitely an element of selfishness in bringing back discontinued teas, those I thought were under-appreciated, and giving them a second chance. There's heart behind every blend I come up with for Murchie's, but a couple are special. Evergreen is one of those eclectic blends.

It first debuted in 2021, a unique, unflavoured green-black tea with the addition of dried rosemary and juniper berries, for aroma. The result was an uncommonly resinous, piney blend that was meant to invoke imagery of wintery forests. It went through a few working names before settling on 'Evergreen'--namely 'Vintage Christmas' and 'Noel', but 'Evergreen' perfectly summarizes what it entails. A mix of three evergreen shrubs--the tea bush, the rosemary bush, and the juniper bush.

Tuscany OrangeTuscany Orange is one of many legacy blends at Murchie's that has dipped and resurfaced over the years. It was eventually discontinued in 2018--not too long ago--but has maintained a loyal following, so it seemed especially fitting to bring back. What has always interested me is the is the history of the blend.

Bard's Blend was developed in conjunction with Poet's Blend, so it made sense to release them back to back. They're in a sense 'sister blends', following the same blending principles, despite how differently they turned out.

Whereas Poet’s Blend mixes black tea with floral-scented green and oolong teas for an aromatic, garden-in-your-cup experience, Bard’s Blend takes a different approach. Using a mix of malty and nutty black teas from India and China, they’ve been paired with smoky gunpowder green tea, and a blend of roasted oolongs. The result is a mix of toasted grains, and the barest hint of smoke. I’ve described it as ‘buttered toast’.

The Tasting Lab has been an Idea and pet project for a while, so I'm glad I get to see it come to fruition. It was conceived as a way to showcase ideas, finds, and old blending classics from the Big Black Book that haven't seen the light of day in decades, possibly even a century. A way to glimpse the ideas that go on behind the scenes at Head Office, and bring others along on an interesting taste-journey.

Experimentation has its ups and downs; occasionally you come across a tea you adore, but can't source the quantities you need for a full release. Sometimes you have ideas for flavour combinations that are so out there, you don't know if anyone else would be willing to try. Murchie's has a lot of history, and I look forward to exploring some of it with interested tea drinkers.

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