Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Witch's Brew

I have quite a few friends that are tea drinkers, and I love that they enjoy drinking and discovering new teas as much as I do.  Recently one of my closest friends went to visit the Jonathan Corwin House (aka the Salem Witch House), and picked up their namesake blend of tea.  Who knew that they even had their own blend of tea?  What a fun souvenir! No one in the shop knew anything about the blend, they just knew it was 'tea'.  My friend brought it home and brewed it up, but couldn't really identify the strange flavor.  She decided to see if I could take a crack solving the mystery.  What a fun challenge!!

Upon inspection it looks either like a Sencha or Bancha green tea, with at least one type of dried fruit added in.  We brewed the tea for a few minutes with water just off the boil.  The taste...well, there wasn't much flavor. It tasted like tea that had been sitting around for quite awhile, since there was virtually no tea flavor at all. It had a strange sweet but bitter, yet slightly tangy taste, with a very distant spice note to it.  My friend figured out that the fruit was apple, which seems to make sense. New England is well known for apple orchards.  But what is in the actual blend, besides green tea and some sort of apple? That remains a secret known only to the witches of Salem. I wonder if the tea has any magical properties. We should have tried out a few spells while we were sampling it.

The beauty of this bland tea is that it brought two old friends together to have a laugh, and share a moment of whimsy. We had a lovely afternoon playing with my children, reminiscing, and drinking tea.  My daughter actually enjoyed the Salem brew, so at least one person in the house gave it a thumb's up. After our mysterious tea adventure, I brewed up a pot of Keemun to wake up our palates.


  1. we definitely should have tried casting some spells! my favorite quote of the day: "sawa, it's vewwy gwoss!"

  2. I have some herbs that I've purchased from a local herb shop in Lancaster, PA, Herbs from the Labyrinth, which, according to the labelling, have magical properties. I like that shop because it sells a number of herbs that can be hard to find it stores.

    For example, passionflower is supposedly used in love spells. But there may be science behind that: there is some research suggesting that it actually can function as an aphrodisiac.

    Sometimes I think that traditions that seem unscientific can have a tremendous amount of truth behind them. For example, lately I've seen scientific work suggesting that aromas of herbs and spices can have profound physiological effects. It almost seems rather magical.