This is the second part of the stories about our Literary Collection blends. If you missed the story of our first blend, Sherlock Holmes, you can check it out here.
I never read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as a child, and after reading it as an adult I wondered what I would have thought of it then.
I saw the Disney movie version of the story when I was very young and I remember it frightened me. Alice was so lost, cut off from everything she knew and I was afraid she wouldn’t be able to get home. I couldn’t think of anything scarier than that at the time.
Reading the story as an adult, I can now see the point the story is trying to make. That the real world can be just as bizarre and sometimes frightening as Wonderland. This is the power of classic literature and the reason why these stories endure. The lessons are timeless and can be applied at any age in any era. Carroll’s dissection of the madness of adult society as interpreted by a brilliant daydreaming child are just as potent today as they were 150 years ago.
Of course, one of the most iconic scenes in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Despite being quite a short scene, it is one of the first things people think about when they think about Alice. So blending a tea for this story just made sense!
I knew immediately that I wanted this tea to be sweet and to incorporate flowers in some way. Gardens play an important role in Alice and I wanted the feeling of a garden in a cup. Of course, thinking of the gardeners desperately painting the Queen’s rosebushes, roses made the most sense. Rose has a lovely flavour and scent and goes beautifully in tea and the petals themselves looks great as well.
For the base I chose a high grown Ceylon tea, which is bright, complex, and floral on its own, which means it would pair very nicely with rose petals.
Next I wanted to find a way to blend in a sweet, candy flavour to evoke that childlike feeling. Rooibos, a South African bush, has a sweetness to it when brewed, so i knew I wanted to incorporate that in some way. As far as candy goes, I have a fondness for marzipan and it has the advantage of being a very classic sweet that would have been around in Alice’s day. Add in some almonds to accentuate the nutty marzipan flavour. And voila!
All of these elements came together to produce a tea that smells like a rose garden and tastes like candy. I think Alice would love it.