“My, my, my, why you could charm the dew right off the honeysuckle” said Blanche on an episode of The Golden Girls. I’ve always associated Honeysuckle with being predominantly a southern plant - thanks to Blanche and her reference to the flower. To my surprise, it's so much more than I could have ever imagined. Honeysuckle has long been renowned for its beauty and sweetness. Some accounts state that it’s a symbol for happiness, love and tenderness, as it’s a hearty plant that once rooted is difficult to remove. Honeysuckle flowers have stringy, thin-shaped vines that protrude from the middle of the flower. There are over 180 varieties of honeysuckle and it attracts such winged species as: hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Honeysuckle also has an interesting history, it has historically been used in Chinese medicine to treat snake bites. European doctors in the earlier centuries (5th to the 15th centuries) once found the nectar to be effective in treating such ailments as: arthritis, hepatitis, mumps, upper respiratory infections, pneumonia and dysentery. In Scotland, it is believed that growing honeysuckle outside your home can ward off evil and bring good luck. Wherever you are in the world, if you have honeysuckle in or around your home, you are definitely surrounded by sweetness. Which brings me to my latest tea fascination, a friend of mine suggested that I try an Oolong tea from Texas, Organic Honeysuckle Fig Oolong tea by True Leaf Tea. This tea charmed the dew right off my teacup!
The scent of this tea caught me by surprise, I was expecting a strong floral aroma from these leaves and to my surprise, it’s more of an earthy scent. The aroma is subtle and mild, it doesn't jump out and take hold of your senses, it’s more like a gentle breeze that lightly caresses your nose. The earthy notes are that of some form of oak with a bit of floral and the fig turns it a bit sweet but not enough to be fruit-forward. The fig enhances the scent and gives the aroma a bit of fruity essence.
The brew is as complex as the aroma, these leaves open to produce a lovely shade of golden auburn. The flavor is very inviting, like the flower, it’s not overly sweet but there is some earthy sweetness to this blend. The flavor is a unique combination of floral, wood and fig. The longer it steeps, the stronger the floral notes come out and the tea even tastes like warmth. With each sip, I’m being beckoned to keep coming back for more - much like the hummingbirds that feast on the sweet nectar of the Honeysuckle dew.
Don’t let this tea fool you, it’s not one you can steep and move on from so easily...the flavor is so encapsulating, you will crave it. It will stay on your mind, long after you have cleaned your cup. Consider yourself charmed and enjoy the sweet glow of this delicious brew.
Tea preferences change with the different phases of our journey, it’s a faithful friend in the cup of life. Don’t question these changes, just brew your tea and take it all in.
Your teacup is calling,