A short time ago from the time of writing, I was commissioned for a custom blend for the Knitting for Provenance event, co-hosted by Megan of Wool Days and Lara of LoveWalkEatSee. The brief specifically requested the use of Victorian-grown ingredients only, with a preference for organic. Naturally, we jumped at the opportunity to provide tea for what promised to be a beautiful afternoon of knitting with Australian wool, sampling local delicacies and soaking up the picturesque setting of the Victorian countryside.
The custom blend entitled 'Provenance' is a celebration of the diversity of colour, aroma and taste of herbs collected from the Australian countryside. It features ingredients wholly sourced from Victoria, Australia, including a mild-tasting, coastal grown sencha blended with wildcrafted eucalyptus leaves, cabbage-rose petals used in perfume making, small chamomile and lavender flowers and a touch of dried spearmint. A small amount of sencha from China was introduced to balance the profile away from too strong of a marine flavour. It took one week of sourcing, tasting and profiling to complete this delightful blend, with each floral and herbal ingredient sampled separately and later carefully incorporated to find the best synergy of the ingredients.
The resultant blend is vibrant and fresh, with subtle grassy notes. The eucalyptus and spearmint present a cooling menthol, which cleanses the palate and opens the nose to deliver the delightful floral bouquet. The overall experience is reminiscent of a dewy pasture, replete with wildflowers.
Here at Endeavour Tea, we are great supporters of the potential for organically grown tea, floral and herb farming on Australian land: owing to our pure air, clean water and geographic isolation, we truly believe in Australian-grown as the finest quality in the world. Sadly, our suppliers have informed us that many of these ingredients are grown and processed in small quantities, making it is very difficult to produce commercial quantities of a blend such as this. This scarcity has a lot to do with high labour, land and production costs. Nevertheless, we persist in the belief that if we create enough awareness and demand, through such projects as this 'Provenance' blend, consumer demand will influence more Australian growers to expand supply of these precious products.