I was collecting sap from our maple trees yesterday for boiling down into maple syrup, and the thought struck me that I should try using the sap as tea water! Plant filtered, rich in minerals and slightly sweet. This could be really interesting,,,well kinda
I filtered the raw sap through a very fine sieve to remove any particulate and filled an empty gallon jug for my whacky experiment.
This idea however is not very unique. Apparently it's a popular thing in some places, not only for tea but even to cook with. S. Korea comes up a lot in my quick Goggle research.
But what tea to use?? I don't ever add a sweetener to my tea so I really have no idea.
My first attempt was not good, Japanese green (Fuka-midori from Den's) All the subtle flavor was essentially lost. The sap is slightly viscous so it really changed the way the tea finished, blah.... Not a good match but I learned a little something about what might work.
I need a tea with a more punch in it's flavor profile, hmmmm...
Next up was some of these shu nuggets from Norbu (Lao Cha Tou) This was pretty good. The coca notes, richness and smooth flavor of this puerh was complimented by the sap/water.
Matcha! This was a surprise after the Fuka. All the flavor of the tea was still very apparent but with an added hit of raw sugar, and holy foam batman!! It was actually really good and I can see why some people like these sweetened matcha smoothies and such. I wouldn't want it all of the time, but as a seasonal treat it's fun.
I'm going to keep playing with some other teas. Darjeeling, Osmanthus Oolong, Lapsang Souchong are a few I have on hand that I though might be interesting to try.
I realize most of you never add any sweetener to your tea, myself included. But, do you have any suggestions for me? Anything that you occasionally drink sweetened but were afraid to mention in the forum fearing the wrath of purist ridicule, scorn and public humiliation?
Do tell....your secret is safe here