|"As for how it smelled...well...it smelled like maple-lathered bacon. Can't really wax poetic about that."|
On the bright side - if there actually was one - I wasn't much of a fan of bacon to begin with. Sure, there were special cases. Irish rashers and juicy, non-crispy pieces found at my favorite mom-n-pop place come to mind, but it wasn't something I couldn't live without. Bratwursts, 'nother story entirely.
That said, there was one combination that I dearly mourned, bacon with maple syrup on it. The times I did have it were completely by accident. Syrup from a "healthy" stack of pancakes just happened to spill over onto those succulent, meaty slices. If Flavor Country were an actual place, and not a byline associated with cigarettes, that would be it.
52Teas - the delightful side-project started by the Zoomdweebies founder, whom we'll simply call "Frank" - always seemed kind of gimmicky to me. However, I mean that in a good way. If I were to have one gripe with the Tea World it's that it can get rather puffy-chested; like one of those birds "presenting" to a mate. Luckily, a sharp, self-deprecatory sense of humor - and a healthy appreciation for puns - keeps the specialty beverage-appreciating masses grounded in pseudo-reality. I love counting myself among 'em...if only with requisite "village idiot" status.
My problem with the 52Teas model - and this is totally subjective - was the fact that rarely were there review samples available. Reason being, teas came and went. One tea a week, fifty-two weeks a year. Once gone, they were REALLY gone. If I wanted to try one, I had to buy. Nothing grabbed me enough to flip open my moth-infested wallet. That is until a review appeared for a Maple Bacon Black.
The ingredients for this chimera of manliness were blended Indian black teas, imitation bacon bits, and...uh..."essence of maple and bacon". From the looks of it, the black tea base was mainly Assam/Nilgiri, which would mean it would lend a darker brew. This was fine by me. To justify this tea's existence, it would have to have a "crispy" look. As for how it smelled...well...it smelled like maple-lathered bacon. Can't really wax poetic about that.
I brewed 2 tsp in 16oz of water brought to a rolling boil for five minutes. The resulting infusion brewed to a bacony red-brown. It smelled like breakfast at a Denny's on a road trip. The bacon flavor, however, was extremely understated. Maple and malty Assam notes took point. A smokey aspect in the flavor presented itself on aftertaste. I added a sprinkle of Lapsang Souchong on the second steeping for shits and giggles.
Note: It's no longer available at the 52teas site, but it is now a permanent staple at their Man Teas spinoff. I simply rated and categorized it as 52teas because that's what I got it as. And on said spinoff site, they also have another bacon blend. A smokey bacon Lapsang Souchong. Lapsang is the perfect base for this, but it needs the maple. And with milk and honey, it can't be beat.
Hot breakfast in a cup.
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