|Poet, Author, Dancer, Actor, Singer, Activist, Teacher ... Maya Angelou was a true Renaissance Woman. Born Marguerite Johnson, Dr. Maya Angelou has inspired millions around the globe. Her honest, witty, insightful books and her uplifting poetry and prose give us a fresh way to look at the world around us.|
Creating a blend to honor Dr. Maya Angelou has been a nerve wracking task. How do you honor the sun, the stars, the moon, a goddess? To create her blend we looked back at the early writings of Dr. Angelou and found lots of lovely tasting clues in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and from the cookbooks she wrote in her later years. One of the flavors in this blend is pineapple:
“… for every bad judgment, the fine was no silver wrapped kisses, the sweet chocolate drops that I loved more than anything in the world, except Bailey. And maybe canned pineapples. My obsession with pineapples nearly drove me mad. I dreamt of the days when I would be grown and able to buy a whole carton for myself alone."
Our next flavor inspiration, vanilla, came from young Marguerite’s interaction with a lady in her town, Mrs. Bertha Flowers:
“The odors in the house surprised me. Somehow I had never connected Mrs. Flowers with food or eating or any other common experience of common people. There must have been an outhouse, too, but my mind never recorded it. The sweet scent of vanilla had met us as she opened the door. “I made tea cookies this morning." ... The sweet vanilla flavor was still on my tongue and her reading was a wonder in my ears. I had to speak. I said, “Yes, ma’am.” It was the least I could do, but it was the most also."
The rest of the blend fell in to place once those two main flavors appeared. A little natural orange flavor, a few cloves, some hibiscus, orange peels and blossoms .... et voila! The brewed cup is a delicately balanced blend with a reddish amber color and a fruity, heady, sassy taste. The combination of pineapple, vanilla and orange dance playfully on the tongue. The addition of cloves brings a new depth to this taste, while the hibiscus adds to the fruity flavor and adds a reddish tinge to the amber cup. There is a mild astringency and a lingering fruit/spice taste on the tongue.
Ingredients: Black teas from China and Sri Lanka, hibiscus flowers, orange peel, cloves, flavors and orange blossoms.
Brew tea at 212º - steep for 3 minutes
4 Ounces of loose tea makes approximately 50 cups of tea.
Please note that the photo is shown for our 4oz tin. We are also offering this in a 4oz pkg size, which will come in one of our double lined bags labeled with the name of the tea.
A small sampling of works by Maya Angelou:
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)
Gather Together in My Name (1974)
The Heart of a Woman (1981)
All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986)
A Song Flung up to Heaven (2002)
Life Doesn't Frighten Me (1998)
My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me (1994)
Kofi and His Magic (1996)
Maya's World series (2004)
Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie (1971)
And Still I Rise (1978)
I Shall Not Be Moved (1990)
"On the Pulse of Morning" (1993)
Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women (1995)
Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now (1993)
Even the Stars Look Lonesome (1997)
Letter to My Daughter (2008)
Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes (2004)
Great Food, All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart (2010)
Check with your local bookstore or library for more titles or for recommendations for further reading.
Maya Angelou used with permission from Caged Bird Legacy LLC www.MayaAngelou.com
||A unique, well-balanced blend
|I was a little skeptical when I saw hibiscus flowers as an ingredient, because I find that hibiscus in a tea blend often takes over to the point where you can't taste anything else. That's not the case here. The black tea is definitely still the star of the show, and the hibiscus adds just a hint of tanginess that melds well with the spices, citrus, and other flavors. On a general note, I am really loving these new additions to the literary teas! There are some really inspired flavor combinations that are different from anything I've had anywhere else. Hope to see some new ones on the bookshelf soon!|
|- Johanna, MD|
||Bold and Spicy
|I was certainly surprised by the texture of this tea and its blend of floral scents yet spicy body. I had to become accustomed to the taste. Definitely do not over steep! I often like to try floral and spicy teas hot and cold, but this one I found was best very hot when first finished steeping. It reminds me of a Caribbean or Island chai. It is bold and in your face but not less for it.|
|- Bethany Giles, MD|
||A Worthy Tribute
|I wondered how a tea could possibly be spectacular enough to honor one of the most admired individuals in the entire world. This curiosity prompted me to order it immediately. I thought of all the times I had been inspired or encouraged by Maya Angelou's words and I tried to see what thoughts came to my mind as I enjoyed this heady black tea brew. The first thing I thought of was the term "infuse" and how she once said the written word became so much more meaningful when infused with the human voice. Just as this tea looked and smelled nice in the tin, it became so much more alive and enriched by infusing its goodness into the steaming water to create something magical. Then I thought about the fruits.and the spiciness of clove which reminded me of Christmastime which was the only time of the year Maya Angelou was able to enjoy her beloved pineapple upside-down cake-(one slice made in a cast iron skillet) that she savored. Everything blended so perfectly in a manner that made it impossible for several of my senses not to react positively. Do not miss out on this one. Let the unique aroma and flavor remind you of Maya Angelou's simple philosophy for living a good life, "Just do right."|
|- JUDY BINDNER, AR|