Back in the tea craze of the early 2010s I was introduced to Melbourne breakfast tea. The cynic in me would have dismissed it as just T2 cashing in on Melbourne’s narcissism had I not tasted it. It was hard to deny it was actually pretty tasty. However, this was also around the time I started looking more in to the ethics of what I was consuming, and T2’s (at the time) complete lack of fair trade tea put me off a bit. Then Unilever bought them out in 2013, so that was the end of that.
Luckily, T2 need not have a monopoly on regionally named teas!
Melbourne Breakfast, as far as I can tell, is just black tea with vanilla. Sound easy? It is.
I first attempted making my own Melbourne breakfast 6-12 months ago, and while it might not be exactly the same (more on that in a second) I’m perfectly happy to drink it. All I did was place a split vanilla pod in a jar with some English breakfast tea and waited a few days / a week. Voilà, Melbourne breakfast!
As I said, it wasn’t perfect, so I researched how flavoured teas are usually made. Apparently you should lay the tea out flat, spray liquid flavour onto it and then let it dry. This sounded too difficult, time consuming and tedious, so I’ve never bothered.
After my initial success I was curious about what I could try next and, as I resided in Thornbury I wondered what flavour would Thornbury tea be? For those unfamiliar with the historical ethnic makeup of Melbourne’s suburbs, Thornbury traditionally has a large Greek / Mediterranean population. Consequently there are many lemon trees, rosemary hedges, and olive trees in front gardens. I decided a tea with rosemary flowers (not the leaves) and citrus peel could be interesting, and that olive tea would be gross. So I made it.
Unfortunately, I think I needed to put more of the flavouring ingredients in as the resulting tea just tastes like plain black tea, but I’ll add some more in the next few days and see how it goes.
Why not try creating a local variety yourself?