BTB: Rohan's Research Blend

For today's episode of Behind the Blend, I am delighted to highlight our first ever Chari-tea: Rohan's Research Blend!

Rohan's Research Blend
Rohan is a delightful neighborhood kiddo whose mother approached me to request a custom tea to benefit the medical research organization with which she is involved. The Association for Creatine Deficiencies is "a nonprofit organization dedicated to the three Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes" (pulled from their website as I couldn't think of a better way to phrase it). Rohan himself has been diagnosed with Cerebral Creatine Deficiency and, along with his mother's personal flavor preferences, served as the inspiration for this blend.

For those not totally familiar with my blending method, allow me to sum up: I have a neurological super power called Lexical-Gustatory Synesthesia. This cross-wiring of the senses causes me to literally taste words and abstract concepts like personality, mood, ideas and so on. Behind the Blend posts on this blog are my way of walking you through a translation circuit so you can see for yourself the concept-to-flavor journey through my lens!

As I observed Rohan move about the tea shop and spoke with his mother about his personality and behavior, I encountered myriad flavors and as complex a nature as I've seen in any adult. He is so small and gentle, with a clear streak of curiosity and a smile that melted everyone in the room. Though nonverbal, he showed no trouble maintaining eye contact and I felt so special and seen every time he looked at me.

While Rohan's mother was keen on the idea of a sweeter tisane (no caffeine and she fell in love with the lemon-vanilla profile of our Cheshire Smile blend), this was super easy to accommodate. I occasionally encounter cognitive dissonance when a custom blend client wants a flavor profile that isn't in line with how the word or idea or personality actually tastes. Smooth and bright and without a caffeine buzz happened to fit sweet Rohan to a tee (tea? hehe), so this was an easy and intuitive direction to take. Vanilla is more dominant than lemon in this tisane, as Rohan felt more soft than fiery that day. As a base, I opted for apple and chamomile. While chamomile is grassy and soothing, apple complements with an earthiness that sets a grounded precedent for the rest of the blend and creates a counterpoint to the airy sweet scents.

 To tie the higher sweetness and lower earthy notes together, I opted to blend in orange peel (tart-sweet, yet full-bodied), marigold and blue cornflower (grassy and delicately airy-smoky). These ingredients rounded out the blend in three ways:
  1. We were able to achieve a balanced and complex flavor profile,
  2. The colors and textures of the dry blend are visually dynamic, and
  3. The final blend uses the same color combination as the ACD's logo.
Excellent! I had so much fun working with Rohan and his mother, two lovely neighbors who introduced me to a great organization and a deeply meaningful day at work. Rohan's Research Blend has been a popular item online and in our Wallingford store for half a year now. If you'd care to help us support further research through the ACD while also treating yourself to tasty tea, we're happy to get you all stocked up!

Rohan's Research Blend is a special blend supporting the Association for Creatine Deficiencies. For every ounce of tea sold, $3 is donated to the ACD to fund research for three rare diseases.
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