My parents met in their high school Star Trek club, and so naturally baby's first fandom was the one to which I literally owe my existence. I've lost count of the number of conventions I attended growing up. The Klingons I've met surely number in the hundreds at this point. This may not have made me the coolest kid growing up, but I can honestly boast the ability to paint my body head-to-toe green with no streaking in fifteen minutes flat (while the only tool in my cosplay skill set, I do love to brag about it).
When I was nineteen years old, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting lifelong heroes George Takei and Nichelle Nichols at the Star Trek 40th anniversary gala atop Seattle's Space Needle. They were both so warm and affable and allowed me to hug them (after of course being reassured my green body paint was sealed and wouldn't stain their clothing). I was enchanted, and still smile every time one or the other crosses my Twitter timeline.
George Takei's birthday a handful of years back coincided with local sci-fi lit convention Norwescon, which I took as an ideal opportunity to release a tea tribute to my favorite member of Starfleet: Hikaru Sulu. There's a wonderful scene in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country where we see Sulu captaining his own ship, the USS Excelsior. He is holding a cup of tea and it's a heart-explodingly proud moment for those of us who lovingly followed his Starfleet career. I believe I actually cried when he said "Engage" to his crew for the first time. This scene inspired George Takei's birthday blend: The Excelsior.
Join me for a walk through my synesthetic mind as I created this blend!
Sulu's keen mind and sharp deductive skills are the keystones of his personality. Through the lens of Lexical-Gustatory Synesthesia, concepts related to intellect, particularly when set apart from surrounding people, taste complex and floral with a hint of airy minerals. For a man whose energy rarely flags, a high grade Darjeeling black tea was the obvious choice as a base. I supplemented with a gorgeous tippy Ceylon black tea to bring a bit of sweeter amber body to the mix, representing his warm speaking voice and mischievous sense of humor.
To build upon the primary personality base, I was drawn to linden flower for an earthy-airy pop of congeniality, grounded down with rubbed green garden sage for a vegetal, down-to-earth, paternal note.
A simple tea blend on the surface, but complex and elegant once you sit with it. Like our dear Sulu himself, The Excelsior is refined with a warm, very open personality. Years after its creation, this beautiful tribute tea still gives me a thrill of pride and happiness. I invite you to grab your most affable friend and help yourself to a cuppa. Engage!