August Featured Reblend: Neapolitan Honeybush!
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Tea Description: I've had a few requests for this one and I was happy to oblige that request because I really enjoy this blend too. One of the people who requested this blend stated that it was a good iced tea blend - I don't know if I've ever had this one iced - I may have - but I don't recall. I do remember enjoying it quite a bit as a hot drink, though.
So, anyway, I decided to blend it in the summer - you can decide whether you want it iced or hot!
Frank's original description of this tea went like this:
It’s starting to warm up, so I hope you will forgive me if I got sidetracked thinking about ice cream, but wow, is this GOOD!
Our caffeine-free African Honeybush (If you are still not familiar with honeybush, it is very similar to Rooibos, but a bit sweeter and without the woody aftertaste that rooibos frequently has) blended with organic vanilla beans, organic cacao nibs, freeze-dried strawberry pieces and all natural flavors. This is a real treat hot or iced!
I stayed pretty true to the recipe except that in addition to organic cacao nibs, I also added organic cacao shells because I love the chocolate-y flavor they impart!
And it is indeed a real treat!
organic ingredients: honeybush, freeze-dried strawberries, cacao shells, cacao nibs, vanilla beans & natural flavors
I have been looking forward to taste testing this tea ever since I blended it - maybe even before! I really enjoyed the original blend of this tea from Frank's era - if you want to read my review of it, you can check it out here. Oh - and for the record, since I stated in the above description that I didn't remember if I had tried this one iced - when I was searching for that review, I noticed that I did, in fact, try (and review!) this blend iced - or at least the Southern Boy Teas version of it iced!
Anyway, I'm really enjoying my reblend of this tea too. My first couple of sips were just a little disappointing but I must admit that I broke my own rule and started sipping without waiting the 10 minute cool time. I couldn't help it, it's been a while since I've done a chocolate tea of any sort and I do enjoy a nice chocolate note in my tea!
Those first couple of sips weren't horrible or anything - but the flavor seemed a little 'muddled' - but now that the tea has cooled for the aforementioned 10 minutes, the flavors have really popped and I taste the vanilla, the strawberry and the chocolate - there's a pleasant creaminess to it. I don't get a strong flavor from the honeybush but when I really focus on what I'm tasting, I can pick up on the nutty tones from the honeybush. But mostly, what I taste is chocolate, vanilla and strawberry!
to brew: use 1 1/2 rounded teaspoons of tea to 12 ounces of hot water (heated to 195°F) and allow to steep for 6 - 10 minutes. I went with 8 minutes and I got a good representation of each flavor - however, because this is a honeybush blend - you can steep it for longer without worry of tannins making it bitter. In fact, in one of my aforementioned reviews, I suggested brewing it in a glass infuser tumbler like this one and just leave the leaves steeping while you sip.
If you choose not to use one of those nifty tumblers - strain after steeping and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Enjoy. My first cuppa, I tried it without sugar and it was really good. For my second taste test, I added about 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar and I found that this heightened the flavors of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla a bit.