On the Ninth Day of Christmas . . . (2017 Edition)
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It's day nine of our wonderful countdown with TEA! If you're having as much fun as I am, this probably means that you're totally addicted as well as obsessed with the amazing steeped liquid that is TEA and you might want to consider seeking help. I am beyond help - but there may be hope for you.
On second thought ... why not instead just brew a cup of tea! Tea will make it better.
Caramel Cheesecake Black Tea!
Tea Description: This is a reblend from Frank's era - from late summer/early fall in 2012. To recall this tea, I needed to go back and re-read my original review of this tea because - hey, let's be honest - with a new blend coming out every week (and sometimes more) - it's really difficult to remember every single tea. The other day, I was going through some of our teas listed on Steepster and I was a little surprised, really - I had forgotten about so many - so many really remarkable teas! It just fuels me with more ideas for more featured reblends in the coming year (or two or three!)
But I digress . . .
This tea! This! I want to start by saying that this delicious tea does well with the usual recommended 'wait & cool' time that I usually recommend with all my teas. The flavors do come off as a bit 'less than expected' when I took my first sip (right after I poured the freshly brewed tea, before I allowed it to cool for the 10 minutes I usually recommend) but after those 10 minutes - Oh! My! This is so good. A pleasantly smooth black tea base with sweet notes of cheesecake and caramel. What's not to love?
Frank's original description went like this:
Some things are just meant to go together. A slice of ooey-gooey caramel cheesecake and an amazing black tea is one of those things, and now, you don’t have to go to a nice restaurant and pay an arm and a leg to enjoy it, AND you can enjoy it guilt-free, even if you’re vegan! Here’s our new premium black tea blend, fused with natural and organic cheesecake and caramel flavors and blended with bright marigold petals. If you can’t fall in love with this tea, you should just stick to coffee.
Now, I didn't stick to the original recipe precisely, mostly because my base is quite different. Frank used a blend of Assam, Darjeeling & 'Chinese' Black Teas. My blend is Assam, Ceylon & Yunnan. So we may or may not be 'similar' on up to 2 of the three teas in the blend - since Frank was not specific about which type of Chinese black tea he used (or even if it was a blend of more than one type of Chinese black tea.)
But that's neither here nor there. I selected my base based on taste - I like the rich, malty flavor of the Assam but I feel that it can be rather overwhelming sometimes (and can go a bit bitter on you if you're not paying attention to it), I also like the robust, earthy flavor of a high quality golden Yunnan. I like the way these two teas play together. I choose Ceylon as a playmate for the other two teas because Ceylon is a smooth, remarkably mild tea that can temper the other teas a little and help create a pleasingly round flavor. And that's what you get with this base - a smooth, coppery cup that is pleasing in flavor and nicely round. Not overly aggressive. And it works well with this combination of flavors.
You really should try this - I think you'll love it too!
organic ingredients: black teas, calendula petals & natural flavors
Well, it would seem that most of my thoughts of this tea are captured in the above description and I don't know that I could illuminate further except to say that this tea is really good. Rich, buttery caramel flavors mingling with a tangy cream cheese note - so delightful!
to brew: Don't overleaf this one. If you want to go latte, you should use a little more leaf to avoid diluting the tea, but otherwise, go with a slightly rounded teaspoon of tea to 12 ounces of near boiling water. I haven't used boiling water in my tea for a while now, I find that when it's brought to the boiling point, even with a black tea, the tea tends to become rather astringent and by simply dropping the temperature to 205°F - just 7° cooler - the tea is far smoother and more pleasing. So by not overleafing this tea and keeping the steep temperature slightly lower than a boil - you'll get a much more satisfying cuppa.
Let it steep for 2 1/2 minutes, strain and allow to cool for 10 minutes. The cool time - as I say in the above description - is essential to allow those flavors to develop and believe me when I say - you want those flavors to develop!