Tea of the Week for April 23, 2018: Rocky Road Honeybush/Rooibos Blend!
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Rocky Road Honeybush/Rooibos Blend!
Tea Description: I have received quite a few requests to reblend my Rocky Road black tea - and I'll eventually get to that, I promise - but I got to thinking that the flavors of Rocky Road might go nicely with a base of caffeine-free Honeybush and Rooibos. That sweet, naturally nutty taste of the two herbs would enhance the almond notes of such a blend. So I decided I'd try it.
I didn't try to focus too much on the "ice cream" aspect of this, instead, I just went with the flavors of Rocky Road: Chocolate (cacao shells & nibs), Marshmallow (root) and Almond (nut-free essence). I also added a few white chocolate chips to add just a touch of creaminess to the cup (and they're vegan, of course!)
This is really quite a tasty low-caffeine treat. I say "low-caffeine" because while the honeybush and rooibos do not have caffeine, there is probably some caffeine to the cacao nibs and shells. And while I'm no expert when it comes to caffeine, I don't think the trace amounts that the nibs and shells would introduce to the cup are enough to keep you up at night - so I think this would make a really lovely 'late-night' sweet treat!
It's a sweet, chocolate-y, nutty, marshmallow-y cuppa!
ingredients: vegan white chocolate chips (sugar, palm oil, soy flour, emulsifiers, polyglycerol polyricinoleate, soy lecithin, cocoa butter, salt, flavors, vanillin)
organic ingredients: honeybush, rooibos, marshmallow root, cacao shells, cacao nibs & natural flavors
Rocky Road ice cream is my favorite flavor (although, there are a couple of others that come very close to that favorite status too). It's impossible to recreate the rocky road ice cream experience in a tea because - texture! But I do love the idea of bringing the flavors of rocky road to my tea cup. The combination of chocolate, marshmallow and almond is just too yummy!
I went with a rooibos and honeybush blend because I feel that these two herbs work very well together. They seem to bring out the best qualities in each other and make each other taste better. Plus, the natural nutty flavors in the two herbs would play well to the almond notes.
I know that I say it with just about every tea that I create, but the wait time is absolutely crucial to this blend. I know it's not easy to wait before you start sipping, especially since you waited so long to steep it (8 minutes or so!) but trust me when I say that your patience will be rewarded.
My initial sips were sips of impatience (which is how I know that the wait time is absolutely crucial!) and they didn't come out quite like I expected. Oh, I tasted chocolate and nut and even a hint of marshmallow but it tasted very muddled and rather subtle. So I sat the cup aside and waited another 8 or 10 minutes.
My palate is immediately introduced to a smooth chocolate flavor, followed by a hint of fluffy marshmallow.. The almond hits the palate a moment or two later - just before mid-sip. Toward the end of the sip, I start to pick up on a faint smokiness from the herbs and just a hint of the honeyed sweetness. It's a mild honeybush and/or rooibos flavor.
Overall, a really pleasant cup.
to brew: I tested this one twice. The first time, I went with a 4g measurement to 12 ounces of hot water, and the second time I went with just a little more leaf: 5g to 12 ounces of hot water. Both times, I heated the water to 195°F and let it steep for 8 minutes.
I found that the cup with the 5g tasted better - it had a smoother, thicker flavor. Because honeybush and rooibos tends to be a thinner drink than camellia sinensis produces - you won't get the thick mouthfeel that you often experience with tea leaves. So, if you prefer a thicker, richer flavor, you should go with a little more leaf.
Either way, be sure to let the tea cool for about 8 minutes or more to ensure those flavors are present for you.