Tea of the Week for February 22, 2016: Peanut Butter & Raspberry Jelly Black Tea
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Tea Description: I'll disclose a little secret - this tea made me very nervous.
You see, I'm one of those unusual people that don't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I felt very much the oddball growing up - everyone else liked peanut butter and jelly. I like peanut butter. I like jelly. I just don't like these two together. I like peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I like peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwiches. I like peanut butter and butter toast. I even like peanut butter sandwiches. Just not jelly. And I like jelly toast and I probably would like a jelly sandwich if I were so inclined to make one although it doesn't sound like a very satisfying sort of lunch.
So what I'm trying to say is that peanut butter and jelly just isn't my thing. So when one of my Kickstarter backers who purchased the "Be a 52Teas tea of the week creator" incentive and selected a peanut butter and jelly tea as his tea of the week flavor - I got just a wee bit nervous and I hoped that since it's a tea maybe, just maybe, I'll like these flavors together.
And I do! This has a really pleasing raspberry flavor. The peanut butter is a softer note - and really, if I were to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I think that's how I'd make it for myself - light on the peanut butter with a big smear of raspberry jelly! Sweet tart raspberry, a smooth, nutty peanut butter note atop a blend of Nilgiri and Assam teas. Way better than I could imagine peanut butter and jelly tasting!
organic ingredients: black teas, roasted & salted sunflower seeds, freeze-dried raspberries and natural flavors.
My backer didn't offer me any further thoughts about the tea he wanted to create - he didn't mention what type of tea base, what fruit flavor for the jelly - he just said "Peanut Butter & Jelly". So I moved forward with the tea.
52Teas did a PB&J Rooibos at one point - so rather than go back to that flavor, I went with a black tea base. I used a blend of Nilgiri and Assam teas. It's mostly Nilgiri with just a little bit of Assam to help give the base a solid, robust flavor. And it is a good, strong black tea base! But based on my first taste test with this tea - don't forget that there IS Assam in this blend - and it will get bitter if you over-steep! The first time I steeped it, I went with 3 minutes. The second time I tested it, I dropped the time down to 2 1/2 minutes and this produced a better tasting cuppa.
The peanut butter offers a nutty smoothness. Don't worry - it's allergen free so those of you with peanut allergies can drink this without reaction! Instead of adding peanuts to the blend - I added sunflower seeds to add just a hint of salt and a fun, nutty appearance. (Again, nothing to cause a peanut allergy reaction!)
With the PB&J Rooibos, Frank went with a strawberry flavor for the "J" - instead, I went with a raspberry flavor. Mostly because I asked Amethyst (who does like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) what kind of jelly she'd put on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I hoped she wouldn't say grape because I'm not a big fan of grape jelly. She said "raspberry" - yay!
The raspberry here is an assertive raspberry - it's tart and sweet. It's a nice contrast to the nutty and creamy flavor of the peanut butter. I find that as I continue to sip, the peanut butter notes emerge a little more.
Overall, this is tasty. I'd actually drink it again - which is more than I could say for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
To brew: a bamboo scoop of tea to 12 ounces of boiling water. Let it steep for 2 1/2 minutes (there's Assam in this blend and it can become bitter if you oversteep so be aware of that!), strain and then let it cool for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!