Tea of the Week for January 14, 2019: Grays Teacake Roasted Kukicha Tea!
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Tea Description: When I ordered my haul of British old fashioned candies (you know, because research for this month's theme) I had to include Grays Teacakes in the order. Something in the name drew me to it. I really can't be 100% positive, but I think it might have been the TEA part of the name. Pure speculation, of course.
Anyway, I had never tried these tasty candies before receiving my package from Handy Candy, so I didn't know exactly what I was in for. The description said they were creamy, chewy, coconutty & rich. Upon tasting them, I can report that they are coconutty & somewhat 'rich' I suppose - although they weren't quite as creamy or chewy as I was lead to believe by reading the description - or perhaps, out of fairness, I should say they weren't as creamy or chewy as I wanted to believe based on what I read into the description. These were first kinda hard to bite into & then a little chewy but the 'hard' bite seemed to negate the chewy part a bit. But it did have a richness of a caramel although I must admit that lately, I've spoiled myself a bit when it comes to caramel & tend to buy the more spendy, handcrafted type of caramels, which tend to have a richer flavor to them than the commercially manufactured candies do.
All that aside - I was still quite enamored with the flavor of these candies - toasted coconut & caramel! - so I decided that I HAD to interpret this candy in tea form. I started with a base of organic, roasted Kukicha & added toasted coconut plus some caramel essence.
I LOVE this tea & maybe I'm a wee bit prejudiced, but I think that the tea outshines the candy that inspired the tea. It's smooth and tasty, with it's pleasing roasty-toasty flavor, sweet coconut & caramel notes. So good! It's also VEGAN, organic & gluten free. (Yes, I usually also say "allergen free" however coconut is regarded by some as a tree nut & as such represents the only tree nut that I utilize in my tea blends, so this tea is safe for those of you who are not allergic to coconuts.)
organic ingredients: roasted green tea, toasted coconut & natural flavors
Oh wow! I was a little worried that this one wouldn't turn out on the first try (since I'm still a bit behind - but getting caught up - I keep my fingers crossed always that the teas will turn out without having to tweak 'em) but I am so happy with how this one came out -- no tweaking necessary! The roasty-toasty flavor of the kukicha melds beautifully with the coconut & caramel notes - creating a flavor that's very similar to the candy that I had shipped to me from the UK.
The kukicha was absolutely the right base for this. It's smooth & silky without being heavy - allowing the coconut and caramel to shine through.
The sip starts with a warm toastiness to it which is almost immediately surrounded by a sweet, buttery note from the caramel & a slick creaminess from the coconut. This reminds me so much of the Grays Teacakes candies - except that I think it's actually better because it doesn't have that hard bite to it that I got from the candies which got in the way of my enjoyment of the creamy & chewy of them. This cuppa allows me to enjoy the flavors of the Grays Teacakes without the danger of chipping a tooth (unless my ceramic tea tumbler happens to collide with a tooth! ha!)
to brew: shake the pouch & measure out 3g of tea to 12 ounces of hot water (180°F) & allow to steep for 3 minutes. strain and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. enjoy!
You don't need sweetener with this, but for a more "candy-like" experience, a wee bit of sugar will bring it. I don't recommend a lot of sugar (maybe half a teaspoon) because it does have a natural sweetness to it and too much sweetener will make for a saccharine-y sweet taste. But a teensy bit of sugar will give this more of a candy-like note.