Tea of the Week for January 7, 2019: Strawberry Bon Bon Black Tea!
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Tea Description: I'm sure that most of you are probably pretty familiar with the candy that inspired this blend - remember those little strawberry hard candy discs that are wrapped in the shiny strawberry wrapper that is twist-closed at the top, made to look like the stem of the strawberry? I always enjoyed those - so it's one of the first retro candy inspirations that I came up with when I was putting together the menu for our Retro Candy Shop theme.
This tea starts with a base of Nilgiri teas (two Nilgiri teas: both from the estate of Thiashola - one first flush and one second flush) and a Ceylon tea from the Blackwood estate. (All teas are organically grown.) Together, these teas create a lighter black tea that's crisp and fruity which play well to the sweet flavor of freeze-dried strawberries (also organic).
Delicious! It tastes great hot or iced! (Note: I find Nilgiri tea leaves to be a little more delicate than other black teas, so you want to have the water at a lower temperature when you steep. I suggest around 195°F)
Also, if you want a more "candy-like" experience, add a bit of sugar to it. The blend doesn't need the sugar (it tastes amazing without) but if you want a sweet candy taste, the sugar will bring that flavor to your teacup.
This blend is VEGAN, gluten free & allergen free!
organic ingredients: black teas, strawberries & natural flavors
Wow! I'm always happy, excited and just a little bit surprised when a tea turns out just the way I want it to. Then again, I'm also a little surprised when a tea doesn't turn out the way I want it to. Sometimes this is a good surprise, others, not so good. But this time, this turned out just the way I expected it to and that's definitely a good thing!
As I mentioned above, this 'retro candy' inspiration was one of the first that I came up with because I always enjoyed those little strawberry bon bons. They were memorable because they had a nice strawberry flavor but also satisfied the sweet tooth.
My tea interpretation also has a really nice strawberry flavor. As an unsweetened tea, it has a gentle sweetness - but it's certainly not on the same level of sweetness as the candy. You can remedy that with a bit of sugar, but to be honest, I find it very satisfying without the sweetener - so be sure to try it before you add the sugar or other sweetener. I tried it first as a hot tea and it was quite nice. It's also really good as an iced tea.
to brew: The base is a blend of Nilgiri and Ceylon teas and Nilgiri teas are oxidized a little less than other black teas. For this reason, the leaves are a little more on the delicate side and you should be careful not to overheat the water. I prefer to brew Nilgiri teas at 195°F, I find this temperature to be hot enough to get a good flavor from the tea leaves, but it's not so hot that the tea ends up bitter or overly astringent.
So heat your water to 195°F, and measure out 3g of tea to 12 ounces of water. Steep for 2 1/2 minutes. Strain and allow to cool slightly, about 8 minutes or so. Enjoy!