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Tea of the Week for March 4, 2019: Berry Wonderful Root Beer Black Tea!

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 Berry Wonderful Root Beer Black Tea!

Tea Description: One of the well-known fast food chains out there has a few exclusive soda choices on their fancy new cola dispensers - and one of those choices has become a favorite soda of mine. I don't drink soda often (as I've said probably more than once) but when I do, I'm very selective about my choices. I rarely choose the simple Coke or Pepsi, but instead, choose a Wild Cherry Pepsi or a Dr. Pepper - something different from the top two. Or I'll create some magical concoction by mixing lemonade with orange soda - a magic made easier these days with the aforementioned fancy new cola dispensers. So when I noticed these three exclusive flavors from one fast food chain, I was definitely intrigued. The other two (Cherry Vanilla and Orange Vanilla) were OK, but the one I really loved was the Root Beer with berry and vanilla flavors. I loved it - a lot. And that's high praise given my usual indifference for soda in general.

So rather than visiting the fast food chain on a daily basis to get my fill on this lovely new beverage that I had fallen in love with and risk rotting out my teeth from all that sugar, I decided to save my teeth, not to mention the gas to travel to the fast food chain (as well as saving me from eating more fast food because, you know, since I'm there anyway, I might as well grab something to eat . . . ) and instead, create a tea inspired by the beverage and in the process, save my teeth, my health and the planet in the process. (I'm sure Marvel will be creating a superhero in my likeness for this deed any day now.) 

I started with a blend of black teas - Assam for malt, Yunnan for depth, and a blend of Ceylon and Vietnamese teas to help round out the flavors and to add some smoothness - and added some root beer essence as well as a touch of vanilla extract and vanilla bean, plus some blueberries, raspberries, strawberries & blackberries. Then I added a little bit of sarsaparilla root and marshmallow root. 

And - what do you know? I managed to create a little magic of my own without that fancy soda dispenser! 

This magical tea is organic, VEGAN, gluten free and allergen free!

organic ingredients: black teas, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, marshmallow root, sarsaparilla root, vanilla bean & natural flavors 

Oh YUM! I am so happy with how this turned out!

It doesn't taste exactly like the root beer that inspired it, because this one doesn't have the bubbles and all that syrupy sugar to it - plus - TEA - but I do like the way this tastes a whole lot. 

The black tea is strong but because of the Ceylon plus the added Vietnamese black tea, it is a bit softer than many of the black tea blends I've created - and I think that helps this tea tremendously. With so many other flavors going on, I needed some fullness to the flavor, but nothing too overwhelmingly strong. 

The root beer comes through nicely - with the fruit notes presenting themselves as an overall "berry" note - like mixed berries - which is what I was working toward because when I drink the soda - I don't taste individual fruit notes, I taste a medley of berry flavors which is what I put together here. The vanilla is more of a creaminess than a distinct vanilla - and again - that's what I wanted because that's how the soda tastes to me. 

In other words, like I said just a moment ago: this turned out like I hoped for - even though it doesn't taste EXACTLY like the root beer that inspired it because - you know - TEA. (It's even better!)

to brew: give the pouch a gentle shake to integrate all of the ingredients. measure 3g of tea to 12 ounces of nearly boiling (205°F). steep for 3 minutes. strain and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. enjoy! 

The key with this tea is to allow it to cool - not just for a few minutes. This tea is best consumed when it's iced - because - I mean - do you like to drink warm root beer? Nah! Root beer is better cold - and so is this tea. The flavors come through best that way. BUT if you're a committed hot tea drinker, I'm not going to tell you that you can't drink this one hot. It's alright served hot too - but it truly is best served iced. Also, you don't have to add sugar to this, but a wee bit of sweetener will bring those flavors out. It's good without sweetener, but it's better with just a little bit. Even with a half a teaspoon of sugar, you're still consuming far less sugar than you'll find in a soda.

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