Tea of the Week for October 21, 2019: Crème Brûlée Beignet Rooibos/Honeybush Blend!
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Crème Brûlée Beignet Rooibos/Honeybush Blend!
Our Third Tea from our "I Love The Pacific Northwest" Collection!
Tea Description: Portland is well-known as a foodie city. It's also known for the large number of food carts in the city. The very first food cart that I ever visited was called Donut-o-Rama, which is sadly, no longer operating (at least, not that I'm aware of). The thing that drew me to Donut-o-Rama is that I heard of their Crème Brûlée Beignet & I decided that was something I needed - yes, NEEDED! - to try. For me, it was love at first bite.
Sweet, yeasty donut 'crust' enveloping a creamy vanilla bean, five-spiced custard that is then sprinkled with sugar & torched for a crispy, crème brûlée type of experience - donut style. Seriously YUM. It would be difficult for me to list my top 10 favorite flavor adventures in Portland, but this one definitely would be considered for the list & if nothing else, biting into my first Crème Brûlée Beignet was a very memorable experience and one worthy of noting in my "I Love The Pacific Northwest" collection.
For this blend, I started with a base of organic Rooibos combined with some honeybush. To that, I added some essence to create a pastry flavor - as well as a creamy, custardy flavor. I added some vanilla bean & some cinnamon, clove, fennel & Szechuan peppercorns to create a five spice flavor. (Well, OK, it's only four spices, but I didn't want the focus to be on the spices as much as the beignet & custard flavors, so I omitted the star anise.)
I'm so happy with the result on this one. I am tasting the pastry notes as well as the creamy, vanilla custard & a nice touch of spice. I like the balance here. The spice is distinctive without being too aggressive. The base of rooibos & honeybush work with the flavors of the 'donut'. It's sweet, creamy, warm & delicious. It's also all organic, VEGAN, caffeine-free, gluten-free & allergen free!
organic ingredients: rooibos, honeybush, cinnamon, clove, fennel, szechuan peppercorns, calendula petals & natural flavors
Oh wow - I'm loving this blend.
Those who know me well know that the tisanes are not my favorite base. I prefer a tea base, however, I do know that there are those who appreciate having a caffeine-free option & I get that - I'm actually one of them. Yes, even though I don't usually like honeybush or rooibos (especially in their unflavored form), I do appreciate a good flavored blend with one of the two herbal leaves (or both). So there in lies the challenge for me every month: creating a rooibos and/or honeybush blend that appeals to my palate.
I do manage to pull this off - month after month. I'll be real - there are some that I like better than others. This blends falls into the former category. I am definitely liking this one.
The spice is not overwhelming, but it adds just a hint of something a little extra to the blend & I think it is the spice element here more than any other thing about this blend that reminds me so much of my first Crème Brûlée Beignet moment - because the gentle, warming spice in the custard was completely unexpected - but oh - so - delightful! Also nice: these flavors develop as I continue to sip. They start out really like a whisper of warm spice, but as I am now nearing the end of the cup, the spice is warmer - but still not at all what I would call "spicy" - it's just like gentle hit of warm spice, giving the cup a very autumnal taste.
The custard and pastry add so much to the overall experience too. The custard flavors are sweet & creamy. A nice touch of vanilla. The pastry has that 'freshly baked' buttery taste to it. Overall - just a really yummy tea.
to brew: shake before measuring to ensure you have a fair distribution of the spice throughout the blend. use 4g of leaf to 12 ounces of hot water (heated to 195°F) & allow to steep for at least 8 minutes. you can steep longer - it will not become bitter (no tannins = no bitterness!) strain & allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. the flavors develop as the tea cools.