Tea of the Week for September 17, 2018: To Captain Hook With Love Black Chai!
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Tea Description: Ahoy! Avast Ye, Matey!
We have a day called "Talk Like a Pirate Day" and it happens to be September 19 - and it was the inspiration behind this chai blend. My personal favorite Pirate is Captain Hook played by Colin O'Donoghue from the recently concluded television series "Once Upon a Time" so I thought I'd dedicate this tea to him.
At first glance, it's going to seem like there's a lot going on with this chai, but it all works together very well: I started with a rich black tea base of Yunnan, Assam & Ceylon with a touch of Lapsang Souchong (for a hint of smokiness). Then I added some Rum essence (because what's a pirate without his rum?), coconut, spices (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg & allspice), some chicory root & marshmallow root & a couple of organic vanilla beans. It's a pirate's booty of ingredients - but it makes for a very flavorful blend - perfect for the cooler weather ahead!
This is vegan & gluten free . . . and alcohol free!
ingredients: black teas
organic ingredients: black teas, coconut, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, chicory root, marshmallow root, nutmeg, vanilla bean & natural flavors
Shiver me timbers! This be one flavorful tea!
OK, so that pretty much concludes my knowledge of pirate speak, so let me switch to 'tea speak' mode.
I am so in love with this chai! It's warm but not what I'd call spicy. I didn't want to go heavy with the spices because I didn't want to overwhelm the rum - the rum is distinct and smooth. The black tea base is solid, the coconut, vanilla and marshmallow root adds a softness and sweetness to the cup that works well with the spices. Overall - I'm really overjoyed at how this tea came together.
It's so good!
I enjoyed this one served hot with a wee bit of sugar - which is how I'd recommend drinking it. I don't know how well this would latte because of the rum notes. (Do rum and milk mix? I don't know . . . I'm not much of a drinker so it's not something I'm at all familiar with.) Anyway, feel free to experiment with it if you wish - and let me know how it turns out.
to brew: first, be sure to give the blend a good shake before you measure it because there's a lot of spices and other ingredients in this and you want to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated. next, you want to make sure you have plenty of tea in your measurement, so you'll need to measure out a little bit more than usual (because there are a lot of other ingredients that offsets the tea leaves a bit) - so go with 4 1/2g of tea (or a heaping teaspoon and a half) to 12 ounces of hot water (205°F - which is almost boiling, but not quite) and let it steep for 3 minutes. strain and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before you start sipping. A bit of sugar (or honey) will bring out the spice notes a bit - I highly recommend it!