Tea of the Week for September 28, 2020: Black Forest Honeybush!
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Black Forest Honeybush!
Tea Description: OK, let me just get this out of the way right up front: I love Black Forest Cake. I mean, what's not to love? Dark chocolate cake filled with layers of black cherries & vanilla whipped cream? Um ... yes please!
So, why not create a tea that celebrates the flavors of Black Forest cake: chocolate, black cherries & vanilla cream.
Being the chocoholic that I am, I probably don't need to state that the chocolate is my favorite part about the confection. So, I went for it with the chocolate here with cacao nibs, cacao shells & vegan chocolate chips. Then I added some vanilla beans, marshmallow root & freeze-dried dark cherries. To support these luscious flavors, I used our organic honeybush - which adds a lovely honey-nut hint of flavor to the cup.
Really a tasty cup - organic, VEGAN, gluten-free & allergen free! It's also very low in caffeine - there is some caffeine from the cacao & chocolate - but not a lot.
ingredients: vegan chocolate chips (cane sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter)
organic ingredients: honeybush, cacao nibs, cacao shells, cherries, vanilla beans, marshmallow root & natural flavors
I've had it mentioned to me on more than one occasion that there aren't enough cherry flavored teas. There's a reason that I don't work with cherry often: because it can come off as medicinal & nobody wants to hear that their tea tastes like cough syrup. (That said, I actually kind of like cherry flavored cough syrups - but I don't like them enough to start adding them as a flavor to a cuppa tea.)
So, when I do decide to go for a cherry note, I do what I can to try to avoid that dreaded medicinal taste. My plan with this tea was to have the chocolate & vanilla notes soften the sometimes medicine-ish taste of cherry so that your taste buds focus on the fruit.
I like the way these flavors come together. The first note I get is that of chocolate. The very first chocolate hits the palate as a darker chocolate flavor but that richness quickly melds with the vanilla-y tones to create a softer chocolate flavor. The cherry peeks through about mid-sip & carries through to the aftertaste. It's not a bold cherry note, it's softened by the chocolate - but it also doesn't taste medicine-y. I get bits of the honeyed-woodsy note from the honeybush throughout the sip. I find that it marries well with the chocolate and vanilla notes.
to brew: shake this blend. There's quite a few ingredients in this blend & some may settle to the bottom, so a good shake should help reincorporate those settled ingreidents throughout the tisane. use 4g of leaf to 12 oz of very hot water (195°F) & steep for 8 - 10 minutes (I steep for 10 minutes). allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before you start sipping.
I didn't sweeten my first cup of this tisane & it was quite lovely. For my second cup, I wanted to see how a bit of sugar would affect the overall flavor. I found that some of the flavors were accentuated a bit with the addition - I pick up on more cherry & vanilla sweetness with the sugar - but keep in mind that there is some sugar already present in this blend (from the vegan chocolate chips) so taste it before you add sweetener to avoid too sweet a cup.