Tea of the Week for September 4, 2017: Ginger Cola Black Tea!
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Tea Description: I have a confession. I have been cheating on tea with a cola. Not like all the time - not even every day . . . but every once in a while, I'll crack open a can of the ginger cola that's made by one of the 2 big cola giants. I'm not going to name names because I don't want to get a 'cease and desist' order - but it's in a slender, tall, bright copper-orange can and it's sold by individual cans rather than by the 6 or 12 pack.
Anyway, I originally only bought one can of this stuff - you know - just to try it. Curiosity. But I was hooked after my first sip. It's so good - that little touch of ginger cuts through the syrup-y sweetness that usually turns me off when it comes to soda.
I happen to like the cola flavored teas (in most cases, more than I like cola itself) so I decided I should try to craft a ginger cola black tea to get me over my affair with the cola because I like it better when tea is the main beverage in my life.
So I started with a base of black teas from China (Golden Yunnan, Fujian & Assamica grown in the Jing Mai Mountains) and added ginger as well as some candied (sugared) ginger and some cola essence. And WOWZA! I'm loving it! This is tasty as a hot tea but it excels as an iced tea!
ingredients: black teas
organic ingredients: ginger, candied (sugared) ginger & natural flavors
As I mentioned in the above description, I've had a little bit of an obsession with ginger cola. It takes what I wish ginger ale could be (more of an emphasis on the ginger) and what I wish cola could be (a little less syrupy sweet AND crafted with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup) - it is - in my estimation, the perfect soda. This is a little less carbonated and a little less sweet - with a lovely ginger bite to it.
So, yeah, I'm a little obsessed. I'm still not wild about drinking a lot of soda, so I limit myself to maybe 1 can a week.
But those other six days, I'm missing this tasty beverage - so I decided, hey, why not make a tea like the soda? Hey, I can do that!
First off, I want to say that this is tasty served as a hot beverage but you really should either serve it iced. It's so much better! The cola flavors pop when the tea is chilled. I've tried hot-brewing it and then cooling it to "cold" in the fridge and this worked splendidly. I'm sure that it will work nicely as a cold-brewed beverage too, I just haven't yet taken the time to do that.
Served hot: the ginger has a nice warmth to it - there's a distinct BITE of ginger. The cola isn't as dominate when the beverage is hot. Oh, it's there, definitely - but it's just not as strong as the ginger in the hot cuppa. It's still a really tasty hot cuppa, though!
But when it's iced: that's the ticket! I think I might like this better than the soda - because tea is my favorite way to supply caffeine to my dependency. (Yes, I am addicted to caffeine. I'm thinking that probably comes as no surprise to any of you reading this.)
to brew: before you start measuring, be sure to give the pouch a good shake because some of the ginger will have settled to the bottom of the pouch. Make sure that the ingredients are all well-distributed and don't overleaf this one - although it will be tricky to get yourself a teaspoon of the tea because the leaves are rather large. I suggest digging out a teaspoon that you'd stir your tea with rather than a measuring teaspoon - and measure out a rounded teaspoon of the leaf to 12 ounces of boiling water. I actually shoot for just barely under boiling (205°F) because I find that the finished cup tends to be just a tad smoother with the slight reduction in temperature.
steep for 2 1/2 minutes, strain and enjoy. I suggest just a little bit of sugar with this one because it IS a cola tea and that itsy bitsy bit of sugar really does help this taste more "soda like." It's still good without the sugar but this is one of those teas that I prefer just a pinch of sugar. Either way, DO let this cool at least 10 minutes, I suggest longer. You don't like drinking hot soda, do you? Same concept. The cola flavors really come to life when this tea cools.