Featured Reblend for November 2019!
When we held our holiday poll earlier this year to determine which teas would be featured in our 12 Teas of Christmas box, I was surprised at how well this tea did in the final count. It tied with another tea (which will be featured in the 12 Teas of Christmas box) but I didn't have enough room for the both of them - so I decided to make this one for November's Featured Reblend.
Frank originally blended this - although I'm not sure exactly when. If memory serves, it was originally a blend he crafted for the "ManTeas" branch of Zoomdweebies, but I don't know for sure. Since then, I have reblended it once as a reward for our start-up Kickstarter campaign. Here is my description (which includes Frank's description):
I reblended this tea to fulfill one of the "You Choose the Reblend" Kickstarter incentives! I was really happy to see that this tea was chosen as a reblend - because I quite enjoyed it the first time I tried it and I thought it would be fun to reinterpret the tea.
The original description of this tea said:
The Mayans worshiped a chocolate deity and every year, they sacrificed a chocolate colored dog to it. Kind of nasty. Not at all like this awesome tea.
It has been called “a delicious kick in the mouth”: Our traditional masala chai blended with organic cacao nibs and cayenne pepper! Hold on to your tastebuds, this tea has someBITE!
Ingredients: Assam tea, ginger root pieces, cinnamon, green cardamom, cacao nibs, almonds, cayenne pepper, natural and/or artificial flavors.
My version is a little different. Oh, it's still a "delicious kick in the mouth!" But instead of just Assam tea, I used my blend of black teas with an emphasis on Assam (meaning a little more Assam than the other teas I use in the blend), and I didn't include almond slivers in the blend as a courtesy to my nut allergy customers. (Besides, the addition of almond slivers adds a pleasing appearance but really does nothing to flavor the tea.)
I also used only all-natural flavors and instead of cayenne pepper powder, I used chili flakes. Finally, in addition to cacao nibs, I also added mini vegan chocolate chips and cacao shells. In other words, I really amplified the chocolate flavor. Finally, I didn't limit myself to the spices that were used in the original. I have my own special recipe of spices and I included that in the blend.
I believe these changes are for the better. The base is richer and well-rounded. The spices are strong and the chili flake delivers a really pleasant heat that gradually builds from warm to hot. The contrast between spicy and sweet is really nice.
I stuck pretty close to the recipe I used the first time I reblended this - except that instead of chili flakes, I minced whole, organic, dried cayenne pepper pods rather than chili flakes or cayenne powder. I think it adds a little more heat than the chili flakes did but still a little less than the cayenne powder.
This tea has got a seriously SPICY kick to it, so if that's really not your thing, you might want to pass on this one. For the rest of you, this blend is VEGAN, gluten-free & allergen free!
Taster pouch is approximately 15g
ingredients: mini vegan chocolate chips (cane sugar, unsweetened chocolate & cocoa butter)
organic ingredients: black teas, ginger root, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cumin, cacao nibs & shells, cayenne pepper & natural flavors