From time to time something truly new and different comes across your path and you must take the time to learn more about it. That is exactly what happened with us and organic cacao tea from the Cacao Tea Co.
We did our research and found that this is not something new at all but has very ancient South American roots tied to the Mayans and Aztecs. This chocolate tea is not technically a tea at all and is made from minimally-processed, organic cacao husks which are simply crushed and roasted before brewing. The health benefits are extensive and include high levels of antioxidants, energy boosting and mood enhancing properties and it is calorie free when sipped neat. After several steeping sessions we were prepared to share our new discovery so we laid the tables for a Tea F.E.T.E. (Friday evening tea education) and quickly had a full house coming to this exciting class. Chocolate seems to have that effect on people!
Traditionally, this beverage would not be creamed or sweetened but what fun is there in that? We laid out a variety of creaming options and sweeteners and began our tasting session. First we tried it perfectly plain and those dark chocolate lovers believed they had found their dream drink! Others craved more of a milk chocolate experience and started experimenting with rich cream, condensed milks, liquid and powered sweeteners of all kinds. The results were clear: cacao tea is delicious pure and plain but when you add sweetened condensed coconut milk or cream and coconut sugar this beverage jumps up into the delicious dessert category. For a final twist we slow steeped a pot of classical Indian chai with cacao tea all afternoon then shared it with our guests. This was truly scrumptious and highly recommended by everyone.
So as hot chocolate season is upon us, consider this healthy, lower calorie alternative to the old childhood classic. You'll be glad you did! Learn more about this product at Cacao Tea Co.
Waiting for Christmas to arrive can bring out the impatient child in all of us. So a count down may be in order. You could make a paper chain or...
...get a Christmas tea count down calendar! This one from Adagio is full of brightly colored tea packets that look like beautifully wrapped presents themselves. There is a tea bag for each day right up to Christmas Eve and the selection is creative, delicious, and varied. You'll find herbals, blacks, greens, even whimsical tisanes such as Gingerbread and Candy Cane.
Just a sampling of what's waiting for you...
Each day open one perforated window and unwrap your present. Now the impatient child in you can settle down with a nice cup of tea and relax - you are one day closer to Christmas!
This merry calendar from Adagio is sure to bring a little joy (and tea!) into your Christmas count down.
We love oolong so when Umi Tea Set asked us to sample one we said, "Yes, please!"
Umi Tea Set sent us a gorgeous box of oolong tea along with a chocolate brown gawain in which to perfectly steep the leaves. The gawain was lovely and warm in the hand and felt like the best brewing vessel for these twisted, large leaves in varying shades of black and green.
Once steeped, each twisted leaf opened up into a single medium-sized green tea leaf which yielded 3 good steepings of pale green/gold liquid that started out floral and moved to fishy by the last steeping. Refreshing and light, this oolong was enjoyed by all our tasters. Thank you, Umiteasets.com. Find Umi Tea Sets on facebook.
It's a long walk to our mailbox and sometimes on that walk I can start to dream about just what might be inside waiting for me. Today my dream came true!
Five unassuming black and white packets of premium, limited-quality, single origin, fine, loose-leaf teas were nestled into this little brown envelope. Let's put the kettle on.
Masters Tea from Adagio is a new line from an old favorite tea company. We have enjoyed Adagio Tea for years and even have 3 or 4 original blends for sale on their website. But Masters Tea is something new altogether. Read on to discover more.
Tongmu jin jun mei: This dark amber black tea had fragrance notes of cocoa and caramel. Beautiful to look at and perfect without any additions. The taste was oh, so smooth and velvety with a sweet, cool finish. Hard to beat this one. A very fine, agreeable Chinese tea.
Ali shan special: This oolong from Taiwan is special, indeed! The tight green balls of tea relaxed into 1 stem with 4 leaves once steeped. With an aroma of honeysuckle and fruity jelly beans, this straw colored elixir was delicious and sweet with flavors of peaches and creamy coconut. It felt very cool and clean in the mouth. One sip and you'd agree, truly something special in this cup!
Shincha gyokuro: This tea is in a separate class all its own. One often hears the expression, a bowl of tea or some even refer to tea as soup. Well, after trying this selection, we are learning why. This tea looks vastly different from most, like green/black spiky hair and the dry leaves smelled brothy, like chicken stock. It took a few tries to steep this one properly but we finally ended up with the palest yellow liquid sporting the biggest flavor profile. Very savory, salty, bouillon-like...the word is umami and it means a quality of a full, round, perfectly-complete flavor you cannot quite express. While we did not love this tea, we really wanted to and plan to learn more about it. Hopefully we will acquire a taste for it soon!
All these teas are available for purchase at www.adagio.com