It’s been a rough year. I won’t go into that here but I have to say it’s good to be back! I’ve missed blogging the last 6 months or more. I have been sipping on teas here and there but I really have to get back into the swing of things.
I thought an interesting way to do that was to get thru some of my really old teas that I didn’t have the heart to throw away but really need to do the old ‘sip down’ with if you know what I mean.
I thought I would share some of my BLEND AT HOME Tea Recipes with you all.
Today I have combined two of my old Teavana tarts with a random black tea. What I did is take 3 teaspoons of Raspberry Riot Lemon Mate, 1 teaspoon of Pineapple Kona Pop, and 1 teaspoon of a straight-up black tea and threw the loose leaves into a tin and shook it ‘real good’. From that, I then took about a tablespoon and cold brewed a cup.
With what little black tea I did use (and with all of the other ingredients involved) you could barely tell the black tea was present. Other ingredients included: Apple, Marigold, Orange, Pineapple, Rose, Raspberry, Lemongrass, Yerba Mate, Hibiscus, and rose hip peels.
Since you can see most of the other ingredients are sweet, fruity, and citrusy – I found this BLEND AT HOME to be pretty yummy iced. I haven’t tried it hot, to be honest, but it ‘hit the stop’ this late summer and early fall.
It smelled more like a mellow raspberry followed by pineapple.
The post-infusion color was a light brown with hibiscus-type hue. The flavor combo upfront seemed to follow suit with the raspberry and pineapple combo. But in the middle of the sip you could taste the lemon and orange and shortly after that the apple came into play. There was a fruity yet gentle floral flavor to round it all out at the end.
For one of my first official attempts I thought this was a goody!
I found a super simple recipe to make tea infused hot chocolates and I have been making them since. 10/10 would recommend this recipe by Savvy Eats which can be found here.
I have tried this with A Quarter to Tea’s Sticky Toffee Bread Pudding, Bird and Blend’s Monkey Chops and this time I am using 52 Tea’s Gingerbread Brulee. Each time has been delicious and distinctly flavored by the tea.
You start by cold brewing 1-1.5 teaspoons of tea in 1 cup of milk. The recipe says to do this for 20 minutes which I followed the first time and had a flavorful drink. Since then, I have set the cold brew up earlier so it steeps for longer just so I can get more flavor (usually I leave it cold brewing anywhere between an hour and 6 hours). It probably isn’t necessary for it to sit that long but it makes me happy. I also usually double the recipe, using 3 teaspoons of tea for 16 ounces of milk.
When the milk is done cold brewing I get to preparing the drink on the stove. If I doubled the milk, as I did with this hot chocolate, I also double the recommended cacao powder and chocolate chips, but still only use the one tablespoon of sugar. I tend to use either a 1:1 mixture of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips, or just milk chocolate chips. I have salted caramel chips that I think I will try one time just to change things up but this particular hot chocolate was made with all milk chocolate chips because that was what was most easily accessible.
Now that I am drinking this hot chocolate, I think all milk chocolate chips was the right way to go. This tea is so true to gingerbread but the kind you’d make at home that isn’t overly processed or sweet. That means it is heavy on the ginger and has a richness from the molasses. That depth is balanced nicely by the sweet and creamy milk chocolate, a balance that might have been tilted more to bitter if there was semi-sweet chocolate in the mix. Not that that would have been particularly bad, just more adult and sometimes you just like the nostalgia of a sweeter, creamier hot chocolate. And nostalgic this is because it essentially tastes like I made gingerbread cookies and then let one just melt into my hot chocolate. So. Good!
Want to Know More About This Tea?
Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: 52Teas
This tea is not available but click below for blends that are.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Four O’Clock is an interesting company. I never heard of them until a friend from work bought me a tea gift a couple years back that came with a glass tea tumbler and four Four O’Clock teas. The teas were all sort of plain teas that did not excite me in the slightest: Cherry Green Tea, Orange Rooibos Black Tea, a herbal with a bunch of chamomile, and this tea, Earl Grey Creme. I sort of ignored the teas in my stash and it wasn’t until I started law school in September that I started even thinking about them again. All of a sudden, I was surrounded by Four O’ Clock teas since that is the brand sold in the law building.
Even still, I just couldn’t get excited about the blends. That is where Pinterest comes in. I came across this recipe. The recipe is for an Earl Grey Hot Chocolate and suddenly I had a very good reason to reach for this blend.
The recipe is super simple…you just heat 1 cup of milk and 1/2 a cup of heavy cream on a medium-low heat. Turn off the heat and steep 1 tablespoon of Earl Grey in the milk mixture for 10 minutes. Then turn the heat back on low and melt 5 ounces of finely chopped dark (or in my case, semi-sweet) chocolate into the Earl Grey-infused milk. There is a recipe for a cream topping as well but I got lazy and topped it with canned whipped cream.
This hot chocolate can basically be described in one word: “DECADENT!” It is really rich and so good. Not overly sweet but so smooth and creamy. The dark chocolate gives this so much depth that pairs perfectly with the earl grey. It matches the intensity of the earl grey and rounds out the flavor so the bergamot is more bright and less sharp. Honestly, decadent. This is a dessert in a mug, but an elevated dessert. This isn’t your typical childhood favorite. This is hot chocolate for adults. Sophisticated and elegant. Delicious!
Want to Know More About This Tea?
Where to Buy: Four O’Clock
There has been a lot of talk recently about blending Matcha with other teas. I am a HUGE supporter of tea blending and Matcha is no exception! One of my favorite “hot weather” combinations is a Iced Jasmine Matcha Latte. It combines two of my absolute favorite green teas- Jasmine Pearls and Matcha. Add just a touch of sweet cream, or any other sweetener and a splash of milk (or milk substitute) and you have the perfect iced tea latte!
1 1/2 tsp Imperial Grade Matcha
4-5 tsp Jasmine Pearls Green Tea
10oz water heated to 175ºF
Italian Sweet Cream (optional)
16oz Cup (I’m using a glass) full of ice
1. Heat the water to 175ºF
2. As the water heats- sift 1 1/2 tsp of Matcha into a Matcha bowl
3. Once the water is at the correct temperature, add 8oz of water to the Jasmine Pearls and let steep for 3 minutes- If you plan to use a sweetener add to the Jasmine now to allow it to dissolve
4. While the Jasmine is steeping prepare the Matcha
5. Once the Jasmine has finished steeping, add it to the cup of ice.
6. Optional- I like to use an electric whisk on my Matcha before I add it to my Jasmine. This gives my latte a nice foam at the top
7. Add Matcha to the Jasmine
8. Optional- Add a splash of Sweet Cream or any other Milk/Milk Substitute product you’d like to taste
Now Enjoy Your Iced Jasmine Matcha Latte!!