Tea of the Week for August 28, 2017: Gramma's Spice Cake Black Tea!
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Tea Description: OK, OK - to be completely honest - my Gramma didn't really make spice cake. At least, not that I am aware of. However, she was the best baker that I knew - granted, I'm probably a little biased because she was Gramma but that woman could bake a pie like nobody's business - she made the most amazingly awesome baked treats - cookies, pies, cakes - but I don't really recall a spice cake if I'm to be totally honest.
So you might be wondering why I named this tea "Gramma's Spice Cake" - well, that's because IF she did make a spice cake, this is exactly what I would expect it to be like. It would have apricots and almonds. It would have cinnamon and ginger and just a hint of nutmeg. It would be sweet and delicious - just like everything else that emerged from Gramma's oven.
I started with a base of Chinese black teas (golden Yunnan, Fujian and Assamica grown in the JingMai Mountains) and added apricots, almond essence, ginger, cinnamon, freshly shaved nutmeg and just a touch of flavoring to create a cake-like taste. (Don't worry, it's allergen free!)
This tastes like a celebration of that special time of year when summer leaves us a bounty of delicious fruits (including apricots!) and fall is about to begin.
Yes, this is indeed what the spice cake of my dreams would taste like - this tastes just like what I'd expect a spice cake from Gramma's kitchen to taste like!
ingredients: black teas
organic ingredients: apricots, cinnamon, ginger, shaved nutmeg and natural flavors
I originally called this tea Apricot Almond Spice Cake. Later, I changed it to simply Apricot Spice Cake because I felt like the Apricot Almond Spice Cake was a bit of a mouthful. It went through a few taste tests - with a few careful tweaks in between the taste tests - before I was satisfied with the outcome. Then when I sat down - a few moments ago - and took my first few sips during this final taste test, the name "Gramma's Spice Cake" popped into my head.
As I explained above, to my recollection Gramma never really made spice cake. She may have - but I just don't recall it. BUT if she did make it, this is what I would expect it to taste like: warm notes of cinnamon and ginger. Hints of nutmeg. A sweet cake flavored with notes of almond extract and studded with bits of real apricots picked fresh from her big ole apricot tree in the backyard.
And that's just what I'm tasting as I sip this tea. I get notes of apricot, almond, sweet cake, cinnamon, ginger and just a touch of nutmeg. Of course there's the well-rounded black tea base which seems perfectly suited for these flavors. So yummy!
to brew: use a heaping teaspoon of tea to 12 ounces of boiling water (I actually have my temperature set for 205°F instead of 212°F - I have found that this slight modification in water temperature smooths out the flavor of the black tea just a bit - less astringency and a nicer, more rounded taste) and let it steep for 2 1/2 minutes. strain and let cool for at least 10 minutes (seriously, please do this - the flavors pop as the tea cools slightly). Enjoy.
I have tasted this with and without sugar. I find that a smidgen of sugar (about 1/2 a teaspoon) brings out the cake-y flavors just a bit more.