Tea of the Week for December 18, 2017: Holiday Honeybush Chai!
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Tea Description: I wanted to do something very holiday-ish with Honeybush this time around and this tisane fits the bill to a TEA! I started with organic honeybush, added some chai spices - cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, black pepper & allspice - some cranberries and juniper berries, and just a hint of chestnut essence.
YUM! This definitely tastes like the holidays! It's warm and spicy, with notes of tarty sweetness from the cranberries, just a whisper of pine from the juniper berries, and a kiss of nutty flavor that hints at chestnut. It will enliven the taste buds and put them into the holiday spirit - they might just start singing carols! (Probably not, but it might happen.)
organic ingredients: honeybush, masala spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, allspice & nutmeg), cranberries, juniper berries & natural flavors
Wow! I'm loving this.
I don't usually get overly excited about most tisanes - I'm more of a black tea girl, myself. Oh, sure, I love other tea types too, but I don't often 'love' tisanes. I might like them and I'll certainly drink them and enjoy them - but they aren't usually something that I'll go to again and again. But this - this I would definitely go to again and again. This is something I would happily drink every evening - it's cozy and has enough spice to it to warm me from the inside out - but not so much spice that I need something to cool down my taste buds.
And the cranberry and juniper berries add some nice dimension to the cuppa. There is a touch of chestnut there - it's not a strong, dominant flavor but I didn't expect it to be, nor did I want it to be. I wanted more of a background note, something that would sort of weave it's way in and out of a sip so that the palate sits up and takes notice at those little hints of flavor.
I wanted the spices to be the star of the show (as well they should be for a chai blend) and they definitely are. The spices are strong but not too spicy. Strong enough to keep your mouth tingling from the spice well into the aftertaste. It's peppery. It's very chai!
This would be spectacular as a latte (be sure to brew it strong) but it's quite nice as a stand alone too. I do recommend just wee bit of honey or perhaps some raw sugar? A little bit of something to accentuate the spices. Spices play better when there's a little bit of sweetness.
to brew: give the blend a good shake before you measure to incorporate all those spices. use at least 5 - 6 grams of leaf (there's a lot of spices in this and you want to make sure you have a good amount of leaf to accommodate the spices!) and 12 ounces of hot water (heated to 195°F) and let steep for at least 8 minutes. You can keep on steeping if you want - it won't get bitter! Eight minutes is long enough to get a good amount of flavor, but it won't hurt to keep on steeping. Strain and let cool for a few minutes to let the flavors develop.