Tea of the Week for February 6, 2017: Rocky Road Black Tea!
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I'm really, really behind on posting my teas of the week because we've had some serious computer/technological issues as of late. First, a couple of weeks ago, my computer started to show signs that it's time was nearly up. I feel very fortunate that it would be so good to let me know that it was about to die so that I could use that time to transfer some of the data that I had stored on the computer and put it into the cloud so that I wouldn't lose a lot of really important information. I did lose some stuff, but I'm fortunate that most of it wasn't really important and could be easily recreated.
After showing signs that it would soon die, it did eventually die (about 10 days ago). It was a good computer - and it lasted me well over eight years which I think is probably much longer than I expected of it in this time of easy disposal when it seems that most things are built/designed to last only a couple of years before they die so that you can continue to buy in this consumer age.
Since we are running an online business, we couldn't very well do without a computer so we went out and bought one immediately. They say when it rains, it pours and this adage proved itself true when after we connected the new computer to my printers - two of them: one for product labels and the other for shipping labels - my 'office' printer has long since passed on but I really didn't see the need to replace it since most of what I printed was done on these two machines and for other documents, I turned to Office Max (my hero!) - one of the two, my product label printer - decided it was a good time to kick the bucket as well. These printers are not inexpensive and to replace them would not only require more money than we can afford at this point after having just replaced the computer - but it would have also required time for delivery - both of which I didn't have a lot of. So we bought an inexpensive office printer and utilized it to print rudimentary labels that will have to do until we can replace the label printer.
So that's what I've been up to over the last three weeks or so - oh! And I've been blending teas too! This is the first tea of week for the month of February - dedicated to my love of all things chocolate!
Tea Description: I'm pretty sure that Frank had a Rocky Road tea at one point because I recall asking him to reblend it several years ago - I had never tasted it but I had found the tea description in his archives and I wanted to try it so I do remember asking him to reblend it. He never did.
So since I can no longer retrieve any of those archived teas and it doesn't show up at Steepster, I'm just going to call this my blend.
I started with Laoshan black teas from Verdant for their chocolate-y character. Then I chose a rich, malty Assamica tea from the Jingmai Mountains. Then I added some Golden Yunnan tea to round out the flavors. To this, I added roasted cacao nibs, cacao shells, marshmallow root, sunflower seeds and vegan dark and white chocolate chips.
And yes, I've said it before and I'm going to say it again now: YUM!
ingredients: black teas, roasted & salted sunflower seeds and vegan white & dark chocolate chips
organic ingredients: black tea, cacao nibs & shells, marshmallow root and natural flavors.
The first few sips of this tea were a bit confusing to me - not because I didn't know what I was tasting or whether or not I liked it - but because Rocky Road ice cream is my favorite ice cream of all time. And drinking this tea didn't exactly remind me of Rocky Road. So I thought for a little while about what I should do to try to tweak the tea - because I really love the flavor! I taste chocolate, marshmallow and almond plus lovely rich notes of tea all in one sip. This tea already has all the flavor of my favorite ice cream - but it still seemed to be missing something.
Then it occurred to me - for me, my love of Rocky Road ice cream is about the texture as well as the flavor. I love the smooth, cold chocolate ice cream with the soft, smooshy marshmallows and the crunchy almonds. This is why I'm also very picky about what Rocky Road ice cream I'll buy - I hate it when I find those Rocky Road ice creams with the marshmallow ice cream swirl instead of the mini marshmallows. I like those contrasting textures that I get with every bite of Rocky Road.
And this is a TEA - and tea doesn't have those textures. It just doesn't.
So while this tea tastes a lot like someone completely liquefied a bowl of my favorite ice cream (including the marshmallows and almonds) and added the liquid to my tea - this tea doesn't have the texture of my favorite ice cream prior to the liquefying process.
I'm not sure if I should apologize for that or not.
Instead, I invite you to try this lovely chocolate, marshmallow and almond tasting tea. It's quite delicious even if it doesn't capture the texture of Rocky Road - the flavor is there!
To brew: don't overleaf this one! Do be sure to mix it thoroughly as there's a whole bunch of ingredients in here and you want to have a well-incorporated blend from which to measure. Use 1 teaspoon of leaf to 12 ounces of boiling water and let steep for 2 1/2 minutes. Strain and let cool for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!