Tea of the Week for October 2, 2017: Chocolate Orange Rooibos!
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Tea Description: At one point, Frank created a Chocolate Orange Honeybush. To be honest, I don't really remember it - although I did review it and after reading my review, it would appear that I did enjoy it. Sadly, reading the review didn't help me to remember the tea. So that blend was in no way my inspiration for this blend.
My inspiration for this blend is a love for the flavor combination of chocolate and orange. They go together so well. And when I began to consider the base I'd use for this flavor combination, rooibos seemed to be a natural choice. Granted, rooibos is seldom a 'natural choice' for me as it is rarely my first choice for any tea - but I felt that the sweet, nutty, somewhat woodsy flavor of organic rooibos would work well with the flavors of chocolate and orange.
So I started with some organic rooibos and added lots of cacao shells and nibs, some dried orange segments and some vanilla. I didn't want the vanilla to be a strong, independent flavor, but instead, I wanted it to lend a creamy element to the cuppa - something to lighten the sometimes "dark chocolate" taste of the cacao shells and nibs, and something that would soften the bright orange notes just a little.
And - WOWZA! This is fantastic! There is a strong chocolate note, a creaminess and a sweet orange flavor that starts out kind of subtle but continues to develop as I sip. Nice!
organic ingredients: rooibos, cacao shells, cacao nibs, oranges, vanilla bean & natural flavors.
Yes! I'm loving this!
The chocolate note comes through nicely (and I'm a chocoholic so I want lots of chocolate!) and the orange is a bit more subtle, especially at the start. As I continue to make my way down to the bottom of the cup, the orange picks up a bit, but because I knew that citrus flavors can get a bit strong when paired with more complex flavors like chocolate, I wanted to focus primarily on the chocolate here and allow the orange to develop along the way.
And that's just what's happening here.
The chocolate is a creamy taste - thanks in part to the vanilla addition - and that's just what I wanted from the vanilla. I wasn't looking to add a third party to the mix, really, I didn't want this to be a chocolate covered creamsicle although the idea of that sounds rather lovely, what I wanted was something to lighten the chocolate flavors and offer more of a 'milk chocolate' kind of taste to the cup.
Granted, when it comes to a chocolate bar, I usually go for the dark chocolate but when it comes to tea, I'm finding that I prefer the chocolate flavor to be more of a creamy chocolate taste - it seems to translate more to a 'chocolate' flavor that way.
I didn't make a lot of this particular blend - mostly because I wasn't sure how it would turn out and I didn't want to be left with heaps of this tea after the subscriptions were shipped. So, if this one sounds yummy to you - it's not one you should hesitate on! Grab some now!
to brew: I recommend using 2 rounded (but not heaping) teaspoons of leaf (give it a good shake first to redistribute the ingredients) to 12 ounces of water heated to 195°F. Let steep for 6 - 10 minutes (I went for 8 minutes with this one), strain and enjoy.