Posts Tagged ‘Vanilla Bean’
Tea Company: 52teas (website)
Ingredients: Honeybush with real freeze dried strawberries, organic vanilla bean bits, cinnamon and all natural flavors including strawberry, vanilla and hints of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon
Vendor Suggested Preparation: One teaspoon per 8oz cup, steep 4-10 mins in boiling (212 deg F) water.
Honeybush teas are not in the same league with Rooibos teas. Honeybush is sweeter and milder and IMO Better than Rooibos teas. With honeybush you do not get that woodsy after taste that is so dominant with Rooibos teas. I know what you are thinking: Why is she going about the difference between Rooibos and Honeybush teas? Because not everyone has experienced the wonderfulness of Honeybush. And because most people lump the two together as close cousins. I am here to tell you that they are distant cousins who rarely talk! This tea is my all time favorite caffeine free tea. The Honeybush is mild and pleasant to your taste buds and then you taste the strawberries! Oh my, it is like eating strawberries ripened on the vine with a hint of an aftertaste of crust. Now, you can have your pie and drink it too!
If you like strawberries, you owe it to yourself to pay 52 Teas a visit. 52 Teas in case you don’t know is a tea tasters sensation. Frank blends up a new blend each week. These newbie teas are in liminted quantities. Some of his more popular teas make it into his permanent collection. Strawberry Honeybush Tea is one tea that is on the permanent list and for good reason…it is so darn good that you have to reorder frequently! Luckily shipping to the USA is free.
You can purchase the Strawberry Pie Honeybush directly from the 52teas website.
Tea Company: Rishi Tea (website)
Ingredients: Organic Fair Trade Certified™ pu-erh tea, organic roasted dandelion root, organic cardamom, organic yerba maté, organic cocoa shells, organic cacao nibs, organic long pepper, organic coconut flakes and organic vanilla bean.
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Mix 2 tbsp chai, 1 cup water, and 1 cup milk in a saucepan. / Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tbsp sugar. / Strain into a mug or pitcher and enjoy
The way I’ve learned to make chai is a stove top method. Rather than just simply brewing like tea, you do the following:
For each 2 cups of chai tea:
Take 1 cup water, bring to a boil on the stove in a small saucepan. Once the water comes to a boil, add 1 tbsp. chai tea, and 1 tbsp. sugar. Return to a boil, and let boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, and add one cup milk (the more milk-fat, the more flavorful). Let rest on the stove for at least 10 minutes, and then strain, and drink.
This method of preparation takes most chai mixes and makes them amazingly flavorful. I know it’s sacrilege to boil tea, but the spices in chai cover any over-steeped flavor, and it ensures you get the most out of the spices.
So, wanting to get the most out of this chocolate chai (because really, what could be better? Chocolate *and* chai spice? YUM), I prepared it in the stovetop method. It surprised me. It was a very mellow cup. Like a mildly spiced chocolate milk. The chocolate flavor is at the forefront, and there’s a taste of generic spices as an aftertaste. None of the particular spices stand out, but there’s the sensation of clove, and a tiny burn from possibly a little pepper.
So, it’s very yummy, but a little less spicy than I was hoping. If it wasn’t caffeinated, I could see drinking this at night as a soother.
I wanted to make sure it wasn’t the stovetop method somehow skewing the flavor of this tea. So I brewed it like a regular cup of tea as well. And no, it does MUCH better brewed stove top method.
Prepare for something lovely. It’s a great cuppa. Just don’t expect a lot of spice, and revel in the chocolate.
You can purchase the Chocolate Chai directly from the Mark T. Wendall Tea Company website.
Tea Company: Distinctly Tea (website)
Ingredients: not listed
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not listed
I think that one of the best things that ever happened to Earl Grey tea was meeting the vanilla bean. It must have been movie magic. I can see it now…
INT: A Parisian Salon.
Various teas and flavorings lounge about, chatting, discussing worldly matters and current gossip. VANILLA sits in the corner, alone, draped across a chaise longue. She is long, lean and highly sweetly scented.
The camera pans to the door where EARL GREY, a dark, swarthy yet citrus scented tea enters. He scans the room until his eyes fall on VANILLA. He beelines to her, drops to one knee, grabs her hand, and looks deeply into her eyes while kissing her hand.
EARL GREY (huskily): ‘Allo. I find myself inexplicibly drawn to you. I feel we could make amazing brews together.
….and scene. Only problem is that just like movie magic, there are frequent copycats that just don’t have the verve and je ne sais qua of the original. I’ve had varied luck with the different Earl Grey de la Cremes out there on the market.
Luckily, Distinctly Tea has got a pretty good version of this classic couple. The black tea base of ceylon and assam is sturdy and the flavoring agents blend beautifuly. The vanilla is creamy, and the bergamot avoids the trap of tasting like perfume. Highly scented, highly flavorful. Lovely tea. I reccomend it.
You can purchase the Earl Grey de la Crème directly from the Distinctly Tea website.
Tea Company: SpecialTea Brew (website)
Ingredients: Black Tea, Flavor and Vanilla Pieces
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not listed
The leaves are rich black with a sweet waft of vanilla.
Three minute infusion…first sip…ummm…the black base is not what I was expecting. It leaves me wanting a more robust black tea in its place. The vanilla while it had a sweet smell is not sweet on my tongue, the taste is unnatural. This tea does not take milk well. It is too mild for any additions.
I had high hopes for this tea, vanilla notes in a black tea. I pictured creaminess and robustness. What I got was a cup of tea that is ok to drink IF you have absolutely no other tea choices. The black base is mediocre. The vanilla flavoring will leave you wanting something else to drink.
You can purchase the Vanilla Bean directly from the SpecialTea Brew website.
Tea Company: 52teas (website)
Ingredients: Honeybush, organic cacao nibs, freeze-dried strawberries, organic vanilla bean pieces and natural flavors
Vendor Suggested Preparation: One teaspoon per 8oz cup. Steep 4-10 min in boiling water.
The dry smell is just like ice cream. How can this be? Let me assure you that this is the most delicious tea. I don’t know how Frank does it; he just seems to have a way with honeybush that leaves me coming back for more.
All three flavor profiles are present. The strawberry is represented by dried strawberry bits that impart the juiciness of a fresh picked ripe strawberry. The vanilla bean gives this blend the creamy aspect of ice cream. The chocolate was the most surprising to me, it is subtle, and a delicate cocoa that rounds out this threesome perfectly. Since my honeybush order arrived, I have had a hard time choosing other teas. I drink some kind of honeybush from 52 Teas most every night. Honeybush is sweeter and less woodsy in taste than rooibos and it is naturally caffeine free. Enjoy.
You can purchase the Neapolitan Honeybush directly from the 52teas website.