I am taking a wee break from work to enjoy Mardi Gras cookies – delightfully almond flavored and sweet – and a hot cuppa. This new-to-me caramel struck my fancy, and I am delighted with the pairing.
You might think sweet with sweet wouldn’t be awesome together, but this black tea from Kusmi is from China, lacking the lemon/citrus notes one gets from most Ceylon tea and the caramel is not overly sweet but instead is almost a burnt caramel. Honestly, if I hadn’t prepared this myself and someone had told me it was a tea from China with natural caramel notes, I would have believed them.
Put together, it makes for a wonderful tea to pair with sweets or to drink on its own. As usual, I have added no milk or sugar and it is smooth and delicious, but I would say that this tea would handle milk and sugar VERY well for those who prefer additions.
I have the muslin tea sachets, and I have steeped twice and literally forgot I was drinking a second steep. There is no sourness, but a mere hint of briskness and the flavor of the black tea is lingering. I think this would make an excellent breakfast for folks like me who are not looking for a big brown boot of a builder’s tea to kick start them in the mornings. This has all the strength I need for a day starter or an afternoon refreshment.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Kusmi
With its delicious aroma, this black tea from China flavoured with caramel is the perfect drink to enjoy a quiet moment. It goes wonderfully with pastries.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Full Leaf Tea Company
This black tea blend steeps to a rich caramel color with subtle hints of apple to the taste.
The tea in Full-Leaf is a mix of marigolds, apple bits, caramel bits, and almond chips
Country of Origin: India
Learn more about this tea here.
I love discovering new companies and new tea company owners that really care about what their customers think. Matt@ Full Leaf Tea Company is just that kind of owner. He cares about what his customers think and really takes the time and care to listen. When I come across that kind of a company, I tend to keep going back. On top of the awesome customer service you reciceve, there is also an amazing selection of teas to try. And I have tried several.
Recently I had their Caramel Apple and Almond Black Tea. I couldn’t wait to try this one. Threw some tea leaves into my Breville One Touch and set this up with the black tea setting (212F-3 min). The dry leaves had a slight almond like aroma with hints of a sweetness. Didn’t exactly smell like caramel or apple but you can tell there was something there. You could actually see the caramel bits, apple bits, and the almond chips right in the blend. You have to love that!
Poured myself and Jason (my boyfriend) a cup. Brewed up hot, this had a very pu erh flavor and smell. The tea was very earthy and I couldn’t taste any of the caramel, apple, or almond. We both thought this tasted like a pu erh blend so much that I actually emailed Matt and asked him if pu erh was in the black base tea. He said there wasn’t. I was a bit confused by this.
Typically when I don’t like a tea brewed hot, I will enjoy it cold brewed. Threw some leaves in my cold brew bottle and let it steep overnight. In the morning I had a fantastic blend of sweet and earthy caramel apple tea. The earthy flavor was still there but the flavor blended so well with the sweet caramel apple. I didn’t taste the almond but I have a feeling the almond was more subtle and aiding in the rich earthy flavor.
I think I just need to go back and play with the steeping parameters on this tea. I have a feeling that the 3 min steep was too long and maybe should go with a 2 min steep when trying to brew this up hot. I also want to try and steep this up in my glass tea pot instead of the Breville. This is a tea that just needs a bit of experimenting to bring out all of those lovely flavors and I am up for the task. Just need to get some more.