Sunday, March 25, 2012

Handmade Tea Balché

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: dark, curled and twisted
Ingredients: Yunnan black tea, cacao nibs, cinnamon and guajillo chili peppers
Steep time: 4 minutes
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker
Liquor: deep reddish brown

I've been impressed by every shipment that I've received from Handmade Teas but March's offering terrified me. Chili peppers in tea? I am a very picky eater and I do not usually like anything much hotter than cinnamon or a tiny bit of garlic. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the peppers used in this blend were more fruity and sweet than they were flame inducing. The cacao and cinnamon added a decadent richness that helped balance the little bit of kick that was there in the finish of each sip. Yunnan is probably one of the few teas that could stand up to such a strong, complex mix so it was an excellent choice. It's smokiness was a perfect compliment to the other ingredients. If you haven't already subscribed to Handmade Teas then I definitely suggest that you do. You would be hard pressed to find tea blends that are as unique and well thought out.

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