Tuesday Tea – Roasted Chestnut

This post should have been written during the holidays because that’s exactly what the tea I’m going to share tastes like, the holidays! So, forgive the hecticness of said season and the tardiness of today’s Tuesday Tea. The good thing is that it’s never too late to enjoy a cup of Roasted Chestnut from Ohio Tea Co.

I discovered this tea about two years ago, and it became a staple in the Gibson household. I recently introduced my husband to Roasted Chestnut to help with his efforts to wean himself off copious amounts of coffee. It is now his favorite go-to tea, and while I prefer to drink it black, he loves to put cream and a little raw sugar in his. Either way, this tea is dessert in a cup without being overbearing.

I believe that last detail is another reason why we’ve fallen in love with Roasted Chestnut. The rich flavor is natural on the tongue instead of sickeningly artificial. Drinking it is so satisfying that it keeps us from nibbling sugary sweets high in fat and calories. Furthermore, it’s perfect with a meal or on its own.

The aroma of this “premium Ceylon black tea flavored with roasted chestnuts” wafts out of the packet upon opening and instantly puts one in mind of caramels with nuts and butterscotch candies. Roasted Chestnut brews up a beautiful, deep mahogany red at 212° F for 4 – 5 minutes, and the taste is beyond compare. Neither flavor nor scent diminish throughout the drinking experience.

If you aren’t already familiar with Roasted Chestnut, indulge yourself today by heading over to Ohio Tea Co. to purchase some. Touring their shop is great fun (you can preview the scent of the teas and shop all the great tea paraphernalia), but if travel isn’t an option, don’t despair. The Ohio Tea Co. website provides an amazing shopping experience with detailed descriptions of the tea as well as reviews to assist with your selection.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve had Roasted Chestnut, and if so, how you prefer it: black or with cream and sugar.

Tuesday Tea – London Fog

This month’s Tuesday Tea features London Fog. “But that’s ice cream in the picture,” you say. Why, yes, Observant Reader, it is, and it is no less delicious just because it comes in a cone instead of a cup.

Shout out to Therapy Ice Cream & Coffee Bar in Akron, Ohio, for featuring some of the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted. They purchase their flavors from Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, an award-winning company out of Madison, Wisconsin. If you’ve never enjoyed Chocolate Shoppe’s works of art, you’re in for a real treat. Their single flavors and flavor combinations are a huge cut above what I’ve previously encountered at ice cream shops, and you’ll find yourself wanting to indulge in all of them again and again.

I recommend starting with London Fog. This is the first time I’ve seen a tea other than green tea featured as a flavor. Of course, Earl Grey’s signature bergamot appears in the ice cream, but while it’s present, the pungent citrus is mellowed by the addition of vanilla and lavender much the same as in the hot beverage, London Fog.

If you’re skeptical of lavender, because it is a highly aromatic and almost camphorous herb, you’ll be pleased to know that it isn’t too flavor-forward. And the vanilla, which is unfortunately often thought of as plain, isn’t lost in the combination. Rather, all three are well blended, so each cool, creamy lick of London Fog ice cream is equally satisfying.

There was something incredibly fun and slightly scandalous in getting to eat my tea from a cone instead of delicately sipping it from a cup. I imagine London Fog is the sort of flavor a young Queen Elizabeth II would have enjoyed. I’ve already been for several servings of London Fog, but I think I need some more Therapy and soon!

Tuesday Tea – Philosopher

Every writer has a favorite beverage he or she imbibes while working through the creative process. Some are famous for partaking of large quantities of their preferred poison. But whether you enjoy coffee, tea, wine, or a stronger spirit, I’m sure you would admit that you’re not at your best until a cup, mug, glass, or tumbler of your chosen libation is coursing through your veins.

For me, that magic elixir is a large cup of tea. I’ve become a fan of loose-leaf teas and purchased stainless steel tea balls in single cup size and teapot size. I’m always on the lookout for my next favorite tea, and Philosopher from Gnat and Bee is the latest winner.

I love black tea, and as a black tea blend, Philosopher instantly caught my eye. What drew me in was the description: dark and earthy with chaga mushrooms for pensive mornings or afternoons. Isn’t that perfectly charming! It’s as if it was made for writers who stare out the window, seeing nothing before their eyes but everything about the scene taking place in their mind.

The specific ingredients are Yunnan black tea, Assam black tea, chaga mushrooms, toasted barley, and black peppercorns. The teas, mushrooms, and peppercorns are certified organic, and the packaging is eco-friendly. What’s not to love?

Dry in the bag, the initial aroma is sweet and slightly woody. Don’t inhale too deeply or you’ll set off a round of sneezing from the black peppercorns, although they finish the fragrance with a pleasant zestiness. You won’t taste the peppercorns as much as you’ll experience them as warmth on the backend of your sip. It’s much the same as when you’ve eaten something with a spicy ingredient that you feel in your mouth instead of taste as an individual flavor.

And speaking of flavor, Philosopher tastes like the quintessential tea. It’s what tea is supposed to taste like. It is the pinnacle of teas as far as I’m concerned. I know that sounds vague, so let me see if I can expound upon that description.

It’s smooth and silky, rich and earthy, elegant and unpretentious on the palate. It evokes images a hawk flying on a cloudy day, the sun burning through fog, dew on the grass, and slipping into a warm, dry barn to escape a sudden shower.

Please do not be put off by the presence of the chaga mushrooms, toasted barley, or black peppercorns. If you do not care for any one of these, I promise you will not taste them individually. Gnat and Bee have created a balanced blend that works in perfect harmony.

Water should be hot but not boiling, and brew time is perfect at four minutes of steeping and one minute of swirling the tea ball around my mug. This is, of course, adjustable based on the size of your cup and desired strength. I prefer mine without cream or sugar because I want to taste the tea itself. If you try it with one or both, please let me know in the comments how that worked for you.

Once brewed, the aroma becomes mild tobacco and sweet leather, the color is deep mahogany.

I hope you try Philosopher by Gnat and Bee. Let me know in the comments how their marvelous tea influenced your own pensive morning or afternoon.

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