It's been rather cold here lately, especially since our heat pump is broken, and I am longing for summer. Nothing says summer like a big bowl of peaches and ice cream, so I thought perhaps I would brew up a nice hot version of that to warm me up.
I took a nice vanilla bean black tea and mixed it together with a nice rooibos peach, then brewed it with a teaspoon of rock sugar. Then I divided it into three cups, unsure of the best way to achieve the cream part of peaches and cream.
In the first cup, I added nothing, to see if the vanilla flavor would shine through and add a little creaminess.
In the second cup, I added just a splash of milk.
In the third cup, I added Coffeemate, less than a teaspoon's worth. I know, the scandal of using Coffeemate. But I didn't have soy or other dairy alternatives available, and sometimes milk does funny things with fruit teas.
The results: I liked the plain version a lot. It was very subtle, and not as peachy as I expected with two parts peach to one part vanilla. I think if I make it again, I'll add even more peach. The great thing about rooibos is that it's not really tea, so it never gets bitter.
The Coffeemate version was also delicious, if you were looking for something really sweet. It came the closest to achieving the bowl of ice cream effect, but it still was not as peaches and creamy as I would have liked.
The milk version tasted awful, and reminded me why I never put milk in fruity teas.
I would love to try this with vanilla soy milk, and am going to try to remember to pick some up at the store next time I go.
Yesterday on Tastespotting, I read about Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate. I was intrigued and bookmarked it for later, forgetting about it for the time being. I did not remember it until later, when I was standing in front of my tea cabinet searching for experiment inspiration. I remembered that the recipe called for powdered candy cane, and that we had a whole box of candy canes in the pantry! I rubbed my hands together with glee...ok, that part isn't quite true. But I was quite excited about this experiment.
I put a candy cane into a Ziploc baggie, and used the meat pounder to smash it to bits. Quite fun. I added about a teaspoon to my Ingenuitea along with a teaspoon of Irish Breakfast. In anticipation, I watched the timer count down. And then took my first sip as soon as it wasn't scolding hot.
Pure Irish Breakfast.
So I added more crushed candy cane, until I had maybe two teaspoons total. I managed to get a hint of peppermint flavor, but the Irish Breakfast was too strong. As much as I love the tea "a mouse can trot on," I wanted it to taste a little different for the sake of experimentation. So I added a teaspoon or so of dark cocoa powder. It did make it taste a little like hot chocolate. But it was not quite what I was looking for.
Well. I have to admit to having failed on this one. No matter how many different ways I tried, I just could not bring myself to drink 3-6 cups of "Get Gorgeous" tea per day. It was difficult to get through just one, that I usually ended up chugging to get it over with as soon as possible. One cup was not enough to create an effect. Perhaps if I had been able to drink the recommended amount, it would have made a different, but it was too much like taking medicine for me. I prefer to enjoy my tea.
So, I am beginning a new experiment. I have always struggled with my skin, and nothing has ever really worked for me, even when I went to a dermatologist. I've noticed that white tea makes a bit of a difference. Since it's high in antioxidants, and rooibos is even higher, I thought perhaps Republic of Tea's "Get Gorgeous" tisane for skin would make a difference.
The tisane contains rooibos, orange peel, hibiscus flowers, chamomile flowers, red clover flower, chaste berries, burdock roote and "natural pomegranate flavor," and the instructions recommend drinking 3-4 cups on a daily basis. I'm starting a bit late tonight, but I am going to discuss my results on this blog.
Republic of Tea begins the description with "Let's get one thing clear." Clever slogan. But does the tea live up to it's reputation?
Well, the only question we can answer today is that of flavor. First of all, it is extremely fruity. Hibiscus and berries are definitely the dominant flavors. Derek (the boyfriend) says "Well, better fruity than flowery." I guess that depends on your point of view. If you were a more flowery person, this might not be your flavor. My guess is that this would make a better iced tea than hot, which perhaps will be attempted tomorrow. Rooibos is a pretty neutral flavor, and non-existent in this tisane. The chamomile flavor is quite mild as well.
Non-skin advantages: naturally caffeine free, meaning it can be enjoyed all day; packed with antioxidants which are good anyways; and it can count towards your fluid intake.*
*The FDA's recommendations for eight eight ounce glasses of water per day have been adapted to include any caffeine-free clear liquid.