Tea & Chocolate
9 Nov 2006

When you think chocolate, the tea isn't the first thing that will likely pop into your mind. Recent trends in chocolatiering might be changing that with tea-infused chocolate truffles and bars but I'm betting when you think about sitting down for a cup of tea, your mind wanders to floral and fruity rather than bittersweet. But the flavor combination of dark chocolate and a bright, crisp black or green tea is perfect for those times when a cup of cocoa or a mocha just sound too rich or too sweet. In addition, both tea and chocolate are antioxidants and do your body some good. The easiest thing to do is simply buy the tea already infused. Adagio Teas offers a beautiful looking (I haven't tried it) Ceylon black loose leaf tea with dark chocolate and you can even get chocolate tea on Amazon. However, making your own chocolate tea couldn't be simpler or more tasty. You should start with cocoa nibs rather than chocolate or cocoa powder. Nibs are roasted cacao beans that have been crushed up, but not yet separated into cocoa fat and solids. They are easier to work with for the infusion... using cocoa powder is likely to leave you with lumpy tea. For one cup of tea, you need about 1 teaspoon of nibs added to your tea. (If you only have cocoa powder, start with unsweetened cocoa and whisk the powder into a small amount of hot water before adding it to the tea to make a wet paste.) Add very hot water (160-175F) to the loose tea and nibs and let rest for about 2 minutes. Then, strain the tea. You can drink it as is, or better yet, if you have a steamer attachment on an espresso machine, give the tea a quick steam. This will add air to the tea giving it a frothy texture because of the oils released by the nibs, and enhance the flavor. The tea will almost look like you've added milk to it, and the texture will be velvety. You can make the whole cup a bit richer by adding a touch of milk and sugar or honey before steaming... but don't add too much, or you'll miss out on the delicate chocolate flavors. Also published on A Nice Cuppa.

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(In case you were wondering, I am an Amazon affiliate, and purchases from links in this post to Amazon may earn me a nickel or two... so thanks!).

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