Thursday, October 02, 2008

Roses et Chocolat Perfumed Tea

A few days ago I posted about the promise of Roses et Chocolat tea for Sunday. Well, it did come true and even exceeded my expectations of how wildly beautiful it will be.

The pleasure of sipping a roses and chocolate perfumed tea was heightened with the visual, tactile and flavourful presentation Dawna has welcomed me with yesterday, for our official perfumed tea launching ceremony. We always get together for a private little tea party when I pick up the tea, so that I can have the full experience of what Dawna has intended it to be.

Roses et Chocolat perfumed tea is our first black tea in the perfumed tea series, and Dawna has selected Fu Hao and Rose Congou black teas (both from China) for their rich, dark, almost-chocolatey qualities. The tea gives an earthy-floral backdrop to the sensational marriage of cacao and rose petals - both organically grown and very fragrant. A touch of aniseed gives a hint of spiciness without really ever being noticeable or recognizable as aniseed; and finally there is vanilla bean, which Dawna says was the one ingredient that really made it all come together. Much like the amber accord in my Roses et Chocolat, which prevents it from being muddy, heavy and dense.

The chocolate notes are rich and earthy, and the rose petals are fruity and complex, so beautiful it's hard to believe they are dry and not fresh. Although this is the kind of tea that lends itself well to milk-and-sugar (Royal Milk anyone???), I find it best served as is, dark and unsweetend. If sweetness is desired, a square of chocolate might be a good balance or Rahat Loukum (and if you cannot get beyond the stickiness of this candy, try the rose pastilles, which are the little white balls pictured above). I most enjoyed it witht he dark chocolate - a 67% from Thomas Haas in North Vancouver - described by it's maker as floral, and by myself and simply fabulous - not too bitter and creamy without the overwhelming-sweetness of milk chocolate).

Alternatively, serve it with rosewater-flavoured semolina cake (aka Harissa or Basboosa), which is what I did for dessert in my Rosh HaShana dinner, and it was fabulous.

Roses et Chocolate Perfumed Tea - Ingredient List:
Special Grade Premium Fu Hao Black Tea (China)
Premium Rose Congou Black Tea (China)
Raw Cacao Nibs, certified organic (Peru)
Damask Rose Petals, certified organic (France)
Vanilla Pod, certified organic (Madagascar)
Anise Seed, certified organic (Turkey)

To Prepare:
Bring water to a boil.
Temper your tea pot (by rinsing it with boiling water).
Steep 1 teaspoon of tea blend for every cup of tea - between 2-3 minutes depending on how dark you like your tea.
Serve hot, accompanied by dark chocolate or rosewater flavoured sweets (i.e.: semolina cake, baklawa, rahat loukum, rose pastilles).
Can be also served with milk and/or sugar if desired (in which case we recommend steeping for 3 minutes).

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