Tuesday Tea - Strawberry Cream Cacao Tea - Herbal Infusions

Tea Review: Strawberry Cream Cacao Tea - Herbal Infusions

Tea Description

A fresh and creamy blend of juicy, plump strawberries and vanilla with the goodness of cacao!

Experience the rich, velvety aroma and taste of premium dark chocolate without the calories, caffeine, or fat!  Cacao tea (aka Chocolate Tea) contains hundreds of natural compounds including theobromine (aids in focus and concentration) and antioxidants. 

Other Information

Leaf Type: Herbal

Where to Purchase: Herbal Infusions

Suggested Brewing Tips

Serving Size: 1-2 teaspoons per 8 ounces

Water Temp:  212°F

Steep Time: 3 - 5 minutes

To make cacao milk tea use 1 - 2 teaspoons per 4 ounces of water, steep for 5 minutes, then top with 4 ounces of whole milk. Before serving finish off with several tablespoons of sugar.


I've always been a chocoholic, but lately my love of all things chocolate hasn't been doing me any favors, I knew I had to give it up. Then I discovered chocolate tea was in fact a thing, so instead I decided to travel down the road of moderation and immediately rushed out to try chocolate teas from half a dozen different vendors. I wanted to find a way to indulge in my love of chocolate without increasing my waistline.

I should have known it was too good to be true.

Most of the chocolate teas I sampled tasted terrible, they were either watery and flavorless or artificial and chemical-like. I wasn't a fan. Then someone introduced me to cacao tea. It had some of the chocolate flavor I was looking for, without the sugar and calories. I wasn't immediately sold on the idea of it as a chocolate replacement, it lacked the creaminess of milk chocolate and the depth of dark chocolate, but it was a start. 

I began the hunt for local vendors and instead discovered a company in Canada selling different flavors of cacao tea— Vanilla, Mint, and Strawberry Cream. I knew they had to be included in my annual Black Friday buying binge, so I snapped up a sample of each (as well as a few other teas) and waited for them to arrive. Then I kept waiting. I emailed the company several times and got no reply. Six weeks later my order finally showed up, some of the items were missing, and still I got no reply from the company. Customer service at Herbal Infusions is really lacking, especially during the holiday season, which is a shame because many of their blends are delicious.

It's still summertime (although just barely) so the combination of strawberry, vanilla, and cacao really hit the spot. The vanilla gave the tea some of the creaminess I that was missing from the original cacao tea that I sampled and mixing it with equal parts of whole milk only made it that much better. The sweetness from the strawberry was just enough that I didn't find myself missing the sugar I opted to leave out, although I did try several cups of it sweetened. I will say that unlike the photo on the website, there were no chunks of strawberry in my sample and the strawberry flavor was rather light, but I felt like it was just enough so that it was present, but didn't overshadow the cacao. Overall, it's an interesting blend and it makes an especially tasty latte, but isn't something I'd drink every day.

My Rating: 70/100

Would I order this again? Probably not. I didn't find this lacking for anything, but it also isn't something you'd find me reaching for frequently.


Beginner's Guide to Drinking Tea: Types of Tea (part 2 of 3)

Getting started with tea can be intimidating, aren't you lucky to have a three part beginner's guide to help you along your journey? Today we're going to continue on with an introduction to the different types of tea. If you missed Part 1: Why Switch?, you can check it out here.


Pictured from Left to Right: Keemun Black, Gunpowder Green, Wuyi Oolong, Bai Mu Dan White, Golden Buds Shu Pu-erh.

If you are like many of the people in America when someone says tea you automatically associate it with the little yellow bags of Lipton that your mother used to make iced tea during the summer, or perhaps even sun tea if your mother was anything like mine. Then again, some of you may also associate it with being ill. How many of you had parent who would bring you a cup of hot tea with lemon or honey to ease a sore throat, or peppermint to sooth an upset stomach? That was how my tea journey began, iced sun tea during the hot Midwestern summers and hot tea with honey when I was sick. It ended up being soothing and always what I needed, which cemented my love for it at a young age.

For many people when you mention tea they associate it with the garden variety bagged tea, such as Lipton, that can be purchased at any local grocer or convenience store. The world of tea is much larger than that, it's an incredibly versatile beverage with many different varieties available. I believe that it is possible for everyone to eventually find one that they enjoy, but figuring out where to begin can be difficult, so let's start out with the very basics.

What exactly is tea?

Tea comes in many forms, but for the most part they can be broken down into two main categories, those coming from the plant Camellia sinensis which I will be referring to as tea in this article, and those which come from other plants which I will be referring to as tisanes. The category of tisanes is a catch-all for everything that doesn't originate from Camellia sinensis and includes herbal teas such as peppermint or chamomile as well as Yerba Maté and Rooibos, which are popular enough to deserve their own category.

Lets take a look at the five main types of tea that come from the Camellia sinensis plant.


The most common variety of tea available is black tea, also referred to as red tea in parts of the world. Most of it is manufactured using the Crush, Tear, Curl (CTC) method where the leaves withered for a period of time, passed through a machine which will crush, tear, and curl the leaves before they are left to oxidize in a controlled environment. They are then dried to halt the oxidation process and graded according to their size. The smallest leaves left over from the CTC process, referred to as dust and fannings, are commonly used in tea bags because their small size ensure they produce a quick steeping, yet dark brew. 

If you have heard of Dian Hong, Keemun, or Lapsang Souchong, then you are already familiar with several types of black tea.


While Black tea may be the most common variety of tea available, green tea is the one which has the most notoriety in the West, due largely in part to its purported health benefits. Like Black tea it originates from the Camellia sinensis plant, but does not go through the oxidation process. Instead it is heated as soon as it is picked, preventing it from withering and allowing it to retain its mellow, sometimes grassy flavor. It is most commonly exported by China although there are a number of varieties exported from Japan. 

Sencha, Matcha, Gyokuro, and Genmaicha are examples of green teas you may have seen available.


Taiwan and China typically cultivate this variety of tea. It is a partially oxidized tea, which is withered then hand rolled, before the oxidation process is stopped by pan firing or roasting the leaves. The oxidation levels vary greatly among oolong teas ranging from lightly oxidized to dark roasted, creating a very wide variety of flavors.

Tie Kuan Yin (Iron Goddess), Da Hong Pao (Red Robe), Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty), and Jin Xuan (Milk Oolong) are several examples of varieties you may have heard about.


It is very possible that you have never heard of white tea as it is more rare than other varieties. It is made from new leaves or buds which are carefully harvested. It then goes through the minimal amount of processing and oxidation before being dried. Often times the leaves retain some its downy fuzz which give them a unique appearance. They also differ from other teas in flavor as they are the most delicate tasting teas. I find that oftentimes the delicate flavors of these teas are more difficult for new tea drinkers to appreciate, but don't rule them out entirely, because these wonderful teas should not be missed.

Bai Mu Dan (White Peony), Silver Needle and Shou Mei are examples of white teas you may have heard of.


This category of tea, which is commonly mistaken for black tea due to its dark color, is perhaps the most complex of the teas coming the Camellia sinensis plant. It can be further broken down into two sub categories. Shu, or ripened Pu-erh, which is heated to prevent oxidation and has a slightly sweet flavor. Sheng, or raw Pu-erh is slow to oxidize and has a strong earthy flavor. 

Both types of tea have very complex flavors which vary widely depending on processing conditions. After processing most pu-erh is pressed into cakes or bricks, however some of it is sold loose. Properly store pu-erh can be kept for years and the flavors change dramatically as it ages, making it highly collectible.

This is a very bare bones summary of Pu'erh, as I mentioned earlier it is a very complex tea and I could dedicate a whole series to it. If you are interested in reading more I suggest starting with the Wikipedia article as it contains very in-depth information.

Then of course we have herbal tisanes and their sub-categories


This category makes up any non-caffeinated tisane made from dried plant material. These are often consumed for their medicinal benefits. 

Common varieties of herbal teas include peppermint and ginger (commonly used for stomach upset and digestion issues), chamomile and valerian (used as a sleep aide) and horehound (used for soothing sore throats.)

Women who are pregnant and anyone taking prescription medication need to take great care when consuming herbal tisanes as some contain ingredients that are not considered safe during pregnancy or when combined with other drugs. My doctor was able to provide me a list of what was not considered safe and I used herbal teas throughout my pregnancy to relieve some of my discomfort. Peppermint tea was a life saver!

Yerba Maté

The South American plant that Yerba Maté is derived from, Ilex paraguariensis, is a member of the holly family. The leaves and twigs are harvested then dried over a wood fire, which imparts a somewhat smoky flavor to the leaves. It is steeped in hot water and served in a hollow gourd with a metal straw.


Aspalathus linearis, a member of the gourd family, is grown in the Western Cape province of South Africa and is also referred to as red bush tea. The leaves are processed using two methods, oxidized (red rooibos) which gives it its distinctive dark redish-brown color and deep woody flavor, and unoxidized (green rooibos) which produces a lighter somewhat grassy flavor.

Rooibos is caffeine free and has a wide variety of traditional medicinal uses. It is renowned for its its anti-inflammatory capabilities, ability to provide relief from colic, as well as a whole host of other ailments.

There are of course other types of tea not on my list, but we're only going to cover the basics today. Check back next week for the third part of the beginner's guide to drinking tea. We'll be talking about what, if any, gadgets are necessary to brew yourself a perfect cup and where you can purchase tea online.

This is a three part series, follow the links below for parts one and three.

Beginner's Guide to Drinking Tea: Why Switch? (part 1 of 3)

Beginner's Guide to Drinking Tea: What Do You Need to Brew Your Perfect Cup of Tea? (part 3 of 3)


19 Lessons on Tea: Become an Expert on Buying, Brewing, and Drinking the Best Tea. 27Press, 2012. E-book.

Gascoyne, Kevin, Francois Marchand, and Jasmin Desharnais. Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties. Firefly Books, 2011. Print.

Zak, Victoria. 20,000 Secrets of Tea: The Most Effective Ways to Benefit from Nature's Healing Herbs. Dell, 1999. E-book.