Tuesday Tea - Dark Chocolate Chai and Earl Grey de la Créme - Steeped Tea

About Steeped Tea

Several months ago I was contacted by Christa Jones, a consultant for Steeped Tea. I was unfamiliar with this Canada-based company so Christa urged me to take a peak at their seasonal brochure. I was absolutely fascinated by their offerings. Not only do they stock a full range of teas, but they also carry cute teaware, and edibles like Chocolate Chai Muffin Mix and Matcha Mousse. 

Steeped tea isn't your typical tea business. While they do offer ordering online, they're actually structured more like Mary Kay (makeup) or PartyLite (candles) and use direct sales to spread the word about their teas. The idea of a house party may not be for everyone, but it is a great way to share your love of tea with others. According to their website "this company began as a passionate search for the perfect cup of tea. Along the way we discovered that the secret was who you shared it with." Well Steeped Tea, I couldn't agree more.

ST_DarkChocolateChai.jpg

Dark Chocolate Chai

Tea Description:

Enjoy the taste of rich chocolate in this favorite chai blend.

Ingredients: Black Tea, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, white chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, milk ingredients, soya lecithin, vanilla extract), spices, natural flavors. Contains milk and soy.

Other Information:

Leaf Type: Chai/Black

Suggested Brewing Tips:

Serving Size: 1 teaspoon per 8oz serving

Water Temp: 212°F 

Steep Time: 3 - 5 minutes

Review:

The end of September is here and this morning there was a definite bite to the air when I woke up. It had me immediately reaching for a thick pair of socks to ward off the chill from our tile floor as I stumbled out of bed and towards the stove to make breakfast. Chilly weather calls for one thing and one thing only, a nice cup of hot tea. This morning it happened to be a dark chocolate chai from Steeped Tea.

I've had the opportunity to sample a lot of chai over the past few years, but this was one of the most disappointing I've come across in recent memory. Traditionally chai is prepared with milk and sugar, but I found that this chai didn't hold up well to traditional preparation methods. Instead of being greeted by the bright, bold flavors from the various spices this blend was incredibly flat and bland. Even after increasing the amount of loose leaf I used during my preparation (from 1 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon) I had difficulty tasting the spices. There was an add aftertaste present, perhaps from the chocolate, that seemed to stick with me and get strong the more I drank. In the end I dumped out several cups of this tea, some prepared with milk and others without. I've decided to fix something else to get me going this morning.

My Rating: 19/100

Would I order this again?No. This blend has a very odd aftertaste to it.

ST_EGC.jpg

Earl Grey de la Créme

Tea Description:

The tea that started it all! This Earl Grey blend is celebrated for its creamy taste.

Ingredients: Black tea, cornflower petals, natural flavors.

Other Information:

Leaf Type: Black (flavored)

Where to Purchase: 

Suggested Brewing Tips:

Serving Size: 1 teaspoon per 8oz serving

Water Temp: 208°F

Steep Time: 2-3 minutes

Review:

The truth is that I've rarely met an Earl Grey Créme tea that I didn't enjoy, which is why I decided to save this blend for last. The combinations of citrus and vanilla is pretty high up on my list of favorite flavor combinations, so much so that I've begun to experiment with the combination more in the kitchen. Eventually I'd like to try my hand at Earl Grey Créme Macaroons, but that is a project for when I have more time. First I have to learn how to make macaroons.

It's well established that Earl Grey Créme is my favorite tea and go-to blend when I don't want to put much thought into my selection, but that doesn't mean I don't put just as much thought into reviewing this type tea as I do others. It's fun to compare and contrast each new blend with my favorite. Earl Grey de la Créme from Steeped tea is very heavy on the vanilla, giving it a pleasantly sweet flavor (perfect for those of you like me who have a sweet tooth!) There is only a hint of citrusy bergamot that shines through. If I had one complaint about this blend it would be that it really needs a stronger base to balance everything out and tone down the sweetness. Without more of a contrast from the bergamot and base I think this blend is actually too sweet.

My Rating:75/100

Would I order this again? Probably not. Even though I enjoyed this tea there are many Earl Grey Cream teas are better quality and lower priced.

Disclosure

In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that Christa Jones a Steeped Tea consultant has provided me with tea for review. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Dark Chocolate M&M Nestlé Toll House Cookies

I've seen many chocolate chip cookie recipes claim to be the best you'll ever find, but honestly I don't think anything will ever compare to this classic recipe. It has been a favorite in households for over 75 years. Not many recipes can stand the test of time, but year after year this recipe continues to be a favorite in many households. 

It's Christmas Eve, which means I'll be spending all day in the kitchen starting the prep work for our holiday meal. The first thing I do every year is start with a batch of Toll House cookies so I have something to munch on as I cook. This is such a flexible recipe and I like to add my own personal twist to this classic, this year I decided on using dark chocolate chips and dark chocolate mint m&m candies. As you're doing your holiday baking, don't forget to whip up a batch of these and add your own twist to them. 

Tollhouse.jpg

Dark Chocolate M&M Tollhouse Cookies
makes approximately 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2¼ cups flour
½ package dark chocolate Nestlé morsels
½ package dark chocolate mint m&m candies

optional:

1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • In a mixing bowl cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Add vanilla and eggs, then mix until well incorporated.
  • Slowly add salt, baking soda, and flour, continue to mix until dough forms.  
  • Add ½ package dark chocolate Nestlé morsels and ½ package dark chocolate mint m&m candies to the dough.
  • Using a spoon or cookie scoop, form balls of dough and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Makes sure to leave plenty of space as these cookies tend to spread out.
  • Bake for 9 - 11 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Before transferring cookies to wire racks to cool, let stand for 2 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe Inspiration:

This classic recipe was developed by Ruth Wakefield, proprietor of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts. It's found on the back of every package of Nestlé morsels, although I've made a small change to it by incorporating dark chocolate chips and dark chocolate mint m&m candies.