Friday, January 19, 2007

#20: Chocolate in Tea. . . Why Not?

Pictured are Mocha Pu-erh Truffle, Mayan Chocolate Truffle and Masala Chocolate Truffle loose teas.

I was curious when I saw Truffle Teas listed as #20 on Food & Wine's 100 Tastes to Try in 2007. It is described as "A healthy new way to kill a chocolate craving." I have never really tasted truffles (the fungi) but I figured they must be good since they are an expensive food item. I assumed that since these teas were "truffle" teas, that they would be made with truffle shavings. The chocolate must be similar to what a truffle tastes like. But I got it all wrong.

The "truffle" teas are named so because they are made with flavor combinations similar to chocolate truffle candies. And I LOVE candy truffles. I recently tasted truffle flavored ice cream made by Vosges Haut-Chocolat. And now I get to enjoy truffle flavors in my tea. Mocha Pu-Erh Truffle by Mighty Leaf is one of the most popular truffle teas.

As for the flavor of these teas, I love the two that I have tried so far. Mocha Pu-Erh Truffle reminds me of a tea that would be served at a spa. Just smelling it makes me think of being wrapped up in one of those fluffy spa robes while sitting in the quite lounge before going in for a facial or fabulous spa treatment. The decaffeinated Mayan Chocolate Truffle looks and smells more like potpourri than any tea I have seen before and seems more fruity than chocolaty. The Mighty Leaf website gives excellent descriptions of their products:

Chocolate Chip Truffle: Deep dark chocolate chunks mingle with rich black tea leaves in this decadent infusion.

Chocolate Orange Truffle: Combines Madagascar vanilla, chocolate cacao nibs and orange peels blend with Ceylon and China black tea leaves to impart a full, deep chocolate citrus tea.

Mocha Pu-Erh Truffle: Combines handcrafted small golden leaf buds to make this a rare and full-bodied tea from the Yunnan Province. It is one of the most difficult of the Pu-erh teas to produce. In the cup the tea is a deep amber color with a rich, smooth and savory flavor with a hint of cocoa, accented by additional cacao nibs and then balanced by the clean, sharp notes of citrus.

Chocolate Mint Truffle: An intoxicating blend of chocolate cacao nibs, mint and rooibos leaves.

Masala Chocolate Truffle: Creamy chocolate notes are accompanied by zesty cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves in this chai-like herbal infusion.

Mayan Chocolate Truffle: Chocolate chips mingle with chunks of chili and red pepper, and bits of apple and strawberry in this hearty stimulating herbal infusion with a sweet finish.

I purchased the Au Chocolat sampler for $36.95 which contains six mini tins of Mighty Leaf's Truffle Teas: Chocolate Chip Truffle, Chocolate Orange Truffle, Mocha Pu-Erh Truffle, Chocolate Mint Truffle, Masala Chocolate Truffle, and Mayan Chocolate Truffle. Three of these are decaffeinated teas.

Mighty Leaf Truffle Teas
The sampler not only contains the teas, but also a tea strainer and several chocolate candies. I have had a hard time actually making the tea since I am use to tea bags. My first cup was too weak and my second cup was too strong. I am obviously having a problem finding the proper amount of dry leaves to use for brewing a single cup. But this weekend I plan to brew a pot of tea the old fashioned way.

So what about you guys? Have you ever had a "unique" tea? Before these chocolate teas I usually drank a variety of Asian, African or fruit teas.


cookingchat said...

interesting concept. But when it comes to truffles, I prefer the ones dug out of the ground! At a visit to a great restaurant, they had fresh truffle peelings that could be ordered to top dishes that were amazing! BTW, please do join us for Leftover Tuesdays if you're so inclined.

Kate said...

Yum! Did I miss that one? I need to get on it IMMEDIATELY

Basic rule of thumb when brewing tea with loose leaves is 1 tsp. per 8-oz cup. Black teas steep longer, herbal and green teas steep less. But the flavor of loose leaf over teabags is far superior, as i have found. Keep experimenting!

Chennette said...

oooh, chocolate tea! a way to get my hot chocolate drink fix that's light on the dairy...mmm...must find a way to get this!

rachel said...

I just bought myself a new teapot. I only had the ones that go on the stove and needed to get on to brew my tea in the ceramic pot. It's so cute because the one I got has a nice little insulated cozy you can put over it to keep the tea warm for a long time. That's perfect for me since sometimes I make it and then forget about it while I do something else when it's brewing and it's cold by the time I come back. This way, I can brew in the teapot and always have a warm cup.