Sunday, June 10, 2012

CHOCOLATE ICE TEA: NATIONAL ICE TEA DAY

I'm a tea drinker, so I support National Ice Tea Month (June) and National Iced Tea Day (June 10). Of course, since I'm always Dying for Chocolate, I love Chocolate Ice Tea.

Just an FYI: The following teas will not have the full bodied chocolate taste of an iced cocoa. They're more subtle, but definitely worth trying. They're essentially different types of teas infused with cacoa nibs or cocoa with some other ingredients. Some even use carob pods. You might prefer some of them more as hot teas. Experiment.

At the end of this post, I have a recipe for Chocolate Mint Tea... that's the herb Chocolate Mint that grows in the garden (it is not a chocolate plant!). Chocolate mint makes a lovely ice tea.

History of Ice Tea: The story goes that at the St. Louis World's Fair, Englishman Richard Blechynden was introducing Americans to the new India and Ceylon black tea.There was a heat wave at the time and lines were not forming to try his steamy hot beverage. After a few days of frustration, he tried adding ice to the tea in order to entice people in. It was the hit of the fair and a new way of drinking tea had instantly taken hold!

How to Brew Ice Tea:
To brew a quart, place either 4 to 5 bags or teaspoons of loose tea in a pitcher. Bring 2 cups of cold, tap water or filtered water to a boil. Pour the boiling water directly over the tea and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove tea bags or strain and then add 2 more cups of cold water. Serve over ice.

Sun Brewed Iced Tea
Fill a container with 4 cups of cold water, preferably filtered. Place 6 bags or 6 teaspoons of tea and cover or cap lightly. Place in direct sunlight for 2 to 4 hours (depending on desired strength). Remove bags or strain and serve over ice.

Cold Water Method
Fill a container with 4 cups of filtered cold water. Put 6 bags or 6 teaspoons of tea and cover or cap lightly. Place in refrigerator for 8 hours. Remove bags or strain and serve over ice.

There are so many Chocolate Teas available now, some with black tea, some with rooibos or other herbs. The following is a random list. Let me know your favorites, and, especially, if you like the teas better hot or cold!

Republic of Tea
Peppermint Cuppa Chocolate Tea Bags:  peppermint, rich chocolate and smooth, caffeine-free rooibos
Cocoanut Cocoa Cuppa Chocolate Tea Bags:  coconut, chocolate and caramel malted barley
Double Dark Chocolate Mate: roasted Yerba Maté blended with organic dark cocoa powder
Red Velvet Cuppa Chocolate Tea Bags: Rooibos blended with chocolate and beet root bits
Strawberry Cuppa Chocolate Tea Bags: chocolate paired with a hint of strawberry. Rooibos (red tea) provides the base.

Mighty Leaf Tea
Mayan Chocolate Truffle
Masala Chocolate Truffle
Chocolate Chip Truffle
Chocolate Mint Truffle Rooibos
Chocolate Orange Truffle
Mocha Truffle Pu-erh

Kalahari: Choco Latte: Red Tea Raspberry Truffle

Stash Tea: Chocolate Mint Wuyi Oolong Tea

Teavana: Haute Chocolate Rooibos Tea, Cacao Mint Black Tea

TeaFrog: Chocolate and Cream

Harney & Sons:   (one of my favorite sources for black tea): Chocolate tea

Tea Forte:  Coco Truffle
  
American Tea Room: Choco Late,  CocoLoco
  
Tea Guys:  Chocolate Delight

Here's a tea for the Spring & Summer, and yes, I do have Chocolate Mint growing in my  "Chocolate Garden."

CHOCOLATE MINT ICE TEA

4 cups fresh chocolate mint, chopped
16 cups water
1 cup local honey

Boil water, add chopped mint leaves and simmer in covered stockpot with tight-fitting lid for 10 mins.
Add honey, stirring until dissolved.
Remove from heat.
Cover and let steep 3-4 hours or longer.
Refrigerate overnight.
Strain before serving.

3 comments:

Rena and Denny said...

Trader Joe's used to make an herbal chocolate tea. I'm not sure if they still do. I stocked up with a bunch of it before I moved away. I'll have to make it iced sometime. :)

Baking Addict said...

I love ice tea especially lemon ice tea. I've never had chocolate ice tea - must try it!

yummychunklet said...

Ooh, chocolate tea. Sounds tasty!