Friday, March 14, 2008
Candy Bar Tea tasting
Back in January, I wrote about discovering the book "The Ultimate Tea Diet" whose author, Mark Ukra, runs the Tea Garden and Herbal Emporium in West Hollywood. His book mentioned his Candy Bar Tea blend, with real chocolate right in the mix, and I said I'd like to try it but found it a bit pricey - $12.50 for a small 2.5 ounce tin, plus $6.50 for shipping.
To my surprise, Anne in California, who had read the blog post, had tried the tea, didn't think it was that great, and offered to send me her nearly-new tin of Candy Bar Tea if I still wanted to try it. I was delighted! (Tea friends are generous of heart and spirit, I have found.) Anyway, while I waited for the tea to arrive, I was curious whether I'd agree with Anne's assessment. And you know what? I did. The tea LOOKS good with those little bits of chocolate and caramel rolling around, but once I made a cup, it wasn't nearly as flavorful as I'd expected. So, Anne pretty much saved me $19, because I'm sure I would have caved and ordered some eventually. (Although from a tea tin collector's point of view, I should mention that I really like their tea tins, with the inner seal and the TG logo on top of the tin, so Anne's sweet gift will last long after the tea is gone.)
But a funny thing happened on the way to this blog post. A few weeks ago, when I bought the latest tea press (the two-cup-size pink one), I had it at the office one afternoon and decided to try some of the Candy Bar Tea again. I used two teaspoons of tea, and this time the flavor was much more pronounced, which surprised me. I've never really noticed a difference in a tea's taste from when I made one cup versus two or more, but this time, the difference was very noticeable. Is that a fluke? Anyone else experienced this? It definitely gave me something to think about. Next time I try a new tea I think is a little on the weak side, I may try a larger batch and see how that affects the flavor. (And again, special thanks to Anne for making this testing possible.)