Monday, October 26, 2009

Black Tea with Caramel Syrup

I'm still busy, so I still have to make short posts. I've made some wonderfully good stuff, but I have pretty much no time to talk about it. Let me talk about something I've been making a lot of that's quick and easy, though... something to get you through hard-workin' times when you've just had enough coffee: tea. According to my friend JB, who is Chinese and quite knowledgable, black tea is good in the fall to help the body warm up and adjust to the seasons, yet another reason to enjoy a couple or three cups of it a day as the leaves fall and the weather cools.
I drink a fair amount of tea, but it's sort of a seasonal thing. I'm also a tea snob (much like I'm a coffee snob). I recommend loose leaf, good quality tea, which can be a bit hard to find. A decent brand you might consider is Adagio. I usually try to stay away from tea bags (filled with "floor sweepings"), but if you're into that kind of thing, Newman's Own "Royal Tea" isn't terribly bad (and is pretty good for the price and being organic). They are quicker and easier, and we usually have them on hand (for the kids or making kombucha), so they get used quite often when I'm in a hurry. They also make a more "proper" British cup since I've noticed that many Brits seem to prefer "crap tea," a term courtesy of a dear Scottish friend of mine. My high-falutin' Assam from a single estate that I served him once was "nice, but a little too uppity" for him, which is really saying something if you know this guy.

The secret of my success in making a super-delicious, perfectly enjoyable cup of black tea around this time of the year is to flavor it a little: a splash of half and half, a half tablespoon of turbinado (hippy sugar) (I make my tea in 12oz. mugs), and a dash of Rieme caramel syrup: "for flavoring coffee." The trick is to use just a dash of the stuff, otherwise it becomes rapidly cloying and almost irritating, more like candy than a pleasant beverage. These, though, are definitely the best flavored syrups I've come across. Most, in fact, are pretty bad in my opinion, and this stuff is fantastic.

By the way, this stuff is fantastic in coffee too, so if you can get some, then you should.

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