Trudy Ann’s Assam Black Tea

Assam Black Tea by Trudy Ann’s
Black Tea / Straight
$13.99 for 100g

First Impressions

Assam Black Tea was a 2020 Vancouver Tea Festival purchase that I made earlier this month. I love nice strong black teas, and Assam is usually one that fits the bill. Assam Black Tea came in a sealed, resealable kraft pouch in a generous 100g weight.

There’s a strong malty aroma from the dry leaf, it has slightly earthy note to it. Assam Black Tea consists only of organic Assam black tea. Loving the malty aroma from it all though, since it has a nice earthy note to it and it makes it all the more inviting.

Preparation

Trudy Ann’s recommends steeping it in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Because Assam Black Tea is a black tea, I opted to steep in 100°C (212°F) water for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Assam Black Tea steeps to a beautiful golden orange. The aroma is mostly earthy. The tea itself has a strong, thicken mouthfeel to it. The flavour has a pleasantly bold mix of malty and earthy, almost some mineral qualities to it. It certainly does pack a bit of a punch to it though, with the strength of the flavours. There’s no bitterness noted with the 5 minute initial steep, I did find a mild astringency at the tail end of each sip.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Assam Black Tea three more times (four steeps total), adding an extra minute for each subsequent steep. I found that the flavour was fairly similar to the original steep, but got slightly weaker with each steep – but still flavourful by the third resteep!

My Overall Impression

I loved Trudy Ann’s Assam Black Tea. I really enjoyed the malty and earthy notes in this black tea. I think it was very pleasant plain, but would be pretty good with some cream and sugar as well. It makes for a nice morning tea because it’s so flavourful and is quite bold, so it’d be a nice punch of flavour to wake up to in the morning. I also loved that it resteeped quite well, so you get some more flavour out of the tea leaves.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Dessert by Deb’s Cherry Berry Coffee Cake

Cherry Berry Coffee Cake by Dessert by Deb
Black Tea / Flavoured
$16.00 for 75g

Cherry Berry Coffee Cake is an exclusive blend for Dessert by Deb subscription subscribers and is available for purchase by subscribers only at this time.

First Impressions

Cherry Berry Coffee Cake would probably not have been my first pick if I had a choice in tea blends because, if you’ve been reading for a while, I’m just not a fan of coffee and this blend has coffee listed as an ingredient! Cherry Berry Coffee Cake comes in a sealed, resealable foil pouch with a familiar coloured label on the front. This is an exclusive blend for subscribers, so keep that in mind if you decide that you want to purchase some!

The tea itself looks really pretty. It smells like cherries and black forest cake. I don’t really smell the coffee at all, which is quite nice! Cherry Berry Coffee Cake contains: black tea, cherries, elderberries, currants, raisins, hibiscus, cinnamon, maple, brown sugar, palm sugar, espresso beans, and safflower.

Preparation

Dessert by Deb recommends steeping Cherry Berry Coffee Cake in 200°F (93°C) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I opted to do an initial steep for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Cherry Berry Coffee Cake steeps to a lovely golden orange – which was a surprise for me. Usually when a blend contains hibiscus, I see something much more pink or berry red. The aroma of the blend is of cherries and chocolate, surprisingly. The taste is of cherries and chocolate as well, which continues to remind me of black forest cake. I do not smell or taste the coffee, which is nice since I’m not a big coffee fan at all. It’s quite sweet on its own, I think due to the maple, brown sugar, and palm sugar.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Cherry Berry Coffee Cake with an additional 30 seconds to the steep time and found that the flavour just wasn’t quite there. The cherry flavour wasn’t as strong as I would have liked.

My Overall Impression

I loved Dessert by Deb’s Cherry Berry Coffee Cake. I was quite apprehensive at first because I’m just not a fan of coffee, but I was pleasantly surprised at how lovely this blend tasted – and how much it reminded me of a dessert that I enjoy! If you’re a fan of black forest cake, I definitely think this would be a nice choice. Cherry Berry Coffee Cake is definitely a dessert tea that I could think would go well at the end of a meal or with an afternoon tea cake tier that’s more heavy on the desserts.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Recipe: Masala Chai Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are pretty amazing. They’re a great source of protein, fats, thiamine, niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc – almost other fantastic nutrients. Chia seeds have also been made popular by chia pets (I know you’ve seen those commericals!) and are a great way to thicken stuff up – I used them in my recipe Easy Chia Seed Jam.

This recipe utilizes that Chai Spice Mix featured last week in my recipe for a Masala Chai. I’ve been really into that spice blend recently because it’s just so good – and who doesn’t love a little cardamom in their food or drink? If you recall from last week, chai means tea… But there is no tea in this recipe, and I’m just rolling with it right now. It’s not the most attractive of desserts, but I genuinely don’t think any chia pudding looks that great unless it’s been prettied up – a lot.

Masala Chai Chia Pudding – Serves 4

⅓-¼ cups chia seeds – use less if you want a thinner pudding, but more if you want a thicker consistency
1 cup milk¹
2 tsp Chai Spice Mix
Agave syrup, fresh fruit, granola²

Chai Spice Mix
2 tbs ground cardamom
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tbs ground nutmeg
½-1 tbs ground ginger
½ tbs ground black pepper

¹ You can use any type of milk for this – dairy or dairy-free alternatives. I personally use an organic unsweetened non-GMO soy milk.
² Completely optional, but it’s nice for the sweetness!

Mix together milk and spices in a bowl (I use a whisk).
Add in agave syrup (if using this as an option).
Mix in chia seeds and mix until well incorporated.
Let it rest for about 5 minutes, the seeds will begin to settle.
Whisk again to suspend the chia seeds thoroughly throughout your mixture.
Put in an air-tight container into your fridge for a minimum of 1 hour to let it thicken up.
Keeps in the fridge for ~3 days.

To serve: spoon into small jars/glasses, top with fresh fruit or granola – or eat plain!

If you make Masala Chai Chia Pudding for yourself (and a friend), I’d love to see your photos! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@onemoresteep #onemoresteep) or comment below with a link to the photo!