I have raved endlessly about a wonderful hazelnut tea from a local tea shop called ZenTea. From the first time I smelled these tea leaves I knew I’d found a favorite. When I steeped my first cup I thought my goodness, have you had something so wonderful in your life? As my friends often tell me, I get very excited and enthusiastic when it comes to tea.
I have shared this hazelnut tea without hesitation to my tea friends and a few who have come to appreciate the relaxing effects of a good cuppa, if they don’t have a nut allergy. I participated in a tea swap a few years ago and another opportunity to share this tea along with the sheer joy of making a hazelnut tea latte.
So out of curiosity and to give myself something fun to do, I decided to order Field to Cup’s Hazelnutty tea after discussing with one of the founders my love for the hazelnut tea I mentioned above. The Tealock Holmes in me couldn’t resist the idea of my own taste test. Alright senses, get ready for the taste off!
So here’s how it breaks down, one tea is a black tea blended with hazelnut, we will call that Hazelnut 1, while the other, also a black tea with hazelnut, clove and a citrus we will call Hazelnut 2.
Since my well used pre-programmed electric kettle decided it wouldn’t open again one day a few weeks ago, I’ve gone back to using my stove top kettle while I wait for a replacement. *Sigh* I prepared my water, my tea pots (I like to preheat them with hot water before steeping) and got ready to steep each tea.
Hazelnut 1 calls for one level scoop of tea leaves, boiling water with a steep of 3-5 minutes. Hazelnut 2 calls for 2 level scoops, with water just before reaching a rolling boil, with a 3 minute steep. I steeped both teas for 3 minutes.
Each tea smells good, the hazelnut in Hazelnut 1 sends me to the moon. Hazelnut 2 gives off the aroma of clove and citrus, which when I take my first few sips, the clove comes through with the cirtus finish. But all I want is hazelnut. Hazelnut 2 was sweet and I probably should not have added any agave to this one. I also believe the flavor profile is more prominent because I used 2 scoops versus 1, but I followed the instructions on the label.
In hindsight, I should have done pictures of the tea leaves beside each cup of steeped tea but I used all of one and can’t create that picture. But such is life, I got really excited when preparing this tasting battle. Drinking the tea and capturing a good photo while I had some sunlight became the focus, so I didn’t plan this one as well as I should have ahead of time. But this gives me some ideas about something else I can share here on the blog.
Which tea would win the battle if you can imagine the flavor profile on your palate after pouring from your teapot? Looking at the picture can you see a difference visually? Probably not, but it’s all in the cup and the aroma. For me, Hazelnut 1 remains the winner in the hazelnut tea arena. Hazelnut 2 is not by a bad tea, by any means, but as I said, all I want is the hazelnut.
On a second steep of Hazelnut 2, I used 1cup of water per scoop of tea and I like that the flavors are more subtle, not as sweet and I get a hint of hazelnut but more clove. Sometimes the second steep can allow for the discovery of other flavors in the tea to come through. Maybe I should order another sample and have blind taste at my next tea party?! That could be fun.