Of all the foods and drinks in this world, there aren’t many (or perhaps any) that can top tea and chocolate. In fact, the two have been featured together in at least a dozen posts here on T Ching. This post highlights a new twist on the theme – chocolates not just infused with tea, but with actual tea leaves in them, giving the chocolates a unique, delicious, and decidedly crunchy character.
Just this past September, Shangri La Tea, a nearly 30-year-old Southern California-based tea company, launched Shangri La Chocolate. Its initial offering includes three milk chocolate options and one dark chocolate one, as follows:
- Black Currant – combines dark chocolate with black tea and black currants.
- Earl Grey – combines milk chocolate with black tea and bergamot.
- Masala Chai – combines milk chocolate with black tea, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom.
- Chamomile Mint – combines milk chocolate with chamomile, licorice, spearmint, orange peel, and peppermint.
My approach to sampling these chocolates was to start with the Black Currant one. Why? Because I love dark chocolate and the combination with black tea and black currants sounded yummy – a bit like a Black Forest cake. I was not disappointed. As the dark chocolate began to melt in my mouth, I found myself chewing on bits of black tea leaves and currants. This one was my favorite, but the milk chocolate options were also delightful.
I am a pushover for a good cup of Earl Grey, so the Earl Grey chocolate was next up on my sampling list. I like this one because it presents a subtle balance among the chocolate, the tea, and the Bergamot. Some of the less-favorable Earl Greys are heavy on the Bergamot, likely to cover up some low-quality tea. Not so with this product!
The third chocolate on my plate was the Masala Chai. It is hard to come by a good chai, but when you find one you know it. This would have to be my second favorite among Shangri La’s chocolates. All three of the cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom spices are present – and, best of all, you can see them!
Last, but not least, was the Chamomile Mint. I am not normally a big fan of chamomile, but this mixture deserves a second taste, and a third. For those of you looking for a little less caffeine, this is a great alternative.
Of course, all these chocolates taste especially delicious when paired with a tea of your choosing!
With the holidays just around the corner, you may want to pick up a few of these chocolates as gifts.