Tea Recipe: Red Velvet Latte

Let me blow your mind. It won’t hurt, it’ll just be delicious.

A couple months ago it was drizzling and cold in Victoria. Shocking, I know. I wanted something warm, so I headed out to the downtown Teaopia for a London Fog. For the uninitiated, that’s a latte made with Earl Grey tea instead of espresso, and flavoured with vanilla. Delicious. However, this time I realized that I wanted an adventure. Why not try the Red Velvet Latte instead? It has such a decadent name.

What was it? Teaopia’s Amazing Vanilla rooibos, raspberry syrup, milk of my choice.

And lo, it was tasty.

So I endeavoured, not being able to afford $5 for a latte as often as I’d wish, to recreate it at home with the ingredients on hand. It didn’t go over so well. I only had the dregs of raspberry syrup, the rooibos I had was a bit on the stale side, and it just wasn’t exciting. So I tinkered around some more and drank way too many lattes. Now I have a working recipe. And it’s fantastic!

What I used: David’s Tea’s Creme Brulee rooibos, Summerland Sweets raspberry syrup, Cadbury Hot Chocolate mix, and almond milk. But these are suggestions. Feel free to play around.

Amber’s Red Velvet Tea Latte

serves 1

1 cup double strength flavoured rooibos
1 tsp or to taste raspberry syrup
1/4 – 1/2 tsp hot chocolate powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
enough steamed or frothed milk to fill your mug or glass

Brew your tea. I usually steep rooibos 8-10 minutes. For lattes I brew in a separate, smaller cup and pour into a large mug. I prep the mug with adding raspberry syrup which I never measure: I just coat the bottom of the mug. I sprinkle some chocolate mix on top, add the vanilla, and then the tea. I heat my milk in the microwave if I’m feeling lazy, or on the stove if I’m not. Then I froth my milk with a plunge frother. The milk prep is a matter of preference and what you have on hand: you can zap the milk and froth it with a fork, or you can steam it barista style.

Mix it all together until it’s a rich caramel colour, and if you really want, add some red food colouring to make it red. Enjoy!

Autumn Chocolate

A new tea recipe for the new season! This one involves chocolate. I made it using Celestial Seasoning’s English Toffee Dessert Tea, but as always, substitute something similar if you wish.

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Ingredients:
Dessert Tea
Chocolate wafers
Hot chocolate mix (I use Cadbury)
Milk
Whipped cream (optional)
Chocolate sprinkles (optional)

Turn the kettle on. Measure how much your favourite mug holds. When the kettle whistles, steep tea bag in half that amount of water, likely to be around 3/4 cup. Meanwhile, put milk— the other half of that amount—into a small saucepan and begin to warm it on the lowest setting. Chop about seven chocolate wafers into teensy pieces, and when the milk is warm, whisk them in. Mix tea with a heaping spoonful of hot chocolate mix, and then add milk. You can also froth the chocolate-y milk before adding.

If you desire, add whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles on top.

I haven’t tried this, but if you’d like an extra spicy kick, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a tiny sprinkle of chili powder might work well.

Enjoy!

Tea, Elixir of the Gods

Tea_set
Truth is, I have a tea obsession.

I drink anywhere from one mini-teapot full (18 oz approx) to three a day of the stuff. I have over 9 varieties at the moment, in bags or loose leaf. I have a fondness for black teas (namely Earl Grey), flavoured green tea, rooibos teas, herbal tisanes, and anything involving pomegranate.

And what in all the myriad heavens and hells does that have to do with fantasy fiction?

Hey, beats me. But it’s a common drink in fantasy. I mean, herbs steeped in water is a pretty easy drink to make. It’s easily cross-cultural. Teas are also multipurpose. They can be ritual drinks, or healing brews… teas are your standard magic potion.

They are also good for making homework assignments more bearable, fuelling novels, and as an excuse for inviting friends over.

Now, because anyone who reads this is a wonderful, beautiful person and deserving of much treasure (aw, Amber, you shouldn’t have), here’s a tea recipe for you.

Sweet & Sour Rooibos

Brew a plain rooibos tea (Rooibos Surprise and variations would be unwise simply due to the complexity of flavours). My tea of choice for this would be Ruby Pagoda from Silk Road, but if you don’t live in Victoria, any basic rooibos will do.

Mix in 1/4th pomegranate juice and 1/4th raspberry concentrate. You can also do this to taste.

Enjoy!

Note: This is a riff off of a Silk Road recipe. To see the original (a blend of pomegranate juice and Ruby Pagoda) and legions more, go here.