Saturday, August 9, 2014

On Tea: Stash Licorice Spice

And now for something completely different.  And I do mean completely.

Now, I hear you over there:  “Ew, licorice, in tea?!”  You’re thinking, “I don’t like black jelly beans or allsorts or Sambuca.  Why would I want to go near licorice tea?”

Well, this isn’t just licorice tea.  It’s licorice spice.  Licorice, believe it or not, is an excellent sweetener.  Now, just personally, I do enjoy absinthe/Pernod, which has a very strong licorice-ish taste.  And I like allsorts.  I don’t like Good n Plenty, though.  Those are just yucky.  Mainly because they don’t know what they are doing with the licorice.  Stash, however, does (and they do some pretty good “flavored” teas, too).

A graphic representation for those who do and those who do not like licorice.

But anyway, this is licorice spice tea.  In addition to the licorice, it’s also got lots of other lovely things that I’m betting you do know you like, such as: cinnamon, clove, orange, cardamom.  This is a lot more like those anise pizzelles everybody’s grandma used to make (the ones that don’t numb your mouth from the anise, I promise!)  What’s a pizzelle?  Oh, come on!  Those crisp little fancy “waffle” cookies?  Yeah. 

Those go great with tea, by the way.  And since it’s an herbal tea, it’s perfect to have with dessert – or for dessert, for that matter (it’s as sweet as that slice of cheesecake, but NO CALORIES!)  If you do want some little nibble with your licorice spice tea, I recommend keeping it in the sweets category.  Cookies, cakes, chocolate digestives, brownies, the aforementioned pizzelles, or their hard-to-come-by Dutch cousin, the stroopwafle. 

I hear you, again, over there.  “First licorice tea, and now stroopwafle?  What the hell is that?!”  Ok, usually called “Dutch cookies” when marketed in English-speaking places, these are two pizzelle like “waffles” with caramelly syrup between them.  The right way to savor a stroopwafle is to set it on top of your cup of hot tea (or coffee or chocolate) and let the steam soften the waffle and syrup so that it gets gooey in the middle.  If you find yourself with the mini, silver-dollar sized ones, put them on a plate and pop ‘em in the microwave for a few seconds, enough for them to get nice a “stroopey.”  Milk in this?  No idea why you would feel the need, but if you’re a consistent milk user, I don’t think it would put this off.  Might be really nice, actually.

Nice light color (not under-brewed!) and a half a really delicious chocolate chunk brownie - and I still lost 5 pounds last month!

One seriously itty-bitty caveat with this tea (really, this is miniscule)… I find, for some reason, it cools down fast in the cup.  Because it’s an herbal, I do brew it at just barely a boil (not quite as fast as a boil as for a black tea), so that may be a part of it, but I still think it gets lukewarm much quicker than anything else.  Barely even worth knocking off a fraction of a point, because otherwise this is a really stellar tea for an herbal, mass-market, bagged tea. 

I give it a 9.5 of 10 as herbals go.

As you can see here, I like it well enough to keep a couple boxes in.

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