Posts Tagged ‘Cardamom’

gingerbreadspice

Photo from Knoshy.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

This organic, fair trade chocolate is crafted by Theo Chocolate in Seattle, Washington. Gingerbread spices are mixed with creamy milk chocolate that’s sweet, spicy and warming! Makes a perfect fireside treat to enjoy with a mug of hot cocoa. Limited seasonal release.

I received this chocolate bar in my December box from Knoshy!

Tea Suggestion:

Because I’m loving the notes of spice in this chocolate bar, especially the nutmeg, I decided to brew a cup of this Nutmeg Cream Tea from Butiki Teas!  I love the way the creamy notes of the tea marry with the creamy taste of the chocolate on my palate, and the the spice notes of the tea were in perfect harmony with the zesty spices of the confection.  Delicious!

What I Think:

Chocolate!

This is the first of two chocolate bars that I received in December’s box from Knoshy.  And I’m loving it.

There is a good amount of spice to this candy bar.  It’s a really delightful balance between rich, creamy milk chocolate and warm spices, and I like that they aren’t competing with one another.

When I shop for chocolate, I generally select a darker chocolate, but, I really like milk chocolate too, and I think that milk chocolate is the right choice for these particular flavors because it makes it taste almost like a chocolate “chai” but without the tea.  (Don’t worry, that can be easily remedied by simply enjoying the chocolate bar alongside a cup of hot tea!)

In fact, the spices here are very chai-like.  It’s got ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg, as well as vanilla.  Most of these (and often all of these) are found in a masala chai.

My Final Thoughts:

I love this chocolate bar.  I am so glad that Knoshy included it in this month’s box.  It is rich, spicy, and chocolate-y … and absolutely delicious.

Picture from Knoshbox. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

These bars are wheat-free, all-natural and made with local apples from Bishops Orchard in Guilford, Connecticut. The flavors and aromas of the bars will bring back memories of apple picking in the orchard and drinking warm cinnamon apple cider on a cool autumn night.

They’re made with: organic rolled oats, Connecticut wildflower honey, organic oat bran, organic sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, golden raisins, cranberries, canola oil, natural vanilla, organic lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, malt syrup, cardamom, sea salt and ginger.

I received this bar in my October Knoshbox, and they can be purchased on the Knoshbox website for a limited time.

Tea Suggestion:

This granola bar has a lot of flavor on its own, so I didn’t want to choose something that might have a competitive flavor profile.  I chose this High Country black tea blend from Trail Lodge Tea, and it was an ideal choice.  The richness of the tea complimented the sweet, toasty flavors of the granola bar, and the earthy tones of the bar highlighted the tea’s earthier qualities.

What I Think:

When it come to granola bars, I typically prefer the softer variety over the crunchy.  This granola bar seems to fall somewhere in between the two … it’s not as hard as the commercially produced granola bars that you’ll readily find in the grocery stores, it isn’t pressed the way those bars seem to be.  You know what I’m talking about right?  It seems like the ingredients for those granola bars are compacted into a solid, brick-like form that is almost as hard as a brick.   That’s not the case with these bars, You can see all the ingredients, and they don’t appear to be quite as SMOOSHED together as the brick granola bars, but these DO have a certain toothy crunch to them that makes them similar to the crunchy granola bars.

But, what makes them crunchy are the chunks of nuts (I can taste the almonds and especially the pecans!  YUM!) and the toasted oats and sunflower seeds.  The texture is brought on naturally, not by over-processing.

My Final Thoughts:

I love that I can identify each ingredient that is listed in the above list.  I can taste the honey, and the cranberries and each of the spices too!  It’s really a warm and delicious tasting bar – definitely very “Harvest-y” … a perfect granola bar for this time of year (and for the Autumn Harvest themed Knoshbox!)  While I do generally prefer my granola bars to be slightly softer, I like that the crunchiness of this bar comes from the toasted textures of the ingredients.

Overall, this is an enjoyable, hunger-satiating granola bar … and one that I enjoyed enough that I might purchase it again.

Where to Buy:  Botanical Bakery on Foodzie

Price:  $5.99 for 3.5 ounce package

Product Description:

The Queen of Spices. She is everything you would want in a Queen: strong, bold, warm, and intense, though not bitter. Known to be a good cure for weakness, cardamom is also said to be balancing. Some ancient cultures even used cardamom in their romantic endeavors as an aphrodisiac. Her scent, unmistakable, lingers in the air like something you’re meant to pay attention to.

What I Think:

I have fallen completely in love with Botanical Bakery.  These shortbread cookies are so delicious.

These Cardamom Shorties have just the right touch of cardamom – it is not too overpowering, nor is it overwhelmed by the sweet, buttery taste of the shortbread.  The result is a shortbread cookie that is lightly crunchy, buttery and flaky, sweet and warm with spice.  They have a very exotic appeal to them.

The Botanical Bakery suggests pairing these with a spiced Chai, and I agree.  I brewed a cup of BioChai from Hampstead Tea and the combination is spectacular.

My Final Thoughts:

I don’t know what else I can say; I love these shorties!

Where to Buy:  Zhi Tea on Foodzie

Editor’s Note: I debated with myself about whether or not I should review these teas here, or if I should review them on the SororiTea Sisters blog, but since these teas were part of my Foodzie Tasting Box I decided to review them here.

Jasmine Green Tea

Product Description:

Our organic jasmine green loose leaf tea was chosen for its high quality and well-balanced flavors. This balance creates a round yet assertive cup full of jasmine’s intoxicating scent grounded in the full leaf green. Mild, easy to drink, and full flavored, jasmine blossoms are folded into the drying leaves several times to impart a delicate, subtle scent throughout. USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified.

What I think:

When I first opened the package for these teas, I was immediately disappointed.  The teas were bagged (I do prefer loose leaf), and the silky tea sachets were not individually wrapped to prevent cross-flavoring due to exposure to the other tea.  Tea is a very absorbent leaf and will readily absorb flavors of products with which it is stored, especially strong flavors such as spice and mint – which shared the package with this jasmine green tea.

That’s not to say that the tea is not good – it is.  I just feel like I am not getting a fair representation of the tea, because I can also taste notes of cinnamon, ginger, and peppermint mingling with the delicate green tea and jasmine flavors.

The green tea is light in flavor and possesses a moderate amount of vegetative taste.  It is a pleasant, mellow green tea, a good pairing with the sweet, exotic flavor of jasmine.

The jasmine is floral (of course!) but it isn’t overwhelming nor does it come off as soapy or perfume-y to the palate.  The flavor of the jasmine and the flavor of the green tea are very nicely balanced.

As I mentioned before, I can also taste distinct herbal and spice notes in this cup.  The cinnamon and peppermint seem to be the most prominent, but if I focus on the sip, I can also taste notes of ginger and even distant notes of clove and vanilla.

Actually, the combination of the jasmine, green tea, peppermint and spices makes for a rather intriguing cup and if I were still in the blending business (I flavored and blended my own teas for many years), I might actually attempt to create a jasmine peppermint green chai!

This is good hot or iced.

Turkish Spice Mint Tisane

Product Description:

We wanted a more complex and enticing peppermint based tisane, so we created our Zhi Signature Blend Turkish Spice Mint. We explored how to create something truly unique and flavorful, and after several attempts, we have nailed it. Organic peppermint, licorice, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger root, stevia leaf, clove, vanilla essence…Minty, a bit spicy, a tad sweet, with hints of exotic unfoldings…This blend really draws you in. Subtle flavor combinations are revealed as you engage this herbal extravagance. Enjoy the lingering sensations of ginger and cardamom as you sip this stimulating and caffeine-free drink.

What I think:

I could taste the spices and mint in the jasmine green, but I am not noting much jasmine taste in this blend – that is, of course, because this is a tisane and not a tea.  The difference being that a tea is comprised of leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant; and while a loose interpretation of the definition of tisane could possibly include teas, to most tea enthusiasts tisane has come to mean an herbal, fruit, or spice melangé that does not include tea leaves.  Without the tea leaves in this spice melangé, it simply doesn’t possess the flavor absorbency that a tea would have.

This is a delightful blend of spices and peppermint.  Peppermint can be a somewhat selfish herb and overpower the blend, however, Zhi Tea chose to blend it with some rather aggressive spices for balance.  In each sip, I enjoy the flavors of cinnamon, peppermint, ginger, and licorice, with background notes of clove and cardamom and a whisper of creamy vanilla.

If I were to change anything about this particular blend, it would be to eliminate the stevia.  Then again, I am not too fond of stevia, I find that it tends to impart a somewhat funky aftertaste.  I know that stevia is used occasionally by tea blenders to add a little sweetness to the blend; personally, I’d rather have the option to add sweetener with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkling of sugar than to have the choice made for me with the addition of stevia.

Despite the stevia, this tisane is tasty.  I prefer it hot – mostly because I prefer most spiced teas hot.  The warmth of the spices just seems to translate better with a hot tea.

My Final Thoughts:

These two teas were quite good, and certainly a very welcome surprise in my Foodzie Tasting Box (Foodzie, if you’re reading this, more tea please!)  Not my favorite from Zhi Tea (my favorite from Zhi is Gong Fu Black), but as a passionate tea enthusiast, I was certainly happy to try them!