Monday, March 14, 2016

Experimenting with Maple Tea...

Here in the Northeastern part of the United States, it is maple syrup time!  In my neck of the woods there is a pancake house founded in 1963 that is still going strong with a reputation stretching far outside the immediate area.  Cartwright's Maple Tree Inn is an experience not to be missed if you are within driving distance; however, if you are too far away, perhaps you'd like to try some Maple Tea.

On my first visit this year to the Pancake House or Maple Tree, as the locals call it, I picked up two packets of Four O'clock Maple tea.  This tea is blended and packed in Quebec, Canada by Trans-Herb Inc.  The ingredients are black tea leaves and natural maple flavor.  Upon arriving home, my friend immediately tried it.  She is a sweet tea lover and made it with milk, maple syrup, and honey.  She loved it, and the aroma from across the room was divine.  It reminded me of graham crackers.  She said it reminded her of oatmeal.

This week I made another pancake run and bought a box of the tea (reasonably priced at $6.00/20 bags).  Tonight I tried it three different ways: black, with milk and maple syrup, and with milk and honey.  It was a delightful experience.

I steeped the tea for a bit more than five minutes; the box suggests 4-6 minutes.  My first cup was black.  The maple scent was faint and the taste was a good black tea with a hint of maple flavor...extremely mild.  Understand that I love maple syrup, so my taste buds may be a bit less sensitive to the light touch.  I would prefer a stronger maple flavor, but this tea has a wonderful deep amber color and marvelous taste.  I would drink it again without adornment.

My second cup included milk and a generous teaspoon of maple syrup; this cup was heavenly.  The maple flavor could be tasted and savored.  The third cup was with milk and honey.  It was the least favorite for me.  The honey over powered the maple.  Of the three, I preferred the milk and syrup version with the unadorned as a close second.  Next time I will try adding a bit of maple syrup and no milk.

Given my tasting, and the tasting my friend experienced, I certainly give this tea a 4/5.  It will have a regular space in my collection.

Hoping you have a wonderful week!
Kate Stiffler

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