Sometimes nothing satisfies a sweet tooth better than a perfectly flavored tea. In fact, with the right one, you can get the best of both worlds: something rich, and none of those dessert calories! Personally, I am a fan of caramel, so I decided to pair two of my favorite things, black tea and caramel, and test out Tea Forte’s Caramel Nougat.
Part of Tea Forte’s Noir collection, Caramel Nougat features India’s Assam tea, which the company states “has large leave[s] that offer a deep, robust steep that no other black tea can match.” This specific flavor is described as “a confectionary cup with the taste of sweet nougat.” It contains black tea, marigold flowers, orange peel, and caramel and almond flavors, and it’s Fair Trade Certified, Kosher Certified, and USDA organic.
I received the flavor as part of a sampler of Noir collection teas. It came as a “single steep,” in a small tear-open pouch about three inches high by one inch wide. The packaging was air-tight, it opened easily, and the mouth was just the right size, making it easy to pour into a tea bag.
First impression? The tea smelled delicious! The scents of caramel and almond were clear; the caramel made it a slightly sugary blend, but the almond toned it down. It was like I was about to eat some sort of candy or dessert.
Following the directions from Tea Forte, I heated my water and steeped the tea for 4 of the recommended 3 to 5 minutes. When complete, I was surprised that even the tea had a caramelized color, not the deep shade I am used to with my black teas. It also made me nervous. Would it have a strong tea flavor? Or was that a sign it was too light? It still smelled delicious, at least.
It took a few sips for me to determine what I thought. The brew did have a solid tea flavor, though it wasn’t as ‘noir’ as the company’s description led me to believe. In fact, I had a hard time believing it was supposed to be a potent black tea. Perhaps the caramel overpowered the black tea a bit; that’s to be expected in such a dessert-themed drink, I think, so it’s not a big deal. Other good news is that it didn’t taste like I was eating a candy bar, and I could still tell I was drinking tea. Overall, it’s pretty good for a sweets-themed tea.
There are two things I’ll recommend if you try this flavor, however.
- Drink it as dessert. It does not go well with anything else. No dinner, no breakfast. Not even other sweet flavors or candies. Drink this bad boy all by itself.
- Don’t go crazy and steep it too long or use too much tea. If you try to make the flavor bolder, you’re going to make it sweeter, and if it gets much sweeter, it won’t be good. It straddles the line. Don’t push it.
Don’t let these things dissuade you, though! This tea is good!