Hey everyone, remember when Verdant was all like, ‘We are going to China’? You either thought: ‘Take me with you’ or ‘that’s sweet’; if you’re a fan of tea.
Anyways, when they transitioned they decided to let us all know they were done with blends! While that’s a bummer, they are focusing their time on sourcing while they are near the farmers they work with. Anyways, I am not affiliated with Verdant Tea but they posted their recipes online to recreate their blends with a disclaimer that companies couldn’t use them. Being a small little dude I asked if I could anyways and they said it is fine so here I am recreating Laoshan Chocolate Genmaicha the Liquid Proust Teas version 🙂
I kept the ratio the same but switched it up. First I started by using a more reserved base being the Laoshan gongfu black tea and paired it with the Laoshan roasted oolong due to the sizing of leaf and taste profile. Those two switches were simple, the two things that were a learning experience would be the cocoa nibs and rice.
Let’s start with cocoa nibs:
So I contacted a local individual who makes their makes their own chocolate to see if they had cocoa nibs from their processing. Well… turns out they did and not just one kind!
So there I was looking at four different types of cocoa nibs thinking that in hot water they will taste the same. Just like tea, each type is much different.
I brewed about the aount of cocoa nibs that will be in each scoop of the blend to see what it would be like.Turns out that two of the four were much like the typical ‘oh there is cocoa nibs in the tea’ and then two of them were like someone dropped actually chocolate in the water; one was around a 45% and the other was a %50. Being very close in taste I had to come down to which one had a noticeable aroma.
I’m really excited to have found this individual as there is much to be done with byproducts of chocolate 🙂
Now onto the hardest thing… the rice.
I use a lot of jasmine rice as I love me some curry! I ended coming up with a crazy idea and it worked. Here’s what I did: I made sticky rice with the jasmine rice and wild rice mixture and then dehydrated it.
The darker color comes fro the wild rice in there. What I did next was pan fried them until I could smell the sides and then roasted it two separate times. By doing this I kept the slight sweetness that jasmine rice has rather then pan frying or roasting it out.
It looks ugly though:
I still had more rice that needed to be added for the blend so I went with the original methods of making the rice for genmaicha. I used pure wild rice from Minnesota for this. This is the rice after two hours covered in cold water. I won’t discuss how I finished them up, but it came out quite well.
This is the overall look of the blend and I am actually pleased with what I came out with. After six trials with the rice I wasn’t sure if it would work out, but with time and persistence I made it!
Thanks for reading,