Tag Archives: oolong

Happiness is Tea and Chocolate

15 Feb

If you’re one of the regular readers of this blog, chances are that you wholeheartedly agree with the title of this post. It’s a universal truth: tea and chocolate can make everything better. The possibilities are endless: tea-infused hot chocolate, tea and chocolate biscuits, tea and a slice or two of chocolate cake, tea and a chocolate brownie, a chocolate pudding, chocolate doughnuts…

If you’re a scientist, a nutritionist or a health food fanatic, a word will spring to mind: flavonoids! Both tea and chocolate contain this antioxidant organic compound, which is actually good for you. But this time we aren’t going to talk about health benefits. We want to let our senses do the talking. This post is intended as a guide to satisfying all your tea and chocolate cravings. So here are our favourite combinations:

For a true chocolate feast… . Amber and chocolate brownies

Squidgy, decadent brownies, with an intense chocolate flavour and crunchy chunks of walnuts or hazelnuts require a sumptuous, full-bodied tea like our Taiwanese Amber oolong, with a light smokiness and hints of chocolate and passionfruit. A combination that will satisfy even the greediest chocaholic.

Lahloo Amber and chocolate brownies

Lahloo Amber and chocolate brownies

For a little treat…  Earl Grey and a chocolate madeleine

A petite chocolate madeleine is lighter, fluffier and smaller than a brownie, but sometimes that’s all you need to get your chocolate fix. The zesty flavour of Earl Grey will complement that of the chocolate as they both play in your mouth. If you take your Earl Grey with milk, try dunking your madeleine and enjoy an afternoon tea reminiscent of Marcel Proust, but still quintessentially English.

For a sophisticated healthy boost… Green Jasmine and single origin dark chocolate

Single origin, bittersweet dark chocolate is probably the most satisfying form of cocoa that exists – the food of the gods. Marvel at the way the divine flavours dance on your tongue when you pair the chocolate with a pot of fresh, crisp Green Jasmine tea. You won’t think of champagne and strawberries in the same way ever again.

Green Jasmine and a few pieces of single origin dark chocolate!

Green Jasmine and a few pieces of single origin dark chocolate!

For a dainty dessert… Rosebud and chocolate mousse

There’s something intriguing in a chocolate mousse. The combination of the light, airy texture and the intense flavour of chocolate is intriguing and provokes avid reactions. A cup of the alluring, pure and delicate Rosebud will enhance this otherwordliness and provide the best romantic dessert we can think of.

Enjoy 20% off our chocolate partner tea heroes throughout February. Visit our online shop >> 

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Intriguing Oolong

13 Nov

Josh from Lahloo Pantry talks about oolong, the tea of the black dragon.

Intriguing oolong!

16 Oct

With this autumnal chill in the air, we feel like wrapping up warm while enjoying a comforting cuppa. The intriguing oolong is the perfect companion for this season, but how much do you know about it?

The Chinese call it black dragon tea, a very appropriate name for a complex beverage that still remains a bit of a mystery in the western world. Originated in the 17th century in the Wu Yi mountains of Fujian, China, oolong is probably the most diverse product of all the varieties of the camellia sinensis bush, with flavours that range from rose, orange blossom or orchid to cinnamon or cocoa nibs!

The development of oolong might not have occurred if it weren’t because of the 17th century Ming Dynasty’s ban on compressed tea, shaped into cakes, and the advocacy of the emperors for loose-leaf tea. In this tumultuous era full of changes in tea-making, Fujian’s tea artisans developed a technique for making partially oxidized and charcoal roasted tea. These first oolong leaves resembled the curling body of a mythical Chinese dragon, a symbol of power, strength and fortune, which was probably the reason behind its name.

The new way of producing tea spread from Fujian to other provinces in China before crossing to Taiwan at the beginning of the 19th century. There are many different styles of oolong, depending on the terroir and the dexterity of the tea masters. Producing oolong requires great skill and it’s considered more complicated than black or green tea, as minor changes in production can alter flavours, aromas and colours.

Whereas green tea is unoxidised and black tea is fully oxidised, oxidisation in oolong can range between 15%-75%. The tea leaves are usually picked from April or May or later in the year, depending on the kind of oolong. Then they are processed, so they might not reach the market until at least July each year. The leaves, big and rich in aromatic oils, are left to wither and oxidise in the sun before going through a complex process of firing or roasting and fermentation. Shaking the leaves at the appropriate time releases the characteristic aromas.

Oolong leaves can be formed into two different shapes. They can be rolled into long curled leaves, which is the most traditional style of oolong that presumably gives name to the tea, or they can be wrapped and curled into small beads with a tail.

Orchid

Jade

Charcoal roasted oolong has traditionally being used as a digestive aid and a mild detoxifier of excess alcohol, cigarettes and fatty, greasy food, having been linked to liver health and muscle relief. Current research has been done on its possible links with weight loss. In traditional Chinese medicine, lightly oxidised oolongs are considered to be beneficial to the respiratory system.

To browse our oolong teas, you can visit our website. We’re currently offering 20% off all oolongs!

Amber infused Hot Cross Buns!

2 Apr

One of our favourite things about Easter are hot cross buns! In Medieval times, bakers would place a cross on their loaves to protect them from evil spirits. Some say that the tradition might even be pre-Christian.  Either way, their spicy, fruity flavour makes them the perfect seasonal treat. A cup of tea and a toasted hot cross bun with some melted butter is an Easter classic that we can’t wait to indulge in!

Laura, the chef at Lahloo Pantry, has been experimenting with some of our April Tea Heroes and came up with this gorgeous recipe, a variation on an Andrew Whitley’s essential. Using fruity, chocolatey Amber oolong as an ingredient gives these buns a different dimension of flavour that will surprise you!

Image

Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be

Ingredients

(for the fruit) 

half a cup of Lahloo Amber oolong
200 g of sultanas and raisins, mixed to taste
Soak the fruit in Amber for at least an hour, but preferably overnight. Make sure that all the fruit is covered.

(for the ferment)

280 g milk
140 g wholemeal flour
20g sugar
10 g fresh yeast
Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the milk and make a paste, adding some of this mixture to the flour. Gradually add the rest of the milk, whisking until creamy. Leave the ferment covered in a warm place for about an hour.

(for the dough)

200g strong white flour
110 g wholemeal flour
50 g butter
35 g sugar
10 g mixed spice
1 tbsp and 1/2 finely ground Lahloo Amber oolong
1 egg
a pinch of salt
Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add butter and egg, mixing all the ingredients together and kneading. It shouldn’t be too tight, so some stickiness is fine. Once you’ve been kneading for a while, add the fruit, draining any excess of liquid first. Carefully fold and press until the fruit is evenly distributed.
Cover the mixture and leave it to rise.
Separate the dough into 16 pieces, putting them on a floured surface.
Place the rolls in straight lines about 5 cm apart on a lined baking tray. Cover them and put them in a warm place until they’re almost touching.

(for the crossing mix)
50g plain white flour
50g water
5g sunflower oil
1g baking powder
Place this mix in a piping bag with a fine nozzle and draw the crosses. (Is it just us, or are piping bags fun?)
… Now it’s time to bake! Put your hot cross buns in the oven (preheated to 180 C). It should take around 15 minutes, but keep an eye on them so they acquire the right colour!
Once they’re out, it’s time to glaze them!

(for the glaze) 
10g cornflower
100g tea
sugar
Boil the cornflour in the tea until clear. Brush over the buns as soon as they’re out of the oven. They’ll be super shiny!
Once cooled, you can toast them and slather them in butter, although we must warn you, they’re amazing on their own!
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