<This is a contributed post> Winter is upon us, and as the colder nights draw in, you might find solace in the comfort of your favourite hot drinks. For any, traditional tea and coffee brews are where it begins and ends. However, even your conventional and beloved blends can be made to wow with some simple additions. However, you can’t throw anything in your favourite tea, coffee and hot chocolate drinks.
Coffee and tea hold delicate flavour profiles, despite their astringent taste. Therefore, balancing the difference between sweet and bitter in a dressed-up hot drink is vital, or you risk ruining the entire concoction. For example, chocolate holds well against coffee. Yet, a milk chocolate bar of poor quality will be lost to the overpowering aroma of a fine roast.
Consumed worldwide, yet a staple of American life, coffee is known for its complex blends and rich psychoactive substance, caffeine. Some combinations are made by experts for taste, while others are cheaper to produce. Yet blends can impair the flavour of the beans. So, it is advised you source single origin coffee beans if possible.
You might be used to topping your hot chocolate with marshmallows. Still, the high sugar content and low melting temperature make them an addictive addition to your morning coffee. Flumps also contain a vanilla flavouring that pairs well with almost everything you already put in your drink. Toffee, cinnamon and chocolate. All these luxurious coffee accompaniments will either leave or be lifted by adding a few well placed Flumps. But, of course, you might want to cut back on sugar lumps when you add marshmallows into your brew.
Nutella is a genius and delectable mix of chocolate and hazelnut, and it’s not just for the kids. You can heighten the complexity of a standard coffee to mouthwatering levels with a straightforward addition. Nutella is thick and creamy and will stand up to the heat. Therefore, for the best flavour mixture, mix the gooey spread into steaming hot coffee and stir until the chocolate melts. Hazelnut adds to the already nutty aromas of a good coffee. The chocolate hint in the background compliments the bitter tones perfectly. Top with cream for naughtiness.
Like Mars, Dairy Mile and Yorkie, the Milky Way is a blast from your childhood past. While you may not consume them like there’s no tomorrow as you did when you were a kid, there’s no good reason why you can’t indulge a little every now and then. This drink takes a little more work, though. The nougat of a Milky Way doesn’t meltdown effectively, so a blender is required. All you need to do is put your coffee, milk and cream in a blender with a Milky Way bar and blitz until smooth. A cream and caramel topping brings out the already exuberant sweetness.
They say you can’t improve perfection. And the word is fitting for both of these products. Cadbury’s Crunchie and the cappuccino. Cappuccino is traditionally a breakfast drink in Rome, and when Rome, well. However, you aren’t in Rome, so you can go off the reservation a little. As if they aren’t good enough on their own, the nectar-like honeycomb and chocolate of Crunchie, married with the velvety smooth cream topping of a cappuccino, is a heavenly pairing. Honeycomb melts a little yet retains a magical spark of flavour and whimsy with every sip.
Latte is made by slowly pouring coffee into hot milk. The effect is a lava-like layer of flavour guaranteed to put a smile on your face every morning. But who says you have to use milk or cream? You can reign supreme with a butterscotch batch of Angel Delight for your coffee. The buttery richness lowers the bitterness of coffee that can be a little much sometimes. However, like adding liquid toffee, butterscotch will severely raise the sugar content of your drink. So it might be best to forego the additional sugar lumps in this particular drink.
Next to water, tea is the most consumed drink on the planet and dates back to the ancient Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2737 BC. Today, tea is enjoyed by billions and is served differently depending on the culture. For example, Brits love a good morning or afternoon cuppa with cow’s milk, while there is no dairy to be found in the fragrant blends of Japan.
You might think nothing of combining chocolate with your coffee for a delicate mocha concoction. But chocolate is a delight when mixed with tea. However, you can’t just go pairing any blend with any cocoa. For example, dark and robust chocolate requires bitter tea to balance the sweetness. And a rounder tea will be overpowered by it. Yet, you can substitute darker cocoa bars with the milky chocolate found in bars like Wispa for a perfect balance. Wispa works excellent in standard breakfast blends that are traditionally paired with milk.
Speaking of morning blends, your preferred breakfast tea, like Twinings’ famous blend, always needs a partner. One of the most versatile snacks for drinking tea is the simple McVities digestive biscuit. The wholewheat compounds in a digestive make them perfect if you have trouble eating in the morning. Additionally, the soft and buttery tone works well against the bitterness of breakfast tea. However, digestives are made from a high amount of wheat, so make sure you substitute them or consume a little less if you have a gluten intolerance.
You have already discovered that good quality chocolate is excellent with certain teas. However, tea and chocolate pairing are complex, given the wide range of flavours involved. And if you require in-depth exploration of complex layers of flavour, look no further than black tea and Terry’s Chocolate Orange Dark. Rich black tea like Jin Jun Mei carries a delicate and complex flavour profile, requiring a specific pairing. The citrus flavour of a chocolate orange will elevate your tea’s aromatics, while the cocoa flavourings complement the backnote compound tannins.
Afternoon tea is a grand tradition enjoyed by English and mid-Atlantic Americans. Queen Elizabeth II never goes one day without her afternoon tea ritual. And while the Queen might enjoy her famous Jam Pennies, cakes are traditionally served. Classic Battenburg, velvety chocolate brownies and the basic yet layered flavours of a Victoria Sponge make your afternoon tea something to look forward to. The fun, sweetness and relaxing taste of both cake and beverage means you can enjoy this tradition with all the family every day.
Health advocates the world over love to talk about the health benefits of green tea. Green tea is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Additionally, the natural compounds help support bowel health, brain function and digestion. Yet, in a splendid act of defiance, you can turn green tea on its head with the addition of cream cheese. For the most part, cream cheeses like Philadelphia are similar to cream. Therefore, the natural sweetness holds up well and complements the bitterness of green tea. Just mix with whipped cream, top your drink and finish with sea salt.
Chocolate city wine and cheese is one of the most luxurious foods you can indulge in. Hailing from Central and South America, chocolate is a product of the Theobroma cacao tree, whose name translates from ancient Greek as “food of the Gods‘ ‘. And like the Gods, you can enjoy chocolate any time of year as a snack, relaxing drink or breakfast meal like the French. Unfortunately, there are too many hot chocolate recipes to list, so here are two of the best base drinks to satisfy any palette.
The classic hot chocolate is made up of many layers of indulgent and sweet treats. To make the best hot chocolate possible, you should use 70% cocoa with hot cream and milk. Heat the milk and cream mixture without boiling and stir in your preferred amount of chocolate. While this is perfect on its own, you can finish the trimmings with some family favourites. Top of your chocolate drink with whipped cream, marshmallows and various sprinkles. And to top things off, add a delicate drizzle of chocolate syrup, and a cherry for one of your five a day!
Technically, white chocolate isn’t chocolate, and the flavour is profoundly different from cocoa. While it is made from cocoa butter, there are no chocolate solids present. Therefore, it tastes more like milk and is typically flavoured with vanilla. The mild and simple taste lends itself well to accepting aromatic flavours like citrus. White chocolate is kind of like the chicken of a confectionery. However, you can make a white chocolate drink in the same way you would cocoa. Yet white chocolate welcomes it where it could be challenging to inject orange into a strong coca drink.
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