Hot Chocolate today. No, not the drink. Well, sort of a drink. But not the drink; not hot chocolate. Not the kind made up with hot milk, cocoa powder, cream mixed in for extra richness. No, this is a tea and it’s called Hot Chocolate, purely to make this blogging thing we do an exercise in confusion.
It’s a pu’erh tea, which makes it the eighth non-herbal tea in this month’s selection. We’re almost at 33% ! That’s almost balanced! Incidentally, because we weren’t sure last go, we went and dug more into the nature of pu’erh tea, and it turns out that like oolong, the leaves are partially fermented. No wonder we have such a good track record with it. Something about that process has always worked for us with oolongs, too.
It’s smokier than its predecessor, which you’ll recall also featured chocolate. Hot Chocolate (Tea) lacks the spices of S’mores Chai, though, and also unlike that chai, benefits from a dab of milk. It gives the chocolate a creaminess that blends nicely with the smokiness of the tea. It also stops it being overwhelmingly chocolatey, and as we’re still not chocolate in tea types, that’s not bad thing.
We associate it with ski lessons, and winter evenings in Scotland. But we’re in Canada at the moment, writing this off the back of watching the very Canadian Anne with an E. We know, we know, we’re behind by about three years, and we definitely have opinions. We’ll get to them some other night. For now, have on a related note, the equally Canadian L.M. Montgomery on winter.
A Winter Day
L. M. Montgomery
The air is silent save where stirs
A bugling breeze among the firs
The virgin world in white array
Waits for the bridegroom kiss of day;
All heaven blooms rarely in the east
Where skies are silvery and fleeced,
And o’er the orient hills made mad
The morning comes in wonder clad;
Oh, ’tis a time most fit to see
How beautiful the dawn can be!
Wide, sparkling fields snow-vestured lie
Beneath a blue, unshadowed sky;
A glistening splendour crowns the woods
A bosky, whistling solitudes;
In hemlock glen and reedy mere
The tang of frost is sharp and clear;
Life hath a jollity and zest,
A poignancy made manifest;
Laughter and courage have their way
At noontide of a winter’s day.
Faint music rings in world and dell,
The tinkling of a distant bell,
Where homestead lights with friendly glow
Glimmer across the drifted snow;
Beyond a valley dim and far
Lit by an occidental star,
Tall pines the marge of day beset
Like many a slender minaret,
Whence priest-like winds on crystal air
Summon the reverent world to prayer.
She has a very particular fingerprint, doesn’t she? Anne comes by her rhapsodising honestly.