How does something so lusciously indulgent require a bit of taming once it’s found its way into tea? We reveal why this “tiger” gets feisty in a teacup. Get acquainted with the chocolate tea!
What Is Chocolate Tea?
“Chocolate tea” is a relatively broad term used to categorize a tea, tisane (herbal tea,) milk tea, or other drink that has infusions, flavorings, and parts of the Theobroma cacao (cacao plant.) Chocolate teas have an interesting variety of ingredients used that may surprise you.
Different Types Of Chocolate Teas
To help you better understand just how diverse this tea can be in ingredients, we have listed a few interesting versions sold in retail online and in brick and mortar tea shops.
“Classic” Chocolate Tea
This tea is made with black tea and is infused with chocolate and vanilla flavorings. You’d be surprised at how close flavor infusions hit the spot as far as taste. Some may use green tea rather than black tea to create this drink.
Chocolate Mint Tea
There’s nothing yummier than a mint patty in a teacup. This tea is made with black tea, and just like many other chocolate teas, a flavor infusion of chocolate and vanilla goes in along with peppermint leaves.
Chocolate Chai Pu’erh Tea
Chai tea is one of the most enjoyed teas, and when you pair that with chocolate, you have a wonderful drink. Chocolate chai pu’erh is made with a pu’erh tea (which is highly fermented) infusions of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. A chocolate flavoring is added, and also cocoa nibs (dried cacao beans cut into small pieces) and chocolate chips.
Chocolate Milk Tea
This tea is a boba (bubble) tea that can be prepared in many ways. The base of this drink may contain a true tea (black, green, oolong, yellow, white) or be a tisane (herbal tea.) Some tea shops use powder mixes to make the milky bubble tea and add various toppings. However, regardless of what base is used or toppings added, bubble tea contains black tapioca pearls, ice, and bubble tea mixture. To create a chocolate milk (bubble) tea, any number of forms of chocolate (flavored powder mix, flavoring, syrup, liquor, chips, cocoa powder, etc.) are added.
Honeybush Chocolate Tea
This tea is considered a tisane (herbal tea) and is made from the leaves of the honeybush tree. Cocoa nibs (bits of dried cacao beans) and an infusion of chocolate flavoring are added. Honeybush trees are woody plants that are native to South Africa and closely related to Rooibos.
Chocolate Earl Grey Tea
Now, this is an oddly curious tea that may well be worth trying. Someone took a very popular Earl Grey tea and elevated it with chocolate. It is made with a black tea base and has infusions of papaya, rosebuds, rose petals, and bergamot. Cocoa powder and chocolate flavoring are added. This tea is chocolatey and orange in taste.
“Chocolate Tea” Made From Cocoa Bean Shells
For an herbal (tisane) version of chocolate tea, cacao shells (the outer shell of roasted cocoa beans) are brewed and enjoyed. Oddly, this particular tea may have a chocolate aroma, but the taste is similar to barley tea which is vegetal and earthy.
How Do You Add Chocolate Flavor To Tea?
How do they get tea to taste like chocolate? Well, each type of chocolate tea is flavored in a specific way to produce that chocolate flavor. Flavoring a black or green tea, for example, is done using different methods and ingredients compared to an herbal version (tisane) or a bubble (milk) tea.
How Different Types Of Chocolate Tea Gets It Flavor
Black or Green Tea
Bubble (Milk) Tea
Herbal Tea (Tisane)
|Tea manufacturers flavor black or green tea by “infusing” chocolate into the processed tea.||Tea shops prepare the milk (bubble) tea by using or adding any of the below.||Herbs (such as rooibos, mint, honeybush, etc.) are also infused with any of the same ingredients used in green or black teas.|
|Ingredients (one or several) used to “infuse” (flavor) tea:|
– cacao nibs
– cocoa powder
– cocoa essential oil
|Any of the below is added to create chocolate milk tea.|
– flavored milk tea powder mix
– flavored syrup
– cocoa powder
– white or milk chocolate chips
– chocolate cookies
Chocolate and How It Relates To “Chocolate Tea”
Just because something is marketed as “chocolate” doesn’t necessarily mean it has genuine chocolate in it. Some chocolate teas flavored with certain forms of chocolate are the real deal and do contain genuine chocolate. If you see a tea with cacao nibs, cocoa powder, or chocolate chips, you can rest assured you’re getting a good quality flavored tea.
A true tea (such as black or green) is naturally astringent because of tannins (a naturally occurring compound in the tea plant.) When infusing one of these teas with chocolate, it’s important to use the right form of chocolate. The more bitter the chocolate, the less it will complement the tea and cause added bitterness to the tea’s existing astringency.
In the “chocolate industry,” the percentage of cacao and cocoa butter defines whether a bar of chocolate is dark, milk, white, etc. The higher the percentage of cacao, the more bitter the chocolate becomes.
|Cacao Nibs||Cocoa Powder||Unsweetened||Semi-Sweet||White||Milk|
|100% cacao||60% cacao||55% cacao||15-34% cacao||20% cacao||10% cacao|
|0% sugar||0% sugar||0% sugar||45% sugar||80% sugar||90% sugar|
So, if cacao nibs and cocoa powder have such a high level of bitterness, why is it used to flavor tea? Because they give the strongest flavor to your drink! But the trick to taming the bitterness of the bitter cacao and astringent tea is to add milk to your tea.
Does Chocolate Tea Have Caffeine?
Chocolate itself contains some caffeine. True tea, such as black or green, also contains caffeine. So, how do we know how much caffeine may be lurking in a cup of chocolate tea? Well, that’s difficult to say because of the numerous types of chocolate teas.
Chocolate, in general, ranges in caffeine according to the type of chocolate it is. The darker it is, the higher the caffeine. Chocolate contains cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and cacao. Cocoa solids are where you’ll find caffeine in chocolate. Cacao nibs and cocoa powder do not have cocoa butter and are 100% cocoa solids which means there’s more caffeine.
- Cacao nibs: Highest in caffeine
- Cocoa powder: Higher in caffeine
- Unsweetened and dark chocolate: High in caffeine
- Milk and white chocolate: Low in caffeine
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, just 1 ounce of dark chocolate has a whopping 24 mg of caffeine. Milk chocolate has about 6 mg. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) lists cocoa powder as having about 25 mg of caffeine per ounce.
Does Chocolate Tea Have Calories?
Yes, the various ingredients in different types of this tea can be high in calories.
- Milk (bubble) tea is high in carbs and sugars.
- Tea made with black or green tea will be lower in calories.
- Tisanes (herbal tea) may contain little to a medium amount of calories.
How To Make Chocolate Tea
This indulgent drink piques the curiosity of many. Making it is not as difficult as you think. Here is a simple recipe to try out!
Chocolate Ceylon Tea Recipe
This tea is a chocolate black tea.
- 1 teaspoon of loose-leaf Ceylon black tea
- 1 teaspoon of cacao nibs (or cocoa powder)
- ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla flavoring
- 2 cups of water
- ¼ cup of milk (or cream)
- Honey (to sweeten as desired)
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Remove from the heat.
- Place the loose leaf tea into an infuser.
- Drop the infuser into the hot water.
- Add the vanilla and cacao nibs (or cocoa powder) and stir well.
- Cover and allow to steep for 5 minutes.
- Remove the infuser and strain the tea.
- Pour the tea into a teacup and add milk.
- Stir, and enjoy!
Tip: For an extra added bit of indulgence, drop a few chocolate chips into your teacup.
How Do You Drink Chocolate Tea?
Teas infused with cacao nibs, cocoa powder, or dark chocolate will be bitter. When these forms of chocolate and the astringency of green or black tea are paired, the tea’s bitterness will be potent. Milk is almost always added to chocolate teas to offset bitterness and add a creamy component that compliments cacao.
A Must-Try Tea
When taking your first sip of a chocolate tea, savor the layers of flavors as they waft over your palate. This tea is perfect for enjoying while curled up next to a fireplace. You can’t help but feel spoiled as you drink it.