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Oolong Frappuccino with Hazelnuts and Cacao

Oolong Frappuccino: A Whirlwind of Flavours

Among the myriad expressions of tea across the globe, oolong tea often stands out for its deeply layered flavours. A medley of nuances that dance on the tongue, oolong tea embraces the verdant freshness of green tea and the robust, full-bodied character of black tea. Such diversity has earned it the title of 'champagne of teas', and it serves as a fertile ground for exciting culinary explorations.

Today, we bring you a recipe that not only celebrates the richness of oolong tea but does so with a flair for the indulgent and the imaginative – the Oolong Frappuccino with Cacao Nibs and Hazelnuts. This unique concoction combines the deep, multi-dimensional character of oolong tea with the bitterness of cacao nibs and the nutty warmth of hazelnuts, creating an enchanting sensory experience that is both refreshing and luxurious.

A frappuccino, a popular style of iced coffee beverage created by the Starbucks Corporation, typically involves a coffee or other base ingredient, blended with ice and other add-ins, and topped with whipped cream. Our variant replaces the traditional coffee with oolong tea, presenting a tantalising alternative for tea lovers and adventurous gastronomes alike.

But why choose oolong, cacao nibs, and hazelnuts, you might ask? Here's why. Oolong, with its complex flavour profile, introduces a spectrum of flavours ranging from floral to toasty. Cacao nibs, the raw, fermented, and dried bits of cacao beans, contribute a bittersweet quality, enhancing the depth of the beverage. Hazelnuts, when toasted, lend a lovely warmth and crunch to the frappuccino, making every sip an intriguing play of textures and tastes.

The process of creating this frappuccino is a journey in itself, involving the brewing of tea, the gentle heating of milk with cacao nibs and hazelnuts, and finally, the blending of these elements with ice to create a frothy, iced beverage. Each step unfolds a new layer of flavour, making the experience as rewarding as the result.

Now, let's delve into the world of oolong and craft this delicious frappuccino.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of Sip Steeple Oolong Tea Leaves
  • 500 ml of Water
  • 2 tablespoons of Cacao Nibs
  • 50 grams of Hazelnuts
  • 4 tablespoons of Sugar (or to taste)
  • 500 ml of Milk
  • 2 cups of Ice Cubes
  • Whipped Cream, Cacao Nibs, and Crushed Hazelnuts, for garnish

Special Equipment Required

  • Teapot
  • Saucepan
  • Blender
  • Strainer

Instructions

  1. Brew the Tea: Begin by boiling the 500 ml of water. The temperature of the water is crucial while brewing oolong tea. Too hot, and it can overpower the subtle notes; too cool, and it may not fully extract the flavour. Allow the boiled water to cool slightly to around 85-90Β°C, the ideal temperature to brew oolong. Pour this water over the 2 tablespoons of oolong tea leaves placed in your teapot. Let it steep for 3-5 minutes, allowing the leaves to unfurl and release their flavour. Once brewed, strain the tea and set it aside to cool.

  2. Prepare the Cacao and Hazelnut Infusion: While your tea is cooling, let's move on to the next step. Toast your hazelnuts in a dry pan over medium heat. Keep them moving to ensure even toasting and prevent burning. Once they exude a fragrant aroma and attain a deeper shade of brown, remove them from the pan. Roughly chop the toasted hazelnuts. Reserve half for garnish and place the remaining half in a saucepan. To the same saucepan, add the 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs and 500 ml of milk. Place the saucepan on low heat and let the milk gently simmer. This slow process allows the milk to draw out the flavours from the cacao nibs and hazelnuts, creating an infusion that will be the base of your frappuccino.

  3. Blend the Frappuccino: By now, your tea should have cooled, and your milk infusion should be ready. Strain the milk to remove the cacao nibs and hazelnuts. In your blender, combine the cooled tea, the flavoured milk, 4 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 cups of ice cubes. The sugar can be adjusted as per your taste preference. Blend the mixture until you achieve a smooth, frothy consistency. The resultant frappuccino should have the signature icy texture balanced by the creamy frothiness.

  4. Serve and Enjoy: Pour the frappuccino into your chosen glasses. Top each with a generous dollop of whipped cream. The cool, light cream complements the depth and richness of the frappuccino, offering a delightful contrast. Finish off with a sprinkle of the reserved toasted hazelnuts and a pinch of cacao nibs. These garnishes not only enhance the visual appeal of the beverage but also introduce an element of crunch, making every sip an experience for your senses.

There you have it, your very own Oolong Frappuccino with Cacao Nibs and Hazelnuts. The process of creating this frappuccino might seem elaborate, but the joy of brewing your own tea, infusing flavours, and bringing it all together into a luxurious, iced concoction is incomparable. Moreover, it allows you to appreciate the nuances of every ingredient, making the frappuccino not just a beverage but a gastronomic journey.

As you savour your Oolong Frappuccino, notice the harmony of flavours and how they evolve with each sip. The first impression of frothy creaminess, followed by the icy blend of oolong tea, milk, and sugar, the subtle bitterness of cacao, and the toasty, nutty notes of hazelnut. Notice, too, how the warmth of the hazelnuts and the coolness of the iced frappuccino create an enticing contrast, making the beverage all the more enjoyable.

Tea, in its various forms, can be a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. Our Oolong Frappuccino is a testament to this versatility, showcasing how a traditional hot brew can be transformed into a contemporary, iced delight. We invite you to embrace this versatility, explore beyond the conventional, and discover new ways to enjoy tea.

Whether you are a tea connoisseur, a coffee enthusiast looking for a change, or a lover of all things gourmet, this Oolong Frappuccino with Cacao Nibs and Hazelnuts is sure to enchant you. Here's to creating and enjoying unique flavour experiences. Cheers!

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