Monday, April 29, 2013

Experiments with Tea - Making Oatmeal

In recent days, I have been experimenting with a new use for tea. I enjoy a good bowl of oatmeal on a semi-regular basis, and my typical additions include fruit, nuts, honey, peanut butter, or...brown sugar. Now, the brown sugar, while partially for taste, acts as the primary sweetener in this case. While a tablespoon or two of brown sugar is not too unhealthful, I had been contemplating ways in which to reduce my processed sugar intake.

Thus did I arrive at the idea to utilize a naturally sweetened tea, rather than water, as the base for my oatmeal. Hopefully, the tea would infuse the oatmeal with its flavors and extra sweetening would not be necessary.

Over several days, I tested this theory, using four different teas. The results of these trials follow:
  • The Secret Garden Organic Herb Shop's Organic Peach Rooibos - Utilizing a flavored rooibos was the first specific idea that I had in regard to modifying the base of the oatmeal. The result was good but very subtle. The peach flavor and the rooibos flavor were both very much present, but they primarily resided in the aftertaste.
Peach Rooibos Oatmeal - Uncooked
Peach Rooibos Oatmeal - Cooked
  • Vital Tea Leaf's Royal Pu'erh - I am uncertain as to what drove me to utilize this fifteen year old, cooked pu'erh as the base for oatmeal, since it is very decidedly the opposite of a sweet tea. The oatmeal itself tasted slightly bitter with typical pu'erh earthy tones. It was quite reminiscent of unsweetened cocoa.
  • Vital Tea Leaf's Lychee Black - The strong, sweet lychee flavor made an excellent addition to the oatmeal. It was not as subtle as the rooibos, but not in-your-face lychee flavor, either.
  • Vital Tea Leaf's Coconut Red - While the smell was more prominent with the coconut, I noticed that the taste was very light. In fact, it mostly just had a light touch of coconut aftertaste. This was a bit disappoint, as I find the coconut red tea to be just as strong as the lychee black tea, while drinking them.
Lychee Black Tea Oatmeal (Left) and Coconut Red Tea Oatmeal (Right) - Both Uncooked
There you have it, folks! If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for other oatmeal-tea combinations, let me know in a comment, below.

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