Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Experiments in the world of Cocoa-Chai

So, a while back I acquired some cocoa beans via to make into Cocoa chai - you can buy it in teabags, but isn't terribly cheap. The interesting ingredients of the store-bought one (See here) are: Cocoa (39%), Spices (33%) (Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves, Ginger, Pepper, Chicory Root), Stevia.

For the cocoa, I haven't roasted the beans, yet. They smell amazing, and taste good in an infusion. I shall consider toasting some.

I also have had a bunch of the beans infusing in some vodka for a few weeks, and the result is very buttery/creamy, but with a nasty vodkay aftertaste. May be rectified with sugar syrup.

Experiment One:

Ingredient ratio

70% homemade chai tea (a mix of 50/50 earl grey and english breakfast leaf tea, with solid lumps of the above spices thrown in. Probably about 90% tea to 10% spices), and 30% cocoa beans, crushed roughly with my fingers.


Very much like tea with a slight hint of cocoa. Much more cocoa flavour on the second brew, and almost no spice flavour. Needed lots of sugar. Not bad, but not very cocoa-y

Experiment Two:

Ingredient ratio

70% cocoa, and 30% tea mix as above.


Like a bitter, watery hot chocolate. For me, needed lots of sugar. Pleasing and drinkable.
Future experiments

- A mocha infusion / tea: percolated ground coffee and roasted ground cocoa beans. Could be amazing.
- A blend of tea/cocoa/spices that follows the original better (40:30:30, cocoa:spices:tea).
- Getting the items to a similar size / surface area to ensure equal by-weight extraction of flavour may be a variable worth experimenting. I'll have to pinch a coffee grinder that grinds to a specified size for this
- More infused alcohols -- my past experiments with coffee and spiced vodkas have gone down well (or infamously, in the case of the chilli vodka...) in the past, and I happen to know someone with a still, and raw spirits.