With a foundation of apples, red beets contribute additional sweetness along with color, while cinnamon adds spiciness and the almond pieces provide the signature flavor. Composed of only these ingredients, the tisane is naturally caffeine free, making this an ideal dessert beverage after an evening meal. Because make no mistake, this is definitely a dessert tea.
I brewed a heaping teaspoon in 8 ounces of boiling water for 10 minutes. You absolutely can’t over-brew fruit tisanes because they don’t have any actual tea leaves in them and therefore won’t become bitter.
The pieces themselves and the brew have a sweet and nutty aroma, with a touch of spicy cinnamon. While I was making this tea, my husband came into the kitchen hoping that I was baking because he could smell it across the house—that’s how aromatic this blend is! (Granted, we live in a house the size of a cottage but still.)
The brewed cup is a gorgeous rosy pink color with a liquor that is—perhaps surprisingly—very sweet.
If you do want to enjoy this tisane with a snack, you’ll either need to balance the sweetness (perhaps with cheese and crackers) or simply pull out all the stops and accentuate it (try something salty). Just don’t let the snack compete with the sweet brew.
Like other fruit tisanes, this one shines when iced—but be sure to serve it in a glass that flaunts its incredible color!
And that may be my favorite thing about this tisane. It’s such a unique saturated hue, and I find that the flavor is unexpected for its color (note that the color looks different in my photos and probably on your screen; it’s actually more pink than orange). I don’t know if I’m expecting grapefruit or something with that pinkish color but the pure sweetness startles me a bit.
And frankly, I do find that it’s rather too sweet for my preferences. It’s sorta like drinking a coffee cake or sweet roll: nutty, sweet, cinnamon-y.
Clearly, however, I’m in the minority because this tisane is a longstanding customer favorite at TeaHaus. The next time, then, that you want a no-calorie dessert, this tisane may fill that craving.
Moving on, you can see how the apples and beets reconstituted during the brewing process.
Apples and almonds do seem a natural combination for tea, especially here in the U.S. where both are commercially grown.
Apples have been around since the Persian Empire but fell out of favor as the Roman Empire waned. Many of the varieties we enjoy today may owe their existence to the Christian monks who kept orchards and to the Muslims who maintained an active interest in growing fruit!
Although crab apples were native to the Americas, European settlers brought their own domestic apples with them, and in 1625 the first orchard was planted (in Boston).
Years of experimentation yielded hundreds of varieties that flourished in the U.S. Today we have some 2,500 varieties although only around 100 are commercially grown.
Eighty percent of the world’s almond supply comes from California, whose almond trees require honeybees for pollination—as in 1.6 million colonies. Since each colony has 35,000–50,000 bees, we’re talking a lot of bees. To reach these numbers, commercial hives are brought in from around the country.
My beekeeper husband always points out that honeybees don’t fare so well when exposed to just almond trees (although I do counter with the fact that he continues to eat almonds along with the rest of us). But he’s right that the toxin amygdalin is present in almond nectar and pollen. It’s believed that this can be detrimental if the bees are limited to almond trees for too long, and research continues.
The almond “nut” that we eat is actually the seed or kernel encased in a shell, nestled within a fuzzy hull. California almond growers aim for zero waste: the shells become bedding for livestock and the hulls serve as food for cows.
So that’s Roasted Almond in a nutshell.
Well, in a not-a-nut shell. . . . or maybe just a cup.