Three cheers for the Dutch. The Dutch have given the world wooden shoes, tulips, windmills and salty black licorice. Yes, salty licorice. If you ask for licorice in Amsterdam you won’t be handed a piece of the sweet red variety we grew up with here in North America. Dutch licorice is actually a derivative of Finnish licorice, known as Salmiakki, which gets its name from the Latin word for ammonium chloride, sal ammoniac, the variety of salt that gives the black confection its distinctive salty flavor. The Dutch variety is a little sweeter than the Finnish however thanks to the addition of aniseed. The resulting candy has a complex salty sweet flavor and depending on the ratio of ingredients ranges in profile from mild to extra strong.
The Master Taster, being the good Dutchman that he is, knew he had to create a tea to capture the unique flavor of the Old Country. He decided to base the blend on a Cederberg district Rooibos from South Africa, which imparts an herbaceous character reminiscent of licorice root. The mellow character of Rooibos also layers exceptionally well with the aniseed and natural flavorings that round out the blend. The resulting cup is fantastic – sweet, slightly bitter and hinting of spice. Try it hot or poured over a tall glass of ice. Prost! (That’s cheers in Dutch!)
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