Established October 2013
I taste tested a lot of chocolate ice cream while working on this flavor. Some chocolate ice creams really looked the part but tasted like anything but chocolate. They were heavy with coffee flavor, no flavor just color or the texture was off.
I think I was up to 5 different versions of a chocolate ice cream and still feeling no love when fate played a role. My friends Arturo and Ana who now run Gusto Bread had a food booth at the Bixby Park farmers market Communi-Tea Culture. They took me on a tour of different teas they liked – I think we even talked about chocolate ice cream and how coffee wasn’t making it work. I left the booth with several teas a nice Oolong blend being one of them.
At home, I steeped the tea how Arturo and Ana taught me. Then used that tea in the recipe formulation I liked the most and it was the change the recipe had been needing. The tea brought out more flavor notes in the chocolate making it rich and fudgy on the tongue. You weren’t fighting a coffee flavor and what the ice cream looked like and tasted like matched up.
Now sometimes I have names for ice creams before I work on the flavors and I had been wanting to use the word Midnight for a chocolate ice cream. My thought was a great chocolate ice cream should surround you in flavor blocking out all else – just like the hour of Midnight immerses you in dark possibility.
Oolong tea had been such a revelation to the recipe it deserved name placement too – and at the time it helped us tell the story of Communi-Tea Culture. Helping to promote other local businesses has always been part of our mission.
The name though can lead to confusion. We are constantly receiving reviews “this flavor didn’t taste anything like oolong tea” and it doesn’t. The Oolong tea is totally playing its best supporting actress role and letting the chocolate shine.
MIDNIGHT OOLONG: Ingredients: organic cream, organic nonfat milk, organic cane sugar, organic egg yolk, organic sweet cream buttermilk, oolong tea, cocoa powder, 70% cacao bar, cream cheese & sea salt.