Midnight Oolong

Established October 2013

Midnight Oolong

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.

Burnt Caramel

Established September 2013

Burnt Caramel

Caramel ice cream is to ice cream shops as salsa is to Mexican Restaurants. It’s what those who really love ice cream judge you on. For me, if your salsa is bland or watery – I am not even excited to taste the rest. And it’s that way for those foodies who are into ice cream – if your caramel flavor is crap that’s it – expectations plummet.

So we have worked hard and tested many iterations to get this flavor right. Ours is not a sweet sappy caramel – its bold and its burnt. You are either down with the flavor immediately – eyes closing in joy. Or we see that face over the tasting stick – the “what did you just give me” face. Luckily we don’t see that face very often most people fall for Burnt Caramel hard.

Dry burning the caramel used to give me little panic attacks. I screwed it up so often, sacrificed many pots, got bad steam burns when adding cream – my PTSD with this flavor almost got me until the rhythm showed up.

After so many burn attempts the knowing came – what the smoke was telling me, the color change, the texture, what mistakes could be forgiven. This was a challenging opponent with a rewarding outcome and now dry burning caramel is meditation. I watch the sugar morph and it whispers of our past struggles, how we overcame and how we are now the best of friends.

BURNT CARAMEL – Ingredients: organic cream, organic nonfat milk, organic cane sugar, organic egg yolk, organic sweet cream buttermilk, Succanat, Demerara sugar, cream cheese, butter, Himalayan pink salt.

Whiskey Vanilla

Established June 2015

Whiskey Vanilla

Whiskey has been drifting though my life since I was a little girl. I remember falling asleep listening to my Aunts and Uncles playing cards the clink of ice singing in their glasses and their laughter and joy surrounded my dreams.

At the table someone would start the story of my Grandfather Amadril, who at one point of his amazing life was a Whiskey Salesman. His love for Canadian Club whiskey was pure and even those who thought there was much better whiskey out there to drink – they wouldn’t tell Grandpa, you kept those thoughts to yourself.

Paying my way through college as a bartender I served a lot of Canadian Club and learned about many other brands – no where near the choices we have today. I don’t know if it was because Billy Idol was big on my radio – but I fell for the simple flavor of Rebel Yell Whiskey.

When I first started playing with ice cream flavors in 2013 – I remembered the ladies who would come into the bar and ask for Cognac and Cream. My Grandpa would have a little milk in his whiskey to settle the stomach. These memories started me thinking about whiskey in ice cream, and I tried a bunch of brands even Grandpa’s love Canadian Club. Some tasted great, some revolting – and then I spotted a bottle of Rebel Yell Whiskey at Trader Joes and Billy Idol went off in my head, “she cried more, more, more”

I took that home and spun up my little ice cream maker and WOW – the flavor was just right. Its light flavor pairs with the cream accentuating each other. When other Whiskeys fought for dominance in the cream, Rebel Yell just chilled and revealed something amazing.

WHISKEY VANILLA Ingredients: organic cream, organic nonfat milk, organic cane sugar, organic egg yolk, organic sweet cream buttermilk, Cream Cheese, Rebel Yell Whiskey, Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Bean, Sea Salt.