Coffee and chocolate have a well-established affinity, rooted in their shared earthiness and richness. Tea isn’t as widely associated with chocolate, but its tannins and vast range of earthy, fruity and floral flavor notes are just as complementary. Some manufacturers sell chocolate-infused teas as a retail product, but you can make your own at home using a number of different methods.
"Hot Chocolate" Method
Coarsely chop or grate good-quality bittersweet or semisweet dark chocolate, using approximately 1 ounce for every cup of tea you’re making.
Prepare your tea as you normally would, removing the bag or straining the tea from the leaves when it reaches the correct strength.
Transfer your grated or chopped chocolate to a small saucepan, and pour 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the hot tea over it. Stir the chocolate until it’s completely melted and forms a smooth mixture with the liquid; then add the rest of your tea and whisk it in. Add approximately 1 part milk for every 3 to 4 parts of tea, if you wish to make a richer and smoother beverage.
Heat the tea mixture gently over low heat until it’s steaming, and then pour it into individual cups or mugs. Garnish with whipped cream and a few additional sprinkles of grated chocolate, if you wish.
Cocoa Nibs Method
Place loose tea leaves in your infuser, or tea bags in your teapot, according to the method you normally use for tea-making.
Measure approximately 1 teaspoon of cocoa nibs — available from upscale grocers and baker’s supply stores — for every cup of tea. Add those to the pot, as well.
Pour hot water into the pot, and allow the tea to infuse for as long as you normally would.
Remove the tea bags, or strain the tea, whichever is appropriate. Pour the chocolate-infused tea, and either froth it or garnish it with whipped cream, as you prefer.
Quick and Easy Method
Prepare a cup or pot of tea, following your normal method.
Spoon a half-teaspoon of good-quality homemade or store-bought chocolate syrup into each cup. Fill the cup with tea, and stir to dissolve the chocolate syrup.
Add milk, if you wish, and then taste the tea. If it’s not yet chocolatey enough, add a small amount of extra syrup and taste it again. When you’re satisfied with the flavor, froth the tea or garnish it with whipped cream, as desired.
Your choice of tea alters the final flavor of the blend dramatically, so experiment freely to find combinations you like. Strong black tea, grassy green tea, spicy chai, mint tea, flavored teas and herbal teas all have their virtues and combine well with some kinds of chocolate.
Most department stores and kitchenware stores sell small frothers for individual cups of coffee and tea. Larger quantities of the beverage can be frothed with an immersion-style “stick” blender.
If you use relatively less tea and more chocolate, the end result is a tea-infused hot chocolate rather than chocolate-infused tea. Both are richly flavored, self-indulgent beverages.
References and ResourcesFine Cooking: Bittersweet Hot Chocolate
Hadley's Tea: Tea and Chocolate
The Kitchn: Definitely Try This! Tea-Infused Hot Chocolate