Alrighty, time to give this tea a try. :D I got my sample size ready to go.
Just ripping open the small packet yielded a heady, chocolatey smell. Which was pretty exciting. :) It smells more like a sweet chocolate, rather than earthy dark chocolate like Laoshan Black.
As soon as the hot water poured in, I could see immediately what people meant about “hot rocks” or mineral, as that was my exact impression, still smelled pleasantly chocolately though, so not too worried. :)
As for taste, it’s actually more similar to Laoshan Black than I thought. The main differences are that it’s much less roasty, and it has that “hot rocks” flavor. Overall it’s naturally sweeter than Laoshan Black, though I’m not picking up on the caramel notes at all. Perhaps a little sugar would bring that out, but as I’ve gone two weeks without adding any sugar to any black teas, I’d rather not fall back into the habit.
Perhaps I’ll taste it more on a second infusion.
Overall, I’m really enjoying this. It’s so sweet I almost doubted myself for a moment and wondered if I put sugar in mindlessly, but I definitely didn’t. That said, since overall it’s still fairly similar to Laoshan Black, in the end I think I’d rather save myself the $1.25 per ounce and just opt for the other instead of this in future orders.
Still have my fingers crossed that the caramel will pop in second the infusion, oof.