I picked this one up last summer from the London Tea Room and it was my first experience with pu-erh and mate. My fiancee and I were hoping for a smooth, chocolatey flavored chai, but it wasn’t quite as we expected. I’m rating it today so I can pass it along to someone who will hopefully appreciate it more. The dry leaves smell very sharply of a spicy cocoa. The description mentions a Ayurvedic long pepper, so I am guessing this is the reason for the spicy aroma. The tea liquor is a rather thick, dark brown color with an oily sheen on top. The flavor is overwhelmingly of pepper. A little of the vanilla comes out when sweetener is added, but it is still followed up by a strong pepper taste. It honestly is like drinking liquid black pepper, bleh. I am not going to rate this one since I saw that Terri HarpLady enjoys it and I know that The London Tea Room has excellent teas. This one is just not for me!
-Dry blend is a mixture of small broken black and green leaves, pieces of bark/wood, twigs and coconut slivers.
-Dry leaves smell like sharp, spicy cocoa. Tea liquor aroma is very earthy and peppery.
-Tea liquor is a thick dark brown color with an oily sheen on top.
-Subtle cocoa flavor with an overwhelmingly strong peppery finish.
-Best with sweetener.
-Poor tea. Sweetener brings out the vanilla notes, but the primary flavor is overwhelmingly of pepper.