Thank You to TeaNSympathy for a very intriguing sample.
When I opened the bag, the aromas blew me away! The tea smelled AHHH….MAY…ZING!! If I could do backflips, I would’ve rounded out a couple. :)) I sensed the aroma of coconut and vanilla, and there is a chocolate aroma to this blend. Could it have been coffee? I have read and seen blends where coffee is blended with tea. Maybe it was roasted mate. I remember drinking roasted mate, which gave me a similar sensation when drinking it.
Then I read the ingredients. I couldn’t believe it! There is no chocolate, coffee, or roasted mate listed. Maybe they just didn’t list all of the ingredients?! Yet the choco-coffee, mate aroma is there! Coconut is the obvious and dominant aroma. Then there is the chamomile. Any chamomile I’ve ever had didn’t look quite like the flower in this blend. And I didn’t recognize any part of the aroma as chamomile. The teas listed are Bai Mu Dan and a black tea-probably an Assam. At any rate, these aromas are a dance for the senses (or sense).
The cup aroma was a coconut concoction, filled with choco-nutty goodness, and a sweetness, all of which emanated from the cup. The flavor was really good. Delicious….yes…but, not to the extent the dry aroma would lead you to believe. Still, coconut and that choco-nuttiness played on my tongue! Bai Mu Dan whites tend to have a nutty character to them. The creamy sweetness was brought forth by the chamomile, but I can’t believe when blended, it is responsible for this tea’s chocolate notes.
Check Mate’s shortfall for me is the lack of strength in the base teas. The wonderful coconut and chamomile overpower the base teas for me. Yes, they are present and noticeable, but I just prefer more balance between the teas and the other ingredients in this case.
It is really a very nice, quite delicious dessert tea. If the game of Chess was strictly based on aromas, I would concede to Check Mate, and a match well played. But the base teas didn’t bring their A Game, so I’d have to call this one a draw, and demand a rematch. In this case a rematch (another cup of this tea) is an event worth savoring!
Cupped and Reviewed: Tuesday, March 13, 2012.