This one called to me today, along with the Caramel-Toffee, another from the marvelous Dammann Freres buying group Doulton organized.
The chocolate in the dry mixture has a somewhat less intense nose than does Florence, which is what this seems to be asking to be compared to out of my recent tasting experience. They’re both chocolate and nut mixes, though different nuts and Charlotte has some flowers added as well. While the chocolate in Florence has a deep, dark smell, this one has a lighter, more milky smell to it. I can smell the almond, too. It is also a less intense fragrance than the hazelnut of Florence.
Although I feared that steeping might dilute these more delicate fragrances too much, the tea’s aroma is quite nommy. The fragrance of the tea has filled in any gaps that might have needed filling. It’s a deeper aroma now, chocolate and tea, with a very high floral note and a slightly less high almond note.
I don’t think this is as chocolately as Florence, or as nutty. But that’s ok. This has what, for lack of a better phrase, I keep referring to as that “black tea French blend thing.” It’s very obviously tea, a smooth, deep, tasty black tea, with a sweet, chocolatey taste at the tail of the sip and an almond overlay that sits over the taste from beginning to end. The fact that the chocolate is a less intense part of the flavor profile makes it possible to enjoy this without evening thinking about adding milk.
It’s definitely yum, but it’s not so much a Florence alternative as it is something that can peacefully coexist in a chocolate/nut/tea lover’s cupboard along with Florence.