Another of my TeaFrog samples from a previous Steepster Select.

I’ve been running around all day: kids swimming lessons, my workout, my haircut, younger kid’s friend’s birthday party, and finally got home. I’m really tired, but somehow it seems a little pathetic to go to bed at 7 p.m. So I thought I’d try some black tea to wake me up a little.

In the sample bag, the tea smells delicious. It’s a sweet chocolate smell, a milky chocolate. I was thinking chocolate liqueur, and then I realized it’s pretty similar to the smell of chocolate syrup. I can see chocolate chips in among the dark brown leaves.

After it steeps, the aroma becomes less sweet and less intense, and takes on more of a chocolate baked goods quality. The liquor is lighter in color than I’d expected. It’s a sort of bronze color.

Yum. Tastes like…. chocolate! It’s very chocolatey. More chocolate than tea, by a lot. It’s interesting because it’s like drinking a grown up version of hot chocolate, by which I mean hot chocolate stripped down to its essence. No milkiness, no creaminess, no frothiness, no chewiness, but a lot of the same essential comfort flavor of warm chocolate without all of these. It’s kind of surprising.

As for the cream, I don’t taste it independently, but I understand it. It’s the difference between a baking chocolate flavor, and a sweetened chocolate flavor. It’s as though the chocolate here has been sweetened with lactose, though I can’t taste a cream flavor. The tea itself shows up more in the aftertaste than elsewhere; it has a sweet, mild flavor that goes well with the chocolate.

Most of the chocolate teas I’ve had have other flavors in them as well. This may be the first solo chocolate I’ve had, and it will be a good benchmark as it seems to be a solid, standard sweet chocolate flavored tea.

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I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.


Bay Area, California



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