drank Chocolate Tea by Harney & Sons
1165 tasting notes

It’s official. I’m at the point in tea over-acquisition where I no longer know what I even have. Scary. Very scary. I forgot I had a sample of this, or I would have tried it before trying the TeaFrog Chocolate and Cream flavored black as a baseline.

In any case, the dry leaves smells exactly like Florence minus the hazelnuts. Really tremendous, deep unsweetened chocolate fragrance that borders on syrupy and is really smelling awesome to me as an after lunch tea right about now.

It diffuses some after steeping and becomes about equal parts tea and chocolate. The tea has an aromatic sweetness to it, a slight sugariness.

It tastes about equal parts tea and chocolate, too, which is a nice balance. The sweetness of the tea is not enough to sweeten the chocolate significantly, but the chocolate is not bitter (it just isn’t really sweet). I’m thinking some milk might make this even more tasty.

I’m thinking this is a reorder and that it isn’t an either/or choice between this and the TeaFrog. They’re very different. The TeaFrog is more tea-as-base-for-flavor, this is more tea-as-part-of-flavor. Which I’d have at any given time would depend on mood, I think.

I do wonder as I start to narrow down the universe of teas whether I’ll start to gravitate toward some teas more than others even within my narrowed universe, but I’m hardly to that point yet.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

That sounds like my tea stash as well… I have so much tea!!!

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That sounds like my tea stash as well… I have so much tea!!!

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. 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 write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with 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. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

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

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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