I suppose the time has come for me to confess I’m not a big fan of the kind of ‘dessert tea’ that contains large chunks of chocolate and caramel and whatnot. I’d rather just have a hot chocolate, complete with rum and whipped cream and vanilla extract and all the decadent little trimmings. I do love flavoured teas, but it has to be subtle – aside from the occasional petal and delicate piece of fruit, I want the magic to be all in the leaves.
So holy hell am I excited about this tea. It smells SO good dry. So good. I could sniff this all day. And steeped? This is full-on malty caramel chocolate fudge decadence in a cup.
It doesn’t have the masterful complexity of Pleine Lune, but it’s definitely up there with the smoothest, lushest of the Mariage Frères blacks. In addition, this is a tea I look forward to experimenting with. I got no bitterness at 4 minutes, but definitely hints of coffee; that’s how much punch the main flavours pack. A shorter steeping time might very well result in a subtler, lighter brew.
Only on the rarest of occasions do I put milk in my tea, but this is definitely one I’d like to try it with – maybe even as an iced milk tea.
Very worthwhile re-steep.
(ETA: It just gets smoother as it cools. This is seriously tasty tea.)
[Surreptitiously acquired from Mariage Frères in London, August 2013.]