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Specialteas Spicy Chocolate

Hi all,
You all probably know that SpecialTeas was bought by Teavana. This has made me very sad for a couple of reasons.
1) It was an affordable place for a huge variety of acceptable to amazing teas
2) They allowed you to choose your free sample
3) They had great deals
4) They sold my favorite tea that I can no longer find anywhere!!!

I don’t know how many of your have tried the Spicy CHocolate tea, but it is basically a chai tea without tea leaves with cocoa shells added for a light chocolate flavor. It was absolutely delicious and caffeine and sugar free. I LOVED it. Now I am completely out of it and there is nowhere in the world to find more.

I’ve tried a few substitutes, but they always fail for some reason. The common reasons for falling short are:
1) they include tea leaves, rooibus, mate, etc.
2) Missing one or more of the the spices
3) No cocoa shells!!!
4) proportion of spices is wrong (too much licorice, ew)

Has anyone tasted this tea and know of a good substitute? Or does anyone know of a tea that is purely made of spices with cocoa flavor?
Halp!

33 Replies

I have a couple of links I thought may help. This is a replacement list ( http://kopiusteas.blogspot.com/2011/01/specialteas-substitutions-replacements.html ). It doesn’t look like the Cocoa Spice tea is in the list, but at least its a place to start.

I thought I’d add this link too ( http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:D4yQ0jTNnIMJ:https://www.specialteas.com/PDF/2010-11-SpecialTeas-wholesale-catalog.pdf+specialteas+china+green+yunnan+silver+tips&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjJSnnYWnqOu9qVJQ955Ezy-Ql1OHHKy8yfEn4eQnkaGMWtO4FdR39LjZsz1q8T2Lq5lyebyQmI1BOCCMI-o8aNI_H_kzDpJD18hvBQTA8_iAqYB7ZuQcKfv4oYSW3nbt7X7k5_&sig=AHIEtbREm8SG-4xIPQPmQt55xrE6P6e9HA ), as it evidently is Specialteas wholesale catalog, and it looks like it has all the teas they use to sell with descriptions, a few pictures and even those three digit numbers used to identify the tea with!

That’s some thorough research! Thank you!

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Thanks for these resources, SimpliciTEA.

On the topic of cocoa, does anyone have suggestions or thoughts on chocolate and tea pairings?

You mean what tea goes well with chocolate? I can’t imagine a tea that wouldn’t taste good with chocolate, though there are some teas that are so good that I wouldn’t want to muddy the flavor with anything added.

I was thinking more of what types would go well with, say, a dark chocolate (maybe mandarin green?) or white chocolate (a rosehip tisane?)

that is a really interesting question. Hmm…I think certain fruity flavors would be good with dark chocolate, like cherry or lemon green tea. A nutty black tea might be good with milk chocolate. For white chocolate, light fruit flavors or floral flavors would be great. Matcha would be amazing with white chocolate…

Also, I wouldn’t think hibiscus would work with any chocolate, but I’m not a fan of hibiscus in general.

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Dinosara said

Have you tried California Tea House’s Chocolate Chai? It seems like what you’re looking for, but it does also have white chocolate pieces in it (I don’t know about your original tea). CTH seems to have gotten teas from SpecialTeas in the past (Their Pistachio Gelato seems identical to SpecialTeas Vienna Winter Green), so perhaps it’s similar?
http://www.californiateahouse.com/Tea-Blends/Chocolate-Chai/product.tpl.html

Wow, that does sound really close. the orange peel would make an interesting addition…hmmm… But there’s not cinnamon???? Maybe I should stockpile this in my freezer so I won’t run out again. Thanks for the link!

SimplyJenW said

I posted the same tea lower. I don’t think I would store it in the freezer. But if you have a friend with a vacuum sealer, that might work!

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teataku said

I have a tea in my cupboard from a local spice shop that’s probably the best pairing of tea and chocolate I’ve ever found. It’s called Mayan Chocolate Truffle. What I really like about this tea is that the chocolate is a back seat flavor, but still very present while sipping (and the more sugar you add, the more chocolate you taste, so you can tailor it to how much chocolate you’re in the mood for). It’s a rooibos, I think, and right now I can’t remember for the life of me what else is in it, but chocolate and dried chilies are the main two ingredients.

I’m kind of running low on it at the moment, but I do plan to get more, if anyone’s interested in swapping with me. :)

That sounds really tasty except that I’m not really a fan of rooibus. Is there something wrong with me? It just tastes medicinal somehow.

teataku said

Really? I find that rooibos tastes very earthy/nutty to me, especially if you steep it for about a minute longer than prescribed.

To answer your question, though: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. :) There are plenty of teas that other people find delicious that taste just awful or wrong to me. For example—lavender. I can’t really stand lavender as a tea, no matter how hard I try, or what other things I combine it with. Something about it tastes like soap to me. Long story short, don’t feel pressured to conform to other people’s tastes. :)

teataku said

Heyyy, would you look at that.

The Mayan Chocolate Truffle IS an herbal tea after all. I decided to dig it out of my tea shelf this morning, and I was staring into the bag trying to identify the individual components… and I didn’t see any rooibos. I apparently had classified it as a rooibos in my head and put it as a rooibos in the system when I uploaded it to my cupboard. However, looking at it now, it is definitely an herbal. My bad. |D

In THAT case, where did you get it? I’d love to get some. And would you be interested in a swap? I haven’t swapped before so I’m not sure how it’s done. I’ve got some milk oolong from David’s Tea and a heap of teas from SpecialTeas from their going out of business sale.
flowering green tea, Snow Dragon (green), almond cookie (black), caramel (black), strawberry white, blanc the cassis (black currant white tea), lemon green tea, vienna winter green (nutty, chocolatey green tea), and some japanese sencha that I can’t read the brand of.

Does any of this interest you?

teataku said

o_o Yes. I’m going to have trouble picking just one tea from that list! Those all sound pretty good, actually. xD I’ll get to work on narrowing it down. In the meantime, you may feel free to browse my cupboard (in fact, I’m going to go update it with some other teas I have that I haven’t gotten the chance to upload yet) to see if there’s anything else of mine you’re interested in. And don’t feel pressured—if the Mayan Chocolate is the only one that really appeals to you, that’s totally fine. :)

I just read your bio and realized that you’re a black tea fan. Awesome! So, while you’re trying to narrow it down, I’ve got some black teas that I didn’t list earlier. :P I used to like black teas, but now I can’t really drink them because of my caffeine sensitivity.

I’ve got Florence from Harney & Sons (chocolate hazelnut black tea), darjeeling from David’s Tea (sample size), Earl Grey de la Creme from SpecialTeas, Masala Chai from SpecialTeas, and ginseng flower buds of no particular brand from my mom.

You can work on narrowing that down while I consider your cupboard. hehe

teataku said

Ah, okay! Neat. _ I just made a list, in order of preference, so as soon as you let me know which ones you’d like, I’ll do the same.

I read your bio and saw that you’ve always wanted to try a honeybush tea. Well, I happen to have Teavana’s Honeybush Vanilla, which is pretty good. It’s also the only honeybush I’ve ever tried, so I don’t know how it compares.

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SimplyJenW said

What was in the tea from Specialteas? I have purchased cocoa nibs at Whole Foods, and I imagine they are available elsewhere. I wonder if you could blend something close with cocoa nibs and a chai recipe from online somewhere but omit the actual tea.

This info is from the bag that I saved after finishing the tea:
Spicy Chocolate (No. 601)
Ingredients: Cocoa kernels, cinnamon, chicory root, cardamom ginger, cloves, pink pepper, desiccated coconut (coconut, coconut fat, sugar)

SimplyJenW said

Teavana’s closest (the company that ‘owned’ Specialteas) is their Azteca Fire Herbal Tea. You might be able to spice that one up.

SimplyJenW said

Oh! And both of these are very close. I can’t say I have ordered from either vendor, though.
http://www.californiateahouse.com/Tea-Blends/Chocolate-Chai/product.tpl.html
http://shop.tgtea.com/store/product/1483/Chocolate-Enlightenment/

the chocolate enlightenment sounds really close! I think I’ll take it! Thanks!

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It turns out that I’m a total moron because the tea is actually called Spicy Chocolate (No. 601).

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Have you tried Adagio Teas Chocolate Chai? It’s a real hit in my household.

unfortunately, there’s black tea leaves in there and I’m looking for something that’s purely without tea. I’m sure it tastes great though!

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I really enjoy Teavana’s Azteca Fire…it doesn’t have any tea leaves in it, has cocoa pieces, a nice mild spice if you steep it long enough, and smells and tastes fantastic. It’s smooth and really does taste chocolatey. I just ordered some more…

Hmm…I’ll keep that in mind. Though I’m kinda mad at Teavana for buying out SpecialTeas. Actually, my boycott is probably unfounded. I don’t know. I’m still recovering.
Anyway, I’m looking for something more of a chai with cocoa and without tea, rooibus or mate of any sort.

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No problem—I understand the boycott :) I’ll let you know if I happen upon something!

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Hello my friends,

I have found the tea. The EXACT tea. It’s one of Teavana’s new teas. I guess it’s one of the ones from SpecialTeas that they decided was good enough to keep selling? Curse them. Now I have to pay twice as much if I want it again. :(

http://www.teavana.com/the-teas/herbal-teas/p/zocolatte-spice-herbal-tea

It was so tastyyyyy. I made it strong and had it like chai. I also let the “tea” sit in the water indefinitely. The flavor just gets stronger, which is good in my book.

If you ever wanna split an order from Teavana, lemme know. I love their chai blend (and hate myself whenever I have to order). :)

Hmm…at the risk of sounding ignorant, how would we split an order if we lived so far apart?

Depends on how you’d like to work this. I’ve done this with a couple Steepsterites. Either I pay you or you pay me and then we place the order. I actually have a Teavana store near me too so I could risk going in and getting the order. Just a thought! :)

Is it so horrible to go into Teavana? I’ve seen one at a semi-nearby mall that I could visit. I don’t recall having a good experience the first time I went there so I never went back.

Anyway, I won’t be able to buy tea for a while. I just made a couple of orders that I don’t have space for. BUt the next time I see a bit of space in my cabinet, I’ll think of you. :)

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