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This tea is from my sister’s cupboard – she’s only a fan of rather flavourful/sweet teas, and this one didn’t fit the bill. She had been given a whole box (100g) of it, so when I visited at Christmas, it came home with me! My first attempt at this tea back on my birthday in January wasn’t bad, but since then I have learned quite a bit about tea and steeping times, etc., so I’m thinking this cup will be better! I also feel like I should note that the box for this tea is covered in greek writing – I don’t know if this is a greek company, but the tea was possibly purchased in Greece :)

The instructions for brewing call for one level teaspoon per 2 cup pot, steeped with boiling water. I was just using a mug, so went with a generous half teaspoon and boiling water.

The dry tea looks like a typical black loose leaf tea, with a couple small caramel-coloured chocolate chips. I made sure to get one into my tea ball, but am skeptical that I’ll have enough for one per cup by the end of this bag! It smells a bit chocolatey, but isn’t particularly aromatic. I tend to find that with flavoured blacks and many straight teas, so am not too concerned. Steeped, the smell is of chocolate and caramel… yum!

Ok – this is definitely better than I remember! I can taste a mild black base, mixed with creamy and vanilla-y flavours with a hint of chocolate. There’s no astringency at all, which is lovely. I am getting a bit of a strange taste at the end of the sip, after the delicious flavours have faded. Can’t really place it though. A part of me wants to say cardboard, but that would be very harsh, as that’s not really it. Maybe… it’s a bit woody?

I think I’d try this one again at 1 tsp/cup just to see if I can strengthen it a bit. It’s not really all that weak, but I would like to give it a shot stronger, and given that there was absolutely no bitterness or astringency, I figure I have a bit of room to play around! Overall a pretty tasty straight chocolate tea! I’m impressed :)

ETA: Second infusion is a bit weak, but still pretty tasty! A bit caramelly sweet and smooth. Worth it, IMO.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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