Thanks to Jackie T, I’m finally getting to try this one. (I’ve been curious about it for a while now.)
First impression (dry): Holy cow, this has a LOT going on! I don’t have access to an actual ingredient list (Teavana’s website is so unhelpful), but it looks like there’s peppercorn, dried cardamom pods, cocoa pieces, chopped-up nuts, a tiny bit of rooibos, coconut flakes, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t recognize. Smells good. Like, really good. Chocolate and something a little bit minty? Not sure where that’s coming from, but it smells a tiny bit like a mild Read My Lips, almost.
First impression (steeped): Still smells good. Not getting that odd mintiness anymore. The liquor that this makes up is, well frankly, gross looking. It’s pale and murky – almost looks like dirty, scummy fish tank water. That’s not doing much for my appetite… :/
First sips (no additions): Whoa, that’s sweet! Almost sickeningly sweet. When I was searching for an ingredients list, I read a review that said to add Stevia. Ugh, I can’t even imagine how bad and overly sweet that would taste! Glad I tried it plain first. Seriously, it’s got that whole tongue-tingly feeling I get when I eat frosting or something heavily sugared. It doesn’t taste like a naturally occurring sweetness, so I wonder what they added to get it that way. Sadly, I’m getting no salt.
(Adds milk) Now it tastes more like chocolate. Sweet milk chocolate. And I’m getting a light caramel flavor – like the kind of caramel you get chocolate bars, rather than the thick, slightly burnt, stovetop caramel that I love. Ok, that “minty” smell I picked up before must actually be anise, because I’m tasting crazy licorice, especially in the end of the sip. Still no salt (sad face).
I’m glad I was able to try this one without purchasing it. It wasn’t really what I was hoping for – a thick, dark, chocolatey caramel tea with a punch of salt. Mmmm…if anyone knows of a tea like that, let me know!