So, I order from these guys periodically. They started here in the town I’m living in, after all (Boston) and I’m pretty sure their base of operations is still out of this state, so it’d be regional loyalty on my part if nothing else! Fortunately, some of their tea blends are so lovely that it’s hardly twisting my arm to browse their catalogue.
They really focus on flavored teas, as one glance at their catalogue can tell you. This is always tricky for me, because so many flavored blends (from any and all companies) try MUCH too hard.
I AM A STRAWBERRY TEA, it will scream at your nose where you stand, easily five feet away from the cannister. I KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO TASTE MY STRAWBERRIES ON YOUR UNCOMPLICATED AMERICAN PALATE!
Anyway, this is not a strawberry tea. This one is chocolate. Of note, I didn’t order this tea…they tossed it in with another of my orders (for the Earl Grey Cream, which I love) in a sample pack for free. The sample isn’t a bad size, either…good for a few cups at 9g, and this is hardly the first sample they’ve sent me.
I don’t often feel the burning desire to consume chocolate, but every now and then I want some. The fact that I’ve had this opened (I must have tried a cup before? I don’t remember doing so) in my cupboard for months is testament to that fact, and perhaps worth remembering in my review…I rolled the top of the foil but didn’t seal it.
The blurb up top is different from the blurb on the back of my sample…it says ‘cocoa beans, vanilla, barley and yogurt bits’, just as a heads-up.
Either way, I’m finding I really like it. I wanted something other than chai today (expected the world to end, there) but needed the caffeine and some kind of perk to my mood. Usually for my chocolate fix I go straight to the hard stuff — Dagoba’s organic Xocolatl hot cocoa with spicy chili and cinnamon, yum yum yum — but I’m clean out of the stuff, and I spotted this while I was rummaging around unsatisfied through my other options…so I decided to give it a go.
The smell of the tea is fantastic, if you like the smell of nutty cocoa. They recommend preparing it as a latte, which is what I did. I simmered approximately 3 teaspoons of it in a cup of water as per the recommendation on the packet, but instead of adding 1/2 cup (1%) milk when that was done with, I added the full cup to stretch it a little, and heated it again. The smell while it was simmering in the water was very tea-strong, probably unsurprisingly. Once I added the milk, though, it smelled lightly like baking, tea-infused chocolate-chip cookies. That sounds almost gross to me to write, but was actually sort of nice. A little bit of german rock sugar finished it off. In the end, it wasn’t quite as dark as a chai, but still had that pretty caramel-like color.
The actual latte is pretty nice. It differs yet again from its smell by being more tea-flavored on the tongue than the smell suggests it’s going to be, but the taste of the chocolate is easily detectable. It reminds me a little bit of those chocolate-striped cookies that usually have chocolate all on the bottom…but without that much sweetness, with a little bit of nuttiness, and with a definite black tea base.
I could see myself ordering this as a way to scratch the occasional sweet-tooth itch I get, for certain, though as I say chocolate isn’t usually what tickles my fancy, so the rest of the time it’d be likely to stay on the shelf.