53
drank Chocolate Monkey by Art of Tea
186 tasting notes

This tea is monkeying around with me.

HAHAH, so punny.

Anyway, yeah, this one is messing a bit with my taste buds, and I’m sort of getting confused and frustrated as a result. The smell of this dry is really banana-ish, in a Banana Laffy Taffy or a banana chip way. Not the freshest banana smell, but more like candied banana. Or banana candy.

And the dry leaf is ridiculously pretty, with the contrast between the deep red of the rooibos, the poppin’ pink peppercorns, dark cacao nibs, and the yellows of the banana and apple bits.

So I steeped this one up, and the infusion sort of only smells like rooibos. There’s notes of banana in there, but I’m really not getting any cocoa or anything.

Here’s the problem with this one: it feels rich, but tastes bland. If that even makes sense. The tea feels weighty in the mouth, and substantial. Like a lot of flavors are going to burst out and be really tangible. But then the flavors never really develop into much of anything. It’s like a powerhitter that you put in in a pinch, and he strikes out. The anticipation builds, but it leaves you frustrated.

This tea is the tease.

I’m getting hints of good stuff! Banana is definitely the dominant flavor in this one, and it’s fairly nice! There’s only the really, faintest taste of cocoa, but it’s so fleeting I’m not sure if I’m imagining the taste because I want it to be there. I feel a slight tingle in the back of my throat from the pink peppercorn, or at least I think it’s from that. Or else I might have a sore throat coming on. Who knows? There’s sweetness, but I can’t really identify if it’s coming from the rooibos or the apple/banana bits.

At the bottom of the cup, when it’s cooled off, I’m getting a really strong, delicious strawberry flavor. Where that is coming from, I HAVE NO IDEA. Well, it tastes good!

That’s the other problem with this tea. It’s muddled and subtle at the same time. I don’t mind tea where the flavors mesh together so perfectly that I can’t pick them apart, but this is more like that person who chronically speaks low in class and you can never hear. You can pick out some words, but in the end, it’s just frustrating. That’s this tea. It’s not a bad tea, per se, but it just could have been so much more!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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22-year-old NYC girl just starting out on her tea adventures! I used to hate tea. If you asked me a few years ago what I thought of tea, I’d tell you it tasted like hot, dirty dishwater. Not anymore! I acquired a taste for tea when I started drinking peppermint tea for my upset stomach problems. From there I graduated to teas like chamomile and Lipton. But Lipton wasn’t strong enough!

I’m getting the hang of this loose leaf thing. Black’s my default, but I’ve found that I really love teas that fall into every category. I’m a purist – I always drink my tea neat. I prefer unflavored tea over flavored tea, and really dislike anything flavored with artificial-tasting substances. I’ve grown up a bit in my tea drinking, and I find that novelty appeals to me less and less.

I also am the happy girlfriend of the boy that created the tea randomizer, which can be found here: http://www.jaydeee.net/pickatea.php

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New York City

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