Finished and decupboarded this one today. I’ve said a fair amount about it already so I’ll just add an anecdote.
Yesterday morning I made this for my first morning beverage. I asked the BF to taste it, wondering whether he’d pick up on the flavor and fairly sure he wouldn’t because he’s the sort that puts Tabasco or BBQ sauce on everything so he can taste the food. He’s not at all about subtle when it comes to flavors.
Embarrassingly, he picked up on the chocolate, immediately. Is there a word for the opposite of vindication?
Third attempt, this time plain but at 195F for 3:30 minutes after discovering that Kusmi advocates a lower temperature for this. They go so far as to suggest 185-195 as a range, so I guess I still have more possible attempts.
It’s hard to know whether the chocolate flavor is any richer because I’m not comparing this back to back with the cup made at boiling, but I’m going to say I think it may be, slightly. Not enough to put it into an exceptionally chocolately realm, but better than before.
I’m also tasting for more flavor in the intervals between sips, as I’ve noticed that other Kusmis tend to have a little flavor kick when the sip is done. This one sort of does. It’s not a powerful kick, but it’s definitely there, and there’s a stronger, more chocolately taste in the kick.
Not enough of a difference to change my opinion significantly, but worth a few points. Next time I’ll bump the temp down even more just for laughs.
Attempt no. 2. Bumping this down a few points because, though it is improved with a bit more leaf (I used about 2.75 cups worth for 2 cups) and improved further with a bit of milk and sweetener, it just isn’t as chocolatey as some other blends. Nor is it more tea-y. It’s in some strange middle land that isn’t working for me.
With milk and sweetener it tastes a little like Swiss Miss made with water, which isn’t entirely bad, but if you’ve had it made with milk yaknowwhatImean about the difference between milk and water. And even with milk, it ain’t the cat’s meow in terms of hot chocolate, it’s just… serviceable on a cold day when there’s nothing better around.
I think I have a potential job for it though. I’m thinking it would do well as the extra black tea for chai, particularly chocolate chai. That’s my plan, anyway. I won’t buy it again as a stand alone chocolate tea.
In revisiting the Kusmi Chocolate, I find myself having to bump it down a few notches, mostly because I enjoyed their Spicy Chocolate and even the Chocolate Mint better.
There’s a heaviness to the flavor of this that was doing a number on my stomach this morning. It tastes full and dense, but that didn’t equate to a rich chocolate flavor. The chocolate is around the edges, but somehow the synergy between the chocolate and the tea was making this sit like a brick today. I had tried a bit more leaf than usual to see if that would bump up the chocolate flavor. Note to self: this tastes better without trying to make it stronger. I haven’t experienced the brick sensation before with this tea — usually it’s been the other way — too quiet for what I think about when I think about chocolate tea (hello Raymond Carver).
I saw the suggestion to use sugar in a comment to my previous note on this. I’ll give it a try but I really hope the richness of chocolate flavor doesn’t hinge on the addition of sugar. Then I’ll have yet another reason not to repeat this purchase since I’m back on my diet big time.