This smells nice. A true caramel scent but not overly sweet. Which makes sense since it is supposed to be bittersweet. I really like the smell. It’s somewhat like salt water taffy, but in a caramel flavor.
It smells more caramel than it tastes though. It’s more of a burnt caramel – there is definitely some bitter but not bitter like it’s been brewed too long since the bitter comes at the front of the taste, not the end and it is much too smooth of a bitter to be from overbrewing. It doesn’t cause me to make a funny face or anything. It’s a controlled bitter that would pair wonderfully with sweet… if there were more sweet that followed it up. Instead the taste transitions smoothly into an almost cocoa powder taste, then a nice (but still) default tea taste.
Contrary to my previously stated desire to have more sweet in this, I decided to add a splash of milk to the second half of my cup. I blame the cocoa-like notes. With the milk in it, the transition of tastes turns into a melding and this turns into a pretty nice post-dessert tea. Not a dessert tea – it’s not sweet enough for that – but something good to end a rich meal on in lieu of coffee. It makes me think of tiramisu actually, which always struck me as having too much bitter with the cocoa powder to be a proper dessert (I prefer things that are so sweet and rich you will go into sugar shock by the end of the dish).
That being said, I do enjoy this but it isn’t the sweet caramel I was hoping for. I can definitely see it as an after dinner coffee-like drink to wash down that super-rich dessert I’d pick. I might try this with sugar but I might not. It almost seems a shame to make the mild bitter go away.