I was pretty excited to see this one in the box o’ teas teaplz sent me. Not so much because I think it will taste fantastic or anything. Just because it seems funky and fun. And oh yeah, hopefully good.
The dry leaves smell nice. It doesn’t scream chocolate to me but that’s probably because I’m looking for a more cocoa powder smell when it comes to tea and chocolate notes. It reminds me more of… vanilla bean. Of which I don’t think there is any in the tea so I might be insane. The smell of the dry leaf carries across pretty faithfully to the tea. But it smells… richer, a little deeper. It brews up pretty light for such a powerful smelling tea. But at the same time, it doesn’t seem overpowering or too unnatural of a flavor. It just smells like strong tea.
Now on to the taste. This tea is different and it’s going to be hard to explain this right. Based on the smell, I expected a POW of flavor and I didn’t get that. The flavor seems to be more in the feel of the tea. The smell and the taste it leaves on my tongue after I swallow. The warmth of the chili that seems to build as I sip. It’s a soft flavor. It’s truly tea with the flavor of chili and chocolate, not a flavored tea. Does that distinction make sense? Okay, okay, my brain still reads that chocolate taste as vanilla bean. But the point stands that the main thing is that this is a tea. And oh yeah, it’s flavored.
It’s totally not what I was expecting especially based on the smell but it is pretty fantastic. Subtle and soft but obviously there. It’s simultaneously energizing (hello chili!) and mellowing.
It makes me want to drink this sitting by the fire in a nice lodge after a long day of skiing. Which actually, any day including skiing is going to be long because I can’t do it. At all. I can only snowboard moderately well but this tea isn’t a in-the-lodge-post-snowboarding tea. It actually makes me think of gourmet hot chocolate. Or as a gourmet hot chocolate substitute. And it makes my tongue burn a bit – it a good way. Yay chili! So yeah, this tea is funky and I really like it!