I’ve finally gotten around to trying this! Bought a Tea of the Month pack a few weeks back for one reason: it smells just like these amazing cinnamon rolls that a shop by my place used to sell. Right down to the icing. That’s it. Sometimes it’s a bit more chocolate-y, but, well, that’s not a problem for me. And, I’ll be honest: it even tastes like them a bit. I thought it was a long shot, because smelling AND tasting like my favourite cinnamon rolls? Too much to ask. But it actually does.
The assistant who helped me when I bought this said that it was a great alternative to hot chocolate, to which I thought: hah, ‘alternative’.
One thing I definitely would have done is brew this stronger. I used about 1 and a half teaspoons in one of my larger pots, about 2.5 cups, because I tend to be careful when brewing new black teas for the first time, but I would definitely recommend both steeping a bit longer and using more tea to get the sweetness and flavour from the chocolate bits, cinnamon, and everything else to their full strengths.
In terms of a creamer, I tried it with some vanilla soy milk and it was quite nice, but I think this tea deserves full dairy, at least 2% milk or Half & Half. The extra vanilla didn’t add much, but a chocolate flavoured non-dairy might be better. I imagine almond milk would also do very nicely with it. But for me, especially since it’s such a sweet and decadent tea by itself, I think going the full way with a creamer would definitely be called for.
I sweetened it with both honey and brown sugar and brown sugar was definitely better. The honey didn’t add sweetness so much as its own flavour, and I wasn’t particularly fond of the result when mixed with the tea. Your mileage may vary, I suppose, but definitely a sugar for me if I even do want this sweetend.
All in all, it’s a decent tea, and something very good for the fall and winter, but I haven’t fallen in love with it. The liquor is very dark, obviously, but there’s also a very definite oily sheen to it. I’ve noticed this in a few other blends from David’s, like their Blood Orange Pu’erh, but particularly with their teas that have flavouring added, whether it’s natural or artificial. Some might not appreciate seeing that in their cup.
All in all, it’s a warm, winter tea; not for icing, not something I’ll be stocking up on regularly, but I’ll enjoy it while I have it.