Dustin was so kind to send me a sample of this tea; thanks Dustin!

Years ago I had a cheap and simple chocolate tea. It was not a good experience. It tasted as tea with a bit of cacao powder. Since then I’ve always avoided chocolate teas, untill I recently decided to try Theodor’s The du Loup, which I really liked very much and put chocolate teas back on the my to-try-list.

Like TheTeaFairy, I picked up a hint of sourness in the smell of the dry leaves, so I was a little apprehensive about this one. Based on the smell I definately wouldn’t have bought this. And that is of course the beauty of tea swaps, because once brewed this is een tea that lives up to it’s name. Altough I can’t really discern the cherry flavour, I do get the total griottes experience: the sweet dark chocolate taste with a sense of tart fruitiness. The flavours blend beautifully.

I do wonder if artificial flavouring has been used for this tea. Not that I would mind, but it seems neigh to impossible to achieve this taste with solely natural ingredients. Unfortunately the website doesn’t give any information.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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What to say about myself and my tea drinking habits? I’ve been staring at the screen, reading other’s bio’s and still can’t come up with something worthwile. I’ll just stick to the basics.

I generally prefer white, green and oolong teas to black teas. As I read a scientific report that stated that black teas lower the level of stress hormones in the blood, I try to add a few cups of black tea every day.

Overall I prefer black teas to be flavoured. The white, green and oolongs may be flavoured or straight.

I brew my teas per cup, mostly in my – much loved – Kati mug with Cha Cult strainer. I’m rather a stickler for brewing time and temperature, so I use a tea timer and watercooker with temperature indication.

I also love a good cup of coffee and especially cappuchino. As far as I’m concerned, a good cappuchino requires a real milk/foam topping, not something made with skimmed milk, powder or the like. Unfortunately a lot of cafes still haven’t caught on to that one and serve low quality coffee and tea (type vending machine and bagged fannings). I hate it when, on a cold winter day, the choice is restricted to bad coffee, bagged fannings or a cold softdrink… :-(

As for rating teas, I more or less make the following distinction:

Nothing is perfect. Probably won’t be using it ever.

98 – 99:
Nearly too good to be true.

90 – 97:

80 – 89:

70 – 79:
Good. May rebuy depending on price and availability.

60 – 69:
Ok I’ll finish the cup and maybe even have a second, but probably won’t finish the entire package as I have other – (far) better teas in my cupboard.

< 60:
I feel cheated. I won’t ever be buying this again.

< 50:
This really is no good.

< 30:
I hate this. I want my money back.

Beyond horrible!

PS: Recalibrated my ratings according to this index on 23 feb 2013.


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