I tend to find that chocolate teas have something of an odd common…undertaste? No. Aftertaste? No. “Back” taste, is what I’d call it, as it’s a strangely dusty, somewhat bitter taste at the back of my tongue. Only really good chocolate teas don’t have it.
This tea smells like the backtaste of it would be strong. It’s an Earl Grey…with chocolate chips. My god, what an odd combination. And the smell is sort of icky. But I decided to steep it anyway, to try to use it up.
It’s not even mine, you see, it’s my mother’s. Evidently she and my aunt were in Banff for a knitter’s retreat (although why knitting requires retreating, I cannot figure – if they’re so pleased with themselves for knitting, why don’t they hold their ground?) and the two of them got excited looking around a local tea shop. She came home with three teas, but she was most excited about this one. You know. Because it has chocolate in it, and my mother is one of those people who likes chocolate brownie covered in chocolate icing and drowned in chocolate syrup and raspberries made out of chocolate and eaten off a chocolate plate with a chocolate spoon and spit on by a waiter with chocolate saliva.
But she hasn’t used up this tea (or the other two) in a year and a half. I don’t know – maybe there’s not enough chocolate in it.
So I steeped this up with some brown sugar, and it’s surprisingly good. I definitely understand the name; it certainly makes me think of kicking back in a warmly lit room and playing some jazz on the stereo. Hah, I don’t even own a stereo. It’s Earl Grey. With chocolate. It’s like a sophisticated, finely constructed armchair with well-worn cushions that have never been re-upholstered. It’s a bit bittersweet – which puts you in exactly that mood.
I think I’m going to go steep some more of this and listen to, “I Will Always Love You,” on repeat like I was last night. Not exactly jazz, but I think it will go.