I ordered December as part of my first purchase from Whispering Pines Tea Company. And wow, I’m impressed! I enjoy smoky teas, as well as teas with chocolate notes. This blend has both, and as I might have expected, it’s delicious.
In the bag, the dry leaves have a strong smoky scent. When steeped, the smoke gets softer, with just a hint of sweetness behind it. Judging by the aroma, I thought the tea would taste smoky, with hints of chocolate. But I was wrong! When sipped, December is almost all chocolate notes, coupled with the smooth malty flavor of a high-quality black tea. The chocolate note is definitely dark chocolate, and the smoke is still there, but it’s mostly a subtle aftertaste. This tea holds up well to resteeping. On the second cup, I still get strong notes of chocolate, along with a little smoke. The third cup is lighter, with an almost mineral taste and hints of cocoa.
For the past year, I’ve been searching for a light smoky tea that doesn’t taste like a campfire. (I kind of like that ashy flavor, but I have to be in the right mood for it!) With December, I’ve found the perfect smoky blend for me. It’s a black tea, first and foremost: malty and smooth as silk. And while it doesn’t have any added chocolate flavoring, it has surprisingly strong cocoa notes. Basically, it’s a blend for tea lovers who are also chocolate lovers. The subtle smokiness makes it perfect for fall, too! I’m sure I’ll be forced to restock, on the unhappy day when I run out. (And thank you, fellow Steepster users, for alerting me to Whispering Pines Tea Company, and introducing me to this amazing blend.)