drank Chocolate and Cream by TeaFrog
1245 tasting notes

Another of my TeaFrog samples from a previous Steepster Select.

I’ve been running around all day: kids swimming lessons, my workout, my haircut, younger kid’s friend’s birthday party, and finally got home. I’m really tired, but somehow it seems a little pathetic to go to bed at 7 p.m. So I thought I’d try some black tea to wake me up a little.

In the sample bag, the tea smells delicious. It’s a sweet chocolate smell, a milky chocolate. I was thinking chocolate liqueur, and then I realized it’s pretty similar to the smell of chocolate syrup. I can see chocolate chips in among the dark brown leaves.

After it steeps, the aroma becomes less sweet and less intense, and takes on more of a chocolate baked goods quality. The liquor is lighter in color than I’d expected. It’s a sort of bronze color.

Yum. Tastes like…. chocolate! It’s very chocolatey. More chocolate than tea, by a lot. It’s interesting because it’s like drinking a grown up version of hot chocolate, by which I mean hot chocolate stripped down to its essence. No milkiness, no creaminess, no frothiness, no chewiness, but a lot of the same essential comfort flavor of warm chocolate without all of these. It’s kind of surprising.

As for the cream, I don’t taste it independently, but I understand it. It’s the difference between a baking chocolate flavor, and a sweetened chocolate flavor. It’s as though the chocolate here has been sweetened with lactose, though I can’t taste a cream flavor. The tea itself shows up more in the aftertaste than elsewhere; it has a sweet, mild flavor that goes well with the chocolate.

Most of the chocolate teas I’ve had have other flavors in them as well. This may be the first solo chocolate I’ve had, and it will be a good benchmark as it seems to be a solid, standard sweet chocolate flavored tea.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became less appealing to me — but I still enjoy nicely done blends where the base doesn’t taste like hamster cage chips. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation. These days, I’ve been drinking primarily green tea during weekdays after my first cup of coffee. On weekends, I’ve been drinking only tea.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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