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Recent Tasting Notes
This is probably my record thus far, taking three years to write about a tea. For shame. To be fair, I had my Tisano blends packed up 100km from me for nearly two of those years, scarily enough, so I didn’t even get access to them again until nearly half a year ago.
Sipping on this two years past the best before sticker, I was expecting epic grossness but it hasn’t changed too much at all. This was never heavy on the traditional chai spices, but rather merely focusing on cinnamon alongside the cacao shells. This reminds me a lot of a DAVIDsTEA blend I experienced many years ago. I want to say Super Chocolate? This is like Aztec hot chocolate without the chillies.
This is also a sipdown since I only had a couple cups left anyway. Should have just polished it off back in Victoria!
I bought this over two years ago, and drank through over half of my tin then, and now have it back in my possession. It’s obviously lost some scent and flavour since then, but regardless of its age, I’m afraid to report that this one was bad.Not sure if my batch was off or if it’s just my palate, but there is something really off about this. The dry leaf smells dry and almost barn-like, and I can tell that it’s from the rose petals. Now, most now that I love florals. I love the smell and taste of roses, so for me to encounter a rose that makes my stomach turn? Even fresh, when I’d brew it up, it smelled more barn-like (mixed in with the rose scent) and it tasted like it smell. The cacao shells were there but the rose just overwhelmed and ruined everything.
It’s like the roses mixed in with the manure they were flourishing in and somehow that all ended up in the tin with the cacao shells. No sense in torturing myself trying to drink this up so into the garbage the rest of this goes.
Thanks so much to Phi for hooking me up with some of this! I like that I can throw a few shells in with just about any vanilla, rooibos, or dessert tea and it comes out yummy. I also enjoy brewing this straight and drinking it with a splash of rice milk – the experience is creamy chocolate goodness. Alas, no rice milk for me right now due to Passover, but this is still good without it! The flavor is akin to a piece of 60% dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is medium for tea but thin for hot cocoa/chocolate milk. Overall, this is a tisane I’d like to keep in stock.
Iced Latte Sipdown (234)!
I felt a little bad asking my friend/coworker Kandyce to make this tea for me when she was working drink station – she’s allergic to chocolate and that’s essentially all that this tea is. Thankfully, it’s a very, very mild allergy as far as allergies go but even still…
This tasted super good though! The timing of it was perfect too as we had a mall evacuation not even five minutes after it was finished steeping. Some idiot pulled the fire alarm in the downstairs of the mall, and everyone had to clear out for like twenty minutes. We all walked to our muster point, about five blocks away, and I was lucky enough to have a refreshing tea in hand while doing so!
I like the creaminess of this as an iced latte, and while I’m not generally a chocolate tea person this one works for me because it’s light to medium bodied and very, very natural/unprocessed tasting. You know, real cacao and not some waxy block of chocolate sold over the counter. Mmmm!
This is another tea from the Tea Sparrow box that VariaTEA very kindly gifted to me for my birthday! I’ve decided that I’m going to keep in line with the theme of this box for at least my first tastings of each tea – meaning I’m going to be drinking all of them with honey.
Honestly this one was actually really good but not anything surprising/other than what I would have expected. I have had Cacao Shell teas before, specifically from Herbal Infusions and Crio Bru. I think I liked this more than then Herbal Infusion cacao I’ve had but, just on memory alone, less than the average Crio Bru. Crio Bru does have an advantage in that they offered cacao shell tisanes with more diverse flavours, though. I’ll probably use the rest of this either for blending or just as a hot chocolate replacement.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk18jZpx4Nk
This tisane is made of cacao shell, making for dark chocolate strong tea. It reinfuses well too. It is pretty strong, potent dark chocolate on its own. I find it does magic adding some to my other teas. I’ve even added it to grandpa style and gongfu teas – Milk oolong + Tisano chocolate tea is amazeballz.
Full review and blending ratios on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/tisano-chocolate-tea-review/
Finally finishing off the last little bit of this! Since I am out of Assam, I mixed it with Teavana’s Royal English Breakfast. It was pretty good still! I think it would go well with any full-bodied unflavoured black tea base. Happily sipped this one down today. Not sure I would go out of to way to order more but I definitely enjoyed it while I had it.
In other news, my Harney and Sons order should be delivered tomorrow. Super excited!
Edit: I had the wrong tea company. Re-posting here!
I’m surprised I haven’t reviewed this tea yet, I’ve had it for a few months now! It was one of the samples of my Tea Sparrow subscription, which is currently on hold as I catch up on drinking what tea I have in my cupboard.
Vanilla Cacao really does taste and smell like hot chocolate. Made straight, it could leave you longing for a bit of cream or milk to make it the hearty cup that you expect when drinking hot chocolate, but even so the tea is robust, chocolatey, and quite satisfying.
This afternoon I made it as a blend with my Hathikuli Estate Assam, since I needed a little energy boost to keep me going with my LSAT studying. I picked this assam because it has a hearty neutral base but leans slightly towards a coco flavour itself. I used a teaspoon of assam and slightly more than a teaspoon of Vanilla Cacao since I don’t want to over-steep the black tea but want to get a lot of chocolate flavour out of the herbal blend. Have you noticed I am also craving chocolate?
The aroma is predominantly Vanilla Cacao, which is nice and relaxing. Smells delicious, and I do love the smell of chocolate. (Jeeze, I really am a choco-holic.) First sips are a little bitter – the tea has a lot of flavour thanks to the two blends. I am definitely tasting the cacao, and I realized the bitterness is coming from the cacao shells: dark chocolate has the same chocolatey bitterness (which means it’s not from the black tea, as it doesn’t taste at all astringent or sour.) I’m very satisfied with the blend! It has the chocolate flavour I was trying to find, and the assam provides for a nice, smooth base that works well with the herbal blend.
I should try blending more often! I have many different types of tea, but I almost never remember that I could mix them together rather than just drink each one straight.
Tea sparrow came THROUGH this month! I absolutely love my subscription I could talk about it all day. It’s affordable, their customer service is awesome, and I’ve never been disappointed by the selections I’ve received. It also helps stave off more tea spending when I know I’m getting four new teas a month to try out. This month in particular has teas that are savory/creamy which is perfect for the holidays.
I’ve never had a tea that’s mainly cacao shell and I have to say I really enjoyed this! The smell and taste reminds me so much of chocolate malt-o-meal it’s uncanny. I ate it every day of my childhood and this really takes me back. If you’re unfamiliar malt-o-meal is a hot wheat cereal in a few flavors- chocolate being the clear winner taste-wise. The rooibos in the blend gives the cacao a woody background note that makes it taste identical to it. It’s a rich, wheaty chocolate drink without the sweetness of a hot chocolate. Certainly not something I’d reach for every day but the nostalgia factor may very well make this a re-purchase.
Flavors: Chocolate, Wood
Alone this is like watered hot chocolate… still good, but not quite full enough. With Laoshan black (and a touch of vanilla) this is skyrocketed to amazing! I imagine this will be great mixed with other black teas too! Especially the chocolately and malty ones.
Whoever sent me this, THANK YOU
My grandma, who is insanely active for a 92 year old women, came to me asking for tea which is rare but I was like : ’ dang, all I have is a lot of pu’erh, oolong, and crazy stuff’.
BUT, I found a sample of this tea in my swap box from someone which made me very very happy. I brewed this very interesting herbal tea up and drank some with my mom and grandma. This is some good stuff, it’s like chocolate but not chocolate, but also not like chocolate but still chocolate…
I will say this: While drinking this, my creative brain was spinning and I remembered that I’ll be roasting Milk Oolong soon… why not try roasting cacao as well?
So many things to try :)
I was told by my family that I need to buy this and show them how to make it :p
I’ve been wanting to try this tea for the longest time, but never got around to buying a tin. I’m having a very big craving for hot chocolate, but not the additional calories… so onto this blend! I’m surprised to see that a majority of the blend is cacao shells.. for some reason I was expecting there to be more rooibos with just a few shells thrown in.
Sipping… mmm a rich, dark chocolate flavor with a touch of vanilla. The cacao is obviously the main flavor – not creamy like a milk chocolate, but richer and deeper. The vanilla is nice, but reminds me quite a bit of vanilla extract in that it has a note that resembles alcohol. I wish it wasn’t so sharp, but could be a bit more creamy. It would be so nice with the cacao!
The rooibos is somewhat hidden and mostly adds a dry, woody element. As much as I love rooibos, I think that it doesn’t contribute a whole lot to the cup. I’m glad that I finally tried this blend and will definitely enjoy the rest of it.
OMG you guys I’m so spoiled. So I put my Tea Sparrow subscription on hold, thinking I really need to just focus on drinking all the tea I currently own. Then, of course, February’s box included this Cacoa tea from Tisano that I’ve been dying to try ever since I first heard of it. So I was sadfacing on steepster and trying to remind myself that I have lots of yummy tea already, when yesterday I got a surprise Tea Sparrow box in my mailbox! With a hand-written note for Michael saying “I noticed that you paused this month, but I really like some of the teas and wanted you to try them. :)” LOL amazing!! So nice. Also, probably the last nudge I need to restart my subscriptions, so sound business sense too. ;)
Anyway, I tried the cacao tea first, and yep – yummy chocolate. :) It’s funny because the scent of the dried (and steeped) cacao husks is a bit off-putting – it’s chocolatey, but in the sense that it smells like straight cocoa powder, which is decidedly not delicious. But the tea itself is pretty great. It lacks the creaminess and body of hot chocolate, but it definately has a lovely cocoa flavour. I’ve seen people talk about adding these to other teas to boost the chocolateyness, which is definitely sounding like a good plan. Can’t wait to experiment more with these. :)
This is one of those teas I’ve read great reviews on for ages. Then one day I just decided to order some anyway. It came just before Christmas and I’m having it now. The instructions say 1 tps to 8oz of water at 210F which I did. However, I notice that most other people here used a lot more tea for the 8 oz.
It definitely is hot chocolate like (without the milk and the sugar both of which I can’t have). I think this brew is a little thin so might try it with more tsps. next time like others have had. I also want to try this with some black teas I have. Is it worth it just ordering the one tea? I’d say so. This looks like a versatile tea to have on it’s own when I want a hot chocolate or to mix with other teas. I’ll enjoy trying out some different things with it.
Had this quite a few times already and have decided that this needs more peppermint. While it’s nice to drink a chocolate mint tea with a true chocolate flavour, now we’re presented with a weakened peppermint problem. Makes me want to go out and buy peppermint leaves to add to this. I think that would really balance things out.
And now I’m drinking almond nog for the first time. Interesting! Not sure if I’d buy it again, though.
These cacao husks do their job and taste pretty much the same as Herbal Infusion’s, although I swear HI’s was a little sweeter. Could be the source/batch, or even just a memory blitz. Somehow this time around I’m not caring for cacao husks on their very own. The liquor is a little too thick and sludgy on its own in comparison to other teas/tisanes. I’d rather mix it with a black tea to give this a little more depth.
It tastes like liquefied cupcake. The rooibos adds enough of a nutty, sweet flavor that it sort of mimics a cake-y taste, and the notes of creamy vanilla and luscious cacao are so yum!
I love cacao shells and I don’t think they could taste much better than in the presence of rich, sweet vanilla. Even if you aren’t crazy about rooibos – if you like chocolate (and seriously, who doesn’t like chocolate?) you really should try this.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/22/vanilla-cacao-tea-from-tisano/
I know I haven’t posted in awhile, but I have been trying to at least come read some posts, & make an occasional comment, so I haven’t totally disappeared, & I have been drinking plenty of tea anyway.
Anyway, I picked this up at the Traveling Tea shop, less than 5 minutes from my house, & I had to stop in just to say that I don’t EVER want to be without this tea. OMG, this stuff is awesome! The best chocolate tea ever, & it’s just chocolate hulls. I’m sure this would be amazing combined with LB, but by itself it is crazy good, & perfect for something that is kickass, substantially bold, & caffeine free, so I can drink as much as I want this time of day. A majorly awesome indulgence :)