Dry honeybush roots have a naturally reddish-brown, woody look. However, I was surprised at how dark Sanctuary T’s Chocolate Honeybush appeared in the sample bag. Maybe the chocolate bits enhance the brown tones a little more. The dark background also allows the pink rose petal specks to stand out visually.
Now, considering this drink’s name, guess which smell delighted this tea and chocolate lover as soon as she opened the bag? Ohhhhhhhhhh yes! It’s not a sugary chocolate scent, though. Instead, It’s more like cocoa, raw and slightly nutty. The wood and honey notes from the honeybush also bloom through, giving this blend a warm and unique sultriness. I can’t detect much of a rose scent… but let’s see what happens when I make my brew.
For my first cup of Chocolate Honeybush, I steep about 1.5 teaspoons in 8 ounces of nearly boiling water for 5 minutes. (I prefer to make my herbal teas with water of 195 degrees Fahrenheit [90 degrees Celcius] instead of 208.) The vibrant reddish-brown infusion is gorgeous and tantalizing, especially with the wood and cocoa notes whispering at my nose. Flavor-wise, this tisane offers equal amounts of cocoa and honeybush, followed by a delightful bittersweet finish. The cocoa complements the wood tones surprisingly well and gets an unexpected boost from the roots’ natural sweetness. I still don’t smell or taste much from the roses, but the lack of either doesn’t detract from the drink.
I’m curious whether a longer brewing time enhances the chocolate flavor, as Sanctuary T suggests. So, I steep a second cup of Chocolate Honeybush for over 6 minutes. The liquor takes on a deeper brown hue; and while the cocoa overtones have strengthened, they don’t overpower the honeybush at all. The two flavors are still evenly balanced – a sort of tea equilibrium. (If “tea-quilibrium” wasn’t a word before, it is now!) I admit that my tongue misses the typical sugariness and silky texture of chocolate. Then again, if Chocolate Honeybush actually was sugary-sweet and silky, it wouldn’t be guilt-free, would it? ;)
Read the full review here: http://bibliophilesreverie.com/2014/11/03/sanctuary-t-chocolate-honeybush-tea/
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Honey, Nutty, Wood