This has pu-erh in it but it also has other stuff which, I will admit, is the reason I picked it up. The thought of chocolate + pu-erh was interesting to me especially since the reviews I’ve seen for the Numi Chocolate Puerh make me want to try it. But the store didn’t have the Numi, just this. So I got it.
This is like pu-erh with training wheels – serious training wheels. I can pick some pu-erh characteristics – the smell has a faint sweet hay note to it and the taste has some light earthy notes that can only be the pu-erh. But if I hadn’t had pu-erh before this one, I might have missed those things so it certainly doesn’t strike me as a strong pu-erh blend. The main taste I’m getting is mostly a fairly standard Yunnan-like taste and a bit of chocolate. The chocolate smells a lot like Lupicia’s The Au Chocolat (of which I am a big fan) but the taste is milder. The chocolate really comes through as a cocoa aftertaste for me. Occasionally I get a hint of tart on the end of a sip but not so much to impede my enjoyment of sipping.
The tea is smooth and a little silky. Pretty full-bodied texture but not chewy. I’m not sure if I would really call this ‘robust’ – I suppose with my lean towards Scottish and Irish breakfast blends, ‘robust’ is fairly typical for me so while this is more robust than your typical English breakfast blend, I think this guy might be intimidated by a few of the other blends I have in my pantry (Samovar’s Russian blend would kick its butt and the Samovar Breakfast blend would laugh while it happened… Shoot, Thomas Sampson might get in on the action but ultimately, he is a gentleman).
Anyway, this seems a little gentle to me to be considered (what I view) a breakfast blend. That might be the chocolate to it, though. Well, the chocolate and the overall smoothness to the tea. But that’s not a bad thing. Not ever tea can be an aggressive, wake-me-up-so-I-can-attack-the-morning tea (though it does seem to have a good caffeine kick). So as a breakfast blend, I think I’m missing the boat (probably mostly because it is chocolaty). But as a general tea, I think this is pretty tasty. Smooth, rich, dark, chocolaty and caffeinated. Not the best chocolate tea I’ve had (that’d be Lupicia’s The Au Chocolat) but certainly not the worse (TeaGermanname anyone?). But I won’t be sad to have to drink this and I could see repurchasing it under certain circumstances. Though I really don’t think this has the taste profile to actually qualify as pu-erh.