Every so often I like to make tea packages for my friends. I go through a bunch of my teas and try to share samples of teas they might not otherwise come across themselves. Oftentimes that means I share my NecessiTea teas because NecessiTeas does not offer sample sizes so I have a lot to share and it allows my friends the opportunity to try the teas before they commit to a larger amount.
While packaging this Hot Chocolate tea to share, my mouth began to water at the smell of the dry leaf. I figured there was no better time to give it a try than when I already had the tin out and the teaspoon in hand. So, I got the kettle started and brewed this up both as a plain teas and as a concentrated version topped up with some vanilla almond milk to make a latte.
I was all prepared to get to drinking and blogging…and then food delivery arrived 20 minutes early. So by the time I got to trying the tea, I was completely stuffed from my meal, and the teas had cooled more than I intended. I only mention this because that may or may not have played a role in how I tasted the tea and I wanted to be completely transparent.
The plain tea was very murky, which was to be expected from all the various ingredients in the dry leaf including black tea, apples, cocoa beans, chocolate, barley, yogurt, freeze dried marshmallows, natural and organic flavors. The mouthfeel was surprisingly smooth for such a murky blend but the flavor was lighter than I hoped it would be. The chocolate flavor was present though it was more like cacao than a smooth milk/dark chocolate meaning it was an earthier flavor. The barley blended with that earthiness and gave it a more grainy flavor. Like chocolate cereal…in water. The smell really had me excited but this is weaker and less silky than I would have expected or hoped for from a Hot Chocolate tea.
The vanilla almond milk latte just latched on to that grain flavor from the barley and combined it with the nuttiness of the milk to give this an even earthier vibe than the plain tea. It almost tastes like unsweetened oatmeal. The chocolate is completely drowned out and honestly, it is a little bit chalky. I blame the almond milk more than the tea though because I haven’t had much success using it in lattes. Basically I am pretending like this didn’t happen because it just was not good.
All in all, the smell of this tea is amazing but a little misleading. It seems like it should be rich and creamy but I found this had a much lighter/weak flavor than one would expect. It has so many amazing ingredients and yet I didn’t get much of them. I wanted more from the marshmallow. More from the yogurt. Those flavors would have helped as they would have contributed some much needed sweetness and creaminess into this blend.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The NecessiTeas
What’s not to love about hot chocolate? It’s hot, sweet and chocolate-y goodness never does me wrong! The best part is licking the creamy marshmallows that have turned into a thick frothy cream! And that’s where my idea for this tea blend came about.. I combined flavorful black tea with cocoa beans, decadent chocolate, a touch of vanilla and topped it with mini marshmallows.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
A few months back on Steepster, a little company called teabento just blew up. Reviews upon reviews were suddenly popping up for this company I had never heard of and people were loving it. One tea that seemed to be quite the success was this tea, Jiri Horse. The term “milk chocolate” was used a lot to describe it and for many it was a reminder of another popular tea on Steepster, Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea.
Now, Laoshan Black was THE straight black tea when I first joined Steepster. It was the winner or all winners for so many people and for that reason even I, as someone who basically only drank flavored teas at the time, was intrigued. Of course some kind soul was generous enough to send me a sample of this beloved tea but alas it was wasted on me because even though I could appreciate it was a nice tea and I enjoyed it well enough, it wasn’t my flavored teas and so I quickly moved on.
However, the more you drink and explore tea, the more you realize your tastes change. Many make the transition from flavored teas to straight teas and then become purists who will only touch the non-flavored stuff. I am not that person. I still love my sprinkles and my chocolate bits and my fruit chunks all mixed up in there but my tastes have developed so that I enjoy straight teas now too. So basically I am in the very expensive phase of the transition where I will drink and enjoy anything so no sections are left ignored when shopping for tea. I have been in this position for quite some time which my wallet doesn’t love but I have endless options which is nice.
Anyways, what this long rant brings us to is that when I read about this tea and all the love it was getting, I just HAD to try it. I didn’t truly appreciate the Laoshan Black but hopefully I can appreciate this tea which I steeped for 3 minutes in 190F water, after a quick rinse.
After my first sip, I can clearly see the chocolate connection. It definitely has that hot cocoa sort of vibe to it that’s a little bit creamy, a little bit milky and a whole lot of chocolate. I don’t know if I am fully getting as much “milk chocolate” as I thought I would and if I am being honest I am a bit saddened by that, however, I am still happy with the flavor here. To me, it is like a powdered hot chocolate mix that was made in water as opposed to milk – just a little watered down and leaning just a touch towards cocoa as opposed to actual chocolate, but it still hits the sweet spot. If this was powdered hot chocolate I would be mad that it wasn’t creamier or sweeter but since this is tea, I am impressed.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: teabento
An absolutely unique and amazing black tea! We were totally surprised by its prominent, deep, rich chocolate aroma and taste as we tried this tea at the first time. We could hardly believe that what we drunk was not a hot cocoa, but a 100% pure black tea. An outstanding gastronomic experience!