Scent in package: Very strong chocolate covered strawberry scent.
Brewed in: Filter bag for loose leaf teas (too lazy to rinse out my metal strainer)
Steeping: 5 min @ 212 degrees
Cup: Tea-for-one stoneware mug (at work)
“Oh – interesting,” was my first thought after the first sip of this tea. It was still too hot, so I set it aside to cool, enjoying the strong scent of chocolate covered strawberries wafting across my nose. The scent grew fainter, and I knew it was cool enough to drink.
When I brought the cup up to my nose again, the chocolate scent was more or less gone, and a very slight hint of strawberry smell remained. Surprisingly enough, a black pepper scent complimented the smell of the black tea base, and I almost expected a strong taste of pepper for the second sip. Again, I was surprised.
This tea is one of the best flavor-blends I’ve ever tasted. It’s very smooth like a good milk chocolate, with just the faintest hints of strawberry flavor, yet the flavor is still very much discernable as “strawberry”. Neither of those flavors tastes artificial in the least, and both are complemented rather nicely with a peppery (as in real black pepper) yet sweet finish.
Even with all that going on, the black tea base is still very evident, and makes a fabulous backdrop to the flavorings of the blend. The whole tea is just a treat for the senses, and really made me focus on my cup, and the flavors and textures of the dark liquor. I would venture a guess that those who take sugar and cream in their tea would find a stunning dessert cup in this tea, and the rest of us can still enjoy the complexity and lovely thick body that results from a simple 5 minute steep.
The one unfortunate thing about this particular tea is that it’s only available seasonally, right around Valentine’s Day, and when I went to look today, it was already gone for the year. File the name away in your holiday tea notes, and plan to order some next year – you won’t be sorry! I’ll be hoarding what I have left for the next 10 months or so…