Scent in Tin: Strong, and chocolate-y, with a hint of hazelnut. Truly irresistible.
Brewed in: 2 cup ceramic teapot, and my triniTEA machine
Steeping: 5 min. in teapot, 4.5 min. for triniTEA
Cup: stoneware mug, ceramic travel mug
I’ve been resistant to most chocolate teas, being unable to imagine how chocolate and tea could ever compliment each other in the same cup. But the fact that this tea included chocolate and hazelnut, and that I was already ordering another blend of theirs that I adore (Indian Nimbu) convinced me to try it. They don’t really sell “sample sizes” at Harney & Sons (that I know of), so I had to fork out the big bucks for a 4 oz. tin ($7.50). I figured that if I didn’t like it, I could pass it along to my mom, who lives for anything remotely resembling chocolate.
When I opened the tin, I was blown away by the surprisingly delightful aroma. I’m a dark chocolate person, so most of the time, even the smell of milk or sweeter chocolates doesn’t really turn me on. But this tea…wow. Dark, bitter chocolate scent with a lighter scent of tea coming through hit me full in the face, and though I wasn’t planning on making a cup right then, I found myself heating up the kettle because I *had* to taste it. I fully expected to be disappointed, but I crossed my fingers while waiting for the tea to steep that it would surprise me yet again.
That first sip was heavenly – it was everything the scent had promised and more. Bold, strong, and lingering…the chocolate taste was strong, the hazelnut secondary, but neither completely overpowered the taste of the obviously high quality black tea base. I couldn’t get enough, and ended up burning my tongue on it. It wasn’t sweet, but it wasn’t bitter either, more like home made gourmet hot chocolate (without the milk).
This past weekend, I didn’t even hesitate when setting up the triniTEA to brew a pot of tea to take with me on my errands. I reached for the Florence tin, and made up a good sized travel mug of the stuff to sip all day. It was good hot, warm, and even after it had cooled off (the hazelnut flavor comes out more strongly when it’s cooler). And the flavors were bold enough to offset the plastic brewing basket taste of the triniTEA as well, bonus!
Needless to say, my mom isn’t getting this tea, although I may buy her some for a gift later on. It’s indulgent, luxurious, and completely wonderful, and I won’t hesitate to buy a larger quantity in the future (a 7 oz. tin is $12.50). I do believe it’s a tea I’ll be serving at my next get-together as well…I can’t imagine anyone not completely loving it!