Scent in package: bananas, chocolate, cherries, and a hint of pepper with that distinctive rooibos smell.
Brewed in: unbleached filter bag
Steeped: 5-6 minutes @ 212
Cup: Café mug here at work
I like rooibos tisanes at the end of the day, or even before bed sometimes. They’re calming, soothing, and help me wind down. Did I think it was weird to combine actual pieces of banana with rooibos? Sure. Did I wonder what on earth pink peppercorns had to do with bananas and chocolate? Absolutely. But the mix smelled better than the caramelized pear (smelled like a banana split, actually), and thus began my relationship with Chocolate Monkey.
Really, this tea is *almost* like drinking a warm banana split (without the strawberries and pineapple, of course). There are indeed pieces of banana, chocolate, and tiny pink peppercorns in the mix, and the rooibos acts like the vanilla ice cream – a mellow background for the sweet and spicy flavors. The peppercorn is more of a sensation thing than a taste thing…it makes your tongue tingle ever so slightly as the other flavors pass by. Very nice touch, in my opinion.
The chocolate melds very nicely with the banana (doesn’t it always?), and creates the main flavor profile, both mellowing the tobacco-y taste of the rooibos into more of a vanilla taste but still with the distinctive properties of rooibos still peeking through a bit. With a little sugar, reduced down into a syrup, I bet it actually would be a seriously yummy compliment to a bowl of real vanilla ice cream!
So two thumbs up for this one…I’ll definitely reorder it, even if it’s just for me. It’s $7.00 for 2oz, and worth it, in my opinion. Try some, and don’t be shy to order the full 2oz (AOT doesn’t “do” samples that I can tell).