A Steepster friend sent me this tea to sample. I was not expecting to like it very much due to it having several flavor components that I inherently dislike. I have to say my eyes have been opened to trying things I may not normally care for! What you may not like in one blend can be completely different when in the hands of blend masters such as Verdant Tea!
Upon first sniff of the steeped tea I get hit with three essential aromas, chamomile, not one of my favorites, mint, which I am in-fact partial to, and chocolate which, well, I love.
I could do without the chamomile. To me chamomile is something I use in herbal healing, a medicine, not something I enjoy as a flavoring but can tolerate as a medicinal herb. Now I am very familiar with Verdant’s teas and I have to say I am excited about the blend of two excellent teas – Big Red Robe, and Autumn Harvest Laoshan Black. I am sure that the base of this tea is going to be splendid at least! The aroma is sweet, but I am not picking up any fennel or cinnamon in the aroma.
What Verdant Tea says about Chocolate Chamomile Curiosity Brew:
This blend is inspired by the connection we see between fine chocolate and fine tea. Our Laoshan Black and Wuyi Big Red Robe have strong natural notes of cacao that we wanted to bring out and play with. The end result is a rich, sweet and sparkling brew that brings out the best in both the tea and the cacao nibs. Marigold provides a richness that complements the sweet flavors of chamomile cinnamon and fennel, while the mint gives just enough of a clean sparkle to counterbalance the flavor of raw cacao. Enjoy this curious brew hot or cold and add a touch of buckwheat honey for a real treat.
Use filtered water and a brew basket. Two TSP of tea per 8oz of water is enough. No rinse is needed. Use 208 degree water and steep for about 2 minutes.
First sip: cocoa and mint, a relaxed mint, and a good strong but not overwhelming cocoa flavor. The tea is crisp and sparkling almost as if carbonated! Nice! Like a chocolate champagne tea! This I can live with! I also picked up the cinnamon resting gently in the background! The tea leaves a clean crisp after taste on the palate from the mints but is not taking over any of the flavors at all. This is a bright light juicy tea and again I am surprised by a tea that seemingly has heavy flavor components yet is not heavy at all.
As the tea cools some the chocolate notes come out so well and as I left the cup to my mouth the chocolate essence takes over mmmmm just like sipping hot cocoa by a campfire! But wait, there is that lifting mint again, and wait, that sparkle that awakens the senses, and wait, a slight cinnamon, spicy, boost. As good as this tea stands all on its own I am tempted to stick some marshmallows in there or at least a splash of milk and a dash of sugar! Perhaps on the re-steep in the name of exploration! I really am not one to put additives into such perfection but this is a tea that is so deeply layered in surprises and mystery that it would be almost a shame NOT to try a few things with it!
Again, cooling down a bit more there is that ingredient I do not like in tea, chamomile! you know what? It’s really not bad! Somehow Verdant knows just how to make a fool like me appreciate what I already know to be a healthy additive! Also just as the chamomile comes out to the forefront a little, it has an assist from marigold! As if they come skipping forward holding hands merrily through the light sparkle!
What a great experience in a cup! This will go on my shopping list! Verdant never disappoints! I also want to thank my Steepster buddy for sharing this with me!