The word chocolate is somewhat misleading, though not in a bad way; what this tea tastes like is not chocolate candy, but like cocoa – a much darker and richer flavor than chocolate. The cocoa nibs combines with the earthy taste of the Pu-erh into a taste very reminiscent of Mexican hot cocoa, an impression emphasized by the cinnamon and nutmeg added to the blend. If you like Mexican-style cocoa, you really ought to love this tea!
A couple of things to note: one is that traditional Pu-erh comes in cakes made of pressed leaves; the existence of loose leaf Pu-erh used to be rare, and the flavor of the leaf pu-erh is somewhat milder than the brick pu-erh which has usually been aged longer; bagged pu-erh is an even more recent development, so many people who are used to using the convenience of tea bags may not have met pu-erh tea yet. This is certainly a great way to get started – the rather mushroomy flavor of traditional pu-erh is muted here by having the cocoa added, so that one could ease into pu-erh by way of a different familiar flavor. There are bagged pu-erhs without flavoring out there, and don’t worry, I’ll write a review of some quite soon!
The second thing to note is that since Pu-erh is a black tea, and there’s caffeine in cocoa as well, this is quite likely very high in caffeine as tea goes. Pu-erh refers to both a particular cultivar of the standard tea plant in a particular region of China, and to the traditional method of aging those particular tea leaves, but under all that specialized processing, it’s still black tea from the tea plant.
Numi describes this tea as:
A rich, velvet, chocolaty aroma envelops this enticing blend of deep, dark Puerh and organic cocoa nibs. Numi’s Chocolate Puerh is made with organic wild-harvested tea leaves fermented and ripened into an earthy black tea. Whole vanilla beans and sweet accents of orange peel enhance this blend along with nutmeg and cinnamon rounding off a spicy finish. Rich in antioxidants, this hearty and healthy Puerh tea is decadence in a cup.
This is a rich cup; if you’re looking for a combination of the richness of Mexican hot cocoa with the added depth of tea and the combination of the health benefits of tea and chocolate – all for effectively zero calories – this is the tea to come to. While I bought a regular sized box of this when I saw it in a market, I note on the company’s web site that this also comes in a bulk box of 100 tea bags, and you know what? I like it enough to order that size!