Thank you VariaTEA for the sample! This is actually one of Stacy’s last teas that I actually had almost no interest in – I don’t typically go for chocolate teas or spicy ones, but that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful to try it. Since it’s not one that appealed to me greatly I probably would have never sought it out, so without your thoughtfulness I’d have never tasted it!
Hmm, I’m not getting a lot from the dry leaf. I expected to be able to smell at least a little bit of chili spice – and especially after having The Devil’s Mate from McQuarries so recently I’ve very, very wary of chili in tea currently. But mostly it smells like black tea with wisps of dark chocolate. Steeped up I’m happily surprised with how clear the liquor is; by which I mean it doesn’t have oil spots or things like that from the melted down chocolate chips!
Initial taste is a mild, somewhat watery chocolate. There’s a bit of bitterness, but in the way that’s associated with dark chocolate/bakers chocolate and not from the base tea. However, the more bland/flat chocolate flavour is definitely distinct of chocolate chips; it’s a shame that cacao shells/nibs weren’t incorporated into this one.
After the initial chocolate taste you’re hit with the delayed heat from the chili. This is way near the end of the sip/aftertaste, by the way. It’s actually pretty reasonable; though I think at this point anything less than the level of chili in Devil’s Mate would likely feel reasonable. I don’t like spice – keep that in mind, but to me this is a good compromise of having a flavor with impact, but not being incredibly mild/light handed. Other notes present in the tea/from the base: Cinnamon, honey, and some light floral notes as well.
I probably could have gone without trying this one; it’s not made a huge impact on me – but that’s just because the flavours aren’t ones that generally appeal to me anyway. I imagine someone into chocolate tea/spicy tea would find this quite delicious!