69

Trick or Treat! I bought this tea under the name “Dark Chocolate Raspberry” from Snake River Tea in Boise, and it’s been a little difficult for me to Nancy Drew out the wholesale source. After quite a bit of hunting, I’m driven to believe it is the “Chocolate Raspberry Truffle” blend by East Indies Coffee & Tea Company… though I’ll admit I’m not 100% sure here. The private label company “SpecialTea Company” carries it, with the exact same ingredient list as what I purchased from Snake River Tea, and their stock of teas seems to be entirely comprised of blends from the large wholesalers International Tea Importers and East Indies Coffee & Tea Company, and Snake River Tea also has a lot of ITI’s blends… leading me to believe that SpecialTea Company may be their wholesale source. The only thing that confuses me a bit is I’ve also found a different set of ingredients floating around for East Indies Coffee & Tea Company’s “Chocolate Raspberry Truffle” blend (it included only raspberry leaf and flavorings, while the tea I have does not have raspberry leaf and includes raspberry pieces and dark chocolate with the tea leaf). Perhaps the blend was updated or changed over the years, though? That is actually what I’m leaning towards given the evidence I’ve gathered, though it is possible there is another major wholesale source that this blend belongs to that I just haven’t uncovered yet. I have already checked all the other major culprits, though (Metropolitan, Dethlefsen & Balk…)

I really just wish tea shops would honestly list their sources instead of private labeling to begin with, buuuuuuut that isn’t how it works… * shifty eyes *

Anyway, the tea! The aroma of the leaf is amazing, and this is one of my older teas, purchased in May of 2017. Opening the bag just smells of really tart raspberries and bittersweet chocolate, and already has me salivating. I’m really surprised it has held up so well!

The brewed tea is a pretty coppery color, and does have a chocolate-raspberry aroma. The flavor is… fine, but a little disappointing compared to the amazing smell of the dry leaf, because there is something about the raspberry that is coming off a little too artificial? The tea is sweet but not overly so which is nice; there is a nice tart fruit note here rather than it being really sappy or syrupy. I’m just getting a slight metallic aftertaste on the raspberry, which I sometimes notice from certain artificial flavorings. There is also a slight citrus note to the aftertaste as well, which is likely from the base black tea, which is quite smooth, with very mild astringency left after the sip. The chocolate is a more subtle note, it’s more of a base flavor and a dark/bittersweet note rather than sweet/milky/creamy. Which I think compliments the raspberry nicely. Overall the flavor combination is a win for me, I just wish it didn’t have that odd slight metallic note I’m getting in the aftertaste.

Flavors: Artificial, Citrus, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Metallic, Raspberry, Smooth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, RuPaul’s Drag Race, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Grapefruit (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

Currently Sipping Down: Tealyra teas, Adagio teas

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.

New Teas Tried for 2020: 37
Sipdown Count for 2020: 57

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . I am currently on a tea trading/ordering hiatus to get my collection under control! I cannot participate in any tea boxes, group orders, tea exchanges, or accept any tea gifts at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

The Steepster PM system has been broken for some time. If you need to get ahold of me, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.

Location

Idaho, United States

Website

https://teatimetuesdayreviews...

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