92

Throwback Thursday! I was a bit sad to see this tea was discontinued… because it was a tart/tangy blend with hibiscus/cranberry/goji I guess it wasn’t very popular so Nil Organic Tea stopped blending it. I’ll admit, when I sampled this a year ago, even me, Queen Hibiscus, found this a bit tart, but it made the most decadent chocolate almond milk latte and I remember it tasted exactly like a cherry cordial, and even plain, it reminded me of those bittersweet dark chocolates with the tart, fruity notes. I had rated it quite highly! I’m a bit sad to see it’s gone. It’s been a while, so it’s well worth revisiting.

The tea is very thick, and I actually have to strain it through a hand strainer, as it is too thick from the cocoa powder and the abundance of fruit to strain through the gravity well mesh. Since the fruit is very thick and chunky, though, it catches easily. And… yes, it is still way too tart to be taken plain. Queen Hibiscus hath spoken. But once that milk goes in… once again, heaven in a cup! I’m sure the most stalwart of hibi-haters would probably still not like this, but the chocolate milk creates that much needed sweet, creamy counterpoint, and the tea was already very thick and slightly creamy from the cocoa powder in the blend, and the tangy/tart berries compliment against that flavor so nicely. It’s like chocolate-covered cherries with a little extra bite, and I love it.

Whenever I have some chocolate almond milk around, and I need to use it up before it goes bad, this is going to be my go-to tea. It isn’t palatable otherwise, but simply divine when turned into a fruity hot cocoa. So my opinion on this one is the same a year later. Rating unchanged.

Maybe when it’s gone I can try infusing a small amount of hibi into cocoa powder… I wonder if it would have the same effect…? Hmm…

Flavors: Berries, Cherry, Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Todd

Ooh, that sounds like a good one.

tea-sipper

Hmm.. hibiscus with berries and chocolate DOES sound somehow delicious.

Mastress Alita

It’s really nice. Tonight I just skipped infusing in water altogether and dumped the tea into my milk frother and let it wisk, then put a strainer over my cup to catch the berries. Perfection as far as taste and saves the extra step. Should’ve just thought of that from the start.

Kawaii433

I’m disappointed that it was discontinued. :( I hope they bring it back so we can all try it. :D

Mastress Alita

They are a smallish indie company out of Portland. They are currently making a blend with the cocoa powder and fresh mint leaf, but no longer making the hibi one. I’m betting it wasn’t popular… unless she was having trouble sourcing one of the ingredients? Which could also be a possibility. If I still had a bunch of this left I’d offer it out but now I only have a serving or two left at the bottom of the bag!

I’m hoping to go back to Portland in July, if she’s still doing the Farmer’s Market and I can talk to her I may ask her directly about the blend, and if there is any possibility of getting it via special request if the ingredients are still available, or something.

Kittenna

The milk doesn’t curdle because of the hibby?

Mastress Alita

Nope, not at all. The tea was basically some hibi petals, dried goji berry, and dried cranberry thoroughly dusted in cocoa powder, and when I was finishing it off (which I did this weekend) I actually started to infuse it directly into milk, foregoing water altogether. I’d just dump the tea and milk into my milk frother and let it wisk, and it looked like really frothy hot chocolate. Then I’d put a strainer over my mug as I poured to catch the petals and fruit. It basically tasted like hot chocolate with a subtle tangy cherry undertone.

Kittenna

Fascinating. I was under the impression that it did – I think DavidsTea won’t do teas with hibiscus in them as lattes. But this actually sounds pretty good.

Mastress Alita

I think it has to do with how acidic the tea is vs. the milk. This is pretty strongly hibi so I don’t think it was a case of being light in the acid content, but I’m wondering if the cocoa binds into the milk in some sort of way that just doesn’t cause the same sort of chemical reaction… I never took chemistry so I haven’t the slightest clue. I only know this tea doesn’t have that issue.

Kittenna

For some reason I didn’t catch this the first time around – are you using non-dairy milk (almond?) If so, maybe that’s the key (although I believe at DT, they have both almond and soy milk available).

Mastress Alita

Oh, yes I am. I use almond milk or coconut milk depending on the tea latte; in this one I used chocolate almond milk!

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Comments

Todd

Ooh, that sounds like a good one.

tea-sipper

Hmm.. hibiscus with berries and chocolate DOES sound somehow delicious.

Mastress Alita

It’s really nice. Tonight I just skipped infusing in water altogether and dumped the tea into my milk frother and let it wisk, then put a strainer over my cup to catch the berries. Perfection as far as taste and saves the extra step. Should’ve just thought of that from the start.

Kawaii433

I’m disappointed that it was discontinued. :( I hope they bring it back so we can all try it. :D

Mastress Alita

They are a smallish indie company out of Portland. They are currently making a blend with the cocoa powder and fresh mint leaf, but no longer making the hibi one. I’m betting it wasn’t popular… unless she was having trouble sourcing one of the ingredients? Which could also be a possibility. If I still had a bunch of this left I’d offer it out but now I only have a serving or two left at the bottom of the bag!

I’m hoping to go back to Portland in July, if she’s still doing the Farmer’s Market and I can talk to her I may ask her directly about the blend, and if there is any possibility of getting it via special request if the ingredients are still available, or something.

Kittenna

The milk doesn’t curdle because of the hibby?

Mastress Alita

Nope, not at all. The tea was basically some hibi petals, dried goji berry, and dried cranberry thoroughly dusted in cocoa powder, and when I was finishing it off (which I did this weekend) I actually started to infuse it directly into milk, foregoing water altogether. I’d just dump the tea and milk into my milk frother and let it wisk, and it looked like really frothy hot chocolate. Then I’d put a strainer over my mug as I poured to catch the petals and fruit. It basically tasted like hot chocolate with a subtle tangy cherry undertone.

Kittenna

Fascinating. I was under the impression that it did – I think DavidsTea won’t do teas with hibiscus in them as lattes. But this actually sounds pretty good.

Mastress Alita

I think it has to do with how acidic the tea is vs. the milk. This is pretty strongly hibi so I don’t think it was a case of being light in the acid content, but I’m wondering if the cocoa binds into the milk in some sort of way that just doesn’t cause the same sort of chemical reaction… I never took chemistry so I haven’t the slightest clue. I only know this tea doesn’t have that issue.

Kittenna

For some reason I didn’t catch this the first time around – are you using non-dairy milk (almond?) If so, maybe that’s the key (although I believe at DT, they have both almond and soy milk available).

Mastress Alita

Oh, yes I am. I use almond milk or coconut milk depending on the tea latte; in this one I used chocolate almond milk!

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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: Tazo’s Butterscotch Blondie, Art of Tea’s Tropical Mate

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 2019: 78
Sipdown Count for 2019: 119

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!)

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