From my swap with VariaTEA. This wasn’t actually initially part of initially our arranged swap, but she saw me mention something about it on another tasting note and offered to throw some in for me. And I’m glad she did, because I otherwise might have caved and bought some for myself – and I now know I would have regretted it.
I’m a HUGE fan of mint (especially peppermint) and typically I snatch up most blends with peppermint (although I’m working on being more choosy with mint blends). This is one of few David’s blends that contain mint that I just couldn’t buy for myself though: I sniff it nearly every time I go into David’s to see if my opinion has changed, but each time the smell does zero to entice me. Part of me thought it was because of the peppercorns which I find to be an odd thing to throw into a chocolate/mint blend. I still sorta think that.
The parcel from VariaTEA just smelled so strongly of this tea – and really you can smell the leaf through the bag it was packaged in. It’s incredibly chocolatey and the chocolate does smell pretty nummy, I’ll be honest. Like straight, melted down chocolate from a fondue or something (I’d kill for a cheese fondue right now – that’d be heavenly). However – and this is something I don’t often say in regard to mint blends – the other ingredients in this blend (chocolate, peppercorns, black tea base) practically drown out all the peppermint in the smell of the dry leaf. It’s just not minty enough for me.
For prep, I steeped 1 1/2 tsp. in my timolino (boiling water) for five minutes. The smell was very fudgey as it steeped with something else unusual (maybe the peppercorns) and not a whole lot of mint. I’m wondering if a longer steep time would have brought out the mint more. I guess I try that with the last cup worth of leaf I have.
I brought this to work, but I didn’t end up drinking it (combination of being too busy training and realizing I made two mint teas this morning and somewhat wanting to space them out) – so I’m drinking it now. This has a very smooth black base and I’m getting lots of rich chocolate and fudge type of notes that are present all throughout the sip. I bet milk with just serve to make this super rich and creamy, like milk chocolate. I’m not getting any type that’s explicitly peppercorns, but there is an unpleasant and distracting tickle/scratching feeling at my throat in the aftertaste that I’m sure must be from peppercorns because it also happens when I drink White Chocolate Frost (which is also a chocolate/peppercorn tea). I really dislike it.
As far as the mint goes, it’s so subtle and nearly totally drowned out by the chocolate that I’m only barely registering it’s there. Mind you, I LOVE mint and I love STRONG and CONCENTRATED amounts of it (I’ve even drank straight peppermint extract before) so maybe this’d be enough mint for someone with a more regular love and appreciation for it. But for me – it’s not enough and it’s not doing it for me. I’m pretty disappointed.
I prefer Della Terra’s Minty Cow – I like the addition of vanilla and I think that blend is better balanced. This is good if you want really chocolaty and fudgey tea, though. It’s not as if I wont finish my timolino of it.
Sidenote – anyone on Steepster a fan of Cage The Elephant? I’ve been listening to their most recent album on repeat for days now. I think I have a lot of the tracks memorized at this point. It’s really good! If you’re at all into Indie/Rock music I recommend looking them up. This album is called Melophobia and I’m really enjoying the songs Come A Little Closer, Telescope, and Hypocrite specifically (they’re all good though).
Also Supernatural is now on Canadian netflix!!! YAY!!!