Maybe I should stop labeling everything “TTT” (Tea Tasting Tests). Then again, I’m not really writing reviews of tea – don’t think I’m experienced enough for that. This is literally just documentation of my progress from “only drink tea from tea bags, and sometimes Vitamin Water” to actual tea-hobbyist/amateur. Hence the steep-by-steep thought log. More thoughts: maybe I should post things on this blog that are not about tea. After all, it’s eat drink draw code and not like drink drink eat drink. (Har har. I’m so funny. I may be a senior in college but I’m always going to be middle school child.)
Chocolate chili chai tea, from my DAVIDsTEA loose leaf stash. I’ll be honest, I taste a little chocolate, just a hint of chili, and just about no chai.
Which might be a good thing. I had chili chocolate once, Lindt. The combination of spicy and sweet confused my tongue. Not an experience I’d like to repeat.
Amount: 4 big pinches, or 2 little grabs (just making up measurements)
Temperature: near boiling (someday, if this is super serious, I’ll get a temp-variable kettle)
Water: 7.5 oz
[1st – 30 sec.] A light tea. A little sweet; at the end of a gulp, just a hint of hardness that kicks a bit. Still, I don’t taste much chili or spices as I’d expect with a so-called chocolate chili chai tea. Just calling it ‘spicy chocolate tea’ would have been better, in my opinion. Granted, based on what I know of chai tea, it’s really not the type of taste you can easily replicate well in a loose leaf tea blend like this – where there are just base black tea leaves with extra adornments (like mini chocolate chips).
[2nd – 50 sec.] Wanted to see if I could get more of the other flavors, so I steeped a bit longer. But to be honest, maybe the chocolate melted into the first steep because I taste less of it now, and the chili taste isn’t much there either. The chili taste is slightly harder than before, and it leaves a dryness on my tongue that isn’t very appealing to me. I just taste… what I’ve tasted before in the glitter gold tea. Maybe it’s the same base loose leaf? It sure looks the same.
I think the problem with these blends is that there are some non-tea foods added in (e.g. chocolate chips) that react very differently from steep to steep. As in: chocolate melts away quickly. After a peek inside my tea sachet, I see: a bunch of unfolded leaves, no chocolate and half of one of those popcorn-like balls. I have learned my first lesson! While tea leaves can release a multitude of flavors over multiple steeps, teas with non-tea elements (like chocolate, peppermints, sprinkles, what have you) react differently with water, and their lifespans may very well be shorter.
I don’t really like the tea now that it’s just a plain flavor with a growing chili hardness, so I’m stopping the test here. Onto better teas, I suppose.