|"The chocolate flavour seems a little muted on its own but it is fortunately enhanced by the sweetness of the rose petals. "|
The dry blend displays a beautiful range of brown hues, enchantingly scented with a honeyed chocolate aroma. The mixture includes sturdy-looking chips of honeybush, cubes of pale chocolate, as well as a sprinkling of rose petals. Since I couldn't find a complete set of brewing instructions on the website, I relied on my usual preparation for honeybush. I used a very generous teaspoon of leaves in 8 ounces of boiling water. I brewed it for 7 minutes rather than the 5 to 6 minutes Sanctuary T suggests, simply because I was in the mood for a really distinct chocolate flavour. I suspect something is amiss because the blend almost immediately brewed to a rusty red colour, as opposed to gold colour listed on the website. The slightly cloudy liquor smelled lightly of powdered hot chocolate mix. The chocolate flavour seems a little muted on its own but it is fortunately enhanced by the sweetness of the rose petals. These make it appear smoother, deeper and richer. It had never occurred to me that rose could work so well with chocolate notes. The floral element is unexpectedly prominent, especially in the finish. The creaminess present increases as the tea cools, eventually giving the cup a fair amount of body. When the tea is very hot though, it seems a little thin. The honeybush works well with the chocolate, adding it's characteristic nutty sweetness to the blend. It seemed like fairly good quality leaf, providing stronger honey notes than most. Contrary to Sanctuary T Shop's suggestion, I found that adding soy milk and maple syrup did little to enhance this blend. The sweetener did heighten the honey notes but didn't do much for the chocolate component.
I experimented with this blend a few times and found that using more leaf considerably improves the taste. Otherwise the chocolate flavour just doesn't have very much oomph to it. As it is, using almost 2 teaspoons of leaves, it doesn't quite quench my chocolate craving. It's a decent honeybush blend but there are far better alternatives available if you are looking for a chocolate-flavoured herbal tea. The rose petals do add an interesting dimension to the cup and I commend Sanctuary T Shop for the novel pairing. Although I wasn't totally thrilled with this blend, I would certainly try others of their seemingly good quality offerings.
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