|"The flavor surprised me on initial sip with a light, tart, and somewhat creamy taste."|
You know you're in for a cup o' faux guilt when the first thing you see in a tea blend is chocolate chunks. There they were, dark rectangles of pure gut-bomb. Luckily, I was only drinking these instead of munching on 'em, but I must confess the urge to pick at the blend for bites was a strong one. Actually...scratch that. I did take one out and eat it - dark chocolate, alright. There were lighter brown chunks in it as well. I assumed they were cinnamon, but I wasn't sure. Even after fishing around for one and whiffing it, I still couldn't tell. In general, the blend gave me a feeling of tiramisu by way of a chocolate orange wedge.
There were no brewing instructions on the Friday Afternoon site. I wasn't too disappointed. Ceylons were pretty easy to brew; usually a three-minute steep in 205F water. I didn't deviate much from this, although I was tempted to do an extra minute for the chocolate pieces. 1 heaping teaspoon in 8oz for three-thirty was a good enough consensus.
The infusion colored to a light amber-to-brown, a typical state-of-play for a Ceylon. The steam aroma echoed the dry smell with a lean towards cocoa and citrus, but there was also a strong spicy presence lent from the cinnamon. The flavor surprised me on initial sip with a light, tart, and somewhat creamy taste. This was more Ceylon than sweet; the added elements didn't manifest until the aftertaste. Cinnamon did show up in the middle, but the chocolate character only reared in the rounded-out finish. A lovely transition from floral/buttery Ceylon, to spicy sweetness, to robust aftertaste.
I figured this for a guilty pleasure blend with a cocoa nib dominion, but what I got was a pleasant wake-up cup with a subtle delivery. A Ceylon tea by definition, a guilty pleasure by reputation, and a Snow Day in name only. It's the first chocolate tea that didn't scream, "Latte me!" But, for once, I didn't mind. If snow were to fall, I would happily turn to this fluttery liquor.
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