Sample provided by Tea Horse.
Tea Horse is based in the UK. They offer a wide range of teas, taster boxes, and a subscription service of 4 monthly samples with free shipping in the UK.
This sample came in a resealable foil-lined brown paper pouch. I really appreciate being able to zip up the rest of the sample for later use. The ingredients and brewing instructions were clearly printed on the pouch label.
I opened the pouch and scooped out a spoon of leaf. I could smell chocolate. The cocoa bean shells are obvious in the mix. There are also a few yellow petals. I am not sure if that is the peppermint or just decoration.
The scoop of leaf went in my press along with 8 ounces of boiling water. The instructions said to steep 4 minutes. The resulting brew really caught my attention. I have tried maybe 6 chocolate themed teas. All of them have produced a murky brown swamp water brew. Not this one! The liquor is deep bronze, clear and sparkly clean. I could see through the tea to the bottom. Awesome.
The sip was equally impressive. In my notes to myself, I scribbled OMGoodness! The first thing you taste is chocolate. Not cocoa - liquid milk chocolate. Do yourself a favor and add a little of your favorite sweetener. I used Splenda. This is calorie free decadence. Tea Horse says to add milk. I am not British so I never add milk to tea. You can if you want.
The Ceylon base is a gentleman. It is strong enough to make its presence known without demanding the spotlight. There is no hint of bitterness or astringency. The peppermint is no wall flower, but it is only there for support. It fills out the cup without distracting from the chocolate.
Going in, I had a preconceived notion this would taste like a York Peppermint Patty. Nope. If that is what you are thinking, get that idea out of your head. This is easily the best milk chocolate flavored tea I have tried to date with the bonus of a light minty glow around the edges.
The second steep was weaker but still good. I have plenty left to try again. Next time I will attempt a 3 minute first steep and see if I can't coax a bolder second cup out of it. If you aren't one to resteep, let this go the full 4 minutes or more and enjoy.
Guys, instead of bringing your tea drinking girl an occasional box of boring old chocolates and have her thinking, "This will just go to my hips." Give her what she really wants - a decadent bag of calorie-free liquid chocolate. Better yet, buy two and tell her it's a his and hers thing. They love it when you do romantic stuff like that. You get to be the thoughtful guy, and you get your own stash of tea. Win - win, I say. Just don't tell my wife what I just wrote.