Monday, August 19, 2013

Empire Tea Services, De-caffeinated Dakota Sunset

Empire Tea Services Description:
Chocolate Hazelnut flavored black tea with chocolate bits.

Price: $10.00/3.5oz (100g) or $0.20/serving @ 2g

I took the photo myself. Any advice on how to get a clearer image with a pocket digital is much appreciated.

My Review:
This comes from one of only two tea shops within driving distance of my home (The other is a Teavana). My wife and I recently visited their warehouse and she picked up this tea. It is not on their website, so I don't know if they blended this on the spot especially for my wife or just don't have it listed. They do sell a Dakota Sunset, but this is a decaffeinated version. It is black decaf Ceylon tea, chocolate nibs, and hazelnut.

I  prepared this in a mug using microwaved water - never my favorite way of brewing. A Finum basket was used to hold the leaf. The leaf is finely cut and dark. You can spot either the chocolate or hazelnut in the mix - or maybe it's both.

I can't recall if I have had a hazelnut tea before. I imagine I would not forget as this loose tea has a very unusual aroma. The best description I can think of makes it sound just wrong - the tea smells kind of like gym socks. See, I told you. My wife agrees but she loves the taste. She finds it a very relaxing late evening sip. I have to agree.

My wife is the experienced one with this tea. Her advice is don't over steep it or it will get bitter. She routinely steeps this 6 times! I like my tea more stout and manly, so I don't know if I could get that many cups out of it. Usually three is about my limit with Ceylons.

The taste is lovely, smooth, and relaxing. It is mostly a light hazelnut flavor. The chocolate is a quiet background note. The tea base I find difficult to single out. It is really like the three ingredients meld together into one. Steeped correctly there is no bitterness. It is a bit drying but honestly, I kind of like that in a tea. This is a nice simple tea for our quiet evenings. Just what we wanted.

Visit Empire Tea Services on the web.

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