Dry tea and first steeping (see the odd lumps floating on the surface)
Dad got a pack of ‘energising’ teas as a gift a while ago, so I’ve decided to exploit it and use some of them. It’s also been a while since I wrote a tea review… Chocolate Rocket is in a lot of David’s Tea gift packs, so I’ve tried it before, I think, or maybe I’ve tried a sample at David’s Tea, or maybe I had some at Kate’s… I’m not really sure. I’ve never really had this type of tea before, though. It’s supposedly high in caffeine. I didn’t really feel any ‘kick’ when I drank it, though.
Type: Yerba Maté
Instructions from packet: 1.25 tsp per cup, 85C water, 4-7 minutes steeping time
Description from packet: If you need an energy boost, this energizing hit of cocoa, almonds, raspberries, chicory, and roasted maté will have you up and flying.
Ingredients: Yerba maté, cocoa nibs, almonds, roasted chicory root, raspberries, natural and artificial flavouring.
The look: Chunks of what I presume to be rasperries (or the cocoa nibs? or both?) and sliced almonds dominate this tea. The yerba maté itself is very fine, quite green, squareish leaves.
The smell: Sweet, but not sickly. Rather like an inoffensive chocolate and fruit pastry or scone at a café – there is potential there, but it’s probably just OK. There is a slight nuttiness to it too, which is pleasant.
First steeping: It’s odd, because bits of the tea float to the surface, and I think they’re the cocoa nibs (cacao nibs?) but they taste kind of like chocolate covered raspberries without the sweetness. I actually like this part of the tea, but I think I’d rather have it as a treat than in a tea. It’s a little irritating, though, because they kind of push themselves on you (as if they have malevolent agency, really) and you can’t really help but eat them since they keep bumping against your lip as you drink. Anyways, the first steeping of this tea is a little disappointing. It’s very mild, and tastes kind of weak. It’s the type of thing you kind of regret making, but then you think, well I’ve made it, and it doesn’t taste terrible, just pretty much of nothing, so I’m going to finish it since I have to write this tea review, after all. I have read though that yerba maté‘s first steeping is often thrown out in South America.
Second steeping: At first, the second steeping is watery and unpleasant. I left it to steep another five minutes, and it marginally improved it. Leaving it for another twenty or thirty minutes led to a rather pleasantly mild tea (unlike the weak mildness of the first steeping). It does seem unreasonable to steep it that long. It might be prudent to use more than the recommended amount of tea in order to avoid the weakness problem.
Rating: 5/10. It smells very nice indeed, and is pretty inoffensive, but I wouldn’t seek it out myself again. If it comes in another gift pack, I’ll probably drink it, but I’d reach for other teas first.
Alternatively, indifferent half-smile