Thursday, February 6, 2014


South African rooibos, peppermint, chocolate, cocoa, natural and artificial chocolate mint flavouring.

"You won't want anything else for dessert when you taste this tea.  Even the aroma is totally satisfying.  Caffeine free."

Comparable to the aroma of Junior Mints and Hot Chocolate, this is a dainty winter tea with a flavor subtle enough to be pleasant, while also leaving you wishing it were indeed a cup of hot cocoa.  In fact, I bet it would be absolutely splendid mixed with a packet of Dark Chocolate Swiss Miss, especially because rooibos is traditionally enjoyed with milk and sugar.  Overall, this proves to be an excellent bedtime tea on a snowy night, especially if you feel some cold symptoms coming on.  The mint lingers and the chocolate is just satisfying enough for an evening by the fire.

Minty and sweet, the chocolate smell is by far the most prominent and resembles that of a brand new open box of junior mints.  The leaves are very fine, so much so that a bit falls through the mesh of the basket, and little tiny chunks of chocolate can be found dispersed throughout.  The leaves are red, green, and a shiny reddish-gold color, resembling little splinters of wood.

Rooibos (aka Red Bush) a plant with green leaves that turn red when oxidized, comes from the Western Cape Province in South Africa.  It has a very distinctive smell and flavor.  Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free and is believed to help with insomnia if consumed before bedtime.  It is also believed that adding milk to the tea can reduce colic in babies and ease stomach cramps.  Great for the skin, it contains alpha hydroxy acid and zinc as well as copper, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.  Rooibos also contains flouride which helps build strong teeth and similar amounts of polyphenols to other teas which have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-carcinogenic.  Peppermint is cooling and calming and helps with stomach issues, abdominal pain, and other symptons of IBS.  Peppermint contains minerals and vitamins and can help to balance the PH levels of the skin as well as aiding with treating dandruff, burns, headaches, stress, cramps, and cold/flu symptoms.  Chocolate has been found to reduce the risk of stroke in women, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and to decrease the chances of heart disease and diabetes.  Studies have also shown that chocolate can reduce the activity of the nerve that causes coughing.  Cocoa has the blood-thinning properties of aspirin which can help improve circulation and therefore possibly help with good vision (according to a 2011 study at the University of Reading).

This tea DOES, however also contain soy & traces of milk, so be mindful of that.

DAVIDsTEA recommends steeping 1 1/2 teaspoons of dry tea per cup for 4-7 minutes in 208 ̊F water.  I (of course) steeped 2 full teaspoons for 7 minutes, but that's just because I like my tea on the stronger side.  The tea immediately begins to turn red and takes on a medium reddish-brown hue as the tiny bits of chocolate melt in.  Due to the very fine nature of this tea's leaves, I suggest running it through your basket into a fresh cup once the infusion is complete... and even then, you are left with tiny bits at the bottom.

The smell of peppermint hot cocoa fills the room as the hot water pours over the tea leaves and they begin to immediately infuse it.  After 7 minutes of steeping, the aroma begins to subside and the smell of rooibos tea takes over to tone down the chocolate and mint.  The hot cocoa smell subtly hits the back of the nose, although overall it is a balanced aroma of all ingredients.

Front and center, the mint hits you right away followed by the warm familiar taste of chocolate.  The rooibos makes the flavor lighter and perhaps a bit sweeter than these two flavors would taste alone, and the peppermint stands strong, lingering afterward, as if this were simply a peppermint herbal tea.  The chocolate, however, is far too subtle for my taste.  This particular company adds "natural and artificial chocolate mint flavouring" which I am torn about.  Taste-wise I would rather see them add more chocolate (dark chocolate particularly), but health-wise I understand their goal of keeping it caffeine-free.



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