Last week I reviewed a chocolate tea from Metrodeco, which I enjoyed, but didin’t find particularly chocolatey. At the same time, and completely coincidentally, Duffy Sheardown sent me a pack of his own cocoa tea to try.
This is an entirely different interpretation of a chocolate tea though. For a start, it’s an infusion as there’s no tea in it at all – it’s actually 100% pure cocoa. Duffy’s explanation is that the word ‘infusion’ sounds a bit clinical, and I’m inclined to agree. Look at the tea shelf of any supermarket and you’ll see a plethora of flavoured infusions that aren’t actually tea.
Whatever you want to call it, this product is made from 100% pure Panama origin cocoa beans and nothing else. It’s a mix of cocoa shells (the part of the bean that’s usually discarded), and cocoa nibs (the part that usually becomes chocolate. In other words, it’s the whole bean with nothing added and nothing taken away. It’s simply been roasted as it would be to make chocolate.
When you open the packet, you’re greeted with the most amazing, deep chocolatey smell. It’s utterly fantastic, and I could happily just stand and sniff the packet all day. As you might expect, it smells exactly like a chocolate factory.
Duffy recommends making this brew in a cafetiere, but I happened to have some fillable teabags, so I decided to just add a couple of teaspoons full of the mixture to a bag and dunk it in a cup full of hot water. I’m not a fan of washing up, and teabags are so convenient!
Immediately, the aroma changes to one of a super-rich hot chocolate. It’s tempting to drink it immediately, but I decided to give it a couple of minutes before removing the teabag.
Now here’s where you have a choice. Even the best cocoa beans can be a little bitter if you’re not used to the flavour, so you’ll probably want to sweeten this. You can use sugar, honey, or anything you like to sweeten it – I happened to have some vanilla sugar to hand, so I put a teasponful in my cup and settled down to try it.
The flavour is amazing. As you breathe in the vapours, your mind is tricked into believing you’re about to try the richest, creamiest hot chocolate imaginable. But the flavour is something different entirely. It’s pure chocolate, but it’s light and refreshing. You’re not going to feel bloated after a cup of this, you’re going going to feel calmed, refreshed, and ready for another cup.
I love this stuff. It’s about as simple as a chocolate drink can be, and that’s the beauty of it. If you’re not used to rich, dark chocolates, then I recommend experimenting with the amount of sweetener, or even adding a little milk. For me, just a single spoon of sugar and it’s perfect.