I have a rather special choice of tea for you this week! Instead of a product from any of the well-known tea merchants, I’ve chosen Hotel Chocolat’s Unwind blend. They’re calling their tea products teaolat, but I’m not entirely sure if the name will catch on so a ‘blend’ is a fit description.
Unlike before, when I’ve suggested some of my favourite teas, I’ve never actually tried this one so I’m going on a journey of discovery with you, my readers.
Dry leaves: as it’s not a blend of tea with actual tea leaves, the dry mix is a combination of cacao nibs, chamomile flowers and lemon balm leaves (no, I didn’t know that was a plant either, it’s part of mint family). The aroma is, as you might expect, chocolaty and rich, with a hint of sweetness coming from the chamomile, but the mint doesn’t come through.
Water temperature: 100 degrees Celsius
Amount: one teabag (3.5g)
Brewing time: 4-5 minutes.
Wet leaves: brewing the tea seems to strip the leaves of any sweet aroma, focusing instead on the bitterness of cocoa (not chocolate), with dried fruit and tobacco notes.
Brew: the resulting tea is light bodied, but a bit astringent. The flavour is a combination of dried fruits with burnt notes so the cocoa transfers that way and it leaves quite a similar aftertaste to that of light black teas, just without the malty flavour. I personally liked the combination although I didn’t find it particularly unwinding, but I think it will be a divisive blend in terms of taste. Some will like it, and some won’t.
Ready to try it?
You’ll be able to find it in most Hotel Chocolat stores and in their online shop, along with some other flavours. I purchased a single teabag as an impulse buy (sorry, my dear husband, I’ll never be able to resist tea!) from the till area. And I suggest you do that too, just to see if you like it. But you can also buy them as a pack of 10 pyramid teabags for £5 (at the time of writing) or already infused for on-the-go enjoyment.
If you’re looking for a novel gift idea for a tea lover friend or family member, give Hotel Chocolat’s teaolats a go! I think they will be quite surprised.
Thanks for reading!