It has been a day of highs and lows for me so far, the highs are awesome, the lows are pretty frustrating because they affect my tea drinking! First off, pretty sure I have Ben's stupid cold/flu, meaning my sense of taste and smell will be utterly gone for a few days. Second my electric kettle broke, just decided to stop heating things. I feel like I lost a friend, it left me feeling empty and lost...I take my tea gear very seriously. Of course I took to facebook lamenting the death of my kettle, and a dear friend bought me a replacement, how awesome is that! My new kettle will be here on the 5th, I think my sanity will hold until then.
Today's tea is a dessert themed tea from Butiki Teas! Red Queen Cupcake is inspired by one of the winner of Cupcake War's creations, a cupcake that mixes chocolate and espresso with vanilla frosting and fresh strawberries, that sounds so yummy. This blend is made from Dinjoye Estate Assam, Chocolate Chips (vegan), Freeze-Dried Strawberries, Safflower, Amaranth, Organic Natural Flavorings (vegan) and is Gluten Free, for those seeking cupcake tasting things like I am. The aroma reminds me of truffles (the chocolate, not the mushroom...I know, weird for me to not be talking about mushrooms) rich chocolate and strawberry truffles with a sprinkling of espresso, it pulls to mind a very specific truffle a friend of mine made, they were quite decadent. The aroma is intensely sweet, perfect for those times you are craving chocolate (when am I not craving chocolate?)
Oh man, steeping this tea is fantastic, the aroma of strawberries, chocolate, and espresso fill my tea area. Sniffing the leaves once they are out of the water I also detect a bit of malt and a slight floral hint at the finish. The liquid without its leafy friends is just intense, the strawberry is so sweet and the chocolate is mouthwatering. There are hints of malt and a delightful kick of espresso at the end.
Before anyone goes 'le'gasp! Traitor to tea! Espresso!' keep in mind, I used to work at a coffee shop where I was practically fueled by espresso. I might not drink coffee anymore, and I have always preferred tea, but I still love the taste of espresso. Now that I have gotten that out of the way I can say HOLY MOLEY Chocolate! Wow, it starts out with a rich chocolate sweetness, this moves on to espresso, and then to vanilla and juicy strawberries. Lastly there is a bit of espresso and sweet vanilla at the finish that linger into an aftertaste. Butiki recommends taking this with a bit brown crystal sugar, but I really think it is sweet enough, I am tempted to put a little cream in it to make it extra rich, but again it is already super rich.