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INTRO - HOW WE MET....
When I first heard about this product it seemed to me that I must have died and gone to heaven. Tea and chocolate. Tea. AND. Chocolate. Tea and chocolate!!! Two of my favourite things, and mixed together in a seemingly perfect swirl of balance. Healthy tea, unhealthy chocolate. Amazing! The sneaky sinfulness of chocolate mixed with the smugness of drinking a cup of cleansing tea! Needless to say I researched the closest place that sold them (double whammy of smugness - Health food shop! Score!), got myself down there and purchased a box...
WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A wonderful Yogi Tea - already a personal favourite brand of mine - well worth checking out if you've never had any! This particular flavour - Choco Aztec Spice, is made with some wonderful ingredients, including pure cocoa. Mmmmmm. A word on the side - the box itself is a beautiful artefact. Gorgeously decorated, makes you feel warmed to the heart just by looking at it! I actually turned the empty box into a pen holder after I'd finished with it (that got me a few weird looks in the office, I can tell you.) which is a tribute not only to how geeky I am but also to how genuinely lovely the box is. At over £2 for just 15 tea bags this can be seen as a little pricey but it's not the sort of tea you'd drink everyday, and as such isn't too bad (read on to find out more on that!)
MY EXPERIENCE AND THE GOODS/BADS
It is delicious! However. It does take quite a bit of getting used to. Even if you're a seasoned drinker of more unusual teas (wafty tea as a colleague of mine dubs my collection of exotic teas), this one really is unlike anything else. If you go in expecting a normal herbal tea your socks will be blown off by how strong and complex the flavour is. If you go in expecting a purely chocolatey experience, you'll be a little be mystified as to what you're drinking. I have to admit that I was guilty of the latter, and as such was a little let down at first. I should say I actually tried this on a post xmas diet and was in the throes of chocolate cravings, so this possibly wasn't the best time to try this tea - And it is, first and foremost a tea! However, if you go in with an open mind....
A week or so after my first cup, I tried it again, this time with not expectations - just wanting to experience the flavours - and it really was a lovely experience. It is important to make sure you let it brew for at least 8 minutes as it advises on the box - though my advice is to leave the tea bag in for at least 10 minutes, and then if you can leave it in while you drink. If you do this the intensity of the flavours really will come into their own. It is a tea that needs to be brewed like this, so if that doesn't sound like , ahem, your cup of tea (sorry), then this might not be the one for you. It's very intense and thick in flavour, it makes me think of a warm night wrapped in a duvet by a camp fire - so again if you prefer lighter flavours I'd advise against.
Finally, I experimented and mixed this tea with one rose and one mint teabag in a teapot, and let them all stew for a good 10 mintues - the result was MINDBLOWING. If you have the time and inclination - do it!
OH - and one last word of advice - if you suffer from eczema or skin allergies as I have in the past it may cause a bit of soreness and itching. Nothing to awful for me but something to be aware of!
OVERALL - IS IT WORTH IT?
A great tea for lovers of intense flavours and heavy teas. Could be seen as a bit misguiding in a way - but maybe only to a mind used to seeing chocolate in a tinfoil-wrapped branded form (which until now I was guilty of). Expect cocoa flavours mixed with all sorts of spices and you won't be let down in the slightest! Also - due to uniqueness of product and lovely box would make a good present for the tea lovers in your life. Happy brewing x
I'm a tea drinker through and through, and I love a good cuppa. I am not fussy about brands and like to taste my way through a selection of the many different varieties of tea available. I spotted the Yogi Tea brand in Holland & Barrett and couldn't resist buying the Choco Aztec Spice tea bags. These are available in boxes containing 15 tea bags, and this cost me cost £2.09.
Product description: "Exotic spices from the Far East blended with pure cocoa shells from South America, give this tea a deliciously unique taste and aroma. The wonderful flavours of ginger and cinnamon delicately mingle with the unmistakable essence of cocoa; warming body and spirit."
These tea bags come in a nice box that holds 15 tea bags. Each one is individually wrapped inside, so they stay fresh and you can easily take one out of the box and bring it with you to work for example, and it will be protected from the insides of your handbag. The tea bags themselves are the ordinary square-ish shape, but they are not quite flat so once the water is poured in the bag swells up and this allows the tea to move around a bit and infuse better.
Brewing instructions: To enjoy the full, rich flavour of Yogi Tea Choco, pour freshly boiled water over the teabag. Allow to infuse for 7 minutes - or longer for a stronger flavour. Take a sip before adding your favourite sweetener and/or creamer and let the flavours you taste inspire the perfect proportions.
I make most of my cuppas in the same way, allowing the tea bag to brew for a few minutes and then adding both milk and sugar to lighten and sweeten the flavour. This Yogi Tea required at least 7 minutes brewing time, which is absolutely ages! Not the best thing if you're desperate for a quick cuppa in the morning, but great if you have some time to kill and want a nice indulgent tea break.
The flavour of Choco Aztec Spice is quite different from that of a normal tea, but will be a little familiar if you have tried things like Chai as it has a similar taste. It contains South American cocoa and an organic Ayurvedic spice infusion. The blend of spices is not overly fragrant, but it is flavoursome and gives a nice warming feeling. The spices are quite rich and the cocoa seems to fade into the background a bit although I was still able to pick out the flavour, it just wasn't as strong as I had expected. I was a little disappointed that the chocolate flavour did not stand out more, and I think that I prefer either one or the other when it comes to spice and chocolate. So far, I've found that Twinings Chai cannot be beaten when it comes to spiced tea, and Whittards do a superb Dark Chocolate loose tea which has a rich chocolatey flavour. I really like this tea but it's not something I would want to drink all the time as it has a unique taste and almost seems more like a sweet dessert rather than a cup of tea. If you like flavoured or spiced teas I would recommend giving this a go as it is great quality and really nice for a change to normal tea.
A nice touch with Yogi Tea is that they have "created enchanting and flavourful teas for enjoyment that balances in our busy lives." And they seem to think that even a small action such as having a cup of tea can help to bring balance to your mind and spirit. I agree with this to a certain degree, as sometimes a little moment of calm can make all the difference. They re-enforce their positive messages by including little motivational quotes on the top of the tea bag tab. I think this is a silly but nice feature and I do enjoy looking forward to what my tea bag has to say for the day. Today my tea bag told me "learn to appreciate yourself" - so thanks for that little boost, Yogi Tea!
Yogi Tea's Choco Aztec Spice is a great quality tea that is lovely to try if you like different flavoured teas. I like to have these tea bags when I fancy a simple treat through a boring or stressful day and it gives a nice little pick me up as well as feeling warm and comforting. I would happily recommend this tea and will be looking out for other flavours in the Yogi Tea range.
Chocolate in tea form, and healthy too? Surely not! Yet sad as it may sound, I did manage to quietly convince myself that drinking Yogi Choco Aztec Spice tea was a reasonably good chocolate substitute. Having spent a considerable amount of time needing to be on a sugar-free diet, I found that this tea was a delicious sugar-free must-have when trying to stay away from sugary snacks. Like other Yogi teas it relies on a blend of spices to create a pleasingly refreshing tea, but the Choco tea has more depth to it courtesy of coco shells, that bring in soft and sweet chocolate flavours. Because it is sugar free it doesn't bring the same energy highs and lows, so it makes a good substitute for those moving towards a healthier lifestyle as well as being a very enjoyable drink for any time of day. As far as I can tell Choco tea isn't as widely available as some of the other Yogi teas, but it can usually be found in health food shops.
I am quite adventurous when it comes to trying herbal teas, and one I found a few months ago really interested me because it had a very appealing name-"Choco Aztec Spice". This is made by the company who make Yogi Teas and you can purchase it in many good health food stores, and online too. I have purchased mine from Ethical Superstore where it retails at £1.99 for 15 bags.
Now the company who makes this tea has a long history dating back to 1969, when their founder Yogi Bhajan left his native India to teach a form of Yoga, as well as meditation and Ayurveda to the West. The latter uses nutrition and herbs, amongst other things, to nourish the spirit. After his classes he would serve herb teas to his students, and so these became known as Yogi Teas!
Following on from this the tea was served in a chain of restaurants called the Golden Temple, and the overwhelming success was enough to fund a company, which now manufactures many varieties of teas, all unique and delicious!
Now I've been feeling a bit down lately due to my father being unwell, and to stop myself turning to too many calorie laden treats I have been trying to resist piling on weight by purchasing things which provide a chocolate taste, without too many fat grams. Lured by the promise that this drink is made from cocoa shells, I decided it had to be a good choice.
The packet is instantly appealing with a dark terracotta and chocolate brown exterior. A steaming cup of the beverage is depicted on the front in an Aztec designed bowl.
It also tells me that it contains 60% cocoa shells, cinnamon, liquorice, carob, barley malt, cardamom, ginger, cloves, cinnamon extract, vanilla extract, black pepper, ginger oil, and vanilla beans and that it is organic too! As well as this the cocoa shells are from fair-trade sources.
These spices are all purchased from the Far East and are blended with the cocoa shells from South America. The company do a lot to promote organic farming and have formed partnerships with organisations such as ForesTrade. This has been especially successful in the development of a co-operative in Sumatra and Indonesia, where farmers are growing organic cinnamon in a way which supports the local environment.
The bags are individually wrapped, which does make them portable, but this is my one criticism in that it makes more waste, and each tea bag is provided with a string, which really impacts on this area as it is not easily disposed of ethically. On a positive not the string leads to a little note which is different on each bag, a sort of spiritual pick me up message. The one on my cup today says" The art of happiness is to serve all!"
Their competitor Celestial Seasonings does not wrap bags, or attach string to their teas, so this has to be considered as I think this is one area where Yogi teas could improve.
To make the tea you simply pour freshly boiled water over the tea bag and leave to infuse for 7 minutes, or longer if you like a more intense flavour. I find it doesn't really matter too much as either way it delivers a lovely spicy chocolaty drink.
To me this drink is all about autumn and winter, long nights in with the curtains drawn, a crackling log fire, and a snowy scene outside. It's like a festive winter warming punch, and quite simply divine.
It isn't like a hot chocolate, because, of course, it is a tea substitute, but it has a chocolaty taste which is laced with these warming spicy flavours. I really love it, and it is brilliant when I'm in that chocolaty mood, which I do seem to be in a lot lately.
It won't help you lose weight, but it will certainly help you if you are in that sweet things mood, and are considering devouring a chunk of Galaxy or a slab of cake.
I really like many of their extensive range of unusual teas. If you can find a well stocked health shop you can be sure there will be a lot of theirs on the shelves. One of my daughters used to live in Glasgow, and there are some fantastic ones there.
This is a winter warmer and a great drink to have anytime. It might even help you keep off the calories!
Just one final point as this does contain cocoa shells make sure your dog is never given access to it. Dogs are killed every day by eating chocolate, as it is poisonous to them, even in minute amounts. I know because we had a scare last year when our little Shih Tzu ate some, and we spent a long night at The Emergency Vets.
In conclusion this is a lovely spicy warming drink with a chocolate aroma and perfect for the seasons we are about to enter.
Exotic spiced yogi tea with pure cocoa.