Tisano’s Original Cacao Tea

Original Cacao Tea by Tisano
Herbal Infusion / Straight
$14.95USD for 4oz

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Tisano has provided me with Original Cacao Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Tisano sent me a sample of their Original Cacao Tea. The sample came to me in a resealable bag (thank goodness), and the aroma of the cacao shells is one of pure chocolate. It smells and reminds me of a rich hot chocolate. Original Cacao Tea is a tisane made up of only cacao shells. I’m not sure what a cacao shell is supposed to look like, but the tisane is made up of thin, light brown flakes and smell like a chocolate bar.

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Preparation

Tisano recommends steeping Original Cacao Tea at 210°F (99°C) water for 5 minutes. My initial steep was for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Original Cacao Tea steeps to a beautiful golden brown colour. Surprisingly, there’s slight bit of oils across the top that I think it comes from the cacao shells themselves (since chocolate has oils). The aroma from the steeped tisane is nothing short of hot chocolate. Sipping Original Cacao Tea has the taste of chocolate, a slightly watery version of hot chocolate. There’s a slight bitterness to the tisane, it reminds me of dark chocolate.

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I added some cream to Original Cacao Tea and I found it helped to dull the bitterness and make it taste a touch more like hot chocolate, as it allowed the natural sweetness from the cacao to come through more.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped the Original Cacao Tea, but found that the flavour was a watery compared to the initial steep. I would recommend Original Cacao Tea for one steep only.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Tisano’s Original Cacao Tea. I found that it was really good with the addition of cream, it made it taste like a hot chocolate. It’s a nice alternative to the sugary commercial hot chocolate mix available out there. I wasn’t too fond of the bitter notes with the straight tisane, so I recommend adding some cream or milk to make it into a rich hot chocolate drink.

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Tisano’s Chai Cacao Tea

Chai Cacao Tea by Tisano
Black Tea / Flavoured
$13.99USD for 4oz

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Tisano has provided me with Chai Cacao Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

The idea of chocolate tea confuses me at times – mostly because I love hot chocolate, and I love tea, but I’ve had some bad experiences with them in the past. A chocolate tea? For me, that usually means chocolate in tea, but the interesting thing is that Tisano doesn’t actually put chocolate in the tea. The dry leaf smells remarkably like milk chocolate. It reminds me of a bar of milk chocolate or hot chocolate. Just the chocolate aroma with the sweetness of chocolate. I’ve found in the past that “chocolate teas” don’t have the richness of actual chocolate aroma, so this one is nice to smell.

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The ingredients of Chai Cacao Tea include: organic Tisano cacao shells, organic Assam black tea, organic cloves, cardamom, and other spices. All of Tisano’s tea products have a cacao shell base. Beyond chocolate, I do smell the cardamom, but not the cloves. It was a bit disappointing to see that not all the ingredients were listed – if you have any food allergies that you’re concerned about, I would recommend contacting the company directly to inquire about allergens.

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Preparation

Tisano recommends steeping Chai Cacao Tea in 200°F (93°C) water for 4 minutes. My initial steep of Chai Cacao Tea was prepared according to the recommended steeping instructions.

First Taste

Chai Cacao Tea continues to smell like chocolate as it steeps. It steeps to a clear yellow, but the smell makes me think that it should be brown like hot chocolate instead. On first sip, it tastes like chocolate, but it isn’t as sweet as chocolate would be. It has a very mild flavour to it – there’s the flavour of chocolate and I’m pleasantly surprised that it doesn’t remind me of watery chocolate. While it lacks the creamy richness that a cup of hot chocolate would provide, Chai Cacao Tea reminds me a bit of a dessert tea because of the chocolate aroma and flavours. There’s no bitterness or astringency, which I appreciate. I didn’t really find it had a spice to the flavour of this tea, which was a touch disappointing as I was hoping to experience the spices in this blend.

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I poured a second cup of this cacao shell tea and added some sugar and milk. I found that the sugar and milk helped it to taste more like a cup of hot chocolate. It lacks the thickness of hot chocolate, but it still has the flavours of hot chocolate, which I greatly enjoy.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Chai Cacao Tea but found the flavours were quite dilute compared to the initial steep. I would say that Chai Cacao Tea was good for one steep.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Tisano’s Chai Cacao Tea. I’m still a bit perplexed by how this tea blend actually smells and tastes like chocolate, but if you’re a chocolate lover I think you’ll enjoy this one! It was okay straight, but I enjoyed it a lot more with the addition of sugar and milk. Milk chocolate is one of my favourite types of chocolate, so I’m glad that this doesn’t have any bitter notes (although if you’re a dark chocolate fan, you’d probably enjoy a touch of bitterness). I do wish that the spices had shone more in this tea after it had steeped, since it is called a chai (for a fun fact, chai means tea!).

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