Results: A delectable treat! The balance between the chocolate notes of the cacao along with maple, brown sugar, & molasses of the tea made it something special I’m going to want to keep around. Worthy of everyone’s tea collection.
Vendor: Upton Tea Imports
Type: BLACK (FLAVORED)
Origin: Tumaco region of Colombia
Tasting: Gong Fu – 14g |150ml | 212° | R5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 (seconds)
Grandpa – 7grams | 8oz | 5min
Gong-Go Gear: Tetsubin
Average number of infusions: 5
I’ve written about flavored teas before and my preference for blending my own. However, when I saw this offering from Upton I just couldn’t resist. A dedicated chocoholic, I’m willing to break any rules to get my fix and Cacao Kiss was worth it.
Being a Columbian tea was also an added bonus since I can’t remember ever having tried one. Upton is rather tight-lipped on where they get their teas. They do say this particular tea was produced around Tumaco (the region is known for cacao production). Most likely the tea was produced by Agrícola Himalaya S.A’s for their Bitaco brand. I did find Cacao Kisses as one of Bitaco Teas offerings. According to their website, they are the only tea producers in the country, and satellite imagery from Google Maps clearly shows agricultural production around the village of Bitaco where the company states their gardens are located.
Upton’s Cacao Kisses was wonderful. As you can see from my photo above, I was loving it so much I almost forgot to get a picture before I finished. With each slurp, notes of chocolate bathed the edges of my palate. Very creamy and without any bitterness I did one session gong fu and another grandpa style. For the last session, I first tasted straight up before adding cream and sugar. I actually preferred the gong fu session the most followed by grandpa with milk and cream. The cream really took it to a whole new level. The cacao notes were much more pronounced as is swished the tea through my mouth. The black tea base notes were maple and molasses and reminded me of a Yunnan dianhong or red tea. This became even more pronounced in the last two infusions. Upton deserves a pat on the back for this one. I’m going to have to reorder and recommend it for everyone.
Sweet dried fruits
Uniform whole leaves, cacao hulls, & nibs
Deep golden amber
Delicious cacao notes all around the edges of the palate rounded out beautifully with base notes of maple and molasses
Creamy and mouthwatering
Nicely balanced between soft notes of cacao and the maple notesof black tea – even better with cream & sugar
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 1 :
Smooth & rich with base notes of brown sugar rounded out with cacao notes along the edges
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 2 – 3:
Maple and brown sugar came to the front with milk chocolate finish
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 4 – 5:
More molasses at the front with a nice cacao finish.
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 6-7:
The cacao finished in the 5th infusion but the black tea notes were lovely.