Product Review: Art of Tea’s Chocolate Monkey

“If man has no tea in him, his is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.”

– Japanese Proverb

I drink tea… a lot of tea. With Mr. Wonderful’s gift of a personal Keurig for my office I drink probably more tea than I should. Chocolate monkey is one of my most favorite teas that I have ordered from Art of Tea. It is the tea that I drink when I am not feeling well (as it makes me smile). The smell is divine and sometimes I just enjoy holding the cup until it goes cold. I think the flavor is better cold as well… don’t be mad at me.

Chocolate Monkey is fair trade certified. While this does nothing substantial in the flavor of the tea, it does tell you that the quality and standards of life of those that grow and harvest this tea are greater than those who earn below living wage for what they produce. This is neither the time or the place for standing on a soap box… so I will not digress further at this time into the definition of fair trade. There are wonderful explanations on the Art of Tea website and you are more than welcome to go view the videos and learn about what they are doing to ensure a higher quality product.

Please also note that my Keurig is not the recommended way to brew this tea. While it might be the easiest way for me to enjoy tea throughout the day… they recommend steeping 1 teaspoon for 5-7 minutes in 206 degree water. The fill line on my eco-cup is about 2 1/2 teaspoons and I get the best flavor from my 2nd and 3rd cup. And yes… I do brew the same leaves all day at I believe is 165 degrees, but I have no setting control for the temperature. Chocolate Monkey is a loose tea. You can order empty teabags from Art of Tea or from Amazon or go to the grocery store and get them there if you do not have a strainer or a eco-cup/my-k-cup.

Chocolate Monkey is a blend that has a low caffeine count, so it is good if for those who cannot handle a substantial jolt of caffeine, but do wish to have a full-bodied taste and aroma to their tea.  There are little bits of dried fruit that give this tea its fruity nature. The “chocolate taste” is very slight and in the background… probably due to the chocolate seeds instead of nibs. A bolder chocolate could be created by roasted beans or by nibs, but I think it is better as a softer background note. The little peppery taste in the background does make the back of my throat tickle if I drink it too slow.

The only complaints I have seen come from this tea is the fine texture of the tea dust. It does go through fine sieves. If it would seriously bother you to have little tea dust particles in the bottom of your cup, you will be bothered by this tea. As this is sometimes the nature of loose tea, it does not bother me. I rather like looking at the patterns in the bottom when you swirl the cup (especially when I’m sick).

On the Art of Tea’s website they do have a few recipes involved in backing with this tea blend. I will probably stick to drinking it, though it would be good in some muffins. Though, I may just want muffins at this point in time.

It is also Mr. Wonderful approved.

I would recommend this to those who are not into incredibly bold black teas, malty tastes and those that really enjoy a fruity tea. It has a great balance to it and I do keep it on hand for the days when I do not feel well and because Mr. Wonderful really enjoys it.

~Emme

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