The anticipation and excitement began at the end of our last tandem tea tasting when Geoff, Lazy Literatus, mentioned a small golden wrapped brick tea bar that he said, when brewed, emitted chocolate notes. The proper name of this magical morsel Feng Qing Black Mini Bricks.
Darlene, The Tea Lovers Archives, fondly nicknamed it the “Willy Wonka bar ” and we all waited patiently for our golden ticket.
Dutiful, Geoff sent out packages as promised, and when mine arrived I found it quite fitting that the post office had labeled it with a marker of distinction.
It was very hard not to break open and brew the contents, so employing the outmost resistance, I held on.
A few weeks later we were informed that one bar never reached its destination. Apparently, Darlene’s package arrived opened and without content.
I guess hers had the true “Golden Ticket” and the postal service felt compelled to open and confiscate the contents or most likely once opened and not reclosed properly the bar was lost in transit.
Not wanting to leave the Darlene, the creator of the sobriquet of this golden tidbit, out of the party, I offered and supplied her with half of my bar (sharing the wealth).
I set up my tea station with all the needed supplies for this assemblage and included an appropriate sweet, bite size pastry, dusted with cinnamon sugar with a sweet cream filling.
In a flash I was up running to the kitchen to dispense the rinse water not wanting to waste the promise in my cup.
Having done due diligence, I proceeded to re-steep for another 30seconds. The second infusion was somewhat lack luster, a few leaves had released themselves from the bar and the liquor brewed a light yellow. There was very little aroma although the initial sips did have a slight chocolate ending, somewhat reminiscent of a Belgian chocolate.
Teased, I wanted more chocolate. The third infusion (2 minutes) granted my request changing from a creamy chocolate note to a deeper dark chocolate. The aroma revealed definite chocolate bouquet with a light amber liquor.
Still my bar was not breaking up and sat with a chunk in my infuser.
Along the way lively conversation ensued, with Nicole, Tea For Me Please, discussing her upcoming rant, that we all are eager to read, as Nicole does not usually rant, and I for one, have always admired her politically correct demeanor.
Both Carter little ones made cameo appearances and little Ethan is growing quickly.
We talked of Bollywood Movies, Man Tears, a Canadian Peppermint Tea blend, Bourbon Barrel Pu-erh, Brussel Sprouts with Lapsang Souchong and Jack In The Beanstalk. We also covered events we might possibly attend in 2014 and although World Tea Expo may not be in all of our plans there was a suggestion we meet-up in Chicago for a tea weekend (strongly recommended by Rachel I Heart Teas).
Darlene was somewhat quiet and when asked said, she was so enjoying the tea, all else was a mere distraction.
We ended on an up-note regarding Geoff’s selection and golden gift and scheduled the next round of teas, to be sent by Nicole, as a few new offerings from Nilgiri.
When Geoff heard he would be receiving a Nilgiri Silver Needle he seemed to almost leap off of his seat.
It is wonderful to see such excitement about tea from one whom is on a quest for unusual offerings, and to know I will share the tasting experience with him. So our next meeting will be a Nilgiri experience along with the Silver Needle there is a Yellow Tea and two Greens to try.
After I signed off I noticed my mini brick has not fully opened and decided to give it another try. This time I left it to brew for five minutes.
Geoff had mentioned earlier that this was one of those teas that you “stay with until you find what you like”. Well, as a “gold brick” tea miner, I must say with this last infusion I struck gold Whoopee!
The dark amber liquor gave off much chocolatea aroma and profile that was maintained in the initial sip ending in a slightly malty note. The wet leaves ended revealed attractive, brownish, chunky quality.
All in all, this “Willy Wonka” experience was wonderful, chocolate sans calories.
For more insights see:
Darlene, The Tea Enthusiast’s Scrapbook
Nicole, Tea For Me Please
Rachel, I Heart Teas
Geoff, Lazy Literatus Steep Stories