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Happy Holidays: Mélange de Chamonix

December 12, 2008

Today’s tea: Mélange de Chamonix from Upton Tea Imports

Presented by: goodtea

Picture yourself in a cozy French cottage in the snow-covered mountains, with your loved ones sitting around while a warm fire in the fireplace blazes. You can smell the aroma of delicious sweets being baked in the kitchen, but you can’t resist sipping a cup of hot cocoa or surreptitiously snacking on a piece of chocolate while you wait.

That’s what a cup of Mélange de Chamonix tea is like.  Warmth. Old-world charm. Sweet indulgence. Simple happiness.

Chamonix, located in southeastern France, is a scenic town that was once the site of the Winter Olympics, and the name lends itself well to this tea blend that’s perfect for the holiday season. A dark Indian tea mixed with cocoa, cardamom, and cinnamon, it smells lovely straight out of the container–spicy cinnamon, with a hint of chocolate.

Once you add boiling water, though, the chocolate smell takes over and if you close your eyes, you could convince yourself you were about to drink a cup of hot chocolate. But the cardomon gives it a mellow, vanilla-y undertone, while the cinnamon comes through just enough to tickle your senses.

After such a wonderful aroma raised my expectations, my taste buds were rather disappointed that the tea itself doesn’t taste nearly as strong as it smells. I was sceptical about trying a chocolate tea, but the flavor isn’t pure chocolate–it’s still tea, but mildly flavored. I felt a little cheated until I added some milk and honey, which gave it more substance and made it more satisfying. The delicious scent of chocolate and spicy baked goods still comes through, though! Then it’s very relaxing and perfect for a cozy evening in the wintertime.

Conclusion: Smells amazing, but the taste doesn’t quite live up to it, so it’s one of the very few teas that I will not drink straight. But with a little milk and honey, it’s a delicious holiday treat that even non-tea drinkers can appreciate!

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