Tulsi Masala Chai from Yogic Chai

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Yogic Chai

Product Description:

Ingredients: Organic CTC BOP Assam, Organic Cardamom, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Ginger, Organic Cloves & Organic Tulsi (Holy Basil) Leaf

Taster’s Review:

This is a very flavorful chai.  But then, I expected nothing less from Yogic Chai.  When it comes to flavor – Yogic Chai delivers!  Their chai is not too spicy, but not too mild either… it possesses just the right level of spiciness so that you know you’re drinking a chai blend without being smacked hard in the face with the spicy flavor.

Now I will admit that sometimes I like being smacked hard in the face with spice, but, when I want a delicious, evenly-spiced chai, Yogic Chai has never disappointed.

This Tulsi Masala Chai takes Yogic Chai’s award winning Original Masala Chai and adds a bit of dried Tulsi (also known as Holy Basil).  The addition of the Tulsi brings a hint of mint-like flavor that is especially noticeable in the aftertaste.  It is crisp and refreshing without overwhelming the balance of spices.

I like the subtle approach with the Tulsi here.  It’s almost enchanting.  Another delicious chai offering from Yogic Chai!

PRODUCT REVIEW: Original Bhakti Chai Concentrate from Bhakti Chai

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

For more information about this product including how to purchase, visit:  Bhakti Chai

Product Description:

Antioxidant-rich black tea, fresh organic ginger, milled spices and a touch of evaporated cane juice.

Taster’s Review:

Oh. My. Goodness!  This is SO good.  This is so good, that I am on my second cup within a half an hour!

According to the website, Bhakti Chai uses fresh pressed ginger as opposed to dried ginger.  The difference this makes can be tasted!  The ginger tastes zippier, zingier, and ginger-y-er!

The black tea base here is a smooth tasting tea, but really, the focus of this chai concentrate is the spices.  And, that’s quite alright with me, because this is so delicious that I wouldn’t want to change it.  It’s absolutely perfect.

The ginger is the dominate flavor, and I can taste the black pepper supporting the flavor of the ginger.  The cardamom and cloves are a bit more subtle but can be tasted, providing that familiar background chai flavor.  The fennel is also quite subtle, but, I taste a hint of licorice-like sweetness in the distance.

One spice that seems to be “missing” is cinnamon – which is a common chai ingredient.  But, even though it isn’t in this chai, I’m not missing it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love cinnamon, but, like I said before, this tastes so good that I wouldn’t want to change it.

The ginger provides a lot of warmth (or “agni”) and offers a very warm, comforting sensation starting at the back of the mouth and permeating its way to the belly.  This is a perfect cuppa on those cold winter-y days.  Like today!

This original concentrate is sweetened, but, I am not finding it too sweet.  Bhakti Chai also offers an unsweetened version, which I will review at a later date.

If you like Chai Latte – this is definitely one you should try.  I love this stuff!

Gen Mai Lemongrass Chai from Yogic Chai

Tea Type: Green Tea/Chai

Where To Buy: Yogic Chai

Product Description:

Herbal Properties:
– Genmaicha Tea: Is a flavorful Japanese classic which includes a stunning combination of whole, fresh Green Sencha leaves combined with roasted organic brown rice. The almost sweet, toasted flavor of the rice adds a lovely contribution to the whole bodied green tea leaves

– Cardamom: A household spice that is commonly used to support digestion without increasing Heat.* It has expectorant and diaphoretic actions.* The mucus forming properties of milk are neutralized when cardamom is added to it.*

– Cinnamon: This warming spice is traditionally used in cold formulas as an expectorant and diaphoretic (sweat inducing).* Due to its warming property, cinnamon is known to promote digestion.*

– Cloves: An energizing herb,* cloves are an effective stimulant and aromatic for the lungs and stomach.* Cloves are used extensively in Ayurvedic herbology.

– Ginger: In Ayurvedic and Chinese herbology, Ginger is known to have heating, cleansing, toning and stimulating properties.* Ginger promotes digestion, relieves abdominal discomfort, dispels chills and it is also useful for relieving respiratory complaints due to phlegm and arthritic conditions due to coldness.*

– Lemon Grass: As a medicinal herb, lemon grass is mildly diuretic and a stimulant tonic. * The herb promotes digestion of fats, and in Ayurvedic medicine a preparation of lemon grass with pepper has been used for relief of menstrual troubles and nausea.* The herb stimulates perspiration, cooling the body in summer and lowering fevers any time of year.*

  • This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease

Tasters Review:

Gen Mai?  Lemongrass?  Chai?  I can’t say as I would have thought about putting all of this together but I am sure glad that Yogic Chai did because it’s pretty darned awesome!

The Genmaicha is the perfect ‘strength’ for me and of really good quality.  The Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger are all quite subtle and I’m completely fine with that.  There are little popped rice that are included in this blend of flavors and I think that is very nice!  It makes me smile, actually!  The Lemongrass is a wonderful touch!

This is another good, unique chai/blend from Yogic Chai!  And I am grateful that I was able to try it.  If you have the opportunity to sample it – do it!  You won’t regret it!

500 Mile Chai from The Tao of Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  The Tao of Tea

Product Description:

Chai is an integral part of life in India and simply translates to ‘Tea’ in Hindi. Calling it ‘Chai tea’ is considered redundant. In India, ‘Chaiwallahs’ (tea vendors) are present at street corners brewing basic black tea with spices.

500 Mile Chai
The tale of ‘500 Mile Chai’ originates from the many late night truck drivers stopping at small Chai stands ‘Dhabas’ on the highway and asking for really strong, sweet Chai to help them drive long distances (in a humorous tone – “for another 500 miles”).

Taster’s Review:

This is a good chai – and it is quite different from many other chai blends that I have tried.  In many other blends, it seems as though the emphasis is on the spices, and it can be sometimes difficult to discern the flavor of the tea base amid the stronghold of the spices.

But here, the black tea base is strong and solid!  There is some real power to this black tea.  I suspect it is an Assam due to its malty tone, and to the fact that when it is steeped too long, it gets just a little too bitter (care to guess how I know that?)

When steeped for the right amount of time, however, this is a delicious tea.  I found that 3 to 3 1/2 minutes is just right for me.  When I got to four, the tea verged upon bitterness, but at 3 1/2 the tea tasted just perfect.  I did not steep this using the chai “stovetop” method (steeping in simmering milk on the stove) because as I’ve attested to in previous reviews, I try to avoid this method whenever possible.  Too messy!

So, instead, I steeped for 3 1/2 minutes in boiling water.  I tried this latte style (steeping at a stronger concentration and serving with steamed milk) and without the milk, and while I prefer it latte, it is quite delicious either way.  I do recommend a little honey or agave nectar though to help bring out the richness of the spices.

The flavor of the cup is bold and well-spiced.  Invigorating!  The blend of spices is well-balanced.  In some blends, the ginger or cinnamon is overwhelming and can cancel out some of the notes of the cardamom and cloves, but here, each one of these spices is nicely represented without one stealing the show.

This is DEFINITELY strong enough to keep you going another 500 miles!

Spicy Seattle Chai from MarketSpice

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  MarketSpice

Product Description:

Our spiciest chai, with plenty of Pepper, Ginger and Cardamom. Add milk and sugar to taste. Ingredients: Black tea, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Tellicherry Peppercorns, Ginger and Cloves.

Taster’s Review:

This chai is AWESOME!

As most of you probably know (because I’ve said it enough!) I am very discriminating when it comes to chai – because I truly believe that I created the best chai blend ever.  However, that doesn’t mean that I cannot appreciate other chai blends, and this is definitely one for which I have tremendous appreciation!

It is SPICY!  The pepper and ginger are prominent, and I can actually feel it hit my throat in the finish – like a spicy, peppery blanket that warms my palate, then radiates down my throat and warms my entire body right down to the tips of my toes!

In fact, after my initial sip, I had to check the MarketSpice website to see if this chai had chili pepper in it, because the heat from the pepper is that kind of heat.  The website does not indicate that there is chili pepper of any kind in this – so I suspect that it is the rather fine grind of black Tellicherry peppercorns that brings the heat, as well as the ginger.

But, while the heat from these two ingredients is rather dominant, they do not overwhelm the palate so much that the other ingredients – cinnamon, cardamom and cloves – cannot be tasted.  The flavor of the black tea is even quite present in the sip – it is rich and bold and offers a tasty base for these zesty spices.

I really like this chai.  I have tried it several times now.  The first time I tasted it, I drank it with no additions, the second time, with just a drizzle of honey.  I found that the honey brought out some of the other spices very nicely and softened the edge from the tea, ginger and pepper just a little.  For an extra special treat, try it with brown sugar – the molasses in the brown sugar will be delightful with this spicy chai!

The third time, I broke down and made myself a chai latte by steeping the tea extra strong (using a little extra leaf and a little less water) and adding honey and some warmed 2% milk and frothing it.

When served as a latte – the spices present themselves a little differently.  It is still spicy, but the creaminess of the latte softens the spices and creates a warm, comforting cup that puts the coffee house chai lattes to shame!  The chai latte was absolutely delightful and my favorite way of serving this, although I quite enjoyed the other preparations as well.

An excellent chai – perfect for those who like their chai on the spicy side!

Spice With Black Tea from Chai Wallah

Tea Type: Chai
(Black Tea Base)

Where To Buy: Chai Wallah

Product Description:

Fair Trade Organic Rembeng Estate Assam tea is the perfect match for our organic chai spice. A robust full-bodied CTC tea favored by chai drinkers in India for its strong malty taste even when blended and boiled with chai spice, milk and sugar. Street chai wallahs tend to use the less expensive fannings or dust tea when making chai as they get a better return on their endeavors.

Tasters Review:

If you are looking for a mighty strong Chai – give this one a go-around!  It’ll put hair on your chest! (As my Grandfather used to say). And if it’s not strong enough as-is this wonderful company has SPICE ONLY options available and you can add as much additional spice as you want!  BUT…this is a mighty strong chai on it’s own tho!

Spice With Black Tea from Chai Wallah has a DARK Brown almost coffee brown-on the verge of-black look to it after infusing.  The spices are in full force!  I can taste the Black Pepper first then the Cardamom followed by the cloves, ginger and the Cinnamon isn’t as strong as the other ingredients.

This one I may try additives with…on future attempts.  As many of you know I drink all of my teas plain – even Chai.  I like to taste the natural “as-is” flavors without any interruptions.  But after I do know what the natural taste tastes like I’m not opposed to experimenting!
Regardless…this is a strong and hearty chai!  What a Wake-Up Call!  Sturdy and loud!  It sure has attitude…and I LIKE that!

Fennel Masala Chai from Yogic Chai

Tea Type: Chai
(Black Tea Base)

Where To Buy: Yogic Chai

Product Description:

Herbal Properties:
– Assam Tea (black Tea): Black tea is a variety of tea that is more oxidized than the green, oolong and white varieties. All four varieties are made from leaves of Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the less oxidized teas.

NOTE:The USDA recently stated that drinking black tea may lower bad cholesterol levels and could one day be used to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Read more. Click here!

– Cardamom: A household spice that is commonly used to support digestion without increasing Heat.* It has expectorant and diaphoretic actions.* The mucus forming properties of milk are neutralized when cardamom is added to it.*

– Cinnamon: This warming spice is traditionally used in cold formulas as an expectorant and diaphoretic (sweat inducing).* Due to its warming property, cinnamon is known to promote digestion.*

– Cloves: An energizing herb,* cloves are an effective stimulant and aromatic for the lungs and stomach.* Cloves are used extensively in Ayurvedic herbology.

– Ginger: In Ayurvedic and Chinese herbology, Ginger is known to have heating, cleansing, toning and stimulating properties.* Ginger promotes digestion, relieves abdominal discomfort, dispels chills and it is also useful for relieving respiratory complaints due to phlegm and arthritic conditions due to coldness.*

– Fennel: A common spice that it is traditionally used in Ayurvedic Medicine to improve digestion and absorption without increasing Fire. Fennel is calming to the nerves and their aroma acts upon the mind and promotes mental awareness. * Fennel is also found to increase low milk supply in breastfeeding moms.*

  • This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Tasters Review:

I was afraid when I saw just how much fennel was in this dry blend mix!  I must say I have had some less than pleasant experiences with fennel in tea. BUT…

This is wonderful!   It leads me to believe that much of the fennel that I have had in teas has been either artificial or enhanced in some way with additional flavoring and/or the blends I have had have been too over the top with the other ingredients that either don’t mesh well with the other spices or interrupt the natural fennel taste!

Regardless…
This is what fennel SHOULD be all about!  This has a great deal of Fennel IN the mix but it tastes very good and more natural tasting than others I have tried prior to this little gem from Yogic Chai!

The other ingredients are gentle and in the background. They only assist and do the fennel justice in this specific case!  I’m very impressed with Fennel Masala Chai fro m Yogic Chai!

This if my favorite Fennel Related Tea to date!

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