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!

Root 66 Tea from Monterey Bay Spice Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane/Spice Melangé

Where to Buy:  Monterey Bay Spice Company

Product Description:

Roasted dandelion, chicory root, and sarsaparilla root get you started towards Root 66 Tea. Creating a robust and dark infusion, this herbal tea exudes a mouth-watering natural earthiness. Good for your liver, Root 66 Tea also twists in a bit of the exotic: the lively sweetness of coconut and the slight chocolate taste of carob. With lingering licorice airiness, this herbal makes a fantastic coffee substitute or a dessert tea!

IngredientsSarsparilla root, chicory root, roasted dandelion root, carob pods, cinnamon, fennel, crystal malt and coconut.

Caffeine Free

Taster’s Review:

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m always a little leery of herbal blends such as this.  I’m always afraid that they’ll taste too medicinal for my personal taste, so I find myself always putting off trying them.

And I am really sorry that I put off trying this one as long as I did, because it’s rather tasty!  It has a sweet, root beer-like taste to it which is enhanced by the spices and malt.  It has a slightly roasted taste to it too, and I like how the coconut and sarsaparilla taste together.  It’s really much better than I imagined it would be.

The Sarsaparilla root gives this tisane its root beer taste.  The licorice-y taste of fennel and the cocoa notes of the carob enhance the sweetness of this cup while the cinnamon gives it a nice warmth in the background.  There is a roasted note to this as well from the chicory and roasted dandelion root which adds depth to the cup.

But what really makes this tisane special is the coconut.  I love the combination of flavors – it’s sort of like a chocolate and coconut flavored spiced root beer!

This tisane has a little bit of an herbal/medicinal aftertaste that I would define as almost peppery – it’s the dandelion!  However, this aftertaste doesn’t linger very long.  And because I enjoy the flavor of the tea so much, I can overlook the aftertaste.

I am sipping this now as a hot beverage – it is cold and wet outside and I am enjoying the warm, cozy comfort of a hot tea, but I think that this blend would be even better iced – it would be a great substitute for soda!  Just a little pinch of sugar will enhance the sweeter notes and make it an irresistible treat for the kids.  It’s naturally caffeine free, so there’s nothing to overstimulate them, either!

This is YUMMY!

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!

Signature Positiv-A-Tea Blend from Positiv-A-Tea

Tea Type: Herbal

Where To Buy: Positiv-A-Tea

Product Description:

100% Organic
Hand-Blended
USDA Approved
Naturally Decaffeinated

Ingredients:
Hibiscus, Lemon Balm, Rose Petals,
Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Lavender

Tasters Review:

I’m not going to lie…when I was finished infusing this the color of it frightened me!  I was also worried about the Hibiscus – many of you know my trials and tribulations with that ingredient…BUT…

This IS pretty pleasant! I’ve VERY shocked and surprised that the level of hibiscus is what it is!  As it cooled – I could taste more tartiness so I will drink this HOT!  If you are after the fruitier or tartier flavor you might like it cooler.   The Lemon Balm follows it as far as ingredients that pop out a little more than the others but the one that lingers is the Lavender and it’s a pretty lavender as well as a little chewy…if you can picture that!!   The rose and Orange are about equal in taste-intensity and that is subtle.

This is pretty and sassy and different all in one…I think it’s a neat blend and tastes alright!  If you are looking for a positive blend and something that is positively unique…give this one a whirl!

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!

Steamy Cinnamon Rose from Talbott Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Talbott Teas

Product Description:

Full-leaf black tea with cinnamon, orange peel and rose petals.

Taster’s Review:

Wow!  This one is a keeper!  Definitely one of the best ones I’ve tried from Talbott thus far.

The balance of flavors here is so nice.  When I first received a sampling of it I thought “Oh, cinnamon and rose.  OK.”  Because, well, I have a similar blend of my own (which is rose, vanilla and cinnamon), so I thought this would taste very familiar to me.  I was wrong!

The orange and clove is a nice addition.  The orange perks up the overall flavor without overwhelming the other flavors, and I like the way the orange and the rose work together – it’s not a flavor combination I would have thought of, but they really taste great together.  The cloves enhance the flavor of the cinnamon so that the cup doesn’t come across as too “spicy-hot” cinnamon-y.

But what would a tea be without the tea?  The black tea base here is a smooth, bright black tea that is not overly aggressive.  It has a very even taste to it and a medium astringency that lightly “pats” the palate dry in the finish.  The aftertaste leaves lingering notes of cinnamon and rose and a faint citrus tang.

A very pleasant tea to sip.  One that would make a fabulous Valentine’s Day gift for the tea lover in your life!

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