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!

Organic Masala Chai from Arbor Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Arbor Teas

Product Description:

This organic, Fair Trade Certified Masala Chai Black Tea blend has a medium-body with exceptionally spicy flavor and aroma. This formula is based on traditional South Indian blending methods and ingredients, using a CTC leaf grade (i.e. very small), as well as green cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and black pepper. Despite the CTC grade leaf, this tea has surprisingly little astringency. The clove and ginger really come through, with a wonderful cardamom finish. We recommend steeping a triple-strength cup of our Masala Chai Black Tea and serving it with honey and steamed milk.

Ingredients: organic black tea, organic green cardamom, organic cinnamon, organic ginger, organic clove, and organic black pepper.

Taster’s Review:

I have wanted to try this chai ever since I reviewed the Masala Chai Tea-Infused Chocolate Truffle from Arbor Teas in November.  And I am so glad that I’ve finally had that opportunity, because this is a remarkable chai!

I steeped this just as recommended in the description from Arbor Teas (which I’ve included above), I steeped it extra strong and then served it with honey and steamed milk.  AWESOME!  This makes a delicious chai latte.

First of all, I must say that I love that Arbor Teas recognizes that we don’t all just want to stand at our stove and brew chai tea using the “stovetop” method.  Get real!  It’s messy and to be quite honest, there are few things that I enjoy heating on the stove less than milk.

This chai tastes great when brewed at a concentrated strength in water, and then adding steamed milk to the brewed liquor.  It is a chai after my heart!

The black tea base is strong but not bitter and there is very little astringency to it.  The astringency – what little there is – seems to nearly vanish after the steamed milk is added.  It is smooth and rich tasting, and I love that it is organic too.

The spices are nicely balanced in this blend, and they stand up well to the addition of steamed milk.  The pepper seems to stand out for me, but I like pepper in a chai so that’s not a problem.  It doesn’t overwhelm the other spices – it just adds a new level of warmth to this chai which I am finding to be remarkably complex even with the addition of milk.

Delicious!

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!

Chai from Supple Skin Boutique

Tea Type: Chai

Where To Buy: Supple Skin Boutique

Product Description:

Chai has long been attributed to its healthy properties. With herbs that naturally promote digestion and balance you can’t lose. Our Chai tea is a burst of spice and ginger aromas that you will love.

IngredientsBlack teas, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, peppercorn, star anise, shatavari, natural flavors

Tasters Review:

This is a nice, direct and to the point chai with the addition of Shatavari also known as Asparagus!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asparagus_racemosus

I would classify this as a medium strength Chai…both in black tea strength and in spice strength.  I can taste a lemon/orange type citrus hint as well…eventho I do not see citrus in the list of ingredients!

I really like this especially after sitting at room temp for a few minutes!  It’s unique!, the leaves have a sweeter-than-I expected aftertaste, and for the simple fact it has Shatavari in it makes it intriguing for me!

If you are interested in different kinds of chai try this one!  It’s a good cuppa!

Coconut Kukicha Masala Chai from Yogic Chai

Tea Type: Green Tea/Chai

Where To Buy: Yogic Chai

Product Description:

Product Details

Herbal Properties:
– Kukicha Tea: Popular among the macrobiotic community. Kukicha is a powerful antioxidant* and is very low in caffeine, in fact the lowest in caffeine of all traditional teas.

– Cardamom: A household spice that is commonly used to support digestion without increasing Heat.* It has expectorant and diaphoretic actions. (sweat inducing)* 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.*

– Coconut: Coconut, says vaidya Mishra, Director of Maharishi Ayurveda’s Product Research and Development, is considered a divine plant in vedic tradition. Whenever you perform a sacred ceremony like a yagna, havan or puja, a coconut must grace the occasion.

  • 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:

Coconut Kukicha Masala Chai from Yogic Chai REALLY surprised me!

For one…I never would have thought of flavoring kukicha with these chai ingredients but now that it has been done I am glad it was done and I think it’s genius!

The Cardamom and Cinnamon are NOT overly strong at all…they are wonderfully content sitting in the background!  As are the Ginger and Clove. The primary flavors are the Kukicha and Coconut which are bold!

As for the aroma it’s a coconut-twig-toasty-nutty-slightly coffee bean-type scent that I have never sniffed before!

This is very creative..a unique blend of flavors  and a daring and bold move! And a successful one, I might add!! This exceeded my expectations and was a wondrous surprise!

Fennel Masala Chai from Yogic Chai

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

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.

Taster’s Review:

I have said this before:  I love spiced chai blends.  Well, many of them anyway.  That being said, I am also biased when it comes to chai blends because I created my own Chai blend that I think is pretty remarkable.

However, I do try to remain as unbiased as I can when I offer a review about a chai, because I want to be as fair and honest as possible concerning any tea.  And now that I have decided to discontinue blending teas, I find that I enjoy other teas much more.

Yogic Chai is one of my favorite companies because they provide exceptional customer service.  When I deal with Yogic Chai, I feel like a person – an individual – and not a customer or order number.  When I email them with a question, I get an almost immediate response (within an hour most of the time!) and it’s not some automated or cut-and-paste response.  There’s a real person communicating with me.  They treat me like a friend.  I like that.

Yogic Chai focuses on what they do best – spiced chai blends – and they have the largest selection of spiced chai blends that I’ve ever seen from one company. From their Original Masala Chai (Black Tea, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves & Ginger) to some rather unusual selections, including Wild Blueberry White Chai and Acai Berry Mate Chai, Yogic Chai proves that they have a passion for chai!  They even have some interesting medicinal chai blends.

This Fennel Masala Chai is (what I’m assuming to be) Yogic Chai’s Original Masala Chai with a heaping helping of fennel seed.  The fennel adds a pleasing taste of black licorice to the cup.  Sweet with just enough snap to it to make it a little less ordinary, the fennel is a very enjoyable addition to this chai.

The black tea used in this blend is an Assam tea which is brisk and strong, but not so aggressive that it overthrows the flavor of the spices.  There is some astringency, but not too much.  It does get bitter if you over-steep it though, so I recommend a brewing time of 4 minutes or less.  I found 4 minutes was just enough time to extract a pleasing flavor from the spices without that bitter bite from the Assam.  Success!

One thing I’ve noticed with Yogic Chai is that their chai spice blend is in good balance – not too much ginger, not too much cinnamon.  I can taste notes of each spice without one spice getting all the attention.  This is true of this blend as well, even though fennel is “showcased” by the name of this tea, it is not an overpowering taste, but instead, it falls in line with the other spices and becomes part of the blend.

I prefer this particular chai blend with a dollop of honey but without steamed, frothed milk.  I found that the milk off-set the taste of the fennel more than I wanted.  It was still good “latte” style and I could still taste the fennel, but, there was less of that fennel taste that I really enjoy.  So, with this one – try it first before you add milk!

A must try for chai lovers!

Chai (Full Leaf) from TAZO Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  TAZO Tea

Product Description:

Ingredients:  Black Teas, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger Root, Black Pepper, Cloves, Natural Flavors, Star Anise

Taster’s Review:

I bought this tea because of the tin.  I admit it.  I’m a sucker for tins.  I have amassed quite a collection of them, and still they continue to fascinate me.

It took me a while to actually try the tea inside the tin.  I didn’t have high hopes for it.  I think my apprehension is a combination of my bias when it comes chai (I love my own blend!) as well as my preference of loose leaf.  The package calls this a “full leaf” which led me to believe that this would be a loose leaf tea.  Alas,  it is packaged in sachets.  However, unlike conventional tea bags, these sachets are very spacious and offer plenty of room for the expansion of the leaves while they steep.

This chai has a pleasant spice level.  It isn’t too hot or spicy, but it offers enough warmth to perk up the taste buds as well as chase off the chill!  I really love the star anise in this blend – it isn’t an overwhelming presence of star anise, but it delivers a faint yet very pleasant licorice-y note that tickles the fancy of this licorice lover!

The pepper and ginger seem to work very together very harmoniously in this blend to deliver just the right punch of peppery taste right at the finish, while the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves deliver an agreeable base of delicious spice notes.

The black tea is strong but it is willing to stand aside and let the spices deliver most of the flavor here.  It just sits back, in the background, and delivers a steady stream of black tea flavor that is unassuming yet delicious.  I actually think I prefer this chai as a non-latte (that is without steamed, frothed milk), because the milk does tend to mute the effect of the spices just a little and I do like the way the spices taste in this blend.  A little dollop of honey is all I need to enjoy this warm, tasty blend.

And as much as I enjoyed the tea, I can’t help but feel a little disappointment in TAZO.  I wish that TAZO had a stronger devotion to the environment.  It’s a company based in Portland (which is local for me, and a city that prides itself on being GREEN).  I would feel so much better about buying these products if the sachets were made of biodegradable material (rather than nylon) – or better yet, forgo the sachets completely and go loose leaf.  Offer refill packages for the tins so that we can reuse them.

OK… I shall end my rant and step down from my teabox!

Indian Chai from Butiki Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Butiki Teas

Product Description:

This chai is grown in South India and contains cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and pepper for an exotic flavor that has a hint of earthiness.

Taster’s Review:

This is a delicious chai blend that has a very smooth, rich taste to it.

The aroma of the dry leaf is very pleasant … it smells like a spice shop!  The cinnamon and ginger are most prevalent, but the cardamom and cloves make their presence known too.  The pepper is not quite as strong, but, it’s there too!

The flavor of the fine CTC black tea base is vibrant.  BOLD!  It definitely has an edge to it.  Not bitter (but would become bitter, I imagine, if left to steep too long), but certainly strong and stout.  There is some malty tones to the tea as well, which makes me think that this is an Assam base, or at least a blend that includes Assam.  It might also be a Nilgiri, but, it tastes a bit more like Assam to me.  Either way, it is a delicious, hefty base with some real gusto!

And that gusto is necessary with a blend of spices like this tea has.  The spices are robust.  The ginger really shines through, while the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves seem to even things out a bit so that the ginger doesn’t become too overwhelming.  The pepper adds a delightful kick to the cup.

I brewed this my traditional method, which is:  steeped strong (using extra leaf) with boiling water, in my teapot for 4 minutes and then I strain it.  I served it with steamed, frothed milk and honey to make a delicious, satisfying latte.

I think that this blend would do equally well (or perhaps even better) using the stovetop method with milk or a milk/water combination.  Of course, you can just serve it straight, but, what fun is that?  Chai is meant to latte!

This is the first tea that I’ve tried from Butiki Teas and it is a good one!  I recommend it to all the chai fans out there – you may just find a new staple for your tea shelf!

Autumn Melody from Sanctuary T

Tea Type: Black Tea

Where To Buy: Sanctuary T

Product Description:

Feel golden even on a cold and rainy day with this week’s Autumn Melody, a blend of ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and black assam tea leaves!

Tasters Review:

When I saw the dry mix and the list of ingredients the first thought I had was…that’s a whole-lotta-cardamom!

BUT…I still tried it!  I’m a tough cookie!

One thing I will say…I’m glad this didn’t have cinnamon in it!

The aroma isn’t very intense…mostly nutmeg and black tea and I was OK with that!

The color is a nice medium brown.

The Cardamom and Cloves are just about neck and neck taste-wise and the nutmeg is LOVELY!   For me…I think this NOT having Cinnamon and the fact the nutmeg really shined thru is what I LOVED about it!

This one surprised me and in a good way! The Nutmeg was perfect for this!  I was very glad I could taste it with the rest of the ingredients that were present!  The Cardamom wasn’t overpowering – which was a surprise – too – based on the amount my eyes saw in the dry blend!  I’m not complaining – this is just an observation…I ended up REALLY liking this Autumn Melody from Sanctuary T!

On the 12th Day of Christmas … from 52Teas

Happy Holidays to everyone!

First of all, sorry this will end up posting a little late.  I was up LATE last night doing the final preparations for the holiday morning, and I had figured I’d be up earlier than this!  My youngest actually slept until about 9 am Pacific Time!  I couldn’t believe it!

Anyway… I was especially excited for today’s tea, because it was one that I hadn’t yet tried!  This was the one brand new blend from the box, and from what I understand it will soon be featured as a tea of the week.

Without further mumblings from me… The CHRISTMAS Tea of the Day is…

GINGERBREAD CHAI

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Product Description:

Ingredients:  Premium black teas, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, pink peppercorns, natural flavors.

Taster’s Review:

Well, as I said before, this was the tea I was most excited about because I knew it was a new blend.  Of the other 11 teas, there was only one of them that I hadn’t yet tried, but was definitely on my on-going list of teas to order when finances allow. (The one tea I hadn’t tried being the Chocolate Chai from Day 2)

Anyway, on to this NEW chai!  Wow!  It’s really tasty!  It really tastes like gingerbread and chai married in one teacup!   I can taste the baked cake-y taste in the cup, and I must say that in the time that I’ve gotten familiar with 52Teas blends, Frank (the head zoomdweebie at 52Teas) has improved with achieving the pastry and/or cake-y flavor for the tea.

Not surprisingly, the ginger is dominant in this cup.  But, it doesn’t taste over-ginger-y either.  That is to say, it doesn’t taste like Frank just got really happy with the ginger root.  It tastes like gingerbread, not an overpoweringly-ginger-flavored chai.

The other spices are very well balanced and they carry a full-flavored taste that fills the palate with warm spice.  The black tea base is a little understated here but not so much that it can’t be tasted.  That’s not a complaint!  I like that it doesn’t try to intrude upon the other flavors.  The tea is there, it just doesn’t overwhelm the cup.

Because what really makes this chai outstanding is the gingerbread flavor!  It really is yummy, I love the cake-y taste!  It adds such a delightful dimension to the already delicious chai.

When I had originally ordered this sampler box for myself, my initial thought was “great, I can just order the sampler, and since I will have a small sample of the new Christmas blend, that will be one tea from 52Teas that I won’t need to buy because I will have already tried it!”  But, as it turns out, this is one tea that I WILL have to order, because of all the chai teas that I’ve tried from 52Teas, this one is the BEST by far!  Gee, thanks Frank.  My wallet thanks you too.  Yeah.

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I hope that Santa brought you LOTS of tea to enjoy!

 

Orange Spice Tea from The Tea Nation

Tea Type: Green Tea

Where To Buy: The Tea Nation

Product Description:
Oranges originated in Southeast Asia and are widely grown in warm climates worldwide. The fruit is commonly peeled and eaten fresh, or squeezed for its juice. We have mixed a refined orange extract with a secret blend of a variety of aromatic spices like cinnamon, cardamom and cloves to create this exciting taste. As with all our tea we have used only Pure Ceylon high grown teas that have a full bodied aroma to create a pleasurable cup of tea

Tasters Review:

Orange Spice Tea from The Tea Nation is a bagged flavored green tea and it smells like orange and green tea.

It also tastes like grassy green tea, a little orange, and almost like a gingery type spice.   The orange is subtle yet pleasant.  I think I would like it better without the spices in it and it just being orange flavored green tea.  I do like this one better that most of the Tea Nation Teas overall…so far.

I did find that as it cools – the spices come out more and if over steeped the spices overpower the other flavors.  It’s the other flavors that I enjoyed…so…I will just have to remember NOT to over infuse and continue to drink this HOT.  If I do that…all will be well in my own personal tea world.

This is a nicely flavored green tea in a bag when done to your preference.

Chad’s Original Black Chai from Chad’s Chai and Tea Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Chad’s Chai and Tea Company

Product Description:

This magical blend of tea and aromatic spices will carry you away to exotic lands. Crafted in true India-style,this Masala chai is the best you will find anywhere, at least on this side of the world!

Ingredients: Full leaf Indian Black Tea, Organic Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Clove, Organic Chili Pepper, Organic Ginger, Star Anise, Organic Cardamom.

Taster’s Review:

This is a very nice, even-tempered chai tea.  It has a pleasantly warm, spiced tone to it without being too spicy.  I did expect it to be a bit spicier than it is, actually, what with the presence of Chili Pepper in the ingredient list.  But, the Chili Pepper is more of a background note and does not overwhelm the cup.

That being said, the Chili Pepper flavor does develop as I continue to sip on this tea.  At the start, there is very little Chili Pepper flavor, and by mid-cup, the I can feel the Chili Pepper on the sides of my mouth and on my tongue.  It is still not at a hot or uncomfortable level, but it is more than I had experienced at the start.

What I like best about this particular chai is the Star Anise.  This is not the only chai that I’ve tasted with Star Anise, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.  I just happen to like the way the Star Anise expresses itself here.  It doesn’t have a strong or sharp licorice flavor, it is a sweet hint of licorice that sort of comes and goes throughout the sip.  Very nice.

This tea also has a somewhat surprising note of pumpkin that presents itself in the aroma of the dry leaf as well as the brewed liquor.  The pumpkin essence is also tasted slightly in the cup, it is not a strong essence, but I can taste the distinct squash notes of pumpkin!  It’s surprising but quite good.

The other spices of this blend are very well balanced.  I can taste notes of cinnamon, clove, ginger, black pepper and cardamom, but they do not seem to be in competition with each other.  They provide a very even base of spice that is warm and inviting.  Delicious!

This is a very good masala chai blend.  I enjoyed it with a dollop of honey and no milk – but it is equally as good served latte-style with a splash of milk.

Chai Indienne from Sands of Thyme

Tea Type: Chai (Black Tea Base)

Where To Buy:
Sands of Thyme
and/or
Sands of Thyme
(Yup!  Check out BOTH Shops!)

Product Description:

Ingredients: black tea, cinnamon, ginger bits, cardamom, cloves, flavoring, black pepper, rose blossom leaves, vanilla bits, safflowers

Tasters Review:

I have been seeing SANDS OF THYME mentioned online by a few fellow tea freaks lately so when we were able to try some of the Sands of Thyme Teas I was more than happy!

I LOVE their shop name on Etsy!  I just have to point that out!

So far one of my favorites is their Chai Indienne.

It’s light on aroma but not on taste!   The spices are JUST RIGHT for me!  The cinnamon is a little bit stronger than the ginger.  The cardamom and cloves are in there too – as well as the black pepper.  I appreciate these specific ingredients not being too strong.   I can taste floral notes as well!  The rose petals are a nice touch.  The vanilla is noticeable in the middle of the sip and more-so as it cools.  I applaud the vanilla in this case – it helps with the other spicy spices and really added to the mix of flavors!

This is a good chai, indeed!

Fireside Blend from Compass Teas

Tea Type: Black Tea

Where To Buy: Compass Teas

Product Description:

This elegant citrus and spice black tea blend will have you imagining cozy, snowy nights cuddling up to the fire, and days that you can actually relax. Brew yourself a cup and enjoy the comforting scents of citrus, cloves, and cardamom.

Tasters Review:

Fireside Blend from Compass Teas is Intensely flavored!   It reminds me of walking into a Folk-Artsy-type/Home Decor type store with woodsy, cinnamony, old-time-country flowers, spices from wall-to-wall, or a festive/Holiday Booth at a craft fair…I think you got the picture I was trying to make for you!

It infuses fast and dark. The woodsy, cinnamon, floral smells are more in front after infusion.

The Black Tea is the more intense flavor when tasting which I LOVE.  I’m so happy this is flavored the way it is and not overly so.

This is quite delicious. I wouldn’t normally be attracted to a tea like this but am so glad I gave it a whirl.  Just goes to show you you should judge a tea based on what you THINK it’s going o be like!  Everyone once and a while you get one that surprises you!  This is just another tasty offering from Compass!

 

 

Pirate Tea from Design A Tea

Tea Type: Black Tea/Yerba Mate Blend

Where To Buy: Design A Tea

Product Description:

Ingredients: Koslanda-Dimbulla blend (Sri Lanka), Roasted Yerba Mate, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Cloves, Natural Vanilla/Pineapple flavoring.

Tasters Review:

Well, I like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and I like Pirate Booty so when I tried Pirate Tea from Design A Tea I was happy to say I liked that, too!  Actually I more than liked it…I’ll admit…I LOVED it!

It smells like Pineapple and chai more pineapple than chai…I, personally, LOVED this about it!  This tea infuses really dark and really fast!

The taste is AWESOME!!  I can safely say this is my FAVORITE Chai to date!!  The flavoring is wonderful! The spices are mixed in nicely underneath.

Pirate Tea from Design A Tea is the complete package if you are on teas that favor pineapple!  And a nice, true, delicious pineapple – not that artificial tasting stuff!

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