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!

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!

Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea from Local Coffee & Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Local Coffee & Tea

Product Description:

A soothing herbal rooibos with licorice root, fennel, peppermint and lemon verbena. Naturally caffeine-free.

When Mrs. Potter Palmer (Bertha Honoré Palmer), the well-travelled and powerful Chicago socialite, first set eyes on Sarasota in 1910, she proclaimed ‘Here is heaven at last’.

She soon owned 80,000 acres of what is now Sarasota County, operated a successful ranch, and made her graceful winter home and gardens at The Oaks on Historic Spanish Point.

Sarasota County celebrates the 2010 centennial of her arrival and honors the significant impact Mrs. Palmer made on our culturally rich and prosperous community. Please join us in raising a cuppa Bertha Palmer Centennial Tea to this incredible woman!

For more information about events throughout the year, visit http://www.BerthaPalmerAlive.com

Taster’s Review:

I love licorice and I like peppermint, but I don’t always like the two flavors together.  Sometimes it works for me while others it does not.  With this tisane, it works very nicely!

The rooibos base offers a hint of nutty/woody flavor, but, it iss barely distinguishable  in the midst of the stronger flavors of licorice, fennel and peppermint.  The lemon verbena is a soft citrus-y flavor that sits in the background and softens some of the sharper qualities of the other ingredients.

The licorice, fennel and peppermint are the dominant flavors here, but as I said before the lemon verbena softens them somewhat, making this combination very palatable.  It starts off with a sweet licorice-y taste, followed by the taste of crisp peppermint.  The bright, lemony note arrives right before the finish and leaves a cool minty/citrus-y aftertaste.

I like this best when served hot with a drizzle of agave nectar, but it’s not bad iced either.  This is a tasty, soothing and very relaxing tisane.  Nice!

Kind of Blue from Teaquilibrium

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong / Honeybush / Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Teaquilibrium

Product Description:

Take five to enjoy Kind of Blue, an irresistible blueberry Oolong jazzed up with fennel.  Rooibos and Honeybush give blend a smooth finish while the Oolong gives the energizing boost.  Improvise this tea with any meal or have it solo for an out of this world jam!

Taster’s Review:

This is really tasty.  I was a little unsure about it, because I can’t recall trying an Oolong/Rooibos/Honeybush blend before, and I wasn’t sure how the three leaves would work together – but together they create one groovy vibe!

This blend is unusual, but in a very good way.  The Oolong lends its rich flavor to the cup as well as a smooth texture.  The rooibos adds a little nutty flavor to the cup, as does the honeybush, plus there is an underlying note of honey-esque sweetness to the cup which melds very well with the blueberry flavoring.  And every once in a while, just at the start of the sip, I’ll note a very slight hint of smoke.  Just a hint – ever so slight – and one that can be missed when not paying attention.

The blueberry flavor is not terribly strong here, and I really wouldn’t want it to be.  I think it’s perfectly flavored, because a stronger blueberry essence would overwhelm the interesting balance that exists between Oolong, honeybush and rooibos, and I’m really enjoying the flavor and body of the cup just the way it is.  Similarly, the fennel doesn’t add a lot of flavor to the cup – just a kiss of licorice-like taste that rests in the background – but any stronger and it would overpower the blueberry.

This is a sweet tasting tea, but it is a pleasant sweetness – not at all cloying.  It’s really delicious, and very different!  In fact, this is one of the more difficult teas to describe that I’ve tasted, simply because it is so different.  It has so many interesting flavors and textures throughout the sip that it is one that you need to try yourself to fully comprehend what I’m trying to express.  And you really should try it – if for no other reason than it’s unique approach … but I think it’s worth a try because it’s really good!

Also makes an awesome ICED tea!

Eater’s Digest Tea from Karma Blends

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Karma Blends

Product Description:

Caffeine Free
Contains Natural and Organic Ingredients
Daily Use Recommended

» When can I drink it/What is it for?

– Anytime or For Digestion, Flatulence, Bloating, Indigestion, Constipation, Overeating, Losing weight, A flatter abdomen,  After meals daily, Early morning as a cleanser

» What does the tea taste like?

– Eaters digest is a mild, soothing tea with chamomile and fennel as the prominent flavors.

» How do the ingredients work in my system?

– The tea is a safe and thoughtful blend of carminative (herbs that expel stomach gas and relieve bloating) and digestive herbs.

Anise is very widely used as a stomachic and for relief of flatulence and colic.

• Carom Seeds aid in digestion.

• Cardamom is a tonic for the digestive system.

• Chamomile is known to soothe digestion and relax the gastro intestinal tract.

• Dill Seeds work well for the treatment of gas and nausea, especially from sudden changes in diet.

• False Pepper is a stomachic and is used for flatulence, indigestion and bloating.

• Fennel aids digestion, fights abdominal cramps and improves bad breath.

Taster’s Review:

When I first received this tea, I was a little worried that it would end up tasting very medicinal.  But it is actually quite tasty!

Yes, it does taste herb-y with a gently spiced flavor, it doesn’t come across as really medicinal to me.  It has a pleasant flavor.  The chamomile is a delicate, and the star anise (and to a lesser extent, the fennel) offers it an agreeable licorice-y kind of taste that lingers in the aftertaste.  I’m enjoying this.

This is an herbal tea that keeps its promise!  I am not going to say that it’s my favorite tisane, because it isn’t.  But, what I will say is that I would much rather drink this tisane than take some over-the-counter remedy to relieve my discomfort after eating a meal that maybe I shouldn’t have indulged in (we all do that, don’t we?)  It does what it is supposed to do, and that makes it alright in my book!

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!

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!

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