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!

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!

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!

Yerba Maté Chai from Tea Chai Té

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Yerba Maté

Where to Buy:  Tea Chai Té

Product Description:

Yerba mate blended with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, orange peel, clove, allspice, and star anise.    Organic.

Taster’s Review:

I’m always excited when I find a new tea company that’s local!  Tea Chai Té has a tea shop that just so happens to be on one of my favorite streets in Portland, so the next time I’m shopping there I will have to stop in for a cuppa!

In the meantime, I will enjoy some of their teas that can be purchased online.  This chai blend is incredibly warming and even though Yerba Maté tends to be very invigorating, this blend has a very soothing effect too.  Perhaps it’s the warmth of the spices that are lulling me into this unique state of comforting alertness.

The sip begins with a soft earthy flavor from the Yerba Mate and a hint of citrus from the orange.  This intriguing combination of flavors is immediately enveloped by the distinctive flavor of the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.  Somewhere about mid-sip, a licorice-y note hits the palate, and seems to disappear just as quickly as it appears.  Sort of like now I taste it, now I don’t!  There is a strong, peppery flavor coming from the ginger and black pepper that hits the palate at the tail of the sip and lingers through the aftertaste, which is comprised of peppery notes and orange with just a whisper of licorice taste from the star anise.

This chai blend is an interesting adventure that is keeping my attention and my taste buds captivated!  I really like this a lot.  I like this with a dollop of raw honey (or if you prefer, agave nectar).  I found it is delicious as a latte – just add a splash of warmed milk or cream – but it is also quite nice without this addition. It all just depends upon your mood!

Ginger Fresh from Herbal Republic

Tea Type: Herbal

Where To Buy: Herbal Republic

Product Description:

A great ginger tea that’s an original ayurveda blend.
Contains ginger, citrus peels, liquorice, peppermint and pepper.

Tasters Review:

Ginger.  Where to start!?  Ginger and I have a back and forth sort of relationship!  Some call me Ginger because of my Red Hair…and that’s fine, I suppose.  I LOVE Ginger in most foods.  Ginger in teas and tisanes!?  Well, that’s where it seems to get complicated!

Most of the Ginger Flavored Teas and Tisanes I have had aren’t really on my LOVE or even my LIKE list.  It seems most of the flavoring is overdone and/or cancel out the other flavors in the blend or mixture.  Sometimes it tastes too herbally or chemically or just spicy or peppery and nothing else!  So, yeah…I guess you can call me PICKY when it comes to Ginger-Type Teas and Tisanes!

Having said that…

Every assumption and thought I had holding me back from having a cup I am now completely throwing out the window! This was a complete surprise and in a good way! It proved me wrong in every way and I certainly don’t mind being proved wrong if the end result is a tasty tea/tisane!

I was so worried this was going to be TOO Gingery for me…it wasn’t…

The Lemongrass totally evened that out…both the lemon grass AND the ginger are gentle yet flavorful and pair well together! I wouldn’t change the ratio any…it’s good the way it is!

I can’t really smell the licorice but I can taste it a little bit and with the licorice and the pepper pairing they also work nicely together and are subtle…again, thanks to the lemongrass.

I can smell the peppermint but the taste of the peppermint really isn’t the flavor in the forefront…it’s just enough to be there – in comparison I would say a little less than the licorice. Maybe moreso in the aftertaste.

This is very different yet quite good and I am so pleased it’s NOT ‘run of the mill’ and even more so excited that it’s more than just ginger!

Kapha Balance Tea from Shanti Tea

Tea Type: Rooibos, Herbal

Where To Buy: Shanti Tea

Product Description:

An energizing and warming blend which is spicy and robust.

An energizing and warming blend of rooibos, holy basil, fennel, ginger, cardamom, orange peel, sage, pepper, and licorice. A rich orange infusion which is spicy and robust. Great for combating fatigue and balancing Kapha.

Tasters Review:

This Herbally-Rooibos is from Shanti Tea and it’s called Kapha Balance.

This Kapha Balance Tea is WARM – naturally. Yes, it is spicy but you can’t really pick out each spice…except for maybe the pepper…

I enjoyed what they did this with Rooibos here – almost like a Rooibos Chai, even.  The rooibos along side the other ingredients make the taste of the rooibos not-so-stereotypical.  Yes, it’s naturally sweet but it’s much more than your run-of-the-mill rooibos taste.

This one surprised me and I ended up liking it quite a bit more than I thought I would.

If you would like to learn more about Kapha and Balancing Kapha – check this out:

Of the three mind-body types in Ayurveda, Kapha is the one that is the most steady in energy, temperament and mood. Ayurveda dates back 5,000 years to India, where rishis (sages) codified guidelines for diet and how to treat different diseases.

Read more: How to Create Balance Kapha Ayurveda Mind-Body Type | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4495046_create-balance-kapha-ayurveda-mindbody.html#ixzz0zHTq8kph

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