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!

PRODUCT REVIEW: Chai Matcha Latte from Matcha Mountains

Where to Buy:  Where Matcha Mountains Products are sold

Product Description:

Spice up your life this season with our chai matcha latte made from organic freshly ground spices cardamon, cinnamon, cloves… and japanese matcha. Accent our chai with a cinnamon stick or dollop of whip cream and enjoy hot or cold.

Taster’s Review:

THIS IS SO YUMMY!

This is a perfect Matcha Latte … and a perfect Chai Latte for that matter.  It is so good.

This is gently spiced – not something I would categorize as spicy.  More like warm and soothing.  It is sweet but not cloying.  It is smooth, rich and creamy.  The combination of adding steaming milk and the Matcha make for a very foamy, frothy beverage.

The Matcha base tastes vibrant.  It has a light vegetative taste.  It isn’t as vegetal as a typical Matcha.  Perhaps that is because it’s a latte mix, or perhaps it’s because the spices cancel out some of the grassy tones, or it could be because the milk offsets the vegetative qualities of the Matcha.  But if you’ve tried Matcha in the past and found that strong vegetative taste to be a little off-putting, try this!

I absolutely LOVE this Matcha Latte.  I love it so much, in fact, that my cup is empty!  I don’t usually finish off the cup before I finish writing the review… but, in this case, it tasted so good I couldn’t stop!  It’s a yummy treat!

PRODUCT REVIEW: Chai Masala Spice Blend from The Chai Cart

Where to Buy:  The Chai Cart on Foodzie

or visit The Chai Cart website for more information

Product Description:

Make any tea into “Masala” tea by adding this magical blend of eight spices known for culinary flavors and therapeutic qualities.

When brewed with black tea and milk, this spice blend makes a bold, fragrant and smooth cup of Masala Chai that will transport you to India in just one sip.

The magical mix of eight spices is perfectly balanced so that no single spice dominates the palate. The boldness of cloves and nutmeg with the spice of ginger are balanced with the fragrance of cardamom and the sweetness of cinnamon. Fennel and white and black pepper add further layers of complexity.

This blend can also be used with green tea or rooibos as well as in soups, stews and countless recipes that need to be spiced up!

Taster’s Review:

This blend of spices is so versatile that it could be used in just about anything.  I considered grinding it fine and using it as a rub on a pork loin, but then, remembering that I still had a teeny-tiny bit of my Sweet Caramel O’Mine tea, I decided that I would use my sample of this spice blend as an enhancement for a cup o’ Spiced Sweet Caramel O’Mine.

I used three teaspoons of the spices with three teaspoons of the tea blend.   This made a very pleasant 3 cups of bold and spicy tea.  I added a dollop of honey and found that it was just perfect served this way.  To make a latte, I would have reduced the amount of water that I used to brew (only 2 cups of water) so that the milk wouldn’t dilute the flavors.

And … OH MY GOODNESS.  This is good.  Somehow the spices bring out the burnt sugar aspect of the caramel, giving this an almost sweet-and-savory kind of taste.  I think the nutmeg and the caramel compliment each other so well!

The main spice flavor that I’m tasting is the ginger, which when combined with the white and black peppers give this cup a very peppery kick!  The cinnamon comes just after the ginger, and the cardamom and cloves add pleasant dimension.  I can’t taste much of the fennel here, and while I do like fennel, perhaps it is a good thing that I can’t taste it too strongly with this tea.  I think it might taste a little too funky with the caramel.

I really like this blend.  I think I may be buying a tin of this in the near future so that I can use it on my next pork loin roast.  If I do this, I’ll be sure to post a review and the recipe on my Foodie Blog!

PRODUCT REVIEW: Lemon Curd from Heavenly Tea Gatherings

Where to Buy:  Cupboard of Blessings

Product Description:

Complete your heavenly scones with my deliciously “sweet and tart” lemon curd. Freshly made with eggs, sugar, water, butter, lemon puree and tapioca starch, my lemon curds are always a winner!

Taster’s Review:

In my review of Heavenly Tea Gathering’s Organic Scone Mix, I compared the flaky, tender texture of the prepared scones to my grandmother’s pie crust.  Well, this Lemon Curd from Heavenly Tea Gathering is almost (almost!) as good as my gramma’s lemon meringue pie filling!  Put the two together, and you have the most delectable tea-time treat imaginable!

This lemon curd is sweet with just the right amount of lemon-y tartness.  The lemon flavor is bright and sunny but doesn’t come off as pucker-y.  The curd is very custard-like, just like the smooth filling of a lemon meringue pie.

Sweet, silky … perfect!

I have tasted a LOT of lemon curd, but I can honestly say that this one is the best I’ve ever tried.  I love the creamy, custard consistency – I could eat it right out of the jar!  Yeah – it’s that good!

PRODUCT REVIEW: Organic Mint Green Tea Concentrate from Third Street Chai

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Third Street Chai

Available on Amazon

Product Description:

Ingredients:  Filtered Water, Organic Green Tea with Mint Concentrate, Malic Acid

Taster’s Review:

For my husband’s Superbowl party this year, I prepared a gallon of this tea – and it was gone when I returned home after the game!  Apparently it was a big hit!

And for good reason – it’s not only tasty but very refreshing too.  It has a clean, crisp minty taste that quenches the thirst without tasting overdone (not too minty) or too sweet.  In fact, this concentrate is unsweetened, which I like!  It allows me to decide just how sweet I’d like the tea to be.  And I find it to be really delicious without any sweetener whatsoever.  For the aforementioned party, I did add some agave nectar, and after a quick taste I found that a small amount of sweetener brings out some of the mint notes of the tea.  But it tastes great with or without sweetener, and I like that Third Street Chai leaves it up to the tea drinker whether they’d like it sweet or not.

The green tea is a very light taste here, but it isn’t overwhelmed by the mint.  It has a delicate vegetative taste – this is a very light grassy taste and I don’t think it’s enough to be off-putting to even the most sensitive palate.  This is a green tea that even those who don’t care for green tea can appreciate.

It is super convenient too!  Just mix 1 part concentrate to 7 parts cold water.  I actually use a little less water because I add ice which dilutes it – however, since this is so easy to make, it would be equally as easy to make tea cubes to chill the tea.

This would be perfect for your next BBQ!

PRODUCT REVIEW: Original Matcha Latte from Matcha Mountains

Where to Buy:  Where Matcha Mountains Products Are Sold.

Product Description:

Our original mix is ideal for getting you going in the morning or as an afternoon “pick me up”. Our original mix is for people who like the taste of green tea, although a few drops of vanilla extract or syrup is great. Simply mix with hot water and add your favourite frothed milk product. This product has the highest portion of matcha per serving and has a thick creamy texture.

Taster’s Review:

Yum!

I love Matcha and have been drinking it for years (although I will say that in the last year or two I have been drinking more than I had in the previous years), but I must admit that Matcha Latte drinks are a bit new to me, having only tried my first Matcha Latte in the last year or so.  But, since that time, I’ve been hooked!

This Matcha Latte mix has a sweetness to it, but it isn’t too sweet nor does it overwhelm the natural flavor of the green tea.  I can taste the distinct bittersweet taste of the Matcha, which I really enjoy.  This is incredibly creamy and energizing.

I love that this product is organic, and I also like that I can choose just how creamy I want this Matcha Latte to be by choosing my own milk – I can go with skim milk for less creaminess or I can really go for it and use half & half for an out of this world creamy experience.  Or if I prefer a non-dairy option, I can use almond milk or rice milk, or even coconut milk!

This is a versatile, delicious treat!   This product may be a little difficult to find since Matcha Mountains does not seem to sell it retail, however, it appears that it is sold in various Cafes and it is well worth the effort to find this latte mix because it’s outstanding!

PRODUCT REVIEW: Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff Tea-riffic Digital Stamps

About the picture to the left: This is a Valentine Card that I made for a Valentine Card Swap in which I’m participating.  It includes a top pocket so I can include a package of tea for the recipient.  I used the Tea-riffic Digital Stamps from Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff to create this card.  (Please see inside of the card below)

Where to Buy:  Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff on Shop Handmade

Product Description:

you get 9 teariffic digital stamps in this set perfect for tea parties or just beacuse, you have animated sugar cubes, 2 tea cups, 2 pretty flourishes and more whimsical deisgns! As a bonus you get a printable tea bag envelope template and SVG file to cut with your Cricut!

Artist’s Review:

OK, I have to be honest, when it comes to art, I’m totally “old-school.”  Before today, I have never used digital stamps, so this is all very new to me.  I don’t know if I’m even using them right!  haha!

inside view of the card

That being said, it was a lot of fun – and SO EASY – to use these digital stamps from Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff!  And now that I have gotten a taste for using digital stamps, I do think I am going to utilize them more in my art work.  It is a lot easier to keep them (no bulky wood blocks cluttering up the art studio!) and as long as I have ink in the printer, I’m good to go!

I printed these on pink vellum because I thought it would work best with my color scheme, and I adhered the vellum to the scrapbook paper using vellum tape.  I have learned from experience that you should definitely use vellum tape when you’re adhering vellum, unless you like that “tape can be seen through the vellum” look.

The scrapbook paper I used was from g-c-d studios (item #205 – Rose Circles) and I selected this particular pattern because it was a simple, small pattern that would work well with the teacup.  I felt that a more complicated design (or larger design) would have not been as adaptable to the teacup shaped card.

I am very happy with the way these turned out, and these “Tea-riffic” digital stamps are something that I can use again and again – not just for this particular occasion.  There are several very cute designs with this set too, not just the teabag tag and sentiment that I used.  There is even a Teabag holder with this set that I intend on using at some point in the future to send out teabags to friends.

I hope you’ll have as much fun with these as I did!

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