Gnarly Masala Chai from Steep This!

GnarlyChaiChai Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Steep This!

Chai Description:

A shockingly addictive blend of Rose Petals, Jasmine Flowers, Cinnamon and Lavender among others. This gnarly blend of all things romantic is a treat after dinner and can be enjoyed iced for an extra special party drink.

Learn more about this chai here.

Taster’s Review:

I learned about this company – Steep This! – on Steepster.  I’m always interested to try offerings from new companies (as well as to support these new companies!) so, I placed a small order to try ’em out.

And while perusing through the tea selections at Steep This!, I was very intrigued by this Gnarly Masala Chai.  It’s a chai with most of the usual suspects present:  cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and black pepper (but no ginger!), and then they added a sprinkling of lavender, rose and jasmine just to make things interesting … and it also made the blend really visually appealing.

It’s also quite an appealing blend to the nose.  The fragrance of the dry leaf is spicy and floral, with a little more spice than flower. I like how these two profiles complement each other.  The floral notes soften the spices just enough so that my olfactory nerves aren’t heavily assaulted with strong spice, and the spices counter the flower so that I’m not smelling an overly perfume-y aroma.

This is tasty!  It’s a little spicier than I expected it to be.  I guess I was expecting the floral notes to soften the spices a little bit, but I’m getting some fiery black pepper notes!  The cinnamon is also warm!  The cloves and cardamom sort of fill out the spice flavor.  This blend doesn’t NEED the ginger, it’s getting plenty of pep from the black pepper!

I don’t taste a whole lot from the rose, jasmine or lavender unless I sip with a slurp.  When the tea is aerated as it hits the palate, those floral notes come out, and they are flavors that develop as I continue to sip as well.

The sip starts out with a peppery note, and then quickly moves in to the other spices.  The spices really round out the flavor for the palate.  Then, right at mid-sip, the floral notes come into focus.  I don’t really taste a specific flower … it’s more like a medley of the rose, jasmine and lavender.  Sweet, exotic and soft.  Just after mid-sip, the notes of the tea start to come forward – a rich, earthy flavor.

The aftertaste is a peppery taste with notes of flower.  It’s a very interesting and delightfully different taste that I really enjoy.

I didn’t prepare this as a latte, mostly because I figured this chai had enough going on with the spices and the flowers … I didn’t want to add something that could possibly overwhelm the delicate floral notes because it was the flowers in this blend that enticed me to purchase this sample!  I wanted to experience them in their splendor and not risk overpowering them with a splash of milk.  But this tea is DELICIOUS served straight up.  I really like the uniqueness of this chai.

This is the first tea that I’ve tried from this new company, and I’m enjoying it.    I was VERY impressed with how quickly my order arrived, especially since this is a Canadian company and I’m here in the US.  I guess my only complaint … and it’s not really a “complaint” but more of a comment … is that I just didn’t feel all that special as a customer.  I placed a very small “samples” order, so I didn’t really expect a free sample with my order, but, something would have been appreciated.

I understand if some companies don’t include a free sample, because that’s product and especially with a new company, it can be expensive to include free samples with every order.  However, a little acknowledgement would have been nice.  A quick, hand-written “thank you” on the invoice would have been very appreciated and made me feel a little more appreciated as a customer.  These little things – free samples, special attention to packaging, a piece of individually wrapped candy, or even just a hand-written note – make the customer feel like they are appreciated and it’s these little touches that send me back to try a company again and again.  When I feel special as a customer, I will return to that vendor who made me feel that way.

liberteas

Co-Founder/Co-Creator of SororiTea Sisters, Mad Tea Artist at 52Teas
Anne (aka the Mad Tea Artist) has celebrated her 29th birthday for many years now. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her hubby and her youngest daughter. Her oldest daughter is married and has bestowed Anne with the proud title of "Gramma" and her grandson is about the cutest boy you ever did see.

Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!

Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!

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