Country Chai Spice from The Cozy Leaf. . . .

Country Chai Spice from The Cozy Leaf already made me feel warm and relaxed just from the name.  Makes me think of being under a quilt out at a cabin, maybe beside a warm fire. Beyond the name, this tea had a surprisingly pleasant long list of spices in its ingredients list.  Cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom, I expect, but not all chai teas comes with cloves and anise, and the never seem to come with fennel. What a lovely change of pace.

Brewed, this is a sweeter chai, thanks to a hearty serving of anise and cinnamon.  The anise isn’t strong enough to make this a black jelly bean chai, but it does add its token throat-soothing, candy-like properties.

Much to my surprise, the ginger and clove take a back seat in this tea, subtle enough that you might miss them if you’re not paying attention.  The fennel and cardamom are gentle and earthy, and add a much needed almost-savory pairing to the anise and cinnamon.

Just when I’ve thought that I’ve tried every chai tea I can think of, I find something new.   I look forward to getting cozy with another cup of Country Chai Spice from the Cozy Leaf sometime soon.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The Cozy Leaf
Description:

Full-bodied black tea chai made with real chai spices of rich cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, and sweet anise and clove for a healthy and delicious treat.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rainy Day Pu’erh from Plum Deluxe. . . . .

This pu’erh chai blend is recommended by Plum Deluxe to counter “literally a rainy day or just some emotional dark clouds.”

I really like the phrase “emotional dark clouds.” Plum Deluxe has this cute, holistic, meditative quality to their writing. They take into consideration the human response and culture surrounding tea.

And what might be the solution to such a dark day? A corresponding dark tea. Something strong enough to withstand a battle. If this were Lord of the Rings, maybe a sturdy dwarf warrior with a raven-colored beard would do.

When I steeped this, the leaves’ darkness whooshed into the water immediately, settling onto an amber that descended into brown over the next few moments.

The resulting flavor is very earthy and rich, with little spice notes, and a sweetness that’s a bit reminiscent of molasses. It’s strong, and it’s just what you need to blaze forth into your day with a little more fire.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Puerh
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

Whether it’s literally a rainy day or just some emotional dark clouds, our sweet-n-spicy puerh blend is just what you need for a comfort kick.

We use a rich, earthy puerh as the base, add in the cinnamon bark, ginger, and other spices, then pair them with a sweet cinnamon oil reminiscent of brown sugar. It brings sweetness while keeping it balanced — just what a rainy day calls for!

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chinese Five Spice from 52Teas. . . . .

I love spicy teas, so when I saw that 52Teas has a special spiced blend for the Chinese New year, I had to try it.  Chinese Five Spice from 52Teas is one of my favorite chai blends I’ve tried in a while. In the dry leaf, you can smell the Szechwan peppercorns, adding a little heat and a little tingly, earthy ground pepper scent.

The peppercorns are well-balanced with the sweeter spices like anise and ginger.  The orange peels are specifically mandarin oranges, and there’s something distinct in the citrus flavor that makes it feel different than the usual orange notes. Finally, there are also plenty of cloves that add their own sweet-spice, almost making the dry tea leaves have a fragrance like Dr. Pepper or Moxie soda.

Brewed, the black tea really shines and shows off its quality, tippy tea leaf origins.  Somehow both smooth and tart, it makes the pepper and orange pop on my tongue but without any spicy after-burn on my throat.  There is still a very full-flavored scent in my mug with cloves and ginger, but it’s not sweat-inducing spicy in taste, very drinkable.  No honey or milk needed (though you can always add them if you love it), the blend is well-balanced right out of the bag.

I ordered the sample size but I’ve already finished it, so I’ll have to put the full size bag in my shopping cart soon.  This is a tasty, unique chai for spicy tea lovers everywhere.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description:

Since China is a very important part of what I do (since most of my tea comes from China!), I decided it was important to do something to celebrate the ringing in of the Chinese New Year this year (The Year of the Dog)! I started with two black Yunnan teas – a Yunnan Black Gold and a tippy Assamica grown in the Yunnan Province – and added dried mandarin wedges and the whole spices of a Chinese 5 Spice blend: Cinnamon, Cloves, Star Anise, Fennel and Szechwan peppercorns. Then I added just a wee bit of ginger to enhance the peppery notes just a little. The result is a cuppa that is a little bit sweet, a little bit savory and a little bit spicy! It’s a really nice, round flavor! The mandarin orange flavor is bright and adds a nice touch to the spices here. It’s kind of like an orange flavored chai – Chinese style! I’m really happy with how this one came out – the spices are strong enough to be inviting but don’t blow out the taste buds with the spice – and the mandarin is really lovely: sweet and juicy!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Climber’s High from The Tea Spot. . .

Though working out isn’t my favorite activity, I can understand the uplifting physical feeling that comes with good old-fashioned exercise.  With a name that refers to an athletic euphoria, it’s no surprise to me that Climber’s High tea from the Tea Spot has yerba mate in the blend.  Yerba mate is technically an herbal tisane, not made from the same stuff as black tea, but it contains a high amount of caffeine and is often cited as a better caffeination choice than coffee, with fewer jitters and crashes.

Yerba mate on its own has a dry hay, fresh-mowed-field fragrance, and a gently earthy taste.  This blend is no exception, with the dried grass scents mellowing out as smooth and earthy in flavor.

This blend also has its fair share of chai spices like licorice root, black pepper, fennel, tulsi, and cardamom.  I love spicy chai teas so I made sure to scoop a big cardamom pod into my cup. That said, the spices are understated, very gentle and unassuming.  Personally I would have liked a little more pop, but I understand that spicy teas aren’t for everyone. Don’t be discouraged by this ingredients list if you aren’t into chai teas, this might just be the right blend for you.

I don’t always need the caffeine kick that yerba mate provides, but if you’re looking for a powerful alternative to coffee or black tea, Climber’s High is a great blend to check out.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Yerba Mate/Herbal (caffeine)
Where to Buy: The Tea Spot
Description:

A super-charged blend of teas, spices and herbs formulated to provide a refreshing daily lift for people with active, high-energy lifestyles. Climber’s High is a high-powered way to increase your intake of beneficial antioxidants such as flavonoids and catechins, as well as a host of healthy vitamins, trace minerals, beneficial phyto-constituents, and caffeine. It was originally conceived to assist people in adjusting to higher altitudes. This spiced yerba mate chai tea is both good for you and a pleasure to drink.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Spicy Turmeric Tonic from MEM Tea. . . .

A new specialty shop opened up nearby, and when I poked my head inside I discovered they also served coffee and tea.  On a blustery, cold day I ordered a cup of Spicy Turmeric Tonic from MEM Tea to warm my body and spirit.

This tea was listed as having flavors of cacao, ginger, and cinnamon, all long-time favorites of mine.  Oddly, the turmeric in the name wasn’t listed as a main flavor.  I had this blend brewed hot without milk or sweetener.

As a lover of chai teas, this was a delicious new blend filled with familiar spices.  The cinnamon and ginger were very forward, warming and gently spicy.  The cacao shells gave the blend more body, almost fooling me into thinking it was a black tea instead of an herbal.  The cacao brought its usual sweet-and-savory cocoa notes to balance out the sweet-and-hot ginger.

The turmeric was subtle, appearing as just a touch of earthy spice behind the brighter flavors.  The turmeric does show up in the color of the brew, with its trademark bright yellow ochre color.

Full disclosure, cacao shells don’t have caffeine, but they are stimulants, so this might not be a true decaf blend. Either way, it was a wonderful new take on an herbal chai and I will definitely plan to brew another a cup of Spicy Turmeric Tonic sometime soon.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: MEM Tea
Description:

This unique and healthful blend of Turmeric, Ginger, Cinnamon and Cacao is rich and smooth, with warm spicy flavors and a zesty finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!