Indian Masala Chai from Storehouse Teas. . . .

This black tea is visually stunning! Blended with traditional Indian Masala spices in their whole form, you can see the cinnamon, cardamom, and clove within this blend. In addition to being able to see the spices used to create this blend, you can immediately smell the clove and cardamom as you open the package. It’s recommended to brew this for approximately 5 minutes, and it does brew dark – even for a black tea.

On the palate, this tea has a spicy aftertaste that I would almost describe as peppery. I drank mine hot without sugar or milk, but I think this would be a beautiful blend for an iced Chai tea latte!

Regardless of your opinion about this specific blend, I do encourage you to check out Storehouse Teas. They provide organic, fair-trade teas and assist both refugees and small farmers find employment. Their business model and theory is wonderful, and their teas are priced for everyday enjoyment. With such a large selection, I’m sure you can find something that is perfect for your favorite cuppa.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black/Chai
Where to Buy:  Storehouse Tea
Description

A robust and classic full flavored black tea blended with traditional whole Indian Masala spices, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and clove, this tea is bold and stimulating. Masala Chai should be brewed strong and served sweet with milk when hot or pour it over ice as a chilled Chai tea latte.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the Rebound – Teavana-Styled Rebound Teas from Adagio Teas. . . .

Late last year, Adagio teas offered a free set of “rebound teas” for recent customers of David’s Tea and Teavana.  While David’s Tea isn’t going anywhere as far as I know, Teavana has been closing its doors and sold out of the final stock in its online shop.  Adagio’s rebound teas were blended to be familiar to tea lovers from those other shops in the hopes of encouraging these tea-fanatics to try out more teas from Adagio’s selection.

Now, I am a little biased because I got my loose-leaf start with Adagio, but I feel as though different tea suppliers have different specialities, and I’ve enjoyed tea from both David’s Tea and Teavana.  David’s Tea and Teavana tend to have more specialized themed blends.  They are a great choice when you want a tea that tastes like a peanut butter cup or an over-the-top tropical peach iced tea. Not to mention, they have some very cute tea tins, mugs, and accessories to jazz up your tea shelf.

Adagio’s Rebound Sampler featured 5 teas (though they are adding new rebound blends all the time, see their listing of comparable teas here)

Teavana had a few popular peach teas, so this sampler has two peach teas of its own: Peach Bellini and Peach Serenity.   They are subtly different, with Peach Bellini focusing on more tropical flavors like mango and papaya, and Peach Serenity with more herbal ingredients like lemon verbena and chamomile.  In both blends, the strong peach flavoring drives the smell and taste.  I think these would be best suited for cold brews, where the sweet candy peach flavor can add sweetness without sugar.  These teas are great if you are a fan of peach rings candy.  I’m always in favor of having more herbal blends, but I think I prefer the more subtle peach taste in Adagio’s peach black tea or peach oolong.

Raja Oolong is an oolong blend with lots of delicious inclusions like chicory, ginger, and cocoa nibs.  Likewise, White Ayurvedic Chai  is a white tea with a long list of flavorful spices and fruits, like cloves, pineapple, lemongrass and cinnamon.  Despite the varied ingredient listing for both blends, the strong cinnamon flavoring takes over.  These teas would be great for fans of Adagio’s hot cinnamon spice tea, or for fans of Hot Tamales candies.  I’m all for a spicy tea, but I wish there was more variety in the spice.  It would be great to have some sweet ginger heat or herbal black pepper spice share the spotlight. I would recommend trying Adagio’s original White Chai blend as another take on the white tea and spice combination.

Samurai Mate is a sweet and tropical mate blend, with lots of sweet papaya flavoring.  The fruit pairs well with the green yerba mate, but it is a little one-note.  This might be more subtle when iced, not to mention a cold brew would suit the tropical fruit theme.  Not the blend for me, but a very striking fruity blend.

If you were able to take advantage of the rebound deal, I hope all the Teavana and David’s Tea fans out there enjoyed your first taste of Adagio.  I think Adagio’s strengths lay with their more naturally flavored or unflavored teas. Let’s not forget their lively fandom blends where customers design themed flavors using the tea blender tools.  If there’s a discontinued tea flavor that you’re missing, why not try your hand at creating a signature blend of your own to bring it back?

Here’s to a healthy rebound in your loose leaf tea life!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Adgaio Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

A Unique Pumpkin Chai from Love Tea

As soon as the weather turns a little cooler, or when I just get tired of summer, I decide that it’s pumpkin season and start looking for all things pumpkin spice. I love the warming cinnamon and ginger, the herbal clove, cardamom, and allspice, and the general sweet juiciness of pumpkin puree.  Each pumpkin spice product has its own blend of sweet and spicy, which makes it all the more fun to try them all.  

This time, I tried Pumpkin Chai from Love Tea.  I got a chance to try this company’s more summery blends earlier in the year, and really enjoyed what they had to offer, so I thought I’d try their version of my favorite fall flavor.  This Pumpkin Chai really stands out from other teas and coffees with the same name.  Love Tea’s blend has lots of chai spice and pumpkin flavor, but it also has prominent citrus flavors.  

In addition to the crisp black tea base and warm spices, this blend has hibiscus, orange, rosehips, and lemongrass.  These ingredients set this apart from other pumpkin blends, and it offers a great change of pace to have the tart kiss of citrus alongside the usual herbs and spices.  The hibiscus bring enough tart red fruit flavor, that this almost feels more like a mulled wine-flavored tea.  The oranges and cloves together make for a delicious cold-weather flavor combination that often pops up in winter-themed candles and baked goods as the season goes on.  

If you think you have tried every pumpkin spice that the world has to offer, try Pumpkin Chai from Love Tea.  Even beyond the Halloween, the orange and spice flavors will warmly guide you into the winter season.  

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Love Tea
Description:

Our 2016 Brillliant Winter Blends started with this one.    Put your Pumpkin Chai Latte on notice!   This is all the flavor without the coffee.  A black tea blend with Izmir Chai Spice all rolled into the perfect winter warmer.   Serve this with a splash of milk (or flavored creamer) and a dash of sugar and your friends will never believe you are drinking tea.   Start your holiday shopping now and get in the spirit with us.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Stylish and Spicy: Chai du Kerala from #Nunshen

It goes without saying that a big part of drinking tea is the smell and taste of a good brew, but sometimes the presentation and design of the product can be a nice diversion.  This tea from Nunshen arrived in a sleek, modern, well-designed packet.  The bilingual instructions come with plenty of stylish symbols alongside the English and French, describing the temperature, brew times, leaf type, and the mood of the tea (Chai du Kerala is marked as, “relaxing”).  The muslin teabag adds a soft, handmade touch to the whole experience.

The dry tea and the brew both smell strongly of natural cinnamon sticks, warming up the whole room. It’s a chai tea, and it has the expected heat and spice without being too cluttered. This tea is deceptively fragrant, following me around the house from the kettle to my chair in wafting waves of cinnamon.  There is not too much ginger, just enough to add dimension to the cinnamon flavor, and both spices meld well with the earthy, malty, black tea base.

The tea’s package even numbers the blend, like a perfume or a vintage.  Chai du Kerala is no. 91 in the flavor listing from Nunshen.  With a sleek design and quality tea, I can’t way to try all the other numbered flavors!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Nunshen
Description: Love, healing and happiness go hand in hand as you sip on this unique blend. Hints of citrus and earthy tones will recover peace of mind and restore your well being.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Classic Masala Chai from Chai Safari. . . .

I LOVE a good strong black tea. The Classic Masala Chai from Tea Safari is strong and bold without being overwhelming. I found it to be best with milk and sugar – and I used a little more milk than what I usually add to other black teas. The strength of the tea allows for multiple steepings, and the spices seemed to be more prominent upon the second steeping. It pairs well with a sweet treat!

The Chai Safari website is fairly easy to navigate and has a neat feature that shows what the tea leaves look like for each blend. When you click on the leaves, it shows what the tea will look like steeped in a cup. Their prices are very reasonable, and the customer will get the most bang for their buck with free shipping on orders over $50.

I enjoyed this nice cup of tea during a spring evening on the porch – the first evening where it was warm enough to sit outside, yet cool enough to enjoy a nice hot cuppa tea. The Classic Masala Chai was a delightful accompaniment for a lovely evening.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Chai Safari
Description

The Classic Masala Chai is India’s most popular chai. India’s own home grown recipe and consumed as a staple beverage across the country. This blend of exotic spices is the experience that will take you for a trip on this journey. The chai has dominant flavours of dried ginger and cardamom pods with  a touch of black pepper’s spicy aftertaste. The sweet undenotes are delivered by cinnamon, Tulsi and a pinch of Saffron.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!