Spicy Honey Chai from Blue Hour Tea. . .A Different Take on Chai. . .

Waaaaaay back in the day, I was a barista. Not the cool, hipster baristas we all know and love now, but the nerdy high schooler kind who like making weird drink concoctions when the cafe is slow. I’m sure you can imagine it.

Anyways! Even back then, before I knew how much my love of tea would grow, I wasn’t a coffee drinker either, and was constantly looking for a new warm concoction that I could sip will slinging drinks to our customers. Enter: chai. I instantly fell in love with the creamy, warming spices and found myself finding new ways to brew it on the daily.

Ever since then, even if my tea tastes have expanded, chai remains my first tea love. So when I dug this sample out of my stash, I was SUPER pumped to go back to my roots and give it a chai (see what I did there? ;))! First things first– the dry leaf is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Blue Hour adds honey to this blend so that the leaves harden together a bit, to unfurl when steeped. I brewed as they recommended, warming a small pot of coconut milk on the stove and tossing the leaves into steep as it warms up.

The result is a creamy, slightly-sweet-but-not-saccharine (from the help of the honey), ginger and pepper spiced cup of goodness. This chai perfect tows the line between hitting all the traditional notes I love in chai while being like nothing I’ve ever had before. It was delicious, and brought me right back to the good old barista days. I’d definitely drink this one again!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Blue Hour Tea
Description

Our Spicy Honey Chai is made using our unique blend of whole roasted spices, a Single Estate Assam black tea with a bit of heat from black pepper and ginger and it’s all finished off with a good portion of raw honey fromCoal Lake Honey Farm. This makes for a well balanced mug of chai, which is best when brewed in milk.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Spiced Chai from LucidiTea Co. . . An Earthy Chai to Try!

Spiced Chai from LucidiTea Co was a tea and a tea company I discovered while attending the Erie VegFest in late September. They were one of the vendors at the festival and for that I am VERY grateful! I ended up buying 3 of their teas and this was one of them.

This chai is a great starter chai because the spices are not overly intense like some others I have tried. Don’t get me wrong I like both Chai’s…the ones that are more mellow and the ones that are intense. There is just a time and a place for everything and this time around I was looking for something on the quieter side. Enter Spiced Chai from LucidiTea Co. I really appreciate that they used a Darjeeling as the base for this chai. The vanilla seemed to smooth out the ending, too!

Spiced Chai from LucidiTea Co makes my mouth happy! It’s comforting and warm but not over the top spicy. Great for a fall day – or any day – really!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy:  LucidiTea Co
Description

Our organic Spiced Chai blend is wonderfully aromatic, warm, and delightful. It has deep earthy tones as well as alluring accents from various warming spices making it our favorite tea to drink in the colder months. This blend produces an exotic flavor that is sure to comfort and please your taste buds. Not only does it smell and taste incredible, it proves a stable clean energy for hours while regulating metabolism.

Ingredients: organic darjeeling tea, organic ginger root, organic cinnamon bark, organic nutmeg, organic cardamom, organic cloves, and organic vanilla bean.

Ideal steep time is 3-5 minutes. Recommended serving size is 1-3 tsp depending on strength preference.

This blend contains caffeine.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Callisto Chai from Moongleam Tea Shoppe

I woke up to a light dusting of snow. It feels like a cozy holiday morning, so of course I’m craving Chai!

I decided to try this Callisto chai and first of all, I have to comment on the beauty of the tea itself. It has so many beautiful cardamom pods. I always know the tea will be amazing when I see cardamom! And it smells out of this world! It smells like a cozy winter morning. I smell nutmeg and cloves, not just the usual cinnamon. It smells much spicier than it tastes.

I’m having mine with a teaspoon of brown sugar and a splash of coconut milk. It’s smooth and delicious. The spice is there, but it’s subtle and sweet, not at all sharp.

I know I keep saying each new chai I try is a new favorite, but I can’t help it, they’ve all been so amazing! This is a chai I would serve to people who are not huge spice fans and might be a little leery of chai or other more “exotic” teas!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:
Where to Buy: Moongleam Tea Shoppe
Description

This tea is no longer on the site but please click on the link below for what is available.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Firebird Chai by Wendigo

While sniffing this tea before steeping (what? Don’t tell me I’m the only one who does this) I can definitely pick up a big whiff of ginger in the dry leaves. The leaves are better-looking than average for chai; they also have more of a presence in the blend (as far as fragrance and so on) than some do. I also observed lots of chunks of other stuff (spices?) in there with the tea leaves. The curls of dried ginger were the most noticeable of these. (And also were quite impressive. Don’t most chais just have minced ginger or something? These curls were really cool-looking.)

When steeping, I used a couple of generous spoonfuls for my latte mug and hot water that I poured out just after boiling. I may have been a bit over-lavish with the leaves compared to what the steeping instructions said, but I was feeling like drinking a strong chai. I steeped it four minutes before removing the leaves. The rehydrated pods (I think that’s the cardamom?) and curls of ginger were much more obvious in the tea leaves now. The brewed tea turned out a strongish darkish brown (but not the darkest ever).
Now that the finished product is in hand, I can actually smell the black tea along with the spices. This isn’t always the case with chai, so I appreciated it. Ginger seems the predominant spice (rather than cinnamon) upon first sip. Each sip has a sweet, smooth taste (despite not having any sugar in it yet) and a warming effect.
Certainly it’s exotic as well as pleasant and comforting, with all that ginger and cardamom, and manages to carve a unique flavor profile for itself rather than just being a run-of-the-mill “chai” flavor. I’m unsure where the sweetness is coming from–surely not the ginger or the cinnamon– but I suppose it could be from the black tea itself if it’s as high-quality as it seems.
Overall I’d say this tea is lively, warming, and full and rich without  being cliche. It offers a bright flavor palette that’s not too spicy to enjoy. It’s great with milk and sugar too; they “muffle” the spices a bit, as expected, and enhance the richness of the black tea flavor.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Wendigo Tea
wendigo-teaDescription

FireBird

I, the glorious FireBird, am an imposing beast with the exotic complexity to guide you through a wild adventure of savory, sweet, spicy, and back again. Brace yourself if you think you are ready to experience the wonder of FireBird. I am a Spicy Masala Chai that leaves scorched remnants of other Chai teas far below my ferocious wings.
I am born of the meanest Indian Estate black tea available, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, black pepper & all spice. Where other Chai teas expect you to add milk and heaps of sweetener to balance the bitter taste of inferior ingredients, I stand alone as a unique masterpiece.
My elevated nature is most notable from the refusal of being satisfied with anything but the very best and strongest tasting Premium Indian Estate Tea available. This compliments the spices and will not dare be buried under them, but earthy decadence soaring ahead for the lingering trail of spice and flavor following on your pallet.
Feel the Burn. Love the taste.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Firebird Chai from Wendigo Tea Co

I regret to inform you, darling Tea-ple, that there is nothing I could possibly say about this tea that has not been said better on the tea’s own description.

Said information implores you to “brace yourself” for “an imposing beast” that “leaves scorched remnants of other Chai teas far img_5152_grandebelow ferocious wings.”

Have I just been schooled?

Does Wendigo keep its own Starling! on staff? An even more super Super Starling! ?

firebirdchaiThe tea’s description also touts the tea as a “unique masterpiece” that requires no additional flavoring because its base is not cheap, icky tea like other chais. You are encouraged to “enjoy your ride.”

This tea DOES have a flowery sweetness that I can’t seem to explain based on the ingredients. I think it’s a note on the black tea, which is superior to a LOT of black teas I’ve had. It really does require no milk or honey to avoid being bitter or overwhelming.

Despite the floral notes, I dare say that this FireBird has MELTED MY FACE OFF, Raiders of the Lost Ark style.

Climb on, kids.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black/Chai
Where to Buy: Wendigo Tea Co.

wendigo-teaDescription

FireBird

I, the glorious FireBird, am an imposing beast with the exotic complexity to guide you through a wild adventure of savory, sweet, spicy, and back again. Brace yourself if you think you are ready to experience the wonder of FireBird. I am a Spicy Masala Chai that leaves scorched remnants of other Chai teas far below my ferocious wings.
I am born of the meanest Indian Estate black tea available, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, black pepper & all spice. Where other Chai teas expect you to add milk and heaps of sweetener to balance the bitter taste of inferior ingredients, I stand alone as a unique masterpiece.
My elevated nature is most notable from the refusal of being satisfied with anything but the very best and strongest tasting Premium Indian Estate Tea available. This compliments the spices and will not dare be buried under them, but earthy decadence soaring ahead for the lingering trail of spice and flavor following on your pallet.
Feel the Burn. Love the taste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!