Organic Masala Chai from Hope and Glory

We’ve been having some tropical weather lately, so today was much cooler and rainier than usual for this time of year. I do appreciate cool weather when I can get it, especially because after a few days/weeks/months of summer I get tired of not being able to have any hot tea after 8AM without overheating and getting a migraine. So to celebrate the great rainy weather, I decided to have a big mug of milky chai right in the middle of the day; and fortunately for me, I was lucky enough to have a sample of Hope & Glory’s organic masala chai on hand!

The back of the sample packet said to simmer the tea with milk and water for 5-10 minutes, so that’s what I did. (I know this means my review won’t be much use to people who can’t drink milk, and I apologize. I once tried to make my lactose-intolerant brother a chai latte but I was unprepared to adapt to using soymilk and to make a long story short, he probably still dislikes spiced chai. But I digress.) I then strained it into my tall latte mug and added a few teaspoons of sugar and a little cream.

After taking a few sips I concluded that it’s everything you could hope for in a chai. The spice blend is harmonious and contrasts well with the creaminess of the milk, just as it should. It blends well enough that no one spice flavor jumps out at me, which is great. Some chais try to make up for any deficiencies with an overwhelming amount of cinnamon (I mean, cinnamon is great, but so are the other spices!), so I’m glad this one is so well-balanced. They’re strong spices too, and of course I mean that in the best way. There’s a warmth that lingers after each sip, past the milky aftertaste, until I give in and take another sip. Fortunately, the next sip is just as amazing, so the cycle of happiness tends to self-perpetuate and everything is great (until you run out of tea!).
Overall, I find this tea to be unequivocally awesome and would gladly drink any amount of it. Also, being organic and fair-trade, it naturally has an ecological advantage (as well as a sociological advantage and a health advantage) over other similar teas.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Hope and Glory


A full-bodied blend of organic Ceylon black tea and spices, Masala Chai derives from the Hindi literally meaning ‘mixed-spice tea’. Spices such as cardamom and cinnamon have been expertly blended to give a warming, rich blend of flavours and a sweet aroma.


Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rajah Collection Organic Masala Chai from Hope & Glory

I have to say I have being having so much fun going thru the Hope & Glory Shipment that was sent and Rajah Collection Organic Masala Chai from Hope & Glory is one of those teas that I am VERY MUCH enjoying thus far!

I LOVE the packaging!  It goes along with their brand.  It’s colorful and clean.  The packaging also explains a lot with very little wordage.  It’s eye-catching and easy to comprehend while on-the-go!  On the back of the package I am looking at for the Rajah Collection Organic Masala Chai from Hope & Glory offering I noticed the ingredient breakdown and ratio.

The leaf grade of the Rajah Collection Organic Masala Chai from Hope & Glory is Orthodox Leaf – FBOP.  This blend of ingredients are 70% Organic Ceylon Black Tea, 30% fresh blend of organic spices which are made up of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, and black pepper.

I really appreciate the fact that Hope & Glory used 70% for the ratio of black tea base to the 30% chai spices.  The chai spices are perfectly done to my own personal liking.  The spices are not over powering nor are they too weak – they are JUST RIGHT!  Rajah Collection Organic Masala Chai from Hope & Glory is quite thrilling and certainly a tea I will be sharing with MANY.



Caddie-Small-beige-800-180x180Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Chai (Black Tea Base)
Where to Buy: Hope & Glory
Description: A full-bodied blend of organic Ceylon black tea and spices, Masala Chai derives from the Hindi literally meaning ‘mixed-spice tea’. Spices such as cardamom and cinnamon have been expertly blended to give a warming, rich blend of flavours and a sweet aroma.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Richmond Park Blend from Upton Tea

RichmondTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: Upton Tea

Tea Description:

A mellow, whole-leaf blend of Keemun, Ceylon, and Darjeeling. An exceptional tea that is smooth enough for drinking plain, and sturdy enough to take milk or lemon. From our London blender.


Steeping Suggestions:
Leaf Quantity: 2¼ g/cup
Water Temp: 212º (boiling)
Steep Time: 4-5 min.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

According to the production description Richmond Park Blend from Upton Tea is ‘mellow’.  I disagree.  That’s not a word I would use to describe this tea at all.  However, the product description for Richmond Park Blend from Upton Tea does go on to say that it is sturdy enough for the addition of milk or lemon.  Eventho I don’t add anything to my cup of tea I will agree that it’s a more sturdy tea overall.

At first sip I wasn’t sure if this tea was on a level playing field when it came to the other black teas offered from Upton Tea.  This was a tea that I’m glad I didn’t judge at first sip.  It ended up growing on me.  It took me a little time to understand Richmond Park Blend from Upton Tea.  Once this tea and I ‘became friends’ I ended up enjoying it a lot more.

Keemun, Ceylon, and Darjeeling are blended together for this offering.  The flavor layers are ever changing throughout the sip.  It’s heavy, then malty, then sweet-woodsy, then smoky, then earthy.  This does live up to multiple infusions but be careful not to over infuse!

This is a complex blend that I encourage you to try but be patient with because it’s ever changing and taking the time to get to know will pay off in the end!


Jubilee Tea From Fortnum & Mason

FortnumTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: Fortnum & Mason

Tea Description:

Blending teas from India, Ceylon and China, this noble tea offers mellow sweetness and golden brightness and is truly fit for a queen. Presented in a decorative tin, it will be a lasting memory of the happy and historic occasion.

Taste & strength
Sturdy and refreshing.

When to drink
Ideal at any time of day.

Brewing information
Use boiling water and brew for 3-5 minutes depending on taste. Best drunk with milk.

Storage advice
Airtight container, preferably a tea caddy.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Jubilee Tea From Fortnum & Mason smells like a maltier black tea with cinnamon undertones.  Very pleasant to the nose and the tongue because Jubilee Tea From Fortnum & Mason is one of those black tea blends you’ll remember for some time.  The black tea base is blended from teas from 3 regions…China, Ceylon, and India.  Not only does it have a bit of maltiness to the smell the taste follows suit.  The cinnamon I smelled I could also taste but not as a flavoring just a natural cinnamon from the blend of these 3 quality teas.

Jubilee Tea From Fortnum & Mason is an eye opener without being too strong or harsh but it does have some heft to it which makes it ideal for mornings or an afternoon pick-me-up!

Two thumbs up for Jubilee Tea From Fortnum & Mason in my book!  A nice, strong black tea!


Ceylon Idulgashinna Blooming Mushroom White from What-Cha

Ceylon Idulgashinna Blooming MushroomTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White/Bloom

Where to Buy: What-Cha

Tea Description:

A hand tied ball of silver tip white tea, possessing delicate fruity tones which become stronger with subsequent infusions. Tangy apricot notes become apparent with some subtle malt tones in latter steeps.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have to admit, the only reason I bought this tea was because it has ‘mushroom’ in the title and it intrigued me since I’m very allergic to mushrooms. Though the tea itself has little to nothing to do with mushrooms, it still felt kind of cool to get to say I was ‘having them’. #TeaOnTheEdge #ButNot2Edgy

I only bought a sample amount; two blooms. When I opened up the package I was pretty taken aback because the smell was very pungent and defined. It certainly smelled strongly of apricots but also something sort of akin to sweet and sour sauce? I wasn’t expecting that level of smell at all, though it was intriguing to say the least.

I made three 12 oz. infusions of this one over the course of a work day, making sure to take note of the differences. I certainly freaked out a few coworkers at my new job; they saw this unfurled tea bloom from a distance/in passing in my mug in the breakroom and assumed something fungal was growing in my mug and that’s because the bloom certainly wasn’t the most attractive one I’ve come across – there’s no “flower” tied into it just an arrangement of white tea leaves tethered together. Which is fine: I wasn’t drinking this tea for the aesthetics however I’ll admit I did expect the “mushroom” to tie in with the overall shape of the bloom but it certainly didn’t look like any mushroom I’ve seen.

The first infusion was a mix of sharp, lively, tangy notes of apricot and peach. Again, the intensity of the ‘tang’ reminded me a little of sweet and sour sauce. Actually, in particular I couldn’t help but think of a very particular flavour from highschool cooking class I’ve only experienced once: we made vegetarian meatballs with a “sweet and sour sauce” that used apricot jam and ketchup in the sauce and this was quite similar to my memory of that sauce. There was also a very slightly malty taste to the finish of this infusion.

The second infusion was about 50/50 malt and apricot/peach with less of the piercing tang. It was probably the smoothest infusion overall and I’d say my favourite. Finally, the third infusion was more malt than anything else with light notes of apricot and a bit of a peppery finish. I swear there were also very light cocoa notes on the top of the sip as well.

Overall, I thought this was surprisingly delightful – more so than I actually expected it would be if I’m being completely honest/transparent. What started off as a bit of a ‘gag’ purchase actually resulted in a wonderful tea session and intriguing learning experience. Also, credit where credit is due: What-Cha has done a marvelous job describing the overall flavour of this tea on their page for it. While I was taken back by the intensity of the apricot notes there’s no doubt in my mind that their flavour description was super accurate. I absolutely recommend trying this tea!