White Cap Chai from Beach House Teas. . . .

When I see those lovely spiced teas, I always get so jealous.  Being one that just doesn’t care for overly spiced teas or chai blends, I always feel like I’m left out of some cool kid’s tea drinking club.   I look at them longingly and try them on occasion, but always find myself having to add in a ton of agave or cream to help offset the brew.  And yes, I know that is part of the chai tea latte set up, but I want to be able to taste the actual tea itself, not just the add ins.

Enter White Cap Chai from Beach House Teas.

First off, this chai tea doesn’t have your traditional tea base.  Instead of having a black or even green tea base, this blend has a lovely white peony tea base that sets the tone in a more subtle way.  No fear of having a very bitter or astringent brew where you have to add in sweeteners or cream- no, this tea base has an all around lighter feel.

Add in your traditional spices like fennel seed cloves, peppercorns, cardamom pods, star anise, ginger, orange peel and my favorite part- cinnamon chips- not just a dusting of cinnamon but honest to goodness large enough so you can see cinnamon chips.  I should say that about all of the ingredients.  No need to squint your eyes to see that these inclusions are high quality and might I add organic.

The brewing parameters on the package had me a bit scared-1 heaping tsp with 6-8 oz- allow to steep for 6-8 minutes at 212F.  White tea is more delicate so I was worried about brewing at boiling but after timer went off at 6 minutes worth of steeping, I was so very happy I did.  I should have know that Beach House Teas would have my back and not steer me wrong.

Right out of the gate there is this lush slightly floral silky feel and some very bright flavors that provide this wonderful first sip.  I instantly fell in love with the cinnamon flavor that has a soft twist of ginger and a hint of the fennel undertones. As this is still a chai tea, those more noticeable chai flavors like cardamom and clove notes are present but they are more apparent towards the end of each sip.  Towards the end of each sip and after the sip is over, you are left with this spicy peppercorn touch on your tastebuds.

I eagerly sipped down my first cup and went back to brew more.  I’m a huge fan (if you couldn’t tell) of this tea and highly recommend anyone who isn’t a chai or spiced fan to check this tea out.  The flavors are light and crisp and are not heavy like a traditional chai or should I say the chais I’ve experienced in the past.  Heavier chais do have their time and place, but for me- White Cap Chai has stolen my heart.  This may be my new morning tea!

If you are interested in checking out this (and I highly recommend you do!) blend or any others, Beach House Teas is offering a 20% discount for our readers- just enter tealover3 at checkout!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:  Beach House Teas 
Description

White Cap Chai is a lighter version of the traditional chai making it delicate and unique. This beautiful chai is made with 100% organic white peony tea leaves and organic spices. It’s a modern twist on a sweet and spicy classic. The chai gives you a smooth, mellow taste with subtle layers of flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Full Moon Chai from Plum Deluxe. . . .

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, tea-friends– it takes a lot for a chai to impress me. Now, it also takes a lot for a chai to disappoint me– I find them to be the workhorse of my tea cabinet. Usually, most chais are pretty good: spicy, sweet, bold and earthy. Pretty good, no matter what you throw in there. But for a chai to be REALLY special? It has to go above and beyond.

If you know my love for Plum Deluxe’s offerings, you know where this is going– this one went above and beyond. The addition of vanilla butternut extract (which, hello– am I the only one in the world who didn’t know that “vanilla butternut” was a thing? because it’s delicious.) takes the perfectly-blended spices to the next level of creaminess– almost to the point where this chai could do perfectly well on its own, sans cream or sugar, and still knock it out of the park.

If you often find yourself just satisfied (rather than blown away) by a chai like myself, I’d highly recommend this one, friends. Perfect for cozying up on a chilly winter afternoon!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

Full Moon Chai was one of our original blends, now back with even more creative energy.  We’ve taken our classic, signature masala chai and added a splash of vanilla butternut extract. This simple twist adds a depth, warmth, and vibrancy to your traditional chai, and also gives the flavor a hint of sweetness and creaminess without having to add lots of sugar or milk (though we do like this blend prepared as a traditional masala chai or chai latte).

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!

“Idris” Hot Chocolate Infused Chai from Calabash Tea. . . . .

A tea friend and I rather randomly ended up at Calabash Tea Bar & Cafe last time I was in D.C. The owner of this gorgeous cafe is an herbalist, so the blends focus on the medicinal value of tea, herbs, and spices. It started raining just as we got there, so we decided to settle in and stay a while. I’m so glad we did. We got to try several of their teas and both fell in love with this one (though really, who could resist Idris?). I ended up buying this and the anti-inflammatory Triple Goddess blend to take home.

I have brewed this tea a few times now. I always brew it hot – it just seems wrong to drink a chocolate chai iced. My favorite way to enjoy it is with a splash of chocolate almond milk, which turns this into a creamy chocolate bit of heaven in a cup. Even without any additions, the chocolate flavor is rich with a bit of the bite that dark chocolate has. The most dominant chai spice here is clove, but it is not overwhelming. I’m also picking up maltiness from the base tea, cinnamon, and a hint of citrus (though I am not at all certain that there is either cinnamon or anything citrusy in the blend). The clove, malt, and chocolate notes linger after the sip, with the clove lingering longest because of that tingling sensation clove can cause. This blend can be steeped a second time, though it loses the cocoa notes and comes out a tad watery. Some almond milk fixes that right up though.

Overall, this makes for a great fall tea that doesn’t require milk but does benefit from it.


Here’s the scoop!

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

Add an extra dash of spice makes Calabash’s Hot Chocolate Chai a delight!. This organic chai is strong, spicy, sweet and unapologetic about waking you up for a lil’ lovin’ in your cup. INGREDIENTS: The highest quality Assam Black Tea, Cocoa Powder, Chai Spices, Chocolate Buttons & lots of love.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chai Five from Tickled Tea. . .

This is not a tea I would pick for myself. In fact, it is not a tea I picked for myself. I am not one for chais, though I will admit when done right, they can be awesome but that is hard to accomplish when each person likes a different balance of spices and “right” to me may not be the same as “right” to another. That is why I left this out of my cart when grabbing samples of the many Tickled Tea offerings. Nonetheless, this appeared in my package and today, as the chilly autumn air set in, seemed like the perfect day to give it a try, latte-style.

Chai Five, as per the product description, is a spicy blend of black chai tea, including 5 traditional masala chai spices: cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and peppercorns. It smells strongly of cardamom so I was definitely surprised when I got more clove flavor. That and a cinnamon sweetness. This is also one of the few times in a tea that I actually tasted the peppercorn, which is a nice kick. For those that love cardamom, don’t fret as there is still some of it to be found in the taste, though not as much as you would anticipate given the smell. Ginger lovers may be disappointed as I am finding my mug at least is lacking.

Nonetheless, this is actually a pretty lovely take on chai. Spicy and sweet and complimented beautifully by the creaminess of the milk. Like I said before, I am not a lover of chais, but on a cold day like today , a chai latte can be a nice bit of warming comfort in a mug and this certainly fit that bill.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tickled Tea
Description

A spicy blend of black chai tea, including 5 traditional masala chai spices: cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and peppercorns.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!