Classic Masala Chai from Chai Safari. . . .

As a chai tea lover, I’m surprised I haven’t run into more Chai Safari teas in my experience.  Needless to say, I was excited to brew up a cup of spicy tea and try a new flavor.

I took one look at the dry leaf of this tea and immediately wanted to look up the ingredients.  The black tea leaves are processed into small pellets, which is typical for some types of chai, but I was confused when I saw the green tulsi leaves mixed in.  It’s not everyday that you see green ingredients in a chai tea, it’s usually lots of golden ginger and warm, brown cinnamon. Classic Masala Chai blend from Chai Safari has many of the classic chai staples like ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon, but it mixes in some more surprising ingredients like black pepper, tulsi (holy basil), and saffron.

Brewed this is everything you would expect from a chai tea: bold and warming, with the spice-cookie flavors of ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom.  I love the idea of the peppercorns in my teas, but it is hard to pick out the pepper flavor in this brew. Maybe some of the heat I associated with the ginger is actually from the black pepper.

The piece that sets this chai appart is the inclusion of tulsi and saffron.  These herbs add just a hint of floral sweetness in the scent and aftertaste. These refined flavors are an unexpected compliment to the bolder spices and made me realize that there is more to chai than ginger and cinnamon alone.

I will have to adventure into Chai Safari again and check out more unexpected chai tea flavors!


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!

Roasted Almond Chai from Fava Tea Company. . . . . . . .

I was lucky to discover Roasted Almond Chai from Fava Tea Company thanks to a tea trade with fellow Sororitea Sisters, and now this is one if my favorite chai teas.

This is a decaf blend, so I find it most satisfying as a sweet treat to ease me through a rough afternoon or evening. This tea is perfectly both sweet and spicy. The dry leaf in the bag smells exceptionally creamy and a touch fruity, like marzipan candies. In the loose leaf, there are cloves, cinnamon, and huge cardamom pods, promising more spice in the brew.

Brewed, this blend is surprisingly pink, and I had a moment of worry: pink?! Is there hibiscus in here?  I read the label again and saw beetroot as an ingredient but no hibiscus. Taking a sip, I was relieved. The pink color was clearly from the beetroot which added a wonderful natural sweetness that did not get in the way of the other flavors.

The one change I would make is to rename this blend Marzipan Chai, instead of Roasted Almond Chai. There is not much in the way of tasted flavors or pure nut-like flavors. The beetroot and almond make for a blend that is sweet like a  cake with creamy frosting. This tea is driven by its candied almond taste, coupled with the warming spices of cinnamon and cardamom. Even without milk, this tea is so smooth and creamy, a perfect dessert. I will be stocking up on this chai the next chance I get!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Fava Tea
Description:

This is the sweet taste of almond magically blended with rooibos and chai spices. Smooth, delightful and a perfect compliment with dessert. Or in place of dessert! Either way, enjoy!

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!

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!

Queen of the Underworld from Malfoy Tea Emporium. . .

I bought a huge lot of samples on Etsy a few months ago, and then tripped and fell down a rabbit hole of Endless Workweeks and forgot to post about tea for like two months. True story. Now I have clawed my way out of this hole, gasping, covered in mud, and disoriented, and this tea is no longer for sale, but whatever, I’m reviewing it to the best of my ability, even though I can’t look up what’s in it or any of its specs any more.

This tea from Malfoy Tea Emporium’s Goddess Collection was a black tea with cinnamon and pomegranate/berries in it. I’ve had about 4 cups now and this is the final bit of my sample. Let me tell you, I’ve been loving the HECK out of it in my frenzied interim. It’s just the right balance of sweet and tart. It’s sassy. It’s pretty. It tastes like someone snapping their manicured fingers at you to row the canoe across the River Styx a LITTLE faster, please.

It instantly brews up a dark amber that’s very alluring. If this is meant to emulate Aaliyah’s final role as Queen of the Damned, and this is sort of a blood thing, it nailed it. If that wasn’t the intent (I can’t seem to read the Etsy listing any more), well, uh, you failed at getting something else right.

I’m not sure if this is going to come back, but if it does, you should get on board. It’s the catty sorta-chai you’ve been waiting for.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Malfoy Tea Emporium
Description

This tea is currently not available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!