Green Tea Chai by Vahdam Teas

Steeped with a heaping tablespoon of leaves at 175 degrees in about 1 cup of water.

This tea was a new experience for me! I’ve tried lots of flavored green teas, but never one where the green tea was a substitute for black tea in a chai blend. As a result of this tea, I’ve realized how different these spices are outside of a conventional chai context and how much I take the black tea base for granted in chai blends!

As it steeps, I can detect a fragrance of spices; it smells like cinnamon and possibly cloves. The tea liquid isn’t very dark. In fact it’s only achieved a pale honeylike color after it’s finished steeping; it’s a little viscous, with nearly invisible flecks (of cinnamon, perhaps?) swimming in it.

The flavor is very different from any chai I’ve ever tried. The spices, instead of melding with a malty black tea flavor to form a rounded flavor profile, are instead mingling with the bright astringent green tea notes (grassy almost, but not much on the floral side that I can detect). This makes for a very focused flavor overall. It’s highly concentrated in the bright and forward flavor notes and not so much rounded out with the deeper tones that a black tea normally imparts to a chai (in my experience). It’s almost bitter, but then again, I may have oversteeped it a bit–I like my chais strong.

With milk, it’s suddenly not very strong at all. It still has spice flavors, but I’m really missing the black tea base here. And I know you aren’t really “supposed” to put milk in green tea, but that’s what I normally do with chai so I figured why not?

So to sum up, don’t expect this to taste like a more conventional chai! Instead, expect a bright, spicy, focused flavor that’s intended to be enjoyed alone or with a little sweetener; I recommend trying it without milk. In fact, I bet this would make a great iced tea!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Vahdam Teas
Description

A superior blend of fresh green tea from Darjeeling blended with choicest Indian spices like Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove & Black Peppercorns. Discover a smooth fulfilling aroma of fresh greens with delicious undertones of raw spices in every sip. The liquor is bright green with an energizing aroma. A unique chai tea which can be served with or without milk.

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!

Organic Energy Chai from Hampstead Tea. . . .

“Organic Energy Chai” by Hampstead Tea was originally “BIOCHAI” (all caps). The original bag (which I am sampling here) touted the ingredient “biodynamic black tea leaves.”

They’ve since changed their branding to a more delicate branding scheme that involves a white background and no more claims of things being “biodynamic.” Which is sort of a relief, because when I see “BIOCHAI” or “biodynamic,” I ironically don’t think of something being biological at all. I think about things that are biologically enhanced, like a Terminator/Borg situation. Like this tea got taken over by nanobots.

This delicate, sweet tea doesn’t seem like it’s going to “harness your inner energy and bring the diva out in you!” I actually find this to be more soothing than HYPE. It’s just a tasty blend that is helping nudge me into wakefulness on this cloudy Monday.

Speaking of which, I definitely have “a case of the Mondays” today. I went to the gym, but all of my usual companions slept through it, which was lonely. So I watched YouTube videos of people painting while walking slowly on an incline on the treadmill. It was the saddest workout you’ve ever seen.

Which is not to say my workouts are usually zesty, but at least if people I know are there, I half-ass it instead of no-ass it.

This lackadaisical attitude toward fitness means I am the slowest, pant-iest drag on the group’s speed of all time.

This is why I am the group’s Resident Black Tea Drinker. It’s the only thing that will nudge me into the next gear. I’d just rather be drinking tea than hustling.

I’m sure you gals understand.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Hampstead Tea
Description

Chai comes from India where Darjeeling Black Tea is blended with exotic herbs and spices to make luxurious,aromatic drink. Let it harnessIngredients:Black Tea, Ginger, Lemongrass, Peppercorns, Cardamom seeds and Cloves

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Indian Masala Chai from Storehouse Tea. . . .

Indian Masala Chai. I have had a number of them. But Indian Masala Chai from Storehouse Tea is something to put on your most beloved tea shelf! It’s not TOO spicy but the spice seems JUST RIGHT for my palate and perhaps for yours, too! There is a certain amount of SMOOTHNESS that comes along with this one, too! Mysterious but NOT unheard of. It’s ALMOST like it has a HINT of vanilla or cream in there but it doesn’t!

As a matter of fact the ingredients in this loose leaf chai include Fair Trade Organic black tea leaves, Organic green cardamom, and Organic cinnamon, Organic ginger, and Organic clove, Organic whole pod cardamom and Organic Black Pepper.

I’m not sure how they did it but they did! There is that bit of smoothness – or creaminess – that helps round everything out in this chai! It’s a glorious thing, really!

Storehouse Tea says their Indian Masala Chai is a robust and classic full flavored black tea blended with traditional whole Indian Masala spices, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and clove. They also say this tea is bold and stimulating. I would agree!

Finally they say that Masala Chai should be brewed strong and served sweet with milk when hot or pour it over ice as a chilled Chai tea latte. This is where I differ. But that is the beauty of tea. We have choices – differences – preferences – favorites – habits – and ways of doing things that make it our own. I, for one, had this chai straight-up with nothing added and loved it just as much as the next person! I raise my cup to you – Storehouse Teas! Another fantastic offering!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
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. Black teas have shown impressive cholesterol lowering abilities

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Red Chai from Steenberg’s Organics. . ..

I’m always super excited when I find Chai tea that is caffeine free. And when it’s made with rooibos or redbush tea it’s even better. Rooibos tea is so healthy, but drinking it plain isn’t always my favorite. But Chai spices definitely help mask the earthiness of plain rooibos. I brewed this tea and added a little raw sugar and a splash of coconut milk.

It’s a very mellow Chai, not spicy at all. This is the perfect tea for someone who isn’t a huge fan of spice. It’s a very soothing and warming chai, with all of the spices kind of blending together, nothing stands out or is too much.

Since this is caffeine free it’s also perfect to drink anytime of the day. It would be a really tasty after dinner tea.

I like that all of the ingredients including the spices are organic. This chai has redbush tea, cinnamon quills, cardamom pods, cloves, ginger, black pepper and lemongrass. Even though that seems like a lot of spices, as I mentioned it’s very mellow. I could still definitely taste the earthiness of the rooibos tea. So, if you like rooibos and chai, this is definitely the tea for you.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Rooibos
Where to Buy:  Steenberg’s
Description

Steenbergs Organic Redbush Chai Tea combines with a delicious blend of Steenbergs organic spices with organic redbush tea to create our own wonderful organic redbush chai tea. You brew Steenbergs Organic Redbush Chai Tea in the same way as normal chai tea and can add sugar, honey or milk to taste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!