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

login-logo_sans-sunDescription

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!

Angry Pumpkin Black Tea from Design a Tea

Angry PumpkinTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Design a Tea

Tea Description:

A nice hardy blend of pumpkin and nutmeg with a black tea base. Served hot, will fill the room with the aroma of a “beautiful pumpkin”. Those were his words- I know, lame! .

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I hate to admit it, but I have a double standard when it comes to tea names. I absolutely hate it when a company will skirt around what type of tea something is, “It’s a deeply shaded fukamushi sencha harvested in the summer, steamed to perfection.” I get it. Just say it’s a gyokuro already! But when it comes to blended and flavored teas, the more ridiculous the better.

That is why I had to try this tea from Design a tea. I have so many questions. Why is this pumpkin angry? What happened in this tea’s life to make it so furious? Will it make me angry when I drink it? There is only one way to find out.

I brewed up 5g in my 12oz teapot for around 4 minutes. The resulting brew was like an autumn hug. Usually pumpkin flavorings fall short for me, but in this tea, the pumpkin was at the forefront of the brew. Luckily, it wasn’t an aggressive pumpkin. It was sweet and complimented the spices and the black tea base.

I suppose you cannot have a pumpkin tea without putting in some pumpkin pie spices. This particular blend highlighted the use of nutmeg. It was a good idea in theory, but the blend also had cinnamon chips. Yes, it is listed as the last ingredient, but the cinnamon tried it’s hardest to overpower the nutmeg. Throughout all this fighting for attention, what I get is a sweet slice of pumpkin pie. For my first fall-themed tea of the year, it definitely gets me pumped up for more. Bring it on!

I still don’t know what makes this pumpkin so angry, and the other flavors are not that aggressive either. The black tea base is mellow, sweet, with notes of sweet potato. This is a tea with a soothing profile, but I think the name Mellow Pumpkin would not sell as well. Thankfully, it did not make me angry to drink it, and I happily gulped down my pot of Angry Pumpkin to celebrate the beginning of October!

Sri Lankan Pumpkin Chai from 52Teas

Sri-Lankan-Pumpkin-Chai-with-nutmegTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

So I’m really enjoying this Pettaiagala Extra Long Leaf OP we got in from Sri Lanka, and I know the pumpkin chai blends go over better in the fall, but I couldn’t help thinking that this would make an awesome pumpkin chai. So we blended it with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, black peppercorns and organic pumpkin and other flavors.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about 52Teas’ subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

When I first saw the announcement for this Sri Lankan Pumpkin Chai from 52Teas I double checked my calendar.  Yep, it’s March.  (Well, it was at the time of this tea’s announcement!)  Pumpkin Chai isn’t exactly a tea that you expect to find in March.  In September, sure.  Maybe even as early as August.  OK.  From August through January, but when February arrives, we’ve pretty much had it up to here with pumpkin.  By that point, we’ve had pumpkin pies, pancakes, cookies, soup, cupcakes and tea.  By February, it’s time to break out the Valentines and extinguish the jack-o-lantern.

So I entered into this tea experience with a certain amount of “meh.”

But I’m really enjoying this chai.  It’s heavy on the nutmeg and I’m liking that.  (Nutmeg is one of my favorite spices.)  Usually when nutmeg is promised as one of the ingredients in a chai, I taste hints of the nutmeg but this is a well pronounced flavor.

I’m also getting a strong dose of cinnamon.  The cardamom is a background note.  The ginger and pepper hit the palate at about mid-sip.  They aren’t overly aggressive, but they do offer a pleasant spicy zing to the cup.  I find myself missing clove here – I think a little clove might help round out the flavors just a little bit better.

Last year (at a more appropriate pumpkin time – September 22) 52Teas offered a Pumpkin Chai that I reviewed in October and I seem to recall that having a nicely defined pumpkin-y flavor to it, but I’m not tasting as much pumpkin with this blend as with the previous chai.  The pumpkin does emerge somewhat as the tea cools a little.

But the lack of clove and pumpkin-y flavor might hide the nutmeg and really, for me, this chai is about the NUTMEG!  I could smell it when I opened the pouch.  Before I smelled the cinnamon or ginger or cardamom or pepper, I smelled nutmeg.  And as I hinted at before, this made me a very happy sipper, indeed.

And because this is the one of the best celebrations of nutmeg in a tea that I’ve had in quite some time, I will let the fact that it’s mid-April and I’m sipping on a pumpkin chai slide.  Just this once.

Maple Apple Cider Herbal from Stash

MapleAppleTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal/Rooibos

Where to Buy: Stash

Tea Description:

This herbal tea combines the sweetness of maple with the tartness of apple for a lively, delicious cup. Fruity hibiscus and rooibos have been blended with sweet cinnamon, maple, apple and caramel flavors for this tasty tea cider. A touch of sugar brings out the flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This had a fancier box than other Stash teas I’ve seen so I’m wondering if, based on the flavour, this was a seasonal/Christmas blend? Upon opening up the box, the wrapper itself has a different design too. There’s definitely something different about this blend!

There’s really no smell to the dry teabag; if I concentrate maybe a little apple. It’s very weak though; I hoped the tea itself has more flavour. Steeped up, I could smell the cider part of the tea quite strongly, but no maple. I really hope I pick the maple up in the taste; it’s what intrigued me about this tea in the first place! It made this something a little bit different. And as a Canadian, I can never really resist anything maple anyway.

Sipping on it now though; and there definitely is more flavour than what the dry leaf led me to believe. It really does taste like apple cider; good apple cider too! Just the right balance of sweet, tart, and spice. And speaking of that spice, there’s obviously cinnamon but the nutmeg in here is a really nice touch too. Nutmeg has really grown on me, I never used to be a fan but now when a tea includes it I get so excited! That’s the first wave of flavour but then it eases a little into the maple; it’s a little raw and unrefined tasting with a sappy quality. I like it! It makes the cup sweet and layered, and I like that this one doesn’t feel completely put together, with the ’T’s crossed and ’I’s dotted. Sometimes a little reliable inconsistency makes a tea good. If that makes any sense at all.

There are also a few other interesting notes here; I’m picking woody-cedar like notes too! Maybe it’s a trick of the mind because of the raw, sappy maple or maybe part of it is from the rooibos – but it’s very enjoyable regardless. Actually, now that I think of it the more I’m sure it’s from the rooibos. I love how natural and earthy this tea tastes though; for once the wood like quality is contributing something that enhances the tea flavourings!

There’s surprisingly a lot going on with this tea bag. Colour me quite impressed!