Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: What-Cha Tea
Azores Shade-Grown Orange Pekoe is a unique tea with an equally complex taste; a light and smooth start with a brisk full finish.
Learn more about this tea here.
When I first opened the pouch of this tea, I noticed the aroma. It is a strong scent and is reminiscent of leather. A very masculine scent.
To brew this tea, I put a scoop of the leaves into my small (warmed) teapot and added 12 ounces of boiling water to the teapot and allowed the tea to steep for 3 minutes and then strained the liquid into my favorite tea mug. The color is dark and the fragrance is softer than that of the dry leaf, smelling vaguely of leather, perhaps, but more like sweet fruit – almost like a sweet, sugary date.
My first sip I took as I was looking at the description above that says “a light and smooth start with a brisk full finish.” Yeah, I agree with that. It starts out light with a delicate citrus note but smoother, not quite as astringent as citrus fruit but with the sweetness of an a sweet orange. It is a bright yet smooth note. As the sip progresses, I pick up on more of a sweeter, denser type of fruit. Like a combination of a ripe plum and a ripe peach – all the sweetness of those two fruits but none of the tartness. As I near the finish, I pick up on some of the sweet caramel-y undertones.
This has a bracing flavor that is very rich and rewarding. It’s a bold tasting tea, maybe not quite as invigorating as I would want my first cup of tea for the day to be, but this would be an excellent choice for late morning or mid-day. A great “tea-time” type of tea: perhaps with some scones or shortbread? It has that rich, freshly baked type of flavor that I like: somewhat bready and very satisfying. It would probably take the additions of milk and honey well, but, I rather like it straight up. The flavor is sweet and smooth and additions may just overwhelm the tea. Try this one before you add anything to it.
Another winning tea from What-Cha! I think that’s all they sell there, because I’ve tried a lot of teas from them and haven’t come across anything disappointing yet!
Leaf Type: Green (Matcha)
Where to Buy: Aftelier Perfumed Teas
Our Organic Matcha Chai Tea is grown under diffused sunlight in Nishio, Japan, where the leaves are then ground into a fine vibrant emerald-green powder. I create our exceptionally delicious green Chai tea by flavoring the naturally creamy and sweet ceremonial-grade organic matcha with Aftelier Chef’s Essences: vanilla absolute from Madagascar, organic cinnamon from Vietnam, organic pimento berry from Jamaica, and organic cardamom from India.
Learn more about this tea here.
I was very excited to try this new Organic Matcha Chai Green Tea from Aftelier Perfumed Teas, because I have really enjoyed the perfumed teas that I’ve tried from Aftelier Perfumed Teas in the past and this was a Matcha Chai! YUM!
One thing that stands out to me about this tea is the ingredient list. This is not your “usual” run of the mill chai spices. There are a couple of “usual suspects” here, like the cinnamon and cardamom, and vanilla is another flavoring that is often used in chai blends these days. But pimento berry (aka allspice)? And no ginger or clove?
Not to say that these changes are bad … they’re just different and it’s my job to spot things like that and point them out.
Another thing that is definitely different with this Matcha Chai from some other Matcha Chai blends that I’ve tasted in the past is that this is a VERY high grade of Matcha. This is apparent in the color of the powder, the bright, vivid jade hue of the liquid, and all that frothy foam on the top of my freshly prepared bowl of Matcha!
It’s also apparent in the flavor. I can taste the quality of the Matcha – it is sweet and slightly vegetative, with a delicious buttery tone. It’s so creamy and smooth.
The spices are on the milder side of “chai” – that is to say that this is not a spicy chai … it is warm with cinnamon, cardamom and allspice, but it isn’t peppery or spicy-hot. It’s a very “autumnal” sort of taste … like spiced cider or something (but without the apples). The vanilla adds a luscious creaminess which enhances the natural creamy quality of the Matcha.
The Matcha isn’t grainy on the palate … it’s very smooth and silky. And even though the product description of this tea states that its
It is normal for a bit of the powder to remain in the bottom of your cup…
the Matcha stays incorporated in the water. There was no sediment when I reached the bottom of the bowl. Of course, if I had let it sit for a while, there may have been a different result. But as it is, it was so delicious that I finished the bowl before I could finish typing the review.
This is REALLY good. If you’re a fan of Matcha … this is one to add to your shopping list. Oh … and it’s a lot of fun receiving a package of tea from Aftelier too! Their packaging makes me feel special. It’s like receiving a beautifully wrapped gift rather than getting an order in the mail. Gorgeous packaging for a superb product … this company really delivers!