Chinese Five Spice from 52Teas. . . . .

I love spicy teas, so when I saw that 52Teas has a special spiced blend for the Chinese New year, I had to try it.  Chinese Five Spice from 52Teas is one of my favorite chai blends I’ve tried in a while. In the dry leaf, you can smell the Szechwan peppercorns, adding a little heat and a little tingly, earthy ground pepper scent.

The peppercorns are well-balanced with the sweeter spices like anise and ginger.  The orange peels are specifically mandarin oranges, and there’s something distinct in the citrus flavor that makes it feel different than the usual orange notes. Finally, there are also plenty of cloves that add their own sweet-spice, almost making the dry tea leaves have a fragrance like Dr. Pepper or Moxie soda.

Brewed, the black tea really shines and shows off its quality, tippy tea leaf origins.  Somehow both smooth and tart, it makes the pepper and orange pop on my tongue but without any spicy after-burn on my throat.  There is still a very full-flavored scent in my mug with cloves and ginger, but it’s not sweat-inducing spicy in taste, very drinkable.  No honey or milk needed (though you can always add them if you love it), the blend is well-balanced right out of the bag.

I ordered the sample size but I’ve already finished it, so I’ll have to put the full size bag in my shopping cart soon.  This is a tasty, unique chai for spicy tea lovers everywhere.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description:

Since China is a very important part of what I do (since most of my tea comes from China!), I decided it was important to do something to celebrate the ringing in of the Chinese New Year this year (The Year of the Dog)! I started with two black Yunnan teas – a Yunnan Black Gold and a tippy Assamica grown in the Yunnan Province – and added dried mandarin wedges and the whole spices of a Chinese 5 Spice blend: Cinnamon, Cloves, Star Anise, Fennel and Szechwan peppercorns. Then I added just a wee bit of ginger to enhance the peppery notes just a little. The result is a cuppa that is a little bit sweet, a little bit savory and a little bit spicy! It’s a really nice, round flavor! The mandarin orange flavor is bright and adds a nice touch to the spices here. It’s kind of like an orange flavored chai – Chinese style! I’m really happy with how this one came out – the spices are strong enough to be inviting but don’t blow out the taste buds with the spice – and the mandarin is really lovely: sweet and juicy!

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!

Cocoa Chili Pumpkin from Tiesta Tea. . .

 

Tis the season for all things pumpkin and spooky.  I love this time of year.  Being a huge fan of the horror genre, I love stealing away any time I can and enjoying a scary flick or indulging myself in the latest spooky book.   And honestly, the best partner to any scary book or movie is a marvelously brewed tea possibly turned into a latte.

Cocoa Chili Pumpkin has been my go to pumpkin tea for the last couple of weeks. I can’t get enough of this tea.  Typically I stay away from black flavored spicy teas.  In my experience, the spices tend to burn your taste buds or the flavors are just incredibly muddy. Not with this tea.

 

Being one that isn’t a huge chocolate fan but a HUGE pumpkin fan, I wondered how I would feel abbot this combo and I have to say, it is delightful! Each sip starts off with this lush smooth pumpkin dark chocolate combo that mingles with the malty tone set by the black tea base.  Here and there you pick up a bit of heat that does just that.  Brings some heat that truly elevates the tea to a different level. The spices are blended perfectly and are not overdone by any stretch.

What draws me to this tea the most is the combination of sweet and spicy flavors.  I’ve never been one that has been drawn to spicy teas in the past, but I just can’t get enough of this particular tea. I’m not sure if its the pumpkin dark chocolate combo that I can’t get enough of or if it is the heat this tea brigs.  Either way, I’m going to need more of this tea soon.  My bag is about gone and we still have a few more weeks until winter is officially here.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tiesta Tea
Description

 

Ingredients: black tea + chocolate chunks + ginger + cinnamon + pumpkin cubes + natural flavors + cloves + chili peppers + cardamom + pink peppercorns + marigold petals (CONTAINS MILK)

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sweet & Spicy Tea & Herb Blend from Good Earth. . . .

This particular tea seems like one that just comes standard in all tea collections. Right there nestled up next to a standard English Breakfast, Chamomile, and Constant Comment is a bag of this classic blend, just awaiting someone looking for the perfect quick cuppa.

I’ll admit– I’m one of those tea people. I picked this lone bag up from who knows where (a dental office, maybe? A yoga studio? The Narnia-esque back recesses of my tea cabinet?), and it’s been sitting in my office stash of loose tea bags for quick brewing for about a year now. Oops.

The packaging looks older, which, upon doing some internet research, makes me believe that this has likely been sitting in *someone’s* stash for a while even long before mine– I recognize the new packaging from my local supermarket and Target aisles, meaning it’s been changed for at least a few years, now. So while my cup may have not been the freshest it could’ve been, I’m pleasantly surprised for a tea that I’ve just kinda ignored for a few years.

It claims to be a black tea, with a whole plethora of interesting ingredients– including, but not limited to: rose, cinnamon, chamomile, lemongrass, papaya, peppermint, jasmine, a whole host of herbs and oils… the list goes on and on. Really, what I taste the most is cinnamon. The black tea is super light, almost golden in color. It has the hint of natural sweetness that usually comes with cinnamon and licorice flavors, requiring no added sweet to the cup. Overall, I’m a fan, ish. I’m not going to likely reach for this one above many of my favorites (especially my loose leaf), but it’s nice to have on hand in your office stash for a rainy Wednesday. I’d pick it up at the dentist. Or the yoga studio. I’m sure another one of these is going to show up in my cabinet via tea-Narnia again sometime, and I’ll drink it happily.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Good Earth
Description

With sweet bursts of orange that playfully mingle with spices, these signature teas are sure to satisfy and delight.

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!