Tag Archives: chai

Review: Adagio #HarryPotter Fandom Polyjuice Tea by Robert Pirlot

Abby’s Thoughts…

Tea type: Loose left
Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

You wont get it from the name, so I’ll break it to you right away – this is a chai blend! I LOVE chai! I also LOVE all things Harry Potter! Soooo, yeah, I’m in love. This tea comes from the Adagio Harry Potter fandom sampler set I got from my husband awhile ago. The little tins the teas came in are just the cutest things.  With all this hype the tea better be good, right?

Don’t worry kids! It takes great! It isn’t strong and spicy like a typical chai tea, but it has plenty of flavor. The Polyjuice tea is a blend of black tea, rooibos tea, cinnamon, ginger root, cardamom, coconut, lemongrass, orange peel, cocoa nibs and vanilla. That’s a lot of stuff – just like the arduous potion in the Harry Potter books for which it’s named. This tea blends together for a light and sweet flavorful tea. Its fun to drink because all the different flavors shine in their own way. I love the addition of coconut and cocoa to the more traditional chai ingredients.

So give this brew a try if you love Harry Potter, if you love trying never versions of chai teas, and if you love the flavor of vanilla and coconut in tour tea!

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Tea & Macarons 

 Katie says:

Abby & I sampled the fine tea & macarons at Portland Patisserie. I liked that this chai wasn’t overly syrupy — like it often can be! I would, however, have liked to have tried it a bit stronger. Nevertheless this had a nice taste and was perfect to accompany these beautiful macarons! I don’t always instagram my dessert, but in this case it was to pretty to not post!

Abby says:

Holy macaron! So beautiful and colorful. Just the right pick-me-up on a cold winter day! The coffee flavored one was my fav. It had just right amount of coffee bitterness to balance the sweet. Loved how well the brittle crumbly outside matched the filling. My thoughts on the chai latte were mixed. The overall impression was that it was too weak. I needed more chai flavor, less milk. But it was blended well and was nice and frothy ! I would certainly try another one, but I think I would ask for just a bit less milk.

Review: Tazo Chai Organic

Tazo Chai Organic

 

Abby says:

Tea type: Bagged
Temperature: @212 (boiling point)
Steeped: 3-4 minutes, then left in mug for the second steep
Served: Nothing added

Organic tea! Hooray! As the battle of the GMO’s  continues on, it is becoming more and more important that we, as consumers, take it upon ourselves to be aware of what we choose to buy and put in out bodies. This is one of the reasons I like this tea so much: Tazo is available all over the place, making it easier to choose organic on the go. Tazo chai organic is a blend of black tea, cardamom, black pepper, ginger and cinnamon, similar to traditional chai tea blends. I like the spice level a lot. Unlike most chai that you find here it the States, you can actually taste the spice flavors in this tea! Yum. The only reason I didn’t give this tea a higher rating is that I wish it have even more spice. A girl can hope…

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

 

Review: Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai Green

Zhena's Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai Green

 

Abby says:

Tea Type:
Temperature: @ 195 (below boiling)
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Here’s a twist on one of our favorite bagged teas! You may remember that we have reviewed and even hosted a giveaway for Zhena’s Coconut Chai (black tea). We love that tea for its bold flavors and interesting blend of coconut and chai flavors. Well, now there’s even more to talk about in this version. It’s green tea folks! Green tea with chai spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves) and coconut flavors. Switching from black tea to green tea means the flavor is lightened up a lot and the coconut is able to shine. It also mean less caffeine and more other good stuff that people are always spouting off about: antioxidants, anti-aging, super food etc, etc.

Though certainly a non-traditional chai, this tea still tastes really good! I didn’t taste much of the chai flavors, but the coconut flavor is pretty strong. If you like the taste of coconut, you’ll like this tea. If you are looking for a chai tea, you many want to try the black tea version. Personally, I think coconut is the bee’s knees, so I loved this tea. It is really easy to drink because the slight sweetness from the coconut blends with the grassy green tea and is more forgiving if the tea is over-steeped.

Other good news about this tea is that it is both USDA certified organic AND fair trade! You have to love that, a tea that tastes good and feels good to drink!

Zhena's Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai Green

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 tea leaves – this tea requires very little effort.

*Pro tip: This also makes a great iced tea!

 

Review: Golden Tips India’s Original Masala Chai and Okayti Silver Needle (White Tea) Darjeeling

Please note that while we were sent free samples of this tea to review we are just as critical of free tea. If we receive something we don’t like we give an honest review or skip it all together!

Golden Tips India’s Original Masala Chai Overall rating: 

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves: Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added, then as a latte

Chai is one of my favorites. I just love spicy and warming it is. I like to drink it black with nothing added (unusual, I know) and of course, I love a good chai latte. Because of my chai love affair, I was especially excited to try this tea. We reviewed another Golden Tips tea recently and really liked it. This gave me high hopes for their chai.

This tea smells amazing while it steeps. It gives off a spicy and inviting aroma that fills the room with the ginger and clover really standing out. The taste is just how you imagine, strong tea black tea flavors mixed with bold spices. For me it tasted great without anything added, but for fun I decided to make a latte for my second cup. Using frothed skim milk and a touch of honey, the chai latte was just as good. The milk toned down the spices somewhat, but it was still very flavorful. I would certainly recommend this chai to any chai-lover such as myself.

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves: Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: With milk & honey

Real chai has a very different texture than other loose leaf teas with tiny little bits of tea and cardamom pods. As soon as I opened this tea I could tell it was the real deal. This is a delicious and authentic chai. In India it is poured back and fourth or from a kettle hight up to a cup on the ground to create a nice frothy drink. I love most black teas with cream and sugar but chai is extra delicious this way. If you like a traditional chai I highly recommend this one!

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves: Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 4 of 5 — this tea requires very little effort.

 

 

Golden Tips Okayti Silver Needle Darjeeling White Tea Overall rating: 

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3.5 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 175-180 below boiling
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Maybe it’s all the snow we have piling up around here, but I have a serious thing for white tea right now. I’ve always loved white tea, but it has become my go-to style these days. This means that I was super pumped when Golden Tips sent us a white tea for review. I’ve never tried a white tea darjeeling tea before. In fact, I’m not sure I knew it was really a thing. It is!

This tea is beautiful with long thin green leaves and it steeps to a pretty light yellow. It has a light floral and slightly grassy flavor that makes it very easy to drink. It tastes great on its own and because it’s mild it will also pairs well with many foods. I first had this tea in the morning with a breakfast of chocolate-chip zucchini bread (recipe to come shortly) and I thought it was a perfect match for a cold winter morning. White tea is lower in caffeine, so give this tea a try if you are caffeine sensitive or if you a looking for a nice light tea to drink anytime of day. Be careful not to steep it for too long! Like green tea, white tea can become bitter quickly if steeped for too long.

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 175-180 below boiling
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: with honey

Some white teas are so light in flavor that they have almost no flavor at all. That isn’t the case with this white tea. I really love the rich floral notes in this tea! The only difficult part for me is that it is so easy to over steep both from leaving the leaves in the cup too long or from a temperature that is too hot. Be careful with this delicate tea and it will be well worth the trouble!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Chai Spice Creme Brulee at Fuel Restaurant

Chai Spice Creme Brulee

For my birthday a couple of weeks ago my husband took me out to dinner at Fuel in Lewiston, Maine. It was our first time there, but we had been hearing great things about this spot for a while now. Our dinner was amazing from the start, but what really got me was the dessert! Chai spice creme brulee served with a snickerdoodle cookie. I love chai spices. I love creme brulee. I love snickerdoodle cookies. Obviously I was excited to try this dish.

Believe it or not, it was better than I anticipated. The top was perfectly crunchy and needed a good smack from the spoon to crack. Oh, how I love to do that! Under the sugar was a perfectly decadent creamy and spice custard. Every bite was incredible. Even the snickerdoodle cookie was wonderfully snickerdoodly!

Fuel Dessert Menu

If you find yourself in the area of Lewiston, Maine, do yourself the favor of checking out Fuel. You will love it! In addition to the beautiful dessert we also had the fondue for two and the coq au vin. Both dishes were delicious, and over the top. The fondue was creamy, salty, garlicy and fun!  The coq au vin was rich and savory, with wonderful complex flavors of chicken, wine, butter, mushrooms and bacon.  Hungry yet?!  I can’t wait to get back to Fuel for another meal (and dessert) and hope you make it there soon.

Review: David’s Tea Chocolate Chili Chai

David's Chocolate Chili Chai

Overall Rating:

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: Nothing added to start, then skim milk

Looking for something a little … different? Check this out.  A combination of black chai tea, chocolate, chilies and red peppercorns, this tea is unique. In my first few sips I could taste the sweet and spicy right away, the two flavors balancing each other. Chocolate teas can easily get too sweet, and chilies in tea I worry about it burning my face off, but this teas did neither of these things. At first you get the dry black tea and mild chai flavors with hints of cocoa, then right at the end you get a hint of spice.

To get a more “hot chocolate” taste and feel, as promoted by David’s tea, I added milk. This did make it somewhat creamy which I liked, but it muted the spice from the chili. For me this tea was more interesting without the milk added and for my next cup I will drink it black. It you are looking for a hot chocolate experience try a cream tea or just have some hot chocolate, but if you are looking for a tasty tea with hints of chocolate and spice give this one a try.

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

David's Chocolate Chili Chai

Katie says:

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 6 minutes (this tea is OK to just leave in the cup)
Served: milk & honey

This tea is really different and very yummy. I find that chocolate teas can be very hit or miss. This is a hit! You can actually see little chocolate chips in the loose tea. The real chocolate gives this tea a much nicer flavor than teas that use fake chocolate flavoring. With milk & honey this tastes like tea with a splash of cocoa — very yummy! It’s kind of like a lower calorie mocha but with tea instead of coffee. To up the cocoa flavor I highly recommend adding a few more chocolate chips or chocolate shavings. This is a tasty treats for when you’re craving sweet & chocolate.

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Review: David’s Tea Chai Guarana

 Screen shot 2014-08-24 at 11.39.02 AM

Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.75 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: Nothing added to start

I first tried this tea on a Monday morning after a very busy weekend. Needless to say, I was looking for a pick-me-up and was hoping David’s tea Chai Guarana would do it. Guarana, a berry from South America contains one of the highest concentrations of caffeine of any plant. If that’s not a pick-me-up, I don’t know what is.  And don’t say “five-hour energy”, gross. Anyway, looking at the tea – it was very pretty as most chai teas are and the little berries made it even prettier. The Chai Guarana smelled great too, both and after steeping, like a good chai should, strong and spicy.

The first thing I noticed after a few sips was the cinnamon. I tasted a lot of cinnamon, but in really good way. It was spicy, but didn’t have any of the fake/candy cinnamon flavor that tea sometimes has. It tasted like real, delicious, cinnamon. The other spices like ginger and anise blended to give the hallmark chai flavor. However, the taste of the tea was not lost. There is a distinct earthiness present from the tea and maybe the guarana (not sure what that tastes like on its own). There is also a defined astringent mouth feel that often comes with strong black tea. As far as the caffeine hit, yeah, this is a strong tea. After one cup I felt like I had at least two! If you are looking for a strong tasty chai tea, give this one a try!

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

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Katie says:

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: tired with cream and sugar but liked it with just a touch of sugar best

Check out all of those big chunks of cinnamon after steeping! (see above) This is a strong tea with lots of cinnamon-flavor. What the heck is Guarana? David’s tea tells us: “Guarana is a highly stimulating tropical berry, making for a delicious way to wake up and get energized.” And they are right. Wow, this tea has some real ZIP! I really enjoyed that it’s strong, and had nice tea flavor, but for me there was a little too much cinnamon and less other spices for this to be a chai. I love traditional chai with milk and honey, but this tea is really nice with just a little sugar. So i like this tea, I just wish it was called “cinnamon guarana” instead of chai. If I didn’t feel like the name was a bit misleading I’d give it an even higher ranking.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Review: Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai Tea

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Overall Rating:

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bottled
Temperature:  Cold/iced
Steeped: N/A
Served: Over ice, then in a smoothie

Iced chai tea is a must for the summer, right? Who doesn’t love that creamy, spicy flavor? I can’t get enough of it when it is hot out.  However, I can’t be bothered with making it from scratch. For me summer is go, go, go – so I need something quick to take with me.  This typically means stopping at the coffee shop to my iced chai.  That is, until now. Because with Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai I can keep ready-made, pre-mixed chai in my fridge.  I can just grab some ice for my to-go cup, dump in the chai and off I go!

All sounds good, right? It tastes good too! The spice level is certainly mild and I wish it had more of a kick.  Maybe that’s because it has green tea instead of black? The hint of vanilla is nice though. I found this premix to be very creamy, which was somewhat surprising because it has soy milk instead of dairy milk. Overall it has good flavor and is quite satisfying over ice.

But, wait – I didn’t stop there! It turns out that this cold chai makes a great substitute for almond milk in my morning smoothies!  Recently I made a super tasty strawberry and blackberry smoothie using Bolthouse Farms instead of my usual almond milk.  I found that it worked well! I blended a cup of ice, just over a cup of strawberries, a cup of blackberries and 3/4 cup of the Vanilla Chai. It came out creamy a delicious. The chai flavor was lost in the bright fruit flavors, but that’s OK, my smoothie tastes like fresh strawberries and blackberries in cream! No one is complaining about that – it was very good. For smoothies to compare it to the unsweetened almond milk: the Bolthouse Vanilla chai has more calories, fat and sugar and protein.  So, of course, it depends on what you are looking for, but it worked well for me.

 

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

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Katie says:

Tea Type: Bottled
Temperature:  Cold/iced
Steeped: N/A
Served: straight from the bottle then1/2 boathouse and 1/2 black tea

Bolthouse Chai is a tasty bottled drink. I liked it but I thought it was more of a chai flavored soy milk than a tea. I mixed the boithouse 1/2 and 1/2 with a chilled strong black tea and it was delicious! I really preferred it this way, and mixed thought it made a delicious iced chai! I give the bolthouse drink as is a 3 of 5 but if there was more tea and less milk in the bottle I’d rate it even higher. I do recommend buying this to mix with your own iced tea. The chai spices are great!

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Review: Tega Masala Chai Roobios

Overall Rating:

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves – This tea is easy to make.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: Boiling
Steeped: Left in mug
Served: Nothing added, then with unsweetened almond milk

I’m always looking for a good decaf tea. Caffeine takes its tole on me if I drink it too late in the day or evening, but I often want a cup of tea at the end of the day. Typically roobios isn’t my favorite decaf option, but in this case, the Tega roobios blends well with the chai spices. For a chai, the spice level is mild  – I also like this for an evening tea. The addition of almond milk helped to make this tea creamy and relaxing.  The toasty almond flavor paired well with the spicy cinnamon and cardamom in the tea. As Katie, points out below, this tea was initially appealing because it is certified organic and fair trade! We love that and it tastes good too!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves – This tea is easy to make.

Katie says:

Tea Type: bagged
Temperature: boiling
Steeped: left in cup
Served: milk & honey

This is a great tea for when you’re craving the taste of chai but want to skip the caffeine. The chai spices are very present but not overwhelming. My favorite way to have tea is with milk & honey and this was delicious served this way! This tea is also Fair trade and organic, double win! Good tea that is also good for the earth? How can you not love that?

Fun fact: Tega is a 10 year old family owned company. All of their teas are fair trade and most are organic too.

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves. Quite a good cuppa.
Steepability: 5 of 5 This tea is easy to make.