Tag Archives: Cinnamon

Review: Adagio Rooibos Vanilla Chai

Overall Rating:

Taste: 4.25 of 5 — Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3.5 of 5 — This tea is a bit delicate (this rating was given because this is a loose tea and requires an infuser of some sort)

Abby says:

Temperature: @200 (boiling point)
Steeped: 4 minutes, loose in a teapot
Served: Nothing added

It’s getting to be that time of year again, when I’m switching back to hot tea from the iced tea of the summer. These past few days have been even colder than usual for the season and having hot tea has taken my mind away from thinking about when I’ll turn on the heat! That’s sure to be a few weeks away yet, but I’m a back on the hot tea train for sure. It’s also the time of year when everything turns to pumpkin spice and chai. Our first review of the fall will be no exception. We’re talking about Adagio Rooibos Vanilla Chai today. It’s a blend of rooibos tea, ginger root, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, orange peel and vanilla flavor. Everything you need for fall.

Rooibos isn’t my favorite tea, but I do love chai so I gave it a go. Overall the aroma is nice, but the rooibos adds a sweet scent that I don’t love. Thankfully, for me, the spices in the blend mellow it out quite a bit. Once steeped, the sweetness is completely incorporated into the spice blend and it smells wonderful. The taste is really nice too. Its sweeter than most chai blends, but not overwhelming. The chai spices blend to give you that warm, spicy taste. The only thing missing for me was the vanilla. After each sip I tried to find it and sometimes found hints of vanilla flavor, but not much. That being said, all the ingredients together make for a nice warming cuppa. Give this one a try if you are a chai connoisseur like me, or if you are looking for a tasty, caffeine-free chai.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves  – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 3.5 of 5 — This tea is a bit delicate (this rating was given because this is a loose tea and requires an infuser of some sort) – however I did not find over-steeping to be an issue when I went back for seconds.

Katie says:

Temperature: @200 (boiling point)
Steeped: 4 minutes, loose in a teapot
Served: with milk & honey 

This is one of those rare cases when I like a tea much better than Abby. Usually we agree! I looooved this tea. My suggestion is to brew an entire pot and add honey. Enjoy the first cup hot with milk. Later in the day put your tea over ice with a little almond milk. I think it tasted just like iced chai from a good barista. I find that chai is best with milk and sugar so if you’re not a big fan of sweet drinks this might not be your favorite. However, if you’re looking to brew your own and still get the nice flavor of the cartons of liquid chai give this tea a try. This tea mixes traditional chai spices that are well balanced with vanilla favor for an excellent tea! I usually prefer black to rooibos but in this case I love this “red” tea!

Taste: 5 of 5 a must try!
Steepability: 3.5 of 5 — This tea is a bit delicate (this rating was given because this is a loose tea and requires an infuser of some sort) 

 

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Little Red Cup Tea Co. Tasting at Black Cat Coffee

I was hoping to get the posted yesterday, but life.

Anyway, yesterday Black Cat Coffee on Stevens Ave. in Portland, ME hosted a Little Red Cup tea tasting from 11-1. Luckily I heard about it in time to scoot over there for a few tea samples. The Little Red Cup Tea Co. is a family run tea outfit hailing from Brunswick, Maine. Yay, Maine! They offer fair trade and organic Chinese teas. Sounds pretty great, huh?!

Little Red Cup

Today I  sampled an oolong and a gunpowder green tea. Martin, from Little Red Cup had other samples available as well, but I didn’t get a chance to try them. The oolong steeps to a lovely, rich yellow and was very hearty and flavorful. The gunpowder green was actually quite dark for a green tea, but was also good with grass and nutty flavors. In addition to being available at Black Cat Coffee, these teas can be found at the Portland food Co-Op and at most Rosemont markets.

Before leaving Black Cat, the owner offered some of the other tea available in her shop. She carries teas from Montana Tea and Spice and had three herbal blends for me to try:

Evening in Missoula – a blend of chamomile, lemongrass and other flowers and spices. Typically, I’m not a fan of chamomile, but I found this tea to be quite good and the complexity of it was interesting.

Montana Gold – roobios, cinnamon, orange and clove. A perfect tea for the season. The cinnamon is warming and spicy and the sweet roobios flavor is kept in check by the clove.

Purple Mountain Majesty – floral! This tea taste like drinking a cup of flowers. It would make a nice spring tea and would work well iced. It was a little too much for me, but I still enjoyed trying it.

Montana Tea and Spice

Overall, it was a great Sunday afternoon teatime. I’m already looking forward to trying some other teas from Little Red Cup and can see myself stopping in to Black Cat Coffee for more Montana Tea and Spice teas! If you are looking for tea in Deering, head on over and check it out!

Review: Stash Maple Apple Cider Herbal Tea

Stash Tea was kind enough to send us samples of their new holiday teas for us to review.* Thank you!

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Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.25 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: Left teabag in the cup
Served: Nothing added at first, then a little honey

Stash has a new line of herbal/caffeine free teas for fall. Now that its October all I want to drink are warm comforting teas. Maple Apple Cider herbal tea hits the mark there. The name is a bit confusing because although you get the sense of apple cider, this tea isn’t apple cider. For me, it seems more like apple herbal tea. That being said, I like it. Because I left the teabag in my cup to get the most flavor from the tea, the fruit notes became a little bitter. However, adding a little honey balanced the apple flavor and helped to bring out more of the sweetness and spices.

Because it is caffeine-free this can be anytime tea. I love having an option for chilly nights here in Maine. I think this tea would work well for most people. Roobios has a very distinct flavor that not everyone loves, but in this tea it is more complimentary with the other flavors and doesn’t stand out too much.

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves — this tea is easy to make!

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Katie says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: Left teabag in the cup
Served: Nothing added

Maple flavored tea is a popular item in parts of Canada and New England. In sugar shack gift shops it can often be found as a souvenir. The mention of this tea makes me think or growing up in New Hampshire and eating breakfasts at Parker’s Maple Barn in Mason, NH. Pancakes, french toast & waffles…oh my! 🙂

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Maple tea comes in caffeinated and herbal. Stash’s version has an added twist with apple flavor and hints is cider spice. The strongest flavor in this tea is apple, followed by maple, with a spice finish. The apple and maple flavors work well with the rooibos tea base making this a tasty tea. It is perfect for fall; especially after a visit to a maple sugar house or a trip apple picking. If you want to taste fall in New England just have a sip!

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

*Please note that we are just as critical of free teas as the ones we purchase. If we get a sample we don’t like we won’t include it on our blog.