307 Tasting Notes
My mom likes drinking her chai clear.
Now, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with that (there isn’t) or that everyone should drink tea the way that I do (tastes are tricky, and chai purists would probably kill me). However, I tend to find that most chairs just aren’t right without milk and sugar.
Admittedly, I don’t make chai properly according to traditional rules. I preference is to brew in water and then add milk and sugar as with other teas, rather than making it as a proper milk tea.
In deference to my mom, I had this clear first. It seems nicely steeped, but the spices (cinnamon seems to be the predominant one I taste) were just begging for the sweetness and creaminess that milk and sugar would offer. Indeed, with a splash of milk and a scant teaspoon of brown sugar, the tea came into its own, adding the right richness and fullness to enhance the tea.
I’m not saying that it’s an absolutely perfect blend, but I do enjoy this tea from first scent (strong, you could almost get high off of it) to last sip.
This tea has a very mild taste. I was almost surprised by how mild it is. The fruit lends the tea a sweetness (with the pineapple hint most predominant), with the oolong flavour just barely there underneath. Quite honestly, I think this tea masters the art of being a “sweet nothing”.
That being said, I think I’ll make this in a pot next time. I did it in a teabag as a single serving, but I feel almost as if I’m doing the leaves a disservice, since they are whole and could do with the room to expand. The boiling water and ice cube method, however, seems to have done well by this tea, and I will use that again.
EDIT: I just had a second, longer steep with the same teabag I made earlier. YUM.
Perhaps it was just that 5 minutes was a bit too much of a steep for the tea, or else it’s the tea itself, but on its own I found it to be a little too astringent and plenty. That being said, it’s /Irish Cream/ based, and so of course it’s better with an additive or two. With milk, you get a nice sweet creaminess which while not tasting exactly like its namesake, gives a good feel reminiscent of such.
And then I tried adding the real thing. Let’s just say, Irish Creme goes well with Irish Cream. (though I do think that the taste of the liqueur may overpower the tea’s taste.)
Okay. I have to admit, on its own, this tea reminds me of dishwater. Its scent and taste reminds me of the scent of dish detergent. Which… isn’t something I particularly want to say about tea. Adding milk and honey helps, but I still can’t find it within me to recommend this tea, as I would some of the others in the Wonderland Tea brand.
I was in the mood for a chocolate tea. I knew what I wanted… and couldn’t find it. Then I remembered that I had a little sample of this one lying around, remembered the times I had shared with my canister full of it, and decided why not, let’s go for it.
I’m having it clear, which is unusual for me and anything labeled as chai, though in this case it seems like a good choice. The chocolate flavour is pleasant, not as strong as in some teas or beverages I could name, but the primary note nonetheless, and is partnered with a richness from the chili and tea. Although not spicy hot, there is a sensation that hits your mouth in a wave, letting you know that the chills are definitely there. I quite enjoy it.
I can’t say that I’m getting this tea. I mean, it’s alright? And I get the ginger and sweetness, but somehow the combination reminds me as much of a carrot as it does of gingerbread cookies, and I’m not sure if that’s quite what it’s going for. Adding milk helps a little, but overall I’m afraid that this simply isn’t a brew for me. Oh well.
The dry tea smells AMAZING. The cranberries lend their unique scent to create a strong, pleasant aroma that made me smile even as I was just opening the package.
That being said, I’m not sure I quite did this tea justice. Having no instructions to go off of, I defaulted to a heaping teaspoon in my two cupper with boiling water for five minutes. Unfortunately, the result seems oversteeped. The cranberries come through decently, but are still somewhat overpowered by the bitter tea, which is a shame. With milk added, the bitterness mainly goes away, leaving the cranberry taste. Overall good, but not as amazing as the scent.
Tart, dry and fruity; this tea leaves a very strong example of a fruit tea.
Some people might find it too strong, especially if it’s been left to steep longer than recommended (I’m on my second cup from the same steep right now), but I find it quite rich and enjoyable. It would go very well paired with something sweet or savoury, so long as it wasn’t too tart or sour as well.
A nice, almost mature taste, and not quite what I normally expect from a fruit tea, but excellent for it.
I was surprised by the very short steep recommended for this tea. I’m starting to think that the tea makers at TeaHaus prefer rather short steeps, however. As a result, the taste is rather mild, though the vanilla (combined with the obligatory orange peel and cloves) makes for a mild base to begin with, regardless of steep time. (My mind goes to Glitter and Gold for an example of such.)
A longer steep makes it a little bitter, but not too much so — the mild, creamy flavour still predominant. I’m starting to think that the tea would be all the better for a bit of cinnamon, though it’s quite decent on its own.
In all, not bad. Not the greatest of the orange Christmas teas, but certainly a decent one nonetheless, especially if one is after a milder version of the flavour.