84 Tasting Notes
For my birthday this year, I got a lot of tea (and that made me happy). Since this was on sale, it was part of my tea haul. I somehow didn’t see the green tea in the ingredient list, so I thought it was herbal… and honestly, I didn’t notice the green tea in there, so I’m still thinking it’s herbal. Honestly, it’s like an unbalanced spice chai without the black tea. Since I’m more or less used to Yogi Tea’s chai blends, the spearmint and licorice weren’t surprising and I actually enjoyed the mild sweetness that developed toward the end of the cup. I’ll probably use this as a medicinal tea or for after work, but I probably won’t be buying another box.
Flavors: Peppercorn, Spearmint, Spices, Sweet
I took my sister to the largest city in the area, and while waiting I checked out the World Market there and got this tea and some Meiji Chocorooms. …There was quite a selection of tea at WM, but my masala brain was already fried from all the CSR questions that were already flying around by the time I opened the door to the place, so I went with whatever had the most lucid of packaging.
Honestly, I’m glad I did. This is a strong, robust tea with a good flavor. I appreciate the single source (Kenya, and my masala brain would also have a problem with the plantation CSR, but Williamson is affiliated with Rainforest Alliance, so something good’s happening) and the 7p charity donation.
This really is the kind of tea that’s good for cold mornings — I have had better breakfast assams, but the balance here is perfect for autumn and winter. I think it would go great to steep with a stick of cinnamon, even. Of course, I drink it with milk, which only makes it better.
…And it was really nice to drink while eating those chocorooms…
My desi neighbor went to India early this month and came back with a box of Newby Masala Chai (and some very Indian-style tomato pickle) for our family. …I guess we always give them tea as gifts (specifically Tazo Organic Chai), so he’s reciprocating.
The 50g box has individual foil-wrapped tea bags. Really, they’re lovely — gold and shiny with a really cute elephant/shield motif. The tea, however, is pretty weak for a desi spice tea. Even leaving the bag in for the duration of drinking doesn’t make it strong enough — neither the assam base nor the spices (cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, clove, ginger, anise) have much taste.
So perhaps I’d suggest this for folks who aren’t used to spices, but it will be way too light for desi palates. It’s ok, just not satisfying.
Summer tends to be my least favorite season because I have a tendency to sporadically get migraines starting in late May and lasting through the early part of September. I suspect a few reasons (pesticides, heat, staring at computer screens for too long, Idahoans, etc.), but it usually hits the hardest early in June and in the middle of August.
…That is, right now. This year has been really weird, too. I’ve had the normal full-on migraines, but I’ve also had random difficulty speaking, partial loss of sight (?!) that gradually went away, loss of sensation, and all sorts of symptoms that haven’t happened on their own before, including a lingering nausea.
I’m just going to blame the university students coming back to town until I can find a decent clinic (that usually requires a 2+ hour drive), but I’m drinking this tea for now. It’s pretty good for my nausea, especially at night and at work, but it’s also great as an add-in for green tea since it’s 100% peppermint. If I can survive the annual undergrad migration and make it to Walmart, I’ll probably pick up another box of this simply because it’s so easy to make on bad days.
I had a hard time finding this one because I kept thinking it was “Tower of Heaven” ….because I’m obviously a sucker for pixels and chiptune (honestly, though, I can’t get through the first panel of that game, I’m so bad at it).
I think I need to get myself used to gunpowders, because all of the ones I’ve tried haven’t been quite what I was expecting. I got this at the local Asian market (hahaha not going there anymore because the owner’s wife always pressures me to get married to my weird colleagues that she knows and now I’m scared that she’ll actually try to set me up), which has a really nice collection of East Asian teas. However, besides Numi’s gunpowder, I can’t seem to find any others in town…
Right out of the box, the dry smell reminds me of a county fair in Idaho. I mean, the whole bit — cows and hay and horses and alfalfa and goats and Idahoans. It’s a bit off-putting, I concede, but it’s also kind of nostalgic. Once brewed, it’s strong and spinachy — and while I don’t mind the spinach, I think I may be brewing it a bit too strong. It looks like the other reviews suggest fewer leaves per cup, so I’m going to try that and see how it goes.
It looks like a lot of other people have the same story with this tea — bought at some kind of all-natural/local/organic/“hippie” store, smells like an Irish Breakfast, but isn’t strong enough. Huh.
I got mine at the local co-op in bulk — I was only going to get an ounce or two, but the canisters they use for bulk teas are the kind where you pull a lever and the tea spills out… so I got a lot.
This really isn’t a breakfast tea. It’s more like an after-work tea. I think this would be a good base for delicate blends with something like rose buds. I’ll probably finish what I have but not get more.
So I remembered that the folks who recommended this tea to me actually said it’s supposedly great as a sun tea. Eh. As much as I love solar power, I don’t have a vessel in which to make sun tea. I tried this tea again as a cold brew iced tea, and I like it more than as a hot tea. The citrus was really evident, and the black base was refreshing. The supermarket at which I bought this tea has Stash in bulk ($0.10/bag), so I may be getting more (it’s in the pasta/cereal aisle — it’s like the store knows my weaknesses). I wouldn’t go out of my way to always stock it, but it’s good every now and then.
This tea is wonderful for mornings when you’re cranky and haven’t gotten enough sleep and happen to be behind on your wordcount for Camp NaNoWriMo.
To be honest, I’m a bit biased, since I love Choice and black teas, but this tea does have a strong, rich flavor that’s really great for when you’re on your feet but not awake. I like to drink my blacks with milk, and this pairs wonderfully with a bit of milkfat (I do 2%, but whole would be even better).
And, you know, Choice’s bags are 100% compostable and the covers are 100% recyclable. …I know, I’m sounding like a hippie, but sometimes you have to celebrate the little things. Good tea + good packaging = love.