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60
drank Organic Chai by Tazo
107 tasting notes

Wow, didn’t realize this site would create an “empty” log for me if I even clicked on the log link. Well then.

So this is the second Tazo tea I’ve tried at school after the Darjeeling. I finished off the Yunnan I brought from home this morning (turns out my work travel mug does only a minimalist job at keeping liquids hot…or contained in the mug), and wasn’t in the mood for the flavoured black in my backpack, so I went to Starbucks again. I decided on this one because I’ve always been a fan of chai masala, so I figured this one was an even safer bet than the Darjeeling.

(While I was in line, I noticed that SBUX apparently sells a white Tazo tea. SBUX and white tea, really? What a predictable disaster.)

I have to say, first of all, that this one smells absolutely wonderful. It may be that my nose isn’t especially sophisticated, but it smells like what I know to be chai masala. I can pick out the cinnamon and cloves, the anise, a bit of cardamon if I concentrate…very nice. Warm and comforting.

The taste, initially, left a lot to be desired. The spices were fairly strong but indistinct, and the tea base was far too weak, resulting in that rather distinctive bad-chai “toasted water” taste. Yuck. And on top of that, it was quite astringent (do I detect a pattern with Tazo?) which left me with the overall impression of drinking unbuttered toast dipped in black pepper…not quite as awful as I’ve made it sound, but certainly not very pleasant, either. I had to think that I liked the Darjeeling better!

About half-way though the cup, however, I added a bit more raw sugar, and this somehow transformed it. It seemed to bring out the spices in a more balanced way, and the prominent notes became the cinnamon and cloves rather than pepper and toast. Much nicer, which resulted in my mentally bumping up the rating by 10. I still think the base is too weak, though.

Not bad, certainly drinkable if you have enough sugar on hand. I pretty much no longer take tea with milk, but I can see milk mellowing this one into something very pleasant for a quick cup.

(I will have to fix steep time/temperature later, because Steepster apparently hates my aunt’s laptop touchpad mouse, but it’s probably around 82 degrees…and this time I actually saw when the bag hit the water, so 3 and a half minutes.)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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I’ve always been a tea drinker – I grew up drinking Tetley’s Orange Pekoe and their Chai, and considered myself to really like tea.

I’ve been working various retail jobs to put myself through higher education. One day at my store, a customer left a newly purchased bag of loose-leaf behind. We waited for three days for said customer to return, but they (likely not realizing where they had left their bag) did not return to claim the would-be brew. Too bad for them; lucky for me! I claimed the bag, took it home, and awkwardly made my first cup of loose-leaf tea with the only strainer we owned which was small enough.

I haven’t bothered with Tetley since. For the most part (and due to convenience), my patronage is limited to David’s Tea and Teavana. I also order from 52teas and Verdant Tea.

My rating system – hah, I don’t have a rating system. I rate teas a lot like Ebert rates movies. Everything’s relative.

I may often forget to mention it, but you can safely assume everything I drink is sweetened in one way or another – most rock sugar, or honey for green and white teas. I have not yet achieved drinking most tea clear. The few teas I drink unsweetened include milk oolong and genmaicha so far.

The guy in my avatar can be bought at Teaopia or here: http://www.jas-etea.com/products/Jingdezhen-%22Easy%22-Gaiwan-%22Blue-on-White-Phoenix%22-100ml.html

I currently work for Teavana. But I just work there, and my opinions about any of their teas are entirely my own and not meant to be reflective of the views of the company.

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