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We stopped at Starbucks today to get breakfast before the kids’ Kung Fu classes so I decided to try one of these. I got mine with nonfat milk.

I haven’t had chai in what seems like forever and I forgot how enjoyable it can be. This went surprisingly well with my spinach wrap, and after I’d eaten I continued sipping on this contentedly.

I’d only ever had the regular Starbucks chai before, not the chocolate. The chocolate is quite nice. The spices still come through nicely. I got mostly cardamom and some cinnamon, some clove and ginger, not much pepper all, and no anise. That was all fine with me as it’s the cardamom that I really love the most. I wouldn’t have liked this if it had been heavy on the anise. Licorice is a really tricky flavor for me and it has to hit me just right. Most of the time it doesn’t.

If I don’t get coffee at Starbucks next time, I’ll be getting this. I’m also now primed to break out my own chai stash and start cooking.

But this gets extra points because I didn’t have to slave over a hot stove. ;-)

Helena

I buy the concentrate from Costco for the price of one latte I get three containers and make a heck of a lot more :D I like making it iced in the summer.

__Morgana__

Awesome, Helen. Iced sounds like something to try, too.

sherapop

Helena and Morgana: they are selling cartons of this for half price at their website…

__Morgana__

Thanks, Sherapop—that’s good to know. I have so much chai ATM that I can’t possibly justify buying more. LOL.

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Helena

I buy the concentrate from Costco for the price of one latte I get three containers and make a heck of a lot more :D I like making it iced in the summer.

__Morgana__

Awesome, Helen. Iced sounds like something to try, too.

sherapop

Helena and Morgana: they are selling cartons of this for half price at their website…

__Morgana__

Thanks, Sherapop—that’s good to know. I have so much chai ATM that I can’t possibly justify buying more. LOL.

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Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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