So sometimes I do things that make me wonder about myself. Like buying decaf chai, and then realizing I have no plain black decaf to mix it with to do the Samovar stovetop method. Grumble. How hard would it have been to add some decaf black tea to the order? Grumble grumble. If I’d only thought about it then. Grumble, grumble, grumble. It’s not like they didn’t have one, it’s the Korakundah. Pout. I attribute it to stress and lack of sleep. And age. Specifically that thing that starts to happen to women when they hit my age. [sigh]

I mixed with the Darjeeling Goomtee since the chai had a darjeeling base. I am hoping I will be able to sleep tonight. I’m enchanted by the idea of a decaf chai I can make on the stovetop. I was getting some mileage out of the Tazo teabags, but it’s just not the same degree of comfort as I get from the stewy, milky stovetop version. Imagining that, late at night, and sleep afterwards, gets me all warm and fuzzy.

This is the first decaf chai not in a bag I’ve tried and it’s a good one. It’s hard to know what it would be like as a fully decaf version. I must try again and compare when I have some decaf black loose leaf in the house.

No single spice predominates. It’s not overly gingery, nor is it overly cinnamony. Just a very balanced flavor. The spice is fairly gentle, more along the lines of the Golden Moon spice than the Rishi Masala Chai. There are red peppercorns in the mix, but while they may add flavor they don’t add bite.

I’m thinking chai is a good choice for decaf in general. It seems less likely to have that washed out, something’s missing thing going on because of the distraction of the spices.

I’ll enjoy having this one when I’m worried about being overly caffeinated but need a filling, coma-inducing, tasty warm milk snack.

Boiling 8 min or more

“So sometimes I do things that make me wonder about myself.” … I’ve done that… =D

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“So sometimes I do things that make me wonder about myself.” … I’ve done that… =D

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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. :-)


Bay Area, California



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