77
drank Masala Chai by Teavana
1119 tasting notes

This is another of the June teas of the month on the Teavana classic tea of the month plan. I tried it today using the Samovar stovetop method with Leafspa Yunan Gold as the extra black tea.

This is a sort of in-between chai on my scale. It’s not too spicy, but it’s hardly mild. It has a little kick at the end. The spiciness must come from the ginger and cardamom as there’s no pepper listed in the ingredients. It’s also got a decent amount of tea flavor to it, though there’s a tad of harshness to it even through the milk and sweetener. There is vanilla listed among the ingredients, and if I close my eyes and try hard I can taste the vanilla, but it’s not among the stronger flavors in this. It’s hard to say what flavor is the strongest, really. It’s probably the ginger, tied with the cinnamon.

If I hadn’t gotten this as part of the tea of the month club I probably would not have tried it. At this point in my chai experience I’ve narrowed things down enough to know that if it doesn’t have black pepper it’s not going to be able to compete with my favorites in chailand. Even so, I’m glad I got a chance to try this and I’m even gladder it wasn’t just a sample size so I’ll have another shot at it. At it happens, I made this then had to put the 4 year old down for nap, and fell asleep next to him so this was pretty much lukewarm by the time I got to it. I’m sure it’s improved by being hotter.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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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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